View Full Version : John Deere ZTR questions

09-27-2000, 10:57 AM
i am looking to purchase a ztr before next season, John Deere wb's are very popular here. so i was wondering about the ztr they have. has anyone used, or does anyone have one? how is the speed, the cut, the reliability, the cost as compared to other ztr's? any info will be helpfull.

[Edited by davesgs75 on 09-27-2000 at 03:19 PM]

09-27-2000, 03:35 PM
I was talking to the Deere Dealership about the ZTR Mowers he said the are made by Kees and over priced

09-27-2000, 04:47 PM
I have JD F620 front deck ZTR. I think it is a great machine. My JD dealer also sells Dixie Choppers (as they are made just down the road in Coatesville, IN) and they agree that the JD is a better machine. I talked to him about the mid deck ZTR and John Deere is having them made by another firm for the first couple of years to see how well they do. Then JD will begin making them in house. The F620, now the F680 is a great machine, decent speed (its a ZTR) and climbs hills well. Low CG, easy to maintain and I love it. But, I am a John Deere fan anyway so I have a little green blood in me.

Happy Hunting,
Matt Kelley

Eric ELM
09-27-2000, 07:11 PM
I would be willing to bet that a JD dealer would make more money off of a John Deere sale than if they sold a Dixie Chopper. If feel this is the reason they say a John Deere is better. I have both and I can't see that they even come close in comparison. I can mow a lot more grass with the Dixie Choppers and do a better job of it. My John Deere was in the shop more the first year than my oldest Chopper has been to the shop in the past 6 years. Next month my oldest Chopper will be 6 years old and have around 3,200 hours on it with very little repair work done on it. If John Deere would have had Dixie Chopper make their ZTR's and painted them green, they would say they are the best too. :)

09-27-2000, 08:29 PM
Funny you mention that Kees makes John Deere ZTR's. I was talking to a Rep. from Husquavarna the other day and he said that Husquarvarna commercial equipment is being made in the Kees plant in Nebraska. The Kees brand name will eventually dissapear. He said that Husquarvarna has taken the Kees brand and improved on it and now it is Husquarvarna. I'm just telling it like it was told to me.

09-27-2000, 10:35 PM
Kees makes the mower...JD makes the 7 iron deck.
Keyes makes a good deck...save a bunch of money...buy the kees.

[Edited by accuratelawn on 09-28-2000 at 01:53 AM]

09-28-2000, 12:41 AM
Well said :)

09-28-2000, 12:37 PM
Sorry to upset you about your DCs. We all have our favorite brand and favorite dealer. I prefer John Deere. You prefer DC. We all interject our opinion in these threads so take it with a grain of salt. I have had zero trouble with my Deere. For cemetery mowing, the front deck is an asset. I must admit the only other two ZTR's I have used are Bunton and a Woods. I did not like either of them. Personal preference. I have the material collection system for mine and it works great for leaves. I do not pick up any grass.

BUT, thanks to you, I do run double blades, factory on top, Gators on the bottom. The factory HI LIFT blades are still lower out on the end so I did not have to adjust deck height. Thanks for that little tip. Have a good day.


Turf Kutter
09-28-2000, 02:19 PM
Hey Spring how many hours is on your JD at the time being?????

09-28-2000, 02:59 PM
I have 250 hours on my machine. I mow two residential lots, one residential 'estate', and three cemeteries (plus my own yard). My JD is two weeks shy of 1 year old. Motor is 20HP Kohler, horizontal shaft, very low center of gravity. It will climb a hill that the Bunton wants to tip over going up. Let me know if you have any more questions, I will be happy to help.


Eric ELM
09-28-2000, 03:40 PM
You didn't upset me at all. I was just telling you my opinion of JD. I have 2 John Deeres at this time and I have 2 Dixie Choppers also. I was just letting you know that in my opinion why a JD dealer would say he like JD's better. I got a new diesel DC 3 months ago and have 245 hours on it and have had no problems either. A person shouldn't have any problems until you get 2 or 3 thousand hours on them. I hope you have a lot better luck with that JD than I have had with mine. You must just do this part time, so it should last you for many years.

09-28-2000, 04:06 PM
Part time, full time. I work full time and we have a Landscape and Vinyl Fence business. I added the mowing as a service for one customer and picked up a couple more accounts to justify the purchase. With all the rain this year, it has been a challenge to stay ahead of the game, especially since the cemeteries have more weeds than quality grass and well, they grow like weeds. We had to mow them every 4-5 days or they would get out of control. What made it worse was the fact it was a fixed contract.

Thanks again for all the great comments.


Eric ELM
09-28-2000, 07:41 PM
I've heard great things about the vinyl fences and it seems like the fence work I would get into if I was going to get into that sort of work. My daughter-in-lawn in Utah sells this same fence for a company out there and is making more money than our son who is a foreman for a commercial electrical company. It seems like very nice fence that should last forever. It sounds like your doing very well for yourself and good luck in both businesses. :)

Grasscape Inc
09-28-2000, 09:25 PM
I don't think the original poster is talking about the plain ole JD.
We are talking about the new commercial models with & iron decks, and you cannot come up with an opinion untill you use them day in, and day out.
We use SCag , JD, exmark, and Toro.

The new & 7tron decks(the only deck you should even consider from JD) is fantastic!

The cut is the same as the exmark, (I think a smidgen better than the exmark) which is the best cut currently avaliable
There is NO blowout.
It goes through sopping wet, tall grass, without missing a blade. The deck is BIG! The blades are extremely thick.
This deck can handle ALOT of grass.

We use the F680 outfronts, so I cannot comment on the mids.
The outfront is a winner though. I doesn't scalp, it is just very well-engineered, and SO easy to service.
It is expensive though.

We have no trouble with ours at 500+ hours in just this season.

We took it back to get the collection system installed, and the dealer took off the blades, balanced, sharpened, and cleaned the deck for free.

That is part of what you pay for JD. They back their equipment %1000000000.

They do extra stuff with their equip. They have trans. coolers, oil coolers, and they motify the motor, with different cleaning areas. There is just ALOT more attention given to this mower.

I HATE toro customer service.

I don't like the Exmark and Scag dealer in town.

This is the reason I choose to give JD a shot.
The dealer support is excellent, ZERO downtime.

It is not a perfect mower, but all of the above opinions are not revelant without actually using the mower.

We use many models, and the F680 is a keeper.
I will not buy another Toro, ever.

The manual on the Ztracks is very well written, with many pointers for overall equipment maintenance.

If you are willing to part with the cash, I highly recommend the new Ztracks with the 7 iron deck, you will not be disappointed.

09-29-2000, 08:33 AM
I agree with Grasscape.

JD Customer service is the best. I run the F620 which is the '99 version of the F680. I have the 7 iron deck and will mow a phenomenal amount of grass. I have one cemetery with a huge hill and the previous mowing contractor could not climb it with his Bunton. The JD F620/F680 is a great machine and I love the out front deck!!


Grasscape Inc
09-29-2000, 09:06 AM
Couple of things I forgot to mention.
The F680 actually holds, and climbs hills BETTER than our midmonuts Toro, Exmarks. I found it hard to beleive when the dealer told me this, but It has proved to be true. You can turn a 360 ON ahill without slippage (most times), while the Midmounts just slides around.

Also, an advantage over the Walkers and such, the rear tires stay withinthe cutting arc, so when you spin corners, if the decks clears it, the tires will also. No busted fences, decnted cars, etc. It's just a great machine.

I only feel it needs more engine options.

The deck is drive shaft driven.

09-29-2000, 08:58 PM
Hey springvalley what size deck do you have on that f620?

I have the f620 with a 54" deck. I'm trying to find gator blades for it, but no luck.

And i love my jd too.


10-01-2000, 02:22 AM
I heard mention of a grass catching system for the 680-is this a good system? How does it compare to the ExMark HP 52 wtih an Ultra Vac? We have a JD dealer right here and I have to travel to get to an ExMark dealer. I would love to be able to just drive 5 minutes to the dealer for parts or just to get some advice as oppossed to 1 to 3 hours!

Grasscape Inc
10-01-2000, 12:06 PM
There is a material collection system for the F680.
It works great. Not sure how it compares to the exmark system. THe eXmark system is the one like on tractors that has the containers that hold bags. The JD is one huge hopper holding 9 bushels.
It has a 8" hose , and 16" blower fan which runs off of the motor. It dumps from the seat. It works great, and even picks up wet grass without clogging because of the big tube.
It is clutch driven from the mower PTO.
Cost id about $1500. Ouch! Has alot of suction though. THe lawn loooks "vaccumed" after you use it.