Comments on the Model 717A Mini Z-Trak Zero Turn Mower

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by fouracres, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. fouracres

    fouracres LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Anyone out there know anything about the JD Model 717A Mini Z-Trak Zero Turn Mower? Price paid and how does it compare with other ZTR mowers?

    We mow 4 acres that is spilt 50/50 improved/unimproved that surrounds a 0.5 acre pond. I have a LT for tractor yard duties and a DR for the woods. My wife wants a ZTR and that's fine with me. The lawn service that mows when I am away uses Kubota ZTRs but they are way too pricey. We don't want used equipment. My wife sees the ease and speed that these guys do our yard and would like to be able to do the same.

    We have good support from the local JD dealer. Other options in my small town are Toro, Ferris, Husqvarna and Simplicity. I will be visiting these two places in the next week or so.

    The prices for both the Ferris IS1000 and this JD ZTR are about the same with a 48" deck. I don't want to go much wider/heavier as we have two bridges that I don't want to replace! The other brands have smaller decks and are half the price... What's up with that?

    I like to buy local and will do so rather than try to chase down a dealer for another brand that is not locally supported. When you see the local dealers in town, it is nice to have them know that at least if you did not buy from them, you bought from the "other guy" down the road.
     
  2. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    I have a 717 and in 335 hours it has only had one belt replaced. I have enjoyed it! On the down side my 2 dealers are awful! Mine was 5900 and the ferris is1000 was 6600 quoted price. I think yo will be well pleased but I just bought a JD 737 with a 60" deck and it was only 6600. If you are mowing 4 acres I would spend the little extra and get the 737 ot at least a 727 with a 54" deck. You will be well pleased with either one. I use my 717 on residentual yards with lots of flowers and it makes the job a breeze.

    Danny
    Quality Lawn Care
     
  3. fouracres

    fouracres LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    It is nice to get a reply from an owner! Some of the other forum websites are brand basher sites. Entertaining to read but mostly useless as far as information goes.

    I will post my impressions after I get to the 3 dealers in town. As my wife wants to take part in the mowing, she will have a lot of input into the purchase. We will try out the various models, more questions will be posted i'm sure.

    Believe it or not, we have been mowing our yard for 9-10 years with a 16/46 "JD" Sabre. It still runs fine and cuts well enough but it is tough for the wife to mow with. I really wanted a bigger LT/GT but a ZTR will do nicely.

    As far as upgrading to the 337, we will have to see what the dealer is willing to do. I think we might be trading in a 1 year old Ferris ProCut 20 that my in-laws no longer use. That should take up most if not all of the costs. They bought it from the local JD dealer, might give us some dickering power. If no trade-in, we will probably just go with whatever my wife feels is best for her to handle. Don't want her flying into the POND!

    Bill
     
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Good luck in with your demo. If Mama aint happy aint nobody happy LOL let the wife get whatever she is most happy with, try them on our property if dealer will let you. I see you have a Sabre, I had one of those and had LOTS of problems with it. If you do a search on this forum you will find good and bad on all models, though most folks are Exmark fans, Ive never tried a Exmark so I cant compare them. I will say I tried the Ferries 1000 and really did not like it but the way the owner treated me did not help either. Good luck, fire me any questions about the 700 series JD and will ne glad to answer if I can.

    Danny
    Quality Lawn Care
     
  5. Sammyv

    Sammyv LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I purchased a 717 about 3 months ago. I mow 3 acres of fescue (with some burmuda in sunny areas), with about 50 large oak trees. I have mulch wells around all the trees, and the 717 does an exellent, fast job around the trees. I couldn't be happier with the mower. I also added the twin bag collecting system, as well. I have a great local John Deere dealer, so service will never be a problem.

    I paid 6K for the 717 and 1K for the collection system.

    I seriously considered a Grasshopper and a commercial Dixon ZTR, but chose the Deere because of local dealer support and past experience with Deere. I have 60 acres of pasture that I keep with a 5310 Deere tractor and 15 foot batwing rotary cutter. I also have a split boom deere trimmer (140SB) with edger and polesaw attachments, and a 6 foot Deere rotary cutter. Never any problems with any of these machines.

    One word of caution..learn about 3-point, "Y" turning before you start mowing.. it will save several areas of torn turf in your yard. After you learn to turn properly, you will never look back at the way you used to mow. It is at least 50% faster than a conventional riding mower.

    If you have other questions, post them and I'll post my opinions.
     
  6. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    Sammy. is your collection system a JD or aftermarket? I was told by dealer AND JD corp. that a collection system was not available for the 717. The lady I talked to at the JD 800 number was about as friendly as a pit bull.

    Danny
     
  7. Sammyv

    Sammyv LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Danny

    My collection system is a genuine John Deere product. It is called a "Rear Bagger and Power Flow". It is compatible with Z-TRAK 717, 727, 737, and 757 models. My only concern is that the bags are soft and removable for emptying, rather a "clamshell" type design, so I suspect that with daily, heavy, commercial use, the bags would need periodic replacement. With regular mowing, I empty the bags after about one acre of mowing. My dealer ordered the system and received it one week later. They installed it for me before delivering my mower.

    The equipment model number is: OMTCU15755 B2.
     
  8. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    Would you be willing to share what the price was for your collection system? I'm having a hard time finding reference to it on the John Deere website.

    Thanks
    Rich
     
  9. Sammyv

    Sammyv LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    RichmondR

    Retail is about $1200.00, and I paid $1000.00. The Deere web site dosn't list the Power Flow system as fitting the 717 (and other Z-TRAKS listed in my above post) yet. However, it definitely fits it. I found reference to it on a government bid for Deere comercial equipment. I have the complete owner's manual and assembly instructions for installing it on the Z-TRAK mowers. It is the same 7 bushel Rear Bagger andPower Flow collection system that fits Deere non-ZTR, mid-mount lawn tractors. It just comes with a different installation kit to fit the ZTR mower/7-iron deck.

    By the way, my Deere dealer was familiar with this system and installing it on the Z-TRAK. They didn't hesitate when I asked them about purchasing the collection unit. Sorry others are having trouble getting anyone to admit that the system is available.

    Hope this helps

    Sam
     
  10. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    Sammyv --

    Thanks. I believe have a non-powered version of this sort of system on my JD tractor now -- I'm looking at a 717 or 727 as well as ZTRs from other manufacturers to replace my tractor. The nice thing about this system is it isn't as overwhelming, in size and expense, as the systems from other ZTR manufacturers.

    Thanks again
     

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