John Deere 997 Z-Trak

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tonyr, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    Just wanting to hear from other owners of the new Deere 997 Z-TRAK's, generally, pros, cons....not a bash thread.


    Have you got the electric footlift to raise the deck?

    I had one fitted, but when I let the deck down it falls at full speed, no cushioning in the hydro ram, how can I fix this?

    I have a 997, 60'' rear discharge, having some issues with it, firstly the radiator wasn't sealing onto the shroud inside the hood, so radiator clogged fast. this was repaired using rubber instead of the foam, and they modified the hood so it wold seal under the radiator.

    Now I'm pushing deere to find a fix to reduce how the rear screen sucks up air borne debris, and sets off the heat buzzer, we have fitted a rubber mat under the engine to reduce the dust etc from being stirred up by the radiator fan.....but makes only a slight difference.

    Deere say they have no complaints from others so aren't looking at a fix, so just wandering if you have had similar problems or 100% happy?

    Hey, do ya like the super tall ROPS? lol!

    What I do like is how solid they are, how smooth the hydro system is, very nice engine, cheap to run, good all round visability, expect behind obviously. A very nice machine, once I can find a fix for my probs with mine I'll be happy, they are well built, but that tall ROPS is gunna be modified! lol.

    I didn't demo a side discharge deck, I really wish I did now.....the rear discharge cuts well but doesn't leave a great clipping despersal, double cutting cures that 'mostly' though.

    A lot of the debris that gets sucked up on the rear screen is from the tyres flicking it up, maybe rear rubber mudguards would solve that?
  2. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    I have one side discharge and love it and have Zero issues.
  3. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    That's great, I didn't know you bought one, sounds like mine was 'Friday' machine then eh, lol.

    .....or they are fixing things up.....

    did you get the electric foot lift?

    and are you saying that your rear screen does not clog up at all?
  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    Tony, if he is not cutting bermuda, he won't have nearly the clippings that you have. bermuda will dirty air filters faster than anything else. the differance in how my mowers look after cutting a couple bermuda yards and cutting seashore paspalum yards is amazing. they are virtually spotless after the seashore yards, but after the bermuda, thy look like they were run through a dust storm.
  5. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973


    you may have a point there.....

    what about when the bermuda is fresh growth and not dry n dusty?

    I'm not talking air filters here either, obviously the dust dirties them, I'm talking about the rear screen the radiator fan sucks fresh air in through for cooling.

    I've noticed the clippings from the tyres flick up heaps of debris which then gets sucked onto the screen.

    and enclosing the engine bay so the radiator fan couldn't stir up stuff from the ground under it helped a bit.

    just these 2 things I've noticed are big factors in my complaints, I'm sure my mower on Mikes jobs would clog, why Mike's mower is trouble free and mine is problematic amazes me....

    Unless of course he mows smaller areas and different grasses which don't give the screen time to clog?

    OK, why I ask is.....a side discharge 997 here, a friend saw one recently in a nearby city, keep in mind we have just had a wet winter and into a wet spring, no dry grass, all nice and lush.....the 997 side discharge was as clogged up as mine.

    This is why I ask about 997's in your country, as it seems clear they struggle over here, modifications need to be done to adapt them for mowing in Australia by the sounds of it, this is maybe what is confusing deere, in your country they are good, probably can't figure what the hell is making them perform so different here lol.
  6. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    The only thing I can figure is your grass is different from ours. lol
  7. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    lol, yeah, sounds like it! he he

    maybe it's how I'm holding my tongue or something lol.

    maybe something weird happens on the boat ride over, like Buck's loose moose is on the boat! oh! haaaaaaaaa
  8. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    tony, even if I am cutting with dew on the grass, I find grass all over my engine and hydro pumps by the time I am finished. it is side discharge, I can't imaging with rear discharge what it would do. do you have any non bermuda lawns? like centepede or St. agustine that you cut? I bet it doesn't clog up nearly as fast.
  9. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    mate, I have loads of different grasses, and all will clog it the same, it is not the grass type, it is where and how the engine cooling system sucks fresh air.

    how machines in your country avoid not acting like mine amazes me, unless they have fixed things to allow so and these fixes haven't arrived here.

    remember, I bought the 1st one of these in my country, and as far as I know, still am the only one with a rear discharge 997 here. The price alone will slow sales of these units here.

    If we are now gunna say that mowers can only cut certain grass types, then this industry is stuffed, bugger me, grass is grass to these big power units, I'm not talking about a little push mower here after all, these are bloody big industrial mowers, and making excuses for them is wrong.

    a corrugated rear screen would of been a smart move, while one was built for me, then deere chose not to let my dealer fit it, would not of solved the problem, but reduced it considerably, bloody tight asses!
  10. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    Tony, don't get me wrong grass gets all over all my mowers including the 997 when cutting, but I have had any "clogging" issues because of it.

    As far as the size of props I use the 997 on Commercials props only along with 757's range in size from 5.5 acres up to 90 acres.

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