John Deere zero turn

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RCL, Jan 29, 2001.

  1. RCL

    RCL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Hey guys, first time. This site is great. I was wondering if anyone has any opinions of the John Deere ZTR's. I checked out the 665 and it looked impressive. I haven't demoed one yet. Thanks.
  2. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    This a topic near and dear to many here including myself. You can get much more info using the search function than I can give you but I'd like to share my experience.

    My closest lawn care dealer is a JD dealer who has no experience with ZTR's. They've always pushed the lawn tractors. I really wanted to try one but he didn't get one until I had already demo'd a Scag Turf Tiger and a Lazer Z, both with 60" decks and 27LC Kawasaki engines. I demo'd them side by side and bought the Exmark. I think it's great and am very happy with it.

    The Scag rode, drove and cut OK, but it seemed to rattle quite a bit in the deck area with the belts and the gearbox all making quite a bit of noise. The engines were the same, but the Scag looked like it had just been bolted on to the frame and hooked up. The Exmark has a fitted cover with wavy radiator screen for clean out, Donaldson canister air filter, easily accesible maintenance features and just sounded powerful when I fired it up. It was quiet, smooth and tall grass just withered under its blades.

    A few days later I was in the JD dealership and they asked if I wanted to drive a new 665 that just came in. I was pleasantly surprised at how nicely done it is, however I had no regrets as it had already been ruled out as it is available only with the Kohler 25. Most of the components and wheels, wheel motors, etc. are also smaller than on the Exmark. The mower was nice and smooth due I think to its belt drive which surprised me for a Deere, NO gearbox. I think this is a great step forward and also have heard great things about their 7 Iron deck although they wouldn't let me cut with it.

    If you search this site you'll see that most commercial operators don't think highly of JD, but I think Deere is on the right track with this mower. I just prefer the Exmark. Good luck, Will
  3. SpringValley

    SpringValley LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    We use JD F620s and someone else uses the M665s. Perform a search using those two terms and you should get the info you are looking for. I like JD equipment and I love the service I get from my dealer. You really have to look at the whole equation together, mower performance + dealer service. Good Luck,

    Spring Valley Landscape & Fence Co.
  4. morturf

    morturf LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 475

    An interesting thing you have mentioned here. The 665 is made in Beatrice NE. by Exmark for JD. JD uses their deck on a green painted Exmark chassis. I think this will change very shortly since Deeres purchase of Great Dane. The 665 is a clone of of a Lazer Z 25 HP. Anyway hope that helps.
  5. Grassman

    Grassman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 203

    morturf, I thought it was made for JD by Kees?
  6. morturf

    morturf LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 475

    look very close...the chassis is the same... the JD mechanic here said they were made by Exmark. I am just going by what I can see and what he said.
  7. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    This is a new one to me. I also heard Kees made the tractor part of it. I heard the reason that JD bought out Great Dane is that Bunton, I think, bought Kees and they wouldn't make the Tractor part of JD's ZTR for them. Now JD can have the Great Dane divison make their tractor part of their ZTR.

    Does anyone know for sure?
  8. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 565

    A friend of mine is the head mechanic at the john deere dealer in town, he has 66 pages of service bullitens on the JD Z mower. His words are " there not worth *^%#*( "
    That is why they are now a Dixie Chooper dealer.
    Id stay away from them. Im sorry they bought Great Dane cause thats what Ive got and its a great machine. I just hate to pay the cost of that green paint.
  9. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    That is odd, my JD dealer just laughed when I asked why he didn't handle the New JD ZTR. He didn't even want to talk about them. He sells Grasshoppers and Standers instead.
  10. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    the jd 665 tractor (not deck) is made by yazoo/kees, and they were bought out by husky.


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