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2011 John Deere Quik Trak Review (early)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mowerbrad, May 6, 2011.

  1. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    As many of you know, I recently bought a new 2011 JD Quik Trak 647A (48" 7ironPRO deck with 22hp engine). I have got a few hours on it now and have used it on a couple lawns, including my own. I have also put a few hours on a demo unit during a previous season. So I wanted to give a "quik" and general review of the mower. I plan on getting a more in depth review, like I did with my Z925A last year, toward the end of this season. I will try to update this review throughout the season, as I get more time on the machine.

    Here's my thoughts so far...

    COMFORT: I have been very impressed with the stand on mowers over the last couple years. I actually feel less fatigued at the end of the day using the Quik Trak than when I use my Z925. The Quik Traks do come with a shock absorbing suspension in the plateform which I find to take out the "jolts" of bumps. Obviously the suspension isn't as dramatic the suspension on the Toro or Exmark versions, but it does at least help take the jolts out of bumps. Overall a very comfortable mower.

    CONTROLS: I really like the controls on the Quik Traks, they are very easy to access and are very user friendly. The throttle, PTO switch, choke and ignition are all easy to get to and no need to reach under/around other controls or levers. The new Quik Traks now have a grab bar behind the steering levers and in front of them. The front bar is adjustable, so you can control the maximum forward speed which is handy when training new operators on the unit or you are getting used to the machine. The parking brake is next to your left leg, which is very easy to engage or disengage. I do wish there was an easier way to take the deck out of the transport position, it isn't so bad with proper spring tension on the deck, but it still can be a little awkward.

    ENGINE: I waited for the 22hp to come out on the 2011 models instead of the old 19hp model from previous years. I haven't been able to really put the engine to the test but hope to do that soon. Even with the few hours I have put on the machine so far, it definately feels like it has plenty of power. It does come with the canister air filter, which was something that I really wanted to have, I am not a big fan of the cartridge type filters.

    MAINTENANCE: From the look of everything and me going through most everything, maintenance definately looks pretty easy for a stand-on mower. The leaning pad lifts off in about 2 seconds and can be moved completely off the machine. This allows easy access to the dip stick, hydro fluid reservoir, fuel filter and hydro pumps. A second plate can be removed for even greater access if needed. The deck is very easy to access, just take off the cover over the deck and you can easily access the deck for maintenance or replacing a belt. All grease points are in very easy spots to accesss.

    CUT QUALITY: The 2011 models do have the 7IRON-PRO decks on them. I have been very impressed with how well it has performed so far. I expected it to perform well and it has definately lived up to its reputation and (in my opinion) the nicest cutting deck for my area. It disperses clippings well and seems to chop the clippings up very nicely (I'm using standard high lift blades currently). The deck is surely built very tough with nicely placed reinforcments. One customer I did with it the other day had spots that were 6" tall, I cut the lawn at 3.5" and I had no clumping and didn't have to double cut. No super tall lawns quite yet.

    HILL SIDE STABILITY: I don't have any experience yet with my 647A on hills but I do with a 667A. It was better than most ztr's, but not as good as the Wright ZK. I will be able to put the new 647A on a few hills this year, so I hope to see how well it does compared to my JD Z9. So I will have to get back to you guys with the true performance of it later.

    SIDE BAGGER: I did get the John Deere side bagger for the mower and while I haven't used it yet, it does install and uninstall in a minute. A big plus is that I can keep my discharge chute on all the time, so I am able to keep that safety feature on all the time. It is nice being able to take the bagger on and off quickly, especially when I can go from bagging one lawn to collecting the next.

    One issue that I do want to address is the weight issue. Some people really rag on the Quik Traks, saying how they are all too heavy. Compared to my Z9 with the bagging system, this Quik Trak is a "light weight". I can do actual zero turns and not scuff up a lawn. So turning around at the end of a pass doesn't require a 3-point turn. It really seems to spread the weight out well, I can't comment on how it does while the property is very wet though.

    Like I said, I will try to update this thread through the year and at the end of the year I will do a complete, comprehensive review of the entire mower. But for now I wanted to share my initial thoughts about the mower.

    Here's some pictures to start though...





  2. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,537

    very nice review...looking forward to hear more about the differences between the stander and the z925a
  3. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,600

    I have to say that you do a great job on giving a simple but clear reveiw of your machines.

    I am curious about one thing. I noticed that the tailpipe is in a less than ideal position. How bad do you smell/notice the exhaust fumes. I am not too crazy about JD's engineering for the muffler's end pipe. It seems they could have either routed it out to the left and into the open so that it doesn't get redirected by the deflector chute on the deck, or maybe even out and down somewhere between the deck and front platform on the machine, and then down towards the turf where the air from the blades could dissipate it somewhat. It looks like it curves forwards at the end, but if you're moving along over the turf at any kind of pace at all I'm sure the draft still causes some to hit that deflector.
  4. a clear difference lawn

    a clear difference lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    Great looking mower!! Do you know where to get the complete updated specs for the 2011 machine? The john deere website still has the specs for the older unit with the 19hp. Thanks for the review.
  5. magilla12

    magilla12 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    Once again great review. I have been following your reviews since you got your 925. If it ever rains here in OK, I will try to give you a good review on my new WH36A.
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    To answer your question about the muffler pipe, I actually never feel the exhaust or smell any exhaust while on the platform. The exhaust is directed away from the operator quite well with minimal heat and no fumes coming back to the operator.

    I have absolutely no idea when Deere will update the specs. The 2011 models were just released from the factory last week when I picked mine up. Deere usually is a little behind on the website, so I would assume in the next month or two.
  7. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I now have a little more time on the Quik Trak and wanted to update a few things.

    Hillside Stability: People always say the the Quik Traks are not good on hills, they would be WRONG! I took this machine on one slope that my Z925 couldn't hold and the quik trak stuck to it like glue. I could go side to side and not feel unsafe and I could also go up and down and never did the front end want to come up off the ground. When going up steep slopes I have even tried to see if I could get the front end to pop up and couldn't do it. I feel very safe on the quik trak while on hills.

    Bagging Performance: I have finally been able to use the machine to bag. I use the John Deere side bagger and find it to be a decent investment. I wouldn't want to use this machine to bag large properties, but I can do small lawns with it. It seems to get about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full and then start to leave a small windrow next to the discharge. I don't know if it leaves this windrow because I need to clean the underside of the deck or if that is just how it is. But none the less it bags pretty well. It's very easy to install the bagger and remove it completely...it also only takes seconds to empty the bag and put it back. So far I am happy with the bag and will be interested with how well it works in the fall.

    Overall, I have been very happy with my purchase. Just this week I needed a backup mower since my big JD blew a sideway on its tire and I'm waiting for a new tire to be ordered and installed on Monday, so I was forced to use the Quik Trak for every property yesterday and today. The quik trak is comfortable to use all day and despite being smaller than my 925, it manages to be pretty productive.
  8. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    I have one just like yours but with a 19hp Kawasaki. Mine sucks on hills. Put a powerflow bagger on it and you can bag large properties.:waving:
  9. Cooter

    Cooter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Iowa
    Messages: 510

    Hillside stability is not as good as some other standon units. It will not lift the front as it is nose heavy and you stand in front of the rear tires. I have put over 1800 hrs on our old 667. I also feel the new Z9 is not very good on hills. So it wouldn't take much to be better. We run 757s and 950s so we have experience with them. Glad to hear you like it, they are great machines.
  10. johndeeretech09

    johndeeretech09 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    the quik traks are an awesome mower. have seen alot of the go out the door and not very many coming back with any major repairs. have fun!

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