Anyone own or demo JD997

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dozerdogue, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. dozerdogue

    dozerdogue LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 113

    I'm very interested in peoples thoughts on the John Deere 997. If you own one or have used one please let me know how it performs in wet heavy grass, rides, reliability, etc.
  2. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,179

    Well it seems no one has run a 997 but I have run a 777 which is the same just a different motor. I only got to cut dry grass and weeds on a very level lawn but everything about it was excellent for what I got to use it for, I would say if you bought one you would really like it. I have heard some talk of the 29 dfi
    using a lot of gas.
  3. fastcutter

    fastcutter LawnSite Member
    from west tn
    Messages: 240

    997 is nice. cut very well in wet grass. I my buy 2 for the next season.
  4. Grassman6

    Grassman6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    The 777 and the 997 are two totally different machines. The first does not have a diesel option and the second mower does not have a gas engine available. The 997 is taller, heavier and longer than the 777 due primarily to the diesel engine which is much more quiet and smoother. I prefer the 777 with a 60" deck on all but the largest properties where the 997 monster with a 72" deck is top dog. Wet grass performance is good, ride quality is excellent and reliability is relative to your situation. In middle TN diesel fuel is 27 cents more than gas. Return on investment is good only if you run the diesel many more hours than the gas. Other consideration are the shaft drive on the 997 as opposed to replacing a deck belt every 400 hours on the 777. I replace two or three belts each season on the 777 with no tools required and about 2 minutes of labor at a cost of $38. They are both water cooled and the same suspension seat is available on either model. This may not help you decide which to get but the information should be helpful.
  5. oldturf

    oldturf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    I have two 997s and think they are the best thing since sliced bread. I mow soccer fields with them and they are extremely productive, great ride excellent fuel consumption power to spare with the 72'' deck. These things are tough as nails. I also use them mowing 5 miles of highway right-of-way and I use them for brush hogging rough fields. They are big and they are heavy, but the weight distribution is good and I can run them anywhere that I run my Toro 62'' machines except for the deck size. The 72'' deck is great for me but I still need smaller machines for some areas. These machines have run over 40 hrs per week this year and are holding up extremely well in rough use. If you need a machine for large properties, then they are great. I use to mow over 80 acres of soccer fields each week with 2 guys on two Toro 62'' 27hp gas mowers-Now one JD 997 with 72'' deck does the same job in approx. the same time. Demo one side by side with your next choice and prove it for yourself.
  6. green acres lawns

    green acres lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I demoed one when they first came out and really liked the way it felt. I don't like to buy a first year product of anything, and I already had a Sabre-tooth diesel, so I didn't keep it. I also demoed a IS4500 ferris and liked it too.
    I already have a John Deere 4700 tractor and a 318 lawn & garden tractor, so I am very familier with John Deeres top notch dealer service. I mow some large commercials, so my 72" diesel is my primary mower, and the 997 could end up on my trailer next year.
  7. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,179

    That was my mistake the comparison I was making is between the 777 and 797. The 997 has the 31 hp diesel and weighs 1841 lbs. with a 72" deck, that is a very heavy mower that would be made to cut large open areas, they sell for $12995.00 in this area.
  8. Mow"N"Bud

    Mow"N"Bud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    My JD Dealer let me Demo one, and next year I plan to buy one. It is in one word "PHENOMIAL" It is tough as a tank, and built like one, but it also carries the weight of one. In thick heavy wet grass I was unable to bog the motor. The cut quality is really nice, and the speed is awsome. Like any ZTR watch that you don't leave a bare spot when you turn. It has enough power that it will easily spin a bare spot, but for large areas there is no replacement for this monster of a mower. I call it a moster out of respect and not disrespect.

    Good Luck

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