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Deere 757 ZTR User Report

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by dfischer, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. dfischer

    dfischer LawnSite Member
    from Il
    Messages: 114

    Follows is the kind of information I sought while deciding what to buy. Hope it helps the next guy, dan

    Purchased dealer demo '04 757 w/4.5 hours and deere mulch kit for $6,500. More mower then I wanted, but too good of deal to pass up.

    I selected Deere because I've owned them and know the amazing quality intrinsic to green. Availability of local dealer, a backup dealer, and readily available parts were a big deal to me.

    I also wanted at least 3" of overlap and more HP then "it will work". Thus I ruled out:
    717 (18hp w/48"), not enough power, mid frame, no overlap
    737 (23hp w/54"), ok power, big frame, no overlap

    727 23 hp and 54", enough power, good overlap, mid frame, good sized tires (ride)

    757 (25hp w/60"), as above, but jeez is it big.

    Am cutting about 25,000 sq feet of grass, minimal trimming so far (new house) but trees are coming next spring. Cut it in 1/2hour or a bit less (mowing only), leaving 1 hour for trim clean-up, brief yard care and still done in 1.5 hours. Nice.

    It flys and seems to cut as fast as I want to go.

    Hill holding is amazing, I'm cutting a 400' long sideways slope that is certainly more then I thought a ZTR can do, and it's 100%.

    They are heavy, and fast, so I have blown a few off-camber sloped turns, and advise you to remember it's a lot of moving weight to stop or turn.


    w/o mulch baffels and w/Std hi-lift blades or w/Gators it doesn't discharge very well. Seems to build-up inside deck and drop it in chunks. This w/dry but very green, well watered young and sometimes taller grass. My old 265 w/46c seemed to discharge much better. Deck holding grass is only major flaw, but I'm dissapointed in it right now.

    Mulching w/baffles and the gators gives VERY fine mulch, but again, the deck is holding lots of grass up inside it. Stopping the deck will drop LOTS of mulched grass in one spot and will require rake spreading. Otherwise it seems to be speading it out well. I do see an increased drop in slow turns.

    Also seems to leave an enormous amount of grass transiting driveways and sidewalks. This, at least with greenm active grass, is to be avoided.

    Washing under deck will drop a 5 gallon bucket full of fine clippings.

    I've yet to take the much vaunted gators off and mulch w/a std low lift deere blade, but am going to.

    Machine is an SOB to clean under deck. no easy way to get it off fast (I was an idiot and just assumed it came off easy). I now winch the front up (lets skip how) to spray it out, but that wastes time. I should have consided clean-up and maintenance more.

    Deck start needs a lot of power. Hard to believe it's a 25hp motor. I think the PTO (Mule drive) must just drink power down, but perhaps further break in will change this. I can idle start my 265's deck, this needs 3/4 throttle.

    Deck height came adjusted to spec tolerance (I checked), and my grass seems to look best @2 3/4". Deck heigh adjust is easy, nice to use.

    Controls all work well, armrest about 2" to low for me. I became at least sorta comfortable using it after 3 mowings and am gaining skill as I go.

    As all have said, Z-turns are a major Oops! for the grass, but i think 1 wheel turns are even worse. I CAN pivot around a small (say 4". as a example) radius, but there won't be any grass left under the inside tire if I do. I suspect that is true of all Z's, as we can't have an "open" side that can freewheel.

    Hydro's are surprisingly weak compared to a tractor. That's an impression, I've not trying to work them, but based on feel I won't be testing it out. Example. I dump the 265 hydro forward and it will pick the front up 2'. This with 16 hp. The 25 Hp Z just starts moving and picks up speed quickly. Perhaps the higher gearing dampens the power hit, but w/50% more power I expected the 50% higher top speed to have felt similar. Aagain, I suspect the mule drive is a power sink.

    Ride is good. Large tire, all pneumatic, and thick seat. I can, and have, caught myself mowing flat out.

    All in all it is what it's designed to be: A high speed grass cutter with good manners. Strenght is green paint and all it
    implies, weakness it deck maintenance and grass clumping.

    Should I find a solution to the deck holding grass I will advise. For now, it gets a C+ and will never (can't get the deck out fast) get an "A". Perhaps I grade hard...

    Will I keep it? For now. Although I may sell it if I find a smaller diesel kubota for the same money. Much will depend on how it behaves next summer. I half suspect the new, VERY green grass is delivering a pretty hard test for the deck, but am now cutting twice a week, so height of cut is reasonable.

    Other thoughts:

    I've not tried doubles, and don't project it will like starting them. It's cold blooded to start. I think it's too lean.

    Finally, I suspect the grass holding issue is part and parcel of the current trend to square decks. I suspect a real tunnel top deck would do much better.
  2. Knukey

    Knukey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I have a cheapo Toro Timecutter 14Z38 (Yes it is small and wimpy, but enough for me). It has a quick connect clean out attachment you twist onto a hose, turn the water on, plug it in and engage the blades in lowest position for 1-2 minutes and then disconnect. When done regularly, the bottom of the mower deck is spotless. I like this feature.

  3. jcasper

    jcasper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Remember if you keep the underside of your decks wet they may rust early. Make sure you let them dry out if you can.
  4. dfischer

    dfischer LawnSite Member
    from Il
    Messages: 114


    Interesting feature. Can you tell me a bit more about it? Is this a device built into the deck, something you slide under it (with blades running? Yikes!), or what.

    I'm assuming they're some kind of interconnected spray nozzles built into the deck. If so are they on the sides, top, all, etc...



    JC, yes. Machine stored inside, dries out rather quick, and I'll paint the inside of the deck from time to time. Normally in the fall I clean them, paint the bottom, and then wax them once good in the spring.

    Thanks to you as well,


    RKISTNER1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Dan, Got my Deere in May Brand New off Ebay. Took my about 5 cuts till I wasn't screwing up my lawn everytime. Dealership here honored my warranty and a pleasure to deal with. Before the first cut I sprayed a product called EZ-Slide...Works Great! Love the yellow seat. Rich IN Mich.
  6. Larry Davis

    Larry Davis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Deck design is everything in preventing underdeck grass buildup. Just because it is a Deere does not guarantee a well designed deck. I have both Exmark and Hustler ZTR's and will only get excessive buildup if the grass is wet. And, no one has yet to make a deck that wet grass will not clog up.

    Also ..... you may want to check with your Deere dealer and/or your owner's manual on the use of water to clean your deck. Both Exmark and Hustler strongly advise against such practice because it can shorten the life of the spindles.

    You may want to invest another $160 in a "Jungle Jack". Makes lifting the deck and scraping the grass off no more than a 5 minute job.
  7. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    Your deck should not be collecting grass like that. You need to get the owners manual out and check the pitch of the deck. The deck must be tilted 1/8"-1/4" lower in the front so it will cut and discharge better. If the pitch is not what it should be then it will collect grass badly.

    Your right about the engine running lean. These new engines must run lean in order to meet the EPA regulations. Ztr's need to be running at atleast 3/4 throttle or more to enguage the blades because the clutch enguages so fast it puts a huge load on the engine instantly unlike a manual enguagement.

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