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jd 997 vs 970 a

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AEL, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Hey guys. Looking at purchasing 2 mowers for a contract I just picked up. I am choosing john deere due to the fact that the dealer has excellent service and is 2 mins from my yard. So please no anti deere posts.

    The areas I'll be cutting are fairly level athletic fields and parks. Is it worth spending the extra money for the diesel? What are the pros and cons you guys are seeing over each? What is the expected fuel economy of each?

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  2. ramcat

    ramcat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    The fuel economy on the 2011 z9 series i hope would be better but here's what i think:
    We tried a 997 and bought a Z950A because the machine is lighter better on hills and is capable for using to power the three bag power flow bagger. I don't know the exact fuel numbers on the 997 but i would guess its significantly better than the z9's. If you are using it for those big fields i think the z9 would out mow the 997 but the diesel is nice....its a tough decision
  3. deereequipment

    deereequipment LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I have all deere, but am considering the Scag cheetah.
    If speed is what you want, that new mower has a hi range that can mow up to 16 mph.

    People around here that have the 997 LOVE it. I am not sold on it yet. For the money, not sure it's "all that".

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    If you aré cutting mainly fields, etc I would get the 997. The fuel savings will add up quick.
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  5. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    There is a 4500 difference in price, il use them 3 mabee 4 days a week. Do you feel in the 3 year period i will save 4500 worth of fuel? Any other reasons besides fuel economy that would make you pick either. Thanks to all who replied so far.
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    The JD 997 will use roughly 1 gallon per hour in fuel, many people have reported even lower numbers than that (I've heard of .6-1.2 gallons per hour). The z970 is going to use roughly 2.5 gallons per hour. So in other words you'll probably use 3x as much gas with the 970 over the 997.

    Look at it this way...If you plan on putting 500 hours on a mower each year, you would use roughly 1250 gallons with the 970 and 500 gallons with the 997. With fuel prices of 3.10 for gas and 3.29 for diesel, you would spend $3875 in fuel for the 970 and $1645 for the 997. That's $2230 in fuel savings every 500 hours. So over three years (if you put 500 hours on a year) you will save $6690 over gas.
  7. JDeereZman

    JDeereZman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    Two things to add if I may. If you are mowing mostly flat area's would a Z950 be sufficient for your needs? The fuel consumption would be less than the Z970. Also one thing to consider on the 997 is that it is a more complex machine than the Z900's so there would probably be more service involved with the 997. The Z900's have the integrated transmission and very easy to maintain and service. We build both machines at our factory in Fuquay Varina,NC and I don't think you can go wrong with either machine.
  8. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Does the 950 come with a 72" deck? Reason why i am going with the larger machines is the amount of ground i have to cover . Quite a few acres each cut... I want to make sure the machine has the speed, and power for the acrage and size of deck.
  9. JDeereZman

    JDeereZman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    I believe you can get a 72" deck on a Z950 but I will check tomorrow and make sure. But I know the Z960 and Z970 have the 72". If a 72" is what you want to run I can understand your desire for more power. The 997 and Z970 will definitely cover the ground you need and with both machines power should not be an issue. The only other major difference would be that the Z970 deck is belt driven and the 997 deck is gear driven which should produce even more power. Going by what you said that you need, just my opinion I think maybe the 997 would work better for you.
  10. SouthSide Cutter

    SouthSide Cutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,331

    Go with the 997 its drive train is proven and the Z9,s are new. No body knows how any of these new integrated trans are going to do with a lot of hours on them, including the people who build them. Theres a lot of 997,s out there with a lot of hours on them. They are a heavy mower but large area,s are perfect for them.

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