My thoughts on John Deere

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Well they are finally coming out with some engines that I would consider such as the 31 Kawasaki on the 850. But no 60" deck option, what's with that. Also all this innovation and still not a full suspension seat. Two of my basic needs not met right off the bat. John Deere is one of the few ZTR's that I would give serious consideration to in the future but they always seem to miss the mark for me. The most important features I look for in a ZTR are as follows:

    #1 The deck, Deere has that one covered
    #2 Reliability not sure on the new 800 series
    #3 30+ hp power options for a 60" deck "not covered"
    #4 full suspension seat a must for any purchase "not covered"

    Just frustrating that they don't seem to have the same priority's as I do. I'm not knocking Deere per say.
  2. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,157

    Yea i here ya, you'd think with the money these things cost they'd already have the suspension seat on it. It should'nt even be an option period. Suspension seats should already be on a 8,000 dollar or higher Z period. A 27-29 hp kawi or kolher should be a minimum Engine size for the 60 inch deck. I no 25 will work ,but on hills its nice to have that little extra.
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Michigan Seat which makes most of the suspension seats for OEM ZTR's would be tripping all over themselves to get some yellow and green seat's out to John Deere. For an 8, 10, or 12 thousand dollar investment I expect more than the add on suspension. I have a lot of respect for JD, but they are not offering anything with the most basic of my needs. Since decks are the most important aspect in my buying decision Scag and John Deere are best suited for most of my conditions. I love the Ultra Cut but find it sitting on the trailer because of challenging cutting conditions that seem to be the norm anymore. The Lazer get the most use on drier lawns that need a super smooth cut.
  4. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,444

    This is an 02 model JD F-680 front mower 60" 7-Iron deck, I find the 60" 7-Iron deck to perform better in tall thick grass than my Scag velcoity deck did the Scag was sold, Walker purchased to replace Scag, and the John Deere is still in use. Although the F-680 is only powered buy a 20hp AC kohler it does well, and is a workhorse.

  5. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    I couldn't agree more. They have definitely come out with some good innovations, and I'm sure some of the price comes from R&D, as well as the name, but some of the things in their price range aren't there. I'm not a farmer, but I'm sure they have kept up with all the creature comforts on their ag equipment, so why not on the mowers. I really like the looks of them, and the build looks real solid, but I too will not seriously consider them until they show me they are serious about listening to LCO's. They're building a commercial quality machine, with carryover from their lawn tractors.
  6. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    Nosparkplugs, the quality of the 7 Iron decks is not at question with me. I have been reading these post for many years and you just can't hardly find a negative post on the 7 Iron decks and very few on the Velocity plus. In contrast I can show you hundreds of negative post from some so called super decks that didn't pan out as well as hoped.

    As of right now the Scag still seems better suited to this area. I'm not sold on the integrated pump/motors yet or the list of dislikes I posted before but you never know they have come a long way in the past few years. I still like a hydraulic cooler even though many company's don't see them as important. Time will tell I guess. But I would like to give JD a look in the future.
  7. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 467

    Ran our 2 850's all day today, first time out. I'm quite pleased with their performance. Rides decent, suspension seat is on the way though. Very impressed with quality of cut and discharge. 31 horse seems to be a good match for the 72" deck. Could I bog it...yes, could I keep it from bogging, yes. I guess for some 50 horse wouldn't be enough, but for me the machines power is matched quite well for the deck size. This coming from a guy with a 350 horse family car, 400 horse 800+ lbft diesel camper puller and a 700 horse, 543cu big block going in a play truck for hunting/snow bashing. I'll keep updates coming as I use them more.
  8. Zooropa93

    Zooropa93 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    We've never sold anything more than a 27hp for a 60"Z mower when we had Hustler, same with gravely thus far, and now that we have scag, same thing again as all the turf tigers we've sold have been 27 kohlers so far. I would have no problem selling someone a scag with a 35 vanguard or 31efi kohler. or a gravely with a 31 Kaw but I don't think our customers are willing to pay more for that. It seems like they're content with their 25Kaw and 27 Kohlers.
  9. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    I got to use my 850 for the first time yesterday. I love it. Suspension kit is still on order, should be here soon. But as far as creature comforts go, the pto disengage is on the sticks, as is the electric deck lift. Why they don't put the suspension kit on at the factory is beyond me but oh well. Also, seems the 7 iron pro cuts the clippings up better too.
  10. Cooter

    Cooter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Iowa
    Messages: 510

    Isn't the 7 Iron Pro the exact same as The 7 Iron II with some more reinforcements and some grippers to step on? These do not have the foot lift anymore? Do they have a positive stop on the deck height?

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