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Planning to purchase New Deere walk behind #7H17 - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 360ci, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    Alright. I think I've made up my mind. I have a few Deere dealers in my area, and have had good luck with their equipment in the past, as well as dealer service. I've been checking things out over the last several months and I think I've come to a decision.

    I've decided to bite the bullet and get a larger trailer (enclosed 6x12) this May. Money isn't the issue here as I know I'll get the business to cover expenses. If for some reason I don't, well I have tons saved up anyway because I'm a cheap-ol' basturd.

    So, this model retails (Canada here folks!) for $6,632 MSRP. I'm sure I'll get a deal on it if I pay cash outright. There is a lesser model, the D15 walk behind but doesn't have the floating deck, along with a couple other less features for the sake of $1500 or so in MSRP. I figure I'll go for the larger unit as I have a few more apartment complexes to mow this year, plus whatever else I can find.

    Would a gallon of fuel an hour be a good estimate for a 17HP engine running nonstop?

    I'd like to get your thoughts on this 7H17 walk behind. Good bad, ugly, I want to hear about it. I know anything bad probably won't force me away from buying it, but you never know. I did look at other units from Exmark and Toro up close, and with the warranty, decent guys at the dealership here, I can't go wrong to buy Deere, again. It'll be even better if I can get a decent price, under the MSRP!

  2. S L C

    S L C LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    seems a bit pricey... good luck with that!
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    If I was in the market for a 48" w/b, this one would be in the top three to consider. I have a JD 717A with 7 Iron II deck, and it does an excellent job in my area. This deck is the same. Nothing mechanical looks flimsy. I'm sure some would suggest that the handles are not "modern." That would not stop me from putting this on the list, but I'm sure others would discard it immediately in favor of other handle designs.

    If you are thinking of adding a sulky, remember that you will need special brackets. The frame at the rear is a large tube. That tube serves as a hydro oil reservoir. The large surface area of the tubular frame provides cooling. But, the tubular frame cannot be drilled. Brackets can be attached externally, but no bolting.
  4. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    Thanks for the info!

    I know it's a bit pricey, but everything here in Ontario is. A mid-level Deere ZTR would run me close to 18K with taxes here, so a walk behind is a better choice as a ZTR for my needs would be a bit overkill. US (online) pricing for the 7H17 is $6029, which is also a bit high I think, but knowingly I'm sure I'll pay just above $6K for the Canadian model. For the features, I feel it'll last me a good ten years, if not more. The handles are similar to my snow blower, so it works for me. I'm not up on the latest fashions, but for handle design, it works.

    If I can make my 6.25hp Craftsman mower last the last 8 years with part-time commercial use, this Deere will more than likely never be replaced!

    I inherited a tractor off of a relative (JD), it had to have been a good 15-20 years old then, and I used it for two seasons. The front axle failed before the end of the second season. Cost for repairs was more than what I'd get for it, so I sold it for parts. It's always been parked outside for the winter here, and still started up in the spring like a champ. I thought about getting another ride on (tractor), but the walk behind is less weight, better quality, and 1/3 the cost of a ZTR. Besides, I do need the exercise.
  5. Landscraper1

    Landscraper1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Southeastern Ma.
    Messages: 753

    I looks like you already made up your mind so, why are you asking for opinions? Seems like you would rather learn from your mistakes then, take the advice from others who have been through this already.:confused:
    You will thank the posts that agree with you and find a reason to go against those that oppose.
  6. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    ...another one who's bored on a Sunday morning. Yes, for the most part I've made up my mind, but am seeking thoughts irregardless. If you don't want to give any advice or opinions on the matter other than the obvious, go haunt another thread.
  7. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I would have no problem buying a John Deere wb. The 7-iron decks are great, I demoed a quik-trak with the same 7-ironII deck that the wb has, and it was one of the best decks I have tried. I know you will be happy with the cut quality. I've never used a deere wb like that one, but they appear to be pretty solidly built and I think you will be very happy with it.

    As far as fuel consumption goes, I would say that around 1 gallon per hour would be about right, it may even be just a little less once the engine gets broken in.
  8. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    At least my estimation was right. My old 12hp or so (label was worn off) JD tractor ate quite a bit of fuel, but it was over two decades old. The three gallon tank wouldn't even last me two hours.

    Exmark was good at sending me brochures and such, although I never asked for any. Closest dealer for me is well over half hour drive away, JD isn't more than 10min. Exmark is lower priced, but I'm sure I'll get a better long term value out of the JD.

    I haven't really looked into the ironII deck much, but a couple so far now have mentioned that it's the better deck to have! I put a call into the dealer, I'm sure it'll take 2-3 weeks for delivery once I order it. I still have a solid two more months of winter yet, and I can't wait for summer!
  9. snowman 2008

    snowman 2008 LawnSite Member
    from on.
    Messages: 30

    You say 18k ? Thats way to much for green paint.
  10. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    Green, red, blue, whatever colour you want. All the prices are similar for a similarly spec'd piece of equipment here. A basic ZTR with a 13-15hp engine (yes, they come that low) and no options; ie, no suspension seat, no cup holder, foam gripped bars, two blade 36" deck -that kind of stuff still runs $11-13K here. Those models would be OK as a backup unit, but for everyday use, spending the extra $6K is the way to go for a better featured unit.

    Us Canadians get HOSED compared to US pricing, even with the dollar at a near 1:1.

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