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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy, I live in west Michigan and am looking for a machine for mowing and bagging grass and leaves, roughly 3/4 acre, pulling a cart around for yard work. Would consider using blower attachment for snow removal and even a tiller for my small garden areas--I currently use a walk-behing snow blower for a couple hundred foot hilly driveway and a shovel for the garden!

I only live on 1 acre and mow about 3/4 acre, but it's fairly hilly, steep enough that when I made a turn at the bottom of a hill it blew out an axle on my 22-year-old MTD Ranch King and I watched my tire roll past me. I admit my aggressive, knucklehead driving killed the axle, but I would have been shopping anyhow.

So there are many used JDs on Craigslist in my area, and assuming they are in the same good condition (certainly not the case, but for the sake of comparison), I cannot figure on which to get. I know there are opinions waiting to be shared. Here are some options, please let me know which you would buy for my application. Maybe list top 3 choices and why? Forget price, though I list them--I want to know which machine would serve me best for next 8-10 years. THANKS!!

-JD 265 48" cut, 1200 hours, power bagger $1,650
-JD GT235 2001, no bagger $2,000
-JD LX277 (42" with bagger) $1,600
-JD LX175 with bagger and snow blade $900
-LX255, $1,200 42C Mower Deck, Rear Bagger and Power Flow 7 bushel.
-JD 314 46" cut $1,300
gt 275 48" deck $800
-JD 185 hydro with bagger and blower needs electromagnetic clutch $500.00
-JD 245 Mower with Snowblower and Rotatiller with wheel weights and chains. 48 $1500.
-GT275 1996 VERY GOOD COND 17HP 48" CUT BRAND NEW BATTERY $1,400
-165 hydro with bagger $650
-JD 240 $1,000 46" mower deck with a 42" Front plow
-LX 280 Tractor 48" cut Only 450hrs and original owner, 2,000
-LT155 bagger and mulch kit $1,200
-JD 265 $600, 48" Deck with powerflo bagger system, Has a difficult time starting, possible that valves may need to be adjusted. Runs great once it is started
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Welcome westmich! :)

With the hilly terrain and the thought of using ground engaging equipment like a tiller your going to be best to stay with the GT series or 1,2,3xx series. The the LX and LT series would be lighter duty. You can look up the specs for each at

TractorData.com - information on all makes and models of tractors

My top three of interest sight unseen would probably be:

1)-JD GT235 2001, no bagger $2,000

I put this number one mainly because it's newer

2)-GT275 1996 VERY GOOD COND 17HP 48" CUT BRAND NEW BATTERY $1,400

If it is in good condition as described for it's age they likely took care of the maintenance on it and might also be lower hours.

3)-JD 245 Mower with Snowblower and Rotatiller with wheel weights and chains. 48 $1500.

Older tractor but very rugged in it's day, still a good one to look into unless it is well worn and going to start needing a lot of up keep.

How long it will last though as you know will depend on how well it has been treated in the past and how many hours on the clock it has when you start out.
 

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I would go with one of the GT tractors as well.

It's hard to say sight unseen, but typically you get more for your money with a heavier duty machine.

When you go to look at the machines, ask the sellers how they were cared for and be sure to check them over really well like you would when purchasing a used car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
one last question: do repairs make you confident or nervous?

I would go with one of the GT tractors as well.

It's hard to say sight unseen, but typically you get more for your money with a heavier duty machine.

When you go to look at the machines, ask the sellers how they were cared for and be sure to check them over really well like you would when purchasing a used car.
thanks to Mark and Austen for the replies. I have a line on a GT275 with full cab enclosure, powerflow 48" bagger and deck, snow thrower for $2,000. The machine had significant overhaul in 2011 to the tune of $1,900.

New Power Flow bagger
New Spindle Assembly
New belts, pulleys, shafts, idler springs
New clutch
Complete deck rebuild
Tuned engine
Replaced PTO clutch*
New axles.

I cannot tell if the extensive repairs should make me nervous or more confident?
 

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...I cannot tell if the extensive repairs should make me nervous or more confident?
:D At least those parts you should not have to worry about replacing for a spell. ;)

Assuming tuned engine means spark plug, oil and filters rather then a full rebuild, any idea how many hours it might have on it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not sure it has no meter but I am encouraged by thw fact that the powerflow bagger is new, meaning he planned to own it and use it a long time more. He shared it and its repair cost with a neighbor who moved after repairs done and she cannot afford to buy out half the repairs. Hmmm...I may buy it this weekend for the price ofthe repairs. Wish me luck.
 

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Keep us updated! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I bought the GT275 for 2k. It has rear catcher and power flow bagger, snow blower and dethatcher and spreader as well as full hard cover for winter use. Runs great. The discharged air is a little warm by the pedal foot but I can deal with that.

Kind of a soft bumpy ride over the uneven lawn areas. Like bouncing on an inner tube compared to my old MTD riding mower.

I will know in November when the snow flies if it was a good decision. I think it will be!
 
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