Deere x700 Signature Series Pros and Cons

This compelling video of the x729 using a Deere 45 loader demonstrated the potential of a front end loader on a large garden tractor.  It was this video which started me along the process of getting my own tractor. Ironically, it was also the video which convinced me to NOT get the x700 series. Take a quick look at the video, then I’ll explain below.

Unfortunately, the 45 loader is no longer offered on the x700 series. So, the above video might make you drool, but unless you buy this combination used, you are out of luck. In many ways, this makes your buying decision easier. If you think you would use a front end loader, you do not need to read any further. You should begin considering the 1-Family/1-Series (1023E or 1025R).


While the first video was exciting but shows a combination which is no longer available, this video shows that the x700 signature series CAN still be equipped to do some serious work.  This one shows Roy Rector tilling sod with his x748.  If you are interested in using the x700 series for more than simply mowing, I would recommend checking out all of Roy’s videos.

 

From my point of view, here are some advantages and disadvantages of the x700 signature series. Use these points to help you think about the different models, but be sure to study the Deere website and other online reviews before making a decision.

Large Garden Tractor (ex: Deere x700 Signature Series)

Advantages:

  • Excellent Engine Reliability/Longevity (better than x300/x500 (same as 1-series if you get the diesel)
  • Diesel available for increased fuel economy (same as 1-series)
  • Better than average lawn cut quality (better than 1-series, but how does one quantify???)
  • Tighter turning radius than larger tractors (especially with all-wheel-steer)
  • 3 Point Hitch and PTO available
  • Snow blower/blade available (vs. ZTR)
  • After-market cab available (vs. ZTR)
  • Rear wheel weights available (vs. ZTR)

Disadvantages

  • Not as maneuverable as zero turn mowers
  • 3 Point Hitch and PTO are expensive options
  • MSRP very near or above sub-compact when similarly equipped
  • Loader/Backhoe options not (no longer in the case of the loader) available

Deere provides their own ‘comparison’ page complete with recommendations for particular scenarios.
Deere 1-Series vs. x700 Signature Series Comparison
However, I don’t find their bullet lists very helpful.

Overall, I think it is fairly simple. If you plan to use your tractor exclusively for mowing, then the x700 or a ZTR is the best option.
If you wish to tackle other more demanding tasks, and willing to compromise slightly while mowing, then you should consider the 1025R or perhaps even larger.

10 Comments

  1. Hi Tim! I enjoy your videos, keep it up!

    I owned a X475 and 45 Loader for several years. It mowed amazingly well. The cat 1 3 point didn’t lift very high, and caused some contact with the ground when loading onto my trailer. The Loader bucket roll was controlled by the mmm and 3-point rock shaft hydraulic spool, so when rolling the bucket out it would tend to set the 3 point and mmm down and raise them up when curling the bucket in. It could handle the 45 Loader, but only being 2wd, had some traction issues even when weighted. It’s was essentially a gas powered wheel barrow, and you had to just keep that in mind when using it. I stepped up to a 1025r this winter, and am happy I did. The auto connect deck, independent Loader scv, 4×4, and operator station are amazing. As a farm kid as well, I like the rear 3 point control better than the x475. And your recommendation of the seat springs was very helpful, as I too am cheeseburger challenged!

  2. Thanks for the very informative comment! The 1025R is an amazing tractor, in the same footprint as an x700 signature series. For most folks considering this choice, I think the 1025R is the best choice.

  3. Hi Tim and Chris,
    I just recently purchased a 1025r largely from comments I’ve seen here and on YouTube from Tractor Time with Tim and others. I agree with everything you’ve mentioned in the post. I was looking at the x739 as I have 3.5acres (2.6 mowable) and the rest is 30ft Christmas trees to mow around. AWS was definitely appealing. In the end and with the help of both of your comments, the 1025r prevailed for the versatility. I was very much impressed with the seat option on the 1025r. I could sit there all day (and probably will even if the engine isn’t running). I haven’t changed the seat springs yet but most likely will shortly. I purchased a new this year Deere MCS system for the 3pt hitch with push button dump from the seat and powerflow connection. Can’t wait to see how that works. Thanks again for all of the advice, keep in coming!!

  4. I ran a X585 with a 45 loader for about 11 years. It was most helpful on our small horse farm. Just this last month I traded it in on a 1025R with a loader and 60in mulching deck (I mow about 6 acres).

    I have been reviewing your blog and YouTube vids for maintenance tips and add on goodies. Your efforts are most appreciated! Manufacturers definitely need to send you more free stuff to review!

    • Paul,
      I would love to hear your thoughts on the X585 vs. 1025R. I’m having trouble seeing why an x700 tractor would be a better choice for anyone than a 1-series. I’d like someone else’s perspective.

      There seems to be one advantage to the x700. It has a slightly smaller turning radius. ..but that is the only advantage that I can see among a slew of disadvantages.

      Tim

  5. New at this so here goes. We have a X728 that I used a 47 snowblower on which I modified the impellar which was (METAL) and it was great at blowing snow but I sold it and got a 54 inch to replace it but didnt know that JD changed the impellars to plastic on both the newer 47 and 54 my question is what to use to improve the impellar and what to use to attach to impellar take a look at them but you probably are aware of this thanks for any help given Arnie

  6. Wow, great conversation. As some of you may know, I am a Massey Ferguson owner, but had John Deere for quite a while, price and a bad local experience changed me from green to red…that said I had a 4 wheel drive x595se that was incredibly useful. I have 8 acres of pretty hard digging and clearing and so I had to upgrade to a sub-compact AND a compact. Before I needed to tend to the rest of my property, I got an incredible amount of work done with the x595se for what it could do. Here is my contribution to this conversation.

    The xSeries to me is a really robust lawn/garden tractor. The transmissions are in an aluminum case. I could tow pretty heavy trailers with a ball mounted to the standard frame of the x595se, but one time the trailer tongue slipped and I came close to punching a hole in the transmission case. I just bent down one of the molded in reinforcement ribs, but if I hadn’t stopped the trailer, it could have easily made a hole. As some of you know, that would have been an expensive fix. Out in the woods, over the rocks, etc…I feel safer with my cast iron cases, that you find in the sub-compacts.

    My x595se was mostly fiberglass and I know JD takes criticism on being “plastic”, but this really kept the rust down and made it easier to clean. I did not mind it in this case. The hood comes completely off without tools, making service a breeze. My issue with the plastic was in the controls. They look “prettier”, but I had to fix the handle for the cruise control and the others look like it wouldn’t take much to break them. This plastic/fiberglass helps in one way and hurts in another as the tractor was pretty light, so I had to finesse things when trying to pull a heavy load while off the asphalt or just spin tire.

    I did not have a rear pto or 3 pt, but priced them…exactly as the article here says, better put the money into an upgraded tractor. The best prices I saw still put me near $2,000. So if you want to use these types of devices, my advice is to find a tractor with the pto and 3pt already on.

    I did not find the same issues moving to the front of the tractor. The PTO extender was reasonably priced and that would allow you to put a snowblower as well as other types of devices on the front. In fact, don’t despair if you would like a front loader, while the JD option may not be available the “little buck” front loader is a lot less money…about $2,300 with shipping and all. I had one and I would recommend one for certain situations. It could easily pick up a full load of gravel, but you really had to be careful about how high you carried it and when going down hills. With so much weight up front of this “light” tractor, you might not have brakes unless you are in 4 wheel drive. The back wheels will just skid without some ballast. The “little buck” had rather thin metal for the bucket if you are trying to excavate. If you are clearing snow, moving gravel, moving mulch, carrying logs, and a million other things, it was simply terrific. The other feature that I really liked is that the design gives it more than normal reach away from the tractor. I used it to back fill a wall I was building and I could keep far enough away from the blocks, but still dump behind them. Call them to see if they have one for your model, they are a great solution…http://www.littlebuckloader.com/shop/ , I highly recommend them.

    While the rear lights of the x595se are relatively inexpensive to get on ebay, that’s good, because they stick out pretty far and I replaced two of them on the same side. Again, designed for a more civilized property rather than the rugged terrain I am dealing with.

    The ‘se’ meant premium seating and the seat was excellent, with nice flip down arms. It had tilt wheel and was very comfortable to drive with a very tight turning radius. This tractor has you sitting lower between the rear wheels which made it feel very stable.

    Many of the x series do not have a joystick for the hydraulics, it is done with two levers. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of them had a click stop to put my FEL into float mode!! The JD guys were thinking on this design. With the Little Buck FEL, I could then back drag pretty nicely.

    The final straw for moving up to the sub-compact and compact, was that my x595se only had one gear setting, it was fast for travel, but a little short on the real “grunt” pulling I needed. It had 2,000 hours on it, but started every time and ran perfectly. The only issue I had was that it seemed to use much more fuel than my Massey GC1710 for the same amount of time running. I don’t know, maybe it had to do with the hours.

    The mower deck is indestructible and cuts almost like a bush hog. This weight of the tractor really worked in its favor for driving over the grass and not destroying things.

    Parts are available everywhere and not terrible in price. I found a reasonably priced manual and maintenance CD online. NAPA actually lists them in their computer for air, oil, and fuel filters. All in all, if you own relatively flat and tame acreage, need to haul hay, mulch, whatever and keep a driveway clear, the JD x series are a terrific tool and I would recommend them.

    Good luck with yours!! Happy to chat if I can help.

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