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John Deere Garden Tractor to plow???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by incipit22, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. incipit22

    incipit22 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I'm considering a small Garden tractor, not a garden mower, but smaller than a compact tractor, to plow commercial sidewalks, store fronts, loading dock, etc. How do you all feel this would work compared to an ATV or UTV? I'm looking at a John Deere 400 with rear drive, chains, hydrostatic trans, 54" plow w/hydraulic controls. Any suggestions? Thanks, Joe
  2. s&mll

    s&mll Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 260

    I wouldn't want to be the one freezing on the thing. why not just a little skid steer?

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    itll work if you keep up with it but youll freeze
  4. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    I'm using an John Deere F725 outfront 20 hp Kawasaki with a 47" PTO driven thrower, electrical and mechanical chute controls. As a unit it works well. The throttle cable freezes and seizes so I go straight to the carbeurator for controls. My route is small sites dotted around the city, so it 20 minutes blowing and 20 minutes ferrying it to the next site on the truck. On a 12 hour shift I'm outside 6 hours. Between the snow blowback and the temperature an hour and a half is about all one can stand before exposure sets in
  5. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    I have 2 X720's with a 54" Blade, 47" Snowblower, and 51" Broom for sidewalks. The tractors never have a problem. I want a 4WD tractor next year so I dont have to use chains but other than that they work fine.
  6. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    We've also got a little 48" wide blower on a baby skid steer, enclosed, heated. The operator can hang in that machine all night long
  7. nick858

    nick858 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 145

    Ive got a X485 with 47" 2 stage blower, 54" blade, and a 51" broom. The broom works fine on 1-2 inches, the blower is what we normally use, and I only bought the blade because it was part of the package deal on the broom. Power angle and raise, and float as well.
    We also have a Cozy Cab with heater on ours, so last night it was -8 and I was still going strong after 5 hours. :)
  8. rawdog

    rawdog Senior Member
    from Cape MA
    Messages: 124

    used to have a 48" plow on a mower... need chains and weights and keep up with the snow and they're also no good on hills.
  9. fms

    fms Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    I'd go 4wd, hydrostatic and a cab with heat.
  10. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    . . . and that's why we like our skid steer:jester:
  11. Winterized

    Winterized Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    Have a John Deere 445 AWS..... dedicated to bagging in the Fall and a 47 blower in the Winter. Could not live with out the AWS! If you ever use one you will see why.

    Small and agile enough for driveways and larger walks. No chains required if you use some judgement. A cab and heat sure would be nice though! The 445 will move a mountain of snow if you plan your attack and can work with the wind.

    Thought about a 59 blower for my 4300 but do not have the account$ to justify it. And NO WAY without a cab on that in Wisconsin.
  12. incipit22

    incipit22 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks everyone, The 400 John Deere is smaller than most of those referenced in your replies, but it was known as the first "super" garden tractor in it's day. I'd use it solely on flat walks & wider walk areas in front of large stores like Home Depot. 100% flat & solid surfaces. The set up will set me back a mere $1500 to $2000 including hydraulic plow & delivery-with a new honda engine! Sure, a cab would be nice & the same machine is available locally with a cab, plow & blower for $3000, but hasn't been repowered. All things considered, I like the dependability of the Deere with a new Honda engine versus the alternatives in the $2000 range. Our snow in South Jersey is infrequent & most always WET, therefore blowers do not work well, and the 400 I'm considering has a 60" mower deck as an extra.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  13. Cooter24

    Cooter24 Senior Member
    from NE Iowa
    Messages: 268

    Those older 400s are built heavier and more durable than the newer JD's. The newer ones are plenty strong, these are just really strong. Only thing it don't have that the newer ones have is AWS, EFI, and foot controlled hydro.
  14. isuhunter

    isuhunter Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 1

  15. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I like that it is already repowered. Keep in mind the newest 400 has to be upwards of 30 years old by now. If it will stay reliable for you it will be more than capable. There are both factory and aftermarket snow cabs available for these (like Berco), though I would imagine the price would be at a premium this time of year. As for heat in them, either electric or a propane golf-cart heater would work fine. Like this...

  16. kcdas

    kcdas Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I know it is bigger than you are looking at but love our JD 2305. It is 4wd so no chains are needed and the 54" front blade works great for sidewalks. Also has the down pressure on the blade which is needed for packed down snow and ice.
  17. OldSchoolPSD

    OldSchoolPSD Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    We have a JD 332 which is one step smaller than your 400 but with the Diesel engine. It has the full hydraulic 54" blade on it as well as a two stage blower for when it gets too deep to push. 300lbs of tractor weight on the rear and a set of chains makes them pretty much unstoppable.

    All the 300 series attachments (312,316,318,332) will work on a 400 series as well.
  18. pinepointe

    pinepointe Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    I know you guys love your green paint as does my brother, but when it comes to small compact tractors or large garden tractors Ingersoll can not be overlooked. I have a 3018 18hp onan it has a 54" blade and 54" single stage blower. Two stage blowers are great on skids and large tractors were you have the power to properly run them. The prob I found on the smaller tractors is the chute diameter and the slow ground speed you have to run them at. Also slush and wet snow are no problem with the single stage they just turn into giant water pumps. Like mentioned above if you want to plow you should consider down pressure. The plow just does not weigh enough to cut packed snow. I love the old jd's they are the real deal all metal hoods and fenders, But they are being picked up by collectors and that makes the price go up.
  19. skorum03

    skorum03 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,994

    I would buy a utv with a nice plow for it. With a cab and heat. Whats the budget?
  20. OldSchoolPSD

    OldSchoolPSD Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Bought mine new in 1989 lol. It was top of the line 25 years ago.