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)
- 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)
- 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.