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Old 03-16-2004, 01:33 PM   #1
rosencransjr
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John Deere SST Lawn Tractrors

I would like to hear from anyone who has any experience with the John Deere SST lawn tractors. I am seriously considering the purchase of the SST15 although it is very pricey compared to other 42" lawn tractors. I have a lawn that is about 3/4 acre that is St. Augustine grass with many oak and elm trees.

Any advice or experience with these mowers would certainly be appreciated.

Herb



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Old 03-16-2004, 02:09 PM   #2
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well l don't have a John Deere SST but l do have a john deere 212 yes they are pricey but it's a deere deere is one of the best tractor company out there if l was in the market for a newer lawn tractor l would go with a john deere because they are reliable



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Old 03-16-2004, 02:10 PM   #3
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o by the way welcome to tractorforum

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Old 03-16-2004, 02:32 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum rosencrans,

I am a simplicity guy so im not your best reference here.. I had a Deere dealer sort of steer me away from the SST models due to poor traction on hilly slopes.. i know they have a traction kit, when i was looking, they were giving that with the tractor for free, i think its an option now... . If you have hills to climb id heard the SST's did not have great traction.

As a plug for simplicity, my prestige has a 16" turning radius...

What type of terrain do you have? flat/hilly??

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Old 03-16-2004, 02:43 PM   #5
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I think that the SST is a cross between a tractor and a ZTR. I havn't heard much on them either.

How much will one of them set you back, or how much are they asking would be a better way to ask that question?????

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Old 03-16-2004, 03:07 PM   #6
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rosencransjr, welcome to Tractor Forum!
Great to have you aboard! Although I personally do not own an SST I can tell you that I have had a fair bit of contracting government purchases of John Deere equipment such as this. The SST is way over priced for what you are getting in my opinion. It trys to be a cross between a LT and a ZTR and ends up being niether. It's center of gravity and weight distribution make it a poor choice for use on any type of slope. I would suggest looking at one of the smaller John Deere ZTR such as the 727A or the F686. They cost a little more but are great mowers and get the job done well and fast. Even and F525 would be a good choice if you can find one still in stock new or used; they are not quite as good on slopes and you have to learn how to hang you butt cheeks off the side of the mower to get good traction, the wheel wieght kits for them help. I personnally have the F525 and use it for my own yard which is about 3 acres and cut 4 other customer's yards with it. The front mower is really nice because it allows you to get much closer trimming around obstacles with the offset front mower. This is where the F686 is really strong. The ZTR's strongest points are on slope cutting due to the low center of gravity and wieght directly over the drive wheels. I would suggest you try out these various models and evaluate which would suit you best.

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Old 03-16-2004, 04:29 PM   #7
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Welcome rosencransjr There was a guy last year that had bought one and he loved it up to the min the steering quit. He said it did it a couple of times and he return it for a reg LT. Now there have been a few other people that had bought them and have noting but praise for them. Maybe that one guy just got a bad apple it does happen with all makes and models. Go out and test drive it and see if you like it it turns different then an LT or ZTR and if you like it and want buy it. Because you will be the one to use it and if it makes you happy thats all that matters..
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Old 03-16-2004, 05:08 PM   #8
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(edit) "Because you will be the one to use it and if it makes you happy thats all that matters.."

i couldn't agree more. --Just like a JohnnyBucket

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Old 03-17-2004, 06:28 AM   #9
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I have to disagree with Chief, the SST's are NOT overpriced. There are a lot of myths about the SST's that are just myths. Myths about weight distribution, center of gravity, etc. All untrue. The only thing true so far that I heard hear is about not being very good on slopes, but that can be said for most of the ZTR's out there.

Here are a couple of websites dedicated to the SST's:

http://www.firmwareprogramming.com/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/John_Deere_SST_Club/

The only real negative so far have been a couple of owners reporting steering problems. These have been documented in that last link I've posted.

Again, don't let anyone who hasn't own one or driven one influenence you on any piece of equipment. There are too much hearsay and myths about the SST's that are just not true.

Test drive one and see for yourself. But you have to spend more than a couple of minutes to really get used to one. That's where some people formed a false impression of one.

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Old 03-17-2004, 08:33 AM   #10
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Some like chocolate, and some like vanilla. I cut grass for a side business and I can tell you what the commercial cutters use. The one man small budget operations use a LT/GT and the larger operations use ZTR's most of which are the 757 or 777 in my area. You will see a few Scag Lawn Tigers in there too. While working government contract procurement, test competitions were conducted and the Government Regional Sales rep. who is an Army buddy of mine did not bring the SST. The 101st Airborne at Ft. Campbell buys everything from string trimmers to ag tractors. Most of the units requesting procurement requested either the LT/GT's or the ZTR's. The John Deere 757 and 777 totally dominated competitions with respect to cutting on slopes. Scag, Kubota, Ferris, and many others could not compete. As I said above, I strong recommend that you demo each of the models you may have an interest in INCLUDING the SST and go with the model that suits you best. If possible try to demo the machines in a varienty of cutting conditions, especially slopes. You may love the SST in the end and if it performs to your expectations and you are satisfied with it; then you have made the right choice as you are the one who must ultimately use and live with the machine after ther purchase. Good luck!

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Old 03-17-2004, 10:18 AM   #11
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I can agree with about all you said there, Chief. But the SST's were not intended to compete with the commercial grade ZTR's, but with the home owner ZTRs where they are competitively priced. I would never consider a SST for commercial use or a Toro TimeCutter or an Ariens Zoom. They are not made for the constant. daily use and/or abuse a commercial ZTR sees. Being in the business, so to speak, you will agree with this. I also strongly agreed with demoing (sp) any machine yourself. I would actually love to own one of the Deere's commercial ZTRs, but probably would opt for the 717 or 727. I just don't need a 757 or especially, the 797. I personally would pick a commercial one over a residential one anyday.

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Old 03-17-2004, 10:35 AM   #12
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The price is might tough to swallow. I bought my F525 used for $1,800 with about 500 hours on it. It was a 1998 model. I just could not justify the $5,000 plus price tag. Take a look at some late model used ZTR's. Occasionally you can find a leaser return or trade-in and get a bargain.

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Old 03-17-2004, 10:49 AM   #13
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I hear ya about the price. If it wasn't for the steep prices, I would have me a Deere 717 or 727. I could look at an used commercial ZTR and might do so it I find a good deal on one.

As for the SST's, last summer they were very reasonable when Deere had a SST 15 or 16, can't remember which, for $2800.

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Old 04-16-2004, 11:20 PM   #14
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I agree the SST's are not work the price. You would be better off buying a LT LX GX or X series lawn tractor. Plus did you see the hood designe. This thing is mostly built on futeristic looks. I good give a crap about that. I just want something that is powerful, durable, smooth operation, and I am in the house.

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Old 06-21-2006, 08:48 AM   #15
rosencransjr
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John Deere SST

After test driving the JD SST mowers I purchased one slightly over two years ago to use on my 3/4 acre residential lawn. This has been one the best mowers I have ever used because of the manuverability and smooth operation. I have many oak/elm trees in the yard and the SST is excellent for turns and close trimming. I have learned that a 360 degree turn in St. Augustine grass will leave a divit and really mess up the grass----it takes a bit of practice to get the turns down righ.

The mower was a bit pricey at $2700 but worth every penny to me. And, the good news is that I have not had a moment's worth of trouble with it. I use the 42" mulcher and it really does a smooth job.

I recently learned that John Deere has discontinued the production of the SST mowers which is a disappoint to me. I have contacted John Deere about why it was discontinued and the only answer I get back is that it was a "management decision".

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Old 06-21-2006, 01:11 PM   #16
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Welcome back to Tractor Forum rosencransjr! Long time, no see but it is great to see you posting and participating once again. Thanks for the model feedback and update as well.

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Old 06-22-2006, 09:14 PM   #17
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The one thing that no one has mentioned is that JD only built the SST for two years and it is no longer in production. What this means is that the dealers will not stock many repair parts for these machines. I work in the parts department of a JD dealer and I can only think of one of our customers who owns an SST. As a result, we don't stock parts for them. The SST was phased out in favor of the Z-Track machines. IMO, you would be much better off with a conventional lawn tractor.



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