For starters, the JD 900 has a new engine. It’s a 27hp Yanmar three-cylinder — a very torquey engine that gives it plenty of power on slopes and for bouncing up kerbs. And there are other engineering changes, such as new pumps. But it is the weight and compactness that sell it to Guppy. At 820kg, this is by far the lightest machine in our test — but it also has a heavy-duty bottom blade.
“The main advantage is its lack of weight. It’s got a really nice, light footprint and is so compact and nimble that it can get in and out of places other triples will struggle to reach,” our tester says. The weight and size of the JD 900 mean it is also ideal for trailering between sites. Overall length is just 2.4m. And if conditions, such as a hilly site, demand something heavier John Deere offers easy-fit wheel weights to give a concentration of weight right where you need — on the point of the axle.
Our tester steps on the operator platform and into the seat. It adjusts for comfort and is fitted with armrests. “This is nice,” he says. “And the steering wheel is close to the body, so you are not sitting hunched over all day.”
Another excellent feature of the JD 900 is the central quick-lifting system. There are joystick controls for the individual lifting and lowering of units but depressing a foot pedal will lift all three cutting units instantly.
There’s a choice of five- or seven-bladed, fixed or floating cylinders. And you may want to look at the menu of other options. Four-wheel drive and differential lock are options, as are ROPS, road lighting and an all-weather cab. But one omission is the fuel gauge. Our tester notes: “You really would have to get used to filling up every morning.”
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