Monday, March 13, 2023


Well, several of you guessed right on Saturday's post...the two stripes we posted as a hint were official "John Deere green and yellow" colors.

It was a tough decision but Zen Machine 1 had served a useful life.  It was 11 years old and heck, still going, albeit a bit weaker.  With more areas to mow (coming soon) and just our progression to living out there after we get a house, in the end we decided we needed something stronger and more reliable moving forward.    

Isn't it a beauty?

This is the 2023 John Deere X380, the upgraded newer version of our first one with a lot of features.

Same 54" mowing deck as before (it is the largest they have).  However, the mowing deck on this one is deeper now so it allows more time for the grass to be inside getting chopped up before being discharged.  Finer texture means less in the yard.

And aesthetically, the deck is green instead of yellow.  Simple change there but hey, I like the look of it.  The tires are bigger on the rear now and there is better suspension.  More horsepower too.

The seat is WAAAY better than the last one.  It's like a car seat, it fits snuggly and I can lean back and be more comfortable.  It's also a stitched and heavier material instead of the one piece vinyl of the last one.  This is to prevent the cracking that comes with use.  There are also movable seat springs to adjust the ride.

Here's another favorite new feature:  A small lidded box to hold stuff.  The best use for this is as a cell phone holder.  Since I run the Mowerplus app while I'm on it to track the mows, I usually had my phone in my shirt or pants pocket and I was always afraid it would fall out, plus it got sweaty, ha.  I had my phone in the compartment the whole time on Saturday and when I opened it up at the end of the day, it was just as clean as when I put it in, no dust or grass.  Very useful!

And here's another great change for cleaning/maintenance:

This is the mower deck.  In the previous model, you cannot open these (the spindles and belts run through here).  You just had to try to figure out how to use something like a blower and your fingers to clean out grass and sticks and debris.  But now, you can just push a lever and pull it up (spring loaded to snap shut).

Here it is after mowing.  You can imagine 5 or 6 times of mowing, this gets pretty clogged up.  I used my cordless blower and hands to get it all out...

...and here it is after.  It looks brand new again!
I LOVE this feature and there should hopefully be fewer belt problems in the long run.

Here is another wonderful upgrade.  An actual instrument panel (of sorts).  It shows usage, battery level, speed, has warning lights, etc.  But the best part of this new set up?


Right there in the center.  The old one did not have that.  Instead, it had a translucent fuel tank that you could see from the back and you would jiggle the machine to make the fuel slosh around so you could see the level.  Of course, that required me to get off the mower, which shut it off, just to check the level.  Now, I can watch the fuel level as I use it, you know, just like in a car, ha!

I was mowing for about 45 minutes and I noticed on the "instrument panel" the speed was where I used to push it to at the max end on the old one.  Then I saw another spot above that one with a little icon of tall grass blades with a cut through it.

Hmm...I wonder what that means?  I wasn't at max speed or RPM's as I didn't realize that the throttle could be pushed a little higher.

Let's find out...

Wow!  It was like warp speed on the mower!  It sounded like the subtle roar of a jet engine, ha.

It's apparently a new higher speed for cutting heavier grass and get the optimal performance.

The last time I mowed was October 1st, a little over five months ago.  This is the end result Saturday.  WAY fewer clippings left than before.  I'm sure you all remember pics with lots of grass clippings all over the yard after I mowed.  The grass was pretty tall this time and very little left this time.  And what was is very finely chopped up.

I checked the app and the last mow (which would not have been as thick as this one) I mowed 6.8 miles, 3.7 acres and had a speed of 3.5 mph.  Now, as you can see, almost 8 miles of mowing, almost an acre more of coverage and a faster speed.

After was all said and done, it was parked in its new home in the mower shed.  I feel like it sits up higher and kind of looks it in this picture?

And I was happy.
It was a great day!


  1. What a Beauty. A lot of very nice features. You have a Big Boys toy to play around with now.
    Now, you can come and mow our yard. :} Only have an acre of land here.
    Take care and have a wonderful day

    1. Thanks, yep, it's nice and they've made most of the upgrades I have wished they would have, ha. Thank again, enjoy this beautiful weather.

  2. It is funny ,as we age ,what our "toys" are. The tractor looks great and I see a lot of zen sessions for years to come

  3. Wow. that's a beauty for sure. Looks like they made the right upgrades. I KNOW you had fun on it. Janie V

    1. Thanks, it's like they read my mind, ha. I had fun and am looking forward to the next mow already (the heat of summer, not so much).

  4. what's it's name???

    1. You know I haven't thought about that. I have been calilng it Zen 2 so far. I'll have to think about that.

  5. Where is the cab and ac on that fancy machine? With all the upgrades....

    1. Right?? LOL! The funny thing is they DO have a vinyl, clear, cab thing that you can buy to put over it while riding for Winter. It would become a greenhouse in the Summer, ha!

  6. Wow, that’s a wonderful new Zen Machine! With all kinds of great bells and whistles.
    Did they take the old one as a trade-in?

    1. Thank you, it's going to have to earn its keep for sure, ha. No trade-in, long story short, they don't do many trade-ins and he said they'd look at it and make an offer. I asked what would be the most they would offer in "like new' condition. He said $500. It was not like new for sure, 11 years old. original tires, etc. He said just based on hours, age, history, he'd think maybe about $150 or $200. For that, we'll keep it and figure out something else.

  7. Replies
    1. Yep, that's what I thought too, ha. We're about to have some more areas cleared at the property, in preparation for people coming out to look at house options so we needed something reliable and a bit more powerful to keep the areas clear.

  8. I lived on a secluded 25 acres and used to have 8 hours of mowing a week. Oh sure, it was fun because I did it naked. But I would suggest limiting the amount of mowing you have. There are better things in life.

    1. I should add that the husband and I now live in a small farming town in Washington and we just root-tilled up the last of the lawn. It will all be a perennial garden with no mowing. (PS. It's a naked yard, also)


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