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Difference between Lowes/HomeDepot and JD Dealer tractors?

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#16 Tmo OFFLINE  



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Posted July 21, 2011 - 02:02 PM

My two-cents worth. It's my understanding that some of the big-box John Deere products aren't designed for the same level of owner maintenance as those sold by the John Deere dealer. The ability, and ease of, changing one's own oil should be a given (even if you have a dealer, or local small-engine maintenance activity, perform the service), but other areas might invite questions. My father-in-law's big-box J-D didn't have any grease fittings on the mower deck blade spindles, and it cost him a few bucks extra to have them installed so he could lubricate them each year with a grease gun. My GT235 (from a J-D dealer) has a hydrostatic transmission, and the manual recommends the fluid be changed at each 250 hour point (the mower HAS an hour-meter). And, the transmission is actually set up so I can do the change. It's my belief that those units from the big-box places either have lighter duty transmissions, and may not be designed for owner maintenance (or maintenance by anyone, other than replacement). Also, my GT235 has a 54" mower deck that's fairly quick and easy to drop and pull-out from under the tractor so I can scrape out all the wet grass that stuck to the underside of the deck, and/or change the blades. (I usually keep two sets of blades - one on the tractor, and one that I sharpen up so they're ready to go). So that's my quick summary - the big-box units tend to use life-time (non regreaseable) bearings wherever they can get away with it, you might not be able to change the hydrostatic transmission fluid, and the deck might take longer to drop out and pull out for annual (or more often) maintenance. Just some things to think of.

You're comparing apples and oranges here - the L-series, LA series and the D-series are entry level machines designed by Deere to compete against Sears, AYP, Husqevarna, Poulan, MTD and entry level Cub Cadets. Your GT235 is a garden tractor, also made by Deere but in Wisconsin not Tennessee, and is designed to do more heavier duty chores. One other note, it's not really correct to say big box store JDs when in fact, you can purchase those also at a JD dealer. What we're really looking at here is price points, from entry level to more expensive machines. Your GT235 can't compare to a JD 4x5 series tractors even.

#17 maddhorse OFFLINE  



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Posted July 21, 2011 - 05:23 PM

My local Husqevarna dealer taught me a valueable lesson about purchasing power equipment. You get what you pay for! I bought Husqervarna 350 at lowes for whatever it was $200 I think. The engine froze up one day and I took it in to get looked at. He knew what was wrong as soon as he looked at the model as he no longer carried it because it was notorious for over heating and the rings expand and they do not return to orignal size. I talked with him for awhile about what he carried versus what the box stores carry. He told me that they carried the same thing when it comes to base models. He just carried comercial and professional level equipment as well. He no longer carries push mowers because the quality has been low. He also Advised me when it comes to riders for what I wanted I was better off buying a good used tractor he said I would be happier. I did buy a Husqervarna 359 XP chain saw and I recieve excellent service. I went away for a year and on my return he went over my saw for nothing. A good dealer is the way to go and when it comes to GT used well maintained or if you like a challenge buy something to restore.
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#18 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted July 22, 2011 - 04:19 AM

I couldn't agree more about a good dealer being a very important consideration. As I have said earlier in this thread, go to a JD dealer even if buying an entry level lawn tractor. They have more knowledge and experience than the big box stores. If you later decide to upgrade you have already established a relationship with them. I have an excellent local dealer that has given me great service over the past 7 years. I usually head there for all my equipment needs.

#19 maxman OFFLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2013 - 10:38 AM

The price is also the same as that was part of the agreement Deere made to the box stores to let the box stores sell them.

...except the dealer tacks on a $200 set-up fee + another $50 fee for something else, and Lowe's throws in a free $100 cart. (as of this week)

#20 backwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2013 - 09:12 AM

i got my GT275 used i needed a little maintence but it was worth it to me its more then i need to mow but i picked up a snowblower for it which will do what i need and i can service it myself which saves money.and the dealer can get the stuff i need to do maintence or buy attachements if i cant find them used