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DIXON TRACTORS: Does this company have the slightest clue about this market?


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#1 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2010 - 12:16 PM

I've just been made aware that Dixon, who markets a very respectable line of ZTR's, has jumped into the "tractor" market.

This link will take you to their home page. Dixon - Cutting hours into minutes.

After spending some time looking at their website and reading about the three "tractors" that make up their latest additions to the Dixon line-up, I came away shaking my head on a number of fronts. I get the impression that Dixon hasn't got a clue about marketing or building conventional tractors.

According to Dixon, these are the tractors "we've been waiting for." Really? What's so special about these tractors that would make anyone want to buy one? No where in the information do they tell the reader what sets these tractors apart from rest of the crowd.

Dixon fails to disclose

- what make and model of hydro is used
- what guage of steel is used to form the mowing decks
- what guage of steel is used to make the main body of the tractor
- whether the hood is steel or composite
- whether it is a simple task to drop the deck
- whether the deck is full-floating or not
- what it uses to prevent scalping

As for accessories and attachments, there are NONE to be had at the moment. No mention of a snowblower, plow blade, rototiller, grass catcher, bagging system, wheel weights, tire chains, optional AG tires. But perhaps that's a failure on the part of whomever put the website together. There's no talk of any REAL Garden tractor implements and the "Attachments" link takes you to a blank page. Shame on them. Don't release a website to the public until the damn thing is 100 percent finished. As it stands right now, they should be embarrassed to have anyone view their site.

It is very unclear as to whether only ONE of these tractors is alleged to be a "true garden tractor" or all three because they don't brand them with traditional terminology such as LT or GT. They kind of imply that all three are GT's but if all three are supposed to be true GT's, as stated, then how come they are using Kohler Courage engines instead of Command Pro's on two of them? To me, real GT's use Vanguards, Command Pro's or top line Honda and Kawi engines especially if you are going to brag about reliability.

They say: "The riding mower market has been traditionally under-featured. The Dixon Garden Series tractor offers more features, more power, and more reliability than its competition while saving consumers money. The Dixon GT is the first true garden tractor with factory mounted sleeve hitch and electric deck lift for an affordable price. Attachments are no longer a hassle and can engage the ground with no effort at all."

Who exactly is their competition? They don't include an MSRP's so the reader has no idea what price -point these tractors are at. And if they had a decent hydro drive in them, then why not make use of the charge pump and lift the attachments with a hydraulic cylinder instead of some lame 12 volt linear actuator?

If you want to compete in the garden tractor area, then you need more than just a fancy seat and a cupholder.

#2 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2010 - 01:44 PM

A lot of it sounds just like it is "marketing hype". I agree with you completely on every point you made.

I don't know that much about Dixon or it's zero turns, I just know I always see the same one for sale on craigslist and I think it is an older model when the zero turns first started coming out.

I have a feeling the hydro unit is going to be similar to what is used in a zero turn and I am sure they went with the electric lift because it is cheaper even over a ported system. You figure you can buy an electric actuator for about $150. If you are buying in bulk like they would be then they can probably get the same lift for less then $100. You can't do the valves let along a cylinder for $100 even on a ported system.

I think they should have held off on the news of their new "tractor" until they had all the details in place.

#3 Chuck_050382 OFFLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2010 - 01:59 PM

From what I have read they are made like the husqvarna garden tractors.

And are available thru Home Depot.

http://www.homedepot...catalogId=10053

#4 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2010 - 04:20 PM

Well now. That is interesting.

In one breath they are calling it a "riding lawmower" and then further down they use the phrase "a true garden tractor". Even HD doesn't seem to know what it is but at least we know what the price-point is. Three grand for the most expensive model. The other two are being sold for $1700.00 and $1900.00 but they call them "Yard Tractors".

I wonder if the love affair with Deere's LA series is fading with Home Depot or they've just added the Dixon line to the Cub Cadet, Murray and Toro's I've seen in the stores.

As for being a real GT, 14 gauge frame material isn't very impressive for something with will twist back and forth constantly while working in the garden or in real off-road conditions. If these units don't develop stress cracks after a few years of heavy use, I'll be very surprised. Especially since HD is offering Brinly-Hardy sleeve hitch equipment for this tractor. One of you guys should make a trip to your local HD and see if the Dixons have hit the floor there yet and if so, give us your impression on what you see.

Edited by hydriv, May 04, 2010 - 04:33 PM.


#5 nra1ifer OFFLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2010 - 05:13 PM

I have seen, on "another" site, people literally tripping over each other to get one of the garden tractors (whatever they call the largest one with the Kawi engine.) They seem to have taken my Craftsman PGT9000, painted it blue, added a Kawi engine rather than the Briggs ELS, and a K-whatever transmission. Oh yes.... and they added taller rear tires....... OOOOOOOO!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! I think AYP needed someplace to continue selling their wares, since it seems that Sears is using MTD to build their largest GT this year. One logical place is HD or Lowes.

I really like my PGT9000, within it's intended boundaries. And, I'm sure the new Dixon will fit where it's meant to be. I DO like the blue paint!!! However, for REAL garden-tractoring, the best one in my possession is my Speedex 1631..... what a tank!!!

#6 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2010 - 05:34 PM

It looks pretty much like anything else stamped out on the market now. True GT.....NOT!!!!
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#7 AverageJoe OFFLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2010 - 06:42 PM

A CubCadet 2500 is about $3500 and a whole lot more of a GT than this. Still, a good many of us bought our first tractor out of a box store, so don't beat them too badly.

#8 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2010 - 07:41 PM

A CubCadet 2500 is about $3500 and a whole lot more of a GT than this. Still, a good many of us bought our first tractor out of a box store, so don't beat them too badly.


If it's been several years since buying that box store tractor, then people have lots more tractor than the box stores offer today. In all fairness, many are still good "lawn tractors" when used for intended purpose & well cared for, but garden tractors....not really. But Drake, you know that already I'm sure, as you have "old iron"!:thumbs:

#9 hydriv OFFLINE  

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Posted May 04, 2010 - 07:42 PM

A CubCadet 2500 is about $3500 and a whole lot more of a GT than this. Still, a good many of us bought our first tractor out of a box store, so don't beat them too badly.


Since I haven't so much as even viewed one of these tractors in person, this thread isn't about beating up the tractor itself. Rather, it's about beating up a company with a good name in the ZTR world that apparently has failed to do their homework in advance when it comes to these three recent releases. Most of the people that are members here fully understand what it takes for a tractor to truly be a "garden tractor" vs a "lawn tractor".

And when someone goes shopping for a garden tractor, they are about to spend some big bucks. As such, I think that they're entitled to know all the important details about each brand so they can make an informed decision instead of just guessing or buying into the hype about "power" and "comfort". What good is 27 alleged HP if the unit has some cheap-ass hydro in it that explodes every three years? And does a cast iron front axle matter all that much if the main frame of the tractor begins to fail because it was stamped out of 14 gauge material instead of 9 gauge?

Maybe I'm being too harsh but those of us who own and operate GT's that are more than 30 years old are very familiar with the reasons why those tractors can still do a full day of work this week, next week and for the next 30 years. It all came down to the basic strength of the components selected. Frankly, from what I've read about this line-up from Dixon, I think that it's a real stretch to call their top model a garden tractor.
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#10 AverageJoe OFFLINE  

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Posted May 05, 2010 - 07:39 PM

Daniel, my box store experience is what got me into old iron, as you know. But my neighbor George just replaced his 10 year old "cheapest thing Sears had", so guys with reasonable expectations can get by with some of these deals.

hydriv, I wasn't accusing you of beating on them, I was moreso defending the guy whose needs are met this sort of tractor. Sure, it's sad to see a good name associated with a low end unit. Look at what Bolens is compared to what it was.

Also, those of us into old iron are the guys who would not bat an eye at dropping $12,000 or more on a JD, Agco, or Kubota - if we could afford it. You and I are the same age Daniel, so we both know what money used to be worth. In 1972, that sweet little Unico 15, at $1695 (I believe) was a heck of a lot of money for our blue collar fathers. That's why mine bought a '38 Allis Chalmers B for $100 and used it nearly 20 years. You're pop probably was rolling on a Massey or JD of similar vintage.

So the reality is that these $2500 machines are merely the $400 machines of yesteryear.

#11 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 05, 2010 - 08:08 PM

Dad's 1st tractor was an old Avery, pre Minneapolis Avery. The furthest one back I recall is the Massey "50". It was the "big boy" on our farm. After that we got a Farmall for chopping silage, then in 74 we got the MF175 DIESEL! What a powerhouse it seemed in the day.

#12 C Holmes OFFLINE  

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Posted May 12, 2010 - 05:31 AM

Now come on olcowhand, they have attachments! What about the "trim Lights" and the "battery charger manager thingy" you must admit they would come in handy somewhere! Don't you agree? ;)

#13 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted May 12, 2010 - 08:30 AM

Now come on olcowhand, they have attachments! What about the "trim Lights" and the "battery charger manager thingy" you must admit they would come in handy somewhere! Don't you agree? ;)


Well they do mostly come standard with cup holders! LOL I had one modern MTD that had a cup holder. I stuck small tools & crap in it. Gave the MTD away.

#14 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted May 12, 2010 - 09:28 AM

Well they do mostly come standard with cup holders! LOL I had one modern MTD that had a cup holder. I stuck small tools & crap in it. Gave the MTD away.

:bigrofl:

#15 shallowwatersailor OFFLINE  

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Posted July 12, 2010 - 07:35 AM

By now this is an old thread but I thought that I would chime in. My understanding is that there was over-capacity at the factory. Dixon is part of the group that make Husqvarna. I was considering a Dixon or Husqvarna when I came across my Toro Wheel Horse 518xi with 476 hrs. What I liked was the assisted deck on the Dixon. But then initial buyers started to have problems. No local dealer was selling the Dixon and I was sceptical of buying from HD. The deciding factor was stopping at my local Husqvarna dealer who also sells Toro. I asked him bluntly on buying a new GT Husqvarna with the fabricated deck from him or parts only for the 5xi. He said "go with the 5xi." Truly an honest man that I will support!

John




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