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Old 07-08-2015, 09:05 PM   #41
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JD outsources all home and garden mowers and IIRC about 10 years ago started with the compact tractor line. I got that from a tractor forum back then. Have no idea what forum but I do recall some upset posters. Obviously if you're outsourcing you have the ability to qc all products. Since JD backs the product I'm not sure I care who makes it.

Edit to add: Yanmar makes the small diesel engines in JD compact tractor line. I believe that is also the manufacturer of the JD compact tractors. Don't know about H&G.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:24 PM   #42
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The local Ace Hardware is a JD dealer. They have a good ol boy mentality there. As the neighborhood has suburbanized, descendants of the long time families around here get the good ol boy treatment while us newcomers get "the look". I buy mower repair parts, misc. odds and ends there as well as Stihl equipment and would honestly prefer going there instead of a big box store....except for their mentality. I really just need a small lawn tractor to replace my 25 yr old Wheelhorse riding mower (8 hp Briggs) but they practically laugh at you for looking at anything less than the JD 300 Series. The ol' timer that sells the tractors actually told me if I was going to buy a JD 100 Series, I may as well go to Home Depot...so that's exactly what I will do and get the 24 months no interest deal. As I understand it, JD originally created the Sabre line to be sold outside the JD dealer network but there was still tension when the equipment showed up at the local dealer for repair. Now they have a contract with the regional Deere Authorized Distributor to assemble the mower kits....I would not buy a tractor (or a grill or wheelbarrow) assembled by Home Depot!

As for Craftsman, Sears used to design their own equipment and have it built to their specifications but now I believe they just have warmed over versions of MTD equipment like practically every other brand on the market. This particular segment of the market is a classic example of planned obsolescence IMHO as most people would rather have shiny new. A good buddy of mine has had at least 6 Craftsman tractors in the space of my 1 Wheelhorse.....and Wheelhorse is out of business.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:16 AM   #43
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snip... The John Deere's sold at big box hardware stores are not even made by John Deere (MTD)--
No. The 100-series JD Lawn Tractors ARE made by JD. And they are sold also at JD dealers, where I bought mine in 2006. The "they are made by MTD or made in China or by prison labor or whatever" internet stories that keep going around and around are just that - stories.

Here are a few links:

John Deere Shows Off 'Made In Greeneville' Mowers - The Greeneville Sun: News

John Deere Factory & Test Site in Greeneville, TN

http://shingo.org/profiles/10-JohnDe...enevilleTN.pdf

Granted, the 100 series isn't for everybody. It's a lower-price point product, and there is quite a bit of range in it, from a single-cylinder manual trans, through V-twin's, hydro, 3 blade decks, etc. For the mowing I do, and I only use it for mowing, I don't need a $8,000 tractor to do it. For the 9+ seasons I have had mine, the only failure has been the original battery which croaked at 1 year, I carried it in and it was replaced by warranty swap-out with a made-in-the-Philippines (!) battery, which lasted 7 years. Other than that, just blade sharpening/replacing, oil and filter changes, greasing, air cleaner, just normal maintenance stuff, which of course I do myself, so simple.
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Old 07-09-2015, 02:27 AM   #44
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Is anyone having a problem with the ethanol in gasoline destroying parts? Or is that a thing of the past?

Ethanol in our gas engines hardens rubber parts and ruin parts before they should be giving out. Ethanol also burns hotter so you are better off buying medium grade gasoline than the less expensive 87 octane regular gas.
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Old 07-09-2015, 02:39 AM   #45
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I've got a ten year old Sears tractor...although we've got an acre with the woods my lawn is just barely big enough to warrant a tractor. The trouble is the day the warranty expired it has been a continual source of repairs
Year 5 new cam shaft. $500 - after 5 years this just was not right...
Year 7 starter $300
Year 9 new magneto. $100
Year 10 new coil (like 2 weeks ago) $230
A coupe of new batteries ....
Now it won't start ...I've been really good about oil changes and biannual servicing (not enough hours annually to warrant it)

My neighbors mom is selling her immaculate 8 year old John Deere 300 with hydrostatic trans asking $1300. They are $3000 new.

I am tempted to offer a $1000 and not repair the Sears... I enjoy mowing and I use that tractor to mow up leaves in the fall.


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If you are ever able to afford it I love my Kubota 2320 diesel powered 48" mower with all the goodies except adjustable steering wheel. It is 4-wheel drive, has 23-HP, loads of torque, hydraulic power steering, full suspension seating, shaft-drive from engine to rear axle and shaft drive to the mowing deck. And, it uses lots less fuel to get the same job done. I usually cut about 1.5 acres or less weekly.

For the bigger jobs I use my new Kubota B3300SU tractor with the front end loader and additional backhoe. For smaller jobs I use my older John Deere 670 compact tractor with front end loader and lots of 3-point attachments. We grow some really nice vegetable gardens and always have some heavy projects to work on.

A friend of mine has a John 300 lawn tractor and seems to like it.
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I hate my Sears tractor.... John Deere anyone
Old 07-09-2015, 04:56 AM   #46
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I hate my Sears tractor.... John Deere anyone

Update Thursday July 9th. I cut the lawn last night with the John Deere- OMG there is no comparison to the Sears. It turns better, is more comfortable, cuts faster. And quieter. That Kawasaki engine is like a race cars engine in comparison I kept it on about medium. It feels so much sturdier...

I'll never go back. Yikes is that me raving about a lawn tractor....

Since this is a mulching tractor I'll have to figure out what I'll do with the leaves in the fall.

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Old 07-09-2015, 07:02 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
Update Thursday July 9th. I cut the lawn last night with the John Deere- OMG there is no comparison to the Sears. It turns better, is more comfortable, cuts faster. And quieter. That Kawasaki engine is like a race cars engine in comparison I kept it on about medium. It feels so much sturdier...

I'll never go back. Yikes is that me raving about a lawn tractor....

Since this is a mulching tractor I'll have to figure out what I'll do with the leaves in the fall.

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Excellent news! Now you'll need a John Deere lawn sweeper for the leaves.
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:49 AM   #48
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Can always just mow the leaves in the fall. Been doing if for 15 years after getting sick of spending money on giant paper bags, and the time spent raking!
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:52 AM   #49
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JD outsources all home and garden mowers and IIRC about 10 years ago started with the compact tractor line. I got that from a tractor forum back then. Have no idea what forum but I do recall some upset posters. Obviously if you're outsourcing you have the ability to qc all products. Since JD backs the product I'm not sure I care who makes it.

Edit to add: Yanmar makes the small diesel engines in JD compact tractor line. I believe that is also the manufacturer of the JD compact tractors. Don't know about H&G.
Not sure how all-encompassing your outsourcing statement is. Here's a 2013 video of production work at the Derere factory in Horicon, Wis. Looks to me like lawn "tractor" parts being made.

My Deere X304 came from the Horicon plant -- it says so on the machine (the engine is a Kawasaki). Not one of their big-box models, but not top end, either.
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Old 07-09-2015, 09:22 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
Not sure how all-encompassing your outsourcing statement is. Here's a 2013 video of production work at the Derere factory in Horicon, Wis. Looks to me like lawn "tractor" parts being made.

My Deere X304 came from the Horicon plant -- it says so on the machine (the engine is a Kawasaki). Not one of their big-box models, but not top end, either.
I gave what I recall of the source but obviously something changed in 10 years. Perhaps they brought it back or the source was incorrect. As I mentioned it wouldn't matter to me if they outsourced as JD stands behind the product, that said I'm glad they are making them here! Thanks for the information.
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