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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyone, thanks so much for all your fantastic input, info, advice, etc. It really made a huge difference and put my mind at ease that I'm making the right choice with the GT5000. Imagine, just two weeks ago I didn't even know the difference between a lawn tractor and a garden tractor, let alone model numbers. And this forum in particular gave me the confidence that there were other GT5000'ers out there and that I didn't have to get a Cub Cadet or John Deere to find fellow owners.

I ordered a 2003 Craftsman GT5000 today with 45hp Kohler, 48" deck, and automatic transmission. Cost was $2500, on sale until tomorrow. Total cost with $50 delivery and tax was $2663. It was a bit unnerving spending this amount of money, but I know it's an investment and of all the garden tractor choices out there, a great value.

I wasn't sure what to do with the $300 3-year service plan. The sales guy really recommended it (of course, right?) and said he rarely sells a tractor without it. Any thoughts? I have a week to decide.

Anyway, thanks again! I'm very excited. I look forward to many more discussions once I get it delivered, actually use it, and start adding attachments.
 

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no realy Congrats on the new tractor. My oppion on the service contract?? I would never buy one, but thats just me.
 

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personally, im sort of 'mechanically feeble'.. so i sort of like the idea of a 3 year warranty... if it were free...

and dont konw how much you'd use it after a good long season of tractor use..you would think most things that would break.. would break... So if you are handy.. for 300$, id probably skip it too....
 

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Tractor Lover
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It comes with a 2 year warranty. The only drawback is if you have a need for warranty work they require you to transport it to the store. The additional warranty would cover them coming out to your home.
 

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Tractor Lover
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I might add, I personally wouldn't opt for the extended warranty. But then again I don't know what you mechanical aptitude is either.
 

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Realist…
Congratulations. :elephant:
I believe you make an excellent choice. (totally biased opinion :truth: )
I did not get the additional warranty with my GT5000 because
I felt a tractor of this quality did not need it (again a totally biased opinion :truth: )
I have had zero problems with mine and no one in my neighborhood
has had any problems with theirs. (nobody else I know owns one :truth: )
I am a seasoned Sears veteran (own the tractor less than 1 year :truth: )
So feel free to ask me anything about it (at your own risk :truth: )
 

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Congrats Realist You got yourself a good tractor they have alot of GT5000 owners here that can help you with anything. As for as the warranty from what i have heard if something going to go wrong it will happen in the first year. And your reg warranty should be enough but if you think you might need it then get it. But from what i have heard its only a year more then your reg warranty.
Jody
 

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Congrats on the new ride, Hope you like yours as well as I like mine.

I opted not to buy the service package my self but I also went over the tractor with a fine-toothed comb when it arrived and repaired every thing I found wrong, this is why I have no decals on the hood I opted to leave them off.

<img src="http://www.peanutsplace.com/mgm/JBJR/myrig1.jpg"><br><p>

Here is what I have had repaired the first two months of ownership of a 2003 GT5000, 25hp Kohler, manual shift 6 speed, 48" deck.

1. Dents in hood before it was painted, (new hood and decals shipped to my home) very minor dents but coming from the inside of the hood on top, one had to look down the hood to see them. The old hood I was allowed to keep.

2. Rattle under the tractor, (turned out to be a belt keeper touching the steering shaft only as the belt was pulled through it) a slight bend to the rear fixed it. A complete top to bottom go over by the service tech and me looking for the rattle only to over look it for it was not in contact with anything or loose, (I found it later when I noticed it go away when the steering wheel was turned).

3. A rear wheel center welded out of square inside the rim 1/8 inch, (would have caused major issues down the road if not fixed) it caused the tire tread to move 3/8 of an inch at the ground in turn pulling and pushing on the axle hub and transaxle housing and retaining clips this was found after the first 30 day free at home and I was told on the phone there would be a $20.00 trip fee, this fee was not charged by the service tech once he arrived and saw it was in fact a warranty issue and not damage caused by me. He ordered the parts from his van and they arrived at my home 5 days later. A new wheel, tire, valve stem, and a return trip to mount them up and install them on the machine were all set up from his van. I was allowed to keep the old bad wheel and almost new tire, so I now have a spare tire if I need one.

4. Oil drain valve did not seal tight after the first oil change at 5 hours and dripped one or two drops every few days nothing major but a leak none the less, (they shipped me a new drain valve to replace the bad one).

Every thing listed except the oil drain valve was wrong with the machine when it left the factory and I had to go over the machine my self to find the QC issues that should have been corrected at the factory. I do not return a machine for issues like this unless they do not fix them or give me problems. I would rather have the issues fixed and know the machine is right, rather than get a new machine sent out and a whole new set of issues, and I told them this on the first service call on the machine when they offered to bring me a new machine out for the hood dents over the phone.

I am now confident that all the QC issues with the exterior of the tractor have been looked at and corrected and the machine is as good as it could be on the outside at least as I want it(less decals). The only parts of the machine that have not been inspected by a service tech and me is the inside of the transaxle and the engine.

Take advantage of the free at home while you have it in force, go over the tractor from top to bottom and make them fix every thing that is not right that should have been correct before it left the factory, some of the minor QC issues overlooked can cause major problems later after the warranty runs out, Like the bad wheel I had, it took me a little more than a month to notice the small wobble in the wheel. So keep looking for things.

I am very pleased with the performance of the machine and the service I have received under the warranty, but I also live on the edge of a large city where a service center is near by.

They are great utilitarian machines for the money and do a great job if maintained. Starting season 2 on this machine.
 

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Great choice of machine. I've had mine for one full seaon and it does a great job. More power than you'll ever use.

I have the snowblower and I must say that after all the snow we got this winter, it got a good workout. Overall, it is a winner attachment if you get snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
MGM -

Thanks for the detailed reply on your warranty experience. You made think about the new purchase strategy, and I agree with you about fixing the known problems rather than getting a different machine with perhaps different problems. I will need to go over my machine carefully, as anything manufactured will never be perfect. Your post was an inspiration to do this check thoroughly.

You mentioned the "free at home". I don't recall the Sears sales guy mentioning anything about such a thing, or perhaps I was dreaming about my new tractor instead of listening. It sounds like a free at-home visit. How does this work? If I do indeed take advantage of this service, and it turns out nothing is wrong with the tractor, will I be charged a visitation fee?

Thanks!
 

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I like mine, and I have the service plan for peace of mind.


<img src =http://www.hpphoto.com/servlet/LinkPhoto?GUID=1f4672a9-75e4-7801-5e04-42b8495a7162&size=>
 

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I fixed your picture Ed.
Jody
 

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GT5000

I put a new hood on the machine under the warranty the first week I had it due to dents that were in the top of the hood coming from the inside, that AYP QC did not catch. The decals for the new hood were shipped separate and after putting the new hood on the machine with out the decals the more I looked at it the better I liked it (looks a lot cleaner to me), so I just left them off. All the decals for the inside and outside of the hood are still in there shipping box. Shoot I have even thought of doing some flames on this one being I still have the first hood stored away with the decals on it.

I left the small decal on the back between the reflectors.

Realist

Last years machines came with a 2 year warranty with the first 30 days of that warranty being a free at home service time frame to service the machine at ones home with out a trip fee, if it was not warranty covered you would have to pay parts and labor but still no trip fee. If the problem was warranty there would be no charge at all even for the trips to your home no matter how many time they came out during that first 30 days. I have had a service tech out here 3 times and him and me have gone over the machine top to bottom.

I made the 3rd call to them just after this 30 days was up to fix the bad wheel I found and the operator on the phone told me a $20.00 trip fee would be charged, once the service tech arrived he told me he was waiving the Fee, his exact words were "It should have never left the factory that way". So to date I have had no cost to me at all correcting the QC issues that got past AYP QC. The retail cost of the parts alone was in the hundreds of dollars. Hood, decals, rear wheel, rear turf tire, valve stem, oil drain valve, 3 trips of a service tech, labor. All at no charge to me. And all parts were shipped to my home and a tech sent out if needed.

The waiving of the trip fee left me with the impression that if he had come out and found the problem was not a warranty covered problem, he would have charged the trip fee, parts and labor. But the warranty is worded in a way that gives them the right to charge the trip fee no matter what, and it is just a courtesy to the customer if it is waived at all and left up to the service tech to decide.

Argee

The server they are on is down, It went down a few days ago, it is owned by a friend and is an in his spare time thing, it could be a day or a few days or more before it is back on line. It goes down from time to time.
 

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Realist

MGM is right on the money regarding warranty. I'd like to add a personal experience I had with Sears and the way they stand behind what they sell.

In the spring of 2002 I purchased a GT3000 with a 23 HP Kohler and a 50" mower deck. I absolutely love that tractor and added a sleeve hitch, a bumper and purchased a snow blower for it in the fall. I never was impressed with the mower deck after comparing it to the way my previous Case 42" cut, but found it to be OK. When I put the deck up for the winter, I noticed a lot of rust after I cleaned it off. The next spring I found it would accumulate grass to the point of having to be chipped off about every two mowings. I stopped by the Sears store one day and mentioned it to the owner. He said he would send a technician out at no cost, to look it over. When the tech arrived, he looked at it and told me that that problem was inherant with that paticular deck. About the only thing I could do, he suggested, was to purchase another deck. Preferably the 48". A month or so later I stopped back at the Sears store to price a new deck. I don't recall what the exact price he quoted me, but it was pretty steep. The owner just happened to be walking by and said he would call a Sears rep regarding the problem. To make a long story short, Sears took the entire tractor back and even offered to buy back any attachments that I had purchased if I decided to shop elsewhere. Needless to say, I returned the tractor (now 15 months old) for a full refund and turned around and purchased a new GT5000 w/ 25 HP Kohler and a 48" deck last July. What a great company to do business with!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Argee -

Wow, that's an unbelievable story. I didn't think stores gave that kind of service in today's cut throat slash to the bone environment. It's nice to know Sears stands behind their merchandise, and makes me comfortable again with both choosing the GT5000 and not choosing the service warranty. Thanks!
 

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After buying my 2003 GT5000, I went down to the local John Deere dealer and bought a $4.00 JD key chain to put my Craftsman key on. That's all I could afford at JD.

Antway, I love my tractor. After mounting Superlugs I can swear I'm driving a mini farm tractor. My neighbors, with their little LT's aways come over for a look.

The GT5000 is a great tractor!
 
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