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Visiting my dealer this weekend to pick-up a few filters, I got to talking with the 65+ Y.O. Tech about brands on the market and he let me in on some secrets. The most disappointing was that as a major dealer of most name brands that he has first hand experience with- there is no difference in quality, integrity or engineering (or lack there-of) between brands of a family, just different levels of features, creature comforts and components. He said that goes for the Deeres, AYP’s, MTD’s, Sears, Simplicities/AGCO/MF …everyone.

In my disbelieve (actually horror), I told him that I bought a Husqvarna because I was told that it was a premium brand…head and shoulders above Poulan Pro, Jonsered, Sears and the MTD’s. He laughed and said that the only difference in my machine was the Kawasaki engine, plusher seat, more creature comforts and a powder coated deck. But the quality, integrity, engineering and assembly is unchanged according to him. No better quality of materials, no better design, no tighter tolerances, etc. and that essentially - all I’m paying more for is more marketing, different/extra features and flashy orange paint!

Now I know there has to be value added with the Kawasaki plant, and the additional features but I am beginning to think that the extra quality I bought is all in my mind! Thoughts anyone? Are we all just victims of marketing hype and colors of paint? What about Cub owners? Yikes!

Cannon
 

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Originally posted by Cannon
Now I know there has to be value added with the Kawasaki plant, and the additional features but I am beginning to think that the extra quality I bought is all in my mind! Thoughts anyone? Are we all just victims of marketing hype and colors of paint? What about Cub owners? Yikes!

Cannon
Welcome aboard Cannon....Regretfully, I think he was telling you the dead on truth. We were just discussing a particular Huskie and the GT5000 Craftsman in another post. And it seems the major difference between the two is the price.

Again, welcome and enjoy the forum.
 

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Welcome

Welcome Cannon :friends: and:ditto: on what Argee said i have a cub 1525 and it is better then the low end MTDs with the Kaw and a heaveyer tranmission but it is in a differt class then the low end MTDs.Now is it as good as the 2166 no but then its in a derrent class then the 1500s.
Jody
 

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Cannon, first off, WELCOME to Tractor Forum! In many cases there is some truth in what you are saying, but not in all cases. (at least in my opinion) There are a lot of differences between brands. An example would be Stihl as compared to Homelite. I have used both brands and I can tell you there is a SERIOUS difference in price as well as quality. I am going on my 10th year using my O-66 Stihl chainsaw and FS-450K. I doubt a Homelite would last as long.

In the more the more basic lines of lawn tractors I agree with a good bit of what you are saying. The John Deere 100 series tractors sold in Home Depot are a good example of this. To a lessor degree some of the same can be said for the JD Lawn tractors as well. All depends as to where you draw the line between a basic lawn tractor and premium brand lawn tractor. You are not likely to find an John Deere F-525 or X series in Home Depot but then again these are not your run of the mill residential mowers either. The F-525 occupied a slice of the market spectrum that was on the border of being commercial grade; it has a 17 hp PA540A Kawasaki long stroke aircooled engine. The X 595 can be had with a 24 hp Yanmar diesel which is not the typical Kawasaki or any other mower engine.

I think it all boils down to where the buyer must do the homework and research to educate themself about the specifications and features of what they are buying vs what they intend to be using the equipment for. This applies to pretty much anything you are buying.

You also have to ask yourself is the extra money you may or may not spend justified for the features you are or think you are buying? What will meet your minimum needs vs. what will do this and have some features that are very appealing to you. (i.e. a gearshift tractor will meet your minimum needs but hydrostatic drive is much easier and more productive for the operator)

It is not always possible, but whenever possible, it is best to demo the equipment in question and compare with other comparable models/brands "apples to apples".

I absolutely refused to pay what I thought was a crazy ridiculous price for a Stihl chainsaw until my neighbor who is a logger saw me cutting with my Homelite Super 2. I was cutting up a fallen tree and each cut was taking me 5 or 10 minutes. He whipped out his Stihl O-64 chainsaw and proceded to cut up the rest of the tree in less than 2 minutes! I would have been there cutting for an hour or more longer. After that, I was conviced. I can zip through a 24 inch log now in seconds, which HUGELY improved my productivity and I can cut truck load of wood an hour easily where I was struggling with the Homelite.

Something else you may want to consider is what is your mechanical ability or willingness to work on repairs to your equipment. On some of the cheaper brands of equipment, if you don't mind or have the ability to make repairs on breakages; you may be better off with the cheaper lines. Especially if budget issues are driving the train with respect to your purchase. In my case, I cut 20 cords or more of wood a year and not many saws will hold up reliably to that much use so the money I spent on the Stihl was well spent. If you do occasional firewood cutting or seasonal use with a chainsaw then maybe the Poulan or Homelite brands will meet your needs.

There is a lot of hype and BS marketing going on out there but if you look closer there are differences. It is very confusing until you sit down and do the research and talk to folks who are using whatever it is you are thinking of purchasing.

Wow! :wow: Didn't mean to be so lengthy! Hope this helped to shed a bit of a different view point on what you were thinking.
 

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Originally posted by Cannon
Visiting my dealer this weekend to pick-up a few filters, I got to talking with the 65+ Y.O. Tech about brands on the market and he let me in on some secrets. The most disappointing was that as a major dealer of most name brands that he has first hand experience with- there is no difference in quality, integrity or engineering (or lack there-of) between brands of a family, just different levels of features, creature comforts and components. He said that goes for the Deeres, AYP’s, MTD’s, Sears, Simplicities/AGCO/MF …everyone.

In my disbelieve (actually horror), I told him that I bought a Husqvarna because I was told that it was a premium brand…head and shoulders above Poulan Pro, Jonsered, Sears and the MTD’s. He laughed and said that the only difference in my machine was the Kawasaki engine, plusher seat, more creature comforts and a powder coated deck. But the quality, integrity, engineering and assembly is unchanged according to him. No better quality of materials, no better design, no tighter tolerances, etc. and that essentially - all I’m paying more for is more marketing, different/extra features and flashy orange paint!

Now I know there has to be value added with the Kawasaki plant, and the additional features but I am beginning to think that the extra quality I bought is all in my mind! Thoughts anyone? Are we all just victims of marketing hype and colors of paint? What about Cub owners? Yikes!

Cannon
Welcome Cannon --- be sure to fill out your user profile when you get a chance --- (lets people know what you like to drive around lawn/farm and lets em know where in the country you like to call home)

Welcome aboard!
Andy
 

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When it comes to the Husqvarna and the rest of the AYP line he is somewhat right.AYP does not make a different level of equipment.

However Cub Cadet and Deere there is a differance.The Cub Cadet 1500 series and 2000 series are as different as night and day.Nothing against the 1500 series but when you step up to the 2000 series line you are getting a higher quality tractor.The steering component alone tell me that.Not to meantion the transaxel and seperate pump.

The Deere line compare the L series to the LX series and tell me there the same.The steering components and the frame are not even close to the same quality along with the rest of the tractor.

I agree with the Stihl comment also I threw money away on low cost trimmers for years and when I bought a Stihl FS-80 trimmer and after 2 seasons it is as good as new the others were shot and went in the junk.You get just what you pay for.As far as lawn tractors are concerned they all are good this day and age.But that tech saying basically to buy the cheapest because it is the same as the expensive is just not true.
 

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Welcome. I would have to agree with your tech. Inside a family of products the only difference would be quality of parts. The same engineers design them and usually the same assembly line puts the parts in. The difference between companies can be huge but inside the same company the differences are small. A good example would be the GM truck plant here in Shreveport. The plant produces Chevy and GMC trucks. The first truck down the line one day might be a Chevy and the last a GMC. The difference in price on some of the trucks coming down the line might be $15,000. The only difference is parts added during production. The same engineering, the same assembly line, the same workers - only different parts.
 

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I think they do have to change something to get the prices down. Overhead is going to stay about the same regardless of what they are making so the materials or something else is going to have to change. Is it worth paying big $$$$ for the X machine, or paying less for the L-130. They both mow grass very well. It is what else you want to do with the tractor besides mowing grass. For my money instead of buying the X machine I would get something like what Chief has for his avatar.

:driving:

The Sears and Husky tractors look real close to me. It is just the options in the end and if they are worth the money to you then more power to you. It is your money, enjoy your toys!
:zoomin:
 

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Originally posted by Cannon

Now I know there has to be value added with the Kawasaki plant, and the additional features but I am beginning to think that the extra quality I bought is all in my mind! Thoughts anyone? Are we all just victims of marketing hype and colors of paint? What about Cub owners? Yikes!

Cannon [/B]


I definately woundnt say all of us are victims of marketing hype, just the ones who are more easily swayed...

Sometimes people hear what they want to hear....

Duc
 

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Cannon.. Welcome.. But i have to disagree with you on some points...

I agree Huskie, AYP, Sears are all similiar and there may be a little more flash on the huskie vs. the ayp

But there is a marked difference between a Deere LT and L not just the seat. The same can be said for the difference in the LT and the GT

As for simplicity; There is no major price difference between the simple, AGCO, snapper or massey lines... They all look about the same, just a color difference - i am a simple Guy, but i sort of like the red Massey better



Welcome aboard I hope to disagree with you more in the future...


SJ
 

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My brother has a L-120 I have a LX277 no way did I just pay for more flash.There not even close except the paint color.There not made in the same factory and not even the same state.Both are worth the money for what you get.It is just hard for many to realise it.
 

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I agree with a lot of whats been said, but now for 2004 Husqvarna has lowered their prices. Now the price and value are together, a cheaper tractor directly competing with Craftsman. All tractors are not the same. One example is Husqvarna new 10 gauge deck on the 22 hp 48" tractor for less than 2 grand, do you think it's better because it's thicker or would a 12 gauge deck better designed for more strength be better? Sometimes we all get to far up there with numbers and not enough facts. I would have just as hard a time trying to figure out what to buy if I hadn't been in this industry all my life. If you find a good reliable dealer whom you can call a friend, then his knowledge will be priceless. Did I leave more questions than answers?
 

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Originally posted by amicks
If you find a good reliable dealer whom you can call a friend, then his knowledge will be priceless. Did I leave more questions than answers?
Well, by the time the next purchase comes around, you'll, hopefully, will be that friend to answer the questions.
 

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Originally posted by Argee
Well, by the time the next purchase comes around, you'll, hopefully, will be that friend to answer the questions.
I am with you on that.

It is good to have people in the biz on board to give us kind of an insite to what is the real story. Stuff you read in the ad copy, does not always trickle down to the real world.

And to deck thickness. I find it hard to realy get in to any of the talk about 10 gage, 12 gage etc. I guess I am a little spoiled with haveing the Case/Ingersoll tractors with there REAL thick, plate decks. A bomb could go off under one, and nothing would happan.
 

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Either way, as long as you are happy with your purchase, you can't go wrong.

It is a truth that that does happen. Some manufacturers make more dramatic changes in their machines than others. Just whoever is doing the marketing can dictate what goes into a tractor to increase price and profits.
 
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