Originally Posted by 71gearhead
Nice! There's nothing to be ashamed of with that choice. The only flak you may run into is the various consipracy theorists claim the big box John Deere mowers are different than the ones at the JD store. Both my JD dealer and a JD rep on this forum have said that's not true.
It's a super choice for a homeowner because you got big box store availability (pricing is not so much different from the dealer) AND you also have a mower that has a wide dealer network with experience in equipment repair.
Regarding the build, it might not be "near commercial" but it will have thought put into it by people with a lot of experience building equipment, it should be well thought out.
I couldn't agree more with this post, and my ex-dealer friend (who sold out to the guys who have a store near 71 gearhead) told me the same thing, and he (my ex-dealer friend) is now a liason between Deere and HD/Lowe's. The machines are exactly the same as the dealers stock. According to my dealer friend, Deere's requirements for HD/Lowe's is that they can't sell below the dealer's or they lose their franchise rights.
One other thing-
be extra careful when making quick turns not to snag the caster wheels on the ground/roots/etc. That is one glaring flaw in the design of Deere's less expensive products. I have fixed them that have been torn completely off from careless homeowners not paying attention. My repairs were ten times better than stock and vary similar to what Deere puts on their better machines.