Any feedback on new Dixon products?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by retrodog, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,420

    Can anyone give me some feedback on Dixon mowers. The dealer in our area is going out of business, and the rep is wondering if I would take it over before spring started. I am not familiar with the new mowers from them at all. All I know is that it seems like every Dick and Tom in our area has one of the older plastic jobs, and is always needing a part. They told me that his parts business was really good. I have had a couple of LCO's that ran Grizzly's swap to BB this month, but not cause of the machine, cause the dealer.
     
  2. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Posts: 1,627

    I was looking at them the other day and grabbed one of their brochures. Are you looking at carrying them, Bad Boy, Country Clipper, and Ferris? :dizzy:

    Their homeowner line looks pretty good for homeowner stuff, but their commercial stuff doesn't look like it would stack up to Ferris, BB, or even CC. The Grizzly and Kodiak look half decent I guess. If it was me, I would carry Dixon for their homeowner line, and maybe stock one or two commercial units. Don't wanna get too spread thin with products. Too many choices is not a good thing.
     
  3. bigclawn

    bigclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 413

    Trust me it's all overpriced--in most parts of teh country they can't be given away at cost!!
     
  4. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,420

    Right now I don't carry clippers, I can order them though and have a demo in here in about an hour. Mainly have em on back up for their $3500 homeowner model with joystick controls. We have sold a few of them over the past couple of years. I don't think I will ever become a full dealer for them. BB is pretty much it for us. I really was mainly looking at Dixon for the parts business. I was thinking of getting some of their residential, a ram, and some grizzlys for stock. They told me the dealer only sold 13 units last year, that is one that is really turning me off. I was just wondering if it was mainly a dealer problem since he was going out anyway, or just sheer demand on the product. The parts sales were what was pretty amazing to me. I couldn't believe the numbers. After seeing the numbers, I don't have any doubts about selling a few residential units, they look pretty well built and well priced. I am scared of most of the other brands when putting them next to the BB's. I don't want any dead space. On the other hand, I like the option to make a few extra bucks and build up more clientel. I put in an offer on a 10000 sq ft building with easy access from both Paris and Hugo, and will have nothing but space for product if it goes through. Hope to be in by Spring, but it looks like they are putting off telling me yes to see if a better offer comes through. Just keeping my options open.
     
  5. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Posts: 1,627

    Hmm there are alot of factors as to why a dealer doesn't sell much. We came in with Bad Boy late in the year and sold more than twice that, and we're mainly a tractor and trailer dealer! I don't know the demographics of your area, but I would bet he just was not a motivated seller.

    I can tell you, none of our customers have even heard of Country Clipper (though I have and know they're a decent product). They know the Dixon name though. I think you're on the right track. Carry Dixon's homeowner stuff and some commercial models, have Bad Boy for a quality bang for the buck commercial line (or for that homeowner that wants something built to last), and then have a premium line of Zs and walks that are well known, like Ferris, Scag, etc. We're doing that this year with Snapper residential, Bad Boy, and Scag.
     
  6. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,787

    dealer by me dropped dixon due to husky's request of certain machines. He also carries toro, Kubota and hustler. He is dropping them this year due to not selling, to many other choices that people get one of the other and for a low end residence - they walk across the street to sears and by there. The sears owner said last year they sold 300+ lawn / garden tractors. That is boat load of mowers for my area.
     
  7. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,420

    What I like about CC is the fact that they have a mid-deck unit, but their deck folds up like a hopper front deck. It is a pretty cool concept, and works for them. I think they are big in other regions, but not sure, thats what my rep tells me anyway. I am all about what my rig looks like (curb appeal) so you will prolly never see me mowing with one. I try to sell what I like, and I guess it shows with the BBM's. Try to offer something for everyone though, I hate to see somebody going down the road with a new mower from someone right up the road....lol. Some of these folks around here haven't gotten the BB itch yet, and want something that "looks professional"...lol. So lies the need to carry some other higher priced lower quality units. If I had it myway, I would just be selling BB's, Redmax, and custom BB orange painted trailers, but not everyone has my taste, or sense. Here is an example of some of the mentality around here. Someone comes in to the shop, looks at the ZT with the 26hp briggs and asks what the next step up is. I proceed to show them the 23hp Vanguard Pup. Even with all the noticable differences, and not to mention the bigger pumps etc, they cannot begin to comprehend why the 23hp costs more than the 26hp. It gets them so confused, that I have lost sells just so they could go home and ponder this. Needless to say, I just sold my last 23hp earlier this week, and am ordering the 30hp kohlers for stock now. If not, I'll end up tearing out all my hair over this one issue that I have to try and make people understand. I have even had some of my friends come up to me and say things like "I saw Darren the other day, and he was talking about buying a mower from you, but he said you are confused about your prices. He said you were selling a 23hp for $1500 more than a 26hp". Honestly the exact words he told me last weekend.
     
  8. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,420

    Just got through looking at all their machines, and I have got to say I was a bit more surprised than I expected. They have a little speedztr 30" with a 16hp b&s that retails for $2995. To me that would be alot better than buying a walkbehind. It is built like a little tank, compared to the home depot jobs. The Ram pricing and features were not that bad either, but I noticed they have Kohler Courage Pro motors, while my BB's and some of their more expensive units have Kohler Command Pro's . What is the difference? Is Courage a homeowner rated unit? If it is still commercial the Ram's have a good price point in the $5's.
     
  9. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Posts: 1,627

    yeah, or even on the ZTs, alot of folks don't know the difference between the Vanguard and Briggs ELS engines, and it's an even tougher sale because the mower features are the same, but the engine is 3hp less and costs $400 more. You may already be doing this, but talk about the engines more specifically. Even go so far as to print out the spec sheets from the Briggs website. Talk about the difference in bearings, oil capacity, block/head material, compression, how the Vanguard takes an industrial canister cleaner to the ELS' cartridge filter. How the Vanguard has an auxiliary oil cooler. If they're analytical, this will help. If not, you may not get anywhere but that's all you can do. It will blow their mind that the air cooled 31hp big block Kawasaki will cost more than the 26hp LC. Our job as salesmen is to educate our customers on the differences between these engines.
     
  10. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Posts: 1,627

    The Courage is only found on homeowner mowers like the mowers at Lowes and Homo Depot. That said, it may be a great engine. I know alot of folks see mowers with that engine and they look at the Pup and go "shoot, I can get a mower with a Kohler engine for alot less at Lowes!".

    It wouldn't hurt to have a comparison sheet of both the Kohler Courage vs the Command Pros, as well as the Briggs ELS and Vanguard engines. Be sure to include the life span. With a little digging, you should be able to glean that the homeowner engines, while they're not Tecumsehs or crappy engines, just don't compare to the true commercial engines. I bet the Courage is rated at half the lifespan or a Command Pro or less.
     

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