what to buy a Thomas 1700 or a JD 240

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by kenny@landmark landscapes, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. kenny@landmark landscapes

    kenny@landmark landscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I've been trying to decide what skid loader to buy for my first machine. I've done some research and they both have their ups and downs. The deere is $13,500 with 270 hrs unknown year and the 2002 Thomas Pro Tuff 1700 has about 240 hrs is $12k. I need a good machine under $15k with good balls. I use a Mustang 2050 now, it's ok for what i need it for.
     
  2. accurate machinery

    accurate machinery LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    The JD 240 wasn't built before 1999 so it can't be any older than that. If you look at the Serial Number in the last 6 digits, the first of the last 6 digits will be a 1 if it is a 1999, 2 if a 2000, 3 for a 2001 and a 4 for a 2002. example 142332 would be a 1999, 242332 would be a 2000 and so on. I don't know for a fact that all the machines follow that exact rule but it is close. In 2003 Deere started a new production run of s/n 900000, I don't know the year sequence and I call the factory. John Deere 2003's 200 series can be both series 1 machines and series 2 machines, series 2 being much improved.
    The JD 240 is a vertical lift machine with a long wheel base. The vertical lift is a great advantage for reach, visability, loading trucks and you are less likely to dump your load on yourself. The long wheel base is very advantageous for sloped terrain operating, level driving at speed without the skid steer rocking motion. Typically a long wheel base machine can be driven forward up hill, a standard wheelbase machine might have to be backed up the hill to compensate for the rear counterweight design. The Thomas is a radial lift and standard wheel base design. Radial lift machines have one point where the loader arms are mounted to the frame and pivot from that point when raised, so the bucket actually comes back over the operator as the arms are raised. It is more difficult to load trucks as the skid steer has to be driven closer to the truck to have the bucket edge over the bed. The advantage to radial lift is there are less parts involved, less grease points and less side sway of the loader frame.
    I would be a bit concerned about Thomas, for the past few years Thomas was dropping 6 to 10 new machine in every auction through out the country. I don't know what that did to their dealer loyalty then there was a recent reorganization of the manufacturer. I read on another thread that they have gotten back on track with manufacturing. it might be worth finding out who your dealer is for parts and service.
    There is no question about John Deere, you probably have 3 or 4 dealers in a 50 mile radius. I know who the Thomas dealer was near Allentown, PA. I can let you know but I don't know if I can post his name here.
    I post a lot of information on my website www.accuratemachinery.com especially about how I inspect skid steer loaders. I do a lot of inspecting for dealers trading them in, wanting a value for trade. Feel free to ask any questions about the JD machine as I have had many but I am very limited on the Thomas. This is a link to my skid steer driveline inspection page:http://accuratemachinery.com/stories/Story.2003-12-15.3021
     
  3. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,636

    I have owned 3 thomas to date, they have never given me any problems.
     
  4. Bill Davis

    Bill Davis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 397

    I put about 700 hours on my last JD240 and it was a great machine. It was a 2001. I put on a set of weights and that really helped it out. I also had all hand controls on mine which I prefer. I dont know much about the Thomas machines except I have read on here the problems the country itself has been having.
     
  5. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,636

    Thomas is going thru a change of hands from what I've been told. Could you elaborate on the problems of the country please.
     
  6. Bill Davis

    Bill Davis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 397

    I meant company, sorry!:usflag: Not that we dont have our problems, too.
     
  7. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,636

    Sorry, but I had to ask. Have a good one!
     
  8. kenny@landmark landscapes

    kenny@landmark landscapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    yeah im going with the 240... liked both but i'm getting the deere and trailer in a package so... but thanks for the imput i'll let you know how it turns out
     
  9. accurate machinery

    accurate machinery LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    I have had many JD240's and can give you some areas to check for wear. If you are interested, overall the JD 240 is a very good performance machine in it's class, they just came out of the box with a few bugs. I don't know if I have private message (newbie) but my website is www.accuratemachinery.com
     

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