Big Box ZTRs - who assembled it?

NativeSun

LawnSite Member
I know why we should all prefer to buy from a local dealer and support a local dealer, support, service, etc....I get it. But I do have a question.

I keep reading about buying at a big box store means the machine might not be assembled correctly or set up correctly. I get that the low wage guy at Walmart assembling cheap bikes might wind up with extra parts and might not know what assembly lube is. That said, are the employees at the big orange home store really doing any assembly of thousands-dollar zero turns? If not, who does? This is a serious question...it really boggles my mind, and wondering if anyone really knows or if it just sounds good to think if you don't go to a real dealer, then the cashier girl may have installed the deck.
 

Mowing monkey.

LawnSite Bronze Member
By assemble you mean bolt on the seat and handles and maybe pour in some oil that’s probably pre packed in the correct quantity?
 
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NativeSun

LawnSite Member
That's what I'm asking. I keep reading that only a dealer can assemble and/or set up correctly. Are ZTRs getting delivered to the box store needing any real assembly? If not, why does everyone keep posting this?
 

Mumblingboutmowers

LawnSite Senior Member
That's what I'm asking. I keep reading that only a dealer can assemble and/or set up correctly. Are ZTRs getting delivered to the box store needing any real assembly? If not, why does everyone keep posting this?
You're correct on this. It's not like any major assembly takes places at the stores. But when a dealer uncrates a new machine they likely take a lot more care into getting it ready to sell (add fluids, check tire pressure, deck adjustment, etc) than the typical Big Box Store employee that may have never even used a lawnmower. Honestly, I would not trust a big box store employee to do anything right. (Not saying they are all bad, but in my experience the majority of them are). I would check everything over before even turning the key on a machine purchased from a box store.

The biggest deal is customer service, warranty work, etc. That's where it usually pays to go to a dealer. (emphasis on "usually", some dealers are worse than box stores).
 

Mowing monkey.

LawnSite Bronze Member
I really doubt the mower dealer checks tire pressure unless it’s visibility flat or levels the deck unless one side is dragging the ground. As to assembly the ones I’ve seen are pretty much together minus the seat and handles.
 

ztman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
mountain pa
I was in HD the other day and came across a pile of returned 40v push mowers. Their mower "expert" was putting 50% off stickers on them. Some looked to have been used others didn't have a piece of grass under the deck. Asked the fellow if there were problems with the mowers. He said they were returned because people don't know how to use them.

Think of the money HD would save if they gave customers a demo like most dealers do.

Fellow offered to show me how they work since I told him I was unfamiliar with battery mowers. Took him five minuets to install batter and figure out which switch you had to activate first.

I buy my equipment from a dealer. Price is competitive, they deliver, and if a mower goes down, they have loaners.
 

hort101

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
S.E. New England
I know why we should all prefer to buy from a local dealer and support a local dealer, support, service, etc....I get it. But I do have a question.

I keep reading about buying at a big box store means the machine might not be assembled correctly or set up correctly. I get that the low wage guy at Walmart assembling cheap bikes might wind up with extra parts and might not know what assembly lube is. That said, are the employees at the big orange home store really doing any assembly of thousands-dollar zero turns? If not, who does? This is a serious question...it really boggles my mind, and wondering if anyone really knows or if it just sounds good to think if you don't go to a real dealer, then the cashier girl may have installed the deck.
Theres a difference between assembly and adjusting/set upThumbs Up
Assembly is just putting together parts

Set up is actually testing that everything works as it should and cuts grass or whatever its designed to do

Alot of assembly of grills and equipment is done by sub contractors on piece work
They dont care if it works 100% right:nod:
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
I can tell you this- I had a friend that owned a local JD dealership. He sold it eventually to a large JD ag dealership and then he became a liaison between JD corp and their BB retailers. I know for sure all the JD units sold at the local HD and Lowe's get shipped to his old store that is now owned by the large dealer, finish assembled (seat and sticks etc) after being uncrated, deck checked and/or set and machines checked over before they get loaded onto a smaller flat bed truck and delivered to the two BB stores in the area. They normally leave the tires over inflated as they have no way to know how long a unit will sit before being sold.

I can't speak to the other brands sold at BB stores.
 

morty60

LawnSite Member
I can tell you this- I had a friend that owned a local JD dealership. He sold it eventually to a large JD ag dealership and then he became a liaison between JD corp and their BB retailers. I know for sure all the JD units sold at the local HD and Lowe's get shipped to his old store that is now owned by the large dealer, finish assembled (seat and sticks etc) after being uncrated, deck checked and/or set and machines checked over before they get loaded onto a smaller flat bed truck and delivered to the two BB stores in the area. They normally leave the tires over inflated as they have no way to know how long a unit will sit before being sold.

I can't speak to the other brands sold at BB stores.
At the local Home Depot I see the John Deere mowers being delivered by the Hutson John Deere dealership which is about 20 miles away. They are all set up and ready to go.
 

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