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How does John Deere Compare?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Chief, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. Chief

    Chief LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I have been following this forum for quite awhile and been gradually expandig my business which is a single operator (me) lawn care & tree/brush clearing, pretty much will try to do it all or as much as I can business.

    I have a Murray 22" cut push mower I bought for $35 for trimming and small yards, John Deere F525 that I cut larger yards with as well as my own 4 acre yard which has given me great service, a John Deere 4410 with 72" mmm I use mostly on my farm for cutting about 8 acres of pasture, Land Pride 1558 pto tiller, PD 25 post hole digger, and 1584 landscaping rake. I have a Stihl O-66 chainsaw and FS 450K brush clearing saw, and some smaller homelite string trimmers and chainsaw for smaller work. Right now things seemed to have slowed down I guess due to the heat and I am hoping to expand out a little more in the future. I currently have 4 yards and I work with a landscaper and cut fire wood inbetween. I have a Dodge Cummins 2002 2500 4 x 4 and a Ja-Mar 14' car hauler trailer to move equipment around as well.

    I got a late start into the season as I just retired from the Amry. I am considering something along the lines of a John Deere 687 or 757 if my future business can justify it.

    I have noticed that few if any here use John Deere equipment. Is there a reason why? Stihl seems to be fairly popular and I have found it to be top knotch equipment. I have always had VERY good experience with John Deere and considered it top knotch as well. Before I spend money on future equipment, I was hoping to get some comments and opinions from those well established in the business that have experience with it.

    I realize cost is a big factor but I have found from personal experience that if you buy quality the first time, you only cry once. ;)

    On the other hand, if I can buy other brand equipment that performs as good or better for less, that is much better for the bottom line.

    Another issue is advertising. I placed an ad in the local "peddler" paper and got 1 call in a month. I met one elderly man at the courthouse and while talking with him, landed a yard. I detailed his yard out real nice and did alot of extra stuff no charge and the owner of the marina trailer/cottage court asked me to do 3 of his yards. Seems like the best advertising so far is word of mouth and showing off my work. Where else can I efficiently improve my advertising?

    I have questions about insurance for my equipment and liability but I need to read more posts and that is a subject for another thread.

    Thanks in advance for any replys, suggestions, comments, and, opinions.
  2. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    top notch, my opinion, except for their stamped 7-Iron decks, I don't buy their claims on it's strength.
    I'd much rather have a fabricated deck.
    I like Hustler Turf Equipment's lineup.
    I own a Hustler Z and a Hustler walkbehind.
    You can't go wrong with Ex-Mark either.
    It boils down to what you prefer, after you have tried the lot.

    My 2 cents worth,

    O yeah, I believe you pay a hefty premium for GREEN paint.

    I believe you can save yourself a lot of money, if you can live without the green paint.

    And the green paint "curb appeal" sic.

    PJ has been online in the Hustler forum, here on Lawnsite, with the answers to any questions I've had concerning my Hustler mowers.
  3. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    You can post on the Hustler forum or e-mail PJ directly and he Will get back to ya. That's a good thing for me as I do all my maintence, and if I have an question concerning the product, he adresses it promptly, offering solutions.

    To me, that offers me customer satisfaction after the sell.
    Tuff Stuff

    You buy Hustler, have a question, drill PJ!
  4. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,384

    I used to use a JD lawn tract. but recently got a 737 Ztrak. I love it. Got it because of the dealership. Closest around here basically
  5. zapy

    zapy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    JD is really just overpriced garbage. I have a JD L110 Yes, an inexpensive HO rider) and at 150 hours I am putting on the third mower deck. The first had a weld break and the portion that was no longer attached at the weld go caught on the edge of a fence and bent back. The weld was at the guard around the discharge chute. JD said it was abuse and declined warranty. The second deck has a problen with one of the spindles. Basically, the stud is welded to the deck. The weld has broken (recurring theme here). They should have welded the thing all around rather than simply in two small places (like a tack weld).

    Oh well. When I bought the Scotts (Built by JD) I thought since it was a JD product I was getting a good quality unit. Not only was this NOT a good quality product the local JD dealer tells me "I should have bought a John Deere".

    AARGH! I DID -- It says so right there!!!! Hell, even the parts are the same!

    Stay away from JD. They won't stick by their product and surely won't help out a customer. Just the opposite of what you'd expect. Heck, they may as well start making those things in China and puting the JD logo on them.
  6. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Chief, I have been well pleased with my now 737 and my sold 717. No major problems at all, well so far anyway.
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Zapy, you cant possibly compare the 110 junk they sell at home depot to a commercial ztr. I also have a JD Sabre (same as Scotts)and yes it is not a great mower. The dealer I do biz with said they will not even carry any of the low end JD equipment like the 110 as it is junk. Need to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
  8. zapy

    zapy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Sure I can compare though I never said it was near a ZTR either. The local dealer sells the junk. I see no reason not to express my lack of being taken care of. Heck, I'm now in the market for another (hi quality this time) machine and can you guess who is NOT in the running?

    Right, I have already been run over by the Deere. I won't lt it happen again and I'll surely tell folks looking at a Deere of my experience.

    BTW, to get on my bad side I'd need to be really really screwed over. I can understand that I bought a consumer mower - I just expected more especially for the price. A Murray would have been just as good at less than 1/2 the price.
  9. Cooper725

    Cooper725 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    I have used JD's , Huskys, and Simplicitys in my short 3 yrs that I worked for a landscaping company. Now that I own my own business I went with a 54 inch, 22 Hp, Contour Simplicity. It works great and got it for about 1/2 the price I would have paid for a comprable JD. My next tractor (a 61 inch Ferris) will cost about $3,000 less than the same type of JD. John Deere makes a great machine if your willing to pay the extra $$$.
  10. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    One thing that has surprised me is everyone keeps talking about how much more $$$$ the JD is. In my area the JD is cheaper than Toro,DC, Ferris,Snapper, Hustler, and Im comparing the same deck/engine size to be fair. When I bought mine I looked at all the above listed and everyone one was at least a grand more than my 717 was. The Husqy was only 200 bucks more but I did not like it, only one that came close in price to the JD.

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