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Trustworthy Dealer?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Blades Lawn Maintenance, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,936

    yeah that's true. i have my dad's husqvarna ztr i could use if i had to in a pinch.

    my deere dealer told me they had loaner mowers when i bought my mower new. if they ever are working on yours they give you the same or better commercial mower to continue work while they are working on yours.

    no worries for awhile though for me. my deere only has 300hrs on it so far. :laugh:
  2. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,358

    Hey there Weeze, been meaning to ask you what your favorite song is....? I think mine is Buddy Holly maybe? I really like my name jonas as well.... such a tough decision
  3. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,780

    I want to walk into a dealership I deal with, well, actually any business, and get that "hometown" feel, meaning they treat me like person, not just a number. Nothing is perfect in this world, but I'll never complain as long as they do their best to solve any problem I'm having. Unlike many, for myself, price is not normally a primary consideration when making a purchase. They are in business to turn a profit, as am I, and I trust my dealer to charge what he needs to stay in business, so he'll be there next year, and the next.

    In the past, my dealer has been willing to loan me a used, or even his personal, mower. The last couple of years, he is signed up in the Gravely loaner program, meaning if your mower is down, they will loan you a new, or nearly new mower for as long as it takes to fix yours. If you have only one mower, this is a really big plus.
  4. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,936


    my favorite is "in the garage."
  5. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,936

    well i was gonna make another thread but i figured my story today would fit into this thread well.

    i have a 2011 john deere z920a 54" deck with 26hp kawi engine. (now 23.5hp)

    i was mowing today and everything went as normal and then on the 3rd yard i cut i mowed about 30min and then my mower started sputtering and not running right and lacked power. i wasn't sure if it was bad gas or something clogged in the line or what? this has never happened to me before on any mower so i was confused. i don't think the gas was bad because it's only 2 weeks old plus it was running fine all day before this happened.

    anyways i was cutting a 2 1/2 acre yard so i basically only cut 1/4 of it if that much when this happened. i just loaded the mower up and after telling the lady i'd be back to finish i took it to the dealer. my mower only has 300hrs on it and it's still under warranty. in about a month the warranty expires. :laugh:

    i hope it's nothing serious. i just figure it's some trash in the fuel line or something but i dunno for sure.

    anyways so this is where the dealer comes into play. they had about 10 mowers there in line to get worked on. they told me they would put mine up front and hopefully have it ready tomorrow afternoon if it's nothing serious. they also gave me a brand new demo model z925m with a 24.5hp kohler efi engine and a MOD deck on it free of charge to use until my mower gets fixed. it had about 7.5hrs on it so it's brand spanking new.

    i was very impressed with how smooth the efi engine ran. i thought the new deeres were ugly when i saw pics but they look pretty sweet in person. so anyways i went back and finished the yard after that.

    i don't really know what to do because you are supposed to change the oil at 8hrs though on new engines. i've already gone to like 8.2hrs on it. i figure when i mow tomorrow it'll have around 10hrs when i return it to them. i guess if my mower isn't ready i'll have to take it by and get them to change the oil before i mow again wednesday.

    i checked the oil and it was only 1/2 way between low and full when i got done mowing for the day. all new engines use oil so that is normal. i just added some and filled it to the full line. i also added some hydro oil since it was on the low mark too. i filled it to the max line.

    anyways long story but that is what a good dealer does for you so you will have minimal downtime. i lost about 1hr today going to the dealer and back so not too bad. i just hope it's nothing serious wrong with my mower but i guess if it is it's under warranty so no big deal.

    the new deere z925m had a hand parking brake instead of foot brake and no cross porting or the hydros or suspension seat but it did have 4 iso mount things on the seat which didn't come on the older deeres. i guess you could upgrade the seat to suspension as well though. it also had the mod deck on it. the thing that impressed me most though was the efi engine. it ran so smoothly.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I've had a couple bad experiences with previous dealers but have since found a dealer who I plan to stay with for a very long time.

    There is quite a bit that I look for in a dealer. I want to make sure that they have fast turn around times for repairs. I want to make sure that I am treated fairly even though I'm a small, part-time company. The dealer must stock parts and be able to get parts in quickly when they don't have them in stock. The sales people must be knowledgeable about the products they sell and be able to provide me with the info I need quickly. Its also very important that I can do as much "one stop shopping" at my dealer as possible, instead of having to run all over to get things.

    My current John Deere dealer is AWESOME. Everyone there knows my name and greets me by name each and every time I walk in the door, that's the salesmen, the store manager, the service manager, the mechanics and the parts guys. They carry both John Deere and Stihl, which is all I use, so I can go there for everything. They are willing to drop what they are doing to service my stuff right when I walk in the door. If they can't fix it while I wait, I get a loaner.
  7. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,936

    well they are so backed up so they haven't gotten to look at my mower yet. i called them about doing an oil change in the new demo mower since it's at 10hrs and they said go ahead and they'll give me 2qts of oil and a filter when i go pick mine up. i had some filters already since the new mower uses the same size filter as my mower does.

    no big deal i guess. i just get to keep using a better mower until they get mine fixed. :laugh:

    they've been backed up because they had some 3 day long john deere thing and they were closed for 3 days or something. i'm not quite sure what it was. they also work on tractors and all so everyone is getting ready to farm and mow yards so spring is a rough time to get work done. i'm lucky they basically let me use a brand new mower to continue working with.
  8. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,010

    Same here but not as long only about 5 years. When they screwed up and tried to play me like I was out of my mind the loyalty ended. I haven't been back to that dealer since going on 8 months. I order all my parts online now.

    I have since bought a new mower from another local dealer and I think they are just as inept as the first place I've been dealing with. I only go in there when I absolutely have to have it now or it's warranty work.

    I thought I found a good local mom and pop shop that I was getting my parts through but when they gave me fuel line to use on the low pressure hydro lines and the wrong hydro filter I quit going in there. They were charging OEM prices for Stens, Oregon and Rotary parts. Still looking for a good one. Not sure one exists around here.

    Oh and if you need a loaner no problem $150 a day...
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,936

    dang man that sucks. i got a brand new kohler efi engine mower as a loaner for free. $0 a day.

    this mower is better than the mower i'm getting work done on. i have a z920a and the loaner is a z925m with efi and MOD deck as well.
  10. Greyst1

    Greyst1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 897

    The best dealer you can or will find should be yourself! Wear items are common parts and common parts are just that, common which are readily available online.

    The only thing i need a dealer for is to sell me new equipment and the occasional part that must be ordered from a dealer and cannot be found online.

    I have found through out the 6 years i have been doing this that landscape equipment is simple, there are some items like decks & frame that clearly have an engineering skillset but for the most parts its all just nuts, bolts, weldments, pulleys, belts, engines, blah, blah, blah.

    For me if i had to depend on a dealer i would get out of this industry. 1, the margins just don't support that luxury, 2, most of them are just lazy ars's who are check collectors (some are worthy but very few) and 3, I couldn't be a sheep and allow a dealer to provide me the assurance that i need to provide my product to my customer. Just isn't happening.

    For those who drink the dealer koolaid, to each his own. Eventually you'll figure it out. Best of luck.

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