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Chris727

This Beats All, a Simplicity called Craftsman!

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Chris727
Well I was looking at the new sears lawn equipment catalog today and saw a famialiar looking product. First off, I noticed it didn't have cheap turf saver tires like craftsman used, the deck also looked much different from craftsman. It looks like crapsman may not all be crap anymore. Its called a Craftsman ZT7000 and correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't it resemble a Simplicity, look at the logo on the seat. It has an 18HP Kohler Command OHV, and a 50 inch deck. Here is the picture from the catalog.

When I looked in my simplicity catalog I noticed the simplicity Zero turn looks the same and has the same size deck and motor, but has a steering wheel instead of joysticks. What does this mean for dealerships, are they going to be screwed like the JD dealers when HomeDepot got the Sabre line? Whats next, a Craftsman diesel 4x4 garden tractor?

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bigcountry
Sometimes franchising is neccessary to stay afloat. I can tell you if Simplicity relied solely on its dealerships in NC for the company to survive, they might would last a month, just because there is only maybe 5 or 6 dealers in the state, and they are mainly for other brands and they are extremely high on the prices. The ones close to me are MF dealers, and their big lawnmower line is Snapper with Simplicity being a one tractor display type thing. John Deere used Home Depot because they wanted to offer an affordable lawnmower available to people who either can't get to a dealer, or can't afford the LT-series and up tractors. The John Deere L-100 series is better quality than the comparable Craftsman, Murray, MTD, and Snapper offerings.

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Chris727
Only three replys? I thought this was really big news. I mean come on guys, Simplicity's making a tractor that will wear the "CRAFTSMAN" name!! Aren't there some guys in this club who run Simplicity dealerships? Got nothing to say? Bigcountry, I don't know if you're aware of this but Simplicity owns Snapper and does lots of commercial business because they own Ferris, a big maker of commercial lawn equipment, walk behinds and zero turns. Personally I don't think the JD 100 series are not any better value or quality than the Craftsman "garden" tractors some of them still have the nice Hi-Lo rear ends just like the 60's Sears Suburbans that people are making pullers out of, and they are priced really low. Most of the 100 series JD's don't even have bolt on wheels anymore.

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bigcountry
Again, the 100 series JD's are the "more affordable" line of lawn and light-duty lawn and garden tractors. They are not designed to do the same thing the X-series do other than cut grass. In fact I believe the whole reason JD started making the economical line of tractors was because they took a survey of potential customers and a lot of them responded by saying they would buy one if JD would make a more affordable tractor. They know that nobody who will buy a tractor at Home Depot is going to use them for heavy work. They know that the ones that will work their tractors will go to a dealer and buy a GT-series, GX-series, or X-series. My grandparents and 2 aunts have Craftsmans. They are ok for the once a week type use, but they by no means will do the job like our heavier tractors will. Pop has an old LT-10/36 that he put a new engine in 6 or 7 years ago and put new motor mounts in, he does not like anything but Craftsmans. He just spent almost $500 to get it running again, it basically was overhauled with a new carb put on because the old one was in such bad shape. His other one, a Craftsman Series II 12.5/38" has had to have minor repairs on wear items like belts, starter gear, and other items. That is one reason that Snappers were put in Wal-Mart, the company was about to go under and that is what kept them going until they were bought out by Simplicity. The MTD's and Murray's have Hi-Los as well. That doesn't mean that a tractor is quality. It won't hold up to the stresses like our old big size tractors will. None of the Craftsmans have any bolts for their wheels either. The worst mower's I've ever seen are the Statesman tractors from Southern States. They won't hold up to much of anything. My aunt had one she blew the engine in, and it had been rebuilt twice by Southern States. I couldn't believe when I heard her say that a man came by and paid her $225 for the chassis and blown engine.

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rokon2813
bigcountry, I dont argue with your idea of the quality of some of the lighter tractors, but above where you said "None of the Craftsmans have any bolts for their wheels either." isnt true. I just stripped a Craftsman GT 6000. Had 5 bolt wheels, just like the Simplicities. And as for the hi low rear, I know you cant fully judge quality by weight but that rear was the heaviest I have ever seen in a "cheap" tractor

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Al
Hi, All Simplicity dealers received a letter from Jim Wier the CEO of Simplicity regarding the Sears ZTs. This unit has been discontinued by Simplicity for a couple of years. They changed the steering levers and are building it for Sears. Simplicity is not offering it to dealers and dealers will not have parts for these units. The only thing Simplicity does is build them and it is using some obsolete tooling. Sears handles ALL of the warranty, parts etc. Al Eden

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Chris727
If you want to get technical about "craftsman," Dan is right about the wheels/trans, I was kidding when I called them "crapsmans", I was just reffering to normal commentary around here. My Dad's craftsman has the 12" rims as well as all of my Suburbans, which have cast iron engines, and lots of attachment capabilities, I even have a sicklebar for one. They still make the "Garden Tractors" for heavier use and offer disks, plows,and cultivators made by Agri-Fab. Al, I'm glad to see that Simplicity dealers won't be responsible for handling Sears warrantys, I guess that would have been a pain, but this goes along with Sears always servicing their own stuff. I wonder what these ZT7000 units will cost? My neighbor likes craftsman but was looking for a zero turn, maybe I can talk him into getting one.

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roma3112
Guys I don't necessarily have a problem with simplicity doing business with sears, like kent said they got their start building for monkey wards. If it helps out with the cash-flow i am all for it. What i would have a problem with is them putting "branded" items in big box stores, this would not only hurt loyal dealers but would hurt the brand, in that when joe dope homeowner takes his simplicity home from wally world and puts no oil in it and blows up the motor- guess what he is going to blame Simplicity as being crap and not his stupidity.

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UCD
Justin What didn't you understand about Al's post. Maybe Sears is smarting up and going to put some quality in there products. For a 13 year old you seem to have had alot of tractors and life experiences.

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Dutch
"Underground deal" ? "Somethings up" ? Maybe it's just "Simplicity"..... like the guys in Port Washington just want to build tractors and keep working. Or................ it could be something more sinister. Simplicity may be is a corporate front for a world-wide secret society building infernal machines in abandoned mineshafts as part of a diabolical plot with Sears to create a new world order. Only the < Shadow > knows.

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G.Kiebler
I think it should be known that Simplicity is building some Sears outdoor equipment. I can't tell you how many people I run into and say they haven't heard of Simplicity.Look at the free advertiseing Husquavarna is getting,and they are building Sears equipment too.

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Chris727
A buddy of mine with a small engine business told me that Sears outdoor power products which are mostly American Yard Products, the Husquavarna riders, and poulan are also AYP, Must not have had a zero turn available to fit Sears interests so they contacted Simplicity. I can't wait to get a look at one of these things.

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MPH
Ya gotta give Sears some real credit, they been in the retail bussiness since thier catlogs were famous in the little house out back, and at least up here, thier stores are looking good inspite of Wally world, Sams club, Costco, hope depo and the rest of the 'new wave' of retailers. Can't think of any other chain store that was big when I was a kid that's still around.

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10HorseMan
Yep been around them a long time along with a lot of Allis Chalmers Tractors in the tractor pulls, Been pulling since I was 3 yrs old, on a pedal tractor and 3 yrs ago I started on a AC-B. Trying to get a collection going. :D

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Cal
Simplicity has made products for several other mfg. over the years such as Honda (snowblower att.) JD (walk behind snow blowers) Dixon (36"mower decks) and others that I can't recall right now. The Sears mower is no different we dealers dont need to touch them for warranty or any other reason and they are not anything like Simplicity offers through it servicing dealers. Cal

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Leroy
quote:
Originally posted by MPH
Ya gotta give Sears some real credit, they been in the retail bussiness since thier catlogs were famous in the little house out back, and at least up here, thier stores are looking good inspite of Wally world, Sams club, Costco, hope depo and the rest of the 'new wave' of retailers. Can't think of any other chain store that was big when I was a kid that's still around.
Kmart? No real comparison to sears, because of sears marketing But Kmart has been around for a long time.

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