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RalphABlack

What do you Guys think??

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RalphABlack
Went to my local Simplicity Dealer today to have them work on my 6218. I couldn't get it into gear without it grinding alot and once in gear it wouldn't stop. I wanted them to see if I bent anything or if the variator was not adjusted right. And guess what the told me????????? They said they didn't work on the variator style tractors anymore!!! Said they were to tempermental and hard to work on. He told me that the last one he worked on he spent 3hrs on it and had to only charge and hour of labor. He also told me that he sent about 5 others away with the same problem. So I went home with my tail between my legs. Got home and looked at the other tractors I had to see if there was anything different. Long story short........I figured it out for myself. I got it workin just fine. Saved myself $65 and hour to have them look at it. Would like some feedback on this..........Thanks.....Ralph ngr2

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John_RI
I don't have any experience with a 6218 and the variator - BUT - if your "Simplicity Dealer" refuses to work on it I'd suggest you find somebody else that will. Where I live there there's not a Simplicity dealer in the state so I haven't faced that problem. If I were close to you I'd be interested to know who the dealer is.

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andrewk
I can understand where the dealer is coming from here, being in "the business"- I don't have a lot of experience with the variator, other than I remember they are a bit of a pain... Anyway, the dealer needs to be efficient, yet fair in his repairs. If he takes in a problematic unit, then he is asking to lose money. Not only will he lose money (and time) on the initial repair, but you would expect him to stand behind the repair for at least 15 days, and if they are as problematic as he says, then he has to keep fixing it for free until it is right. And all at the same time, he has to get it done as fast as possible, along with all the other work in the shop, because everyone wants their stuff by yesterday, and the need to mow (obviously). At 65 bucks an hour, it just isn't worth it. Now, thats not to say the unit isn't worth repairing. It is completely worth it for you to spend your own time on it, and fiddle with it until it is just right. I would bet your dealer would be more than willing to sell you a service manual, if not give you a couple tips, even if he cant take it in to work on it. With shop labor rates approaching automotive levels, I think we will see a lot of this stuff in the coming years. Technicians in the small engine world are now trained in very advanced technology, as well as the old and perform first class service, and with that comes a price. It is going to phase out a lot of stuff like your situation which IMO is sad, but necessary for the industry to progress- JMHO, and I'm glad you figured it out- Andy

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ehertzfeld
quote:
Originally posted by John_RI
I don't have any experience with a 6218 and the variator - BUT - if your "Simplicity Dealer" refuses to work on it I'd suggest you find somebody else that will. Where I live there there's not a Simplicity dealer in the state so I haven't faced that problem. If I were close to you I'd be interested to know who the dealer is.
John, these are dealers with in 25 miles from you. PAT'S POWER EQUIPMENT 3992 OLD POST ROAD CHARLESTOWN, RI 02813 (401) 364-6114 Distance: 12 miles Brands: Simplicity Lawn & Garden Equipment (maps and more information >>) RHODE ISLAND GRINDING SERVICE, INC. 649 EAST GREENWICH AVENUE WEST WARWICK, RI 02893 (401) 828-1231 Distance: 12 miles Brands: Simplicity Lawn & Garden Equipment (maps and more information >>) COVENTRY POWER EQUIPMENT 2234 FLAT RIVER ROAD COVENTRY, RI 02816 (401) 397-6541 Distance: 14 miles Brands: Simplicity Lawn & Garden Equipment (maps and more information >>) WESTPORT LAWN & GARDEN 593B AMERICAN LEGION HIGHWAY WESTPORT, MA 02790 (508) 636-4100 Distance: 20 miles Brands: Simplicity Lawn & Garden Equipment (maps and more information >>) HUBER'S GARAGE 517 NORTH MAIN STREET MOOSUP, CT 06354 (860) 564-8340 Distance: 25 miles Brands: Simplicity Lawn & Garden Equipment (maps and more information >>) I got this from Simplicity.com just type in you zip code and choose a range, and it will tell you were the dealers are. http://www.simplicitymfg.com/dealer_locator.php

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Al
Hi, This a sensitive issue to me. I feel that as a dealer I have a responsibility to support any line I sell. If I have to have special tools to do so, I need to get them. If I don't know how to fix the products, I need to learn. My shop rate is currently $50.00 dollars per hour, and when I work on something the customer should get what they pay for, competent service. If I screw up, we eat the redo, and remember the only people that don't make mistakes are people that don't do anything. Manuals only go so far, and these tractors aren't like working on the space shuttle. I think they should read the manual and get under there and watch it function. If they can't understand it they should call the factory support. I am here to tell you we don't always make money on every job we do. I think if you want to cherry pick the line for service, you should expect people to find a COMPETENT DEALER, not an IRON PUSHER. Maybe I am old fashioned, but I feel a dealer should be a MR GOODWRENCH or equivalent, and if he isn't he should LEARN TO BE. I have in the past spent an average of 30 man days a year of my people and me in service schools and training. The best part of service schools is what you learn from other dealers at these get togethers. Lunch is the best class hour of the schools. I feel every incompetent dealer damages our industry image. I'll get off my soap box, and apologize to anybody I have offended. It's what I feel my obligation to the public is when I Call myself a XXXXXXXXX brand dealer. Al Eden

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John_RI
Thanks Elon, I guess that was a bit of an exaggeration. I just got really turned off after a few bad experiences dealing with a local outfit that was a “courtesy” Simplicity dealer. I didn’t know anything about my new 30 year old Simplicity and they didn’t know much more. Fortunately, in ‘98 or ’99 I came across Kent and SimpletrACtors. The site gave me independence from the local guy, an endless amount of information and countless hours of enjoyment. It is nice to know that I do have local options, however, I’ll do my best to avoid them. John

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andrewk
I'll totally agree with you there Al. A dealer should support what he/she sells, and do it right- However, at the same time, don't you have a right (and duty) to not enter a money pit in a repair? How much money does one lose on re-dos on a certain piece of equipment before he has got to say enough is enough? We have seen it with the cheapie homelite and assorted 2 cycle equipment- you get burned enough on something and you don't want to work on it anymore. (Not to say that maybe you shouldn't learn) Its just like the old shuttle drives- they can be a pain to get right- I remember every one of those we did we told the customer in advance it was hard to do- The guy could have at least took it in, with the customer knowing that its a 25 year old tractor, and that it might cost a little more to fix it. But at the same time, the customer needs to be taken care of, and if you are in the business to make money, sometimes you have to lose money too. OPE dealers, in order to become first class shops, have to BE first class shops, and know the answers to all the questions. You can't progress from being a shadetree mechanic if you keep a veil of ignorance. Every incompetent dealer hurts our collective image in a drastic way, that is all too true. It's really a fine line to walk- from a pure business standpoint, I would justify his actions, but from a real-world perspective, he should have serviced the brand he promotes, regardless of if he is good at that particular model or not. I like to be on the real-world side of things, because a customer that is happy tells noone, but one that is mad tells EVERYONE. I do believe that a business is THERE for the customer, but its tough to balance profitability with customer service sometimes.

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DMedal
Not servicing it because they're not good on that model is an indicator of a poor dealer. Quoting a high price for repairing a 30 yr old tractor may just be a reasonable and honest business decision. What would happen if you took a 72 Chevy back to the a factory dealer for rear end service? -Don

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RalphABlack
Thanks to all for posting. I ask all dealers here if I brought my 6218 in for the repair.......would you repair it or turn me away? Thanks guys!!.........Ralph sm01

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andrewk
We would take it in, but let you know that since it is an older, finicky system, you should be prepared to pay the labor that we have to put in it to fix it, and you would know that up front. At least that's what we would do- Andy

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