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tripleguy

Orange vs. Green questions

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tripleguy
Been noticing that in local CL ads, I see John D**re stuff selling for what I consider, high prices. I don't claim to know the differences between a D**re series and a comparable Simplicity, but prices for the green stuff tends to be $1,000 - $2,000 more than a comparable Simplicity. Take for example a D**re 316 or 318. Nice tractor I suppose and I think the 318 has an Onan engine in it (hard to find parts for the now defunct engine). Hydro drive and lift (same as a Sovereign) and many other similarities. I've recently seen a couple clean 316 and 318 tractors with blower and mower deck listed for $2,500 - $3,900. What if anything, justifies the premium compared to a Sovereign which might range in price from $1,500 - $2,000 similarly equipped? Just curious.

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goodtimo
I've noticed that too as I tried to help a buddy find a garden tractor recently. He knew nothing about machinery at all, but knew wanted a Deere. There's some kind of cult following to them, whether it be the sheer volume they have produced over the years, or the Deere name on everything from bibs to birthday cakes..I don't know. Those 3 series you mentioned weren't too bad from a tractor standpoint, but the mower decks have always been trash as compared to the Simplicity/Allis. You're right, you can get a pretty nice Ultima or Sunstar with power steering, a 60 inch good cutting deck, and with dual brakes for about a grand. Can't touch the Deere equivalent unless you pay twice that.

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tripleguy
I suspect there's a premium for the name too. D**re spent a lot of money over the decades telling people nothing runs like them and they do market their name on lots of accessories as you mention. STill, seems like a very steep premium to me when you consider what you're getting. I saw a really clean 318 with mower and blower that was listed for $3.5K! It was nice, but not that nice - here's the ad: [url]http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/grd/2829684144.html[/url]

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MysTiK
When I scan ads, I see the same. But when I see the "d$$re" word in ads, I read it as "next ad", and usually note the price hilarity similar to what you described. It's sad with lower 300 models that have lesser transaxle; I draw line in the sand at 318, which is very capable - not so w K46-tranny models. The marketing image is so high that people just flock to "throw money here" - that's power. But there are higher models that might be worth the cost. There are higher Simps that carry big stickers also. The worst is the ads for used big box junk; these appeal to people w more money than 'cents'; they just don't know; and it barely matters what brand at that level. Apart from my personal bias, dislike, avoidance, etc., I just don't see the whole marketing world as friendly to my hobbyist interests. I would rather dredge for rusty olde junk and olde iron to enhance what was built to last certainly, but built and priced according to real quality and usage levels - and those qualities vary with any brand name. Pricing as you said is disproportionate with some; that's ok if the hardware supports it, and it's not just a dream inducing paint scheme. Some folks like that, some were raised like that, some read too many ads, some don't want to know and only want an image. Any tractor company knows what they are producing. Some are better marketers however. Branding, image, selling a dream. But the high end is more about cold facts. In my own thing, I decide the quality level of my ride. I also decide what foods I eat, or won't; that's also not based on illusions and popularity. In all things, it's better to pursue my own genuine interests, rather than be told what to do. I find Simp and AC to be good food. Others have unusual tastes. Some are toxic. Some are excellent. But bottom line, I don't support illusions of value, and a mentality that only sees green, and nothing else runs. Besides I no longer have any interest in all that after researching my interests. Only other GT I really respect is named starting with "FMC". The Bolens like veni$on for breakfast. 8) just my two pence.

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MikeES
The green paint seems to demand a higher price, but in my area, the green paint stays listed in the paper for many weeks/months. Looking at the trading post paper, you will usually find a dozen + JD GTs and 1 or 2 Sim/AC if any. And rare if the Sim/AC is there a week later.

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Chris727
Around here 318's are more in the $950-$1600 range of actual sale prices. There are rarely Sovereigns or any comparable Sunstars for sale here, they lost their market share by the 1980's. The 318 actually has pretty good parts availability. Onan parts aren't really anymore expensive than Kohler these days. Deere handles most of the engine parts. Common parts like points, condenser, fuel pumps, etc are kept in stock at most JD dealers. I work for a JD dealer so I know this first-hand.

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mowinman2
I can also speak from first hand experience as I have a JD 332. Its the same thing as a 318, but with a 3 cyl Yanmar diesel engine. I looked at the ad you linked us to, and agree, that is a fine looking machine. Very nice and clean. Those blowers can sell from 5-800. Mowing decks in good shape are also selling in the $500 range. I look at those pics and then compare mine, and that one may just be a bit cleaner than mine, but just about the same. I would Not take $2500 for mine as is and I dont have a blower. Just a deck. Its proved itself time and time again, how reliable it is, comfortable, and powerful. The only time ive been able to make that diesel grunt was when I mowed over a whole pompass grass bush. Lol, she really let the smoke roll then. I just know, for that kind of money, I dont think I could find anything around here as capable. It would cost much more to get somthing that was just as good. Just my .02

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larry8200
Simplicity has a real image problem, they hardly advertise, have never had in house financing, and dont require their dealers to put up a sign out front like virtually all other brands. They have always relied on quality selling its self, but those days are kind of over. The quality of a tractor as a status symbol is more important these days, and most seem to prefer a shiny new toy every few years instead of a quality machine built to last a lifetime. The 300 series deeres are a nice tractor, but not easy to work on like a Simplicity Sovereign style tractor. I haven't worked on anything designed to be worked on or as easy to work on like Simplicity's large frame tractors. Hinged seat decks for example... My $0.02 worth

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acfarmer
I have both Deere and Simplicity.I have a JD 322 which is the same tractor as a 318 except it has a Yanmar 3 cylinder gasoline engine.For this tractor I can get a nice new original heavy duty 3pt hitch for $350 from Reugg Enterprises,it has power steering,it has dual hydraulic controls to use on the front blade that has power angle,it has the same hydro and rear end as my 18HP Simplicity Sunstars.To me its clearly a step or two above my 7100 series Simplicitys.Its comparable to my 18HP Sunstars but with dual hydraulics and the availability of a reasonable priced 3pt hitch I'd have give the edge to the 322 except the 322 does still use a mule drive for the deck rather than the PTO driven deck for the Sunstar.

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dlkelley713
Here in suburban Atlanta, JD and CC are king. There isn't much farming or significant gardening around here until you get pretty far out of town, so most of what is sold is the box-store variety of lawn tractors. We don't push or blow snow around here, so that's not an issue... As I watch my neighbor putt around with his little JD, I can't help but smile at what a superior tractor I have in my Sovereign (for a lot less money)! If you're just cutting grass I don't guess it matters so much, but I sure appreciate a machine that helps me with more than cutting grass. I'd love to have a 318 or 322, but they can keep the low end stuff! Dan

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scrapper
Before I bought my 7012h I obviously was in need of a tractor. I was smart enough to know I didn't want big box store junk, but I wasn't smart enough to know that I didn't need a 316-318 green machine. I was in the 1000$ price range for the deere's I looked at around here. It was untill my brother in law showed me what his case 446? (I think it was)?? could do. I was impressed. That got me into at least looking at other brands. Price is what brought me to simplicity. I got lucky. I couldn't be happier with my 7012h. The onle thing th 316 had that I wan'ted was the front end quick connect hydro for the hydro lift and angle plow that deere offers for these machines. The simplicity came to 600$ w plow and deck. 1000$316 no plow just deck.. I Found out later what a heavy piece of iron my simplicity was. I love the reputation they have for superb cutting abilities. Combined with price My choice from now on will be simplicity every time. Only reason I was dead set on the deere was the notoriety. Pretty sad.


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tripleguy
Price was dropped to $2,500 in the title? WTH? Must be a problem with CL because it's at $3,550 wen you open the ad. At $2,500 it would be getting to where it makes you think twice. Still, with a working Sovereign, what might I gain. Now, if it had a nice cab for that price.....

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Dark
Both have similar options but one has more advertising and popularity like a Ford Truck but as in John Deere you hear songs see commercials and pop ups all over the place more so then you would see like ARGO. But you will see almost as many Cub Cadet postings and forums. I always made the argument to Ford fans as they claim Ford is the #1 selling light truck in America. my answer to that is because they need replaced more often. I'm not a Chevy, Ford or Dodge fanatic as far as that goes I drive a Jeep HonchoC|:

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MysTiK
OT = I gots Ford truck - had to do exhaust manifolds - never before on any vehicle I owned. Engine wars - steel vs aluminum - talk about built-in obsolescence. Cost? maybe time for new truck? totalled? buy used truck? This is COMMON on Ford's, probably chev too. they don't advertise THAT. $$$$ - nor do they recall it.

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SmilinSam
Deere is a name association that has been built over decades of advertising and promotion. Their garden tractors are just as well engineered as anyone elses, even to the point of being overengineered. At least they used to be. As pointed out above the 318/322/332 is really the last line of regular deere Garden tractors that I would consider real tractors. The new ones in the same class are not much different from any other major brand name with the exception of cutting decks. I have been seeing a few bargains on the 318 class as well as the 314/317 types, so prices are coming down to reality levels as time goes on, but they are still higher than your comparable Simplicity relics. I persoanlly favor the 314/317 class s they seem better engineered than the 318 class, with the exception of power steering, front axle and rear lift shaft setup. All these can be reverse engineered into the 314/317 class with some creative engineering. My 314 is now wearing a 332 axle and power steering. Debating on putting the rear lift shaft on too, but I really wouldnt ever use it on this tractor. The main downside I see to the 318 class is that the trans pump has no air flow over it to cool it the way it engineered. The 332 I just tore down has the pump all walled off with insulated panels so no air can travel across it through the frame well and no fan to blow air on it either. Not good in my opinion. That and with the foam gas tank pads creates a magnet for dirt situation on and around the pump. All the fins on this 332 pump were packed to the top with greasy dirt.

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jmhusby
The BIG advantage is that JD has more dealers so people see their product and big signs. Like the guys say many times you can drive by a Simplicity dealer and not even know they they are a dealer. Another thing is Simplicity doesn't have a good floor plan to get the dealers to have a Legacy around. Not that I am in the market but when you are looking at new in the bigger range the JD 700 series is comparable priced the the Legacy now so there is no advantage there. I don't know how the Prestige and the 500 compare cause its hard to beat my dealer when trading. He beats the other closest ones by a wide margin. Now that Simplicity has dropped the Koehler in the Prestige series I might be looking the next time if I don't like the Briggs any better than I have in the past.

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MikeES
It is all marketing. Back in 1980 when we built our house out in the country, I needed a garden tractor (not a riding lawn mower). I thought I wanted a JD 300 series, but settled for an HB212 until I could afford a JD. After getting the AC, I've had no desire for JD and now own 11 Sim/AC tractors. I have convereted several 300 series JD owners to very happy Simplicity owners.

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dave7016
I do know this a couple years ago before I got my 1st sovereign I was looking at Deere 317 and 318s. They did tend to cost more but people seem to have more pride in there deeres. These 20 year old machines were really clean. It just seems that the Deere owners took better care of them, there are exceptions but I looked at a lot of deeres and simplicitys and that was my opinion. I ended up with a 7016 at the time with a ton of attachments and was happy. That ad posted if it is 2500 that looks like a steal!!!

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acfarmer
There are pretty good deals on Deere tractors around too,got my JD 322 with a mower deck very good sheet metal,everything worked like it should,ran like a top started it up and drove it on the trailer.Cost me $1000.Bought a JD 400 last year with 3pt,deck,54"front blade with power angle,ran and operated good $1250.

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BLT
Deeere wanted badly to get into the loose engine business back in the mid eighties and the distributor I worked wanted Deere. One of the most remarkable thing that Deere had was having parts with 48hrs odf order most times over night freight prepaid. I have been to some of their sales seminars and you would almost think everybody there even wore underwaer.But on the purchasing end they are not proud where they buy their material as long as it meets their spec.

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leeave96
My Dad owned a Deere lawn tractor and that was one great mower. My Bro-in-law had a Deere GT he mowed with and it too was a very good tractor. The decks were especially heavy duty and my Dad's Deere gave a great cut. One thing they told me they didn't like was the amount of special/proprietary parts on the Deere models. I have and still run Wheelhorse tractors, have an old IH Cub Cadet and now a Simplicity (Agco 918H). I've never really had a desire to own a JD - don't know why, maybe I need to be different (I also run lawnboy push mowers). I'd say of the tractors I own, the Wheelhorse and Simplicity have to be the most simple/easiest to work-on. Bill

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1Litre
Bill I like what you said about workin on them. I will take a Simplicity over JD 300 series any time. You can take a deck off and put it back on Simplicity about the time the other brands are just coming off. When you get to the Power Max that was getting in Deere terratory when working on the middle of the tractor. Sunstars are cramped in the middle also. When men put on camo, lace up the boots ,grab a rifle and head to the fields it is called Deere season. Simplicity built small garden tractors before the green or red (yellow) paint guys drew up their first one. I like orange paint. We all like what we like and thats good. Only in America !!

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acfarmer
Just for the record Studebaker built cars before Toyota (LOL)that in itself doesn't mean much. And just for general information the 300 JD GT are basically split into two different groups 1)300 314, early 1 cylinder 316 and the 317 2)late 2 cylinder 316, 318 322 and 332 these are the more desirable tractors and sell for more than the early ones.These are comparable to the 18HP Simplicity Sunstar.

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Tarheel
I can't see how anyone could compare a Sunstar with a 300 JD. They started building the JD's in '75 and the Sunstar didn't come along until 86. The rear ends in the Sunstars may have been tough as a pine knot but the body seemed to wear out around them.. Front ends had to be rebuilt in a very short time, etc. Maybe in areas with a less rough geography they faired better but the point still remains that they didn't make it here while the 300s did. I can't address how the 300s would pull. I have an old 112 that works pretty close to what my B-10 will but I wouldn't trade my B for 2 more JD's just like the one I have now. I don't like working on the Deeres and I have a few pet peeves with them mostly from that point of view but I just can't see putting the Sunstar in the same lineup as a 300. (Simply my opinion, if any of you see it otherwise I'd love to hear it.) How do they stack up to a Powermax ? That would be more in line money wise seems to me.

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SmilinSam
I wouldnt give a nicle for a 100 or 200 series unless for to rob a good engine out of them. A terror to work on.., but the 300 series are not that bad to work on. The 300 series cross over to a Soveriegn in comparrison. You would have to compare a 400 a Powermax, or a newer 400 series to a Sunstar for a fair and equal comparrison..

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