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JDSnyder

Simplicity - John Deere Comparison

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JDSnyder
I just finished restoring a 1966 (cough) John Deere 110 tractor to go along with my 66 Simplicity Landlord. Today I got them both out to do some grading in the driveway. The JD had a front blade and the Sim a belly grader. I used the JD to move some bigger mounds of gravel over into low areas and used the Sim to grade out the driveway. The Sim has much quicker steering while the JD has more turns lock to lock. I could see that if the JD had a belly blade, the foot trays would make it difficult to place your feet on the blade to push down. The JD is easier to mount with a lower tunnel. (Also, I have a high back seat on my Sim.) The variable speed drive on the JD is nice, the first time I have ever experience that. I know some later Simlicities had it also. The belt system and transmission on the JD is quite a bit noisier than the Sim, but that may be related to wear as well as the variator sheave. That Kohler engine purrs nicely through the Nelson can muffler. I may have to get one of those for the Sim if it will fit. I know this is the AC Sim club, but I just thought you might enjoy a little comparison. I must confess, the members on this discussion board provided me with a lot of information that helped on the JD restoration as well. I'm working now on a (cough) Wheel Horse. The John Deere and Wheel Horse clubs on Yahoo don't even come close to this one. I enjoy working with differently engineered machines. Orange, green and red make the garage more interesting.

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johnmonkey
I have owned a 1976 John Deere 214 w/ a 48" mower and a 3' tiller. It was hard to work on. I traded it for a 1968 Bolens husky 1050 with a cart, 48" mower, 48"aerator, 10" moldboard plow (brinley), a heavy duty scraper blade that can be mounted front/middle or rear, and a 36" snow thrower. It has a 10 hp wisconsin engine and has plenty of power. I also have a 1963 MW garden mark (simp 725) and it by far mows the best. I am in the process of restoring a 1960 simp 700(free), and a 1978 AC 710($120). So you can see where my loyalties lie. John H

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KenW
I have the 212 JD and find the use of a tiller is a bit of a pain with the only PTO being on the front so the belt goes from the front all the way to the back. It is real easy to throw a belt. My Simplicity with the rear PTO was much better in that regard. The 300 series JDs do have rear PTO capabilities I believe. I do like the quiet of the 212 "quiet series" and the hydraulic lift. One day however I will probably trade in the green for another Simplicity or AC with the same attachments I have now (deck, blade, blower, tiller) Oh yes...I have had several Wheelhorses and found them to be very rugged.

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Tuffy
We saw a comparison at the Connecticut show last fall. The Simplicities were driven off their trailers and parked in a nice row to showcase the models. The John Deere's were towed to their display location and then pushed into their areas. It was interesting to see the Deere's towed. Steve

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JDSnyder
I have mowed heavy Ohio grass for years with my inlaws '74 JD300. It is a rugged and easy to operate tractor and has certainly held up well. It would just as soon bend the grass over and lay it down as cut it, though. I've never seen a riding mower anywhere cut as well as my Simplicity. I think it was 1973 when new Outdoor Power Equipment Safety regulations became effective and many manufacturers had to reduce their blade tip speeds on rotary mowers. I wonder how the new Simplicities cut compared to my 1966?

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Kent
Steve, you mean this one? Kinda reminds me of the "priceless" MasterCard commercials... if you're not a JD owner, that is! http://simpletractors.com/images/brooklyn/Dcp00307_small.jpg

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thedaddycat
I just got back from picking up an old Jacobson Chief(free). Bob told me it had a magnesium deck and forged blades. A quick check under the deck showed them to be super-light, my guess was they were a mag-alloy of some sort. He told me he got another mower when it was going to cost $250 for a set of blades. He also said it was one of the best cutting mowers he had ever had. He attributed it to the high blade speed, too.

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Dutch
While visiting a local shop last week, I examined a Deere 318. The 318 is supposed to be one of Deere’s most popular models. It looked to be sturdy and well made. However, it appeared to be much more difficult to work on than the Simplicity large frame tractors with flip up hoods and seat decks. The Deere guys may claim that Deere’s don’t require many repairs. Well, the owner of the 318 I examined had just spent over $4,000 to have it fixed.

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Robb318
This comparison of makes is gret fodder for discussion, and one of the reasons for our Spring Tillage and Warm-Up Day in Menomonie WI May 5. As an fan of all makes, but a collector of only Green, I think you need to look at each make and see that they all offered inovations of their own. One thing that has always impressed me abould the Allis and Simplicity tractors is the under frame clearance they had. The open platform design probably lent itself better to gardening than the 110s. I will also say that I seem to see better restored Allis, Simplicity, and Cub tractors than I do the Deere ones, and can't explain it. Just my two cents.[A href='http://www.weekendfreedommachines.org/']http://www.weekendfreedommachines.org/[/a]

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Kent
Rob, I tend to agree that all makes have their unique strengths. As I see them: 1) Cubs have the strongest drivetrain by far for pulling plows (or just pulling).... Their mowing decks leave a lot to be desired, IMO. 2) John Deeres have some nice features like front/rear hydraulics (300 series), and clearly the highest resale value.... They mow pretty well, and have a good selection of attachments, but I'm not sure that I've seen one thing that they're clearly superior on, though. 3) The ones that seem to get "overlooked," IMO, are the old Wheelhorse tractors, especially the 31X series which is still being made. There's a LOT of these old tractors still being used in my neck of the woods, and a lot of interchangeable implements available. They're probably the best ones available for using a front snow/dozer blade. 4) IMO, Simplicity/Allis provide the best mowing job, by far. Note that this is probably where about 70% of the hours used comes from.... But, they don't have as strong a frame or drivetrain as some of the others. Another strength is how easy it is to change implements. Overall, I'm quite pleased with where my loyalties lie.... Kent

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JonetteP
I am not sure this relates, but the first johnees had a problem with the engine overheating. We cut holes in the shroud to get one of our long time customers going. After we fixed the unsolvable problem of overheating for them, they bought the best brand, of course a simplicity. They our one of our best customers. Tried and true, Simplicity has never let them down. JD has lost their following in the smaller market. For good reason!

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JMorin
Have a John Deere 430 Diesel plus many attachments. New to the yard are a AC 720 and Sim 9020. It seems to be an orange thing, I guess? Looking forward to tear downs and inspections. AC/Sim have more rugged frames and attachments. I'm new and will follow your discussions with interest. Thank you, Jim

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jlasater
A guy I work with has a newer JD lawn tractor...LX176? Can't recall...but he takes it to the JD dealer for service because pulling the deck off is such a pain. The all time fastest deck removal is on my Ford LT110. Pop the belt off, flip one lever, and the deck slides right out. Can do it in less than 30 seconds if I hustle. Clearance on my 716H is nice though. Can't imagine I'll ever sell the 716H for another tractor, 'cept maybe a 720 if I found one at the right price.[A href='http://www.wheatfarm.com']http://www.wheatfarm.com[/a]

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