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Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Posted by johntommybob (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 20, 07 at 6:26

Every time I visit the local Sears I walk through the garden department, and over the years it appears to me the large Craftsman GT's keep evolving for the better, but I don't own one and never have, in fact, I've never even ridden on one, so the following is just a visual observation.

The other day I was looked at a GT 6500 on display. It was on sale for about $2600.00. If I were looking for a GT in this price range I would definately check it out. It's better looking, and appearance wise at least, looks tougher built than the low end JD's at Lowes. I say this being a John Deere fan and owner. Am I missing something?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

I guess these two items come to mind:

'You get what you pay for'
'There is no free lunch'

Buyer beware ....


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

I have a GT5000 and have been happy so far. I do a lot with it besides cut grass, but it's still only a homeowner's tractor...not a commercial brand or durablility.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Come on now!

Sears has some very nice tractors, and there is nothing from other manufacturers near what Sears has for $2600 that is ground engaging and with a gargantuan Kohler Vtwin and Giant 54-inch deck. You are looking at $3500+ minimum for those same basic features from anyone else. Everything about the Sears screams "heavy duty."

Sears has a very long history of building real ground-engaging garden tractors as opposed to front-engine lawn mowers, and the current GT6500 certainly is worthy of being in that long line.

D


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Alright, alright, you can stop now, my sides are starting to hurt!


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Davidld

Yeah, that's kind of what I thought. The GT6500 I looked at had a hydro transmission, and I noted that it now has forward and reverse pedals on the floor. I thought the whole package looked well turned out. And I wasn't comparing it to the higher end John Deere garden tractors: just those you see at Lowes.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Lately I haven't purchased anything from Sears that I would recommend. That includes garage door openers, tools, and lastly the Sears tractor I used to have that spit gas all over the floor b/c it refused to start up (among other troubles). 3 year old Kohler engine too. The dealer purchased 'boutique' tractors that will easily double the price of that Sears model will easily outlive it by 3x's. Garden tractor for 2600? That to me is a disposable piece of equipment. Run it into the ground, toss, buy a new one. And don't complain when it creaks, groans, and starts leaking fluids.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

"I guess these two items come to mind:
'You get what you pay for'
'There is no free lunch'

Buyer beware ...."

Thats 3 things! ;^)

I don't know...I have a '99 GT and isn't leaking or creeking...It IS a homeowners unit BUT is a VERY good homeowners unit...I used it commercially last summer and other than bending blades and popping a pulley from hitting tree stumps Becky came thru unscathed. I highly recommend the Craftsman GT series if they are still built this tuff...


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

jopopsey: I'm sorry you had trouble with your craftsman tractor. Using your logic however the fellow who has a problem with his JD,Ingersoll,kubota etc should be out there denouncing the brand as no good. Yeah even high end tractors can have problem. Just read this forum to find them. I recently purchased a Craftsman GS6500. It was not my first or second or third choice. It did meet my budget, with two kids in college, and represented good value for the money. Interestingly it is replacing a 21 year old craftsman tractor that I purchased when we moved into our current home. That tractor has lasted for 21 years and is still running with no money into it,to date, except for belts, plugs, filters and fluids.. I made a decision that since the tractor needed 4 new tires, a new seat, and a starter that I would trade it to my neighbor's son for wood cutting labor. It has been hauling quarter cord loads of firewood out of the woods for the past few weeks and I have next years firewood all cut. You are apparently of the mentality that you should use and abuse "non boutique" tractors and replace them. Some of us take care of our "non boutique" tractors and they last decades. Maybe if you had taken better care of your craftsman tractor it would still be around.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Only ever had one Craftsman lawn tractor, a 12/38" from about 1990. Bought it used in 1998 for about $200 and abused it ruthlessly until 2004. It still worked fine when I sold it, it had no major problems, didn't even take any oil. I wouldn't pass up a good deal on a Craftsman LT/GT.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Not a very good comparison.

You are comparing the Sears garden tractor to John Deere lawn tractors. Of course the garden tractor appears more heavy duty.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

I just picked up a GS6500 6speed last week.
I have only put about 2 hrs on it, so time will tell.
I did spend a month or so looking at all the available LT/GTs I could find, Husky, Cub Cadet, John Deere, Troy-Bilt, Bolens. My choices are limited to whats available in the local area. The Sears, at $2600 w/sleeve hitch and box scraper, is by far the best FOR MY MONEY. Of the others, the JD X500(dealer only) is the only one I considered, but could buy 2 GS6500 for that. The Lowes, Home Depot, etc models were just not built as well as the Sears.
Just my opinion, yours will differ.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

How do you plunk $2600 down without even trying a tractor out? Or do they let you cruise up and down the underwear isle?


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Looks like another satisfied owner! ;)


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

wheely boy: You are 100 percent correct you cannot try a tractor at sears. A point of reference though. My local JD/cub dealer will not bring a tractor to your house to try out. He has a postage stamp sized lot full of merchandise and you could not probably drive 25 feet without hitting an obstacle. Great test drive. Secondly when I was looking for a tractor I had a number of members tell me to buy used and state I bought my tractor x number of hundreds of miles from my house and took a trailer to get it. They sure didn't test drive it beforehand. What i did was locate a friend of a friend who had the tractor I bought and i drove 25 miles to get some seat time on it.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

'You get what you pay for'

My brother bought a low end JD and it turned out to be absolute crap. I would buy a Sear GT over it without thinking twice.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman gT quailty

Tedbell: You have to compare apples to apples as machiem noted above. You have to compare a low end JD to a low end Sears or cub etc. Just like you cannot compare a Sears GT to a JD GT. They are not equal. However that is not to say there is not value in the tractor you buy if you use it within its limitations and you maintain it properly. Unfortunately people buy low end tractors which are really lawn mowers and use them for things they were not built for and then complain about the
tractor and not their mistake.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

I've got a 2005 GT5000 and it's great. I guess it would compare with the 300 series model John Deere, but for a lot less money. What I like about my GT5000 over what I saw at a JD dealer was that I could get the GT5000 with the manual transmission(GT6000 was hydromatic) which is what I wanted.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

troller mo LOL that was a good one.I lauphed tell I cried.You are kidding right?

I think spring must be near.Were starting to have Craftsman vs John Deere talk.You Craftsman guys Crack me up.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

I don't see any problem with a Craftsman GT for 90% of the tasks most homeowners do. If you've got really heavy-duty work in mind, you'd be a lot better off going the CUT route or picking up an old gear-drive Wheel Horse or Cub Cadet.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

I was bringing up my Craftsman experience w/ Lawn tractors as a way to share an experience w/ the fella the posted. Yes, its true any tractor can have problems. Yes its true you can extend that logic to state that if brand 'A' has a problem then brand 'A' can be considered sub-par. Its also true that if you don't take care of something you run the risk of having it self-destruct.

To be honest I hesitated answering the post b/c I figured I'd get a response calling me to the mat. Most of these 'Is this any good?' posts end up as flames. But I figured I haven't joined one of these yet so what the hell.

If you purchased a thing that costs 1/3 the price of another thing and they both do the same job and hold up just as well, God Bless you. These stories are not uncommon. In my case, I purchased the thing that was 1/3 the price of the other thing. Mine died. I can't say it was unexpected.

Not saying Sears purchases are silly or that folks that buy Sears are silly. If you happen to drive a Craftsman and are getting offended, I can't help you. There are plenty of Kubota folks on this forum that think the Green and Yellow paint is over-rated and over priced. I'm certainly not offended.

Jopopsy


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Riding a mower up and down the underwear isle is definitely silly.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

jopopsy: Thanks for your reply. I fully realize that you cannot compare any craftsman GT to any JD, Kubota,Cub, etc GT in terms of quality and long term capabilities. The point that I was trying to make was that even in the lowest end lawn tractors if John Q Public mows his 1/2 to 3/4 acre lawn with it, maintains it appropriately, and doesn't try to turn it into a Garden Tractor he will get value out of it and it should last a good while. Because the typical suburbanite does not generally do this, either out of ignorance or neglect, more knowledgeable folks tend to write off the whole category and individual brand names as junk. If I bought a top end tractor and severely abused and neglected it i.e. never changed fluids, never greased fittings, never changed plugs or belts, never sharpened blades, used it beyond its capabilities etc I think you would agree that it would have more problems and not last as long as the guy with the same tractor who took care of his machine.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Wheely_boy, I agree, and driving the box store JD up and down the toilet isle is silly as well.

I bleed green and I'm going out on a limb here (I haven't had good experience with Sears), but one would think that a $2600 Craftsman is as good as a $2600 Deere. Any other comparison is pointless. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Since the Deere commands a price premium, maybe the Craftsman has more features at 2600?

I haven't taken my meds yet this morning, so maybe I'm way off ;-)
-gh


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

OK Johndeere, what's so F*CKin funny. I did compare it to John Deere mowers and other than the engines---but wait JD has its own engine built--by guess who Briggs & Stratton. Guarantee ya, that with the proper care and maintenance that I give my vehicles, it'll last just as long as your JD. Hell, even my Dad's 1960 JD model 112 has a B&S in it and my GT5000 has the same metal thickness on the frame for longivity,Metal engine cover and body fenders, same size wheel/tire package with manual transmission. I said that it compared with the 300 series(not the fancy rear-steer models), cause I don't remember if JD has a 200 series(it's been over 2 years since I was shopping for a mower), but if they do, the GT5000 model was on the upper end of the scale, besides I bought it for simple lawn mowing and hauling some smaller trailers with loads around house. If I was to plow,plant,haul couple tons of rock/soil with it I can borrow my brother-n-law International Diesel that has a straight 6 cylinder. NOW that's a real tractor. Just because your lawn tractor says JOHN DEERE on the side of it doesn't mean that it doesn't have foreign parts in it, because it does----just like the Craftsman.I bet your the kind of person that buys a Harley to say that you ride only American Iron(guess what,50%of the parts are foreign) then go to work in your little HONDA because it gets good gas milage and has a repretation of being well built. WELL, I did the same with my GT5000. Well built, has everything that the John Deere models I was looking at have, and it saved me MONEY. I don't go with a "named product" just to be another sheep in the fold when all components compare to be alike and the "after the sale" is there. No I don't have a Harley, I ride Triumph, and PROUDLY OWN A CRAFTSMAN. Sorry for the rant Guys, it just burns me that somebody can't see a product for what it is or does.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

greenhobby hit the nail on the head.
The price I paid for the GS6500 alone is nearly the same as the JD L155. The Craftsmen was the better choice in my book.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Troller mo...It's called "green vision"...a cousin of "tunnel vision"


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

davidld-is that the field you just plowed behind you in the picture?


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Here's some more gasoline for the fire. Info obtained from each brand's website.
***********************************************************
JD X300 ($2899) vs. Sears GT6500 ($2,550)
(although neither one of these is a box store offering)
***********************************************************
Both:
Foot pedal hydro
Twin cyl. pressure lub. eng.
Deck gauge wheels
1-4" cutting height adjustment
Electric PTO

JD advantage:
Fully assembled vs. partial assembly req.
17 hp Kawasaki vs. 26 hp Kohler Pro
Safety video and RIO vs. ?
12 ga. vs. 10 ga. deck
42" vs. 54" deck width
13 height adjustments vs. 7
K46 light duty LT hydro vs. ground engaging rated hydro
3/4" axle/keyway wheel retention vs. GT std. 5-bolt hubs
3.5 gal fuel tank vs. 4 gal fuel tank
"welded heavy-duty" frame vs. 11 ga. "formed" frame
15x6-6 front wheels vs. 16x6-6
20x10-8 rear wheels vs. 23x10-6
16" turning radius vs. 18"
purdy green/yellow paint vs. black/gray
Potential for "test drive" vs. no way

Conclusion: at about the same price point JD gives you a smaller, weaker engine; smaller, weaker hydro; smaller wheels; smaller, thinner deck; less fuel capacity; and no ground engaging capability. You will get a tighter turning radius, a JD cap, a more prestigious marque, possibility of a test drive, better resale value, and more respect on this forum ;~)

(That ought to fan the flames)

t (former Craftsman owner and now Simple-minded)


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

That 17HP Kaw. is worth the added money alone IMHO and will have more power than will ever be needed (yes HP is hype). Don't forget the dealer support.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

That Kawa engine is one of the big reasons I did not buy the like sized/priced Simplicity. Its about the only reason I didn't buy the like sized/priced Simplicity.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

One thing I forgot to mention, unless recently changed; getting the deck off the Craftsman is a PITA. IIRC, the JD arrangement is much easier...perhaps almost as good as Simplicity. ;~)

t


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

First of all Troll mo I was thinking you meant 300 series as like GX345 I was having a brain freeze.I have not gotten use to the X300 series term yet.I could not figure how you could compare a Craftsman to a John Deere with hydraulic lift power steering things like that to a Craftsman.My mistake!!!!!!

But then you went and burned me up.When you said im probably the kind a guy with a Harley.Wrong I would look terrible in leather and long grey hair back in a pony tail with a bandana tide around my head.I do not drive a Honda I drive GM vehicals.If it matters?

My John Deere does not have a Briggs engine it has a Kawasaki not that it matters however.Also I might be wrong but I thought a John Deere 112 from the 60's had a K series Kohler?Correct me if im wrong im sure you will.Maybe your dads has a Briggs repower conversion?

I think you better check your frame thinkness also.Because the frame on the 112 I remember was thick plate metal.But maybe im having another brain freeze and you mean the modern Lowes John Deere 112?That has a frame thickness about as thin as the skin of a insulted Craftsman owner.

Yea I would use a IH with a inline 6 if I was doing the work you mentioned.In fact I do just that with a IH 3788 2+2 but when the going gets tuff it stays in the shed and out comes the Deere 9400 with 340hp and triples.It can stomp the 3788 with 170hp and singles in a mud hole.

I was not knocking your Craftsman as you seem to think.I did not say anything about American made or import.You did I have just about every small engine manufacturer brand on one piece of power equipment or another.Kohler,Kaswasaki,Briggs,Techumseh,Honda and have faith in all that I own.

The reason I more then likley was thinking you meant Garden tractor JD 300 series is.Why would you compare a Garden tractor to a lawn tractor in the first place?You should compare it to a John Deere Garden tractor.I see that a lot with the Craftsman GT5000 being compared to a John Deere L series or LX and now X300.It should be compared to a gt200 series from a few years back or the new X500 series there Garden tractors.I think I know why it never is however.Because then there is no match.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Hey guys -

there are two different "fair comparisons"

1) Apples to Apples, as has been pointed out. And there are many that don't distuinguish between a riding mower and a L or L/G tractor

However...

2) Price. Despite what one might think, this is a fair comparison because all too often price is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) consideration. It was for me. I had to find something under $250 and I did (used of course)!

Next time I am at Sears I am very curious to look at their tractors. I do know they have a decent selection of implements which is pretty cool.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

I have an entry level cub I bought at lowes the lt1018 and paid $1599.00 I use for my house which is flat and about 1/2 an acre and works fine.I have a summer home with about 2 acres out on the east end of long island and needed another rider.IT is far from flat and needs alot of work on the property.The one thing I learned was more then anything else go one step bigger then you think you need from this board.I ended up buying a 2000 JD GT235 from a dealer that installed a new 48" deck and complete service for $1960.00.

I cant even compare the two even when one is 6 years older then the other. I never even thought about a used tractor before reading this site because if I did I would have bought another used one for my small yard.

Another thing I want to share is I live in the suburbs of long island and I am about the only guy who cuts my lawn in my area but I enjoy it. I have both my units parked at the main house for now in my garage. But whenever a bud stops over what do you think they do? Jump on the JD like little kids and say "man this thing is sweet" and I just smile.

To compare a New Sears GT at $2600.00 to a 6 year Old JD GT that is $600.00 less in my opinion is no comparision.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Somehow I knew this thread was going to go on for a long time. Heat fanning the flames on both sides, it appears. I'm of the GT5K persuasion, but nothing wrong with the JD's, if you must have one.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Deercub

You make a good point. As with buying a car, used is often the best value. Particularly since the older and better Lawn and Garden tractors have longer lifespans than cars.

Very few people in my area mow there own lawns, and those that do don't user riders since the lots here are small. But I'll tell ya, my friends love my tractor too.

I will warn about the one step bigger rule. Overall it is probably good advice, but I am very glad I have a 36" mower - I can ride between the trees on the tree lawn and the street perfectly. Any wider and I'd have problems there! A suburban concern? Yes.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

deercub,

I agree that the best of all worlds is to find a "good" used high end lawn/garden tractor and buy it at a "good" price. But that approach takes patience, a little luck, and you must know enough to recognize "good" when you see it.

I say all that because I did exactly what you did. I bought a 2000 JD GT225 with 50 hours on it about three years ago. I've never been sorry. It took me about two years to find it, but I had something else to mow with while I was looking. So as I said that approach may take patience - unless you go the ebay route, which I was not willing to do.

But I still think the GT6500 is a good looking tractor for the money.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

They all suck. Slave labor is where it's at.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

If ya buy the John Deere at Home Depot you get a lifetime supply of mini-blind parts to help keep it running.

This certainly shows the capabilities of the John Deere tractors.

I think it's a John Deere on steroid mini blind parts


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

For the equivalent cash the AYP has some real advantages over an X300. The thing it doesn't have is the green paint job. Would you be happier with a Volvo S40 or a MazdaSpeed 3? The MazdaSpeed is a sister car to the S40 but out performs it in so many ways. I suppose you would look cooler in the Volvo going to the gym, just like you would look cooler in the JD hat going to the garden supply store. If the mystique is worth it to you then you should buy the JD. If function and price do it for you pick the Sears. The used JD is another question all together.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Lets stir up some flames here.

X300 vs. Sears GT5x

You're comparing a Toyota Tacoma to a Dodge Ram. Yah, the Sears might be a garden tractor and be rated for ground engaging equipment. If that's what you need and that's what you can afford, I see no problem w/ it. But don't go on and on about the craftsmanship or equality of the two rigs. Its just not there.

If you don't need to haul a large boat behind you, I'll take that Taco 10 out of 10 times even if its the same price. In fact, if I don't need to haul that boat, I can't sign that Taco sales slip fast enough.

My experiences w/ Deere vs. Craftsman? Forget that mine died and spit gas all over the floor. Lets just talk about the baggers between the two. The Craftsman was a 3 unit bagger. The bags had plastic frames and rested on the plastic support of the bagger proper. The hood would lay over and snap into place. After 2 months, 2 of my 3 bags snapped their plastic frames. I had to Duct tape them together again. The back hood would bounce up and down as I rode around the lawn; it wouldn't snap anymore. I had to put a metal bar between the snap mechanism and the handle holes of the bags just to keep the hood from banging around like a screen door in a thunderstorm. Oh, the hood is also supposed to keep the bags from sliding off the frame. Dropped a few of those on the ground before I secured the hood my own way.

To put the grass funnel on, I had to actually cut the side discharge chute. The chute is supposed to rest on the funnel, but the damned thing was so tight it was actually pushing the funnel out of the collector and throwing the whole thing off balance.

Before you ask, yes I can read directions. Yes I'm handy enough to install a bagger. I even had my mechanic friend next door look at it to see if I was missing anything. He laughed at it.

Now, the Deere? Metal supports around the bags. Metal 'grabs' to keep the bag on the frame. Metal frame to keep the bags on. The hood closes and snapes every time, and it never lets go. If by chance it did? The metal grabs would keep the bags in place. The chute of the bagger fits like a glove. The whole system was thoughtfully engineered and executed w/o cost cutting. Yah, the bagger unit costs me 200 more then the Sears variety did. But you know what?

Like I said way up on top. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

Okay, flame away. :)

*shrug*


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

jopopsy

"Lets stir up some flames here.

X300 vs. Sears GT5x"

First: I've nothing against stirring up flames. It creates some fun, so long as every one keeps their cool.

Second, and more to the point: The debate was the quality, or lack of it, between big box store lawn and garden tractors and the Craftsman line. The JD 300x line is not sold at big box stores, and so is in another league.

And there is a tractor sold at Lowes that competes with the GT6500. I think it is a JD 150 or 155. I'm not so familar with it other than the specs look about the same. I thought someone on the forum might be.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

All Craftsman sells is Big Box tractors, since that is what they are, a Big Box. They compete well with the Big Box John Deeres as you would expect. It would be silly for John Deere to sell more product for the same money. Yes John Deere charges extra for the paint, but you have to remember why the paint is worth so much, it comes with dealer support and a reputation that has been built over many years. If John Deere quits building quality products and quits backing them up, the paint will become cheaper. You do get what you pay for, which is why I don't buy mowers from Big Box stores (I do buy paint there though).


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

This thing started meandering half-way thru, so I figured what the hell lets throw some gas on it. :P


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

What I like most about my JD's is the parts finder area.I also have a 1983 or so r70 rear engine model. I can go on the JD site and order any parts I need for it rather then having some flunky sears guy who has no clue let alone the knowlege to help me out.

My only sears experiance was an older 70's model rider. I was cutting the lawn one day and the axil snaped off. It was just a kinda pin in the middle that let it swing left to right and I guess it got tired. The other thing was it had a belt that would turn a shaft to the twin blades thru two little gear boxes well even packed with grease they would last about 2 seasons. I guess I gave up when the axil snapped and just left in on its frame in the middle of the yard. I think that is when I said no more Sears for me.I gave it to a kid down the steet and never saw it again.

I know they are better today then back then so please dont attack me I just thought the story was kind of funny. It sucked at the time but looking back I wish I had a video when it took a dump.


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Craftsman GT's are ok

..but if you want to get serious about ground-engaging work, the 1946 "U" Minneapolis Moline is very tough to beat. Plenty of torque to pull a 3-4 bottom plow in sod, and a bulletproof gear-drive tranny. And one can be had for well under $2500.

As everyone here knows, we do the GT5000 in ND, but the L-110 is here. Both are well-suited to the task at hand, as is the "U".


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

joposy: It's not flame away its flame out. Based on your post I went out and unpacked the brand new three bag system for my recently acquired GS6500 just to check on what you had stated. Guess what the bagger unit has a metal frame with metal arms holding up all three of the bags. no plastic resting on plastic. pretty substantial support system as it will need to carry three full bags. As to your tacoma vs dodge ram. I bought a new pickup a little over a year ago and I used what is called around here "slammers rules". I test drove every pickup brand around and for my purposes the tacoma didn't measure up. It didn't have as much interior room. didn't seat as well, didn't have as much power in its base unit and had a shorter bed than the dodge dakota I bought and by the way the dakota was less costly.

Johntommybob: I'm siting hear with a brochure for the JD 155 as it was one of the tractors I looked at. It is a really nice lawn mower with a 25 hp briggs engine and is not capable of using ground engaging equipment. End of story.

If you compare a JD GT to a Craftsman GT the John Deere wins hands down. If you can spend the extra $2000+ for the JD(and I am including the extra cost for their attachments)go for it. For the asking price Craftsman gives you capabilities that no one offers in that price range. By the way i didn't pay $2600 for my craftsman GS6500. I paid $2040. Sale price plus an extra 15% percent off. I got a snow/dozer blade,wheel weights, chains, cab, 3 bin bagger all on sale with an extra 15%. Total package price delivered was a little over $3200. The only way you beat this is if you find a nice used GT. I looked, but do to my immediate need. could not find anything in my price range that was decent. So I bought the GS6500. I have plowed snow 4 times with it and remain content.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

CTPuritan, all fun aside I seriously am very happy that the bagger assembly for a Sears GT is substantially better than that of their LTs. I'm glad you won't experience what I did.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

You plowed 4 times with the GS 6500 already. You better check the fram for cracks real fast and have the blow torch ready just in case. Na just funning with you great price on your tractor and as always Good luck.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Now where are those pictures of the cracked Craftsman frame and of the burning JD? ;~)

As ctpuritan said, when buying *new* equipment, it is hard to beat Craftsman value. I used a Craftsman twin bagger for 13 years, and it didn't break. Yes, it had some flex in the frame, but it was adequate to the job. Does it compare to my current Simplicity triple bagger? Of course not. That Simplicity bagger has more iron in it than a Craftsman LT frame! But....a new Simplicity bagger costs 3-4x what a Craftsman bagger costs!!!!... more than a basic Craftsman LT! More quality? You bet! More durability? Without question. More value? Hmmmmm. Value is in the eye of the beholder? Sometimes the difference in cost can only be explained by what makes you grin (and what your 'better half' will let you get away with).

t


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What's with the numbers?

If I were restricting myself to buying new, I would buy a Sears GT over a comparably priced JD in a heartbeat. My neighbor has a JD L series and it is a complete POS, and has absolutely noting in common with my JD GT225 (other than the green and yellow paint), which has a smaller engine but can do sooo much more. I have a craftsman (AYP) Honda-powered push mower which I bought new and am very satisfied with.

I bought my GT225 nearly new and for $2,000 got a heck of a tractor with a bagger and JD cart. I don't like the fact that there's not a JD sleeve hitch available for it, but with the implements I have added in the past year: 30" tiller, dozer blade, plug aerator, 175lb spreader, lawn roller, I can't imagine why I'd need it anyway.

The thing I don't get is why JD is now putting the 300 model numbers on lawn tractors. That's like Ford naming their next F150 an F250. I think that creates a lot of confusion when comparing between manufacturers. My own GT225 is closer to an X500 than any other new JD model, since that's the cheapest ground-engaging tractor (not counting G series). It would have made sense to compare the Craftsman GT to former JD GX300 series, but of course, there would be no comparison in favor of the JD. Now when you compare the sears tractor to an X300, again, there is no comparison, this time in favor of the Craftsman. But the JD X300 is not supposed to be a garden tractor.

Purchased new, I would have paid $5,000 for my tractor with the extras. Instead I researched and kept my eye out for a deal, and eventually bought a 3-year-old tractor for 60% off retail which shows absolutely no wear and suits my needs perfectly. All it takes is a little patience and knowledge.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Marineguy wrote:
"It would have made sense to compare the Craftsman GT to former JD GX300 series, but of course, there would be no comparison in favor of the JD."

huh??


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

There would be no comparison (in favor of the JD).

-or-

The GX345 was significantly more capable than a Craftsman GT6500, which is more rugged than oddly named X300.

Note the similarity of the JD model numbers of two very different tractors:

GX345
20hp ground engaging tractor with locking diff, hydraulic lift, power steering and big tires

X300
17hp lawnmower

Clear?


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

You have to be careful w/ the X300 statement. If you mean the X300 as the standalone tractor, I completely agree. If you mean the X300 series, the tractors are signifcantly differant from teh X304 up. Not a ground engaging tractor, but a bit more then a lawn mower. Kinda like a Yard tractor I guess. That K58 tranny in the X304 and up is a nice unit as far as work is concerned (within its non-ground engaging limitations of course !).


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

There would be no comparison (in favor of the JD).

-or-

The GX345 was significantly more capable than a Craftsman GT6500, which is more rugged than oddly named X300.

Note the similarity of the JD model numbers of two very different tractors:

GX345
20hp ground engaging tractor with locking diff, hydraulic lift, power steering and big tires

X300
17hp lawnmower

Clear?


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Crystal.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Sorry about the double post. My computer locked up and I didn't think it sent...
No doubt the X300s are fine lawn mowers. I understand that not everybody needs a tractor that can pull. I just think it made a lot more sense in the mid 70s/ early 80s when a 100 series was a lawn mower, a 200 series was a manual lift garden tractor, a 300 series was a hyd lift, hydrostatic garden tractor, and a 400 series was just a flat out monster.
Now the numbers are basically meaningless but somehow magically ascend with each new line of tractors.
It just makes it a bit hard to follow for the average tractor buyer, who might have known what a JD 200/300/400 series was when he bought a tractor 20 years ago but now needs to look at every specification to know what they heck he's looking at.
Imagine having to look up gross axle weights and brake sizes to know if you're looking at a 3/4 ton or a one ton truck. That's why Ford has given the consumer the courtesy of making the 150/250/350 for decades.
PS I'm a chevy man, but they kind of fell into the trap in 1988 when they went from 10/20/30 to 1500/2500/3500, so they'd be a poor example.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

I'd still like to get my hands on an older GT from 25+ years ago. Not sure what I would do with it on a city lot. It's funny how back then tractors had so much less horsepower but were just as capable if not more capable than today's 25+ Hp units.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Marineguy, can't agree w/ you more on the JD model designations. They didn't make any sense to me either; I came in looking for my Dad's tractor as a new model. I was quite lost at first.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

If I was offered my choice a John Deere X320 or a Craftsman GT6500 or what ever there called.I would not have to think twice I would take the JDX320 but thats just me.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Theres only one way to settle this thread, buy a Craftsman GT and a box store JD and use/abuse/test them to destruction.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Johndeere,
You have a 9400 with 340hp and triples in the barn, of course you would. I have a two car garage with two vehicles in it (one of which is a Yukon XL) and a 10x12 shed to store all my power equipment. Like most non-farmers, I've got room for only one tractor. And green or not, it darn well better be able to pull stuff.
Fortunately, it's green.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Yep, just wanted to see what you meant By the way, I own a GX345. I'm somewhat familiar with its features ;-)

-gh


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Urban tractor uses

Blacknumber - I am on an fairly urban lot and am quite pleased I bought my Wheel Horse last summer. I even have the wife convinced!

Here are the things I have used it for so far:

1) Mowing - faster than the push mower, though that was a mulching mower. This summer I'll be trying Gator blades.

My 36" blade allows me to get between a tree and the road on the tree lawn. Works out very nicely.

2)Grading - I have a leaky basement and had originally planned on bringing in a couple of yards of soil so I could get a good slope around the foundation. This fall I was able to greatly improve things using the snow/dozer blade on my tractor. More to be done next year.

3) Cleanup. I have moved many loads of leaves (on a tarp) and sticks and lawn debris (in trailer). I also found that once the leaves are in a pile, I can push them around with the blade.

4) Edging. The blow bade does a decent enough job edging. I just run it down the sidewalk or on top of the curb. Not super pretty, but good enough.

5) Snow removal. I am on a corner lot, so I have lots of sidewalk even though my driveway if fairly small. I am a walker, so I feel compelled to keep my sidewalks nice and clear. This year we even had a few storms where it was necessary to clear the driveway.

Oh yes, and when our tenant's van got stuck (got one wheel on the lawn) my 12 HP tractor helped pull him out.

6) Lawn aeration. Just a really cheep aerator, but it has made an improvement in a couple of hard compacted areas.

Future endeavors:

I have a tiny vegetable garden and a few flower beds. Now that I am composting leaves as well as household waste, I'll have a fair amount of compost to move around and spread this year.

I intend to spread it thinly on some of the poorer parts of the yard. My plan is to aerate, then spread the compost, then spread seed and then aerate again.

Now if I could just get a cheap enough bucket of some kind for the tractor ;)

My neighbor and I have an area between our houses that gets no light. It tends to be wet. We also both have some problems with water in our basements. I have bought a slot plow and will make multiple passes with the slot plow, then put the furrower on the plow and make multiple passes with that. We will then take shovels and dig this out for a french drain.

A builder friend of mine may hire me for a job that requires spreading a lot of compost in a damp area that won't support a bigger machine. This could be fun, and maybe pay for some additional implements!


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

marineguy you might have a point there.I do not pull much behind my lawn tractors.Just a lawn sweeper a cart a sprayer and no ground breaking attachment.Thats why I have lawn tractors and not garden tractors.

But I can not bring the 9400 into my yard either.I would have a busted up septic system and broken tiles and bar notches all over my lawn.It would tear up the sod if I had the room to turn it around.It will not fit in my drive way up to my house lot.

I do not have a barn here.We store all machinery at the main farm 15 miles away.In a 60x95 Morton building.I tore down the old barn here about 10 years ago.All that remains is a foundation and a partial concret slab.

I also have a 10x12 barn style storage shed.I keep all my power equipment in.But I have two lawn tractors in mine.JD LX277 WITH A 48c deck and a CC 2166 with a 42'' deck and a Simplicity 32'' snow blower, generator,pressure washer,push mower,lawn sweeper,leaf blower,string trimmer,splitshaft trimmer for pole saw,gas water pump,extra sump pumps and 100 ft of hose,Craftsman roller chest and upper tool box,all my shovels rakes bars brooms anything with a handle, bug zapper,snow fence,kerosen heater for emergency heat in a power outage,flood lights,trouble lights,pull behind spayer,hand sprayers,batterycharger,oil,grease,parts,900'spool of string trimmer line,chainsaw,2cycle oil,gas cans,etc and I can walk in and get anything out of the tool chest and know exactly where everything is nothing is piled up or cluttered.

So marineguy you need a second tractor plenty of room in a 10x12.It makes the neighbors take a second look when you start putting everything away.Thinking about building another for a place to keep the lawn cart and a few more things and have a little work shop area next to my garage.I only keep cars in the garage basically and have a little work area but always have to back the cars out to do anything.But if all goes well I will just build a new garage and make the old one my shop.Then I will have plenty of room for more toys.My wife is getting worried about that.She saids well your shed is pretty full I guess you can not get any more.Thats when I start talking a new garage.


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For Simplicity Owners on a Budget

Recently I was able to snag a triple bagger, hitch and tube kit, 50" turbo, rear weight box, tiller adapter, and front counterweight....all new old stock...for a fraction of new dealer prices. How? I knew what I wanted, goggled the part number, and voila! Found dealer 'rummage' sales and going out of business sales for NOS Simplicity attachments. Example: 33# front counter weight for $24.30 including shipping and tax! Triple bagger at less than 1/2 price! With recent dealer consolidations, shifting of consumer mower market to big box stores, etc., there is some NOS inventory out there that is being heavily discounted. Treasure hunts are fun, and can save you a ton of money. Is there an accessory or attachment that you want (or need) but price is stopping you? Google "simplicity xxxxxxxx". You just might get lucky. :~)

t


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Whoops! Screwed up again. Previous message was intended as a new topic, not a reply to this thread.

t


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

I was at Home Depot yesterday and looked at the CC GT1554 and JD 150? 155? whatever it is. Both are more than my GS6500. The CC is pretty similar, but at $2999 plus attachments and tax, out of my range. The JD is the closest in price(actually more) than the Sears, and it is just a lawn tractor.
I have a whopping 5 hours on my GS, mostly grading my future lawn. What new JD could do this for $2600 otd? I can probably still return it as it's only two weeks old, so if y'all are of the opinion I should drive a Deere, send me one.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

You can not get a new John Deere GT for $2600.00 out the door.The only way you could do better then the Craftsman.Would be to look high and low for a used John Deere example 318 from several years back.Thats what I would have done.$2600.00 would buy you a real nice 318 if you could find one.Keep the Craftsman in that price range you made the logical choice.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

johndeere,
That's pretty impressive that you have all that stuff in a 120 sqft shed. I just got mine a month ago so I'm still filling it up. Right now I have my JD225, the 30" tiller, 10 cu ft cart, 175lb spreader, 7 bushel bagger, dozer blade, table saw (that can probably go back to my garage), Karcher/Honda 3000psi pressure washer, 21" Craftsman/Honda push mower, Husqvarna 455 Rancher w/20" bar, Husqvarna 323 trimmer with manual feed head (I hate those bump feed jobs), shovels, axes, rakes, loppers, a fiberglass-handled Vaughn claw hammer, two bags of Quickrete, a half bag of 10-10-10, and my John Deere licensed sprinkler that drives around the yard using the hose as a guide. I built a 4x10 loft in the back, 5' off the floor, which will soon shelve Rubbermaid bins of junk my wife says we need to keep for God knows what reason, currently taking up precious space in the frog (finished room over garage). And underneath that loft is 1,000 board feet of black cherry in 8' lengths neatly stacked with spacers to dry, awaiting some project down the road. I keep all my mechanics tools in the garage. Even though I have a deadbolt on the shed, I'd rather have the Craftsman rollaway and powertools in the garage.

I don't think I can fit another tractor in there, but I definitely like the idea of building another garage so I can use my current garage for a workshop (without having to pull the vehicles out and then try not to get sawdust everywhere).


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

marineguy I have a 4x10 loft also never mentioned the things I have packed away up there.I do have the gas pump stored up there and the split shaft trimmer and pole saw,snow fence that I dought I will ever use again along with other things and the bug zapper.The walls our used also.Thats where the Stihl string trimmer hangs and all the shovels and rakes.I have shelves also recessed in between the studs in places for things and a shelf here and there.Hand sprayers and many thing hang from the walls.Including the hopper basket for the lawn sweeper.I learned to use every inch of space in this shed.I still have available wall space.Before I had this shed I could not find anything.Now I know exactly where everything is.Made a organised person out of me.I changed my ways and life is easier when you know where things are at.

My garage also has a tool chest bench air compressor shop vac things like that.My garage is a oldie gravel floor not concrete I put wall to wall carpet over the gravel to keep moisture and dust down.Not good carpet old discarded stuff.Im ready for a new garage and make this a work shop.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Like many, I have been going down the riding mower decision alley. I am really impressed with the Kubota T1570 and JD 300X. Both are going out the door at over $3200. With that said, none of the Craftsman or box store riders can compete with these type of riders. The engines, framing, deck are all on a higher level to name a few. Most people should not need a rider of this braun for residential use. The only kicker would be a mowing area of over 2 acres with hills. I have used a craftsman push mower for 10 years. The briggs moter on my pusher still starts on the first few pulls. My rototiller and snow blower have been similar over the years. I keep them clean, change the oil, filter, and spark plugs every year. I seriously believe that proper maintainace is the key. Of course, lemons exist and usually fall under warranty. Therefore, all of the mid line riders will work fine under most circumstance. You just need to determine if the rider will meet your area to be maintained. Lastly, all of the box stores are built with production in mind. It can be built at a lower cost due to assembly line processes and better buying power. Your higher end riders cannot be built as easliy, use higher end parts at a higher cost. I will most likely buy a brand new previous year model to save the dollars. I hope this information helps others. I have submitted this information based on my research and could be way off base. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

The other day I was looking at a GT 6500 on display. It was on sale for about $2600.00. If I were looking for a GT in this price range I would definitely check it out. It's better looking appearance wise at least, and looks tougher built than the low end JD's at Lowes. I say this being a John Deere fan and owner. Am I missing something?
Posted by johntommybob
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sears sells both the low grade entry level tractors as well as the upper level tractors.
The Big Box Stores like Lowes don't.
JD dealers also offer both level of tractors.
To get an accurate comparison you have to compare Sears with the JD dealers.
What's confusing you is throwing the big box store in with the mix which is distorting the picture for you.
This must be what ypu're missing!

http://www.hubcapcafe.com/i/2001/storycty/chev6001.JPG 60 Chevy Convertible front
http://www.hubcapcafe.com/i/2001/storycty/chev6001a.JPG rear view
http://chevy.tocmp.com/chevyscrapbook/files/kamp50.jpg 1950 Chevy green
http://www.hubcapcafe.com/i/2003/msra2003/chev5001.jpg 50 Chevy blue
http://www.jenningsequipment.com/storepics/ksBX22.jpg BX23
http://www.dot.state.oh.us/dist8/planning/images/bridge2.jpg Bridge


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What would this set up cost?

By the way I didn't pay $2600 for my craftsman GS6500.
I paid $2040.
Sale price plus an extra 15% percent off.
I got a snow/dozer blade, wheel weights, chains, cab, 3 bin bagger all on sale with an extra 15%.
Total package price delivered was a little over $3200.
Posted by ctpuritan
****************
What would a new Craftsman GT 6500 with a front blade and a rear tiller and no mower deck go for?
Posted 59


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

lb59...the great thread dredger


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

What would a new Craftsman GT 6500 with a front blade and a rear tiller and no mower deck go for?
Posted 59
====================

The following did not answer my above Question.

lb59...the great thread dredger
Posted by onlycubcadets (My Page) on Sun, Jun 24, 07 at 19:32


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Sears builds junk these days. Their employees are idiots.

3-5 years ago, Sears was a decent company, and they had a few decent products. Now they are nearly the same as Wal-Mart. Very poor product quality, and none of the employees could find their butt with both hands and a flashlight.

Entry-level box store Deeres are junk too. Get a X300 from a real JD dealer and then you will have something-- a quality product and a dealer who offers customer service.


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RE: Box store JD vs. Craftsman GT quailty

Ahhhhhhh.........reminds me of the good old days!

Make note: replenish popcorn supply.....extra butter


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