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Craftsman or John Deere D170

Posted by jeffl WA (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 16, 14 at 20:19

I'm torn between the new 2014 Craftsman 24HP 54" mower and the John Deere D170 54". Both seem pretty comparable and both are about the same price (want to stay around $2800). One thing I didn't like on the D170 was the seat seemed to have a lot of play sideways right to left. It felt sloppy to me (on two different ones at Lowes). Is this common? Other than that it felt comfortable. I like that the Craftsman does not require you to push the mow-in-reverse button EVERY time. This is a plus to me. I've also read that the Craftsman has a heavier duty transmission than the D170. My only concern with Craftsman is if Sears goes under completely. Not sure what if any ramifications that would have on warranty, parts, etc. Any thoughts between these two ride-on mowers? Thank you in advance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

This is a question that you are going to have to make yourself. Posting this type of question to this forum is like posting the question which is the best religion Methodist or Baptist. There are people who will defend their side to the end, and you will be just as confused as you are now Ultimately you will make it yourself any way.

I have my opinions but I am not going to state them for the above reason.

If you are looking for technical input google each of the tractors online, In a Spreadsheet write the good and bad things you find about each tractor in its own column.

Make sure to include things like horsepower, torque, number of blades, width of the mower (gate openings), height if that may be a problem, etc. One point you may consider if you have a rolling lawn is the height of the center of gravity vs the width of the wheels.

You probably posted to find some type of reliability information, but remember everyone has their own definition of reliability. Some people will just replace a missing cotter pin, others will make a federal case of it.

After you have sufficient data, review and rate each point and select the tractor that your rating system is highest.

This post was edited by knuttle on Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 8:32


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

I'm not a big believer in Consumer Reports but last year they had the John Deeres D140, D150, D160 an D170 ranked number 1 in their class if I remember correctly, My brother has the D140 and really likes it and has no problems, If it was me I would look for a nice used John Deere GX345 which you should be able to get for that price and it would be twice the machine.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

With real estate it's location, location, location.

With L&G it's DEALER, DEALER, DEALER.

On that alone the JD is a smarter choice. Your D170 will be setup by a full time authorized JD dealer with trained techs and backed up by a parts department even if you buy it from a big box store, but buy it from the JD dealer cause the price is the same.

If Sears survives you'll be dependent for warranty service on a guy or gal in a van who fixes washers, dryers, vacuum cleaners, and lawn mowers. You won't get timely service and the parts needed are not usually on the truck so you'll be waiting for a return service call when the parts arrive. If Sears doesn't survive most parts will be available cause everything Sears sells is made by someone else to meet Sears' whims, desires, and price points..


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

X2 on what justalurker has stated.
I know JAL has a preference for Deere (as he should) having been a part of that legacy (Deere) in his career.
So take his recommendations as "insider info" as well as "gospel".
Deere is an equipment empire. If you have a job to do, they build a machine to do it.
I hope that does not sound religious :^)


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

My Deere preference extends to the Deere I currently own and the fact that there are few choices left in better quality L&G products now days. I like my Deere despite my local dealer and not because of him. JD corporate isn't the warmest and friendliest manufacturer either. JD is like HD... they love you till you write the check and then after that they treat you like they don't know you.

With Toro killing Wheelhorse and MTD down marketing Cub Cadet products, and B&S doing whatever it is they are doing to poor Simplicity, John Deere is the prevailing and readily available choice for a complete line of L&G from entry level L&G and GT products backed by an expansive network of dealers and outstanding parts availability even for old models.

The best choice of what was available in the old days no, but of what is available now IMO yes. I sure hope that changes though cause market domination is bad for everyone except the company's shareholders.

But when shopping remember that all businesses are susceptible to the same mistakes and curses so if you have a local dealer who treats you well and fairly and provides good service buy what they sell regardless of the brand cause you're better of with less quality and great dealer support than the best there is and no support and a dealer who gouges you.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

Thanks everyone for your input. Given that next year I will be moving to an area where the Sears stores have been closed I think it would be smarter to stick with the D170. There seems to be a larger network of service locations for Deere. Anyway, a side question... if ordering one and picking up at the store, can this be transported in a standard full size pickup truck? I know the deck is too wide to fit between the wheels so just wandering if not rolled all the way in if that works or does the deck have to come off?


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

Riders always hang the mowing deck trying to load into a pickup.

Way easier to load on a trailer or make delivery part of the negotiations when buying... all JD dealers deliver.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

A small piece of jumper wire on the idiot switches will bypass them (aka push to reverse switch and seat cut off switch).

In no way do I recommend that be done. I'm just sayin if it can be easily over-ridden in less than 60 seconds, it shouldn't be a reason NOT to buy one.

You can get one of the nice high-back fancy seats off Ebay for the Deere pretty cheap. Think I gave less than $50 for mine.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

One of the task I was petrified at doing was removing the mower deck, UNTIL I did it. Then I found it was very easy.

Point being most lawn/garden tractor can be loaded into a pickup IF you remove the deck. The deck can then be place on end ( or on it side?, or tip up ?) and placed between the tractor and the wheel well. Several times I have put the mower deck in the back of my Astro van

OF course this depends on what you mean when you say pickup truck which runs all the way from the short bed on the four door Siverado, to the bed on an S-10.

If I ever have to take mine to the dealer I plan on renting a Uhaul trailer, How ever may try to put the tractor minus the deck in the back of the Astro van, JD LT-155


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

Assuming you end up going JD, I would skip your question as to fitting into a pick-up at the store and change it to why would anyone buy from box store instead of the real dealer who delivers. There are lots of threads on this, but I don't actually recall any positive reasons for box store expect a few cases where the buyer has gotten a sale price from store on a special. Otherwise, the prices are same, and everything from careful storage before sale, through proper set-up and buyer introduction to machine, to home delivery, to more responsive dealer service (if bought from them versus them servicing a box store purchase) all favor buying from dealer initially. I would actually buy from dealer even if there was a sale at HD (within reason).

For the pick-up question, assume the deck will be off, as it would be much easier even if the deck did fit. The real question under this one is the ease of deck removal. All manufacturers have been making decks ever easier to remove, as this is a very convenient feature for anyone who does even basic home maintenance. It is a feature that you should compare on competing choices to see which you like better. My 2002 era JD LT160 deck takes me around five minutes to install or remove, moving slowly. The JD 165 before that (from 1986) was a lot more bother, and I don't even remember the mechanics of removing my first JD deck, on a Model 57 from 1975, but it was a pain. You can also get a drift from the above that I lean JD, and the time gaps between the mowers above represents my holding periods. Each of the old mowers was sold after all of those years at a very good percentage of the original price, which is another JD feature not matched by most other brands.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

I ended up going tor the John Deere D170. Some of the input here helped make that decision (thank you!). Coupled with a low Sears presence in my future area tilted it further in favor of the D170.

I also bought a set of arched aluminum ramps that should make driving it up onto a pickup truck safe and easy (minus the deck).

As for the comment above "why would anyone buy from a box store", Lowes and HD offer a 10% veteran discount which I think is a wonderful thing they do. The store said that a man from the local Deere shop comes by and sets it all up making sure everything is good to go before the customer takes delivery. I think that is a nice touch and it's nice to know that even buying from a big store like that the local Deere shops get some business too (charging for initial setup and any future work needed).


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

Congrats on a nice efficient decision process, as well as the choice. I never heard of the Lowes/HD veteran's discount, but that alone is a great reason to give them the business if other factors are fairly close. I am surprised it doesn't get more visibility, but probably those effected already know - should generate good PR for them.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

A veteran's discount is a plus for sure and well deserved, but it may be offset by the unknown number of kids playing on and pulling and pushing all the controls on that LT you're coming in to buy and the number of days that LT has sat around in the rain waiting for you. I'd opt for the dealer and make them deliver at no extra charge.

On those arched ramps... you may find, as my neighbor did, that they look like a great idea but little riders with small diameter front wheels don't ride up on them without bottoming on the undercarriage. Keep your receipt handy in case you need to return them.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

I have seen many of mowers sitting out in the rain and snow at dealers too, I think you can also take your mower to a dealer for service while it is under warranty even though you bought it at a big box store.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

Regarding mowers sitting out in rain, etc. and having kids climb all over them... that might be true for some brands if buying a floor model. But at least with my JD order, it is being ordered new from JD and when it comes to the store a JD service guy comes out and assembles it, tests that everything is working, etc. Then it is delivered to my home free of charge. All in all a good buying experience. I'll add a review of the mower after I've used it for a while. Thanks again for everyone's input.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170-2

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I bought mine here.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

Lawn mowers at a Dollar General store? That's a new one for me.


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RE: Craftsman or John Deere D170

And those still look like Flymows to me.
They are still hovering about 12" off the pavement just like they were back in '08.


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