July 2014 we bought some land that needed a lot of work! Went to our local JD dealer and bought a 3038e and several attachments. Wanted a 3039-but would have had to wait for 6 weeks. The 3038e has far exceeded our expectations-very happy. Love green.
We also wanted a Gator to use as a "support vehicle". We didn't do our research. Relied on the JD reputation. It's now back at the dealer for the second time-shifter problems. This time I think the shift cable broke. It has 40 hours on it. We do not abuse this machine. It's used to haul passengers around the property-usually in low-half speed. The other use is for equipment to the work area-usually chain saws, gas and tools.
I've seen all over the internet where this model seems to have continuous problems. I did read one post where a JD tech commented that if they are fixed right they are a good machine.
We did have it at the dealer at around 20 hours under warranty and the claim was that it had a clutch upgrade.
From a performance/use standpoint the 550 is just fine for us. In fact we really like it-but we like stuff to work-not lose weeks at a time taking it in for service. Plus it's 2 years old now and out of warranty.
My son is done with it. he wants to go get a Polaris or another brand. When we dropped it off at the dealer yesterday we did see a XUV825iS4. Looks nice. Can we expect that machine to be more reliable? Looks like it has been around for a couple of years and I'm not finding much negative on the forums about it.
What could we expect to get for the 550 as a trade in on the 825?
Are there any 550 owners that feel their machine can be fixed and used reliably? Another reason I'm on the forum is to see if there are any aftermarket transmission/shifting upgrades to improve the 550-Haven't seemed to find any. Thoughts?
What I don't want to do is to keep the 550 and have to have it serviced all the time. We do maintain our equipment so routine hourly maintenance is acceptable to us-not replacing shifter cables and clutches every 40 hours or so.
Any advice? We have friends that went with Polaris and they seem to be happy. I'd prefer to stay green-but I don't prefer to stay with equipment that will be a problem. With 40 hours on this Gator-it's been in the shop for several weeks. So I guess you could say that John Deere has spent way more time with it then we have!
I'm OK with staying with the 550-but then again I would trade with JD-my preference- to get into a better more reliable Gator or go to a Honda or Polaris.
Any thoughts? advice? after market fixes for the 550?