What are we really buying?
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    What are we really buying?

    I'm not sure I'm posting this in the right place but I will give it a try. To make a long story short, I just pulled out the Transaxle of my tractor to deliver it to my dealer for a oil leak repair. I could not remove the leaking shaft & it was complicated by finding a very small part laying in the bottom of the transaxle housing.

    So, not wanting to add to the repair by causing any damage I took it in to the dealer. When I got there & went over what was going on with the mechanic, I told him that this stupid $4.00 oil seal is costing me two days of hard work to remove the transaxle & then to bring it to the dealer for the repair is nuts. I also told him that it appears that NOTHING on this tractor is actually a JD design. He asked me who I thought made the Transaxle. Told him it looks to me as if it came from Yanmar, who also is the engine maker as well. He say to me "Congratulations & welcome to the corporate world". In other words, it may be painted Green & Yellow & say Deere on the hood, but it is meaningless. And this did not start yesterday either. The transaxle is from a thirty year old tractor.

    I guess my point being that we go out & buy this stuff & pay top dollar but for what? Just like the car companies & appliance makers, names are nothing more than a trademark & bear no proof of the real maker. So what is the initial needed repair? A stupid $4. oil seal. The problem is that the oil seal is INSDE the transaxle housing making it impossible to change out without a teardown of the transaxle & removal from the tractor. I've never seen anything as stupid as this thing. Speaking for myself only, I highly doubt I would ever suggest to anyone to buy a Deere or anything else. I'm not condemning JD either. I'm just asking what in the hell are we buying & paying for?
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    steveontheridge2's Avatar
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    With all due respect, if the transaxle in my tractor lasts 30 years, I'll be very happy.
    I don't care whose name is on it.

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    I'm not really sure on the intent of your post. What you describe could be said about virtually every product and machine on the market. After 30 years you only needed a $4.00 part? And... that $4.00 part was still readily available? That's pretty good in my book.

    Many many machines can be rendered inoperable by the failure of a spring, washer or seal costing pennies. That's how machines work.

    What you are mostly paying for these days when you buy a brand name product is SUPPORT... plain and simple.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    I'm not really sure on the intent of your post. What you describe could be said about virtually every product and machine on the market. After 30 years you only needed a $4.00 part? And... that $4.00 part was still readily available? That's pretty good in my book.

    Many many machines can be rendered inoperable by the failure of a spring, washer or seal costing pennies. That's how machines work.

    What you are mostly paying for these days when you buy a brand name product is SUPPORT... plain and simple.
    Well said.
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    My 40 year old John Deere is a Yanmar that was assembled in Germany. I couldn't care less because it still runs strong. I couldn't even begin to guess how few vehicles or pieces of machinery are composed of components made exclusively by the branded company. To me the biggest selling point of JD is availability of parts and long term support. Suppose your 30 year old tractor was some obscure make? It would be a lawn ornament because of a simple part failure.
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    [QUOTE=Maddog;3042364I'm just asking what in the hell are we buying & paying for?[/QUOTE]

    Support and product branding. It's expensive for JD to project the image they have.
    Last edited by ky_shawn; 07-03-2018 at 11:33 AM.
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    Using sub-assemblies from other companies helps keep costs down across the board.

    Imagine all the added costs to a tractor if John Deere had to do all the R&D for all its engines and transaxles. Now imagine trying to find parts for those proprietary engines, you would only be able to go to JD. You might be able to find some common parts at a small engine shop, but there is no way that they would stock parts for all the engines and transaxles put out by all the different manufacturers. It is even a challenge going to the auto parts store now a days, and unless it's a high volume engine, you have to order the parts.

    By limiting your engines to B&G, Kawasaki, Yanmar and a few others, you now have more support resources for parts and service. Trying to find parts for a 20 year old B&G engine is not a problem, but trying to find the gas tank or headlight assembly for the same tractor is.

    Since you can't just hop on an engine/transaxle combo and mow the grass, companies like JD, Kubota, Troy-bilt, Craftsman and others fill in the missing parts like a frame, body, seat, options, etc so you have a functioning machine.
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    Not agreeing or disagreeing, but my answer to the question "What are we really buying", as mentioned earlier, is support from the dealer who's name is on the tractor. When something goes wrong on a JD tractor, if I bring it to a JD dealer they will fix it. If I need a part on a JD tractor, they should have it or be able to get it for you. I won't comment on the prices they may charge. But they should NOT say "Yes it is a JD tractor, but you have to go to Yanmar to get the engine or transmission fixed, and you have to go somewhere else to have your FEL repaired. JD dealer will fix your JD tractor.

    I'd estimate that most tractor owners don't have the ability or time to do major repairs on their equipment. Many would just make a call, have their tractor picked up by the dealer, pay the bill and have it delivered back. Some of the larger equipment owners would have it serviced in the field. Some of us are able to dismantle a tractor to "fix that $4.00 part", some don't.

    If all manufacturers had to have an R&D department and manufacturing facilities to design (and possibly manufacture) every major part on all their products, they couldn't possibly remain competitive in today's environment. We just hope that the manufacturer of OUR equipment has chosen the best parts available to include in it when it is first designed, and has assured that it integrates well with all the other things included in it.

    As for the design of an individual part like a transmission and ease of repair ... Engineer's don't always consider repair, some feel that their designs will last forever ... so why worry about it.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    Tom

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    arlen's Avatar
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    Guys,
    Save your breath debating this. The OP rants about this every year or so.
    I respect his opinion....mostly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maddog View Post
    I'm not sure I'm posting this in the right place but I will give it a try. To make a long story short, I just pulled out the Transaxle of my tractor to deliver it to my dealer for a oil leak repair. I could not remove the leaking shaft & it was complicated by finding a very small part laying in the bottom of the transaxle housing.

    So, not wanting to add to the repair by causing any damage I took it in to the dealer. When I got there & went over what was going on with the mechanic, I told him that this stupid $4.00 oil seal is costing me two days of hard work to remove the transaxle & then to bring it to the dealer for the repair is nuts. I also told him that it appears that NOTHING on this tractor is actually a JD design. He asked me who I thought made the Transaxle. Told him it looks to me as if it came from Yanmar, who also is the engine maker as well. He say to me "Congratulations & welcome to the corporate world". In other words, it may be painted Green & Yellow & say Deere on the hood, but it is meaningless. And this did not start yesterday either. The transaxle is from a thirty year old tractor.

    I guess my point being that we go out & buy this stuff & pay top dollar but for what? Just like the car companies & appliance makers, names are nothing more than a trademark & bear no proof of the real maker. So what is the initial needed repair? A stupid $4. oil seal. The problem is that the oil seal is INSDE the transaxle housing making it impossible to change out without a teardown of the transaxle & removal from the tractor. I've never seen anything as stupid as this thing. Speaking for myself only, I highly doubt I would ever suggest to anyone to buy a Deere or anything else. I'm not condemning JD either. I'm just asking what in the hell are we buying & paying for?
    I've seen plenty of things just as stupid and sadly I am not surprised each and every time. Some car examples.... How about the oil filter on a chevy that you need to take off the front passenger tire to access? Or the GMC that you need to remove the wheel well plastic shell in order to replace a headlamp bulb (not the entire assembly, just the bulb)...and to get the screws out of the wheel well plastic you need to turn the wheel completely each direction to get the clearance needed for the screwdriver or screwgun to fit in there.

    As far as recommending Deere or Cub or anything vintage when somebody asks me about my toys...I tell them they must understand when they buy something 30 years old they now have a hobby keeping it running. If they don't want that then buy a big box cheapo and plan to replace it every 3 years or so.

    The items that cause and were engineered in Germany and Japan don't surprise me due to my upbringing, my WWII vet Dad always said they are getting revenge on us for winning the war!
    332 GT w/ 50" deck, trac vac
    LT178 w/ 38" deck

    I heat my home & workshop with two coal stokers and have a vintage JD smoker!!!

    The EPA just loves me.

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