Generally, I am not a fan of extended warranties. I will say hearing some of the issues which some GTT members have had, has caused me to pause and actually consider this more than I would have in the past.
I use my tractor differently than many. I don't have a MMM, so I don't put hours on it mowing with the belly mower. I do mow with the RC2048 rear mower, in fact, I am mowing the common area walking path of our HOA and that is going to be 6 to 8 hours a month all season. I also have my 10 acres, etc. that I mow parts of.
My machine was delivered 10/2017. It now has 335 hours on it. So, in 19 months, I have put an average of about 18 hours a month. In the winter, depending upon the snowfall, I can really rack up the hours. In fact, the first winter, I put 165 hours on the tractor between delivery in October and March 1st of the following year. In that 6 month time frame, I put about 28 hours a month on it as an average.
I have a couple of box blade projects in the works ( if it ever stops raining long enough to permit me to resume the work). I don't abuse my machine by any means, but compared to many, it does get some hours put on it.
Here is the offer from Deere for the applicable PowerGard coverage.
Add one year of coverage and up to 600 total hours for $778.
Add two years of coverage and up to 800 total hours for $874 (really squashes the attractiveness of the one year offer....)
Add three years of coverage and up to 1,000 total hours for $1,284
Add four years of coverage and up to 1,000 total hours for $1,686.
Of course, Deere offers their "Flex Pay", which permits you to break the amount spent into 4 equal installments, paid in successive months after the purchase. Interestingly, they insist I need to "Add the coverage by May 9th, 2019 to make sure there is no lapse in my valuable coverage". If the delivery date is in October of 2017 and assuming my hours still permit me to qualify for the factory warranty (which they do), why would I need to have purchased the coverage my May 9th, a full 5 months before the delivery date to avoid any lapse in coverage? I don't, it's just an imposed deadline to prompt customers to take action and respond.
My Analysis of the Coverage Offers
Basically, the one year deal makes no economic sense when compared to the 2 year extension, but it is priced assuming that someone would be at the 600 hours by the end of year 3 of their total ownership, which is interesting. It's important to keep in mind that the warranty for the Power train is 6 years and 2,000 hours, which ever comes first.
Here is what the Deere warranty statement says is covered under the factory warranty and the 6 year / 2,000 hour Powertrain Warranty.
WHAT IS WARRANTED –All parts of any new John Deere Equipment,except tiresand batteries (which are warranted under separate documents provided with each product), are warranted for the number of months or operating hours specified below. Warranty statements required by law covering engine emission-related parts and components, which shall not be less than the engine warranty,are found in the Operator’s Manual delivered with theEquipment.Included In Compact Utility Tractor Powertrain Warranty -Engine:cylinder block, cylinder head, valve covers, oil pan, timing gear covers, flywheel housing, emissions control components and all parts contained therein. Powertrain:transmission, transmission case, differential and axle housings, clutch housings, MFWD front axle assembly, and all parts contained therein (does not include external drivelines, dry clutch parts, or steering cylinders)
(Please note, the typos shown above, which I highlighted in red, are contained in the actual Deere warranty statement on the internet and provided with the equipment. Isn't it amazing no one at Corporate has noticed this and edited the errors as widely distributed and used as this information actually is?)
Since the Powertrain Warranty covers the engine and transmission assemblies and "all parts contained within", the extra PowerGuard Warranty would cover "the rest of the tractor" such as electrical systems, hydraulic systems other than in the Power Train. Excluded are normal wear and maintenance items such as the battery, belts, hoses, light bulbs, etc.
The Transportation of the Machine is Covered
The PowerGard Warranty does cover the transportation to the dealership which is helpful as I don't have a trailer to transport the tractor. From my location, transportation of the tractor is about $150 for the pick and delivery per machine visit.
Actual Hours of Use verses Offered Months of Coverage
At my current use rate of the tractor, its likely that in 3 years from this October (October 2022) which is actually 41 months from today, that I will have added another 738 hours to my existing 335 hours, which will put the likely expiration of my warranty, based upon historical average use at about the 18 hours per month, at 37 months from today, or at 32 months after the anniversary of my 2019 delivery date anniversary. So, I am likely to reach the limits of the PowerGard coverage limits of 1,000 hours by June of 2022. The good news is the 2,000 hour and 6 year Powertrain warranty is likely to remain in effect until October 2023 without me exceeding the hour limits.
Based upon the actual use of the machine, an election of the 4 years of Powergard coverage would expire by reaching the hour limit of 1,000 hours well before reaching the 48th month following the extension of the coverage from the actual delivery date.
If the PowerGard Protection plan was to be purchased, buying the 4 years of coverage would be a waste of money as the 1,000 hour limit would be reached before the 48 months would pass. The one year plan would be close in reaching the limit of that plan of the 600 hour limit as the tractor will likely be near 443 hours on the 2nd anniversary of the tractor delivery this coming October 2019 (335 current hours plus 18 hours per month for May, June, July, August, September and October since the delivery date is the end of October).
A purchase of the one year extension of PowerGard coverage with the 600 hour time limit would find me likely reaching the 600 hour point at about the 9th month following the inception of the coverage in October 2019 (443 hours in October 2019 and 18 hours per month means in 8.7 months, the 600 hour limit would be reached. Effectively, it would be spending $778 for 9 months of warranty extension or an average monthly cost of $86.44 per month for the coverage. Ouch......
Assuming the 2 year extension of PowerGard coverage with the 800 hour time limit at a cost of $874 would mean the 24 months starting in October of 2019 would find me achieving the 800 hour limit in just under 20 months from October 2019, or roughly in June or July of 2021 (800 total less estimated 443 hours on October 2019 and accumulating an average of 18 hours per month = 19.83 months). This means I am likely to not get the 2 years of extension and more likely just 20 months, making the cost per month for coverage even higher at $874 / 20 months = $43.70 per month for each month of actual coverage extension.
Assuming the 3 year extension of PowerGard coverge with the 1,000 hour time limit at a cost of $1,284 would likely fine me running out of coverage due to reaching the hour limit in approximately May or June of 2022 . (1,000 total hours less the starting hours of 443 leaves 557 hours of PowerGard coverage which would be consumed at 18 hours per month in 31 months) This means I am likely to reach the hour limit, before the 3 year time limit. This would make the average cost per month of $41.42 per month of actual coverage extension.
Based upon the current hours on the tractor, the average use of the machine and the limits of the months and hours offered under the PowerGard contracts, the only one which would even be worth considering would be the 3 year contract, which costs $1,284. Using Deere's "FlexPay Option", this would mean "4 easy installments of only $321 per month" to secure this coverage.
It's anyone's guess whats going to happen with these machines. Personally, I think I am better off to bank the $1,284 (not spend it) and use that to pay for any repairs which may arise. In the meantime, I have the Powertrain warranty of 6 years or 2,000 hours, which takes me out to October 2023, which would deal with the engine or transmission issues.
As tempting as it is to send mother Deere $1,284 to provide me with "Peace of Mind" knowing coverage would be available to pay for repairs should they arise, I am going to pass on the PowerGard offer.
It's interesting because my use of the machine is more than many who own these SCUTS and with the use and accumulation of hours, increases the potential for needing possible repairs, etc. But in my case, several of the warranty options would have been terrible choices, specifically the 1 year and 4 year warranties as I would be very unlikely to reach the end of the coverage extension period before having reached the hours of use limitation. The 2 year option isn't much better as the same issues arise. The 3 year extension is the only one which provides an extension of both the months and hours of coverage which I would approach achieving, and even that turns out also is unlikely to provide the benefits it appears by me still reaching the hour limitation before the months of coverage would be completed.
For someone who would use their machine much less and not reach the hour limits, as I am likely to on this machine, then you need to ask yourself are you putting enough time on the machine to need to be concerned about even needing such coverage.
I wanted to share my analysis of these options as an example for others considering the coverage. I know we have GTT members who have elected to purchase the PowerGard coverage. I am making no judgements of anyone, whether they purchase the coverage or pass on it. It's as much one's personal risk tolerance as it is an outright economic matter. In my case, since some of my usage of the machine provides income which could easily pay for the PowerGard coverage, I thought I would take a closer look at the viability of the offer from Deere.
For my situation, I don't feel spending the money for the PowerGard would be a prudent use of financial resources. Others situations and risk tolerances may find that electing the PowerGard coverage is a prudent move for them. I do think each person should consider their use of the machine and whether you would be reaching coverage limits before the expiration of the coverage months due to your use of the machine.