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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to write to let you know of my experience. As many of us know it sure seems John Deere has slipped, badly, with respect to customer service and, candidly, quality. I’m from Iowa, grew up on farms and was always “Green to the bone”. Here’s what just happened.

In 2015 I purchased an X300 to mow a 1/2 an acre relatively flat lawn in Iowa close to JD HQ. I recently moved to Denver for work. So, I decided I should sell the mower as my lawn is tiny here. Well somehow the transmission is out. I mowed with it right before I moved and drove the mower off the truck here. The warranty is out but thre are only 80.8 hours on the mower. I repeat 80.8 hours! The mower is in MINT condition, never abused and solely used for mowing a well maintained yard. John Deere told me because I mentioned I was selling the mower they wouldn’t cover it. I understand not wanting to “refresh” someone’s mower they are about to sell but a transmission going out at 80.8 hours???? I should have bought an MTD type mower for $1000 and saved myself a couple grand. I didn’t want to believe my neighbors who work at JD when they told me “it is a totally different company now. John Deere is just a logo”.

Save yourself some money. Buy cheap and replace, or (and this bothers me to say) buy a Club Cadet or Kubota. They’ll last longer it seems and treat you far better. Just sad.

Btw, I have been very courteous on the phone as Customer Service Rep.s didn't build my mower or make the decisions. No reason to be impolite to them. But, I've been cutoff twice on hold for the manager. I'll try and post updates as I receive them (if there are any).
 

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Welcome to the forum
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I just wish it were more positive. I really, really liked JD as they were like a part of the family growing up. Living 30 miles away from their HQ, I know a lot of the employees. They are disappointed in the company as well.

Thanks for welcoming me.
 

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That is strange that they would say something about not covering something because you were intending on selling it.

For what it is worth, JD doesn't make the transmissions and many of the tractors out there share the same transmission so just because the tractor is green, orange or another color, the transmission very well could be the same. Now to your point maybe the customer service is better with those other color machines. I can't speak to that.

Did you get a diagnosis as to what is actually wrong with it?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, from the dealer. They seem a bit "perturbed" JD is handling it as they are as well. I understand lots of these parts (including transmissions) are used in many lines of tractors. My point is we pay more for John Deere. We know that but it seems worth it as they stand behind you. That doesn't seem to be the case any longer. Just sad to see a great company tank like this.
 

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Meet me in Arkansas and I'll give ya 300 bucks for that piece of crap. I need a hood for my X300.

I have a 1988 160 lawn tractor and in 2008 I bought an X300. The 88 160 was a fantastic machine for those 20 years. Other than common wearable deck components, I have replaced the front axle assembly and have a crack in the gas tank(up high). I just keep my fill level around 1/2 - 3/4 and I'm good. Rarely use it anymore. In fact I went out there this morning and cranked her up to let some gas run through the carb.

The 2008 X300,,,,,,is another story. No frame like the 160, way more plastic. The hood design is reason for someone at Mama Deere to have a knot jerked in their a$$.
I ran/mowed over a very small plum tree stump and it bent something under the deck. Had to do some fine redneck engineering with a BFH and some strategically placed lumber and iron to get the thing to cut halfway decent. I admit, pilot error, but, that 160 would have kept on ginnin no problem.

Had to replace a PLASTIC pulley that required removing the entire steering assembly from the wheel down through the underside of machine. It was at that point I asked the manager at the Deere house with my half hippie half redneck wild eyed look and tone, what is the deal with the quality of this 2008 model compared to my old 160.
The pulleys, spindles, and piece of crap plastic hood, and, and, and

He said, man you are already ahead on this machine, it's 7 years old. Most are lucky to get 5 years. I told him if he'd a told me that 7 years ago I'd a took my 3200 bucks elsewhere. There was more to the conversation but I'll leave it at that.

For a 12 year old machine, I will say my tranny has never acted up and I've not cut this machine ANY slack since it first pi$$ed me off.
And the Kawasaki engine has never caused any problems.
And, I'm still mowing with it.
But, without no hood just drives me F'n crazy.

For that line of lawn tractors, Moral to the story ---- they don't make em like they used to.

I really do need yer hood man!!!! Hahaha
 

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John Deere has had a lot of issues with transmissions in these and other small tractors.
Support from the John Deere Company in nonexistent.
A recent reply I received from JD Support, about a week ago.
No local dealer could answer my questions.

ALEX FLINN
(TSS)
3/20/20 1:40 PM
Hello Keith,

Thank you for contacting John Deere regarding lift linkage part number AUC11727. Given the technical nature of your inquiry, we recommend that you contact your local John Deere dealer for assistance. Our dealers are specially trained in the area of technical support and have the expertise to resolve your issue. The dealer may need to inspect your machine to determine the situation and what parts would best suit you. If you need assistance in locating dealers in your area, please click the link below:


Another suggestion would be to visit our Technical Information Bookstore (John Deere Technical Information Store). The Technical/Service Manual is a helpful resource for those customers who prefer to do their own repairs. You will need the Model number and product identification number (serial number) to find the appropriate manual. To find the location of this number refer to your operator's manual or contact your local John Deere dealer for assistance. Technical Manuals are also available for purchase by calling Publications at 1-800-522-7448.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's just sad to see a once great company just sell out their own brand. Now they are just another mower that should have cost $1500 vice $3200. I would suggest to everyone JD just isn't worth the extra money any more. It's like they are trying to be General Motors in the 80s. Still demanding a premium but haven't deserved it in a decade.
 

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I know a X300 isn't a box store JD but it is even worse for them. Many of these smaller machines have sealed transmissions that you can't service. Well can't easily service. Though now that I say that, some cars are that way now.

I am not saying it is right or defending them. If anything agreeing with the OP. Support for the smaller ones is tough. Then you throw in some dealerships that can really be hit or miss. The ones near me, I won't go there anymore. I don't know why they bother with their JD line as I have had bad experiences with their service department and I know others that have as well. They are more interested in their Snowmobile and Motorcycle side of the business I think. Maybe they suck there as well. No good answer.
 

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Deere has definitely changed over the years. They did away with the small town mom/pop dealers and L&G only dealers. They are following the automotive industry - mega dealers. There is so little profit in the smaller machines they don't want to be bothered. Just sayin'.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I agree. They don't really care and that's the issue. If you want to sell a cheap mower and then not stand behind it other than standard "policies", fine. But if so, stop charging a premium. Stop telling customers that they should buy a 300 series or above to get "a quality machine that will last" which is EXACTLY what the salesperson told me. I've been dealing with HQ (the dealer seems to be trying to help). As I see it there is no difference between a $3200 X300 and a $1500 mower at Home Depot or Lowes.
 

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John Deere has had a lot of issues with transmissions in these and other small tractors.
Support from the John Deere Company in nonexistent.
A recent reply I received from JD Support, about a week ago.
No local dealer could answer my questions.

ALEX FLINN
(TSS)
3/20/20 1:40 PM
Hello Keith,

Thank you for contacting John Deere regarding lift linkage part number AUC11727. Given the technical nature of your inquiry, we recommend that you contact your local John Deere dealer for assistance. Our dealers are specially trained in the area of technical support and have the expertise to resolve your issue. The dealer may need to inspect your machine to determine the situation and what parts would best suit you. If you need assistance in locating dealers in your area, please click the link below:


Another suggestion would be to visit our Technical Information Bookstore (John Deere Technical Information Store). The Technical/Service Manual is a helpful resource for those customers who prefer to do their own repairs. You will need the Model number and product identification number (serial number) to find the appropriate manual. To find the location of this number refer to your operator's manual or contact your local John Deere dealer for assistance. Technical Manuals are also available for purchase by calling Publications at 1-800-522-7448.
Did you reply with the little fat guy bent over with a heart on his a$$?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To be fair my warranty is out as of last summer. But as mentioned, the unit only has 80.1 hours on it and is in perfect condition (well other than the transmission). When I called HQ they seemed to be willing to work with me. That is until I mentioned I had moved and would likely sell the mower due to a downsizing of my lawn. It seemed as soon as I said it the person I was talking to "awesome, now I have a reason to say I can't do anything." It was bizarre.
 

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not taking sides.....but seems like to me they are excluding warranty because the warranty is out period...... yes 80hrs to failure would be a issue for me .....seems to me this is no longer a warranty issue (warranty are just insurance policy's) ........but a product issue (ie class action)...

i had a warranty issue on a hvac system this year just days out of a 10yr warranty so close it got down to actual sale vs install dates and i lost a (4digit$ parts) ........one of the first things i ask on buying new these days is how long the warranty is as it seems to have a direct effect on useful life on some products.....IE if they dont believe in it why should i ...

good luck with your issue.....making noise on the internet and building a common issue group can sometimes be useful on issues like this if the stink is loud enough...
 

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Has the mower been diagnosed as having a failed transaxle or are you assuming since it no longer pulls itself? Could it be as simple as a drive belt or stripped pulley?

Reading up some on the X300 it seems it has the same Tuff Torq K46 that was installed in every box store hydrostatic mower in recent times. They are notorious for failing but at 80 hours I would suspect something else is the issue. I read at least one thread where an owner thought his 378 hour Tuff Torq in his X300 had failed and it turned out to be the splines stripped in the input pulley.

I'm surprised in our current day there hasn't been a class action against Tuff Torq. The K46 in most hydrostatic lawn tractors seems to be a frequent point of failure.

That said, there seems to be no rhyme or reason why one lasts and another doesn't. I picked up a Husky "Garden Tractor" with a dead K46 last year for free. The tractor was worn looking but it only had 280 hours and the deck looked like new. I found a smaller lawn tractor that had been beat to death. The engine was blown, wheel bushings were gone, and the deck was completely rusted through at the hangers and other points. I assumed it was still pulling itself when the engine blew and I paid the guy $20 for it. My SIL and I swapped that transaxle into the larger "Garden Tractor" and my daughter has been beating on it hard ever since.
 

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I agree. They don't really care and that's the issue. If you want to sell a cheap mower and then not stand behind it other than standard "policies", fine. But if so, stop charging a premium. Stop telling customers that they should buy a 300 series or above to get "a quality machine that will last" which is EXACTLY what the salesperson told me. I've been dealing with HQ (the dealer seems to be trying to help). As I see it there is no difference between a $3200 X300 and a $1500 mower at Home Depot or Lowes.
It may be sacrilege but my brother has a X300 and a LA105. My dad has a $999 Ariens gear drive tractor from Home Depot that I bought for him about 7 years ago. In many ways that $999 Ariens is superior to both of the JD tractors. It's built almost exactly like the LA105 except it doesn't have as many plastic parts. :)

Regardless of the name and color, most of these low end tractors have near identical construction. They have similar single cylinder engines, same tires, gravity fed fuel systems, similar steering setup, bushings instead of bearings in the wheels, mechanical PTO clutch and one brand or the other sealed transaxle.
 

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That is until I mentioned I had moved and would likely sell the mower due to a downsizing of my lawn. It seemed as soon as I said it the person I was talking to "awesome, now I have a reason to say I can't do anything." It was bizarre.
Darn right that is bizzarre. The last company I was at someone told a customer exactly that. It was good that phones don't have cords anymore because it would of been to hard to resist choking them with it.

Some people need to think like the customer that actually spends their own money on items and understands spending more more for a better product as well as the expectations that go with that.
 

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Sorry to hear about your experience. I'm just guessing that once you said you were moving then the dealer didn't feel motivated to try to take care of you. It's unfortunate. There are a lot of dealer stories on this site both good and bad. I wish there was more consistency. My dealer is great, but I have to admit I haven't had any issues with the equipment I've had. LA115, then X734, and now a 2025R.
 
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