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Old 04-01-2012, 02:47 PM   post #1 of 35
mikestoy
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Default Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

Had lunch with a friend that is a retired machinist from Gehl Co. (farm equipment Co.).
He did run a small engine/bicycle repair shop out of his garage before giving it up.

I remembered he own a John Deere "L" series tractor for a couple years, and only
buys Simplicity tractors since, and I ask WHY?

He claims he likes the the way Simplicity's mower deck is set up.
It's attached at the front, leaving the back with rollers to float that follows the contour of the surface, giving a much better cut.

He also never understood the "guide wheels" set-up on the Deere's mower decks.

I said: "You just have to make sure their not riding on the ground."

He said: "So if their hanging up in the air, how do they improve the cut?"

Is he on to something here??
Your opinion is welcomed.

Good thing we have choices in life...........
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:09 PM   post #2 of 35
G-1
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

I think the only sense in which the guide wheels "improve" the cut is they are an attempt to prevent cutting too short where there is very uneven ground. Even my Simplicity (60") deck has guide wheels and they do help. And, most Simplicity decks have "anti-scalp" rollers under the deck, also.

But, the Simplicity rear roller system is the key for: a) doing a good job on uneven ground and b) providing the striped appearance. I'm not sure why other manufacturers don't use this system? It can't be a Patent problem after all these years...can it?

Gerald
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:37 PM   post #3 of 35
MI GT
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

I had a Simplicity Legacy with a 60" deck before my new X 720 w/60"
7 Iron .
I always said the same as your friend and it did mow very well,
but the Deere is a slightly better cut.
No scalping , no ridges.
The one thing I did not like on the Simplicity were the rollers on the
rear of the deck, made noise and always loaded up with clippings,
they would stick to rhe rollers and when i would turn it would unroll
a big ol grass snake.
If you like to stripe your grass the roller was good for that, very
unimportant to me, if I want to look at striped grass I turn on
a Tigers game.
The Simplicity was an SOB to put on and take off, actually all the
attachments were a bear, had to take the manual with me when
I was changing one for another out.
I am spoiled by the simplicity of my John Deere and quality.

Jim
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:05 PM   post #4 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

The Gauge wheels On Most decks are to prevent Gouging with the deck But Deere in the Past as well as Many Other Have Made decks that Utilized Deck wheels that actually road On the Ground and You Know for Your 54inch deck You can Get a roller for the rear that rides On the ground. Most Manufacture run a suspended deck which Deere uses and many others so the deck should stay level so when the ground Raises The Gauge wheels engage the ground so The deck will ride Up and Prevent the Blade from digging in the earth. The deck dragger design That Simplicity uses is Just there Gimmick But other Manufactures Have used the same design Before . Simplicity decks are not the Best when Mowing ruff terrain where You can still use a regular mid mounted deck to Mow Because there deck can raise Up More freely than a suspended deck Because the rear of the Deck draggers Use chains to connect the deck to the lifting undercarriage while the suspended do Have some Play or Give The suspended deck is Going to Be closer to the cut height You really want On ruff terrain I Have two simplicity Machines with the deck dragger design and there great for a well managed Yard That Have Been rolled or Been Maintained But My Property was Mostly farm Land and Under the Plow Most of itís life Up near the House My Simplicities Give a Great Cut where the Property was Graded By the House But they donít Perform as well the further Out I Go from the House Because of there deck design and the Fact that the rest of the Yard wasnít as finely graded
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:40 PM   post #5 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

Not to hijack the thread, but I've got a 44" Simplicity deck that I was converting to work with my 318. That project got interrupted when I bought a Murray with a deck already on it.

The 50" JD deck for the 318 needs to be reconditioned. But, I certainly don't need both. If someone wants a Simplicity deck for a 318 or LT160, I could fix it up for that.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:57 PM   post #6 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

Somehow, the "deck dragger" company convinced people that striping is something you want! LOL!

Simplicity makes a good mowing deck, but I'm not fond of the design for many of the reasons mentioned. Noise, roller wear, and the deck getting the crap beat out of it if the ground is rough. Not to mention roots, rocks, low stumps, etc that it would have to bounce over. I like the deck to float over grass evening things out a bit.

The gauge wheels prevent scalping should a wheel go in a hole, and they prevent gouging if you turn uphill (it lifts the deck up).

You also get longer belt life (or shaft life, depending on the machine) if you don't have that deck jumping around and moving as much.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:59 PM   post #7 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

I agree with all of those points. If you want a striped lawn get a striping kit for a Deere deck. Done deal.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:12 PM   post #8 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

Years ago while attending the big air show at Oshkosh I walked into the JD booth (they have a very large present there every year) and asked why I was getting an uneven cut after doing everything the manual told me to do. Two sales guys said to me "put your rear deck wheels on the ground". I said the manual says.... and they interrupted my statement and repeated' "put rear rear deck wheels on the ground".

Came home and did it to my 285 then and it cut fine. To this day I do it on my 345 and have a nice even cut.

BTW, I had several Simplicity's many years ago. They did have a nice cut. Still have a 2010, its my work tractor. Slowly retiring it, but it still is the only thing I will pull my roller with.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:39 PM   post #9 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Shaver View Post
Two sales guys said to me "put your rear deck wheels on the ground". I said the manual says.... and they interrupted my statement and repeated' "put rear rear deck wheels on the ground".

Came home and did it to my 285 then and it cut fine. To this day I do it on my 345 and have a nice even cut.

Wow Dave this is sure news to me. I don't have any trouble with cut, but something to try if I did.

You come to the air show often?
I just live 40 miles to the south.
That's a busy time around here for that week.

Cheers!
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My 2011 X720 Tractor: "The spirit of a race horse....but the body and pulling power of Clydesdale."
2011 X720 54c" mower deck/ 47" snow thrower / 2 bag vacuum System....SWEET

Other Toys:
2003 Candy Red Honda Goldwing Touring Cycle ......SWEET
2009 18' Lund w/200 hp Boat
2012 Black Lexus RX 350

Married for 47 years.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:59 PM   post #10 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

For a short time I had a Simplicity Conquest with a 50" deck. It's cut quality was GREAT!
Simplicity is known for it's great cutting decks!

But...I'm not a Simp guy so it had to go!
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:09 PM   post #11 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

I have had both Simplicity and John Deere decks. I was never that pleased with job the Simplicity did although I did find out that it was never set up right when new.

I will also say that the simplicity is hard to take off and put on if you do it wrong. The trick is to raise it up before you put on or take off and let the tractor hold it in the air alowing you manover the deck when putting the front pins in.

I feel that the John Deere mower does a fine job when they are set up right and they hold up better. That is my opinion
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:17 PM   post #12 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

my neighbor has a simp garden tractor 50" deck with the roller gauge wheels in the back, he has the best lawn out of a 7 home sub development, this will be my first year cutting with the deere and not a wheel horse. I hope to catch up to him. Simplicity really does build some nice stuff, and they are one of the last few companies still building quality true GT's.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:52 PM   post #13 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

Simplicity is now owned by B&S, quality is stating to slide already.
My Deere dealer used to handle Simplicity til B&S bought them
and the quality issues started and no support from them.
I have a Simplicity dealer that I get small parts from and they
said the same thing.
Simplicity always said they would never put product in stores
other than their own dealers, but now they're building for Sears.

Jim
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:25 PM   post #14 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by MI GT View Post
Simplicity is now owned by B&S, quality is stating to slide already.
My Deere dealer used to handle Simplicity til B&S bought them
and the quality issues started and no support from them.
I have a Simplicity dealer that I get small parts from and they
said the same thing.
Simplicity always said they would never put product in stores
other than their own dealers, but now they're building for Sears.

Jim
This Is Not the first Time Simplicity has Made Products for retailers In the Past Simplicity Made Tractors for Montgomery Wards Prior to Gilson Making them for Wards. They Made zero turns for Sears under the Craftsman label Long before the Briggs & Stratton Buy Out & that statement was Made By the Last CEO when Simplicity was still considered a employee Owned Company and He was talking about Snappers being sold In Wal-Mart. Simplicity Use to Make Tractor's for Homelite and some Of the Homlite Models were sold By retailers and Not Just dealers Back when Simplicity was making tractors for Homelite and Simplicity even Made tractors for J.C. Penneyís
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White Model: GT2055

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Old 04-01-2012, 10:41 PM   post #15 of 35
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Default Re: Simplicity vs John Deere Mower Deck

Im a certified Simplicity tech, worked at one of the highest volume Simp dealers in the south for 3 years. The rear roller bar is very tough, in 3 years we only replaced 2 bent bars and both were on mowers were people had the deck on, going through brush and got hung up on stumps, pipes, concrete blocks, stuff like that.

The rollers are cheap, easy to replace, and only require replacement about every 4-5 years depending on use. Not sure what Noise yall are talking about unless you drive on concrete alot? To drive on concrete you should use the deck lift and get the rollers off the ground anyways.

If you have a simplicity that was made after like 94ish, Baron, Regent, Broadmoor, COnquest, Prestige....and it takes you more than 1 minute to remove your deck, you were not given proper instruction, these are the easiest to remove decks in the industry.

Since briggs bought them, the Quality has stayed the same, superior, the design has improved many times over.

As for selling in stores...Sears needed a quality homeowner grade Z mower that was affordable, and Simplicity answered the call with the Axion, which replaced the Javelin.
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