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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As a senior (65 now) I find getting off the tractor more difficult than ever before. Swinging my right leg over the steering wheel to dis mount on the left side can be a real challenge. I just purchased a new X394 and was disappointed to see that Deere does not provide a handle on the left fender (ahead of the gas filler neck) I don't like to use the filler cap as a support yet it seems to be what is expected by the design group at Deere. The sad part of all this is the X500 series has handles provided. So why not put them on the X300 series (cost?) likely. There is a fine line between reducing costs and coming up short on providing the customer with "standard" safety features and I believe Deere needs to re think their design when it comes to providing creature comforts before removing them for profits. Just to let those who want to follow up on this, I ordered the handle used on the X500 series and mounted it myself on my X394 with a Deere cost to me of $30 can. for the handle alone, no fasteners included, Wow....Happy mowing folks. William from Ont. Canada.
 

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I did the same thing on my X390 because I live on a hilly yard. When mowing long ways on the hillside, I had nothing to hold onto except the edge of the wheel well. I bought a set of 425 handles on eBay for $25 and mounted them. I too do not understand why JD left them off of the X300 series. Their cost must be below $10 per unit. Another cheap change for JD would be to go to a fiberglass, poly or metal seat pan with snap-on cushions. This would eliminate many many complaints from their small tractor customers. It would also offer aftermarket companies to offer thicker or different colored cushions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did the same thing on my X390 because I live on a hilly yard. When mowing long ways on the hillside, I had nothing to hold onto except the edge of the wheel well. I bought a set of 425 handles on eBay for $25 and mounted them. I too do not understand why JD left them off of the X300 series. Their cost must be below $10 per unit. Another cheap change for JD would be to go to a fiberglass, poly or metal seat pan with snap-on cushions. This would eliminate many many complaints from their small tractor customers. It would also offer aftermarket companies to offer thicker or different colored cushions.
It is all about making the product affordable and hitting a price point that Marketing tells the Engineering department to strive for. If Deere only considered "touch points" as a clear indicator as what the consumer needs/uses, then they might think twice about removing items that should the "standard" and if anything fall into the category of "safety" and therefore required.
 

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On high volume products not just every penny counts, but every 1/10 penny. If you do the math, if you sell 100,000 items (which is not really high volume) and you can save $10 on each unit you build, you will have a million extra dollars. I don't know how many riders Deere sells ever year. It definitely is not that high for the more expensive models based on serial numbers. But, the same thing holds true. They are going to put money where most people notice it and save money where people normally wouldn't notice the difference or care enough to pay the extra. I know my X534 has the handles, but I don't think my X300 does. I think they are fine, but I didn't miss them on the X300. So, clearly not everyone thinks they are indispensable 😉. It is also a way to differentiate the higher priced product. If they had put a locking differential on the X300 series, I would never have bought an X534. You were lucky, you could buy the one thing you wanted to upgrade for a relatively inexpensive price. It would have cost me thousands of dollars to get difflock on my X300. It was almost cheaper to upgrade to a used X534, but definitely better. Think of it as the difference between the economy car that will get you to your destination vs the luxury one that gets you there in comfort and style.
 

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Look at it this way. The Canadian cost difference between the X394 and the equivalent X500-series machine (with grab handle) is almost $1970. So if you were able to add the grab handle for $30 and solve your dismount issue I'd say you did pretty good. :)
 

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Yeah, I paid $4000 for my X534 and it is a year older and has a 100 hours more on the engine than my already old (2007) X300. But, I was looking at a 48" deck ($1200) and new transaxle with difflock ($2000 to $3000) as upgrades. Neither of those would pay off if I decided to sell the X300 in the future. I probably paid too much for the X534, but they don't show up here often and the price was competitive with having one shipped here.

But, Deere is really good at turning Consumer Surplus into Producer Surplus. It's why they have so many models and lines.

 
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