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Abby’s Guide > Outdoor Power Equipment (Lawn Mowers, Snow Blowers, Chain Saws and more) > Discussions > Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?

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Joined: Feb 6, 2013
Points: 11

Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Original Message   Feb 6, 2013 10:10 am

I want to start out by saying I’m a huge John Deere fan.  Used their equipment on my uncle’s farm, with proper maintenance they were near bullet proof.  I have a John Deere X340 lawn mower that is great, my Dad had a John Deere 160 which still runs well for being 25 years old and used partially as my four wheeler as a kid J

My question is I went to buy a snowblower November of 2012 and found out John Deere wasn’t making them anymore.  I called 5 Deere dealers in Michigan and nobody had any, most were selling Ariens, some had Toro.  In fact a lot of dealers said they had many issues with them, sold a lot of them, but most came back in for warranty and service repairs.  One John Deere dealer refused to sell them from 2005-2011 and sold Ariens.  He said they were cheaply made.  He said they used to have the best blower but screwed it up and had Briggs and Stratton building the whole unit.  Interesting I found the identical machines here,  very similar to simplicity and snapper owned by Briggs as well.

I ended up buying an Ariens Deluxe 30, little more than I wanted to spend but had the 342 CC engine, 14” impeller, remote locker and bigger tires than the other deluxe models besides the 28+.  I think the crank 2.5X chute control is nice…real quick to turn, maybe takes an extra second to rotate over the joystick models.  The remote locker works ok…sometimes won’t unlock but depends if the wheels are binding, but will hold a perfect straight line when locked and real easy to turn when unlocked, and operator gets to have input on the situation.    

I really liked the electric chute control of the Deere 1028E and 1330 but I’m sure those could be fail points (?), I read reviews that the traction control likes to wander when trying to go straight, so makes me wonder if the trade off of “easy turning” for a wandering straight line is worth it?  Also I feel the 14” impeller on the Ariens is probably the most important part of the blower, has a faster tip speed and more capacity than all others at 12”. (?)

I found a 1028E left over 2011 at a dealer after I bought my Ariens, thought the front end was a little too heavy (less traction??) and the manual chute deflector had very close notches for moving it up and down making it finicky.  But it’s a Deere right?...pulling at my heart strings.  The 1330SE has an electric deflector which would have eliminated the deflector concern but $1500 and who knew who still had one. 

So are we missing out on the re-branded Briggs and Stratton some dealers didn’t have good things to say, should John Deere have kept painting the Ariens green like they did in the 90s…or is one better to go straight for the Ariens? 

For those of you trying to decide, I can review my 30 Deluxe in depth if you would like?

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Location: Maine
Joined: Jan 12, 2008
Points: 354

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #3   Feb 6, 2013 8:41 pm
At one time (maybe still??) Deere required dealers to be 'Deere only' shops. That was made illegal in my state a few years ago. The local Deere dealer here now sells Honda and Toro.

I wonder if that has become widespread, to the point that it just wasn't worth it for Deere to rebadge anymore?

Who the hell let all the morning people run things?

Joined: Feb 6, 2013
Points: 11

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #4   Feb 7, 2013 10:31 am
Bill H...that may be a great point. The ability for the John Deere dealers to pick and choose some of their walk behind and hand held equipment might have started the beginning of the end for rebadged john deere products. Most John Deere dealers seem to want to sell premium brands, weather that be John Deere or the "john deere" of the equipment they are selling...Caterpillar for Construction eqiupment, Stihl for weed eaters and saws, Ariens, Toro, Honda for snowblowers, John Deere for Agriculture and so on.  Thanks for the replies

Joined: Nov 29, 2008
Points: 2434

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #5   Feb 7, 2013 11:06 am
I actually preferred the rebadged Deere products from quality OEM prior to B&S acquisitions of certain brands.  I thought those products were superior to the Frontier and Sabre lines.

The Deere brand has eroded in the last several years in terms of homeowner products.  I see better values in Toro, Honda, and Ariens.  I almost say Simplicity, but I won't because I think B&S really have diluted that brand.

Joined: Dec 12, 2011
Points: 39

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #6   Feb 7, 2013 11:26 am
John Deere's dealer network and Honda signed a distribution agreement back in late 2011. Deere will no longer offer walk-behind mowers and other small gas engine outdoor power equipment, but will distribute 100% all-Honda machines, including mowers, tillers, generators, etc. They are the identical models offered by Honda dealers, no paint, model, spec changes whatsoever.

Deere dealer pay the same as all other Honda dealers, including Home Depot and other large national accounts. Actual retail selling prices are completely set by the selling dealer.

Once signed up, the Deere dealers have full access to Honda's parts and service network. So, if you need a Honda part or just service for your Honda product (or engine) a participating Deere dealer will be able to help. Might need a bit of time before the Deere dealer techs are up to speed on Honda products, but they are heavily involved in training and tech updates right now.

Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding is my opinion alone.

Joined: Dec 3, 2009
Points: 56

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #7   Feb 14, 2013 10:19 pm
I think its possible Deere might have been making their own snowblowers before 1991,
but I dont know that for an absolute fact..
if someone else was making them before 1991, I dont know who it was..they dont look like
anyone else's machines from the 70's or 80's..
I have some info on Deere snowblowers here:

(scoll down a  bit past the Cub Cadet info, to the John Deere section)

Deere snowblower info has been hard to come by, but here is what I know:

John Deere started offering Deere branded walk-behind snowblowers in (unknown year)..
I havent seen any dated from the 70's, but they did exist by the 80's..

1980's and up to 1991
Who made the "original" line of JD snowblowers up to 1991?
unknown..could have been JD themselves, or someone else..
but they dont look like anyone elses machines, not that I have been able to figure out anyway..
these are the JD machines with the classic "teardrop" bucket style, like this:

1991 - 2001:
Starting in 1991, the picture becomes a lot clearer..
before 1991 we had the "first series" of JD snowblowers, teardrop buckets, (photo above) exact manufacturer unclear..
but beginning in 1991 that series of machines ended, and JD started getting snowblowers from
Ariens and Murray..(info detailed in the link above)
The Ariens machines are considered fine, but the Murray-built Deeres from that era are considered lemons..

2001 - 2005:
Ariens no longer makes snowblowers for Deere after 2001, and all JD snowblowers
from 2001 to 2005 are Murray designs, made under the "Frontier by John Deere" name.

2005 to 2012:
The Deere snowblower line is taken over by Briggs & Stratton, who now (in 2005) owns the Murray, Deere,
Snapper and Simplicity snowblower names..
All the machines (including JD models) are made by Briggs, and are Murray designs for the entry-level and mid-lever consumer models,
and the classic large Simplicity designs for the "Pro" and high-end models..

As far as I know, none of the Deere models were ever the big Simplicity "pro" designs during the Briggs years,
I believe all the JD machines were the Murray designs.
which means all JD snowblowers were basically Murrays since 2001..

Briggs then dropped the Deere snowblower line in 2012..
2012 model year (snowblowers that came out in the Autumn of 2011 for the winter of 2011/2012..last winter)
were the last Deere snowblowers..

If anyone knows more details about the history of the early Deere snowblowers, before 1991,
I would love to hear about it!

This message was modified Feb 14, 2013 by sscotsman

Joined: Feb 11, 2009
Points: 103

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #8   Feb 15, 2013 8:42 am
I don't know who made the pre-91 Deeres, either - but growing up around a lot of older JD tractors and implements, those older blowers look like something JD would design/build.  I'm sure that by 1991, it made more financial sense to farm out the process.  I believe they still build their own lawn tractors, though.  As mentioned earlier, all of their smaller OPE was phased out and the franchises now have the opportunity to sell quality Honda OPE.

Location: Litchfield County, CT.
Joined: Dec 19, 2011
Points: 40

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #9   Feb 15, 2013 9:04 am
sscotsman,    I have a 1990 JD TRX26 manufactured by Noma. It's a decent machine that ate up the 25" of snow last Saturday after "The Blizzard of 2013". Great traction but a bear to maneuver while not under power a good machine but not as heavily built as my '67 craftsman. I wanted to post a pic or two but I don't see any guides here is there a way that I can post from my HDD?     Great site and very informative, much more active when it snows as I see!!!!!

Joined: Dec 1, 2010
Points: 6

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #10   Feb 15, 2013 11:34 am
My 2010 JD 1130 was a terrible machine!  What a mistake buying that machine.   Friction disk continued to slip despite many trips to the dealer for repair, sealing parts kits, attempts to seal it myself but still slipped.  Also use to break auger belts instead of shear pins.   Total junk!  Many moons ago I had a small Toro for years ... never a problem even taking on big snow and snow banks.  Then the best machine was a Bobcat that I had for 35 years.  Great machine, never never a problem with it, always worked and started with one or two pulls (B&S cast iron sleeve).  The only problem with that machine was the lack of any safety devices which is why I finally got rid of it and bought the worse machine ever, the JD. Criminal.... I paid around 1,500 for what I thought was a well designed well build machine.  Junk....  I wouldn't even consider selling it to anybody .... after pulling and pushing around during Nemo I had it.  Brought it to the dealer for another round of repairs and then went elsewhere and bought a Honda HS1332TSA which I pick up tomorrow.

So to answer your question .... " Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?"   Yes you did and you don't know how lucky you are!

Joined: Jan 17, 2013
Points: 2

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #11   Feb 16, 2013 8:44 am
Hi I thought I would chime in. I purchased a new ariens 30 delux in late Dec. 20012. It is my first snowblower as the last 40 years I have used a 4 w Wheeldrive pickup and clear my 135 foot long x 18 foot wide driveway. I have been a Briggs and Stratton man all my life and find the 342 cc engine on my ariens Had plenty of power after 2013 blizzard to clear 21 to 23 inches of snow full chute wide I live in a rural area and we have our share of power outage problems My old powermate (1983) briggs flathead still runs strong. Last fall I purchased a B&S 10000 generator with a 420 cc engine. Are the newer engines as good as the older all American made engines? HELL NO I owned and operated a automotive machine shop for 37 years and worked on just about everything. There is a BRIGGS dealer on every corner in America for parts and service.

Joined: Feb 6, 2013
Points: 11

Re: Did we miss out on 2005-2011 John Deere Snow Blowers?
Reply #12   Feb 27, 2013 9:49 am
I wanted to update my opinion.  The deluxe 30 i had not only backfired but the remote locker also gave way, wouldn't work very often.  It had to go back for warranty and my dealer said if i wasn't satsified he would buy it back minus $ I did.  And, lucky me, i was actually able to find a 1330se left over at a dealership in Southwest Michigan.  I have used it twice, i think it is way better than the deluxe 30.  Now the platinum 30 might hold its own with the autolock.  But the electric chute controls are awesome, make your turn and you never have to leave the handle bars, rotate the chute, adjust the deflector for wind make the easy turn with "easy steer", lower the bucket and your off.  Never need to stop, or move your hands.  And i just blew 6" of slushy snow, threw it just has far as the ariens and nothing spilt over the bucket.  So not sure if the 14" auger makes a difference on the ariens after this performance.  I also like the speed ratio better, the gears are much faster, transport speed 6th gears is a brisk walk.  Yes electronics might give up...but i wouldn't want you take away my electric windows or power locks on my vehicles either.  So after trying both machines, i think we will miss these machines if you weren't lucky enough to get one.  Some delaers still have left overs and at  least Briggs is still making them in gray.  And for those of you who are comparing blowers and leary of electronic chute controls, don't, get them, they are incredibly nice to work with!   
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