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Old 06-26-2013, 09:55 AM   post #1 of 19 (permalink)
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Default When did MTD go bad?

I've realized that MTD products are not the best that money can buy for quite some time now. But I've been looking at some old threads on here lately and see some of their older stuff spoken highly of for the most part. A guy at work had an old MTD lawn tractor from the late 60's and that thing looked like it was built like a tank. I was just curious when they began to go down hill then. I vaguely remember when i was a kid in the early 90's, my grandparents had a troy bilt self propelled mower and I remember my dad saying those things were junk, (he had a lawn boy, so he may have been biased), but I don't remember if that was pre MTD owner ship, or if that was before. I remember my great aunt having a big old Troy Bilt tiller for her garden and strawberry patch that was built like a tank.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:41 AM   post #2 of 19 (permalink)
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I know of the tractors you are talking about. Many of the older MTDs were heavy machines, and they still command a pretty good price as used equipment today. Had a little 700 once myself. Little 7 hp Briggs with recoil start, 3 speed transmission and a 38" deck. Pretty simple and straight forward, but no doubt if taken care of would last forever.

However, it's kind of hard to say what's bad and good nowadays. I'm no financial expert, but I'm going to guess that a lot of what a company offers has to do with the market and what the consumer is willing or able to purchase.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:42 AM   post #3 of 19 (permalink)
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When manufacturers start to chase the $$$$$$ rather than the customers, they fall and die.
Balance is required, and this is difficult, sometimes impossible (Saab, AMC, Packard, on and on)...
I have a '87 MTD "Shred It" .....nice quality, questionable design.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:38 PM   post #4 of 19 (permalink)
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I'd say the early 90's is when they really fell... But they had been dropping since the late 80's..

Yes, the older stuff is built like tanks.. As earthworm said, Too much care about the $$$ And too little care about the customer and the quality!

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Old 06-26-2013, 03:36 PM   post #5 of 19 (permalink)
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I am not sure how "bad" they are. They are in the business to make money and the market seems to have a need for the lowest price possible. If you are looking for a different type of product then there are many other buying opportunities. Our society has become one that would rather throw away and replace than pay a bit more money for a heavy duty product in the first place.
If MTD does not meet your expectations then maybe you are expecting too much from them. Nobody goes to McDonalds expecting fine dining, I think its the same thing here. They are not building the best tractor they can, they are building the best tractor they can that will sell under a certain price point. They are aiming at a different buyer and that buyer is very lucrative. You see Deere has been chasing that same buyer for years.
So maybe bad is just another word for moving down market.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:01 PM   post #6 of 19 (permalink)
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I'm a fan of the older MTD stuff myself, I have an 87' 22" 4HP Self-Propelled Rear Bag (model 362). The quality started to drop sometime around the late 90's. I can only speak for walk-behind mowers though. Most of the new stuff they make feels like it should be sold in a dollar store, my 20-something year old 362 feels almost on par with the Lawn-Boy 8125p that I used as a kid.

The newer stuff I think has dropped the ball for a few reasons
- Our disposeable culture
- Mowers used to be a major purchase, now it seems most homeowners I know buy a new one every few years, my neighbor, on the other hand, had an MTD Made Wizard 562 self-propelled commercial model that lasted him until he passed away 15 years later....it was resold for $450.
- I think they have spread themselves thin with the ghost building for other places (Lowes, Wards, Coast, Hardware Hank, Sears, whatnot).
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:16 PM   post #7 of 19 (permalink)
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I think the late 80's into the 90's are when they went bad. I think people today are often short-sighted enough to not see the false economy in buying several low quality machines instead of spending more on a more durable piece of equipment. It's too bad for mower enthusiasts, but it's just the way things are.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:06 PM   post #8 of 19 (permalink)
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Well Said Motorhead!
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:52 PM   post #9 of 19 (permalink)
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We dislike the MTD of late due to the two belt drives! Dad hates the change them and everyone needs it done. We have one now and I tried to be a good guy and donate it to a guy on CL who had add for a free tractor, he never wrote me back after finding out where I was?? Guess he wanted a John Deere x720
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:29 PM   post #10 of 19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSB33 View Post
I am not sure how "bad" they are. They are in the business to make money and the market seems to have a need for the lowest price possible. If you are looking for a different type of product then there are many other buying opportunities. Our society has become one that would rather throw away and replace than pay a bit more money for a heavy duty product in the first place.
If MTD does not meet your expectations then maybe you are expecting too much from them. Nobody goes to McDonalds expecting fine dining, I think its the same thing here. They are not building the best tractor they can, they are building the best tractor they can that will sell under a certain price point. They are aiming at a different buyer and that buyer is very lucrative. You see Deere has been chasing that same buyer for years.
So maybe bad is just another word for moving down market.
That pretty much sums it up.

I haven't heard as much concerning poor quality AYP stuff as I have about MTD stuff. Is that because of Husqvarna's ownership of AYP, or is AYP's quality the same as MTD's?
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