I'm still a relatively new owner, so I can't give you a whole lot. I can't speak for all JD dealers, but my dealer does discount for me. My Gator is a low hour demo unit, but pricing before the "demo discount" was WAY under what I expected.I just found this forum and thought I'd ask you JD experts for help! I'm in the market for a Utility Vehicle (1st one) and had my mind set on a Kawasaki Mule 4010 Trans 4x4 Diesel after using a loaner for 6 weeks. Loved the versatility and capability for my use on a citrus ranch.
While waiting for Mule pricing, I happened to stop by my local JD dealer for something else and the salesman asked how my search was coming along. I let him know I loved the Mule and was waiting to hear back from my contact there. He told me he wanted to have the 825i dropped off at my ranch, "just to try it out". I resisted at first but the more he talked about it, the more I thought I need to be an educated consumer, especially given how expensive these things are!
Well, I've now been using the Gator for 6 days and have put 11 hours on it (it had 6 upon delivery). I really like how quickly it gets up to speed, how smooth the ride is and how comfy it is. I haven't hauled anything because I don't want to get it all scratched up, but I'm pretty sure that won't be a problem. I was hauling old orange tree stumps, limbs, dirt, rocks, power equipment, etc in the Mule and is how I'd use the Gator.
My question is what accessories do you think are necessary and why? Is maintenance easy (LOF)? Do JD dealers generally give any sort of discount? And is the extended warranty a good idea? Thanks for any advice and suggestions... this is a cool forum .
I also get great pricing on service (at least for my tractor, but I expect the same for my Gator when it's ready). They offer the "standard" JD service specials but also have dealership specials. (They were merged into a larger dealership chain last year, but they still seem to have a lot of autonomy.)
FYI, the dealership is actually about the 3rd or 4th closest JD to my house, but my salesman lives down the road from me and will haul equipment back and forth for service as needed. Very convenient. I have a long relationship with the salesman and the dealership, and that probably helps in pricing.
As for options, I highly recommend the powered dump bed. Most of the rest depends on how you will use it. Because mine was a demo, I got what my dealership thinks would sell best. Stepping through from the configurator:
I have the standard wheels/Ankla tires. (I hear that the alloy/Big Horns ride nicer; give more ground clearance; take away a little acceleration.) I'm happy with them. They will dig up the soft turf, but with my terrain, snow and mud, I can live with that. If I was ordering from scratch, I think I would have gone with the Big Horns.
Mine has a bench seat. I probably would have ordered the sport seats as I seldom have a 3rd person (who is without a seat belt and has to put feet off to side or straddle shift levers), but for work, the bench seat is very good.
I have the standard OPS with the rear screen. I'm not planning on "cabbing" mine (even in CO), so having a little protection from stuff in the bed gives me peace of mind.
Mine came with protection all around (brush guard, fender and bed guard, rear bumper, mats for floor and bed - and the power dump as part of the package), and that's definitely good for me.
Standard muffler. This is a work machine. I would go for quieter rather than peppier.
No front for me, but I can see how it would be handy. Think about your needs (you can always get one later), and look at other options. I've seen pics of some nice custom made racks that are deeper to make sure everything arrives at your destination.
I also got a poly roof (note that you want to consider your future enclosure plans as this won't work with all - though you can sell it later), and a poly windshield. For my foreseeable plans, the poly roof is perfect. The only alternative that might be better would be one of the aftermarket metal roofs, but I like keeping my CG low. The jury is out on poly windshield. Non-scratch would probably be nice, and wiper would be handy too. I am glad I have a full windshield. Keeping wind and debris out of my face is really nice - even on hot days, and the flip up and open sides gives all the ventilation I need. I have had what seems to be a common issue with the flip up not staying put on the lower clips - and adjustments to clips have not helped. There are remedies on the web, but I haven't gotten around to trying them yet.
As for other accessories, you can probably find most at a discount outside JD. (Though if you're using JD financing, you can roll them up and feel less pain in the wallet.) Things I am planning or thinking about are additional lights and a winch. For now, I haven't decided which winch option is best, so I'll just keep my tractor handy to pull myself out of "stucks". The only other JD option I'm considering is turn signals, because I do run down the road between neighbor's houses (and it's fun thinking the "slow moving vehicle" sign is not appropriate with the top speed higher than the speed limits ).
You'll see a wide variety of options from members of the group and I think all are happy with their decisions. A lot has to do with how you plan to and how you eventually use the machine. Feel free to ask questions specific to your use and desired options, and you're sure to get at least several differing suggestions.
I think you'd be VERY happy with a Gator. I needed better suspension than the Mule or Kubota have for my property. I was considering the 850D for a while (used a neighbor's) and then the 855D (with the improved suspension), but I really love the pep of the 825i! (I know of at least one rancher who got an 825i loaner when his 855D was in for service - and he ordered a trade-in before his service was done!)
- Steve in windy CO