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John Deere Gator vs. Kawasaki mule?

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  • John Deere Gator vs. Kawasaki mule?

    What's the difference? Which is better?
  • Original Poster

    Also, any special features I need to look for/ask for?


    • #3
      Love My Kawaski Mule ~ Hated the JD Gator ~ as much as I hate snakes !!!

      Research this topic as there were many posts about this a few months ago ~ I have a Kawaski Mule and love it ~ John Deere sent us a loaner Gator hoping we would purchase it when they could not ??? fix our Mule . The Gator would not start and ran like "stink on $hit" ~ I would not even keep it as a loaner ~ John Deere was disappointed ~ we picked up our mule and took it to a Kawaski Dealer and Guess what ???? they fixed it in no time ~guess John Deere just wanted me to "spill the ink" BUT we did not fall for it !
      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


      • #4
        A couple of years back I met a guy who was the chief mechanic at a Knoxville rental company that had both Gators and Mules. He said that the maintenance on the Gators was significantly more expensive and time consuming. He clearly recommended the Mule.

        For what it's worth.

        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


        • #5
          Mules are a heavier duty machine all over. Just everything is built heavier, to take more load and abuse.

          I have a Gator, but it is not as much machine as a Mule. Kind of like a riding wheelbarrow for me. Makes my life easier by carrying a number of bulky things to work in the field, hay for winter feeding. I like it, but you get the tractor out to pull heavy things like the arena drag which is weighted. No ground clearance for snow over 6 inches. I have to use a sled to put bales out!!

          My mother won the Gator in a raffle, gave it to me for my next few years Christmas gifts! I enjoy using it, but never would have gone out to purchase one. Dog likes riding on it!


          • #6
            My criteria ~ It has to run ~ no time to fool around starting it ~

            My criteria is my vehicle has to run and run daily whenever needed my Kawasaki Mule does the JD Gator did not !~
            Last edited by Zu Zu; Sep. 18, 2010, 09:24 AM. Reason: spelling
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • #7
              I got a Gator two years ago, because we have a nearby JD dealer, that is a friend also.
              A neighbor had a Mule for several years, used our Gator for a while and bought one for himself, sold his Mule.
              He said the Mule was much rougher and kept beating him up, the Gator much smoother and both worked for him the same.
              Now, his Mule may have been an old one, not as good as the newer models.

              Another friend has two Mules, did some work for us and used our Gator.
              He then bought a Gator for himself and his men fight over who gets it.

              Now, to go to a heavier machine, a friend has a diesel, Kubota I think and really likes it all around better than any, but has to take it way off to be worked on.

              I say, flip a coin if you don't know what you like best and you have both there, with good service centers.
              If not, just one dealer and service for it, get that brand, there is not that much difference between them.


              • #8
                I love my Kubota

                It's their 4WD "RTV" with a dump bed. We call it "Rambo" It is a work horse, wasn't as $$$$ as the JD, and their service peopel are awsome. Wouldn't even look at anything else.


                • #9
                  Had tons of problems with my older mule but absolutely none with the diesel model. Love it love it. Works like a beat mule. Pulls, hauls. I have to have the automatic dump body & also I got 4 wheeled drive. Don't forget the phone charger. Sounds stupid but if you're out & about you'll need it on the farm
                  Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


                  • #10
                    our mule is a beast. tough tough tough

                    And FWIW, ZuZu, I can only speak for me of course but I do not read anything you post. The multicolored jumble just makes it hard to read. You may not care and maybe it's just me- but I would hate to think your efforts in posting are wasted.


                    • #11
                      Thank You ~ katharine ~ not my intention to offend with mulitcolored posts ~

                      Originally posted by katarine View Post
                      our mule is a beast. tough tough tough

                      And FWIW, ZuZu, I can only speak for me of course but I do not read anything you post. The multicolored jumble just makes it hard to read. You may not care and maybe it's just me- but I would hate to think your efforts in posting are wasted.
                      Thank you ~ katharine ~ for the FWIW ~ it is not my intention to make my posts difficult to read ~ I do apologize to everyone I have offended with my multicolored posts ~
                      Last edited by Zu Zu; Sep. 19, 2010, 08:18 AM. Reason: addition
                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                      • #12
                        I've had both. I hate the Gator.

                        Loved the Mule (I put 12,000 MILES on it!), but love the Kubota RTV even better than the Mule.
                        www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                        "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                        Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                        • #13
                          another thing...have them show you where and how you'd do an oil change...for example, I cannot squeeze my fingers into the area where I need to change the filter on my gator, so that means a farm call for the mechanic(an added expense).

                          I am not thrilled with my gator, and would not buy another, but in the meantime I keep it in good running order.

                          Also, ease and closeness to dealerships are important, JD is 20 minutes, kubota and kawasaki are 45 minutes away for me, and part of my decision in choosing the gator.
                          My gator, the tx model does not like cold! Poor thing, either do I, but I don't call in, as my gator has been known to do! My gator literally stops running when the weather gets below 50. I have to keep heat lamps on it! It is a carburated engine so I can't put a heat plug in. Its a real pita, never mind expense.

                          I do love the auto dump, plus the bed is a good size so I don't have to make too many trips to the manure pile. It holds bags of shavings and hay bales.
                          You don't want a small dump body, so that would be another thing I'd look at.
                          Plus, the height of the bed...I don't want to be reaching for the sky everytime I go to throw manure into the bed. Bring a measuring tape with you when you shop...have fun. regardless, you will love the one you buy.
                          save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Zu Zu View Post
                            Thank you ~ katharine ~ for the FWIW ~ it is not my intention to make my posts difficult to read ~ I do apologize to everyone I have offended with my multicolored posts ~
                            I'm not offended at all, I was just sharing that the loads of colors was distracting from your messages, and I think you're too valuable to be losing readers with rainbows


                            • Original Poster

                              Bought a 2011 mule on Saturday!! Loved everything about it! Thanks!


                              • #16
                                Have a Mule and been using it daily for the past two years. Only complaint is the gas tank. They are cheap and rust quickly. Tried a gator and the mule is a much better deal for sure!


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MajfrmNY View Post
                                  Have a Mule and been using it daily for the past two years. Only complaint is the gas tank. They are cheap and rust quickly. Tried a gator and the mule is a much better deal for sure!
                                  Unless you don't have a Mule dealer within 200 miles.


                                  • #18
                                    I've got the Gator, and absolutely love it. It's been brilliant at everything I've asked it to do, no problems at all. Never used a Mule so can't compare though, but I just wanted to stick up for the Gator!


                                    • #19
                                      I think it depends on which gator.
                                      I do know the gator tx has problems with the cold. If you live in the south or warmer temps or park it in a heated garage/barn, probably no problems.
                                      According to my jd dealership, none of the other models have this problem.
                                      save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                        our mule is a beast. tough tough tough

                                        And FWIW, ZuZu, I can only speak for me of course but I do not read anything you post. The multicolored jumble just makes it hard to read. You may not care and maybe it's just me- but I would hate to think your efforts in posting are wasted.
                                        So if you're not reading them, her posts are wasted??
                                        MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

                                        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!