The great Kadee vs the rest debate

 
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Bachmann are one brand that use non standard coupler boxes as well on their models. Their coupler boxes are made to fit their cheap and nasty plastic whisker knuckle couplers and nothing else. To change to a Kadee coupler requires a lot of ingenuity on the owners part as no two models are exactly the same in their range. So yes at least a standard coupler box fitted so if you want to change the couplers, it is a less than 5 minute job to do. It would save a lot of hair for a start!

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  a6et Minister for Railways

Much the best idea to just fit Kadees in the first place. If the factory imposes some sort of condition whereby they supply knockoffs then I reckon we have to wear it in the short term & fit the good gear ourselves if we want to.
Another less common issue, not really related to this thread I suppose, is non standard draft gear boxes. As an example, I'm wrapped in my Trainorama 32s but curse the non standard coupler fittings (been a while since I looked so I've forgotten what they are) which mean I'm stuck with the supplied couplers.
The railway dog
I am unaware of any one having problems with changing couplers on the TOR 32cl.  I have not had mine running for a while, not that I have anything running for around 7 months anyway, but I certainly have had no issues with the supplied tender coupler on mine.

I think the model does have a very long shaft on the coupler which is meant for tighter curves, that is under 22", same reason with the different front bogie as well as the slightly over size of the loco length, being the buffer beam is extended to allow for correct bogie wheels to be used for 22" radius curves.

I think there is a long shank Kadee coupler that can replace it, as I understand the box is pretty standard fair.  By replacing the coupler though, you may need to check what the minimum radius is on your layout before doing so.
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
Col,

The other issue is our agreement with Kadee when they supply the couplers.

They state we're not allowed to separately on-sell the couplers.

It depends on their interpretation of on-selling I guess.

But repackaging of the couplers alone here would be time consuming.

For all of the avoiding a second import duty we'd probably spend more on the packaging time here.

As you've said it's easier to supply them already done.

The On Track Models Team
ontrackmodels
Actually when you think this through, The Chinese are the problem here, aren't they.  My thinking is this. When you go to Britain, everything you buy is subject to taxes and if you save your receipts you can claim your VAT tax back. My mate in Albury just got a nice return of $700 from his trip last year. Same goes if you purchase in England, from Australia,you can claim exemption at point of sale.   It is probably worth while to see if China has similar exemptions. That is stuff sent by the person ordering the product to add to the product and then be exported out of the Country should have and probably does have exemptions.
In Australia this appears to apply, and so on an equal playing field, so should it in China, if you believe successive Government propaganda that we have a free trade agreement with China?
And I understand the problems of adding to parcels, even noting it in my post.
Cheers
Rod
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
Hey David
No sooner do you split the thread and create a place for steam roller wheels, and we all go sideways again and talk KD couplers Rolling Eyes

But that's how humans seem to work, I would have thought anyway Very Happy
Cheers
Rod
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
CANNOT WIN 'EM ALL ROD Smile  But couplers relate to wheels with standards, and that if a coupler is the wrong height we sometimes shim the bogie to raise it to get the right height. Harder to adjust the coupler height. So a good time to think about the bogies and coupler, especially since each brand of the cvan will be different.

Regards,
David Head
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
There's one issue with supplying genuine KD's that hasn't been raised, Kadee don't have the production ability to supply the world market in the volumes required. If one of the big guys like Bachmann wanted to use all genuine KD's in their products they'd be turned down simply because there aren't enough couplers available. Kadee could ramp up manufacturing over time but would require a huge initial investment with a high degree of risk a 'close enough' working clone comes along and undercuts them (which is eventually going to happen anyway, probably sooner than Kadee would like). Alternatively Kadee could license their genuine product to one or more Chinese manufacturers but clearly they haven't want to do that, else they already would have. Kadee make money by having a monopoly on the market, they will need to soon find a way to cover the 99% of the market they currently miss if they are to survive much longer.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Actually when you think this through, The Chinese are the problem here, aren't they.  My thinking is this. When you go to Britain, everything you buy is subject to taxes and if you save your receipts you can claim your VAT tax back. My mate in Albury just got a nice return of $700 from his trip last year. Same goes if you purchase in England, from Australia,you can claim exemption at point of sale.   It is probably worth while to see if China has similar exemptions. That is stuff sent by the person ordering the product to add to the product and then be exported out of the Country should have and probably does have exemptions.
In Australia this appears to apply, and so on an equal playing field, so should it in China, if you believe successive Government propaganda that we have a free trade agreement with China?
And I understand the problems of adding to parcels, even noting it in my post.
Cheers
Rod
comtrain
In many ways we are spoilt by the GST exemption from o/seas under the $1000.00, that also applies to those buying here from O/seas, both on MO, & when they travel here purchase & buy.  I think a similar situation occurs with other countries with a GST/VAT tax system, but then again not all of the British companies deduct the VAT either.

As for China, they do not have such a tax nor rebate, the same in the U.S if you buy from there, they charge tax where applicable, & they do not have any refund system for those travelling out of the country like we do.  Whether they charge any import duty or the like is an unknown to me, but it seems that China is not the only country to have these taxes on imports, as we do as well.

Free trade agreements also do not take away the element of import duties either.  We are supposed to have a FTA with the U.S also but it exempts much of the meat & produce products in order to protect their heavily subsidised farm lobby, & we end up sending the best quality meats including rump, T.Bone/Sirloin over there for use by MacDonalds.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
In many ways we are spoilt by the GST exemption from o/seas under the $1000.00, that also applies to those buying here from O/seas, both on MO, & when they travel here purchase & buy.  I think a similar situation occurs with other countries with a GST/VAT tax system, but then again not all of the British companies deduct the VAT either.

As for China, they do not have such a tax nor rebate, the same in the U.S if you buy from there, they charge tax where applicable, & they do not have any refund system for those travelling out of the country like we do.  Whether they charge any import duty or the like is an unknown to me, but it seems that China is not the only country to have these taxes on imports, as we do as well.

Free trade agreements also do not take away the element of import duties either.  We are supposed to have a FTA with the U.S also but it exempts much of the meat & produce products in order to protect their heavily subsidised farm lobby, & we end up sending the best quality meats including rump, T.Bone/Sirloin over there for use by MacDonalds.
"a6et"
We are not spoilt by the GST collection exemption under $1000 import, if such an exemption was not applied the nation would be worse off.

China does have a VAT, more so has done since 1994, amazingly, predating our GST... The US does not have a tax rebate system on exported goods because they have no federally applied broad base sales (type) taxes to rebate. The additional sales taxes generated at state level are only applied if you reside or purchase within that state, don't want to pay the state based sales taxes, have the goods sent interstate and collect.
  a6et Minister for Railways

We are not spoilt by the GST collection exemption under $1000 import, if such an exemption was not applied the nation would be worse off.

China does have a VAT, more so has done since 1994, amazingly, predating our GST... The US does not have a tax rebate system on exported goods because they have no federally applied broad base sales (type) taxes to rebate. The additional sales taxes generated at state level are only applied if you reside or purchase within that state, don't want to pay the state based sales taxes, have the goods sent interstate and collect.
Aaron
Aaron.  When I say spoilt by the exemption does not mean I am against it, as it does benefit us, even in small ways & certainly I would not like to see it removed.

If China has a VAT type tax, then it certainly has no application to benefit any tourists or those buying products from there, maybe the element that most people buy from China see the prices as being so cheap they do not realise it.  Its the same thing with some companies in England who do not subtract the VAT tax from their sales, I wonder if they pay it to the government?
  CraigW Assistant Commissioner

Aaron.  When I say spoilt by the exemption does not mean I am against it, as it does benefit us, even in small ways & certainly I would not like to see it removed.

If China has a VAT type tax, then it certainly has no application to benefit any tourists or those buying products from there, maybe the element that most people buy from China see the prices as being so cheap they do not realise it.  Its the same thing with some companies in England who do not subtract the VAT tax from their sales, I wonder if they pay it to the government?
a6et
China does have import duties on products obtained outside China, not sure if it would be applied on items such as Kadees but it is entirely possible.

Regards,

Craig W
  a6et Minister for Railways

China does have import duties on products obtained outside China, not sure if it would be applied on items such as Kadees but it is entirely possible.

Regards,

Craig W
CraigW
Craig

According to the reply on the OTM thread, provided by the OTM team there is an import duty on the Kadee's imported into China for the models & then there is an import duty on the completed models imported here.

The whole point though if China has a VAT tax as Aaron suggested, does anyone get a refund for it, such as we get here with the departure refund, & its not included for Overseas buyers under a certain amount, such as applies for items from England that we enjoy, at least from the likes of Hattons & a couple of others.
  CraigW Assistant Commissioner

Craig

According to the reply on the OTM thread, provided by the OTM team there is an import duty on the Kadee's imported into China for the models & then there is an import duty on the completed models imported here.

The whole point though if China has a VAT tax as Aaron suggested, does anyone get a refund for it, such as we get here with the departure refund, & its not included for Overseas buyers under a certain amount, such as applies for items from England that we enjoy, at least from the likes of Hattons & a couple of others.
a6et
Understand that, the point is that an import duty or tax is not refundable. It is designed and intended to impose a penalty on importing items into China that can be manufactured there.

I would not have a clue if China imposes a GST or VAT on local manufacture but import duties are not that.

Regards,

Craig W
  a6et Minister for Railways

Understand that, the point is that an import duty or tax is not refundable. It is designed and intended to impose a penalty on importing items into China that can be manufactured there.

I would not have a clue if China imposes a GST or VAT on local manufacture but import duties are not that.

Regards,

Craig W
CraigW
I also understand the import duty/tax is not refundable, also the aspect of the GXT/VAT tax in China is something I have not heard of either, & the real basis of what I said first, & how Aaron replied, saying that China had one.

While I do not want to see the refund or under $1000.00 exemption done away with, the aspect that few other countries provide such benefit does equate to us being spolit by the benefit, which is where this started.

Anyway, how things are at the moment can change, & I am finished with this debate.
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
Everything you could want to know about taxes in China - http://www.asiatradehub.com/china/tax.asp
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Everything you could want to know about taxes in China - http://www.asiatradehub.com/china/tax.asp
"Poath Junction"
Top line, page 2.
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

The bottom line is Kadee  couplers are the best knuckle style coupler as far as operation goes. All of my operating couplers are Kadee 'scale head'  couplers. The Kadee 'scale head' couplers have the same jaw height as the older Kadee couplers, so there is no increased chance of uncoupling compared to the older Kadee couplers. All SDS models have come with 'Scale head' Kadee's, and now On Track Models are doing the same for their new models. How much the tax is academic, as both brands seem to have similar prices compared to their competitors that use the various Chinese clone couplers.

Terry Flynn.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The bottom line is Kadee couplers are the best knuckle style coupler as far as operation goes. All of my operating couplers are Kadee 'scale head' couplers. The Kadee 'scale head' couplers have the same jaw height as the older Kadee couplers, so there is no increased chance of uncoupling compared to the older Kadee couplers. All SDS models have come with 'Scale head' Kadee's, and now On Track Models are doing the same for their new models. How much the tax is academic, as both brands seem to have similar prices compared to their competitors that use the various Chinese clone couplers.

Terry Flynn.
NSWGR1855

No one is denying that the Kadee is the better option for models, as for the tax side its probably academic to the academics, but in the end the aspect that counts is the end price of the model OFF the shelf.

Something that Poath has said is also quite true & that is that Kadee does not have the production capacity to increase their products to meet the OEM market especially in the larger manufacturer/importers arena.   While its great that both OTM & SDS do fit the Kadee couplers to their models, they are both relatively new manufacturers to the market & are not making models to the same quota/quantity as the others, thus they may well be able to source them easier than the others who import here.

My question to OTM to which they had no issue in replying was based on the factor of the cost of the Chinese product, vses Kadee, if there was enough deduction from the non fitted Chinese version to what it would cost the importer for the Kadee, especially in large lots, & if Kadee was able to supply in relatively short time ( although how many models end up arriving in due advertised times anyway?).

To buy the Kadee & replace the Chinese types is not that expensive, & probably would result in less delay to the end user to fit themselves but then again, I do not believe there is any need to through out something that is working without problems, when a problem develops & a need to toss arises then that's a different matter.  Of course it helps when the importers have designed their models with the coupler boxes to take a Kadee for a simple replacement.
  ontrackmodels Junior Train Controller

Location: Emu Plains, Australia
Hi Col,

The lead times for production in some cases number from 3 to 6 months.

Production numbers are usually set early on in the piece so both the factory and we have a guide to work with.

With these figures usually set between 6 & 9 months before the production begins there is plenty of time for Kadee to produce the number of couplers required.

Ordering is usually done by the factory with additional couplers normally ordered to allow for engineering samples, paint samples, test models, and production run set-up.

Production runs vary between 1,500 to 6,000 models depending upon the prototype, colour schemes available and expectations of sales, and really this wouldn't be a huge drain on Kadee considering the size of the US market.

I hope this helps,

The On Track Models Team
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
Personally I was wondering how anyone actually knew the production capacity of Kadee in the USA or whether it was simply speculation.

Iain
  a6et Minister for Railways

Personally I was wondering how anyone actually knew the production capacity of Kadee in the USA or whether it was simply speculation.

Iain
Iain

During a discussion a couple of years ago about this topic with a couple of the importers, the point was made that they had canvassed Kadee about supplying the couplers to factories, the answer they received was that they were unable to supply to the OEM market as they did not have the facilities to do so.

The other aspect that was also said was that to supply Kadee's to the model would jack up the price & there was little or no discount for bulk orders compared to what could be purchased by the end user in the small bulk packs that Kadee sells.

Things may have changed depending on the size of orders or any other reason since then.  So, I keep repeating I would prefer to have the Kadee's on my models from word go, as I know I would not have to test them out.  It matters not which importers supply them or not, especially if they are not going to change as it will always be a problem unless a Chinese manufacturer comes up with a reliable alternative.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Hi Col,

The lead times for production in some cases number from 3 to 6 months.

Production numbers are usually set early on in the piece so both the factory and we have a guide to work with.

With these figures usually set between 6 & 9 months before the production begins there is plenty of time for Kadee to produce the number of couplers required.

Ordering is usually done by the factory with additional couplers normally ordered to allow for engineering samples, paint samples, test models, and production run set-up.

Production runs vary between 1,500 to 6,000 models depending upon the prototype, colour schemes available and expectations of sales, and really this wouldn't be a huge drain on Kadee considering the size of the US market.

I hope this helps,

The On Track Models Team
ontrackmodels

Thanks for the reply.

As I replied to Iain, the theory has been long held from more than one source about the previous problems supplying Kadee's to an OEM market, & that is what they referred to it. Things may have changed especially when reasonable lead times are provided such as you mention, OTOH if there was a short lead time it may well be different, perhaps that may have been an issue for the others.
  anzac1959 Chief Commissioner

I could be after 250pr 58 whisker type does anyone sell at bulk prices?
  a6et Minister for Railways

I could be after 250pr 58 whisker type does anyone sell at bulk prices?
anzac1959

Casula sell them in packs of 50 pairs for $98.50. in the whisker type

Other than that contact Kadee directly & ask for a price from them, the shipping cost may kill them though.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Anzac - depending on what you're modelling you might want to consider #53s or #153s ("scale head", centre set, short shank).  If you're going to all the effort, may as well get some closer coupling which looks a whole lot better.

Unfortunately Kadee doesn't make bulk packs of the short shanks at all (and I've asked each time I see them at a show Smile.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
I can confirm that I've heard the same story a6et relates above while just chatting with US manufacturers at shows (with the people who actually do something, not the booth babes. Yes, there are booth babes at larger model train shows here).

And as OTM said above, the 1-6k runs that they, SDS and say Orient Express do, a handful of times a year each, just aren't very big compared to a larger US manufacturer.

There is also another line of evidence from Kadee's own website if one wishes to engage in some idle speculation, right down at the bottom of http://www.kadee.com/htmbord/kadee.htm.  

"Kadee® still creates and utilizes equipment that other manufactures have junked. We have modified and made machines to meet our needs all the while still manufacturing and distributing over 600 different products all made entirely in our plant in White City, Oregon."


Kadee clearly has very high tolerance requirements (which is what makes their product being so clearly superior). However the above statement is what you'd expect in a cottage or small craft manufacturing setup. Manufacturing equipment is very expensive and tends to be depreciated over a long period of time (or large number of units, depending on your method) and you're allowed to depreciate equipment because it wears out.  So while re-using junked machines lends a certain amount of charm to the story it possibly greatly constrains your manufacturing capacity. High quality manufacturing is still very hard (see what manufacturing is still performed in the US)  and often involves trade offs in terms of volume vs rejects.

Worst case is a hodge pods of different makes and models which increases maintenance and spare parts costs or just a very small number of machines.

Of course this could all be complete bollocks and they've just prudently filled their needs at bankruptancy sales etc. The NMRA national convention is in Portland in 2015; maybe there will be a tour of the Kadee facility!

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