Thread Number: 72167  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
The genesis and use of the Heavy Duty badge
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Post# 954388   8/24/2017 at 17:26 (274 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Who, and when, first started using Heavy Duty labeling on machines? I've noticed Kenmore machines in Canada love this badge. And there are a few Beaumark (GE) with the label too. Maytag had a brief stint in the mid 80s on the x12 machines. I've never understood why this was even a thing. Anyone have any ideas?

Post# 954389 , Reply# 1   8/24/2017 at 17:33 (274 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Maytag used them on 07 models I believe.


Post# 954392 , Reply# 2   8/24/2017 at 17:44 (274 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean 1986 YouTube. )        

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My Lady Kenmore portable washer says 'Kenmore Heavy Duty Automatic Washer'. Sears probably put that on their washers and dryers to get more people to buy them, and wanted people to buy more of their exclusive brand Kenmore, and other exclusive brands they only sell at Sears.

Post# 954400 , Reply# 3   8/24/2017 at 18:24 (274 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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35 years ago I bought my LA511 and DE410 and asked the owner of the Maytag dealership why isnt this a Heavy Duty. He said Maytag has never had to prove they were Heavy Duty, because they are. After all these years and no Heavy Duty label, guess he was right because my pair still works like new and those Heavy Duty ones are in the dump now.

Post# 954404 , Reply# 4   8/24/2017 at 19:29 (274 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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it was a sales gimmick of sorts.......

you could buy the standard....or the better HEAVY DUTY model.....

whats the difference you ask?....well the salesperson would ramble on, beefier motor, more durable and stronger tranny and suspension, blah, blah, blah...

the truth, it was the same mechanism through out the whole machine, whether it was BOL or TOL......

but some people bought into it......

Post# 954436 , Reply# 5   8/25/2017 at 06:35 (273 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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I remember the true Westy Front Loaders around late 60s-70s were available either Standard or Heavy Duty.

My Mom bought the Heavy Duty on recommendation from a neighbor that had a set.

Post# 954439 , Reply# 6   8/25/2017 at 06:55 (273 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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well again, badging like Deluxe, Supreme, Imperial was an inclination to climbing up the ladder of options, not bigger or better as far as build...

they sort of copy what the car manufacturers were doing, considering they constructed most of these, but with a car, you know one is beefed up more than the other, an engine is an engine, but going from a LX model with a 4 banger compared to a GT with a V8....that you can notice right away, and know which is going to handle and feel different....

some don't understand our interest, as in, its just a washing machine...and that's true to a point, but to that response, that Mustang GT they are driving, its just a car, what not just drive a YUGO, it will still get you from point A to B

Post# 954445 , Reply# 7   8/25/2017 at 07:58 (273 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Yogi, that's what I've always thought. I've seen ads for Kenmore BOL machines, or any Canadian GE rebadged BOL with no Heavy Duty badge, but the TOL machines have them. No difference in build.

Who first started using this badge?

Post# 954448 , Reply# 8   8/25/2017 at 08:29 (273 days old) by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        
Purely a sales gimmick

Nothing different inside! Lots of manufacturers did it! Sunbeam did with hand held mixers in the 1970s too. The motor was no different!

Post# 954453 , Reply# 9   8/25/2017 at 09:01 (273 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

One of my WCI-era Frigidaire dryers proudly wore a Heavy Duty badge. It might have even said 'Commercial Heavy Duty.' At any rate, it made me smile even on a bad day.

Post# 954468 , Reply# 10   8/25/2017 at 12:56 (273 days old) by Maytag85 (Sean 1986 YouTube. )        

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The 'Heavy Dury' badge was a marketing ploy, Sears simply wanted to sell as many washers and dryers as possible, and wanted more people to shop at Sears.

Post# 954481 , Reply# 11   8/25/2017 at 16:30 (273 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Frigidaire started using "The Sturdy Washer" in the early 60s when they had ads with the lady sitting on the open lid, IIRC. I think Heavy Duty was to compete with that. It was all, as has been said above, meaningless.

Post# 954495 , Reply# 12   8/25/2017 at 18:19 (273 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Heavy Duty and The Sturdy Washer

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I believe WH was first with the Heavy Duty designation and as Tom mentioned Frigidaire started with the Sturdy Washer designation around 1963.

It was generally just marketing, but most manufactures had improved the quality of their washers and dryers a lot going into the 60s through the 70s. Because most manufactures started to also sell the same beefed up machines with coin boxes for laundromat use they were able to legitimately say that there home models were in act HD, and once one company started calling their machines HD everyone else had to follow suit.

When I was selling Maytags in the early 70s the Maytag company came up with stickers that said HD and our sales rep stuck these stickers on all the new MTs on the show room floor one day, of course when we sold a new MT and delivered it to the customer we started to get complaints that their machine did not say HD on it. I also had one lady who was buying a new A207 washer one day and she told that she did not want a HD model [ I think she though it would either be hard on the clothing or make too much noise or some such thing ] So I pulled the sticker off the show room model and promised her that her new MT would not be a HD model, LOl.

Post# 954598 , Reply# 13   8/26/2017 at 11:54 (272 days old) by mayken4now (Panama City, Florida)        

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John, You're crazy with pulling the sticker off, hysterical! All that was a joke about the HD etc.

Post# 954616 , Reply# 14   8/26/2017 at 13:10 (272 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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My parents Kenmore washer and dryer say Heavy Duty along the bottom of the consoles where it says the number of cycles and motor speeds. They are just 2000s era BOL-MOL models.

Post# 954806 , Reply# 15   8/27/2017 at 10:52 (271 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

When Norge came out with their 14 lb. washer, it was labeled VHQ for Very High Quality. I don't remember about the dryers.

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