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I found a Simplicity dealer not too far away and had a good visit with Brenda (at Exit 18 Equipment here in northern Vermont). She was incredibly helpful and was completely straightforward about the different engines, transmissions, etc. Everything she said jibed with everything I've read in this forum. Best of all, she's ready to rig up whatever set-up I want, including putting a 44" mowing deck (to navigate through my fruit bushes and plants) on a tractor with a Vanguard engine (which usually comes with a 50" or 54" deck). So I'm almost ready to take the plunge.
So here's today's question: They would have to order the Conquest, which is fine...but they've got a 4wd Conquest on the floor which has been there for a while and is being sold at a good price (under 6k). We talked a little about the pros and cons of the 4wd; e.g., the power steering would be nice but the turning radius isn't nearly as good--30" vs 18" for the regular Conquest. Given that I want to mow through some tight spaces, I'm thinking of going with the non-4wd (and also saving $500 or so). But I'm interested in people's thoughts about 4wd. Should I want it, especially at a good price? Or, on a basically flat property, is it really not necessary, even for pulling carts of wood, etc? I also wonder if it's a more complicated machine to fix.
I think it helped me a lot to be able to talk with some knowledge about the different models, engines, etc--all of which I learned out here. Thanks!
 

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I don't know much about the Conquest or 4wd, however, the turning radius on my new Regent 22/44 is the greatest thing about it. It truly makes a difference. I would think that the Conquest is a heavy enough machine that it can handle pulling wood, without 4wd, on a flat piece of property.

For what it's worth, I'd go with the smaller radius and save $500.
 

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If your lot is basically flat, I think you could do without the 4WD. My property is anything but level, and I have no problems with traction. I have the use the diff. lock often, but I have yet to get stuck. The diff. lock is the next best thing to 4WD. The limited slip works, but isn't all that much help in the yard. It does work well on snow, however. I snow blow with mine, and with the rear suitcase weights and chains, traction is good.
I really like the tight turning radius for trimming - it reduces the manual trimming by far.
Also, less weight and much simpler drive train with 2WD.
 

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I have the 2wd 50" Conquest and the 18" TR is very nice. I don't think I'd bother with the 4wd unless your planning to use it in the snow.
My neighbor has an older model Conquest with an 18HP Vanguard and 44" deck. No issues whatsoever and cuts FINE.

Good Luck.

MU
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone. Once again, very helpful and much appreciated. You'll be hearing from me again...!
 
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