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Hello
I have a 2004 Simplicity 20 HP Prestige, with a 50" deck and the power bagger. We currently have a little over 1 acre of land. We are in the process of building a new house that will sit on over just 2 acres. I currently only use the Prestige to mow with. Our new place will have close to 100 ft of driveway. I now use a Troy Bilt walk behind 2 stage snowblower. It works fine, but as I get older I find myself wrestling it a lot.

I am considering a few options.

Option #1
Keep the 15 year old 2 wd Prestige and buy a 2 stage blower for it. Approx $2200 with chains and weights.

Option #2
Upgrade to a new 4 wd Prestige and get the 47" blower for that machine.

Option #3
Go crazy and get the 4 wd Legacy with the front loader and the snowblower. I am figuring that with the Legacy, I can turn the 4 wd off if I am tearing up the lawn to much.

My current unit has the Kohler engine and I haven't read a lot of good things on the newer Briggs engines. My new lawn is not going to be real flat, as it will have some hills in it. Nothing that 2 wd won't handle. I am more concerned with the snowblower on the 2 wd. What are your thoughts on the different decks on the newer units? Right now it's not to difficult to pull off the deck on my 50", but some of these new ones seem so heavy. I just retired and am not getting any younger.

Thank you for your thoughts and insights. Any help would be appreciated. BTW, My Simplicity Dealer is one of the good ones, they are family owned and have been in business over 50 years.

Steve
 

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If you want a review on the new Briggs check out the post by Willscary titled:A conquest prestige and dealer. I haven't read any reviews on the Prestige 4X4 but that is full time 4 wheel drive. I have a 2006 Prestige and just love it, and I also have the Legacy XL 4X4 with the FEL, 47" 2 stage snow blower and the hardside cab. With the cab on along with the snow blower and the field trak tires I do not use weights or chains and do most of the snow duties in 2wd, I think I have only had to use 4wd just a few times but it is nice to have it.
I would talk to your dealer and see what he thinks is the best way to go. I'm sure some of the other members will join in on their thoughts.
 

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I can give my opinion on the Legacy XL 4x4. I have about 1.5 acres of lawn which is fairly flat. The yard is divided into (3) sections about the same size. Each section is flat with a rise/drop of about 10 ft. Using the tractor and 61" fabricate deck along with occasional use of the triple turbo collector, I have only used the 4x4 a few times. This was typically after some heavy rain or if I tried to mow when it was too wet. The mower gives the best cut of all my neighbors and take about 2 hours (if bagging). The power of the diesel lets me mow at higher speeds than your typical lawn/garden tractor.

I also have a Kwik-way loader used for various tasks such as moving soil and getting rid of shrubbery clippings when the time comes. I also tow a aerator and gasoline powered dethacther a few times a season.

Lastly, I have a plow that I use for my driveway. The driveway is about 125 ft. The bottom of the driveway toward the house (raised ranch) can hold (6) cars and the part that goes to the street can hold another (3) or so. I 100% use 4x4 during the winter along with a full weight box (approx. 400 lbs) and 10 gallons of washer fluid in each rear tire. The rise from the house to the road is about 15 feet or so and pushing snow up the drive to the street is tough but the tractor gets it done.

I have modified my tractor with some modifications that others have done along with a few that have not. The most common with the Legacy XL and loader is to increase the pressure relief valve under the seat. I added (2) washers to net a hydraulic pressure of 1250 PSI. This made a night and day difference in how the loader performs. I have had no adverse effects as of yet. Other modifications include a custom hydraulic control lever. I did not like the way the factory lever resides under the steering wheel during use. I made a much longer one with ball on the end and is especially useful during the winter actuating the plow with heavy gloves on. I also added a rear flood light to assist with night snow removal.

Lastly, I tweaked the injection pump on the engine to give me an unloaded max RPM of 3600. It came from the dealer only running about 3400 (according to the onboard tachometer). The injection pump was turned up about 3/4 of a turn to give a bit more power (maybe 10%)

I have 225 hours on my machine and bought it as a demo back in 2015. It is a model year 2011. I love the tractor and am always using it for different tasks around the house. It is truly a 4-season machine. I thought about going to a true sub-compact and could have gotten into one of those (Kubota, Deere or Massey) for the same money (give or take) but settled on the Legacy due to it being a bit smaller and an exceptional cut compared to the big boys.

If you have any questions about my experience, feel free to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Andy and Cakes for the help. I am still weighing the info and trying to make the decision on what to do. I appericate all your input.

Steve
 

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Cakes, how is the job of removing the 61 fab deck? When they first went from the 60 to the 61, I read a couple threads where folks complained about the difficulty of removing the 61 deck.
 

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Cakes, how is the job of removing the 61 fab deck? When they first went from the 60 to the 61, I read a couple threads where folks complained about the difficulty of removing the 61 deck.
If you don’t get stuck on color, my friend has a Kubota BX2380 54” deck and he loves using it for his lawn mowing due to the ease of the power steering. He really loves how it handles his Cyclone Rake Z10. No snow duty, but could without any issue.

I have a Deere X738 54” deck and can tell you larger heavy decks can be a chore, but the Deere drive over deck really helps with that. I think my deck is 219 lbs. My son’s X730 60” deck is heavier by 20-30 lbs. Both machines are used for snow blowing duty. I don’t use any chains and have no issues with the full time HFWD. My son uses weights and chains and has a very long gravel drive that is very steep, but it has handled it well so far.
 

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The 61" fabricated deck is heavy. Over 300 lbs. I have got a system and can remove it in 15-20 minutes and install it in 30-35 minutes or so. My trick is using the front loader to lift the front wheels off the ground. This allows for easy sliding underneath. The next hardest part is getting the quick connect for the driveshaft. If I get some time I am going to compare the parts list from mine to the "new" drive over deck and see if we can adapt the parts to the older version.
 
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