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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I'm about to move from .14 acres to 2.15 acres and need some advice. I'm gonna need to buy a lawn tractor buy the end of next week and figure asking this forum is better than asking salespeople. Here is some background - I would appreciate any advice or comments.
My "budget" needs to be under $2500.
Cutting just over 2 acres of mostly flat with not many obstacles to mow around.
The two most important things to me are 1) A great cut 2)Mulching with NO clumps of dead grass left behind.
Cutting grass will be my weekly break so I'm not concerned with a huge deck!

I've talked to many salespeople and have been told that John Deeres are great BUT the box store models are not the same as the dealer models - and the dealer models seem to be out of my price range.
I like the claims that Simplicity make about the nice cut and the "striping" would be nice - if it worked.

I had looked at a JD at HD for around $1800 - I think the 115? What support would I get if I got a JD tractor from a big box store and it crapped out after 6 months? Same as a dealer?
The Simplicity dealer seemed helpful - he deals just in Simplicity, Stihl and Toro. The regent with 18hp kohler courage is $2300 with tax and the Broadmoor 18hp has a Briggs and Stratton Vanguard V-Twin for around $2600 including tax. I asked the guy what I would get for the extra $300 bucks and it did not seem like much - a little quieter maybe?

So.... let me know what you think about the above tractors and please tell me if I need to look at something else in my price range.
Thanks.
 

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If all you're going to do is mow, and you take very good care of it, I would think most tractors within a given price range will do the job about the same. A good dealer is a good thing, however. The big box stores will just sell it to you- you need to go to a dealer for service. Sorry I can't give specific brand advice- my newest tractor is over 40 years old!
 

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he'll sell a Broadmoor for $2600? The prices I saw on the Simplicity site quote retail range at $4300-$4950. They look like nice machines, I hear the Simplicity owners on MTF seem happy with them.

The big-box JD's are the same as the dealer JD's. It is an entry-level machine, for mowing and light duty pulling chores, but no ground-engaging work (tilling, plowing, etc). Of course, take this potential need into any decision on any brand--what is that tractor intended for. You can take most any LT or GT in the 2K-2500 range, park it next to most any other LT or GT in the 3-4K range and see the difference almost immediately. Axle size, steering linkages, frame steel thickness, deck steel thickness, tranny size, convenience features, etc.

Are you mechanically inclined? One of the recommendations from many people here is to find an older, bigger machine that has a good reputation for service and longevity and buy it. More machine for the money, but maybe a few things to fix, and no warranties. That's the trade-off.

Good luck in your search.
 

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The Deere dealer sells the same models as the ones at the box stores. They also sell the next model line up called the Select series which start with the X300. The local dealer will serivce the tractor you buy at the box store. Generally they will serve ones purchased at their dealer first. The local dealer gets paid to "set up" the ones at the box store. Also the box store can not lower the price below what the dealer would sell it for. Sometimes the local dealer will add about $100 or so. Sometimes not.

There is no question the Simplicity does have a nice cut. JD cut quality is very good as well.

In terms of mulching you have to relaize that if you do not cut often you will have clumps no matter what. I do not believe there is that big of a difference between mulching and side discharge. Since I enjoy getting "seat time" I will often side discharge and go over the lawn twice. By the time I hit it the second time the cut grass has dried out so it essentially disapears into the lawn.

If all you are doing is cutting the grass and maybe pulling a small cart around now and then, and your yard is revaltively flat I think a box store model would do just fine for years. Keep up with the maintenance.

Depending on how sales are going at the dealer maybe they would give you a free maintence kit (oil/filter). Also they may deliver for free.

Let us know what you decide !
 

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Let's get back to this Simplicity Broadmoor with the Vanguard for $2600. I have no personal experience with them but from reading this forum I can tell you that Simplicity is well respected and the Vanguard engine is very well respected (worth your $300 price difference). A dealer you like is always a plus too. Anyone with actual experience with these want to chime in?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the quick feedback guys! Sorry, but I have an important correction to make. The $2600 model the Simplicity guy has is still the REGENT, th differnce being a 20hp Briggs V twin engine as apposed to the 18hp.
 

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About that Broadmoor - Do yourself a favor and check out the Simplicity website at simplicitymfg.com - That price is well under the list rice for a new Broadmoor. On the website, they start at about $4,300! Make sure it is not a used one he is quoting you on.
 

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I have the manual 5 speed La100 JD bought from lowes and this is my third cutting season without any problems so far.I cut about 1 acre with some minor sloping terrian.The LA series bought from the box stores has a local JD dealer assigned to checkout and ready every LA tractor at the box store and will do any future work on it.Buying any extended warrenty from the box store means that it will pick up and transport the tractor to the assigned dealer if needed and the dealer will preform the work.
 

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I have about the same mowing area as you do and opted for the Husqvarna 2554LGT at Lowe's. Very happy with my purchase; I also looked at the Deere LA175 (also 54") and found no real advanage of green over orange - they both use the K46 transaxle, so no ground-engaging. The husq has the deck wash port and greasable spindles on the deck.

Like lawnguy I don't mulch, but instead mow outside-in then turn around and mow inside out which chops the clippings up well enough. The husq's deck has a strong discharge and I haven't had any problem with the thick stuff clumping out of the chute.

The wide deck cuts well, I did have to adjust it as the Lowes guy apparently just hangs them on there; I would assume a dealer would make these adjustments for you, I also has to lower the deck wheels as they left these in the highest position as-shipped. It took about 1/2 hour and a couple of hand tools to adjust it all. I have a ditch that I mow which I have to mow a certain way so the wide deck doesn't bottom out on the side-no big deal.
 

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My 2 cents - for your price range go get yourself a Simplicity Regent w/ the Briggs ELS engine in it. Pick the deck size that is right for your budget and lawn. In the sub 2k range I would go Simplicity Simplicity Simplicity and not look back at all. For occasional light towing and relatively flat land, you'll get a good 8-10 out of the Regent - maybe more if you take good care of it and luck is with you.

The Regent is a stout grass cutter with a superior deck to anything in that price range. You can compare transmissions, engines, frame, etc. but they will all basically wash for that kind of coin. What you're going to get w/ the Simplicity is that deck.

Yah, I'm a proud owner of a JD, but if I were spending what you want to spend I'd be posting all over the orange forum. I really like the Regent.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone. I appreciate you all taking the time to post your thoughts - I'll be back to let you know how it goes...and learn some more. Cheers.
 
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