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Discussion Starter #1
I have narrowed it all down to 2 tractors. Deere X500 or Simplicity Conquest. Let's have some chatter from the experts to help me!

Mowing a little over an acre, mostly flat with 1 good slope (wouldn't quite call it a hill). Snowblowing about 175' pretty flat, paved driveway with a pad at the house. Pull a cart with some mulch/rocks a couple time a year. No ground engaging. If I were JUST mowing, I'd look at the X320 or Broadmoor.

So, I want something that will last 15-20 years with regular maintainance. The Wife will use it on rare occasions while I'm away. I am equal distance from both dealers (5 miles in opposite directions). Both dealers have been in business for decades and have good reputations.

I originally wanted something with hydraulic or electric lift for the blower in the event the Wife has to use it. I just got back from checking out the Conquest w/2 stage blower and it was pretty easy to raise/lower without any hydraulics/electricity. I have a quote with the electric lift on the X500. Simplicity seems to have better financing options right now than Deere.

Both seem more than capable for what I'll be doing. I am not tied to either brand. I have quotes for both with blowers/weights/chains and turbo/powerflow baggers.

I would LOVE some input! Engines, tranny, grass cut, ease of use, blowing, etc.

Thanks!:fing32:
 

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X500 has a Tuff-Torq K72 trans and It is a Mid Level Garden tractor
Conquest has a Tuff-Torq K66 trans it is advertised as More of a Yard Tractor It can take a Tiller and there is a 1point Hitch(sleeve Hitch) available for it Not strongly advertised By Simplicity The Top of the Line Model conquest Has Power steering which would be a nice feature for snow Blowing Deere takes Both those a tiller and sleeve Hitch as well Both Tractors have diff/lock.

I would suggest Going with a Conquest with a Briggs over the Kohler Courage twin The Briggs have Electronic Fuel Management. Here is another thing to Look at with Both How easy are the Blower to go On and I know there Deere is Very easy and straight forward. But for your Intended Purpose either One would do Both are fine Machines:thThumbsU
 

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If money were less of an issue to me, I would of bought Simplicity because I love their striping / cut quality.

But, comparing the Kawasaki and TT k72 transmission in the Deere vs TT K66 and Kohler/Briggs in the Conquest.. (I got a Courage and K66 in my $2500 Sears) I may lean Deere if that is your max price range.

I would take a Prestige over an x500 or x520+ though.

You might want to check if there are any Sears PGT9500 (basically a rebadged Prestige w/o deck roller) left at the Sears outlet stores?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good input so far! I knew the X500 had a little beefier tranny, but it is also more $$. Correct me if I'm wrong but the tranny in the Conquest is NOT the same as the X320 right? I know that is not serviceable. Again, both are probably more machine than what I need, but I want it to last. Both of these have serviceable tranny's that I can change fluid/filters, right?

I originally compared the Prestige to the X500w/electric lift, then concluded the Prestige is much more tractor (and more $$) and it was kind of apples to oranges.

I know the X500 is more than enough for my uses, and the X320 was not. To me, the Conquest kind of falls between them (even though it's a different brand).

X500 has electric lift, 44"blower, 1 weight, 7 bushel powerflow bagger and "I'll even throw in a hat for you and pink one for the wife". :bellyemot $8282


Conquest has 42" 2 stage blower, 4 50lb weights, chains, 10 bushel turbo bagger. $7900

I should also say the Simplicity dealer will double the warrantee to 4 years, free delivery/pickup/drop off for service, and free loaner if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh yeah, 46" mower on Conquest vs 48" on X500. Suposedly Simplicity has a nicer cut?

And it's the 23 hp Kohler on the Conquest. Simplicity dealer actually told me that the 23 Kohler is a better engine than the 24 hp B&S. Says the Kohler has been around a lot longer and rarely does his dealership see them come in with issues.
 

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I can see your dilemma here.

I have two questions to make the comparison more equal:
1) Is the JD a two stage blower as well. The 2 stage are a lot more expensive than single stage blowers.
2) Is it correct that the JD comes with only one (42 lb) weight. If so you will need 3 more to compare to the Simplicity. Actually in weight it is almost 4 more as you will then compare 210 lbs vs 200 lbs. This is an additional $ 150 on the Deere cost.

Anyway based on what you are planning to do I think the TT K66 will be plenty for you. Unless you have big hills or is a very big guy :thThumbsU

I am personally a big Kohler fan, but that is limited to the Command engines. I have heard a lot of issues with the Courage engines. That being said I have never owned or used one myself.
But if I was in the same situation I would likely go with the Briggs engine. It is more of a gut feel and I would like to see the engines in person before making a decision. If you have a good relationship with your dealer I would trust him though.

One word of caution as you are mentioning having the tractor for 15-20 years. I believe either of those engines are likely in the 750 to 1000 hour rating range. At 20 years that is 35-50 hours per year.
I am putting 75+ machine hours on per year, but I also have a 5 acre lawn to take care of as well as a long driveway to snow blow.

Finally a very important issue will be how comfortable you are on working on the tractor yourself. The 4 year warranty with free pickup and loaner is a very strong offer.
So I would say for less money and with better service/warranty I would go with the Simplicity.

PS: Yes, you can see on my signature line that I am a Simplicity fan. That being said I have not bought a Simplicity that was less than 8 years old and none from a dealer. So I think my comments are still balanced. It was a bit of a coincidence that I ended up with the Simplicity tractors - but I like having 2 (or 3) identical tractors when they are used. Before these I had 2 Craftsman GT5000 tractors.
 

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You are correct, The Conquest is an upgrade from the x320. (K66 vs K5x series). The K66 can have an optional external filter for serviceability. Mine was not equipped with that option, so you may want to check.
TuffTorq lists the K66 as a ground engaging transmission (Deere used to sell an entry level GT with it) but Simplicity likes to go overkill.

The early Courage single cylinder engines got a bad reputation. I think the twins are now good enough, like many engines check the oil at every use, and you should do fine.

I do really like the sound of your Simplicity dealer, )you do know what you are looking at, so I'm back to leaning Simplicity.

Fwiw, it does look like Searsoutlet still lists a few
PGT9500's for $4100-$4400 (then add a few hundred for shipping). A killer deal to get a Prestige frame transmission, power steering and deck lift. (But a 30hp Briggs) ... But you do not get the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can see your dilemma here.

I have two questions to make the comparison more equal:
1) Is the JD a two stage blower as well. The 2 stage are a lot more expensive than single stage blowers.
2) Is it correct that the JD comes with only one (42 lb) weight. If so you will need 3 more to compare to the Simplicity. Actually in weight it is almost 4 more as you will then compare 210 lbs vs 200 lbs. This is an additional $ 150 on the Deere cost.

Anyway based on what you are planning to do I think the TT K66 will be plenty for you. Unless you have big hills or is a very big guy :thThumbsU

1. Yes, they are both 2 stage blowers. JD MSRPs theirs for $1499.

2. The quote says 1 weight from JD. I know they can be found cheaper at a box store. Simplicity is 4 50lb weights and bracket.

3. I go 195 lbs dry. 205 lbs with liquid in me. Right now I'm closer to 205! :drunkie:


BTW, is there anything else I should be looking at?
 

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Oh the joys of living where the tractor gods refuse to shine their lights. I found a "reconditioned" PGT9500 at an Outlet Store on the other side of the country and shipping would cost me $555.13. Oh! But if I have a Sears card I can get it for 0% for 12 months. I took one look at the information they want from me for that card and said No Thanks.

Do a "Ship-To-Store" transfer and I'll "gladly' pay the nearly 9% sales tax to see what I'm buying before I put down my rapidly diminishing pension dollars.

Regards,

Dan
 

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If I were you I would look at stepping up to the X530. I know the cost is a little steep, but the power steering is a definate plus!

Joe
 

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I should also say the Simplicity dealer will double the warrantee to 4 years, free delivery/pickup/drop off for service, and free loaner if needed.
Just make sure You get that in writing from Him on doubling the warranty Unless it a extended warranty from Briggs Outdoor Power But I see they changed to a K-66L Sealed Trans on the Conquest and That right There Makes Me want to say Run Away from the Conquest Unless You get them to Put in the drain Kit for it which is available from Tuff-Torq No Parts Number for it in the Simp Parts Catalog Just a reference Number 16 Just for this class of tractor I think it a Bad Idea to have a sealed Unit It fine to have a sealed unit on a Lawn tractors Not a Yard tractor though technically the Conquest fall in along the Lines of a GT and it Looks Like the conquest with Power steering is still totally serviceable without having to Get a drain Kit :thThumbsU
 

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dancote, you'll love the power steering on that PGT9500 it drives like a dream, and it's totally hydraulic has no shaft or sector just a valve under the column with hoses. I love it, it drives better than my mega buck Avalanche!
 

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Although not new, I have had a JD 345 and both a Conquest and Prestige. I ended up keeping the Prestige. Engines are the heart of the matter, and I am not sure which you are seriously considering, but the better the engine the longer your satisfaction...as long as you maintain it correctly. I prefer the Vanguard and Command. It did seem like my Vanguard used less gas than the Command or Kawasaki engines. The JD snow blower went on easier than the Prestige snow blower, but only taking it off and putting it on, one time each a year, leaves little difference in the few extra minutes. Both blowers worked very well. Most of the time I am using the tractor to mow. The Simplicity deck never scalped the high spots in my yard, while the JD did. Also my powerflow units had differences. The JD had a plastic fan...the Simplicity fan was metal, which I preferred. Lastly, having seen so many broken JD hoods, and "bumpers", I really prefer the metal hood on the Simplicity. Although I used the power lift when tilling, it is not really needed for everyday use. It may be easier in lifting the snowblower, but also it does not work when the tractor is not running, where the manual lift does... something to consider, just in case you were to break down while out blowing snow. Not positive on this, but I think the Simplicity came with 4-Ply original tires. I hope some of my thoughts are helpful, even though they do not apply to new equipment, which I have never owned and don't know much about.
 

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A couple of other thoughts just came to me. Both the parking brake and cruise control on the Simplicity were more user friendly for me, than those on the JD.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the great input guys. I WAS leaning a little more toward the Conquest, but started reading more about the k66 trnny. I was under the impression that it is fully servicable. From what I've read, that is not true. You CAN change the oil (although I've been reading it is very difficult unless modified), but there is no filter. Once it goes it's about $1200 for a new one, not including labor.

The X500 has a k72 correct? That IS servicable right? Should something go wrong, they would be able to crack it open and fix it, not just throw it away, right?

Again, I WILL NOT be doing ground engaging stuff, I just want it to last.

Thanks again for all info!:trink39:
 

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Yes the K72 is serviceable on the X500 The K72 on the X500 does not have a external filter though (external filter only on X530, X534 & X540) But a Internal filter this has Been pretty commonly used in many Deere Garden tractors without Hydraulic Lift But it does have a drain Plug item Number 26 & if You want a removable filter there is a Kit From Tuff-torq as well which fits In front of Item Number 30 & 31 Now there is a Kit available to convert that K-66L back into the same setup as the K-66AC with a internal filter or the K-66L can be set up with a drain Plug at a extra cost. All I have to say on this One There Goes Briggs changing a Proven system again slowly the quality that Simplicity once was in being eaten away:banghead3
for example the current 46inch deck shell is Based on a Older Murray Deck design

K-72B used in X500


:thThumbsU
 

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I am somewhat under the impression the "serviceable" means the oil is easily changed.

Integrated hydros are all very complex. I am fairly sure you can buy replacement parts for a K66. I would ask the dealer if changing the oil is allowed under warranty. Is that a service they can perform?

(In higher-end equipment, there are seperate hydro pump, motor and transmission, and it is "easier" to rebuild 1 of the 3 components vs replacement.

The external filter would do more oil impurity filtering vs an internal filter that is mostly a screen for catching metal filings.

I am not hugely concerned with the k66 for your use, it is a bit overkill and that's a good thing.
 

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IMO the conquest isn't in the same league as the X500 JD's, this is apples and oranges.

The comparison should be an X500 and the prestige or the X400 and the conquest. Is Simplicity really that over priced?

And there is no doubt that the simplicity will give a better cut, so much so that you will be hooked for life, I know i am.

The 9500, is a good buy at sears and its a prestige in black, looks nice! all simplicity attachments would fit, just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am somewhat under the impression the "serviceable" means the oil is easily changed.

Integrated hydros are all very complex. I am fairly sure you can buy replacement parts for a K66. I would ask the dealer if changing the oil is allowed under warranty. Is that a service they can perform?

(In higher-end equipment, there are seperate hydro pump, motor and transmission, and it is "easier" to rebuild 1 of the 3 components vs replacement.

The external filter would do more oil impurity filtering vs an internal filter that is mostly a screen for catching metal filings.

I am not hugely concerned with the k66 for your use, it is a bit overkill and that's a good thing.
I agree that the k66 is probably perfectly fine, but I read a couple different guys on other forums talk about their k66 conquest junking out on them after a couple years. They were told $1200 for a new tranny, they are sealed and can't be opened to fix.

Now who knows if what I read is completly true. And if true, were they using it for much more than it's rated? Who knows.

Again, the hardest job I'll use it for is blowing snow. I just don't want to be "that guy" who has issues after 5 years and has to spend $2k or so for a new tranny. :crybaby:
 

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Another thing to consider is your age, if your older you might want to get something used with a heated cab, your wife would really like that also.

I was having a hard time with a Toro walk behind with me getting tired, and it was getting to be quite a job.

Now with a heated cab I can't wait for the snowstorms, winter is now a fun time.

Rob
 
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