Need help finding the right yard/garden tractor
Long time lurker, newbie poster. Lots of great info here!
Well, it's time to buy a new(er) mower. Price point $2k - $4k. I have about 1.5 acres which is quite hilly. I need a mower that will be used primarily for mulching and want it to look nice when I'm done. I prefer hydro and am prepared to utilize fluid filled ag bar tires for improved traction. My current machine is a Simplicity 3314H with (I think) a 48" grass masher deck. It's not very dependable but ok for backup/entertainment (I'm a mechanic) purposes.
I've looked over a lot of the current offerings but it's not clear how to compare a Vickers hydro to the current offering of Tuff Torq equipment. Probably tougher than a K46 but equivalent to a K57, K72? Also watching craigslist but seems that people are wanting a lot of money for their used GTs, most 10 - 20 years old.
I'm fine with buying "one step above what you need" but not sure where that is. I'm looking for suggestions on good mulching mowers (am I right in assuming that a 46" deck is going to be a better choice that the 50" - 52"?) that will be durable.
From what I've looked at the x300 series seem to be a little underpowered for mulching at 18hp. The Snapper NXT seems to have a lighter guage frame (12 guage) than seems necessary. The B&S line (Snapper, Craftsman CTX)sounds promising and the Cub Cadet's might be a possibility as they are also available in my area.
Open to any and all suggestions.