2007 Simplicity Broadmoor Review

lkbum_gwSeptember 20, 2007

I am nearing the end of my first season with my:

Simplicity Broadmoor 2044HP (20HP Briggs Vanguard, 44 in cut)


My new Broadmoor

Although my use has been limited due to drought, I thought a review was in order for the readers of this forum looking for mower suggestions. These views are based on about 18 hours of use (like I said, we are in a drought). I cut about 1 and acres, donÂt break ground, nor push snow with the thing. My yard is reclaimed pasture, fairly bumpy with tall fescue.

What I cut - View From Cabin - NOTE Low Lake due to drought down 10 feet (still 12 feet off the end of the dock)

What I cut -View From Lake

Mower Replaced  Murray Hydrostatic Drive  17 HP, 48 " Cut Purchased in 1999 for $1000 at Walmart  Probably best value I ever had in any piece of mechanized Equipment  Reason for replacement  Was Taking as long to keep running as I was cutting the grass, When Murray went out of business, Home Depot quit stocking parts, the transmission was getting weak and I didnÂt want to put any more money into the thing.

Old Murray

Other tractors considered- Deere X320, CUB 2544

Thing I Liked about the Deere  Kawaski Engine idled perfectly and was smooth as silk, great dealer, nice ride, felt solid.

Things I liked about the Cub  Shaft Drive, Serviceable transmission, Great Seat, good dealer

Thing I didnÂt like about the Deere  Price, Deck appeared a little flimsy

Thing I didnÂt like about the Cub  Some things on the machine just appeared to be Cheap, DidnÂt like the way the front cowl opened.

Other qualitative Observations:

Feel  Equal to Deere

Ride - Equal to Deere, Superior to Cub

Deck Removal  Appeared Easier than Deere or Cub (I did not try and remove the deck from either of these mowers)

Primary Reason for Selecting the Simplicity  Recommendations from other users and the "floating deck". Cost- about $3500 after taxes, including rebate.

Biggest Reason for almost not getting the Simplicty. There are virtually NO dealers in my area. The Simplicity Web site list dealers in my area that have not sold or serviced the machines for several years. Request to Simplicity for help in locating a dealer was worthless. I was told by one of the "ex" dealers that Snappers were the same as the Simplicity. They are not, they have a different deck.

Dislikes -

1) The deck adjustment mechanism is easy to trip on if exiting the mower to the right hand side. Really a poor design. As a matter of fact, virtually every thing to adjust or move is on the right hand side. Better hope you never need to bail off of this machine to the right, you will get caught by one of these levers. I had to bail off my old Murray once (it freewheeled on an incline), I donÂt recall if I jumped right or left. Note the Brake is on the same side as the hydro pedals (making nursing onto something like ramps, virtually impossible (this is my biggest complaint about the mower).

Look at the clutter

Dislikes Continued

2) Grease zerks for the mower spindles are under the deck, this seems like a bad place, do other mowers have them located here? (my old murrays were above the deck, stayed clean and were easy to reach). I guess this negates the requirement to remove the belt gaurds to access an above deck zerk.

3) Has too many penetrating screws from the covers on top of the deck into the deck giving a pretty good place for grass to accumulate.

4) Briggs Engine does not idle very smoothly, especially comapred to the Kaw on the Deere

5) The "Automatic Controlled TractionÂ" feature does not really appear to give much of an advantage compared to my Murray

Likes -

Cut quality  Truly unsurpassed, no scalp marks even if you hit a pot hole with one of your tires while mowing, even my neighbors have noticed.

This section of yard was cut going against the incline (would have been chewed with scalp marks by my old murray - Note smooth as carpet)

Likes Continued

Feel, Comfort Level

Gas Refill placement

Ease of Deck Removal

Appears to be very high quality

Comes with oil change extension.

Turn Radius.

Appears to be a very heavy duty deck.

The spindles on the deck are designed so that vines (such as Kudzu) or errant strings (bailing twine) will not wrap around the spindle and hurt the bearing seal.

Stripping - However, while this is fun, it takes a lot more time, requires very healthy grass (we are in a drought at the moment) and would be best with a bagger (just my opinion).

Problems to date:

Front mower attachment loosened at the front axle (appeared to have not been tightened at the factory)

RIO- Switch under the tractor became jammed (Appeared to be improperly set at the factory)

Would I recommend this mower  Absolutely

Would I have recommended my Old Murray  Yes, if you like tinkering around a little to keep it running, it was really a good machine.

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I have the same machine, also a 2007, and have 23 hours on it. I concur with your observations and bought mine after considering a Deere X304. I used to have a Cub Cadet 1525 that had a Kawasaki 15 HP engine (good tractor). So far the Briggs Vanguard is as nice as the Kawa, What I noticed is that the Vanguard is easier on gas than the Kawasaki was. Seems that I don't fill the tank as much, but the turning radius is better on the Simplicity, too, which also helps.

I find that just letting the clippings fly is okay with the Simplicity and the deck stays very clean without having any mulching system in place. I have Kentucky bluegrass and live in northern Illinois.

I have the same problem you do - dealers are far and few between in comparison to Deere, but so far no problems requiring my dealer's help. I also paid the same ($3500) before taxes.

All considered, I would buy it again - the reverse mowing switch is also set up right - turn it on once and you are good to go.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 8:41PM
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Thanks for writing the review. Sounds like my story. Had a 1994 Murray Ultra with 15 HP Briggs, hydro and 42" cut. Sold it this year part way into the mowing season and bought a Regent 2450 (came with a Briggs XLS engine). I sold the Murray after getting tired of it taking 4+ hours to mow my 2 acres we bought 4 years ago. Overall the Murray was a pretty reliable machine. The only negatives were the cut quality and speed.

I have about 34 hours on the Regent now and am overall pleased with it. I get the lawn done in just under 2 hours and the cut quality is superior. No scalping where my Murray always scalped. My lawn is also reclaimed pasture, and is bumpy, too. The only glitch was the engine hour timer skipped ahead about 23 hours when I changed the oil after the first 5 hours of run time.

I looked at Cubs, Deere's, Husqy's, and Snappers before settling on the Regent. Unlike where you and Bubba06 live, there are 3 Simplicity dealers within about 20 minutes of home. I like the lawn striping, as well, though my wife was not as enthusiastic.

As far as dislikes, the biggest one is the infinite adjustment handle. Too much to fuss with and I'm not that anal to need such variation in cut adjustments. Also, when it gets caked with grass, it is hard to turn when I put the mower in the shed as there is a 2" lip from the ramp to the shed floor. The deck won't clear that unless I stop part way up the ramp and crank the deck handle to the lowest cutting height then it will clear the lip. This is because the rear rollers catch on the lip and lowering the deck essentially moves the rollers even with the deck bottom so they don't catch.

The Briggs Intek XLS engine has not given me any worries and seems to be pretty good on gas for its size. It is also smoother than the old 1 lung Briggs on the Murray. I can mow the lawn twice on a full tank. My old Murray was better on gas as the smaller engine used half as much gas (had a 2 gallon tank) to run for 4 hours as my Regent. But getting the lawn done in half the time is worth it since I would use 2 gallons with either machine to get the lawn cut.

One thing I bought recently that makes the ride more comfortable was a full seat cover. I bought a Cub Cadet one (Gray and black) at the Home Depot. Don't know if Simplicity makes one. And when it's hot out there is no issue with sticking to the plastic seat that doesn't breathe.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 9:42PM
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Thanks for the nice review. I think the item that surprised me most is where the brake is placed. On my 06 Regent it is on the left side and that's where it belongs.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:18PM
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Nice review. I hope people looking for a Broadmoor will know to do a search in order to find it. It's a shame gardenweb doesn't have a place for us to post cataloged reviews for easy reference. Imagine the wealth of information we'd bank if we all just wrote a review on the tractors we've owned. You might want to post it on eBay under Reviews and Guides. I posted one on my GT225 which has been read over 4,000 times. I also posted a used john deere gt buyers guide which has been read 34,000 times in a single year. It's not like I get anything out of that other than the knowledge that I might have helped one or two people make an informed decision. But if you really want to get the word out, eBay is the best place to post the review for the masses in a format which is easy to reference.

With all the accompanying pictures, you might want to clean it up a bit and pitch it to Popular Mechanics and Family Handyman. Freelance journalism is a great way to make a little cash on the side.

Oh, and it's funny how an extra 'p' in striping gives it a whole new meaning. While I'm sure your neighbors will admire you striping your grass, they might not appreciate you stripping in celebration of a healthy lawn.

Skinny-mowing, anyone?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:32PM
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Reactordude - I was able to adjust the lift linkage for the deck (under the mower) to a setting that lifted the deck significantly higher than the way it was set up by the dealer. Maybe you can do the same on your Regent.

Marineguy - Didn't you notice my bare leg and foot in one of those photos?? LOL!! Thanks for the suggestions on alternate postings. I found this site by Googling "simplicity mowers" in March.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 11:31PM
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Nicely done review. I suppose you'll need to train yourself to get on and off the tractor via the left side. Just pretend you're riding a horse :)

IME the brake pedal is placed above the hydro pedals to ensure that one is not depressing the brake and hydro pedals at the same time during a panic situation. It ensures the brakes aren't trying to stop the inertia of the tractor and the push of the hydro. I'm not really certain why one would need the brake pedal to "nurse" the machine anywhere. The foot controlled hydro should stop the machine in the neutral position and from there one may proceed as slowly or quickly as they wish.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 12:48PM
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I have been trained already, only took tripping a couple of times and snagging my shorts once (I'm a little slow). I'm pretty sure when you press on the brake, it disengages the pump (it did on my Murray, not positive about the Broadmoor). The reason I needed to nurse it, and this is probably not the smartest thing I've done, was to pull the tractor up a home made ramp (so I could tighten the front mower attach bracket). I had a couple of 2x8's that were resting on cinder blocks. I needed to drive the mower up the ramp and stop (I had done this previously with my Murray). When I drove up the ramp, I needed to stop and somewhat quickly. As I drove up and let my foot off the drive, the mower moved back down before I could hit the brake (apparently too steep for the hydro to hold). Had I been able to brake with my left foot, it would have been no problem. Probably not something done or needed by most, but after this I am convinced having the brake and drive pedals on different sides of the mower is better (especially if the pressing the brake disengages the drive).

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 5:25PM
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if you ever need to do that nursing maneuver again, just use the cruise lever to move the machine forward. On my Conquest its very sensitive and you can set it to inch along if you so desired.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 5:50PM
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Nice review and nice tractor. Almost as nice as my '06 18:36 :).

Just how steep an angle are going up. I have used boards to (8"x12') to put the tractor in the pickup as well as a ramp on the back of my utiility trailer. Neither have been an issue with the hydro. Maybe your ramp boards are too short?


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 6:04PM
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padlin(Z5 MA)

Just for a bit of longer term input. I've got a 3 year old unit, from the looks of your images nothing has changed.
To me the biggest selling point was the no switch for reverse, it was the last brand that didn't have one, sounds like that has changed.
200+ hours with no problems encountered other then finding a source for the air filters. Oil filters can be had for 1/2 the price at WM in the Fram brand PH3618. I have no idle problems with the Vanguard if that's what yours is.

Striping, or stripping if you prefer. After a years use I got it down pretty well, don't do the fancy 45 degree stuff anymore, just straight lines from the street to the house, it is the envy of the neighborhood although the comments have died off by now. As Ikbum mentioned, it stripes better the healthier your lawn is. The Broadmore is the lowest priced model that truly stripes.
Have yet to have the deck or blades cut into the lawn like my Craftsman used to, it's virtually impossible the way the deck rides on the rear roller instead of hanging from the tractor.
I can get about 3 mowings for the 4 gallons on my acre.
It's quiet.
Cuts great till the high lift part of the blades gets worn down.
Runs perfectly with no maintenance except oil and occational cleaning, at least up thru 200 hours.
I happen to like the zerk fittings, at least it has them, it might be a hassle to get to the ones under the deck but they are there if your so inclined.
If your into a nice looking lawn the Simplicities can't be beat.
I use it for thatching, aerating, sweeping, towing around the cart, and pretty much constantly has the bagger on it, no problems with power or vacumn.

Kicks up a ton of dust, needed a baffle for the 36" deck, that was some poor engineering.
No use for the auto pilot, I have too many obstacles to leave it at a set speed.
The local dealer no longer carries them, I have to drive about 20 miles for the closest one now.
Simplicity got bought out by B&S right after I bought mine.
Goes thru at least a set of blades each year (remember this is a 36").
$3600 is a lot of $$$ for a lwan mower.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:26PM
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this is a great post with true value to this forum. the pics add a nice touch. wish i could have read this when i was in the market for the broadmoor.

sounds like a great machine.

simpleman, you can drive your broadmoor up a ramp onto your pickup truck?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 10:29PM
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Simpleman, way to short (only a couple of feet). Like I said it was not one of the smartest things I've done.

Bogey123 - That's a great idea. I rarely use the cruise, but you are right in that it can be set to inch along, DUH! Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 11:49PM
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You guys that say you don't have Simplicity dealers in your area...have you looked for a Massey Ferguson dealer or an Agco dealer in your area? Simplicity private label packages their tractors for Massey Ferguson and Agco. Here's their links:




    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 8:17PM
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isn't snapper in the group too?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 8:34PM
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    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 10:54PM
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Snappers do not have the floating deck that the simplicity line does and the floating deck was the primary reason I wanted the Simplicity. The dealer I took delivery from also had Massey's but they were larger models. When I called the dealers on the simplicity site, all had switched to Snapper. I sent an e-mail to simplicity for help and they replied with an e-mail that I should try different zip codes in my area. I wrote back that it would be easier to input a larger search radius and that they should update their web site. They did not respond and have not updated their web site as of this posting. A friend who is a large user of Simplicity and Massey helped me locate a dealer.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2007 at 11:09PM
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Snapper was purchased by Simplicity in 2002 from Metromedia International Group...and then in 2004, Briggs & Stratton bought Simplicity and its companies Snapper, Ferris Industries, and Giant-Vac.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 12:12AM
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They are also (from what I hear) going to revive the Murray name which Briggs owns also and maybe fill the Lowes strores with them.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 9:35AM
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Murray is a low-mid price point brand and would certainly be a perfect fit for the box stores...

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 7:24PM
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I have a 18/38 broadmore that I purchased last winter,just turned 33 hours runs great,but has the same issues as yours. Biggest peeve is the way the dust blows out the front of the deck. The bagger that I have does a great job of picking up debrie pine needles grass and my hickery nut husks and shells from the squirrels.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 7:45PM
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i think the snapper does have the "floating deck" but no rollers. just front and rear casters.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 8:45PM
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From what I can tell these are twin models (Where as Simplicity has full width rollers on the rear of the mowing deck and Snapper only has the two rear rollers):

Simplicity Legacy XL -- Snapper GT600
Simplicity Prestige -- Snapper GT500
Simplicity Conquest -- Snapper YT400
Simplicty Broadmoor -- Snapper LT300
Simplicity Regent -- Snapper LT200

These are essentially the same tractor. All appear to have suspended mowing decks. Simplicty refers to their's as having a Quick Hitch removal system, and Snapper calls their's the Easy Removal System.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2007 at 9:27PM
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To lkbum: Can you share with us how you changed the linkage under the mower to lift the deck higher? Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 11:03AM
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