New Garden Tractor advice

pjohns1(7)December 30, 2013

I am looking to purchase a garden tractor to take care of 3-4 acres. The predominant use will be mowing a bermuda lawn, but I would also like to use it for hauling, aerating/ground engaging tools. It will be in use all year round. Most of the land is flat with some gentle slopes, however there is one fairly steep slope. I have seen a neighbor use a zero turn on this slope so it doesn't seem too steep by that measure. There are a few trees/obstacles in the mowing area.

I have looked at several brands (JD, Cub Cadet, Simplicity) and seem to keep coming back to the JD. I previously lived in a fairly residential area and since moving out to "the country" I've seen most of my previous lawn equiment break down fairly quickly. Also the dirt in this area is pretty unforgiving being a mixture of heavy clay and chert. Bedause of this I have gravitated to some of the heavier duty models like the X5/X7 models.

Any recommendations on models? Should I be looking at other models than JD? I'm trying not to drink the Kool Aid. Is an X5/X7 too much for what I need it for? I hate to hit a thumb tack with a sledge hammer, but on the other hand I don't want to be spending a fortune on parts/repairs. Is there much of a difference between the JD signature series and select series? I've also been interested in the 4 wheel steer feature of some of the X5/X7 models. Is that feature worth the extra money? Should 4WD be an option that I need?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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just some comments:
1) look at what other similar users with the same acreage/terrain are successfully using using in your area - ask them about their eqpt. pro/con experiences.

2) would work thru reputable dealers rather than Big Box stores for the sort of eqpt you are considering.

3)Always try to get demos performed out on your property - will help tremendously in getting eqpt that really meets your particular performance wants/needs.

4) You are already asking good, related questions. Best of luck on your search.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 10:28PM
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"aerating/ground engaging tools." Dragging an aerator around doesn't require a lot of HP, HD trans, or traction tires. Pulling a plow, etc. through heavy clay on the other hand.... Specifically define what you intend to do which should simplify your selection.

rcbe makes excellent points, especially asking what other folks have in your area and what they use it for.

If you're going for the "upper end" of this market, carefully evaluate the service reputation of local dealers. A "GT" from Sears, etc. would probably do what you want, but are you "handy?"

Good luck,


    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 11:18PM
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I own a Simplicty, so I am biased. If the primary use of the machine is to cut the grass, and you are cutting Bermuda, I would look hard at the quality of cut (bermuda looks bad if it is all scalped up). The Simplicity deck really gives a superior cut, if you go to the simplicity web site, they have some videos explaining the deck and how it works. I really like mine, this is a Broadmore which is too small for your needs, their larger tractors have the same deck.

This post was edited by lkbum on Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 10:30

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 10:29AM
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