New Garden Tractor advice
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.