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We recently built a new house on a 1 1/2 acres and my wonderful husband thought he was actually going to use our little push mower for it until he attemped to cut 1/3 of it this past weekend and his knees couldn't take it. The lot has some very uneven areas with substantial ruts, a fairly steep culvert, and a large septic mound that we need to be able to mow safely. We also want to be able to pull a dethatcher, trailer, and aerator and possibly use it as a snowblower. We've tried to do some research and visited some local dealers but each one seems to think we need something different and of course their brands are always the best. Ideally we'd like to stay below $4,000 if possible, but we want something that will last a good decade or more with regular maintenance. What really matters and what should we be looking for in terms of features? Thank you for any guidance you can provide.
 

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Welcome to the forum....
Now down to business. Right out of the gate you're going to need at least two pieces of equipment. The push mower being one of them. Don't get rid of it because you're going to need it. From there I personally believe I'd be looking at some decent type of Zero turn and even then you're asking a lot from it. You might consider something like a John Deere garden tractor w/all wheel drive but I don't have any idea what they're going for these days. Would you consider something used?? Craigslist is one of my very best friends. Hope this helps.
Ask questions... Someone will be along to help you.
 

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Like micah68kj said, don't toss that push mower out yet. There's places it'll come in handy for trimming. Speaking of which, you may also consider a string trimmer of some type along the way as well, but then, that's not answering your main question.

Your doing right by doing your own research, and visiting with dealers. Having an established dealer to work with is going to be a benefit down the road when maintenance and service is needed. The amount you mentioned should get you pretty well set up with all the equipment you mentioned. So far as the dethatcher and aerator go, depending on how often you actually intend to use them, you may actually consider obtaining them from a rental center rather than purchasing them, at least right away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the forum....
Now down to business. Right out of the gate you're going to need at least two pieces of equipment. The push mower being one of them. Don't get rid of it because you're going to need it. From there I personally believe I'd be looking at some decent type of Zero turn and even then you're asking a lot from it. You might consider something like a John Deere garden tractor w/all wheel drive but I don't have any idea what they're going for these days. Would you consider something used?? Craigslist is one of my very best friends. Hope this helps.
Ask questions... Someone will be along to help you.
Thank you for your reply. Yes, used would definitely be an option, but we don't really know what features are needed. We hear things about power steering, hydraulic vs. electric vs manual lift, and differential lock. What things would be necessary and what things are just nice to have? A local dealer had a "seemingly" great deal on an Allis-Chalmers (Simplicity) YT9500 and said it's really just the Simplicity Conquest in black without power steering, but we can't find anything about that model number. That same dealer told us that a zero turn would not be ideal for our lawn because of the slopes. Thoughts?
 

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I vote used equipment and probably a gear driven machine vs. hydro. there are tons of nice tractors on Craigslist. Im not into tractors so I can't help any further. Have fun learning, looking and dealing.
 

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Yes, I believe the fellow who told you that the Allis Chalmers is a Simplicity in black was correct. That being said, he should also be able to tell you if the accessories available for the Simplicity would also work on the Allis Chalmers.

Simplicity and Allis Chalmers has had a long history together.
http://www.simpletractors.com

It is possible that they have changed their designations of their product line.
Allis-Chalmers by Briggs & Stratton

Here's a Craig's List ad from Madison.
ALLIS CHALMERS (SIMPLICITY) LAWN AND GARDEN BLOW OUT SALE

Here you can compare the Conquest features with that of the YT9500.
Conquest Yard Tractor | Riding Lawn Mower | Simplicity

Simplicity is owned by the Briggs and Stratton company.
Our Brands : BASCO

My opinion would be that for 1 1/2 acres, power steering would be one of those nice to have things. But, if you're going to do a lot of maneuvering in tight spaces, and changing directions a lot, then the power steering and hydrostatic transmission might be a real benefit.. Depending on how really steep and rough your terrain is, differential lock might be overkill too.

One thing I'd recommend you do is ask to take what these dealers are showing you for a test drive. See how they feel to you before buying. It is, after all, a pretty big purchase, and you want to be comfortable with what you buy and are going to be using for a good long time.
 

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I would get a stand alone snow blower. Driveway description would help, of course, but a blower on the front of a mower/tractor, is very long, hard to maneuver, and requires weights and chains, as well. Just like the small mower, you will eventually get a small blower, too.
 

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We recently built a new house on a 1 1/2 acres and my wonderful husband thought he was actually going to use our little push mower for it until he attemped to cut 1/3 of it this past weekend and his knees couldn't take it. The lot has some very uneven areas with substantial ruts, a fairly steep culvert, and a large septic mound that we need to be able to mow safely. We also want to be able to pull a dethatcher, trailer, and aerator and possibly use it as a snowblower. We've tried to do some research and visited some local dealers but each one seems to think we need something different and of course their brands are always the best. Ideally we'd like to stay below $4,000 if possible, but we want something that will last a good decade or more with regular maintenance. What really matters and what should we be looking for in terms of features? Thank you for any guidance you can provide.
A few of things you've mentioned
...very uneven areas with substantial ruts
...fairly steep culvert
...large septic mound
Is it possible to post some pictures of some of these possible troublesome areas ?

Without knowing how steep some of these areas are, I would suggest a 4wd or AWD machine, as another member has already mentioned.
Most 4wd or AWD machines are going cost 2 or 3 times the $4000 budget you have mentioned.
There is one AWD machine that retails for $5399,
a Husqvarna R322T AWD.
I use the R322T to mow my lawn, which has some 15 degree slopes and a 19 slope. My lawn is rough with occasional dips too, it's just an old hay field.

My previous 2wd riding mower had issues of traction loss on my steep slopes, and a couple of time it lost traction then suddenly gained it back and caused the front end of the machine to rise up and over backwards. I luckily was not injured, but did have some spilled gas and engine oil.
The Husqvarna R322T AWD has no traction loss issues on my steep slopes.

It's hard to explain how well this machine can perform on sloped ground, so I've tried to find a video of the R322T mowing some slopes.
I didn't find a video of a R322T, but I did find a video of an articulating AWD mower being used on a steep slope.
The machine in the video is a Jonsered FR2216MA2 with a Combi 103 mowing deck which is almost the exact machine as my Husqvarna R322T AWD.

Front and back transmissions are the same for both machines but the Husqvarna R322T's engine has a little more HP.

The video does a pretty good job in showing what the articulating AWD mower can do on slopes.

Part 1.

Part 2.
 

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This might possibly be something worth looking at. ... But it's just a suggestion. I do know these older Deere units were some good machines. I had a J.D. 332 for several years and it was one of the best machines I ever owned. Moved to a much smaller place and sold it.

John Deere 265 Garden Tractor
 
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