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Datatron
09-17-2006, 10:57 PM
I have a Simplicity Colt with a 23 hp Briggs and 52 inch cut that keeps scalping my lawn with a stripe that seems to be coming from the brackets that hold the roller in place. The gouges are a narrow stripe that seem to occur at random and are usually 1 to 2 feet long. I have my deck height set at 2.5 inches and the ground is pretty soft from a lot of rain. Is this normal or is my cutting depth too low or is the soft ground a problem or is this something inherent in the design of the Simplicity? Also, the mower belt has come off 4 times this summer also which is a real pain. I guess I am asking if these are problems inherent to a Simplicty mower and should I get rid of it and move up to an Exmark. I mow 4 acres of grass.

LarryF
09-18-2006, 01:35 PM
I have a Simplicity Colt with a 23 hp Briggs and 52 inch cut that keeps scalping my lawn with a stripe that seems to be coming from the brackets that hold the roller in place. The gouges are a narrow stripe that seem to occur at random and are usually 1 to 2 feet long. I have my deck height set at 2.5 inches and the ground is pretty soft from a lot of rain. Is this normal or is my cutting depth too low or is the soft ground a problem or is this something inherent in the design of the Simplicity? Also, the mower belt has come off 4 times this summer also which is a real pain. I guess I am asking if these are problems inherent to a Simplicty mower and should I get rid of it and move up to an Exmark. I mow 4 acres of grass.

Sorry that you are having problems with a residential ZTR. There is a discussion going on in another current thread about the pros and cons of spending extra money for a commercial unit. I have not joined it, but if I did I would be on the homeowner-for-commercial-quality-lawn-equipment side. Six years ago, I bought an Exmark Lazer Z HP 5223KAW (which I think may be similar to what your are looking at) hoping to avoid anguish such as you are going through now due to chintzy design and manufacture I believe to be characteristic of residential lawn equipment, and I never regretted it. In my neighborhood, LCOs get somewhere between $100 and $125 a lawn for mowing lots the size of mine, so that $12,000-to-$15,000 I could have spent having someone else mow my lawn over these past 6 years easily offsets what I paid for the machine. And, of course, it's still practically a virgin and I expect to get many more years out of what has already more than paid for itself. I realize that I shelled out a few thousand more than what a residential mower would have cost, but that doesn't seem too important considering it's been trouble free and I expect will be that way for years to come. So my advice regarding the Exmark you are thinking about is to go for it even though you will probably lose a bundle since the resale of the residential unit you now have may not be very much.

Datatron
09-18-2006, 02:06 PM
Thanks for your reply. I thought perhaps that my Simplicity Colt was considered a lower grade commercial mower but you are probably right that it is a residential grade which explains the problems I am having. My Simplicity was retailed at $6800 when I bought it in 2004 and now the dealer will give me only $3500 trade-in on it for an $8000 Exmark which is a big hit financially. My next decision is do I buy an Exmark or a Hustler. There is a local Hustler dealer but the Exmark dealer is 20 miles away and has the Exmark market to himself so there is not much room for bargaining.

LarryF
09-18-2006, 04:02 PM
Thanks for your reply. I thought perhaps that my Simplicity Colt was considered a lower grade commercial mower but you are probably right that it is a residential grade which explains the problems I am having. My Simplicity was retailed at $6800 when I bought it in 2004 and now the dealer will give me only $3500 trade-in on it for an $8000 Exmark which is a big hit financially. My next decision is do I buy an Exmark or a Hustler. There is a local Hustler dealer but the Exmark dealer is 20 miles away and has the Exmark market to himself so there is not much room for bargaining.

From what I have read here on LawnSite.com, the Hustler is also an excellent machine, but I have had no personal experience with it. However, I expect there are a lot of Hustler owners who might be chiming in to give you a strong thumbs up, and I doubt if there will be many, if any, naysayers.

And to be honest with you, I don't really know if the Simplicity Colt is residential grade, but since I didn't see it on Simplicity's web site, I presumed it was something that had been introduced and is no longer offered, so that sounded like residential stuff. And since you have had it for only two years and it's value is now cut in half, that also sounds like the resale experience of residential lawn equipment. I suspect that in another 2 years, it's worth will be about 1/2 of what is being offered now.

Datatron
09-18-2006, 04:24 PM
Actually, the Colt has been replaced with the Citation and the webpage says it is being used by professionals whatever that means.

LarryF
09-18-2006, 06:36 PM
Actually, the Colt has been replaced with the Citation and the webpage says it is being used by professionals whatever that means.

Beats me! Irrespective of who they claim might be using some of their products, if you go to Simplicity's home page

http://www.simplicitymfg.com/company_information.php

it says "Simplicity remains at its original site, manufacturing products for today's homeowners." If that's what its stated mission in life is, I don't see how their ZTRs can be interpreted to be commercial units.

Datatron
09-18-2006, 06:41 PM
I guess you are probably right on that one, their mowers are not professional grade.

mike lane lawn care
09-18-2006, 08:46 PM
i beg to differ. i use simplicities commmercialy and it works wonders, leaves no scalp marks, only beatiful stripes. my comment on your problem is that a stick is cought in the rollers, that has happened once or twice to me. the one i use is the broadmoor, runs like a champ, got it in spring, and it's hardly broken in yet. No probelms at all. I just bought the mulching kit today and it does great, no more bagging leaves for me this year. take yours to the dealer and see if somethig is amiss.

Datatron
09-18-2006, 09:43 PM
I agree that the Simplicity mows great. It just seems odd that I should have the belt come off 4 times in one summer when this has hardly happened at all with my other mowers which were Woods frontend mowers and an old 1978 Allis Chalmers which I still have and mows great also. I did take the mower to the dealer to have it checked out and he re-tightened the tension spring for the belt. I tighten the tension nut to 1 and 5/8 inches in from the end of the bolt like the manual calls for to make sure that is not causing the problem.

khouse
09-19-2006, 10:24 PM
cut the grass at 4 inches

Datatron
09-19-2006, 10:50 PM
I supposed that will stop the gouging but will it lessen the likelihood of throwing a belt?

LarryF
09-20-2006, 08:06 AM
I supposed that will stop the gouging but will it lessen the likelihood of throwing a belt?
Perhaps I should have asked the following question before I had climbed up on my soap box, but did you replace the belt or did you just re-install the one that came off? If so, it might be a defective belt rather than a problem with the machine. You said the price for that Simplicity was $6,800 which sounds like a lot more than I think the Home Depot/Lowes ZTRs go for, so your machine must be a few cuts above those. Sorry I'm a little late in thinking of this but on the other hand, since you said you took it to the dealer, I presumed he wouldn't have let you out of there without putting on a new belt.