Hello everyone. I have been looking at lawn tractors today and decided I might get some better info off the net and lo and behold I came across this site with an absolute wealth of information. I have just been reading away hear for the last two hours and thought I should post my situation up and see what others thought. It takes a good 2 hrs plus to mow my lawn (walk behind) and I am getting tired of shoveling snow. So I have been investigating a few tractors in my price range in the hopes of killing two birds with one stone. What I am looking for is a nice little tractor that can mow this huge honkin yard (Looked good when I was buying for the kids and dog but damn.) and pull double duty by plowing out my driveway which is a double car driveway roughly 30 feet long on a slight downwards slope towards the street. So here are the ones I have been looking at and was wondering what experiences others have had with them either yay or nay and hopefully the reason behind it. John Deere 17.5 hp from Home Depot, No hydrostat drive Toro 18 hp from Home Depot with Kohler engine hydrostat trans and foot pedals Yard Works 17.5 hp from Canadian Tire with Briggs and Stratton engine hydrostat trans and foot pedals which seems to be the exact identical machine to the Toro with the Yard Works name on it except for the diferent engine. Craftsman 18 hp from Sears with Briggs and Stratton engine and hydrostat drive, no foot pedals. Husqvana 17.5 hp from TSC with Kohler engine, no hydrostat drive So far I have liked the Toro best because it has the Kohler engine, hydrostat drive and the foot pedals. From what I have heard and read it seems that Kohler makes a very reliable long lasting engine and hopefully I am not way off base here. There is another John Deere just a about $400 more that has the hydrostat and foot pedals but it is really pushing the budget/wife hard. Now my big question involves the hydrostat drive. Since I am going to be plowing out my driveway I was wondering if the hydrostat drive would be better suited to this or not? WOuld being able to select a low gear and stick with it be a better option for the plowing? What are the real advantages or disadvantages of one of these machines versus the other? What kind of maintenance issues and longevity can I expect? I am looking for any and all relavent information and honest opinions.