Which lawn tractor to get?
We've moved to a 1.4 acre property so I'm looking at getting a lawn tractor to also use for smaller jobs like pulling dirt for flower beds. I've been looking model around the 3k range but the salesman was telling me I'd want locking differential to have it do a good job hauling and that takes me out of my price range for something I'm not sure I'd need.
Based on availability I've narrowed it down to 3 options so looking for opinions on them or if there are others I should consider:
John Deere E160 (~3100$) - 48 inch deck with 24HP - internet says engine is sourced from Briggs&Stratton
Cub Cadet XT2 LX 42KW (3100$) - 42 inch deck with 18HP Kawasaki engine
Husqvarna TSX148X (3000$) - 48 inch deck with 24HP - Engine is Briggs&Stratton
Some people seem to have a real dislike for B&S engines but I know nothing about them. I originally wanted the Cub Cadet XT1 LT 46C with the Cub Cadet engine at 22Hp for 2699$ but the store doesn't have any and couldn't say if they'd get more. I don't know if the XT2 is worth the same price as the other 2 when you consider it seems quite a bit weaker- the larger KW engine is 3249$ but then we're talking the E170 or the Husqvarna TS 146XD for 3100$ which the internet says DOES have the rear locking differential but I don't know where to get it locally.
Suggestion? Is the rear locking differential really something I want to haul dirt for gardens, etc.?