Buying a Ride on Mower/Tractor

Wednesday, 22 March 2017 | Local Dealer Expert
Posted in Garden Trader Blog, Lawn Mower, Buying guide

Buying a Ride on Mower/Tractor

If you are thinking to buy or change your Mower you should know this first.
Why all those different types?
Ride on Mower
A ride on mower will have its engine situated either under or behind the driver seat and in the main domestic models are designed for small lawns from a ¼ acre up to ¾ acre. Generally the cutter decks will range from 25” to 30” and mounted under the drivers seat, most will have grass collectors that can be emptied by the operator without leaving the seat.
Usually, the ride on mower is very manoeuvrable and easy to drive with a clear view in front to help the driver avoid any obstacles that may be ahead.
Lawn Tractor
Whereas, a Lawn Tractor will have an engine situated in front of the operator seat, a feature that many like due to its likeness to a farm tractor. This type would be capable of cutting lawns and rough areas such as paddocks plus hitching up towing implements like a trailer, sweeper, roller, rake, de-thatcher etc.
Cutter decks can be rear eject with grass cuttings being thrown directly in to the rear mounted collector. Others can be side eject for cutting rougher than normal areas.
There is choice of grass collector, some that can be emptied without dismounting the tractor and others that require lifting off the tractor (normally on side eject cutters); this type is useful for people who need to put the grass trimmings into a container or over the fence!
Most have mulching capabilities. The lawn tractor is the choice of the majority of home owners with areas from 1 acre up to 4 acres.
Garden Tractor
A Garden Tractor is the closest to a farm tractor with many of the most popular now driven by diesel engines and have power take off (PTO) capability with 3 point linkage for using rear mounted ground engaging implements such as a plough, rotovator, chipper, harrow etc., plus rear and mid mounted grass cutters.
It is likely a domestic user for this type of machine will have a large property consisting of grass areas, paddocks, woodland and arable land.
Front Cut Rider
Front cut riders with their front mounted cutter decks are popular with those home owner users who have areas with lots of obstacles such as trees, bushes, hedges and awkward areas to manoeuvre around.
There is a choice of machines with an array of mulching cutter decks that leave a very nice finish, also mulching can dramatically cut down opertating time by not having to collect the grass.
Rear wheel or articulated steer using a conventional steering wheel are available and although articulated is more expensive it is without doubt the most popular as this system allows the operator to negotiate the tightest corners or circle the smallest trees plus reach under bushes or hedges cutting the grass where mid mount tractors will not go.
Front cut tractors are the ideal solution for those where time is precious as it can take up to 40% less cutting time thanks to the speedy manoeuvrability. Versatility is the key word for front cut riders; they are suited to lawns from ½ acre up to 5 acres depending on make and model.
Zero Turn Rider
In the USA lever steer is the preferred option for Zero Turn users whereas in the UK operators like the conventional steering wheel more.
Both systems are available in the UK and both give the same result. Using individual hydrostatic motors on the two rear wheels, they are capable of turning on their own axes whilst cutting lawns or rough, undulating areas of grass.
Whether racing up and down an open space or dodging obstacles as it goes, the speed at which a Zero Turn rider will operate is phenonimal.
Climbing steep slopes or running along them is usually childs play and once the operator becomes used to handling the machine a chore soon becomes a pleasure.
These machines are suited to domestic and professional use depending on model and make.

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