If you’ve got a big garden, or perhaps even a country estate, you’ll want a ride-on mower, or more likely a lawn tractor.
The main difference between a tractor and a ride-on concerns the position of the cutting deck. With a lawn tractor you sit above the cutting deck making it suitable for large open areas. If your garden is full of obstructions such as beds, pots and bird baths, the front-mounted cutting deck of the ride-on is a better choice due to its superior manoeuvrability.
Here at Gardenlines, we offer the king of ride-ons for classic high quality lawns; the ATCO Royale, producing an immaculate striped finish.
For anything over half an acre, sit back and relax on a garden tractor. With cutting blades from 28 inch to 50 inch (0.71 meters to 1.27 meters) diameter, tractors will cope with large areas. However, this does not make lawn tractors suitable on paddocks and rougher terrain. Attempt to cut ground which is too bumpy or potted with holes and you risk damaging the tractor’s blades and chassis. The Toro range of Lawn tractors have a more durable welded steel angle-iron chassis with a cast iron front axle for use on more volatile ground.
When it comes to choosing a lawn tractor, the deciding factor is what you want to happen to your clippings and the type of lawn you have. You can either mulch or collect the grass cutting.
The advantage of mulching is the return of nutrients to the lawn, with re-cut grass clippings acting as a fertiliser. However, really tall grass can pose a problem, with clods forming, affecting the cutting capabilities. Westwood tractors offer a high grass mulching deck as an optional extra on its top end models.
Collection produces a tidier finish, preventing the spread of weeds, but its best to go for a rear grass collection system as side discharge styles tend to clog when tackling damp grass. Rear grass collectors pass the cuttings between the rear wheels directly into the grass collector. For both a lawn tractor that collects the grass and gives a fine stripped finish to the lawn the Westwood range of lawn tractors with a powered grass collector are the best solution. Brushes driven by the tractor’s engine, sweep the turf and collect the cuttings while the roller creates the striped effect.
When it comes to steering and transmission, lawn tractors work just like cars. Models such as McCullochs feature manual gearboxes with six forward and one reverse gear. Other models operate with hydrostatic (automatic) transmission which provides a smoother operation.
Another important consideration is the tractor’s turning circle. The larger the circle the less manoeuvrable the machine.
If you’re a big fan of gadgets, lawn tractors offer a dazzling array of extras. Scarifiers, shredders and recyclers amongst others can be fitted onto your tractor increasing flexibility ensuring you get the most from the machine. You can select a number of options when purchasing your tractor from Gardenlines.
Choosing a lawn tractor is not as simple as picking the largest model; it depends more on the size of your garden and how quality a finish you are seeking.