For times when a used farm tractor is unnecessary and a small zero-turn mower is not enough, a lawn tractor becomes the healthy medium. These riding mowers mimic the functions of a tractor and their expandable attachments, with the versatility of a mower deck – minus the astronomical cost.
What To Look For In A Used Lawn Tractor
Lawn tractors come with a variety of engine types, transmissions, ergonomics and cutting widths. With brand new models priced at $1,500 and up, the economical alternative is to simply seek out used lawn tractors at drastically lower prices. When you’re comparing used lawn tractors, here are several pointers to review:
- Hours in use: Much like buying a used tractor or heavy equipment vehicle, it’s in your best interest to find out an approximate number of hours that a lawn tractor has been in use. It’s a less common statistic seen in the aftermarket for these kinds of vehicles, but still valuable to know when making your decision. If the seller cannot estimate this figure, simply take note of the vehicle’s year and the seller’s statements regarding its usage.
- Doing Gardening? A sub-set of the lawn tractor, sometimes known as the “garden tractor,” is a nearly identical vehicle that has additional gardening features, namely in the form of ground-engaging tools and attachments for aerating soil and performing other tasks. It’s something to keep in mind as you search through classifieds or auctions.
- Ejection Type: Lawn tractors have a variety of ways that manage the ejection of clipped grass, namely bag or side ejection. Bag-type lawn tractors simply store clippings in a rear-attached collector, which must be manually emptied. Side ejectors simply emit clippings out of the side of the vehicle as it mows. Another feature commonly seen are mulchers, which actually process the clippings into a fine dirt that is placed back onto the lawn as it is mowed. Conclusively, some lawn tractors offer all three of these features, which can be chosen at will.
- Engine Type: The engine in a lawn tractor will dictate how much power the vehicle will have – especially when climbing hills or carrying more weight. Most units should be gasoline-powered, which is the most favorable kind. Be sure to confirm this.
- Transmission: As with any vehicle, you’ll find lawn tractors with automatic or manual transmissions. Transmission is commonly seen as pedal based or leves based. Pedal transmissions allow you to control forward and backward motion and speed with the usage of a foot pedal. Much like a conventional lawn mower, a lever based transmission feature a fender-mounted lever that performs the same functions for backward motion. It’s highly recommended to avoid manual transmissions at all costs, as you’ll have to stop the vehicle each time you switch gears. Automatic transmission is hydrostatic these days – that is, it uses pre-set, constant speeds without the need of a clutch.
- Deck Size: Here’s a major consideration — you’ll want a deck size that’s either wide enough to cover the widest amount of property possible in order to mow larger land areas, or a deck size that’s small enough to fit around any landscaping obstacles in the area you wish to mow. If you’re simply mowing a wide-open space with no obstacles, it’s best to simply go with some of the wider mower deck models of lawn tractors. However, for smaller yards with rounded landscaping, numerous landscaped trees, rocks or other obstacles, you’ll want to make sure your lawn tractor will actually fit between gaps and be able to complete the entire job without any “touch-up” manual labor afterward. It’s always best to measure out the narrow areas of your property to see if that used lawn tractor you had in mind will actually fit around it.
- Attachments: Undoubtedly, one of the favorite features of your next lawn tractor will be its ability to add on attachments to perform different tasks, either for different seasons or terrain types. Some of these attachments include leaf collectors, snow pushers, trailers, seeders and aerators, and even round brushes for pavement cleaning. Consider which attachments work best for you – and find those for less, used!
A used lawn tractor will last you for years while providing seemingly limitless labor at a fraction of the time it would take to do manually, making this be such an invaluable purchase for any home, business or commercial land owner.
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