We all want a good deal, especially on lawn tractors as they are expensive machines. But, don’t get too carried away looking for the best lawn tractors sale and get some basic information first. You just might need no tractor at all! So, what is a lawn tractor? The name can be a bit confusing, but rest assured these are extra-sized lawn mowers to ride-on meant for trimming your lawn. Expensive and yet the most versatile and powerful among all mowers, lawn tractors are designed to be ridden with ease. I help you decide on whether you need one of these powerful machines and then I present you some great tractors in my top 5 best lawn tractor reviews.
Lawn tractors do not feature amongst the most expensive riding lawn mowers, in fact usually zero turn mowers are more expensive. Ofcourse those offer super amneuverability, but if you have a medium larg yard, lawn tractors also do have a lot to offer. Here is my current TOP 5. Have a look around and grap your own lawn tractors sale!
What is a Lawn Tractor?
A lawn tractor is a type of riding mower that either has the engine to the front or the back with the rider sitting somewhere near the middle or rear with all the controls situated in close proximity. Consider these to be more domesticated versions of full-fledged tractors commonly seen on farms. Unlike their larger siblings though, they do not grow more than a couple of meters long.
These mowers are usually powered by larger 16HP or more engines, come with a mowing deck ranging between 45 and 59 inches and the ability to side discharge, mulch or rear bag. Some tractor mowers can also be fitted with additional accessories to till, tow and clear snow.
Most tractor mowers are rear wheel driven with a gearbox and hydrostatic clutch. To drive one of these beasts you simply push the brake/clutch pedal and choose the appropriate gear, select a speed with the speed lever and give directions using a steering wheel. The mower does the rest on its own. You do not need to know how to drive a car nor do you need practice changing gears because a lawn tractor is designed to be user-friendly and easy.
Remember, a lawn tractor because of its huge deck size is suitable to large yards or lawns measuring more than 1 acre in size. Moreover, unlike Zero Turn Mowers, they can handle slopes and inclines better without losing traction. In fact, if your property does not have many obstacles, but is riddled with slopes, uneven terrain and a large expanse of grass cover, you need a lawn tractor. So, time to check out the lawn tractors sale below.
Top 3 Best Riding Lawn Tractor Reviews
1. Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series Lawn Tractor Review
When you first reckon a riding mower that weighs close to 420 pounds and with reasonably big dimensions of 67 x 43 x 56 inches, you’re bound to think it’s going to be a hell of a task using it! But that’s absolutely not the case, with the Cub Cadet XT1 46” riding mower that belongs to the brand’s premium Enduro Series. Though getting it off the crate requires a great deal of effort, the assembling-part is extremely simple (as long as you stick to the instruction manual to the hilt!) Ergonomics-wise, I’ve had no complaints so far. Bulky no doubt, but the easy electric start and auto-transmission ensures that you don’t get perturbed with operational complexities. You can actually realize the attention to detail that Cub Cadet has put in, to make you feel comfortable. Unlike the Poulan Pro 15.5HP Automatic Riding Mower, the seat is non-slippery, oversized and the back-rest is elevated. Also, the gas tank is quite huge (capacity of 3 gallons), so you needn’t worry about frequent re-fuelling. The sight-gauge on the tank acts as a ready-reckoner for the fuel level, making your life a lot easier!
One of the myriad benefits of opting for the Cub Cadet XT1 22HP Riding Mower, is its wide 2-blade cutting deck as wide as 46”. Normally, a riding mower from Troy Bilt or Snapper in a slightly lower price bracket, comes with cutting decks ranging from 30 to 42 inches only. So it takes close to 3 hours for me to perfectly mow my almost 2-acre yard using a smaller mower, but with this huge Cub Cadet model, the job gets done in half the time! The front wheel measured at 15” and rear wheel measured at 20” offer ideal maneuverability for all kinds of turfs that I’ve tested the mower on. And I’ve already spoken about the 16” turn radius, which is really good for a lawn tractor, delivering the finish almost equivalent to a zero turn mower. The only downer is that the mulch kit, twin bagger and rear spreader need to be purchased separately. There are several other optional multi-seasonal attachments to choose from as well, but I’ve opted for the mulching and bagging units only. Just so you know, the mulching is of very fine quality, and makes for the perfect manure for your lawn!
The fact that this V-Twin Hydrostatic Riding Mower from Cub Cadet provides 12 cutting heights between 1 to 4 inches, itself speaks of the superlative features it has to offer. Most of its counterparts offer only 5-7 cutting height adjustments, so this one offering twice the number is a clear advantage. Just lightly drag the single lever across the height markings, and you’re good to go!
With the kind of profound experience I’ve had with riding mowers and lawn tractors in particular, I can tell you for sure that very few mowing tractors in the budget-friendly zone can take on steep slopes (almost 10 to 20 degrees incline) with so much ease! Another great aspect of the robust 22HP, 725cc engine from Kohler is that, it very easily and neatly cuts through the toughest grass varieties- Tall Fescue, Centipede and Bermuda. Over the course of 7 months, I’ve also tried mowing over wet grass twice, and the engine did not give up even then! But the ride was definitely bumpy, so I’d advice you not to mow wet patches if you’re a rookie. Similarly, you should be careful with speed control in sloping yards; always keep one foot on the brake/clutch pedal. Once you’re well-versed with the controls, you could cruise as fast as 5.5 mph forward and 3.1 mph reverse!
I wouldn’t say this is much of a problem area, but it’s somewhat not in line with what I expected from such a popular riding mower. The front axle starts to squeak after a few uses, and needs some greasing every now and then. Also the adjustable levers on the fender, and one even next to the driver’s seat is made of not-so-sturdy plastic. But apart from this, everything else seems to be in order with the Cub Cadet XT1 46” Riding Mower. The cutting deck is definitely rust-resistant and there’s a cleanout port for hassle-free washing. Even the warranty is generous as compared to similar riding mowers from other brands. You get 3 years overall warranty and a special 5-year coverage period on the front axle.
Special mention for the incorporated Blade Brake Clutch (BBC) which stops the blade from spinning while the engine continues running so that you can empty grass bag or remove debris from your path.
The Cub Cadet XT1 46” V-Twin Hydrostatic Riding Mower definitely features in the category of cost-effective riding mowers, but is somewhat higher-priced as compared to its counterparts like the Murray 42” Riding Mower. But considering the fact that it boats of a superior twin-cylinder engine from Kohler with batteries and engine oil included, has a longer warranty, and is much more powerful, fuel efficient and has a larger cutting deck, this makes for a one-time investment that’s absolutely worthwhile!
2. Husqvarna YTA24V48 Riding Lawn Tractor Mower Review
Ride-on mowers are never easy to start off with especially if you have no prior experience. However, the YTA24V48 Husqvarna Lawn Tractor is an easy machine to get used to.
Having ordered online, I was a bit apprehensive as to how this beast would be delivered. Thankfully, it came in one piece with no damage and excellent packing. Kudos to Amazon! Moving on, the first time you get this mower, you have to fill up the gas tank and oil, which are under the hood near the console. Next, make sure the battery is charged, this is under the seat. Since, the mower arrived fully assembled, all I had to do next was switch the engine on by turning the ignition key, which astonishingly fired up on my first try. It has been the same ever since.
As for controlling the direction, the steering does a good job, is precise enough and lightweight. For throttle, you have to control a lever that takes care of the automatic transmission, which takes a bit getting used to since most ride-on mowers come with pedal transmission.Also to go reverse you have the option on the ignition key hole, which keeps the blades engaged making it easier to go back through tough grass and eliminates the need for a second re-run.
Changing height, exchanging the existing blades with mulching kit are all easy to manage and need no expertise. You will however need a jack to raise the front of the mower and replace to a mulching kit (available separately).
This machine can collect, mulch and side discharge. It does not matter whether you mulch or just mow with this ride-on. The experience and cut quality are top notch. Clean precise cut regardless of what comes in the way and the fact that because of its 42 inch deck size, you don’t have to spend too much time on a large yard makes it easier to navigate around obstacles with care. Remember, this Husqvarna YTA24V48 Lawn Tractor is a heavy machine, so if you aren’t careful around obstacles you just might knock a few down.
Single lever at the front fender takes care of the deck’s height. You can precisely set the height you want in 6 positions ranging from 1.25 to 4 inches and lock it into position. The lever is sturdy and won’t budge under constant duress of mowing across an uneven terrain.
Most Husqvarna lawn tractors come with a B&S engine, so does this model. A 20 HP Briggs & Stratton engine throws out an impressive amount of power and while some of it goes into the spinning the blades, the rest is available to drive. You never feel underpowered in this machine even when going up inclines or trying to navigate uneven terrain. The engine can also lock into reverse gear using the ignition key hole so going backwards is just as easy as mowing forward.
Its hydrostatic transmission with its fender mounted lever allows you to change direction and speeds with ease. You may expect ax. speeds of 5.2 mph forward and 2.9 mph in reverse.
Cleaning the durable steel deck is easy thanks to Husqvarna’s deck wash port which allows you to connect a water hose through the port to clean the underside of the deck.
Obviously, being a ride-on mower it needs way more maintenance than your usual lawn mower. Having said that, it will not need special maintenance or repairs for at least couple of years and if anything comes loose, breaks or clogs, Husqvarna’s extensive warranty usually covers that.
At just under $2000, this mower is by no means a cheap proposition, but for those with really large yards, the cost more than justifies the reduced time required for mowing. Besides, you do have the ability to add extra attachments to the mower tractor and multi-task with it. This will come especially handy if you plan on organic farming or running a small cultivation of your own.
3. Snapper Spx Riding Lawn Tractor Review
The time and attention required for assembling the Snapper Spx, 42 inch lawn tractor was not a big deal at all, but getting it off the crate packaging was quite exhausting, considering that it weighs almost 508 pounds and is pretty huge. Nevertheless, I quite liked some of its comfort and safety features. For instance, the high back seat is completely configurable, and the ergonomically-placed throttle stick ensures swift and hassle-free speed shifting, giving you all the control necessary. Also the mower blades will not engage until you move, and the blade engagement momentarily locks up when you go in reverse, to prevent ‘pivot holes’. The only hassle was the steering control, and by that I don’t mean holding the steering. It means that knowing how to steer the mower around tight curves (despite its impressive 18” turn radius) takes quite a lot of practice.
To be honest, the cut quality of the Snapper Spx, 42 inch lawn tractor is decent, but it’ll take a fairly long ‘mastery’ of the machine to attain that level of perfection. The cutting deck is perfectly fine- strongly built with 2 neat, reasonably sharp blades, but if you turn the steering too abruptly while making a turn, the front end of the cutting deck dives out, leading to uneven cutting. Also with reverse mowing, you have to make sure that the cutting deck is not aligned below 1.5”, else you’ll end up really damaging your grass and disfiguring your lawn. Unfortunately, there is no mulch kit or mulch blades available for the ST series which is really a pitty. A bagger can purchased separately.
The Snapper Spx riding mower offers a variation of 6 different cutting heights from 1 to 4 inches. Now that’s slightly less for a mower of this price range (considering that the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro Series Riding Mower has 12 different height variables for the cutting deck) but it’s still a fair deal because of 3 reasons:-
- The height adjustment lever is ergonomically placed and conveniently accessible from your high-rest driver’s seat.
- You can easily switch settings during the ride without having to stop the engine.
- The fine weight balance of the anti-scalp wheels ensures that even at the lowest cutting height, the grass remains undamaged and healthy.
Given my holistic experience with landscaping services and lawn mowing in particular, I can tell you for a fact that the as far as its motor power is concerned, the Snapper ST1842, 42 inch lawn tractor packs a punch! This machine is a real beauty as it scales tough upward slopes up 20 degrees with absolutely no under powering. Even when you’re going downhill, the brake control is tight enough to keep you from toppling over. This machine comes also with cruise control which makes the riding speed even easier to manage.
All credit to the Briggs and Stratton (Intek) Engine that churns out 18.5HP with an engine displacement of 540cc. The fuel tank is also reasonably big at 1.5 gallons, so you don’t need to worry about constant re-fuelling! You’re probably interested to know more about the speed, but let me caution you to go easy with the acceleration if you’re a beginner. As you learn to drive better and attain complete control, you can pivot the throttle stick to its maximum limit of 5 mph forward and 3 mph reverse. Reverse driving poses the risk of causing pivot holes, so the machine automatically disengages the blades in reverse. So you need to manually engage the blades again if you’re sure about reverse mowing.
No matter which lawn tractor you opt for, it will always pose more maintenance hassles as compared to a regular push mower or even a self-propelled one. Taking into account the Snapper Spx, 42 inch lawn tractor, you’re provided with limited warranty coverage of 2 years. My expert eye also detected great finesse in its overall durability, given the rock-solid cast iron front axle, tough steel cutting deck and high-quality plastic levers. No flimsy stuff whatsoever, this rugged model will last you for years! Only thing, you need to wash the deck regularly (there’s washout port for that), have the blades sharpened every 1-2 years and carry out winterization with care. But that’s the case with all lawn tractors you purchase!
This affordable lawn tractor from Snapper is not the cheapest in the list of affordable riding mowers, but definitely has potential to save you a great deal of time and efforts in managing massive yards and difficult to mow-terrain. For those who know how to drive a car with manual transmission, it’s a big sigh of relief as the foot pedal hydrostatic transmission functions akin to one; so you don’t need to drain yourself out, pushing a mower in the sweltering heat. Now in my opinion, that itself is great value for money! Small but significant add-ons like headlights, a 13-gauge stamped steel cutting deck etc, further add on to the ‘value for money’ aspect. The only cons I figured were that there is no mulch kit available and a bagger needs to be bought separately; it would have been an alluring deal if at least the mulch option was included!
Lawn Tractors Sale – Available Features
Blade Engagement/Disengagement Switch
The engine on a lawn tractor is massive and as such delivers maximum of its power to the wheels. Using an engagement switch, it can drop the blades down on the turf and also raise it. This ensures you don’t accidentally eat through to the turf.
Clutch or Brake Pedal
Usually you only have to deal with a single pedal that controls both the clutch and the brakes. This dual purpose pedal helps change gears and also slows down the mower by engaging the clutch and applying a bit of the brakes evenly to all wheels.
Usually present to either side of the driver’s seat, the throttle lever helps maintain a particular speed in the chosen gear ratio. This eliminates the need to constantly maintain speeds and hence helps you concentrate on the grass ahead.
Deck Height Lever
Found beneath the seat to either side, this helps choose an appropriate deck height.
From rear collection bags, side discharge bins to rear tills and tows, lawn tractors can take on multiple accessories without feeling the pinch. For those who dabble in more than just lawn mowing, these tiny tractors are a powerful multi-purpose landscaping machine.
Why Buy A Lawn Tractor?
Not everyone needs a lawn tractor. If you have a yard smaller than 1 acre, a lawn tractor is simply overkill. Other than time, you really don’t save on anything else. However, if your lawn is massive a lawn tractor will not just save you time and energy, but also money in the short & long run. Large lawns need a lot of regular maintenance and with a lawn tractor this takes only a few minutes rather than hours. To help you decide whether you need a lawn tractor or not, here are the pros and cons of owning one. Make sure you read all criteria well before heading over to the lawn tractor comparison chart and reviews.
Quick And Efficient – Lawn tractors can reach speeds of up to 7-10 mph, which makes them the fastest mowers. If your, more than an acre, lawn previously took hours to finishing mowing, a tractor will do it in a fraction of that time. Best of all, the deck height remains constant over slopes, uneven surface so you won’t ever have to go for a second attempt.
Easy To Drive – The features on a lawn tractor make it easy to control. A simple steering wheel for direction, gear and speed lever to choose an appropriate speed with deck height controls right next to the seat all make riding a lawn tractor child’s play.
Versatile – Finished mowing? Did you know that lawn tractors can be manipulated to do much more? Add a tilling instrument to the back and you can start organic farming in your large yard. On the other hand, if mowing is all you want, you can decide whether to collect clippings in a rear bag or mulch for natural fertilizing of the soil.
Expensive – Lawn tractors are among the most expensive of all mowers. Smaller units with less powerful engines can cost $1000 while the most expensive 4WD larger machines come for at least $2500. Add to this the cost of maintenance over the years and you can get a clear picture of the total cost of owning a lawn tractor.
Big, Bulky And Noisy – Lawn tractors use massive engines that run naked under the hood. Unlike cars that are designed to muffle the noise, tractors don’t and so are noisy. If you stay in an urban neighborhood, a tractor can be irritating to fellow homeowners. Moreover, they are huge and need to be stored in a shed when not in use, which necessitates the making of a storage shed.
Difficult To Repair – With technological leaps, the modern day lawn tractor has lots of unique components that vary with the manufacturer. If something goes wrong, chances are your local mechanic won’t be able to fix it. Calling in the pros takes time and money.
Differences Between The Lawn Tractor And Other Types Of Riding Mowers
A lawn tractor is a subset of the larger category of riding mowers. Riding mowers for domestic purpose usually come in three variations namely, rear type, lawn tractor and Zero Turn. Both the Zero Turn and rear type tractor have their engine, and hence maximum of the weight distributed, towards the rear, usually with a 75-25 weight ratio. This makes them rear heavy and hence more suited to plain terrains with hardly any inclinations. On the other hand lawn tractors keep the engine at the front with a more balanced weight distribution, thus giving them better overall maneuverability.
Rear tractors are small, usually suited to lawns between 2/3 and 1 acre while Z-mowers are only suitable for flat terrains with/without lots of obstacles or trees. Lawn Tractors coupled with a smaller walk-behind mower can take care of all lawn sizes including those with obstacles.
To help you understand the differences better, here’s a small chart of all three and their capabilities.
|Lawn Tractor||Rear Mount||Zero Turn|
|Engine Size||16HP to 24HP||8HP to 12HP||8HP to 18HP|
|Deck Size||45” to 60”||29” to 45”||34” to 45”|
|Slope Handling||Yes, up to 40 degrees||No||Yes, up to 10 degrees|
|Ideal For Yard Size||1 Acre And More||½ to 1 Acre||1 Acre to 2 Acre|
|Ease Of Use||Easy||Easiest||Needs Practice|
|Attachments||Tow, Till, Snow Blower,
|Only rear bags and
Side discharge bags
|Tow, rear bags|
|Price||$$ – $$$$||$$ – $$$||$$$ – $$$$|
What Is The Best Lawn Tractor?
Is it power that makes a lawn tractor the best or does the deck size, ease-of-use matter more? In my experience, it usually is a combination of many things, but unlike other mowers, because of the price you pay to own one of these beasts, the foremost consideration is the dependability of the mower. It can be the easiest to drive, handle maximum number of attachments and feel like a dream machine but if it gives up in a couple of years, that’s thousands of dollars down the drain.
Here’s a closer look at the criteria I use to rate lawn tractor reviews so you’ll know what to look during your lawn tractors sale activity.
Ease Of Use
How long does it take to get used to the controls of the lawn tractor? Are the controls conveniently situated close to the seat or do you have to lean forward, fiddle under the seat to reach them? How easy are the instructions to understand and what about first time start-up? Is driving the tractor simple or complicated?
Will the deck lower and raise itself entirely or can you also control the height of the blades? How close will it scrape the surface before inundating the ground? Can you strip your lawn with beautiful designs in the lawn tractor?
Does the deck height lower in fixed numbers or can it be fine-tuned for slopes and inclinations? How about engaging and disengaging the blades? Are these two functions one and the same or do they have individual controls/switches.
What brand of engine does the tractor rely on and what is the total output. Is it large enough for the deck size and how does it behave after a year or so of regular use and the first winterization?
Do you always need a service rep from the manufacturer to maintain and repair the tractor or can your local mechanic take a look without voiding the warranty? How long does it take the company to respond to service pleas? What about on-going costs of repair and replacement, is it expensive to own in the long run?
A lawn tractor is obviously an expensive investment so if it turns out to cost twice as much in three to five years then it does not qualify as a viable long term investment. I outline to total cost of ownership plus possible extra expenditures on accessories and what return on investment it may provide.
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