Ride-on mowers can be split into two main types, those with the engine in front of the driver and the cutting deck mounted between the front and rear wheels – Lawn Tractors, and those with the cutter deck ahead of the front wheels and the engine behind the driver – Riders. The latter category will usually gain added manoeuvrability from having rear-wheel or articulated steering.
Lawn tractors are usually fitted with cutting decks that are capable of delivering the grass to a mounted grass collector with the option of a mulching kit for when collection is not required. Some machines are supplied with a dedicated mulching deck as standard or as an alternative to the standard collecting deck.
Riders seldom offer grass collection and are usually fitted with mulching decks as standard.
A third category is Zero-Turn machines.
These usually have mid-mounted decks but by virtue of independent drives to each rear wheel can turn in their own length.
Less expensive machines are often only offered with a manual transmission meaning that it is necessary to bring the machine to a halt to change ground speed or direction. This does not encourage being in the right gear at the right time and if on-the-move changes are attempted can lead to expensive repair bills! The next stage is a mechanical variable speed transmission, usually using belts and expanding/contracting pulleys and allowing the operator to select the correct ground speed for the prevailing conditions without declutching – typified by Lawnflite’s Transmatic ©®™ transmission.
Finally we have Hydrostatic transmissions – these transmit the drive hydraulically using a pump, motor and gear train all enclosed within a dust proof housing (usually the rear axle and referred to as transaxles) allowing clutchless changes in ground speed and direction and sometimes offering an auxiliary hydraulic circuit for power steering or deck lifting.
A recent development in the domestic market place is the option of 4-wheel drive - useful where the machine will be used in soft going or on gradients.
Trailed Sweepers – A wheel driven brush throwing the grass into a hopper.
Rapidly being displaced by mounted collection systems.
In its simplest form it relies on the air movement and throwing action of the blade(s) to drive the gut grass up the tube. More expensive machines will have a power driven fan or “grass pump” to assist with this movement. This system only gives satisfactory performance in dry conditions and has its limitations in the UK!
The modern development of the above system is that typified by Lawnflite’s Direct Collect ©®™ system. This uses the throwing action of the blade(s) and a built-in fan to propel the grass via a short chute within the structure of the machine directly into a rear mounted catcher.
Finally there are Powered Grass Collectors. Machines using this system leave the cut grass in a narrow band between the rear wheels and then sweep it up with a power driven brush.
This system gives the best bad weather grass and leaf collection albeit at the expense of mechanical complication and reduction of manoeuvrability.
We do not sell over the Internet; we like to meet our potential customers face to face to discuss their requirements!
Here are some things to consider that will help us to help you in making the right choice.
This is particularly important if it is your first ride-on rather than a replacement for an existing machine.
We stock machines from Countax, Husqvarna, Lawnflite, Cub Cadet and Iseki - giving a spread of engine sizes from 12 – 25 HP and cutting widths from 30 to 54”.
Countax offer Both Lawn Tractors and Riders.
Lawn Tractors in cutting widths from 30-50 inches and engine powers from 13 – 25 HP, plus one diesel engined tractor and thee four-wheel drive models.
Cutter decks are offered in several formats – IBS (Interactive Blade System) for use with their powered grass collectors (PGCs), mulching for when collection is not required and High Grass Mulching for the rougher areas. A new development is the Combi-deck that combines mulching with the ability to work with a grass collector making it a true year-round machine.Countax lawn tractors feature a power take off (PTO) pulley which in addition to driving the PGC may also be used to drive a scarifier,chipper shredder and fertilizer spreader.
Riders. The 6-model range includes machines from 38 – 50” widths of cut, three of which are 4-wheel drive.
For more information about the whole range of Countax Tractors, Riders and accessories visit www.countax.com
The Lawn tractor range starts at 12.5hp and 30” cut and goes up to 22hp and 41”.
The model range includes machines with Direct Collect ©®™ grass collection, Transmatic ©®™ and Hydrostatic transmissions.
Mulching kits are available for most models.
Riders. The Minirider GES is aimed at the smaller garden has a 6.5hp engine and 23.5” cut – it will pass through a 30” gate or doorway and has a rear mounted grass collector.
For more details of the complete range of Lawnflite tractors, walk-behind mowers and accessories visit www.barrus.co.uk or www.lawnflite.co.uk
* LAWNFLITE is the UK brand name applied to machines made by MTD one of the world’s largest manufacturers of garden machinery. Lawnflite machines may also carry the MTD logo.
Husqvarna offer both Lawn Tractors and Riders.
They offer a range of lawn tractors including 8 models with side-eject decks, some offering optional grass collection. Another 8 come with a “straight through” rear mounted collector, some with the option of their Bio-Clip mulching system.
The model line-up starts at 6.4kw with a 30” cut, includes machines with 36, 38,42, 48 through to 11.9 kw* and 54 inches. The range includes machines with manual and hydrostatic transmissions.
*Engine power. At the time of collating this information Husqvarna were only quoting nominal power in kw as required by the European directive (2006/42/EC) effective January 1st 2010, making it difficult to give a meaningful comparison with other suppliers that re still quoting horse power.
Husqvarna offer a range of machines with engine power from 6.7kw to 12.7kw and widths of cut from 36” to 44”. All machines feature articulated steering and “out-front” decks. The riders are fitted with either dedicated Bio Clip mulching decks or Combi-decks which have a removable rear section allowing cut and drop mowing if the grass is too long for mulching. The smaller machines have manual gearboxes while the larger ones have hydrostatic transmissions – some with 4-wheel drive.
No mounted grass collection is offered but all machines have a tow hitch that will allow the use of a towed sweeper.
See the whole Husqvarna range see www.husqvarna.co.uk
Cub Cadet is the range-topping brand from MTD, the world’s largest manufacturers of garden machinery. Cubs are engineered for the toughest conditions and a long service life.
The range includes conventional front engined Lawn Tractors from 16hp and 36”cut to 24hp, 50” cut and embraces machines with side eject and mulching decks plus others incorporating direct grass collection.
In addition to the conventional tractors is the amazing ALLROUNDER 24hp, 50” mulching tractor. While having the appearance of a normal lawn tractor it incorporates a steering wheel controlled zero turn system allowing it to turn within its own length!
The Cub Cadet range also includes out-front Riders from 19hp and 42” cut to 22hp, 50” cut again incorporating the steering wheel controlled zero turn system.
Iseki produce a range of high quality machines for larger gardens, estates, horticultural and agricultural properties.
The three machines most likely to be of interest to the larger domestic user are the SXG15, ,SXG19, and SXG22. All three machines have diesel engines that may be economically run on gas oil (red diesel) and have hydraulically or electrically tipped grass collectors. The SXG 22 may be fitted with a dedicated mulching deck.