Ride-On Mower Basics

Basic knowledge in ride on lawnmowers will make it easier for you to buy your own gardening equipment. The ride on mowers are usually very versatile and can be easily used for other tasks as well, and you should use your imagination when looking for a mower.

Ride on lawnmowers with hydrostatic transmissions are more expensive than those with mechanical transmissions. This higher cost translates, however, into ease of operation. Lawn tractors with hydrostatic transmissions also benefit from the greater torque to the wheels which is superior to those machines designed with mechanical drive.

Several initiatives have been taken in the past to develop ride on mowers with less expensive hydrostatic transmissions. Some of these new lawn tractors developments incorporated variable belt types, such as auto drive and toroidal. However, various performance problems were encountered in these new models and their market acceptance proved to be limited. The same marketing difficulty hampers growth of the popularity of the ride tractor mowers with electric drives, the most expensive among ride-on mowers.

The materials specified in a lawn tractor’s design likewise dictate the machine’s price. Typically, ride tractor mowers come with steel-made decks. Less expensive models are designed with decks of lighter steel, while heavier steel is incorporated into the decks of the more expensive models to add durability to these particular tractor mowers. Other higher-priced lawn tractors have aluminum decks which are light and do not rust. For the lightweight and non-rust advantage, hard composite plastic is also employed in decks of electric lawn mowers

Cut grass is typically expelled in ride on mowers through an opening in the machines’ rear or side of the housing. Some models are equipped with a grass catcher attachment at the rear or side opening to bag the grass cuttings. Lawn tractors with rotary mowers are designed with special mulching blades or twin blades to chop the cut grass into small pieces. Any of two methods is employed in bagging the chopped grass: rear bag or hi-vac. The rear bag method makes use of the opening at the back of the mower to deposit the expelled grass into a bag. The hi-vac type uses a tunnel from the side of the mower to funnel the cut grass inside a bag, a method which is considered more efficient for ride on mowers.

Richard Pfeifer
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