Riding mowers, lawn tractors, lawn and garden tractors, and garden tractors are large and powerful. They can be dangerous if not used safely.
A mower deck can’t cut grass unless it is connected to the tractor engine. This is usually done in one of two ways, with some possible permutations.
Hydraulic cylinder rods have traditionally been coated with highly polished hard chrome. This surface provides reasonable corrosion resistance and good sealing in hydraulic cylinders, but the material can corrode. An alternate approach now used on some new equipment, including loader cylinders on compact tractors, is a sprayed-on tungsten carbide coating.
Although there are some imported compact tractors available under $10,000, most compact tractors from major manufacturers are in the $10,000 – $20,000 range. Older farm tractors can be a less expensive alternative to compact tractors.
Two questions of interest to prospective purchasers are: How much do riding mowers and small tractors in the various classes cost and how long can I expect one to last?
Many people use a rotary cutter (often referred to by the copyrighted name “Bush Hog”) to cut grass and weeds, but, in too many cases, the implement is not correctly adjusted. This can cause premature wear, poor quality of cut, and an excessive power requirement.
Finish (or grooming) mowers typically have (two or) three blades and are designed for quality mowing of turfgrass. They are not designed to cut tall, weedy grass. They have multiple gage wheels and rollers that allow a relatively low cutting height with minimal scalping.
Although most people opt for small engine-driven generators, there are some real advantages to a generator that connects to a tractor power-take-off (PTO).
Adjusting a mid-mount mower is more complicated than some other types of mowers, but once it's adjusted, you shouldn’t need to change the adjustments unless you change the cutting height.
Farm and grounds maintenance equipment is often exposed to rain, high humidity, fertilizer, pesticides and corrosive plant materials (such as grass clippings). The manufacturers of that equipment have taken steps to try to protect the equipment and reduce the potential for corrosion.
There are three primary transmission systems used in riding mowers and the various classes of mowing tractors.
These photos and drawings show how to use an ASAE standard 3" x 8" hydraulic cylinder to provide a power-adjustable upper link for a tractor 3-point hitch.
One of the handiest implements you can put on your tractor is a lift boom for the 3-point hitch. In some areas these are called boom poles or gin poles.
Post hole diggers mounted on tractors and powered by the tractors’ PTO shafts are useful tools for setting posts, planting trees, and other uses, but they can cause serious injury if not used correctly. The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA) is an organization whose members manufacture post hole diggers. They have developed some guidelines to help you use their products more safely.
Removing the bucket from the front-end loader on your tractor is very easy (on newer loaders) and makes your tractor much more maneuverable. You should develop the habit of removing the loader bucket whenever you use your tractor for mowing, tilling, etc.
All compact tractors currently sold have Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS), and most larger zero-turn mowers now have this safety feature also. A ROPS that is properly designed and used can prevent serious injury in most overturn accidents. One of the most important considerations in ROPS protection is to wear your seatbelt.
Mid-mount rotary mower decks are common on lawn tractors, garden tractors, subcompact tractors and smaller compact utility tractors. There are two ways that these decks can be mounted, and the mounting method affects adjustment and operation.
Riding mowers, lawn tractors, lawn and garden tractors, and garden tractors are covered by several safety standards that are designed to protect you, the operator.
Many implements are available for rear mounting on compact utility tractors, including mowers of various types, tillers, angle blades, box blades, cultivators, bedders and rakes. These machines add versatility to your tractor, but mounting them to the tractor’s 3-point hitch can be a hassle. A quick hitch can make your job much easier.
If you have frequent flat tires on tractors, implements, or other off-road equipment you might want to consider using a tire sealant.
Hydraulic hoses can be a weak link in your tractor’s hydraulic system. The exposed hoses are very vulnerable to wear – and thus leakage and failure. Nylon sleeves over the hoses can dramatically increase hose life.
You will save money in the short run at discount stores and mass merchandisers. You will pay more but get better quality equipment and service with dedicated lawn and garden dealers or farm equipment dealers.