Selecting a Lawn Tractor

  1. GPS1504
    What do you look for in a lawn tractor that will make or break your purchase? What are your must haves and what do you absolutely not want? There are many lawn tractors on the market these days with a wide range of capabilities to get the job done. This makes deciding what's best for you that much tougher when it comes to choosing from a plethora of dazzling features you may not want or need. When everyone just wants to sell you something expensive and elaborate, what advice do you take?

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    Basing your decision in part off of consumer reviews and/or user ratings is a good idea. There is no sales pitch or high pressure when the person telling you about a lawn tractor is a peer. They may have different needs but they usually do not have an agenda and their reviews are based on actual real life experience. Often times you can find reviews on any website selling an item; simply look for a tab or link to the reviews section. The only downside is that there is sometimes a lack of technical information in analysis written by peers.

    Alternatively, items are reviewed by impartial companies and often field tested thoroughly in the process. This can give you a realistic expectation of what a machine is capable of doing through more detailed information than consumer reviews sometimes provide, but the bottom line in your decision needs to be what works and feels best to you. In order to decide what type of lawn tractor will work best for you, nothing beats a test drive and most places will graciously allow you one before expecting you to plunk down a hefty sum of money on a purchase. However, narrowing it down based on available information can only make your decision easier.

    For example, it is currently a close race between four lawn tractors with excellent reviews, all of which come in under $2,000. At the top of the list is the John Deere D130 22 HP V-Twin Hydrostatic 42-inch lawn tractor, followed in a close second by the Husqvarna YTH21K46 21 HP Hydrostatic 46-inch. Third in line is the Husqvarna YTH22V46 22 HP V-Twin Hydrostatic with the John Deere D110 19.5 HP Hydrostatic 42-in Riding Lawn Mower settling comfortably into the fourth place slot. All of these items are very similar in specs. The variance in horsepower between the four is only 1.5HP. The engine brand on three out of four is Briggs & Stratton. They are all foot pedal hydrostatic with cast iron front axles and manual blade engagement. With so much being the same or similar, right down to the price, how do you really tell them apart in order to make a decision?

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    The easiest way is with your hands and eyes, the good old fashioned way. Touch and feel it. Give it a once over. Sit on it and see if it feels comfortable. Drive it around and take note of how it handles. Reviews will get you started, and ratings will help you narrow it down, but in the end you are the only review that matters. Knowledge is power, but so is test drive and trial.

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