SITTING DOWN ON THE JOB
Ride-on mowers and domestic tractors are hefty, serious pieces of equipment suited only to adult use. Do your research before laying out upwards of €2,000-€5,000. Riders generally have a rear-mounted engine and a single steel blade, whilst tractor mowers have a front-mounted engine and twin contra-rotating blades.
Riders tend to have a cutting width in the range of 64cm/25” to 81cm/32”, whereas lawn tractors come in the 81cm/32” to 127cm/50” range. Tractors are strong enough to tow sprayers, aerators, and dedicated lawn-rollers. Don’t take on more talents that you need and dismiss a compact machine with tight turning circles. Some can even exercise a 360° turn within the length of the machine.
The size of any grass collector in a larger ride on (200l up) will influence the number of stops you have to make. Some mowers offer a 3-in-1 facility, collecting, mulching or discharging. Ensure your collection bin and any mulching plate comes with the deal. Expect to pay more for the sophistication of both variable (automatic) transmission, and hydro-static transmission delivering a consistent supply of power to the cutting deck. The latest riders have no bonnet, and seat the user further out front, turning by swinging the rear wheels under the machine, ideal for lawns with overhanging trees and obstructions. At the centre of the action it’s easier to see and access areas that would be hard to reach with a normal mid-deck garden tractor. ‘B&S’ stands for Briggs and Stratton engine, a common quality engine in many tractors
Popular Hp choices under €4,000: 12.5hp plus for .75 of an acre.
(10-13.5cc rated as 344cc engines) Husqvarna 13hp. TS38 side discharge with optional mulch kit from this top rated brand, €1,799, atkins.ie. John Deere NEW X105, €2,800, lawnmowershop.ie
13.5hp plus for an acre.
Mountfield 1530H 33″/15HP, €2,650, (suited to tackle gardens of up to 1.5 acres) douglasforestandgarden.ie
15.5hp plus (500cc) for 1.5 acres plus.
Craftsman YT 3000, with a tough deck is new this season at €2,700, Pat Geaney & O’neill Commerical, thelawnmowerman.ie. Check out the new Iseki line. John Deere X 165 with a 48’’ deck, €3,900, lawnmowerscork.ie
and riders. The respected Jonsered line are built by Husqvarna.