Top 4 Best Garden Tractor Reviews
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Ordinary riding lawnmowers are excellent for cutting a moderate amount of grass, but if your garden spans a few acres, and you want to perform heavy-duty chores on your garden, a Best Garden Tractor is a right way to go.
- 1 What is a garden tractor?
- 2 What to Look for When Choosing The Best Garden Tractor
- 3 Heavy-duty Design
- 4 Amount of Intended Mowing
- 5 Controls
- 6 Best Garden Tractor Reviews
- 6.1 #1. Husqvarna 960430216 YTH22V42 22V Hydro Pedal Tractor Mower, 42″/Twin
- 6.2 #2. Yard Machines 420cc 42-Inch Riding Lawn Mower
- 6.3 #3. Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower
- 6.4 #4. Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic 46-Inch Riding Lawnmower
- 7 Final Review of the Best Garden Tractors
What is a garden tractor?
The jargon used to describe a variety of light-duty tractors and riding lawn mowers can confuse many shoppers since different people use them for various tasks. The best garden tractor is a machine that has significant lawn mowing capabilities, typically with a mower deck of more than 45 inches, three blades instead of two, and at least a 20 horsepower engine, which is ideally the minimum required to operate heavy duty equipment. Most garden tractors have a power take-off (PTO) hitch that significantly increases the types of attachments that can be used on the machine.
When looking for the best garden tractor for the money, you will find a whole lot of options in the market when looking for the best garden tractor, and choosing the perfect one can be quite daunting.
What to Look for When Choosing The Best Garden Tractor
Most homeowners like to look at the price, features, brand, or even the dealer when shopping for a garden tractor. But, there other important considerations that you need to factor in, such as the kind of lawn you have, whether you mow along fences, down hills, or between trees and shrubs, around flower beds, etc. Generally, the cost of the garden tractor is proportional to the power of the engine, and the width of the mowing deck, if all else is held equal.
Garden and lawn tractors can easily pull a sprayer or cart around your garden. However, you need the extra strength and power that can only be delivered by a garden tractor to use the ground engaging, heavy-duty attachments. High-end models that come with a PTO hitch expand the attachment options significantly, though those without a PTO will still perform a low of tricks.
PTO attachments include disc cultivators, tillers/harrows, snow throwers, front-end loaders, digging buckets, and dozer blades. Non-PTO attachments typically include cart and trailers (even those that have a dumping mechanism), lawn vacuums, bagging and mulching equipment, sprayers and tanks, etc.
Engine and Horsepower
How much horsepower do you need? Most garden tractors come with a twin cylinder design and an overhead valve engine, which are mostly the best combination when it comes to mowing performance. Overall, a higher horsepower engine will provide more improved performance, making it ideal for heavy duty attachments like plows, tillers, and grading blades.
If you’re asking “Which garden tractor blades do I need?” Well, the bigger the blade of the tractor, the more power it requires to run. The horsepower of garden tractors typically range from 20 to 30 horsepower, and more horsepower generally means faster mowing and will give you the feel of a professional machine instead of a big toy, especially when you are digging, pulling heavy loads, or tilling.
For those that only need the tractor to more acres of grass, and are the type of people who don’t let the grass grow too tall, then the lower horsepower tractors might perhaps be ideal for you.
Axles and frames can tell you a lot about the best garden tractor. The front axles of lawn tractors are generally welded and made of steel. Garden tractors, on the other hand, have cast iron or forged axles, which are typically stronger and a good indication of a higher quality level.
Size comes into play with wheels of the tractor, though to a lesser extent. Sizes from 20 to about 23 inches are very common. What you need to remember here is that the bigger the tires are, the more stable the tractor will be on steep and rough terrains. They will also be easier to navigate in muddy conditions.
Amount of Intended Mowing
If you intend to more than 2 acres, then a 54-inch deck, which is the maximum deck size for garden tractors is most ideal, just because it will make the chore consume less of your time. For under two acres, the 45-inch deck size is sufficient for the task. However, if you need higher speed of mowing, then a wider deck is always a good choice.
Of course, you want to make sure that the tractor is sized to get it where it’s needed. Keep the width of the gate, tight spaces, and shed doors into consideration when choosing the garden tractor. Make sure the sheer size of the machine won’t be inconsistent with such constraints.
One of the most important considerations about the best garden tractor is the transmission, which usually has a lot to do with how the tractor is controlled. Some tractor models come with the throttle mounted right next to the steering wheel, which means that you need to take your hands off the wheel when adjusting your speed. A foot pedal is another option, which typically works like the gas pedal in your car.
- Hand levers: These function as cruise control does. Keep in mind that if you need to mow over three acres, having your foot on the pedal all the time get tiring. The major downside with hand lever is the fact that you need to take a hand off the wheel to adjust the speed, which can be inconvenient if you are navigating through low tree limbs and shrubs. However, they are just fine for gentle terrains, and for activities like tilling and mowing.
- Foot Pedals are better overall for rough terrains, and activities such as maneuvering tight spaces, digging, and scooping soil. Garden tractors are generally geared towards practical projects, besides manicuring the lawn. As such, most of them, especially the high-end ones, do come with foot pedals. Foot pedals are generally considered better, though they cost more.
Best Garden Tractor Reviews
#1. Husqvarna 960430216 YTH22V42 22V Hydro Pedal Tractor Mower, 42″/Twin
The Husqvarna 960430216 is a compact tractor with all the horsepower most homeowners will ever need. It can reach speeds of up to 7.4 mph and can handle 2.5 acres an hour. Its CVT transmission lets you control the speed using the pedal only, with no clutch required. Changing the speed is generally seamless, with minimal jerking from the tractor.
The Husqvarna YTA22V42 comes with the Briggs & Stratton 22HP intek engine, and a 42″ deck. The single cylinder, 540cc air-cooled engine incorporates the ReadyStart for Ride technology, which means you need to turn the key, or push a button and go.
- An easy to operate spring-assisted deck lever
- Air induction technology that allows air to flow within the deck to ensure a consistent cut
- Has a wash port on the deck that will enable you to connect a water hose for cleaning
- Comfortable, with sufficient legroom even for taller guys, and an easily operable steering wheel.
- The fuel gauge system doesn’t auger well with many users, including me. It’s quite difficult to see the fuel level
- Sometimes, users have complained that the product came with some broken parts. While this is entirely subjective, check the product carefully and have the manufacturer change it if you find anything broken.
#2. Yard Machines 420cc 42-Inch Riding Lawn Mower
This is a powerful and compact lawn mower. It comes with a fuel efficient OHV engine, mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission, and a 42-inch cutting deck. The transmission delivers a smooth, easy mowing experience, and the cutting deck has three discharge options to enhance its utility.
The OHV engine is one of the highlight features on this riding mower. It’s mostly a four-cycle PowerMore Overhead engine which delivers a strong performance with it 420 cc capacity and gives you great fuel efficiency. The cutting deck is well sized, at 42 inches, and is made of stamped steel, using two blades for cutting. The lever operated auto transmission makes driving the machine steady and effortless and maintains its cool even in uneven terrains. The 13A2775S000 model can go forward at five mph, and backward at 2mph.
- Can cut close to obstacles due to its compact size, and the 18-inch turning radius
- Comes with headlights to let you mow safely on cloudy days, and in the evening
- Its wheels come with anti-scalp features and are designed not to pull up grass, even on rough areas
- It can’t mow in reverse, and you need to turn around every time
- A small tank. The tank can only hold 1.36 gallons, which means you have to refuel more frequently if you have a bigger garden, which will ultimately cost you extra time.
#3. Craftsman T225 19 HP Briggs & Stratton Gold 46-Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower
This powerful lawn tractor from Craftsman is well-suited for larger jobs thanks to its 19 HP Briggs & Stratton engine. It’s also equipped with ready start technology which provides a quick, efficient start, so you can boost your productivity as you care for your yard.
As far as comfort is concerned, the machine comes with a high-back cushioned seat, so you can lay back and enjoy excellent back support while you get the job done. The tractor has a wide 46-Inch cutting deck for cutting, trimming, and clipping grass in one quick sweep and the package also includes an integrated deck wash system to save time when underside cleaning. It’s not the widest cutting deck on the market, but it will enable you to cut grass evenly and efficiently.
Moreover, the tractor features foot hydrostatic transmission and boasts 15-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels for better clearance, which is ideal if your yard is more stubborn. Finally, you can take your mower in reverse, so the chances of getting stuck in a trouble zone are basically non-existent.
- Easy assembly, you only need to add the steering wheel and seat, you can then gas up and go
- Powerful Briggs and Stratton 19hp engine
- The lawn tractor has an area in the back for attachments
- Some users have complained about having to replace parts sooner than expected
#4. Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic 46-Inch Riding Lawnmower
Troy-Bilt is an incredibly respected brand when it comes to yard tools, and this sturdy machine is no exception. The tractor is powered by a reliable 19 HP/540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek engine and boasts foot-pedal automatic transmission. It’s great for large areas, enabling you to tackle even toughest lawn jobs.
The riding lawnmower comes equipped with a 46-inch durable deck rider, Mow-In-Reverse capability, and Manual Power Take Off. In other words, everything you need to boost your efficiency in the garden. The mid-back seat is fairly comfortable, while the integrated deck wash system makes the cleanup portion of the gig considerably easier.
Additionally, the lawn tractor features 15-inch x 20-inch sturdy wheels. You can mow at speeds up to 5.2 MPH. The soft touch steering wheel also deserves a shout-out, boosting comfort and ensuring you don’t put too much strain on your arms as you manage your yard projects.
- Large 46-inch side discharge mowing deck and Mow-In-Reverse capabilities
- Powerful 19 HP/540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek engine
- Integrated deck wash system
- You can adjust the deck height to 5 different positions
- Some users have complained about the tractor being too slow
Final Review of the Best Garden Tractors
Garden tractors are the perfect way to perform serious lawn work. These machines are powerful enough with more horsepower than their lawn tractor cousins are, can perform a wide variety of heavy-duty jobs at a time, and are generally more durable. We hope that this article has helped you find the best garden tractor for your personal needs!