Top 4 Best Garden Tractor Reviews You’ll Need This Year
Ordinary riding lawnmowers are fine 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 garden tractor is the right way to go.
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 different tasks. A garden tractor is a machine that has major lawn mowing capabilities, typically with a mower deck of more than 45 inches, 3 blades instead of two, and at least a 20 horse power 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.
- 1 What to Look for When Choosing a Garden Tractor
- 2 Top 4 Best Garden Tractors For 2017 Reviews
- 2.1 #1. Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 18.5 hp Fast Continuously Varilable Transmission Pedal Tractor Mower, 42″
- 2.2 #2. Yard Machines 420cc 42-Inch Riding Lawn Mower
- 2.3 #3. Troy-Bilt TB42 42-inch 420cc Auto Drive 7-Speed Side Discharge Riding Lawn Tractor
- 2.4 #4. Troy-Bilt 382cc Powermore OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
- 3 Conclusion
What to Look for When Choosing a Garden Tractor
Most homeowners like to look at the price, features, the 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 horse power do you need? Most garden tractors come with a twin cylinder design and an overhead valve engine, which are essentially the best combination when it comes to mowing performance. Overall, a higher horsepower engine will provide a more improved performance, making it ideal for heavy duty attachments like ploughs, tillers, and grading blades.
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 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, simply 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 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 really 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 utilitarian 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.
Top 4 Best Garden Tractors For 2017 Reviews
|Product Name||Price||Our Rating|
|Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 18.5 hp||$$$$||5|
|Yard Machines 420cc 42-Inch Riding Lawn Mower||$$$$||4|
|Troy-Bilt TB42 42-inch 420cc Auto Drive 7-Speed||$$$$||5|
|Troy-Bilt 382cc Powermore OHV 30-Inch Premium||$$$$||4.5|
#1. Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 18.5 hp Fast Continuously Varilable Transmission Pedal Tractor Mower, 42″
The Husqvarna 960430211 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 YTA18542 comes with the Briggs & Stratton 18.5 HP intek engine, and a 42″ deck. The single cylinder, 540cc air-cooled engine incorporates the ReadyStart for Ride technology, which means you just need to turn the key, or push a button and go.
- Fast automatic and maintenance free transmission, with reverse mowing capabilities
- 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 allows you to connect a water hose for cleaning
- Comfortable, with sufficient leg room 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
- Sometime, users have complained that the product came with some broken parts. While this is quite 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 3 discharge options to enhance its utility.
The OHV engine is one of its highlight features. It’s essentially a 4 cycle PowerMore Overhead engine, that 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 5 mph, and backwards at 2mph.
- Can cut close to obstacles due to its compact size, and the 18-iinch turning radius
- Comes with headlights to let you mow safely on cloudy days, and in the evening
- Its wheels comes with anti-scalp features, and are designed not to pull up grass, even on rough areas
- It can’t mow in reverse, 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. Troy-Bilt TB42 42-inch 420cc Auto Drive 7-Speed Side Discharge Riding Lawn Tractor
This is a stunning offering from Troy Bolt that boasts a 420 cc single cylinder engine, and a 7 speed continuous variable transmission (CVT). This machine can deliver dependable power on any kind of terrain, and engine gives the tractor a maximum speed of 5.2 mph, with a fuel capacity of 1.36 gallons.
The 42 inch mowing deck discharges from the side, and the 13 gauge Step Thru frame provides great comfort and proper access. The frame allows the user to utilize the open area that sits between the seat and the control panel, and it thus suitable for even the tallest of users.
If your lawn isn’t all grass and has obstacles like seats, trees, and flower beds, you can rely on the maneuverability of the TB42, with its 20 x 8 inch rear and the 15 x 6 inch front wheels. You may never have to worry about leaving huge chunks of grass in every turn with this mower.
- Has a sturdy built quality and well fabricated to deliver a great mowing experience
- An easily accessible frame, with a great seating position
- Features an integrated deck wash system that makes cleaning easy, so that you can dedicate more time on caring for your garden
- Has high maneuverability, and a durable deck to deliver great performance for longer
- Some users have complained about the weight of the product and the noise levels it can reach. Nonetheless, that’s expected from a heavy duty tractor, and those problems are quite normal for these kinds of machines.
#4. Troy-Bilt 382cc Powermore OHV 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
This machine is run by a 382 cc OHV Powermore Auto Choke engine that can reach forward speeds of up to 4.25 mph. the engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission, which delivers a smooth riding experience. The 30-inch cutting deck delivers the perks of a standard riding mower, in a compact size of a wide cut-walk-behind mower. This neighborhood mower is ideal for the standard owners who have a medium sized garden landscape, and a generally even terrain.
The rather powerful Powermore OHV engine is designed to last and deliver a clean, fuel-efficient performance. The tank capacity is at 1.3 gallons, with a fuel sight window to let you check when you need to fill it up. The deck has a 5 height adjustable blade, with a manual take off power to provide a fast, and easy blade engagement.
For extra comfort, the 13 inch steering wheel has a soft grip, and both the steering column and the seat can be adjusted to the preferred height.
- An 18-inch turning radius with 16 x 6.5 inch rear and 13 x 5 inch front wheels
- 5 adjustable settings on the 30 inch deck to provide the versatility of a standard riding mower
- Compact enough for tight garage spaces, and maneuvering around the lawn for narrow edges and tight spots
- Compatible with fast attach accessories, allowing you to add bags or snow tools to clear you lawn during winter.
- A small tank. The tank is really small, and you need to fill it up ever more frequently if you have a medium sized garden. This model cannot be used on large lawns or gardens.
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.