Ride-on Lawn mower & Tractor Guide
Guide to lawn care and choosing the right ride-on lawn mower & tractor from UK's largest online retailer of ride-on lawn mowers & ride-on tractors
Ride-on lawn mowers & tractors
Ride-on lawn mowers were first produced in the United States in the early 1960s by Snapper. Snapper ride-on mowers, with their distinctive metal frame design, are in fact still available and be purchased online in the UK at MowDIRECT for home delivery. Since then a whole raft of manufacturers have emerged offering a wide array of products. In the UK the first two ride-on mower brand names to come to prominence (in the 1970s) were Westwood - with their distinctive rear-sweeper collection system - and MTD-Lawnflite who offered an alternative Direct Collect system in which grass cuttings were forced by the air flow of the cutter blades directly over the rear trans-axle and into the catcher by the shortest route possible. Both manufacturer's offered a product designed specifically for the wet grass cutting conditions found the UK and offered a solution to the ongoing problem of side-mounted collection tubes (found on US made machines) becoming blocked by damp grass.
Both Westwood (along with parent company Countax) and Lawnflite continue to lead the market for ride-on mowers in the UK with their respective styles of machine. Hayter is the latest of a series of manufacturers to have developed a rear sweeper ride-on mower, but show little sign of denting Westwood/Countax's dominance of this market. The rear-collect style of ride-on has been adopted by countless brands, and a number of these - including Honda, Castel Twin-Cut & Mountfield - are now manufactured in Italy by a Eurpean conglomerate called Castelgarden. None have yet managed to replicate exactly Lawnflite's unique style of rear-collect machine - a collection system they still refer to as Direct Collect to distinguish themselves from the competition - and Lawnflite remains the most popular choice of ride-on mower for the UK consumer.
So, how to decide which is the right ride-on mower for you? We've already pointed to the two main types of ride-on and you may want to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Rear-sweeper ride-on mowers, such as those made by Countax, Westwood & Hayter, remove the possibility of clogging altogether as no tubes or chutes are employed: instead the cutter deck leaves the grass cuttings on the turf to be swept up by a powered sweeper towed behind the ride-on. If your grass is particularly lush and the grass is left to grow long (and damp) in certain areas of your grounds, this may be the most suitable choice for you. Westwood and Countax rear-sweeper tractors are particularly robust and the more powerful models will handle orchards and areas of rough with ease. Rear-sweeper ride-on mowers also employ full width metal rollers at the base of the rear sweeper which - when mowing in alternate directions - produces a well defined banded finish. These ride-on's are also designed to produce a close cut on more formal lawns. In short, these ride-on tractors offer an all-round solution for all types of lawns regardless of how wet, lush or uneven your ground is.
You may well be asking why anyone would consider anything other than one of these rear-sweeper machines. In fact there are many reasons. One of the prime ones is cost. Rear-sweeper ride-on mowers are more expensive - by quite a way - than equivalent spec rear-collect machines. While it is possible to buy a decent quality 40" rear-collect ride-on tractor mower for around £2000-2500, an equivalent spec Westwood or Countax will cost you in excess of £3000. Another reason is that rear-collect ride-on mowers provide you with a far wider range of models and specifications, particularly at the smaller end of the market. The most popular size cut of ride-on lawn mower & tractor is 30" (the smallest rear-sweeper model available is 36"), and this area of the market has been dominated by Lawnflite for over 25 years. A 30" ride-on lawn tractor with rear-collection can be purchased for well under £1500, although a top spec 30" model will cost you several hundred pounds more. Rear-collect models are also available with cutting widths below 30" for lawns and gardens under 1 acre. Brands strong in this area of the market include Lawnflite, MTD-Yardman, Hayter, ALKO and Castel-Lawn King. These smaller models are highly manoeuvrable and are ideal for gardens containing obstacles such as flowerbeds, trees and ornaments.
Finally, ride-on lawn mowers & tractors are intended to make gardening and mowing the lawn less of a chore and more of a pleasure. With even the smallest of lawns and gardens, ride-on lawn mowers can be a great investment saving you time and effort. For more information call our Sales Hotline on 0845 4588 905 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com