Garden tractor or zero-turn, here are five of each for the shortlist

If buying a lawnmower is a challenge, with the many brands and cutting widths and power to be matched to your garden, choosing a machine for a bigger lawn needs even more care.

There are two main types, garden tractors and zero turn mowers, which come into the reckoning, and in our  we have outlined the main differences between the two in our special library of information and advice, MowHow.

Put simply, garden tractors resemble the machines you see trundling up and down fields and have a steering wheel, while zero-turn mowers are shaped differently and steered by two levers, or paddles.

turn Mowers have much tighter turning circles, normally mulch the clippings and are becoming increasingly popular.

So here we give a brief review of five tractors and five zero turns so you can compare their specifications and performance.

From the States: Snapper ERXT lawn tractor
New for 2016: Snapper ERXT lawn tractor

We hope this will help you decide which is best for you if you are considering buying one, but remember you can always give us a ring on 0845 458 8905 if you want further advice before deciding.

This first one from the USA is new for this year and exclusive to us at MowDirect and is great machine for larger areas with twin-cylinder Briggs & Stratton Intek engine.

The Snapper ERXT2242RDF Garden Tractor has a 107cm width of cut which is easy to maintain and has been designed for smoother running and less wear.

It has hydrostatic transmission and a 36cm turning circle and cutting heights from 38mm to 89mm which are easily adjusted.

The driver’s seat is adjustable and it is fitted with cruise control to make mowing large areas more comfortable.

The LED headlights will keep you working when it gets dark and will give 100,000 hours of life.

It costs £2799, £1000 off the recommended price, is delivered free within three to five working days and has a two-year warranty.

Yet another new model and exclusive to us is the Murray EMT2642RDF Garden Tractor.

Murray garden tractor
Exclusive and new: Murray EMT2242 garden tractor

Made for lawns up to three acres, this one has a Briggs & Stratton Professional Series engine, a 724cc twin-cylinder one which both smooth and delivers high torque output.

The cutting width is 107cm and cutting heights are from 38mm to 89mm with seven settings.

The grass box holds 350 litres and there is an alarm which tells you when it needs emptying.

It has a cast iron front axle and is made to take rough terrain in its stride. It is easy to drive, just like an automatic car, with hydrostatic transmission.

It also has the maker’s Reverse Mow capability so you can reverse without disengaging the power take-off.

This one costs £2999, £1000 less than the recommended price. It has a two-year warranty and is delivered free within two to three working days.

Here’s one from a favourite manufacturer.

The Mountfield 2248H Garden Tractor, on special offer, has a 122cm cutting width and has a 656cc Briggs & Stratton twin-cylinder engine and hydrostatic transmission.

Mountfield lawn tractor
Favourite brand: Mountfield 2248H lawn tractor

It is a very comfortable machine to drive with a high-back seat and illuminated dashboard dials with a diagnostic display.

There is a loud beep when the grass box is full and the tractor comes with a mulching kit so you can mulch the clippings when conditions allow.

This is a garden tractor designed to cope with rough orchards and paddocks while still being at home on lawns.

As with other mowers there is a wide range of attachments available at keen prices when you order this machine – a tow bar comes as standard.

This one costs £3699, £300 off the recommended price and is delivered free within three to five working days. And it has a five-year manufacturer’s warranty.

This next is from a German manufacturer with a reputation for producing top garden machinery.

Al-Ko Solo garden tractor
German engineering: Al-Ko Solo Lawn and Garden Tractor

The AL-KO SOLO T23-125 HD V2 Garden Tractor is from their Powerline range of garden tractors and can handle areas up to 20,000m2.

Powering it along is a Briggs & Stratton 724cc Intek engine, a twin-cylinder one with a cast-iron cylinder and full pressure lubrication and electronic ignition to make starting simple.

With this machine you can collect and mulch the clippings and there is an optional rear deflector plate you can buy for use when cutting longer grass.

The cutting width is 125cm and cutting heights are from 30mm to 90mm with seven options.

It has been designed to handle rougher ground and has wide-profile tyres to give better grip and avoid damaging the lawn.

The 310-litre grass box can be emptied from the driver’s seat.

It costs £3999, £400 off the recommended price and has a two-year warranty. Delivery is free and within three to five working days

And the final one of our garden tractors is the Simplicity Conquest SYT500 Garden Tractor.

This one is packed with features and has a roller to leave a striped finish which most other lawn tractors can’t achieve.

Simplicity conquest tractor mower
Stripes: Simplicity Conquest tractor mower.

With a cutting width of 132cm it is powered by a Briggs & Stratton twi-cylinder engine and has a 132cm width of cut.

It is fitted with the maker’s Automatic Controlled Traction system to eliminate wheel spin on slopes and wet grass.

And with a side-discharge cutting deck it can take on large grassed areas – just fit the optional mulch plug if you prefer a more formal finish.

The deck is free floating, to track the lawns contours and can be height adjusted very precisely.

The cutting deck can be removed very quickly if you want to fit attachments.

It has hydrostatic transmission and is also fitted with cruise control and has a padded seat to make driving it more comfortable over long periods. And it is fitted with power steering and a suspension system.

It is delivered free within three to five working days, has a two year maker’s warranty and costs £5899.

Now the first of our zero turn mowers, the ones steered by using side levers rather than a wheel.

Toro zs4200 zero turn ride-on mower
Real power: Toto zs4200 zero turn ride-on mower

Don’t worry, they are just as easy as conventional mowers to drive and yet offer far better mobility.

The first is the Toro ZS4200S Timecutter Zero-Turn Ride-On Mower from a popular USA manufacturer.

This is fitted with the maker’s own 452cc engine and is very responsive with twin control levers.

The cutting width is 107cm and cutting heights are from 38mm to 114mm. This one discharges clippings to the side but you can obtain a mulch plug and grass box if you prefer.

It has anti-scalp wheels and a parking brake which engages automatically when you push the control arms forward. A towing hitch is included in the price.

There is also a wash port on the deck so when you’ve finished grass cutting for the day simply attach a garden hose and run the engine and the deck will be clean for the next time.

When it is delivered free and within three to five working days it will be demonstrated to you.

It has a three year warranty and costs £3149, £100 off the recommended price.

Cuc Cadet Zero Turn mower
Easy to drive: Cub Cadet RZT S46 ZSero Turn Mower

Another great machine for steering round restricted areas is the Cub Cadet RZT-S46 Zero-Turn Ride-On Mower.

This one has a steering wheel operating front castor wheels and dual pedal-operated transmission. The ability to spin round 360 degrees at the end of each straight means cutting large areas is far quicker.

This machine is fitted with a high-performance 726cc Kawasaki  V-twin engine producing 23hp.

Really solidly built it has a free-floating cutting deck with anti-scalp wheels and can both discharge to the side and mulch the clippings.

Wide-profile tyres give plenty of grip to cope with slopes and wet conditions and it has a sprung, high-backed seat.

With a cutting width of 117cm and cutting heights from 38mm to 100mm it is ideal for areas up to 1600m2.

We deliver it assembled and ready for use within five to seven working days with a two year warranty.

It costs £3899.

We mentioned a conventional lawn tractor from Snapper, a leading USA manufacturer at the start and here’s a zero-turn machine from the same company.

Napper Zero Turn ride-on mower
Really solid: Snapper ZTX250 Zero Turn ride-on mower

The Snapper ZTX250 Zero-Turn Ride-On Mower has a 724cc Briggs & Stratton twin-cylinder engine and a cutting width of 122cm.

This is principally a side-discharge machine but if you prefer a neat finish you can fit a mulch kit.

Cutting heights are from 38mm to 100mm.

This is a very solid machine with welded steel chassis and large diameter front axle.

The seat is adjustable and there is a handy storage area to transport garden equipment.

It costs £3899, £100 off the retail price, it has a three year warranty and free delivery within five to seven working days.

Another from Toro is the Toro ZX5400 Titan Zero-Turn Riding Mower, a machine made for large gardens and small estates and for parks.

Powered by a 24hp Kawasaki engine, this has a pair of levers to steer I and there is a front castor wheel to help with manoeuvrability.

It has a massive 137cm cutting width and the cutting deck has a pair of anti-scalp wheels.

Toro Titan Zero Turn Mower
Largest gardens: Toro ZX 5400 Titan Zero Turn mower

A padded and sprung seat make sit very comfortable to use for log periods while wide-profile tyres are kind to the lawn.

It also has a roll bar which folds down when you want to drive under trees and the cutting height is controlled by a pedal.

The discharge chute is made from rubber so it will not break if there is any impact.

You can buy a twin bagging system separately for £679.

Delivered within  five to seven days and demonstrated on handover, it costs £5699, £300 off the recommended price and has a three year warranty.

And finally another one made with the owners of large parks and gardens in mind and new for 2016.

The Cub Cadet TANKSZ-60 Zero-Turn Ride-On Mower is made with professionals in mind who have to tackle all sorts of grass cutting challenges.

This one will give a great finish on slopes up to 20 degrees and has infinitely controllable speed control using twin foot pedals.

Cub Cadet Tanksz Zero turn mower
Professional machine: Cub Cadet Tanksz-60 Zero-turn ride-on mower

Driving it is an 852cc Kawasaki engine producing 27hp and fuelled by a 57-litre fuel tank.

With 17 cutting heights from 26mm to 127mm it can handle virtually all types of grass and lawns and it is fitted with an anti-roll bar.

It is built on a heavy-duty steel frame and is finished in a powder coating to resist corrosion.

Power steering and anti-scalp wheels on the cutting deck and a high-back seat and adjustable steering column make this a really great mowing machine for the largest of gardens.

It even has an hour meter to remind you when servicing is due.

This one costs £9499, is delivered free within five to seven working days and has a two year warranty.

So there you have five top classic lawn tractors and five of the latest zero-turn models.

You’ll find the full list on our site and also a good selection of ride-ons as well for small lawns.

 

 

 

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