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Lawn Tractor: The Master of the Backyard Domain

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

If you look out across your backyard and it looks like something straight out of Land of the Lost, then you may need a little added muscle to your landscaping arsenal. A lawn tractor is one part mower, one part animal. And it can tame your ferocious backyard, giving you the space you need to enjoy it once again.

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Lawn Tractor 101

A stroll down the aisles of your local home and garden center could tempt you with a tantalizing array of riding lawn and garden tractors. And while they all might look the same, there are subtle differences in each one that can make some more suitable for your backyard environment than others. Here's a few of them:

  • Cutting Deck. The width of the blade. Most lawn tractors come with a deck of around 54 inches or more. Stick with that measurement for residential jobs. Go bigger only if your backyard is a golf course.
  • Engine Power. Most sit at 25 horsepower. That's enough get up and go to ride over semi-rough terrain and steep land grades. Look for 4 to 6 miles per hour on the speed rating.
  • Handling. Most of the new generation lawn tractors use hydrostatic transmission--that means the tractor transmits all power hydraulically, using the components of hydraulic machinery.
  • Accessories. Extras like a canvas shade over the driver's seat and push-button start functioning will improve your mowing experience.

Lawn Tractors: What are the Top Brands?

Poulan, Club Cadet, and John Deere may be on the wish list of every homeowner this Christmas. If you're shopping on a budget, there are lesser known brands that deliver the same power and performance at a fraction of the cost.

By taking your needs into consideration and doing some research, you should be able to find a lawn tractor that can get your yard in shape in no time.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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