Summer often means investing in new lawn care equipment, but with so many choices out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. Take a few tips from the professionals to select the best equipment for your home, and then keep the gear in top shape throughout the season and for years to come. Here’s some guidance when purchasing a riding lawnmower for your home:
Choosing a Home Mower
Lots of people turn to online reviews and recommendations from friends before they invest in a large purchase. This is a good idea, but not all surveys and reviews include enough information to make a sound decision.
For example, a 2012 Green Industry Pros survey revealed name recognition is often a factor. Also, some contractors are so loyal to a certain brand, they don’t consider alternatives, even if it might be better.
To help overcome any hidden bias, consumers should examine company literature and warranty information along with consumer reviews. In the Green Industry Pros survey, 21 percent of respondents rated the zero-turn Husqvarna mower as one of the top mowers on the market, but that number might not accurately rate the product if a large number of respondents did not recognize the Husqvarna brand. Compare that feedback with industry experts’ takes: Mowers Direct lists four Husqvarna mowers in the top 10 for high-performing zero-turn mowers, two in the A+ category and two in the A category. Jose Castellanos, a Mowers Direct product expert, recommends these mowers for a comfortable ride, ample power on uneven terrain and a cutting deck that accommodates rear or side discharge for catching, spreading or mulching. The more research you do, the more likely you’ll find the best product for your home.
Best Fit for Your Land and Your Family
Models that provide bagging and mulching capabilities and a good value based on budget and performance are the best choices for home consumers. Check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal agency responsible for monitoring consumer product recalls, before buying a riding lawn mower. Other considerations include how much land there is to mow, how often the mower will be used and how long each mowing session will last. Buying a riding mower with the correct engine size, the right tires for the landscape and an adjustable seat and/or steering wheel for proper height adjustment adds comfort, safety and efficiency.
Proper maintenance keeps equipment operating and reduces downtime. Once a decision is made on the brand you’ll purchase, the operator’s manual is a valuable resource for maintaining home lawn equipment. The manual provides information about which parts require routine grease applications, the correct schedule for cleaning and replacing filters and the best oil-changing routine.
Keep moving parts clean. Blow off grass and yard debris from around the console, the pumps and wheel motors. All bolts and screws should be checked periodically to ensure they are tight and secure, to prevent loose parts from causing damage while in use or loss of protective shrouds.
Buying a lawn tractor is an investment. Reviews are important, but consumers should closely examine what the numbers represent. Proper maintenance and responsible ownership practices will keep your equipment in top condition for many years.
Do you have tips for choosing the best riding lawnmower? Share them in the comments.
About the author:
Robert Carlson- Rob writes about cars, DIY home projects and sports.