Garden Tractors

Jul 14, 2010 Click:0

Garden Tractors (also called Mini Tractors) are small, light and simple tractors designed for use in domestic gardens. Garden Tractors are usually designed primarily for cutting grass, being fitted with horizontal rotary cutting decks. Visually, the distinction between a garden tractor and a ride-on lawnmower is often hard to make - generally Garden Tractors are more sturdily built, with stronger frames, axles and transmissions rated for ground-engaging applications. Garden Tractors are generally capable of mounting other implements such as harrows, cultivators/rotavators, sweepers, rollers and dozer-blades. Like ride-on mowers, Garden Tractors generally have a vertical-crankshaft engine with a belt-drive to a transaxle-type transmission (usually of 4- or 5-speeds, although some may also have two-speed reduction gearboxes or a hydrostatic drive). However, Wheel Horse (now part of Toro) garden tractors have horizontal-crankshaft engines with belt-drive, whilst Allen/Gutbrod tractors had an automotive-type clutch and gearbox. The engines are generally a 1- or 2-cylinder petrol (gasoline) engine, although diesel engine models are also available, especially in Europe.

In the U.S., the term riding lawn mower today often is used to refer to mid or rear engined machines. Front-engined tractor layout machines designed primarily for cutting grass and light towing are called lawn tractors; and heavier duty tractors of the same overall size, often shaft driven, are called garden tractors. The primary differences between a lawn tractor and a garden tractor are the transmission torque handling capability, frame durability, the rear wheels (garden tractors almost always have multiple mounting bolts, while most lawn tractors have a single bolt or clip on the hub), and the ability to attach ground engaging equipment such as plows or disk-harrows. Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, and other major mowing equipment manufacturers use these terms.

As well as dedicated manufacturers, many makers of agricultural tractors have made (or continue to make) ranges of garden tractors, such as Case, Massey-Ferguson, International Harvester and John Deere.