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Buying your first lawn tractor

The challenge is finding the right one that fits your needs and budget

Our family moved to a bigger home several years ago, which also included a sloping,  expansive yard. I’m the one who usually mows and all we had was a push mower. I didn’t want to spend all day breaking up a sweat every time I mowed, so it was time to buy a lawn tractor. However, we needed help deciding which model was the right one for us.

Greg Weekes, John Deere product marketing manager, says there are many options, so the best way to get the right lawn tractor for your needs is to sit down with the dealer.

"Typically what the dealer will ask that first-time customer is how much acreage are they actually cutting, they’ll also ask them a price range that they’re thinking about," says Weekes. "They’ll ask them what does that landscape look like? Is it flat, is it hilly with a lot of slopes? Is there a lot of landscaping to go around?"

If your property is relatively flat, you’re a good candidate for a zero-turn mower. A sloping piece of land or hilly terrain will be better off with a traditional lawn tractor. If you’ll be attaching a snow blower or front blade, again, the lawn tractor is the machine you’ll need.

Another choice to make is whether you want a lawn tractor with two-wheel steering or four-wheel steering.
 
"A two-wheel steer, as the name implies, you’re steering with the two front wheels. You have a set turning radius and a set uncut circle," says Weekes. "With a four-wheel steer tractor, you are steering with all four wheels. You have pretty much the same turning radius, but the uncut circle, which is measured at the side of the mower deck, is as small as 7"-9"."

As you move up the series of lawn tractors to the larger, more powerful machines, you get more bells-and-whistles in terms of comfort, hydraulics, and attachment capabilities.

Find more tips on how to pick the perfect lawn tractor

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