Types of Lawn Mower
The mower is a type of individual lawn mower tractor that can mow the lawn of a piece of land. Ideal for maintaining your garden without getting tired, this type of machine is easy to handle, efficient and suitable for all terrains, including the most capricious. You just have to drive it like any four-wheeled vehicle. However, in order to choose the machine that suits you best, several criteria must be taken into account.
What are the characteristics of a lawn mower?
The mower is a self-propelled machine that has the function of mowing large areas of grass and at the same time harvesting the cut grass. This machine can be adapted to flat and uneven terrain, steep or strewn with various obstacles. Very practical, it saves precious time by almost halving cutting time compared to a thermal or electric lawn mower.
Easy to handle and drive, it is a gardening tool accessible to everyone.
There are two types of lawn mower: the driver and the corridor runner.
- The rider should be reserved for mowing medium surfaces, from 1,000 to 2000 m².
- The mower with seat is suitable for large spaces from 1500 to 6000 m².
Whatever its type, the mower is made up of four wheels on which a frame rests. It is equipped with a four-stroke engine that runs on gasoline.
Below 2000 m², an engine from 10 to 12 HP is sufficient; beyond that, you should consider between 13 and 15 HP of power. Equipped with two driving wheels, the mower is powered by a gearbox (manual or automatic) like that of a car, with three speeds and reverse.
Although all lawn mowers collect the cut grass, this mode of collection varies depending on the model. Some are equipped with a classic bin that must be emptied automatically or manually. Others eject the grass to the sides or back of the machine. For the latter, it is possible to collect the green waste manually or opt for the mulching technique, which consists of crushing it to leave it on the lawn in order to feed it.
If the mower is a very practical and comfortable machine for the maintenance of medium and large surfaces, it can be very expensive and requires a substantial investment. The first models sell for 1,500 to 2,000 euros. For a high-performance machine on large surfaces and on complex terrain, it costs from $3000 to $6,000.
It should be noted that for an area of less than 1000 m², the mower has no interest.
How to choose a mower?
The choice of the mower that suits you best should not be left to chance. In fact, to take advantage of a high-performance tool, it is important to make your choice following certain essential criteria. Here they are.
The size of the terrain: engine power and cutting width
The size of the terrain is a determining criterion, as it determines the power of the mower's motor and the cutting width.
- 1000 to 1500 m² of surface: for such a surface, a motor of 10 HP (300 to 350 cm 3) is sufficient, for a cutting width of between 72 and 92 cm.
- 1500 to 3000 m² of area: for such an area, a motor of 10 to 15 HP (400 to 500 cm 3) is recommended, for a cutting width of between 84 and 102 cm.
- More than 3000 m² of surface: for such a surface a motor of 15 HP (at least 550 cm 3) is necessary, for a cutting width of between 102 and 122 cm.
It should be noted that most lawn mowers support a slope of up to 30%. Beyond that, it is best to resort to the services of a professional.
The method of harvesting grass clippings
Depending on your needs, your physical abilities and the time you have available, you will need to choose a specific collection mode. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
- The collection box: this option is practical, because the cut grass is collected immediately, which allows you to do everything in one pass and obtain an impeccable, well finished and clean result, which is more aesthetic. If you wish, you can save the cuts for your compost or recycle them in another way (mulching, etc.). On the other hand, as with a conventional lawn mower, you will have to stop several times to empty your bin, hence the need to opt for a large container (300 liters) to limit round trips. The trash can be emptied manually, which is restrictive if it is bulky and heavy, or automatically, by pressing a button or lever.
- Lateral ejection: This device expels the cut grass directly to the side of the machine during cutting. You save time since you no longer have to stop to empty your trash. On the other hand, it all depends on what you intend to do with this waste that adorns your lawn. Large cut, they are not attractive for two or three days after mowing the lawn, but then serve as natural fertilizer for your lawn. If they bother you, you can pick them up by hand, but the time saved will soon be lost.
- Mulching: Mulching is similar to the discharge version, but the grass is crushed into very small pieces before being distributed on the sides and back of the machine during cutting. The result is more aesthetic, because the small strands are barely visible and penetrate better into the lawn to make a better fertilizer. On the other hand, these machines do not like grass too high and need regular maintenance after each mowing.
To make the best choice, several comfort points should catch your attention.
- Blade protection: If your terrain is strewn with obstacles or wood or rock debris, opt for a mower with reinforced blade protection so as not to damage your machine.
- An ergonomic seat: In high season, you will spend several hours mowing the lawn on your machine. So choose a comfortable model, with an ergonomic and height-adjustable seat, as well as easily accessible centralized controls.
- The wheels: the bigger your wheels, the more they will limit vibrations and gain in comfort and the less you mark your lawn with unsightly veins.
- The cutting height: be sure to invest in buying a model that allows you to easily choose and adjust the cutting height to suit your needs.
- The transmission: you can opt for a model with manual transmission, as in traditional vehicles, or automatic to gain in driving comfort.