Ride-on Mowers Vs Compact Tractors.

One question that several people struggle with when it comes to grounds maintenance is, what is better to hire? A ride-on mower or a compact tractor? Two very similar machines that offer several different features to operators. In this article, we are going to delve into the world of ride-on mowers vs compact tractors and give you an honest review on which is best for what application. You will then be able to apply the information in this blog to assist you in getting the right tool for the job. In that case, let’s begin.

Why might you want to hire a ride-on mower or compact tractor?

If you are considering hiring a ride on mower or compact tractor, surely, you should be looking to make light work of the job at hand. Normally, either one of these machines is chosen when you have a large area to cover. Less manual labour and getting the job completed far quicker than you would be able to do by hand. One common error in the use of either one of these machines is their size. Neither are suitable for small back gardens. The minimum size area you want to be looking to use them on is half an acre, with ample access. Access is very important, neither one of these machines can pass through a standard garden gate. However, if you have plenty of space to work with, you should be good to go.

Most operators will generally use a ride-on mower or compact tractor for the use of cutting large amounts of grass or lawn. But as you find out later in this post, they offer far more than most people believe. If this is the reason why you are considering using either machine, then you’re on the right path! Now let’s have a little look at the two different machines in more detail.

What is a ride-on mower?

Choosing to hire a ride-on mower vs a compact tractor is a common option for people who wish to do large amounts of lawn maintenance. Lawn maintenance can be carried out in several different applications. Home DIY lawn maintenance, domestic and commercial. Ride-on mowers are commonly chosen to hire if users have enough room to operate them in. They are far more substantial than a walk-behind rotary lawnmower you would expect to see in a garden shed. Small ride-on mowers are sometimes purchased by homeowners if they have the ability to operate and store them. However, if they are unable to do so, then they will opt to hire one instead.

Ride-on mowers consist of a few key components that make them iconic. A deck, mowing leaver and a discharge or collection method. The overall reason for the use of a ride-on mower is to cut grass. Grass cuttings can be either collected into an external bag or discharged out of the side of the machine. The deck houses the rotary blades that sit directly underneath the driving position. During operation, the ride-on mower will discharge sidewards or from the rear of the machine.

Cutting height is adjusted by a leaver that operators can access next to their seats. The cutting deck is raised and lowered as required with minimal effort. Ride-on mowers are popular choices for cutting lawns as they can collect cuttings like a walk-behind lawnmower. They are also able to travel at speeds of up to 15km with a cutting radius of between 1- and 1.5m in diameter. Larger areas, covered much faster, makes for a very efficient job well done.

What is a compact tractor?

Compact tractors are small utility tractors that are designed to undertake several agricultural and horticultural activities. Similar to ride-on mowers, they can be used for cutting a large amount of grass at one time. But unlike ride-on mowers, uncommonly found in people’s garages. Choosing to hire a compact tractor requires a few essential things. Enough room to operate them from, and also an external attachment. You see, unlike ride-on mowers, compact tractors as standard do not come with a cutting deck. They require power to be taken off (PTO) output on the machine to operate an attachment to help complete the task at hand.

The list of attachments for a compact tractor is endless, similar to an agricultural tractor just on the smaller size. This makes this machine a multi-functional and beneficial tool for several different trades and applications. One of the most popular uses of compact tractors is in the preservation of large parks, golf courses and football pitches when used with a flail attachment. With a rotavator attachment, the compact tractor is used in a completely different manner. Examples such as, the preparation of soil on building sites, smallholdings or on medium to large crop fields.

Compact tractors come in many different designs. Some have open or closed cabs, as well as newer technology than others. With the constant evolution of tractors, more and more functionality is being compressed into them.

To help get a better understanding of which machine is going to be best for your project, we shall now have a look at the benefits of the two machines.

Benefits of ride-on mowers vs compact tractors

Benefits of ride-on mowers

  • Saves time on cutting, more efficient.
  • Can cut larger areas compared to standard walk behind.
  • Less manual labour for the operator.
  • Adjustable cutting or collecting heights.
  • Reach speeds of 15km
  • Lightweight
  • Discharge/collecting options.
  • Can be made road legal however is uncommon.

Benefits of compact tractors

  • Multi-purpose machinery
  • Can be used with several different attachments to maximize efficiency
  • Cuts larger areas than a ride on mower at one time.
  • Adjustable cutting height and roller finish.
  • Cabbed and uncabbed models are available for additional user comfort.
  • Commonly made road legal
  • Reach speeds of 30mph
  • 540 rpm power taken off available.

Summary of best applications and what is regarded best to hire. Ride-on mowers vs Compact tractors

Now we have had a chance to have a look into both machines, we can see a lot of similarities, as well as differences. So, which one do you choose to hire? An easy way to ensure you choose the right machine for the job is by assessing the following:

Budget- Are you working to a tight budget on machinery hire?

Access- how much access is there available?

The size of the area you need to cover- Is it larger than an acre?

Is there any ground requirements? – Weight restrictions?

What work are you undertaking? – more than one job in the same area?

What time scale are you working to?

The weather or time of year?

Roadside work- Working on the roadside?

Best suited examples:

Lower budget – Ride-on mower. Higher budget Compact Tractor

Access- Dimensions of machines differ, however compacts are larger than ride-on mowers

The area you need to cover- For larger areas use compact tractors.

Ground requirements- Lightwork use a ride-on mower.

Work undertaking- Multiple jobs may be better suited for a compact tractor as the machine offers more variety than just mowing.

Timescale- Where available use a compact if budget and access allow for faster completion.

Weather- Ride-on mowers are not suitable for the winter months, most compact tractors offer closed cabs and operator comforts.

Roadside work- Both machines are ideal for roadside work, however, if you are hiring them, you need to ensure that they are registered and taxed too. Not all ride-on mowers offer this, however, compact tractors generally are if they are available for commercial use.

The best applications for ride-on mowers vs compact tractors

In conclusion, therefore, the best applications for a ride on mowers vs compact tractors would be the following:

-Domestic and commercial ground maintenance.

-Grass cutting or leaf collection only.

-Lower budget.

-Delicate ground.

-For use in the summer and warmer months.

-If a compact tractor is too large.

The best applications for a compact tractor

-Agricultural, horticultural and construction use.

-Large mowing or cultivation work.

-Larger budget.

-Plenty of access.

-All-year-round work.

– Additional attachments for use on-site. Save hiring additional equipment.

See our Compact Tractor in action below:

Where to hire a ride-on mower or compact tractor?

WHC Hire Services has been providing the highest quality grounds maintenance and agricultural equipment to the public and businesses for over 20 years. Our mission is to ensure that customers can complete their projects promptly in the safest possible way. With regular investments into the quality of our machinery, we can provide the latest equipment available on the market. Whether our customers require a compact tractor or ride-on mower, we can guarantee that our equipment is issued ready to use and in perfect working order. Find out more about our grounds and agricultural equipment here. Or speak to a member of our friendly team today on 01684377977.

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