DULUTH, GA (May 22, 2009) With a growing number of Americans who work in large metropolitan areas embracing the rural lifestyle, choosing to live far outside the city, they must now make the natural progression from a push or riding mower to an acreage mower.
“Grass is the forgiveness of nature—her constant benediction.” These words, spoken by U.S. Senator from Kansas John Ingalls in 1872, still ring true for millions of lawn enthusiasts across the country.
The American homeowner has far more lawn care tools at their disposal since the days of the scythe and horse-drawn mower of the era in which John Ingalls lived. And the proliferation of residential green continues. According to the Lawn Institute, the land area collectively occupied by U.S. lawns equals a land mass greater than that of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Many feel their lawn is a reflection of themselves; a survey by the institute found that 86% of those polled found that a nice lawn is a positive reflection on the homeowner. For many acreage owners, the tractor and mower are today’s answer to this age-old challenge.
A number of factors should be evaluated when choosing the right mowing equipment for an acreage,” said Ray Turner of Turner Tractor, Inc., a Massey Ferguson dealer in Evans City, PA. “In addition to the obvious element of the number of acres you are cutting and the number of times you expect to cut it and how much time you want to spend cutting grass, there are other variables to consider. Consider the lay of the land and other types of jobs you want to accomplish with your tractor. And of course, how does this purchase fit in your budget?”
Acreage owners should take into account the issue of durability when selecting equipment. Will it be able to stand up to frequent and long usage?
“The benefit of owning a tractor is not just durability, but the number of other tasks you can accomplish with simple attachments available at your dealer,” said Turner. “Grass cutting, loading, mulching, snow removal, grading a gravel driveway, to name just a few. If versatility is what you’re looking for in the yard, a tractor is the perfect fit. It provides great value over a lifetime.”
Grass comes in many different shapes and sizes. Lawns with thicker, tougher grass will require a mower with higher horsepower and bigger, taller wheels. If you want your mower to last, you’ll need to make sure you have enough power to handle the grass in your yard, and your local dealer can help you choose the tractor to best suit your needs and budget.
There are several types of mowers, each available in a variety of sizes. You’ll select the mower based on your budget, type of cutting, and how much time you want to spend mowing:
Enjoy a high-quality cut for your lawn with the mid-mount (belly) mower as an attachment on your sub-compact or small compact tractor to get into areas where
maneuverability is tight.
Rear-Mount Finishing Mower
Rear discharge finish mowers offer a manicured cut as well as easy installation and removal. Attached to a compact or utility tractor via the three-point hitch, rear finishing mowers are best used to mow large, open lawns.
For jobs that require heavy, rough cutting, like trimming pasture, brush, public parks, industrial sites and waterways, a rear-mounted rotary cutter is the most reliable. Rotary cutters make quick work of even the largest jobs. Cutting heights vary from 1 inch to 8 inches adding maximum versatility for compact and small utility tractors.
“Proper maintenance and care is essential to getting the most out of that mower purchase,” said Turner. “Keep the blades sharp. Always clean grass clippings from under the mower and from on the deck after mowing. Read and follow the instructions in the machines’ owners’ manual for proper care and maintenance. And follow some simple tips: don’t cut the grass when it’s wet, and alternate mowing directions to prevent grass from getting in a rut.”
Some additional safety tips include:
- Watch for holes and bumps in the terrain.
- Never approach an operating tractor
- Choose as wide a rear wheelbase as possible
- Turn slowly and turn wide
- Be sure tractor has fully stopped and the brakes locked on, the engine off, and key removed before dismounting.
Whether you own a Massey Ferguson or another brand of compact tractor, your tractor is, in fact, an investment in your rural living experience and a valued asset to help you get the most enjoyment out of your property for years to come.
For more information about getting the most from your compact tractor contact your local Massey Ferguson dealer, or for more information selecting the right tractor, visit www.masseyferguson.com.