To make sure your yard looks perfect all the time, proper maintenance is key. This is why in these best lawn tractors in 2018 reviews, we bring to you our list of top-rated riding mowers that should give you the ease in keeping your garden neat and well-maintained. We have scoured the internet to give you the best options available in the market to spare you from making a costly mistake.
A lawn tractor or riding mower can save you from the burden of spending hours on yard care and maintenance. The choice of buying one, however, largely depends on the size of your yard since this piece of equipment varies in terms of the engine, capacity, and other features. For instance, if you have a smaller yard with grass cutting as your main concern, a rear-engine lawn tractor should suffice because of the small cutting deck. On the other hand, you are better off with a front-engine riding mower when it comes to a larger yard that is over an acre. These come with a more spacious cutting deck and the ability to tow lighter yard trailers. However, if you opt for a serious workhorse in the yard that is capable of various jobs, then a garden tractor is for you. You can even add some implements to it for the purpose of snow removal, blading, and grading, to name a few.
Best Lawn Tractors in 2018
- 10.Cub Cadet XT1 Front Engine Enduro Series Kohler Riding Mower Hydrostatic Gas 18 HP 42 Inches
- 9.Husqvarna 18 HP 960430211 YTA18542 Fast and Continuously Variable Transmission Pedal 42-Inch Lawn Tractor
- 8. Husqvarna 26 HP LGT2654 Hydro 54-Inch Light Garden Tractor
- 7. Husqvarna 48-Inch 24 HP Lawn Tractor YTH24V48
- 6. Poulan Pro Briggs 15.5 HP Auto Hydrostatic Transmission 960420182 42-Inch Riding Mower
- 5.Snapper SPX 22/46 22 HP 46-Inch Riding Mower with T2 Hydrostatic Hydro Gear Transmission 2691344
- 4.Troy-Bilt 30-Inch 382cc Premium Riding Lawn Tractor
- 3. Troy-Bilt 42-Inch TB42 420cc 7-Speed Auto Drive Side Discharge Lawn Tractor
- 2.Troy-Bilt 54 Inch 25 HP Super Bronco XP Electric Start FAB Deck Lawn Tractor
- 1.Yard Machines42 Inch 420cc Lawn Tractor
- Lawn Tractor Buyer’s Guide
- Final Word
10.Cub Cadet XT1 Front Engine Enduro Series Kohler Riding Mower Hydrostatic Gas 18 HP 42 Inches
A solid and well-made lawn tractor, this can handle average-sized to large yards. Even when you have it in reverse, you still set this machine to mow for time-saving benefits. Once you want to stop the mowing when you back into a section in your yard, you can quickly turn it off, which is a smart feature. What’s more, it’s easy to lower or raise the mower deck by simply manipulating the large handle. This way, you can avoid obstructions in the path such as larger roots and similar items.
As for the design, there are two pedals located on the right for moving either forward or backward. In terms of maneuverability, this unit does not disappoint. It makes the job quick and efficient overall.
However, you may not be too crazy about the hood of this machine, which is made from plastic. Also, if you live in a damp area, it may be worth investing in a cover designed just for this lawn tractor. Otherwise, it runs the risk of accumulating mold over time. The tires are not as heavy duty as those of the XT2, and this unit does not have a bumper bar and arm rest, which is not much of a deal-breaker considering its performance.
9.Husqvarna 18 HP 960430211 YTA18542 Fast and Continuously Variable Transmission Pedal 42-Inch Lawn Tractor
With a 42-inch cutting deck and an 18 HP motor, this lawn tractor should suffice for keeping your yard perfect, whether you have a flat or uneven terrain. It is ideal for an area about 1 to 2 acres in size, and you can expect it to give you a clean, efficient, and consistently good cut with every use. To add to your convenience, this riding mower has an automatic transmission that is pedal-operated, so your hands stay on the steering wheel to give you better control of the machine. With the 16-inch turning radius, it is a breeze to navigate yourself around obstructions on the ground or even mow tight areas.
Adjusting the cutting height is also easy because of the spring-assisted deck lever that is fender-mounted. There are also two anti-scalp heavy duty deck wheels that can prevent damages to your turf, an adjustable seat, front axle made from cast iron for maximum stability, and some accessories included in the package such as the high lift blade, mulch kit, deck belt, and 2-bin bagger.
For the most part, this is a well-made lawn tractor. But in terms of some of its design, there is certainly room for improvement to consider. This unit requires a good amount of constant foot and leg pressure to cruise around and make turns. While this may not be a major issue for some users, this may seem a bit of a concern to others because of the slight exhaustion of the leg after applying some pressure while operating the machine.
8. Husqvarna 26 HP LGT2654 Hydro 54-Inch Light Garden Tractor
One of the biggest selling points of this garden tractor is the reverse mowing, which allows you to mow either backward or forward on flat terrains. This adds to the speed of work required for mowing, as well as ensuring great results all the time. It is a sturdy piece of equipment that holds up well. Maneuverability is another great feature of this riding mower, as it allows you to make tight turns without a glitch. You can mow in circles around smaller trees no matter how tight space is.
Plus, there are some useful add-ons to this unit such as the front bumper that prevents the machine from getting a dent in case you accidentally bump into a heavy object in the yard, and there are also front lights to make it easy for you to mow even during dim light conditions.
This machine has a good transmission, which is the TuffTorq K46. For easier mowing jobs, this one should be okay. But if you are mowing sloped areas or hills, this may not be adequate enough. The same holds true whenever there is a need for ground engagement as this unit is built more on flat terrains or a yard that is just 1 – 2 acres in size.
7. Husqvarna 48-Inch 24 HP Lawn Tractor YTH24V48
Compact and maneuverable, you can never go wrong with the Husqvarna lawn tractor in terms of its performance and overall quality. Among the features you will like about this unit include an adjustable seat, ergonomic design for the steering wheel, an adjustment for the cutting height that is fender-mounted for precision. Variable reverse and forward speed are also made smoother, thanks to the hydrostatic transmission of this riding mower.
If you want to boost the functionality and versatility of this unit, you can check out available accessories that are compatible with this model. Turning is indeed quite impressive with this unit as the front wheels are capable of rotating close to about 80 degrees. This results to close cuts when around landscaping in the yard. It also features an upgraded transmission for greater ease and efficiency.
Some improvements may be made to this unit, though, because of the slight issue with the design. The fuel level window is a bit difficult to see because of its location underneath the seat and between the legs of the rider. There is also a concern with the height adjustment lever of the mower because it tends to protrude, which can get caught on your pants pocket. The headlights may not impress you, as well, as these are standard 1156 incandescent bulbs. Fortunately, you have the option to swap these with the HID LED bulbs for just a few bucks.
6. Poulan Pro Briggs 15.5 HP Auto Hydrostatic Transmission 960420182 42-Inch Riding Mower
This riding mower features a vented deck that promotes air flow underneath when you need to cut longer grass. With the hydrostatic transmission of this mower, speed adjustments are smoother and more convenient. You can quickly boost the ground speed with just a forward movement of the motion lever, and if you want to slow down, simply pull it back to the neutral position. Since there is no need to stop for you to make any changes in the speed, this saves you time and energy during the mowing process.
Even when you have a rough terrain, it should never be difficult obtaining a level cut because of the 6-inch turning radius for the oscillating front axle combined with a floating deck. You can come closer to trees and smaller obstacles to cut the grass around them, which prevents you from having to do some trimming. With six different cutting positions, you can cut grass according to your preferred length or experience the ease in mowing no matter what the conditions of your lawn are.
There are a few concerns with this product such as the incomplete details in the manual, although you can always search online for additional information you may need. The steering wheel also appears to be somewhat flimsy and light for some, but it works great, and this should never break easily considering the way it is designed and constructed. For the price you pay for this machine, it is worth considering as a good buy that should give you a favorable mowing experience for a long time.
5.Snapper SPX 22/46 22 HP 46-Inch Riding Mower with T2 Hydrostatic Hydro Gear Transmission 2691344
At a good price, you can get yourself this efficient and well-built lawn tractor for your yard maintenance needs. This unit features an all-steel design including the cast iron front axle and the hood. It has a hydrostatic transmission for smooth turns and movement, and there is a 14-inch turning radius that allows you to cut the grass according to your preferred height.
In the control panel, there are key items to be found including the incandescent headlight, fuel level indicator, and the 3-gallon fuel tank. For your comfort, this lawn tractor has a 15-inch adjustable mid-back seat.
This is without a doubt a solid lawn tractor that offers an outstanding performance. Mowing is certainly a breeze with this unit because of its maneuverability and sensible design. However, you need to make it a point to keep the sector gear and the pinion greased to prevent premature damage to these areas over time.
4.Troy-Bilt 30-Inch 382cc Premium Riding Lawn Tractor
This lawn tractor comes with a cutting deck measuring 30 inches in length, which should suffice for a smaller or even mid-sized lawn. You can count on its performance for an even terrain, and it has a powerful OHV 382 cc engine that provides a clean, seamless, and dependable performance. There is a fuel level indicator and a 1.3-gallon tank, so you can easily check the gas level. With 5 different height adjustments for the blade, you can mow with ease.
Blade engagement is also hassle-free, and you will appreciate the adjustable seat that can be raised to mid-back level. The engine should last for a long time because of its robust and powerful quality. Lastly, this unit comes with an extensive coverage for the 2-year limited warranty for your peace of mind.
If there are some things that can be improved on this unit, it would be the area where your foot rests while riding the mower. This is made from plastic and tends to be a little slippery, which can be a slight concern for some users. The seat also has a single standard spring instead of 2 pieces of heavy duty type of springs. But overall, this lawn tractor works well, so it is good enough for its price point.
3. Troy-Bilt 42-Inch TB42 420cc 7-Speed Auto Drive Side Discharge Lawn Tractor
With a 42-inch mowing deck and a foot pedal with activated auto CVT, mowing various types of terrain should be a breeze. The engine is robust to ensure you of a smooth and efficient moving at a faster pace. Getting on and off this riding mower is quick and hassle-free to any user because of the step-thru 13 gauge frame, along with the spacious area for your legs to ensure your comfort.
Other features you will like about this machine include the 5 cutting options, deck wash system integrated into the unit, a mid-back seat, 1.36-gallon tank for the fuel, and the 5.2 mph maximum speed with a manual transmission.
Starting this unit is easy because of the favorable location of the blade engagement and deck height adjustment levers. There are seven speeds, but you have to keep in mind that it is not possible to shift quickly. Mowing in reverse is also impossible, as this is designed as a safety feature for the mower. However, for those who look for convenience, this can be a bit of a deal-breaker.
2.Troy-Bilt 54 Inch 25 HP Super Bronco XP Electric Start FAB Deck Lawn Tractor
When it comes to tough lawn mowing jobs, this piece of equipment can get the job done in a snap. This 25 HP hydro transmission twin foot lawn tractor offers the smoothest transition whether you go forward or reverse. This is why there is no need for you to clutch and shift when going for varied speed ranges. It also offers an electric PTO deck engagement and a mow-in-reverse function that is operator-controlled.
With a 5.5 mph maximum speed, it should get the task done efficiently and quickly. What’s more, you can expect to have flawless turns even on tight spaces as this unit has a 16-inch turning radius to help you maneuver with ease on areas where obstructions may be found.
There are so many things to love about this lawn tractor including the 12-cutting positions and quick adjustments for the deck. Cleaning up is also a breeze, thanks to the deck wash system that is built right into the unit. This eliminates the hassle of cleaning and maintaining the machine, so you can simply focus on your yard work. However, the price point may be a little steep for some people, particularly those who are on a tight budget. But for all the benefits you can get from this piece of equipment, your precious dollar is indeed worth it.
1.Yard Machines42 Inch 420cc Lawn Tractor
Every yard owner wants nothing but to keep the lawn looking flawless. But then again, yard work is tough, which means you will need to use an effective and efficient piece of equipment to help you get the job done without any hassle. This is why the Yard Machines lawn tractor is the right option for you because it comes with a powerful engine and a 7-speed gear shift that lets you cut grass on flat and even sloping terrains.
With a 42-inch cutting blade, this is enough to cover a wide area. As a bonus, this unit features some add-on implements such as mulching and bagging function that aids in the improvement and maintenance of your yard. Lastly, shifting is easy while you are on the go, which eliminates unnecessary stops when changing the speed.
Upon arrival of this unit, it should never be a chore to assemble and set it up for use. However, you may be a bit disappointed to know that there is no reverse option with the blades engaged or even a parking brake. It may also take some time to install and set up the mulching kit unless you use an impact wrench. But overall, this is a good lawn tractor that makes it easy for you to take care of your yard with little time or energy spent. It is truly a great value for your money considering its functions and design.
Lawn Tractor Buyer’s Guide
Whether you are planning on getting a front-engine, rear-engine, or garden tractor, here are some factors to look into when buying this piece of equipment for yard maintenance.
1. Cut Width: Check the cut width of the lawn tractor to make sure it is just the right size you need. This refers to the width that the mower can cut in one pass. There are smaller lawn tractors with a single blade while others come with 2 up to 3 blades, particularly with ZTR mowers.
2. Engine Torque: Designated in foot-pounds, the engine torque measures the amount of force responsible for the spinning motion of the mower blades. If you need to cut thicker or taller grass, you will need a higher torque for your riding mower to obtain a better cut.
3. Engine Horsepower: This refers to the engine’s power output available to be shared among the other components of the unit including the blades and transmission. The HP to consider depends on the size of the lawn. Ideally, a 14 HP engine is great for a 1/2 to the 1-acre yard. However, you should go for up to 16 HP for a 1 to 2- acre area. For 3 acres or more, choose a lawn tractor with an 18 to 24 HP engine for greater efficiency.
4. Automatic or Gear Driven: Some lawns have minimal to zero obstructions so that you can do away with a gear-driven riding mower for such condition. This will ensure you of a steady and constant speed when cutting the grass. But if you have plenty of small trees around and other obstacles, an automatic transmission or pedal drive tractor is suitable for your needs. This should make it easy for you to either slow down or speed up even without having to clutch. There are also numerous speed settings available for this type of lawn tractor.
5. Single/ Twin Cylinder: When it comes to smaller lawns, a single cylinder should suffice. But for greater power, balance, and more dependable engine life, it is practical to choose a twin cylinder. This is common with engines that are at least 16 HP or higher.
6. Speed and Turning Radius: The speed of the machine depends on the model. But most commonly, you can get 5.5 mph from a lawn or garden tractor for the forward speed. As for a ZTR mower, these have about 8 mph forward speeds for greater efficiency. In addition, check the turning radius since you might need a unit that can make sharp turns when you want to go around areas with several obstacles
7. Cruise Control: If you are mowing straight and long stretches, you will want to use just one speed for this situation. This is why hydrostatic and automatic transmissions are smart options for this purpose.
8. Mulching and Bagging: These functions allow you to care for your lawn aside from getting the grass trimmed. Lawn tractors normally do not include these attachments, but you can always purchase them separately and install them to the unit.
9. Extra Features: For your comfort, you may also want to look for some additional features such as a spacious leg room, lumbar support, armrests, and a high back seat. There are also some riding mowers with rubber foot pads for the pedals and a cup holder as extra perks.
When buying a lawn tractor, it is important to look carefully into the features of the unit and the overall size of your yard. Consider the specs of the equipment, add-on components you may want, and your budget, which can greatly impact your total satisfaction with your purchase.