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Zero-turn versus ride-on lawnmower

Zero-turn versus ride-on lawnmower: Zero-turn mowers are rapidly growing in popularity among domestic users in the UK. What is leading amateur gardeners to follow the professionals away from traditional ride-on lawnmowers to the benefits of zero-turn mowing?

A major factor is the speed of operation and time-saving associated with zero-turns. Are we to believe a zero-turn can chop the time spent cutting the grass by half, with effortless mowing around obstacles and tight spaces?

Zero-turn versus ride-on lawnmower

Zero-turn versus ride-on lawnmower

Firstly, what is a zero-turn mower? It may seem an odd question to ask when there are now so many working away across the UK. But with the ubiquitous garden tractor having been around for so long, to many people the term ‘zero-turn’ still may not mean a lot. Opinions are rapidly changing, led by early adopters, and the arguments for using zero-turn mowers are becoming indisputable.

Zero-turn refers to the turning radius of the mower. A zero-turn can turn on the proverbial sixpence, in other words in its footprint. Now among many professionals, this operating characteristic has been known for a long time and is one reason for the fast growth in UK sales for commercial zero-turns. The same zero-turn technology has also been built into lawnmowers to suit homeowners and their budgets. We’re seeing a shift away from the comparatively inefficient, slow lawn tractor towards growing popularity in domestic users for the virtues of zero-turn mowing. The features and benefits apply equally to the residential user and the professional operator.

Driving a zero-turn mower is easy. You simply push the right steering lever forward and the left lever back to make a left turn or push the left steering lever forward and the right steering lever back to make a right turn. The steering levers allow your zero-turn to make manoeuvres in its own footprint. Slow and gradual operation of the steering levers makes the machine move slowly and gradually in any direction. Operating the steering levers quickly and more aggressively makes your mower turn more sharply and drive faster. With zero-turn mower technology, the operator has total control of the manoeuvres. Driving a lawn tractor through rows of uncut grass is like manoeuvring into a parking space. Turn, reverse, turn again and finally straighten out. Being limited in turning radius there’s a lot of forward and backward movement on your lawn resulting in a non-uniform, messy cut pattern and extra time spent mowing.

Zero-turn mowers make tight turns at any angle and in any direction. At the end of your cutting row make a one-eighty degree turn, align your mower to the crisp edge left by the path just mowed and drive forward. This smooth motion eliminates the need for unnecessary backing and with a roller fitted to the machine you preserve those stylish stripes left behind by single-pass mowing.

Fine, we now know how to drive a zero-turn but what other benefits should drive us towards change from tradition? Zero-turn mowing is fast. You can whizz around at 5-8 mph, and at the end of the line do that one-eighty degree turn, align the deck edge with the row you’ve just cut and keep on going. You’ve reduced the cutting time by 50% over mowing with a lawn tractor. For some, whiling away the hours doing three-point turns on the garden tractor, at the end of every line, may suit on a lazy Sunday. But as our lives get busier, and time-saving becomes more critical, wouldn’t it make a difference if your time cutting the grass was halved? Increase the cutting deck size and you cut even more time off the work.

Another factor in your choice of zero-turn over garden tractor is comfort. With a zero-turn, the plush seat and armrests complement the controls that are all positioned in ergonomic and easily accessible locations, so you can simply enjoy the ride. Zero-turns are also generally more durable, built with thicker steel, and a fully welded tubular frame design, much stronger than the traditional C-channel frames of lawn tractors.* With options for deep decks made from fully fabricated steel, cutting decks are more durable and promote maximum airflow. Fabricated decks on zero turn models are aerodynamically designed so grass is pulled toward the blades and clippings are discharged evenly. The result is a superior cut quality without stragglers or clumps.

*Based on Ariens zero-turn mowers

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Thief Steals Football Lawnmower

Thief Steals Football Lawnmower: A local football club that has had to endure a traumatic season off this pitch has been dealt another blow.

Boston Town FC have been dealt a huge blow off the pitch as their Ransom 2 wheeled lawnmower was stolen from the ground on Tuesday May 28.

Thief Steals Football Lawnmower

Other equipment used to maintain the pitch – a strimmer and a cutter were also taken.

Chairman Mick Vines has spoken of his frustration after a traumatic season off the pitch for the United Counties Premier Division side.

He told Lincolnshire Live: “It’s a massive kick in the teeth for a club the size of ours.

“We’ve had a difficult season off the pitch, we had to pay £32,000 to our landlord.

“We’ve also had to raise £15,000 to spend on floodlights.

“The amount of money we’ve raised over the past season was amazing and to be hit with another problem it really is hard to take.

“We’re at the part of the year where we should be looking forward to next season and looking to improve.

“The lawnmower weighs in the region of three quarters of a tonne, I find it hard to believe that nobody has seen anything.”

Mick said that the police are involved and they’re hoping that someone knows what happened.

He said: “Our groundsman was at the ground at 7.30am and shuts the main gates every night.

“When he got there this morning the main gates were swinging open and when he got closer he noticed the container doors were wide open.

“Someone must have seen something.”

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Lawnmower World Record

Lawnmower World Record: Andy Maxfield’s phenomenal journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End on an unmodified lawn tractor has been officially recognised as a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement. Prison officer Andy’s epic journey is now featured in a new display at the Land’s End Visitor Centre in Cornwall, and also at the British Lawnmower Museum in Southport.

The 874-mile record attempt in July 2017 took Andy 5 days, 8 hours and 36 minutes, making it the fastest time for the journey on a ride-on lawnmower. Andy embarked on the challenge to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Society after his father was diagnosed with the disease.

Lawnmower World Record

Andy’s initial goal was to raise a modest £1000 for Alzheimer’s Society through the lawnmower challenge in July last year, followed by a charity ball in December. “So far we’ve collected over £9000 and now I’m trying to reach our new target of £10,000 by the end of 2018,” said Andy. “We’re keeping the JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/andrew-maxfield open until then. Donations can also be made by texting MAXF80 £3 to 70070.

“I’m very proud my record attempt was successful but I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement of my family and support team, and having a great lawn tractor certainly helped.”

To supply proof for the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS attempt, the lawnmower was fitted with a tracking system routinely used by much larger agricultural machinery for guidance and monitoring.  John Deere’s Operations Centre was able to track Andy’s entire journey via JDLink software. The resulting data was the proof needed to verify Andy’s route and travelling time as a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS success.

Sadly, Andy’s father, the inspiration behind the John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge, lost his own battle with dementia in January 2018, unaware that his son’s magnificent achievement was indeed a record.

Alzheimer’s Society is available for anyone affected by dementia and there are lots of ways the charity can help – for details call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122 or visit www.alzheimers.org.uk.

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