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Mower: traction or not

Apart from budget considerations, the choice of a mower depends primarily on the surface to be maintained; Then come the configuration of the terrain (flat or sloping), the shape of the surface to be worked (more or less scattered with massifs and plantations) and finally the quality of the turf. (Non contractual photo)

Area Unless you agree to spend an exhausting half-day there, the hand-held mower is limited to working on surfaces that do not exceed 200 to 300 m.2. However, these mowers offer the advantage of making an excellent cut, because they use a helical blade cylinder system which gives a clean cut not inducing yellowing of the cut ends. For the maintenance of a very beautiful lawn, it can however use this system, also mounted on some mowers self-propelled and self-propelled.

Mechanized machines

The drive of the blade by an engine undeniably brings a important comfort as soon as one works a large area. However, a hand-operated mower becomes quite tedious to use as soon as the operation exceeds one hour, which corresponds to about 500 m2. In very steep terrainthe limit is even smaller. In this case, opt for a self-propelled machine or self-propelled, that is to say, the engine drives alternately and depending on work the rear or front wheels.

Lawn mower

Lawn mower

Wheel drive

Most of these self-propelled mowers have a gearbox authorizing two or more often three speeds of progression, because they must allow the maintenance of a lawn having some parts in slope; we will use the lowest speed in the sloping passages.
The choice of the energy supplying the motor depends first of all on the effort required of the machine. For surfaces less than 500 m2 a mower with a non-towed electric motor is perfect. Provided, however, to accept the subjection of a wire, which limits practically to 50 m the maximum distance between the socket and the furthest point to be mowed. Furthermore, electric lawn mowers, even self-propelled, are not suitable for working on steeply sloped surfaces.
The type of transmission varies greatly from machine to machine, but can be divided into three broad categories:

  • the transmission by belts and turnbuckles, the simplest and which equips rather the machines of low end;
  • transmission by gears and gears, integrating a real gearbox;
  • the shaft transmission, including a gearbox and a differential, which are equipped with riding mowers and micro tractors.

Gasoline or Diesel?

The thermal mower is the most common. Totally autonomous from an energy source, it offers a range of power far beyond the needs of individuals, even with a single cylinder. The 2-stroke engine should be preferred, when it comes to self-propelled mowers, when working a steep pitched lawn. In these conditions, in fact, the tilt may cause the oil to squeeze into the crankcase of a 4-stroke engine, leaving the crankshaft dry. Diesel engines are practically limited to self-propelled machines, because of their price. However, there are some self-propelled diesel single cylinder machines, with pressure lubrication, whose torque is ideal for frequent work on very steep surfaces.
The configuration of the lawn will dictate the choice of the system: propulsion or traction. The first is better suited to work on a lawn with many borders and trees that must be worked around. In this case moreover, one will prefer machines equipped with a real differential to those having a simple system of free wheel on the drive wheels. In steep terrain, however, the self-propelled mower is superior to the self-propelled machine. Even in the absence of any noise abatement regulations, it is good to avoid running a thermal mower early in the morning on weekends.

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