A number of factors will affect your decision. Generally speaking, if your lawn is larger than 100' x 100', you could consider a lawn tractor. Also the age and physical condition of the operator will have a bearing on your decision. A lawn tractor will significantly reduce the amount of energy and effort expended by the operator when cutting the grass. Time is always an important consideration as well. It will take about 1 hour to cut a 100' x 100' area with a walk behind mower and only about 20 minutes with a lawn tractor. That's a big time saver. One other consideration is the fact that often-larger properties have a longer-than-ordinary driveway. With the proper attachment, your lawn tractor can see double-duty as a snow thrower in winter.
It is more important to consider the deck size you need rather than the tractor itself. There are 3 different deck sizes: 38", 42" and 46". The 42" deck reduces cutting time by 10% compared to the 38" deck, and the 46" deck reduces cutting time by 20% compared to the 38" deck. Once you determine the proper deck size for your needs, the tractor size will follow.
Only a garden tractor accepts ground-engaging attachments. A lawn tractor will only accept surface attachments such as a 2-stage snow thrower, dozer blade, front bumper, grass catcher, mulch kit and tow-behind. A garden tractor is generally larger and more powerful. It accepts all the surface attachments plus the ground engaging attachments such as a tiller, plow and disc harrow tiller.
SAE 30 oil is recommended for summer use in your lawn or garden tractor. To help your engine run smoother and last longer, change the oil after the first 5 hours of operation and then again after every 50 hours of use or, as a general rule, after every lawn care season. If you use your tractor in winter as a snow thrower, change the oil after the lawn care season and switch to SAE 5W-30 during the cold winter months.
If you have a Columbia lawn tractor there are a number of attachments available. You can get a 2-stage snow thrower, a dozer blade, front bumper, grass catcher, lawn sweeper, mulch kit and tow-behind cart. Accessories available include a Sunshade for summer use and a snow cab for protection in winter.
If you have a Columbia garden tractor, you can use all the attachments and accessories noted above, plus ground engaging attachments such as: the tiller, plow and disc harrow
An easy-to-operate finger trigger control allows the operator to slow or stop the wheel or track on one side of the machine while the wheel or track on the opposite side continues to turn. The unit virtually turns itself with minimal operator effort. Operator fatigue is greatly reduced while maneuvering around curves or reversing direction, and overall control is greatly improved.
A single-stage snow thrower has only the front auger to gather in and then throw the snow. This design is meant for light duty applications, such as a short walkway or small driveway, under light snow conditions of 6" of snowfall or less. A two-stage snow thrower has the front auger to gather the snow and then an impeller that pushes the snow up and out the chute. They are designed for much heavier workloads, such as a long lane way or larger driveway where the snow must be thrown a fair distance, under medium to heavy snow conditions of 6" annual snowfall or more.
Packed or icy snow is harder to clear if the snow thrower only has regular smooth auger blades. They aren't designed to cut or penetrate packed snow. If you regularly have to clear hard packed or icy snow, make sure your snow thrower has serrated augers. They cut into hard or icy snow and break it up.
Use regular unleaded automotive gasoline in your snowthrower. If the gas supply won't be used up within 30 days, pour in a gasoline stabilizer additive as well. SAE 5W-30 oil is recommended for your snow thrower. The exact amount will be specified in your owner's manual. Remember to change the oil after the first 5 hours of operation and then change it regularly after every 25 hours of use, or as a general rule, at the end of every season.
At the end of each season you should drain the gasoline and oil out of the engine and clean the entire unit thoroughly. At the beginning of each season add new engine oil and fresh gas, check the auger and impeller, lubricate all the moving parts, check the air filters, and make sure the spark plug is clean and properly gapped. You can either do these things yourself or have your nearest Columbia service dealer do them for you.
Use regular unleaded automotive gasoline in your lawn mower. If the gas supply in your mower won't be used up within 30 days, add gasoline stabilizer additive to your can of gas. SAE 30 motor oil is recommended for use in your lawn mower. The exact amount will be specified in your owner's manual but the approximate amount is 0.6 litres or 20 ounces.
Yes. Just like your car engine, your lawn mower engine will run smoother and last longer if you change the oil regularly. The engine oil should be changed after the first 5 hours of operation to remove any initial contaminants. After that, it is recommended that you change the oil approximately every 25 hours or, as a rule of thumb, after every lawn mowing season.
With a push mower, all the energy required to move forward comes from the operator, while a self-propelled mower generates its own energy and, in effect, pushes itself forward. If you have a large lawn; or if your lawn has some sections that require uphill cutting; or if the operator is an older individual, then a self-propelled mower will be a big help by saving both time and energy.
Front castor wheels make maneuvering and turning the mower a lot less work, so trimming around bushes, trees and flower beds is much easier and the end result is neater and more professional looking. For straight cutting in open areas, the castor wheels are easily locked in place. The high-wheel design on the rear wheels is recommended for hilly or rough terrain. The larger wheels roll easily over uneven ground and smooth out any bumpiness. It's also easier to push a high wheel mower up a hill.
We recommend a mower with at least a minimum of a 4 HP engine if you plan to mulch. Other than that, mulching kits are available to quickly and easily convert a side discharge mower into a mulching mower.
At the end of each season you should drain the gas and oil out of the engine and clean the underside of the cutting deck. At the beginning of the season you should add new SAE 30 Grade engine oil and fresh gas, check the blade and sharpen it, check the air filters, and make sure the spark plug is clean and properly gapped. You can either do these things yourself or have your nearest Columbia service dealer do it for you.
Front tine tillers are best suited for small to medium gardens, yet offer the greatest maneuverability in tight areas. Rear tine tillers are mainly designed for larger gardens or soils that require a more thorough tilling, but are self-propelled offering greater ease of peration. Either front tine or rear tine tillers can be used for breaking sod when creating a flower or vegetable garden.