martinwnaylor at yahoo.com.au
Wed Jan 24 17:47:28 EST 2007
This was from mother earth news
January 23, 2007
2 Low Cost Garden Tractors
by Dan Nagengast
Most homesteads need a sturdy mower, a garden tiller and maybe a way to clear snow from driveways. But buying and maintaining three or more engines can get expensive. Many of us dream of owning a standard tractor with various attachments, but tractors, too, may be out of reach unless you farm for a living.
The solution may be a two wheeled, walk-behind tractor that can accept a wide range of attachments, allowing you to buy and maintain just one powerful, high-quality engine to perform a variety of tasks. Two leading walk-behind tractors, the DR Field and Brush Mower and the BCS Walk-Behind Tractor, start at less than $3,000 far less than a riding tractor, and less than several separate machines.
Both are great products that any landowner could use with pleasure. Neither is inexpensive, but their longevity makes them a far better value than multiple pieces of less-expensive equipment that do the same work. Here are a few of the features that make them so useful.
The DR Field and Brush Mower 15 horsepower Pro:
A Kawasaki V-Twin Pro gas engine that leaps to life at the touch of an electric starter
A 26-inch-wide brush mower that never falters through rough, overgrown areas
A 42-inch finish mower with two swiveling front caster wheels for tight turns
A mower deck high enough to prevent bent or dented blades
A 6,000-watt generator attachment that DR says will simultaneously power a refrigerator, freezer, well pump and home heating system
A 30-inch snow thrower and 42-inch snow blade
Attachments are easy to mount and dismount
A lockable differential (a gearbox that sends power from the engine to the rear wheels; when its locked, they turn at the same rate) for safety on slopes
A deadman safety feature that cuts off the engine if the operator loses control
Overall, the DR is a straightforward machine, easy to understand and operate. Its quite powerful, which translates to a quick run through most chores, without fear of bogging down.
The BCS model 853 Walk-behind Tractor:
A 13 horsepower Honda GH390 single-cylinder gas engine.
Gear-driven attachments, with no belts.
Reversible handles that enable use of both front and rear-mounted implements.
Rotating handles that enable operator to walk beside the machine and avoid disturbance of tilled soil
Exceptional, high-speed tiller with hiller/furrower for cultivating
A flail mower attachment with blades that resist damage from tree stumps, rocks or other immovable objects
A sickle bar mower for cutting hay or small saplings (up to 1.5 inches)
A 38-inch-wide finish mower that can be outfitted with a grass collector and sulky (a two-wheeled, pull-behind seat)
More than 30 available implements, including plastic mulch layers, bedshapers, wood splitters and even minibalers for hay
The BCS is powerful and can accomplish highly specialized jobs. The many available attachments allow it to handle many duties on small farms or acreages.
Choosing between the DR and the BCS is a matter of what jobs you want the equipment to perform. If youre a small farmer or serious gardener, the BCS many implements make it the top choice. If you need a piece of equipment to keep your land and lanes in top shape, or want to add an emergency generator attachment, youll probably prefer the DR.
Read more in "Miracle Multitaskers" from the December/January 2007 issue of Mother Earth News. Read More
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