Ride-on engines vary from single-cylinder versions for moderately large flat lawns, right up to very powerful and beefy three-cylinder engines, capable of handling inclined and difficult terrain and very large areas.
They are generally OHV (overhead valve) for efficiency, quieter performance and fewer emissions.
Fuel is an important factor in choosing engines. Many ride-ons are petrol powered. It is generally accepted that petrol engine are faster, smoother and quieter than diesel models. Petrol engines are generally easier and cheaper to repair than diesel versions if damage or breakdown occurs.
A petrol powered garden tractor
Some ride-ons are are diesel powered. Diesel engines are more fuel-efficient but generally cost more, particularly in the UK, and the fuel costs more. However, diesel engines often produce more torque than petrol engines so are more efficient for towing heavier items and their fuel efficiency means they are potentially cheaper for larger areas So if you have a very large garden and want to invest in a tractor for multiple tasks, you might think about a diesel model. Most diesel models are higher end machines and for are built for larger areas
A diesel powered garden tractor
Here are some simple tips to help you choose the right engine.
1. You should always always buy the best engine you can afford. A cheaper engine may seem fine but think about how long it will last compared to the next one up.
2. How big is your lawn or garden? You will need an engine big enough and powerful enough to cope with the terrain and expanse of your lawn.
3. Fuel cost. Don't buy a thirsty diesel tractor if your garden needs an economic ride-on mower. Or vice versa!
4. How long do you want it to last? Bigger, more powerful engines with more cylinders tend to cause fewer vibrations and will therefore probably last longer. They may cost more now but offer more working hours in the long run.
5. Even the best engine will not last if you don't look after it. Think about maintenance, compare how easy basic maintenance task are and like after, filling up checking oil, or cleaning your engine before you buy it.
*You can compare ride-on mowers and tractors by engine size if you click here.