By Maile Timon
Are your landscaping projects taking longer than usual? Do you dread mowing your lawn because the blades on your mower have gone dull? Whether you have a moderate-sized lawn or acres of land, you need to make sure you have the right tools for all of your DIY projects. In some cases, you may just need to replace your old equipment, but an equipment upgrade may be in order. Here are four signs it’s time to trade in your old tools for some new lawn-care equipment.
You Have an Acre (or More) of Land/Grass
If you’ve got a large plot of land and you’re still using a walk-behind mower, you’re wasting your time and expending way too much energy. While these models are effective for small yards, if you have an acre or more, you’re better off upgrading to a riding mower or a compact utility tractor.
Mini riding mowers are less expensive than tractors and provide a smooth, quiet ride. They’re extremely useful for basic mowing and landscaping jobs. If you have big plans for your yard or want to take on new landscaping projects, however, you’re better off investing in a compact lawn tractor. “The right compact tractor is a versatile workhorse without equal,” according to Will Nelson, Owner, Nelson Tractor Company. “A single piece of equipment that can help you complete a huge number of tasks.
Figure out your game plan for your lawn before you buy a new mower or tractor. Once you’ve assessed your needs, compare prices and specifications of various models. If you shop around, you can find equipment that coincides with your lawn care needs and your budget.
You’re in it for the Long Haul
Are you constantly lugging equipment and materials back and forth across your property? Depending on how much you have to transport, there are several upgrades you can consider to help you accomplish these tasks.
If you’re moving smaller loads without too much ground to cover, a wheelbarrow is the perfect tool. They’re inexpensive, easy to load and can maneuver between plants and across pathways.
If you’ve got larger loads and more land, a front-engine riding mower or tractor may be more suitable since you can add trailer attachments to carry more materials. You can haul more at once, which eliminates the need to make several trips. You will also be more efficient since a riding mower can cover more ground at a faster pace.
You Need to Reduce Wear and Tear
I’m not just talking about the wear and tear to your lawn or farming equipment, but also the wear and tear on your body. Lawn maintenance is hard work, which is why many people hire landscapers to do it for them. If you have health issues, a bad back or knee, or sore muscles and joints, do yourself a favor and get some equipment that will make your life easier.
We’ve already talked about the benefits of tractors and riding mowers and these are great if you want to stay off your feet, but if you don’t have too much land or big plans for expansion, consider a self-propelled mower. You still have to walk behind the mower, but mowing your lawn won’t require as much energy or sweat. “They work by engaging a speed control lever (sometimes part of the handle; sometimes a separate bar or shifter) that causes the mower to move forward,” according to Snapper. “The operator doesn’t have to push the mower, he or she simply walks behind it, guiding it around the yard.”
In addition to your mowing equipment, replace or upgrade smaller lawn tools like edging shears and weed pullers. If your lawn tools are dull or not working properly, it can cause more strain on your body. Replace them regularly instead of trying to use ineffective tools.
Your Best Friends With the Repair Men
If you’re on a first-name basis with the repairman who fixes your lawn mower, save yourself the hassle and buy a new one. You can find the newer, better model or upgrade to a self-propelled mower, riding mower or tractor. The same goes for other electronic yard equipment like weed eaters or hedge trimmers. You may think you’re saving money, but repair costs add up over time. “Holding back on new purchases is an effective way to reduce short-term costs, but there comes a time when it also becomes counterproductive,” according to Rob Dickens from Green Industry Pros. “Keeping vehicles and equipment too long can add to excessive repair bills and costly downtime, and ultimately reduce potential trade-in value of the machines.”
Upgrading your lawn equipment can be costly so prioritize the items you need first. If you only plan to do routine maintenance, you can skip buying pricey equipment and upgrade your basic lawn tools. If you have a substantial amount of land to maintain, upgrade to a riding mower. If you want to expand your lawn or do long-term projects, save your money and put it towards a decent lawn tractor. Despite the initial cost, newer, more powerful lawn equipment will reduce stress and save you time and energy.
Maile Timon is a professional blogger and content editor. She writes on lifestyle and family, health and fitness, business, education, how to and more. Maile earned her Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism from Chapman University. When she’s not writing, she enjoys hiking in San Diego, CA. To see more of her articles, follow Maile on Twitter