How to Buy a Used Lawn Tractor

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How to Buy a Used Lawn Tractor

Buying a used lawn tractor requires thoughtful research into the features and benefits of the various types of lawn tractors available. A good lawn tractor is not necessarily the latest and greatest lawn tractor, but rather a machine that suits the buyer’s budget and meets their lawnmowing needs. A buyer should choose a model of lawn tractor that is not only comfortable to ride on but can easily be steered between the features in a garden, such as the planting beds, trees, hedges, and walkways.

Lawn tractors have many features, such as wide cutting swaths, clutch-brake combinations, comfortable seats, and adjustable cutting blades, but no matter how many features may come with a particular lawn tractor, it is essential that the size of the lawn tractor be matched to the size of the lawn. eBay has an extensive selection of lawnmowers, including new and used lawn tractors for every job and every sized lawn.

The Difference Between a Riding Mower and a Lawn Tractor

When one needs to simply cut the backyard lawn, a riding lawnmower is generally the perfect choice. However, these riding mowers cannot pull tillers or small ploughs. A garden tractor, or lawn tractor, has a much heavier frame and transmission. They also have larger rear wheels and are much better suited to larger mowing jobs. These lawn tractors have the highest horsepower available in riding mowers or lawn tractors and can pull tillers, cultivators, thatchers or other heavy ground-engaging tools.

Important Factors to Consider

When one is looking for a used lawn tractor, there are several things to consider, and specific questions that should be asked of the seller. Buying a used lawn tractor is a great way to save money, but it is important for a consumer to make sure all of the bases are covered. For instance, is the lawn tractor still under warranty? Often dealers will list used lawn tractors for sale with a limited, 30 day warranty, if it is past the regular factory warranty period. What about the age of the tractor? It is important to ask about the tractor’s history of repairs or maintenance. One should make sure that there are no hidden surprises that could end up costing money on repairs in the long run.

When researching used lawn tractors, it is important to consider the type of the lawn tractor and what size of lawn it is capable of mowing. One should also consider the position of the engine, petrol tank, the size of the deck and the lawn tractor’s horsepower.

Types of Lawn Tractors

Lawn tractors have specific grades that relate to how well they can perform on specific terrains. One can between between entry-level or mid-grade lawn tractors depending upon one’s specific needs.

Entry-Level Lawn Tractors

Entry-level lawn tractors work well for two acres or less, have lower horsepower, and single-cylinder engines. This size engine is not really suited for mowing a large acreage or for pulling lightweight, ground-engaging tools.

Entry-level tractors with gear-driven (manual) transmissions are more durable and have fewer problems than automatic transmissions. The trade off is that they have no incremental speed control between the standard speeds.

Mid-Grade Lawn Tractors

Mid-grade lawn tractors have much more power and versatility. These lawn tractors have twin cylinder engines and are perfect for mowing large acreages or for pulling lightweight attachments.

This type of lawn tractor has a hydrostatic transmission. This means that they have speed adjustment capability while driving and are much easier to drive than a manual transmission. There are two options for hydrostatic transmissions: lever or pedal-operated. Pedal-operated lawn tractors are more comfortable and have more flexibility when it comes to adjusting the speed of the lawn tractor.

Consider the Size of the Lawn

Before buying a specific lawn tractor, match the area of lawn to be mowed with a specific lawn tractor. The size of the lawn tractor deck is directly related to the size of the cutting blade, and the larger the blade, the wider the cutting swath, which translates into getting more lawn mowed, more quickly. Usually the deck size chosen is based upon the size of the lawn or garden being mowed. There are lawn tractors with larger decks that are specifically designed for larger areas that need to be mowed as well as riding lawn mowers with smaller decks for areas that have obstructions and less lawn that needs to be mowed. This chart shows what size engines and deck sizes are appropriate for what size lawns.

Size of Lawn to Be Mowed

Type of Mower

Engine Horsepower (hp)

Deck Size

1 acre

riding lawn mower

14 hp

91.44 - 106.68 cm

1 - 2 acres

riding lawn mower

14 - 16 hp

106.68 - 116.84 cm

2 plus acres

garden tractor

18 - 27 hp

116.84 - 121.92 cm

A narrower deck is a better choice if the lawn is full of obstacles, because the mower will need to be able to manoeuvre between planting beds and trees. In this instance, a lawn tractor or riding lawnmower with a large deck would not be practical.

Other Considerations

A rear engine lawn tractor allows the operator to easily see what is front of them, but a front engine lawn tractor is usually more powerful. One should consider the speed controls, too. There are foot pedal controls, hydrostatic drive systems with no clutch, and gear lever and clutch-brake combinations. How easily would it be for the the lawn tractor operator to steer the machine and how easy would it be for them brake? Does the lawn tractor have good legroom? How comfortable is the seat? A consumer should also look at how the gas tank is positioned, and if it is easy to adjust the height of the cutting blades. All of these things are essential features that should be thoroughly researched before buying a used lawn tractor.

Also remember that a large lawn tractor will need an appropriate place to be stored, so when considering the type of used lawn tractor to buy, think about where it will be stored and how much room is needed. A garden shed could suffice, or a garage may be needed.

Lawn Tractor Tips

To keep a lawn in the best condition possible and to avoid damaging the lawn tractor, it is advisable to follow specific guidelines. Remember that this is a large piece of equipment and exercise caution at all times while operating it.

Use the Steering Wheel

The riding lawn tractor is equipped with a steering wheel much like a car that is used to control which direction to travel.

Always Mow Forward

Riding lawnmowers are capable of moving backwards. However, doing so increase the possibility of hitting unseen objects, causing the mower to flip over. Mow in rows, turn at each end, and mow back along next to the row that was just cut.

Mow Up and Down Slopes or Hills

Never stop or turn on hills. To be completely safe, wait until the lawn tractor reaches the top of the hill before making a turn. Never mow sideways on a hill because it will increase the possibility of flipping the lawnmower over.

Never Mow Over Rocks or Holes

To avoid injury or death, never mow across holes or rocks as they can damage the lawnmower and possibly flip it over.

How to Find a Used Lawn Tractor on eBay

After you have done your homework and have researched all the features of used lawn tractors, start your search for the perfect used lawn tractor by entering specific keywords into the search bar at the top of any page on eBay. For example, if you type in "used lawn tractors", the site's search engine will return listing for all the used lawn tractors currently posted for sale on eBay. If you favour a particular brand, like Honda, or a particular model, include the brand and model name or number in the search query.

You should try and search for local listings first. This is because a lawn tractor is very heavy and it could be very expensive to ship such a bulky item across the country. To search for local listings simply sort the listings to only show those posted by sellers in a specific search radius. To do this, first look for the ‘Distance’ search filter on the results page. Next, enter your postcode and your search radius in miles.


When a person is in need of a used lawn tractor, take into consideration all the features of the mower as well as the size of the lawn and the terrain. The size of the lawn determines the size of the deck, which in turn determines the size of the cutting swath. If there are obstructions that need to be mowed around, it is important to choose a lawn tractor with a narrow deck and an engine in the rear to allow the operator to easily steer the mower around obstacles. Features such as wide or narrow cutting swaths, clutch-brake combinations, comfortable seats and adjustable cutting blades are just a few of the features that should be considered. For tractors that need to be able to pull light implements, it is important to choose a lawn tractor that has sufficient horsepower to do so. When buying a used lawn tractor, it is important to ask the seller about any warranties, as well as the lawn mower’s maintenance history. Whether new or used, a buyer will find lawn tractors in a variety of sizes on eBay.

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