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While Yard Machine may not be the most well-known name in mowers, they are certainly one of the most noteworthy brands available.
Although not always affiliated with the most successful companies, Yard Machine has managed to make a name for itself despite some rough patches along the way and is now a leader in outdoor equipment.
Keep reading to learn more about the company and about its products so you can make an informed consumer decision.
The History of Yard Machine
The current history of Yard Machine begins in 1975. That’s not when the company was founded but when it was purchased by MTD (Machine Tool & Die Company).
This successful Cleveland, Ohio based company had started buying up great product lines that were floundering on their own and helped revitalize them. In this case, Yard Machine had been a brand name sold through Montgomery Ward.
If you’re not familiar with Montgomery Ward, you’re probably not alone. The company started as a dry goods mail order business in Chicago.
The company’s namesake had been a traveling salesman and had decided this would be a better alternative for rural people who didn’t have easy access to the same products available in the city. Unfortunately, much of Ward’s inventory was destroying during the Great Chicago Fire so he got off to a show start but by 1872 had released the first catalog.
Although initially successful, Sears took a portion of their catalog business around the turn of the 20th century.
Montgomery Ward eventually began opening up actual department stores in downtown and urban areas all over the country and was the third largest following World War II. However, as more stores moved to the suburbs the company failed to follow the trend and eventually went under over the course of the next few decades.
The sell of Yard Machine came right before the company was purchased by Mobil Oil. Although the store looked like it might turn things around by the 1990’s, it was filing bankruptcy.
The good new from the Montgomery Ward tragedy is that MTD was wise enough to purchase the Yard Machine brand so that it could continue to be offered to consumers all over the country well into the 21st century.
Walk Behind Mowers
Yard Machine has one of the most impressive collections of walk behind mowers available in today’s industry. Many of the companies have switched their focus to lawn tractors and have abandoned the more traditional method of cutting the lawn looking gorgeous.
More than ten models are currently available through a wide-range of retailers so there is at least one push mower to meet the needs of almost everyone with a lawn to mow.
The models produced by Yard Machine all come with one of two types of engines: the MTD OHV (produced by the parent company) or the Briggs & Stratton Quattro. You can also find three types of starting systems in the Yard Machine models: the old-fashioned recoil method, the no prime, and the auto-choke.
The latter two choices are some of the most popular because they generally result in easier starting which means you can get started on the lawn without the frustration of having to coax the engine into starting. However, some people swear by the recoil method and prefer it over any other method because it has less of a tendency to break down from mechanical problems.
Mowing deck sizes also vary significantly throughout the Yard Machine models. The smallest deck available is 20 inches while the largest is 22 inches. Although that may not seem like a big difference, it can be in giving you the lawn mowing performance you want. All of the machines come with a warranty of one to two years.
If you have a lot of terrain variance in your yard, then you might also be happy to know that all of these mowers have cut height adjusters. The least expensive only has three positions but the majority has a full 9 positions which means you can easily adjust your mower to get the closest cut and the best look for your lawn.
Additionally, a number of models have other useful features, including side discharge, rear bags, mulching capabilities, and more. Plus, several have the larger rear wheels which make for greater maneuverability and that makes lawn care much easier.
While Yard Machine does have an impressive selection of push mowers, they aren’t slacking when it comes to riding mowers either.
These mammoth mowers are some of the most popular available because of their convenience and comfort, especially for people who have to mow very large yards on a regular basis. You definitely wouldn’t want a push mower for a job like that.
Currently, Yard Machine’s line of riding mowers contains five models. Like all of the push mowers, these machines come with warranties (all are covered for two years). However, they have plenty more power to get the job done.
Four of the five models are running powerful Briggs & Stratton engines. The fifth is housing a Tecumseh engine. The engine HP varies from model to model but ranges from 13.5 for the Tecumseh engine all the way up to 20 for the high-end model. They also come equipped with either a 6 or 7 speed transmission for better speed control.
The mowing deck size on all of these machines varies. At the bottom end, you’ll find a deck size of 38 inches which is respectable and can definitely get the job done. At the other end, however, you’re looking at a 46 inch deck size which means it can tackle even bigger challenges with no problem.
Unfortunately, most of the Yard Machine riding mowers has low-back seats which aren’t usually as comfortable for the driver. However, the top of the line model does have a mid-back seat which is a much better choice if you’re going to be sitting on the mower for long periods of time.
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