‘Tis the season for riding lawn mowers

Posted June 06, 2012, at 12:49 p.m.

Spring has sprung recently, with nature awakening enthusiastically from its long winter’s nap.

So this is the time of year when people flock to lawn-and-garden equipment dealers such as Freedom Power Equipment in Hermon.

Just ask Jerry Fratini. The owner of the company since March, Fratini has been hard pressed to keep up with the many phone calls and walk-in customers that he’s been getting at his business in Freedom Park, located off Route 2.

Fratini said the most popular item, especially among those looking to tame their runaway fields of green, are lawn-and-garden tractors. Freedom Power Equipment carries the Cub Cadet line, which offers such features as electric power steering and power-drive transmissions (great for those with large properties). There’s also a full line of attachments, including snowblowers and dozer blades.

Most in demand, Fratini said, are zero-turn riders. These mowers employ two levers in place of the traditional steering wheel, which allows for tighter turning, and bigger mower decks, which result in faster cutting.

Also popular with homeowners and landscapers is the Echo line of string trimmers, chainsaws, and leaf blowers, Fratini said.

But it’s not just the “new” that attracts people to Freedom Power Equipment. Many people are seeking to keep running their old Troy-bilt rototillers, some dating from as far back as the 1970s.

“It’s amazing how they just last and last and last,” Fratini said. “We take old ones and refurbish them. You can still buy anything you want for them. There’s no problem getting parts.”

Not surprisingly, another in-demand item at Freedom takes people away from lawn-and-garden care. It’s the super-quiet, suitcase generators that are purchased for RV use, with Memorial Day to Labor Day the busiest time for sales of such items, Fratini said.

Why should a consumer make the extra effort to go to an out-of-the-way place such as Freedom Power Equipment ather than a big-box store at the mall? Fratini offers one word: service.

“As a consumer, if someone goes wrong, I want to be able to call someone up and get it taken care of,” he said. “Service after the sale is huge. We offer full pick-up and delivery service, and the knowledge of the staff we have is incredible.”

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