How to Find the Best Riding Lawn Mower?
For most folks, including me a walk-behind mower is downright difficult to push around. I am what you would call an average man but walking an entire acre of a yard with a mower in tow on a hot summer day is what I hate the most.
So, for me riding mowers are always a better option but you should only get such a device if you have a large property.
For yard sizes less than 3/4th an acre such a huge investment is not worthwhile because of the maintenance costs, low running period and the lack of maneuverability.
I have explained the two basic types of ride-on mowers here highlighting the engine power, deck size and price along with buying tips for each.
Garden or Lawn Tractors
Basically if you are searching for a versatile machine that can do more than just mow your lawn a garden tractor is perfect. They are dependable work horses that can haul really heavy attachments because of the size, design and powerful engine they possess. Other than mowing you can have them sow seeds, harvest crops and blow snow off the fields. Unfortunately, the cons of such a design are lack of maneuverability, a wide turning radius, poor mileage and lots of noise.
Deck Size – 35 to 60 inch
Engine – 15HP to 27HP
Price – $1200 onwards
Tips On Buying A Garden Tractor
- Engine – Most garden tractors come with twin cylinder Overhead Valve engines, which are powerful and yet compact. Base your decision of an engine size on the total yard dimension. Also if you have slopes and plan on using heavy attachments other than for mowing you need a larger engine.
- Frame Or Design – a quick glance at the construction of the frame can tell you a lot about the durability and longevity of the tractor. Most entry level models tend to use welded steel axles and frame whereas expensive models use cast iron or forged iron axles, which are stronger.
- Attachments – If you are getting a Garden tractor then make sure that it can take on many additional attachments such as a sprayer, tiller, dozer blade, cultivator and snow blower.
Zero Turn Lawn Mowers
These are high performance machines that can zip past your house in seconds thanks to a top speed of 8mph. They turn rooted to a spot and find it easy moving around trees, flower beds and obstacles. Moreover, they are great along flat plains and can finish up mowing the lawn in a fraction of the time taken by a garden tractor. Unfortunately, Zero Turn Mowers are not great with slopes and gradients because of their tiny tires.
Deck Size – 30 to 66 inch
Engine – 13.5HP to 30HP
Price – $2000 onwards
Tips On Buying A Zero Turn Mower
- Entry Level Vs Mid-Grade Vs Semi Pro Vs Commercial – Entry levels are basic ZTR models that operate like a normal garden tractor with the benefits of a ZTR. They aren’t made to haul heavy loads or take additional attachments. Mid-grade on the other hand features a better construction and offers a smoother ride with a better engine and efficiency. Semi pro and commercial ZTRs are best for hauling loads, mowing large expanse of land and multitasking such as tilling the land, sowing seeds, harvesting, etc.
- Engine Rating And Life – The make of the engine, its quality and life all play a major role in giving you a good ROI. Usually Briggs & Stratton engines are the best suited for this business.