Riding Lawn Mower - What Do I Need to Look for When Buying One?

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Use these tips when you're shopping for a riding lawn mower

We all work hard and deserve to be rewarded every now and again where you can enjoy a luxurious afternoon ride in the breeze while busy manicuring the lawn.

Some folks get rid of their push mowers in exchange for riding lawn mower not because they are physically incapable, but because they want to make mowing the lawn easier and, dare we say, more enjoyable.

When you set out to buy a riding lawn mower, you need to consider several factors such as the type of terrain, size of your property, how many obstacles (flower bed, bushes, trees) are in the space.

For this reason, you need to take a look at various riding mower types to work out which one is best suited to your specific requirements.

When you look at different riding mowers, you will find there are three varieties, such as rear-engine riding mowers, zero-turn mower, and a lawn tractor. Let’s have a look at these.

Rear Engine Riding Mowers

If you are looking for a comfortable, easy, and relaxing mowing experience, then you should think about getting yourself a rear engine mower. People who have a large lawn area where it would be challenging to mow it and too small for a zero-turn or lawn tractor should opt for rear engine riding lawn mower.

The smallest grass-cutting machine of them all is the rear-engine kind as the cutting decks are a lot smaller and more suited for yards that feature narrow passes. It is nice to know that these mowers take up less space in your shed or garage.

These mowers range in size and typically sport an estimated engine capacity of 11 horsepower. The transmission is generally a CVT that is operated via a shift hand lever. Some rear-engine mowers make use of disc drive transmission.

Deck sizes for rear-engine cutting machines vary from 33 to 33 inches for which a hand lever is utilized to adjust the deck engagement.

Garden and Lawn Tractors

If you want to achieve more than just mowing your lawn, then a garden or lawn tractor is for you. Many folks opt for a lawn tractor first. They are equipped with a front-mounted engine and steering wheel. The engine size varies from 18 to 25 horsepower. Some of the more fancier brands feature fuel injection.

The deck width of these varies in size from 42 to 54-inches. If you wish to know what size is ideal, you can divide the deck size by 12 to get an idea of the average acreage the lawn mower can handle.

Lawn tractors are revered as workhorses as they can also haul heavy attachments primarily if you consider that these mowers feature powerful engines and have enough muscle to accomplish bigger jobs.

Zero-Turn Lawn Mowers

During the last 20 years or longer, zero-turn lawn mowers proved their value to landscapers and homeowners alike. They are designed to move forward and do a roundabout turn using dual hydrostatic transmissions. Each maneuver is controlled via a lap bar that is situated in front of the seat.

When you move a lap bar more forward, it will serve as a throttle and allow hydraulic fluid to flow from the transmission to your wheel. Doing so will ensure the wheel of the mower turn a lot quicker than the opposite one and let the mower turn corners on pivot.

The zero-turn mower is high performance and easily zips around at speeds of up to 8 mph. The steering wheel system is designed to make a 360-degree turn look like a Sunday picnic. Due to its exceptional maneuverability and faster speed, these mowers save a lot of time when mowing.

The engine size for these varies from 452 to 700cc and higher. The power range from 12 hp to 25 hp. It is powered by a commercial duty V twin or single cylinder.

The deck sized range from 32 to 60-inches, which is excellent news as a zero-turn mower can cut your lawn in the least amount of time. Decks are heavy-duty fabricated or stamped. You would make use of a foot pedal or manual hand lever to adjust the deck height. An electric PTO or manual hand lever will be utilized to engage the deck.

Each mower has its own characteristics and uses, so be sure to pick a riding lawn mower that is best suited to your circumstances and lawn type.

Resources — Mowers Direct, Popular Mechanics