The riding lawn mower is a great innovation in the area of lawn care and landscaping. It does not only help you clear your lawn, but it does it in the least time possible.
Finding the best riding mower and lawn tractor for your needs would therefore be essential so as to efficiently perform and reduce the amount of work that you’d need to put on the lawn.
Here are some of the best rated riding lawn mowers and garden tractors available today.
- Troy-Bilt 420cc Riding Lawn Mower
- Husqvarna M-ZT61 Zero Turn Lawn Mower
- Swisher ZTR2454KA Zero Turn Lawn Mower
- Zoom 50-Inch Zero Turn Riding Mower
- Swisher ZTR2760BS Zero Turn Lawn Mower
- John Derre Z335E Zero Turn Riding Mower
- Poulan Pro 967330901 Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower
- Husqvarna Z254i Zero Turn Lawn Mower
- Poulan Pro 967331001 P54ZX Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower
- Ariens Zoom 34 Zero Turn Lawn Mower
- Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 Zero Turn Mower
- Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding Lawnmower
- Cub Cadet Xt1 Enduro Series Front-Engine Riding Mower
- Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 Pedal Tractor Mower
- Poulan Pro 960420170 PB20VA46 Cutting Deck Riding Mower
- Yard Machines 420cc Riding Lawn Mower
- Murray Rear Engine and 6-Speed Shift-On-the-Go Transmission Riding Mower
- What is a Lawn Mower?
- What is a Riding Lawn Mower?
- What is a Tractor?
- Lawn Tractors vs. Riding Lawn Mowers
- What to Look For When Buying a Riding Lawn Mower
- How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower
- Benefits of Using a Riding Lawn Mower
- Precautions and Safety Tips
- Recommendations and Buying Tips
- Riding Lawn Mower Video Reviews
Troy-Bilt 420cc Riding Lawn Mower
This Troy-Bilt unit was designed to combine the outstanding features of a wide-cut walk behind mower and the standard riding mower. It is perfectly suited for a medium-sized landscape with a relatively even terrain.
Powered by a 420-cc Single Troy-Bilt engine, this riding mower can run up to 4.25-mph. It’s also equipped with a six-speed transmission and a 30-inch cutting deck that can significantly reduce the time it takes you to complete your mowing task. Some of its ergonomic features are the seat which can be raised to mid-back, 13-inch soft-grip steering wheel, and the height-adjustable steering column.
We consider this one as the best riding lawn mower for the money.
Husqvarna M-ZT61 Zero Turn Lawn Mower
Equipped with a commercially-rated hydraulic system, Husqvarna M-ZT61 is a perfect companion for anybody looking for an entry-commercial level riding lawn mower. It’s ergonomically-designed with adjustable steering levers, a high-back seat with comfortable arm rests, and a removable foot pan. Also note that it is built with a fabricated steel deck, thus you can be assured by its durability.
Powered by the Kawasaki FR Series V-Twin engine, the lawn mower guarantees a more powerful and quicker performance. If you normally spend over 10 hours of work on your lawn, you can expect the same type of work to be easily done in more or less than two hours. It’s quite expensive, but it is a reliable, heavy-duty riding lawn mower.
Swisher ZTR2454KA Zero Turn Lawn Mower
Swisher ZTR2454KA is a powerful riding lawn mower that’s masterfully-designed with exceptional maneuverability. One of its distinct features is its capability to easily make a full 360-degree turn. It can even maintain a constant speed of 8-MPH for both forward and reverse directions. The 54-inch cutting deck, which comes with three powerful gator-mulching blades, likewise provides a superior mowing capacity that cuts lawn mowing chores into half or more. With the addition of the Rapid Response Control System, controls are noticeably more improved and more responsive.
Some of its other notable features are the Hydro Gear 2800 transmission, 24-HP Kawasaki FR730V engine, and the Ogura clutch. Without a doubt, this commercial-grade mower is one of the best ones available.
Zoom 50-Inch Zero Turn Riding Mower
Ariens Zoom is a riding lawn mower that’s designed with a 50-inch triple blade cutting width. This makes mowing way quicker as it efficiently cuts grasses in just a few passes.
In addition to the powerful 22-HP Kohler 7000 Series engine, ergonomic features are also clearly prioritized in the design.
The deck lift, which is foot-operated, has seven cutting heights which range from 1.5 to 4.5 inches. The sliding, high backseat may also be adjusted to accommodate operator’s preferred positions. Moreover, zero turning radius makes maneuvers easily done.
Just when you think you’ve read everything about this product, there’s actually more. It comes with a three-year limited consumer warranty.
Swisher ZTR2760BS Zero Turn Lawn Mower
Swisher ZTR2760BS is a commercial-grade riding lawn mower that features a 27-HP Turf Briggs and Stratton engine. It appears to be very well-constructed. It also has rubber mower deck guards and front wheels which are nice additions.
This riding lawn mower works both on flat and hilly terrains as it has an awesome Ogura clutch and a much improved pivoting front axle that efficiently handles slopes.
It is likewise efficient on cutting tall grasses in the quickest time possible. The faster cutting capability is contributed by the new Rapid Response Control System which is immensely superior compared to the Zero Turn Riding controls found on traditional mowers.
Other helpful features include the Hydro Gear 2800 transmission, welded steel frame, and the 8-mph speed for both forward and reverse directions.
John Derre Z335E Zero Turn Riding Mower
John Derre Z335E is another high-quality riding mower with outstanding trimming capability and maneuverability.
It comes with large 18-inch tires that make it suitable for any type of terrain. Thanks in part to its 20 HP V-twin John Deere branded engine, you can be assured of a powerful and heavy-duty performance.
One of its best features is the new 42-inch accel deep deck which ensures an enhanced grass processing and cut quality even at higher mowing speeds. Note that its maximum mowing speed is 7 mph.
You can expect this to last really longer as it’s made of very durable welded steel frame. It even has a couple of motion control levers and other means of easily adjusting the seat. These are enough reasons to make you use it comfortably more often.
Poulan Pro 967330901 Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower
Poulan Pro 967330901 features a dual wheel, hydro gear EZT transmission system that allows superior maneuverability. Each of its wheel is independently controlled, thus moving to various directions is made very easy.
The exceptional controls and maneuverability of this riding mower doesn’t require you anymore to exert more time and effort just to get that clean look.
Whether you’re mowing at some angles or on a flat terrain, you can expect a similar result: a well-cut and nicely brushed lawn.
Just like other zero turn mowers, Poulan Pro 967330901 can significantly cut mowing time regardless of the obstacles or area size. Because it can aggressively get itself into any type of blockage, mowing is made easy and efficient.
Other helpful features of this Poulan Pro 967330901 riding mower are the 46-inch reinforced deck, electric clutch, and 11-inch front and 18-inch rear tires.
Husqvarna Z254i Zero Turn Lawn Mower
Slightly more expensive than its predecessor, Husqvarna Z254i boasts a couple of additional features that are intended to make your mowing task easier and more efficient.
Its deck height is very easy to adjust, while its handles and knobs are conveniently positioned such that they don’t get your way to hit your legs.
Apart from its operational controls, this riding mower also has some cool safety features. Once it detects that the control arms have been opened widely, it automatically starts the parking brake. Should you want to secure its usage, you can also have coded push button numbers put in place.
All these mentioned are on top of the flawless cutting power of this unit.
Without reservations, Husqvarna Z254i is one of the best zero turn mowers available today.
Poulan Pro 967331001 P54ZX Zero Turn Radius Riding Mower
Poulan Pro P54ZX is a multi-feature zero turn radius riding mower. It comes equipped with a powerful 24-HP Briggs V-twin Pro engine and a 54-inch reinforced cutting deck which are efficient enough to get your mowing job completed in the fastest time possible.
It can cut dry and wet grasses and can likewise navigate smoothly around bushes, trees, and rocks.
However, the deck is not as durable as other expensive units. It’s mainly made of rigid metal, but it’s thin. The speed can still also be made faster although it’s fine.
Note that this riding mower doesn’t come fully-assembled. You would still have to assemble its seat and control arms to get it ready to use. If you’re a handyman or a mechanical person, you should be able to get it done in more or less ten minutes.
Some of the unit’s other useful features are the 3.5-gallon fuel tank, hydro gear EZT transmission, and electric clutch.
Ariens Zoom 34 Zero Turn Lawn Mower
If you’re looking for a riding lawn mower that’s perfect for residential use, Ariens Zoom 34 is one of the best ones available. It looks well-designed and very heavily made, thus you can be assured that it’s going to serve you longer and better.
Its 19-HP Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin engine is powerful enough to mow lawns with some sort of obstructions. Thanks to its 34-inch blade cutting width and zero turn mechanism, it can navigate easily and cut effortlessly grasses in the least possible time.
For the price, Ariens Zoom 34 is perfect for small to medium-sized mowing applications.
Troy-Bilt Mustang 46 Zero Turn Mower
Mustang 46 is Troy-Bilt’s another line of exceptional zero turn mower that’s perfect for large areas requiring heavy-duty work.
It’s powered by a 24-HP Briggs & Stratton twin engine which transforms the 46-inch cutting deck into an enormous grass-eating machine.
If you think you’re too tall or too big to handle it, there’s no problem. Mustang 46 has two-way adjustable lap bars that enable riders of all sizes to easily and comfortably fit. Moreover, the unit automatically activates the parking brake once you open the adjustable lap bars to stand up.
There are also 8 height adjustment settings you can choose from and an 18-inch high back seat with dual suspension rings that you can comfortably ride on.
This is another highly-recommended riding mower.
Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding Lawnmower
Raven MPV7100 is a multi-purpose workhorse that’s expertly designed to perform heavy-duty functions. In just a few minutes, you can let this hybrid unit work as a mower, generator, or as a multi-purpose vehicle.
Raven MPV7100 has a pretty huge 420-cc gasoline engine that can efficiently power the 7,100-watt generator that come with it. Plus, it has a wide storage bed and an immense 550-pound towing capacity which is perfect for carrying supplies from and to the worksite.
Moreover, the 46-inch removable fabricated deck is cleverly designed to effectively vacuum, mulch, and discharge grasses.
Note that this unit is made in the US, thus you can be assured of its quality. If you’re new to this kind of powerful machine, you can first read the manual which is very thorough and easy to understand.
Cub Cadet Xt1 Enduro Series Front-Engine Riding Mower
If ever you’re looking for a commercial-grade, top rating riding lawn mower that offers both versatility and comfort, you’re search may possibly end here.
Powered by an 18-HP Kohler hydrostatic gas front-engine, this Cub Cadet Xt1 Enduro Series riding mower can be easily used on different slopes. It even offers a 16-inch zero turning radius, thus it can easily maneuver around tight turns.
Cub Cadet Xt1 is also very comfortable to operate. Its open back seat has a large base and has an elevation that’s high enough to provide good back support. Its steering wheel likewise has a rubberized grip that adds a more solid feel to it.
Some of its other helpful features are the sight gauge for the easy-fill gasoline fuel tank, LED headlights for enhanced visibility, and the cruise control for maintaining consistent mowing speed.
Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 Pedal Tractor Mower
Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 came fully-assembled in an open crate. You therefore just have to gas it up and then you’re good to go.
Just like Husqvarna’s other lines of tractor mower, Husqvarna 960430211 YTA18542 has a very tight and sharp turning radius. The unit itself is also fast, thus you can surely finish your job a lot quicker.
Its steering is also great for straight lines and it’s very comfortable to operate even for extended periods.
If you’re used to your old mower that doesn’t require foot pressure for normal cruising, you may have to adjust as this requires a lot of continuous foot and leg pressure.
Poulan Pro 960420170 PB20VA46 Cutting Deck Riding Mower
Poulan Pro 960420170 PB20VA46 is a riding mower with a good mix of power, quality, and durability.
Powered by a 20 HP V-Twin Briggs engine, Poulan PB20VA46 is a silent operator. It’s less noisy, yet it’s very strong. It is reinforced by its 46-inch deck which is good enough at cutting or hauling wood, mulch, and rock. You can also use it to pull out small shrubs and roots.
Moreover, it seems to do well on uneven surfaces. It easily powers its way through the rocks and grasses, thus making lawn care simple and effortless.
If you’re quite big or tall, you shouldn’t have any problems. This unit has a lot of room for you to comfortably operate it for hours.
Yard Machines 420cc Riding Lawn Mower
Yard Machines did a good job of coming up with this 420cc Powermore Engine-motorized lawn mower which is very easy and comfortable to operate.
One of its best features is the 7-speed gear shift which enables the riding mower to easily power itself on grassy or hilly areas.
In addition, it features an enormous 42-inch cutting blade that can clean up a wide area in the least time possible.
Just like other top rated riding lawnmowers, you can use it for long periods without feeling uneasy. Thanks to its comfortable mid-back seat.
Do take note that this Yard Machines riding mower does not come completely assembled. This shouldn’t be a problem though as you would only have to put on a few things like the steering wheel, seat, and the hood. Once you got them assembled, you’re good to go.
Murray Rear Engine and 6-Speed Shift-On-the-Go Transmission Riding Mower
This Murray 24-inch Rear Engine Riding Mower is perfectly designed to work on large-sized yards. Although it’s powered by a heavy-duty Briggs & Stratton 190cc Professional Series Engine, it’s advisable that you use this mainly on yards with a flat terrain.
Unlike older models, this Murray riding mower offers a variety of shift-on-the-go transmission options.
There are 6 speeds available, thus you can choose whatever pace you like without stopping the unit.
Moreover, it has a tight 18-inch zero turning radius that allows it to easily maneuver.
Some of the other beneficial features you can take advantage are the 2-year limited warranty, mulch kit, and the oil drain tube.
What is a Lawn Mower?
A lawn mower is a piece of equipment that utilizes one or more revolving blades to cut grasses and even the surface height.
Most mowers nowadays are designed to cut grass at a fixed height. For the most part, the height is easily adjusted by the operator through a nut and bolt on each of the machine’s wheels or by a single master lever.
The blades of the mower may be generally powered by wheels that are mechanically connected to the cutting blades. Once the mower is pushed forward, the blades spin.
Other mowers may also be powered by battery or by a plug-in electric motor.
What could be the most popular source of power for lawn mowers is a small cylinder internal combustion engine.
Meanwhile, lawn mowers commonly use two styles of blades. Rotary mowers use a single blade that rotates about a single vertical axis, while cylinder or reel mowers make use of a multiple blade assembly or a cutting bar.
There are three notable types of lawn mowers:
Tractor-pulled mowers are mostly in the form of an attachment to a tractor. The attachment functions through the movement of the tractor just like manual push cylinder mowers.
Riding mowers, also referred to as ride-on mowers, are generally used for large lawns. As the name suggests, the operator has a seat so he can ride on and control the mower.
Most riding mowers make use of a horizontal rotating blade system — commonly with multiple blades.
Mulching mowers are, most of the time, rotary mowers that utilize special mulching blades. The blades are designed to let clippings circulate underneath the mower until the clippings are chopped to very small pieces.
Just like several other mechanical devices, lawn rotary mowers also have their share of safety issues.
Rotary mowers are known to throw out debris with tremendous energy and velocity. The blades of self-powered push mowers can likewise inflict injuries if users get careless.
For this reason, a couple of rotary mowers are now designed with a so called “dead man’s switch.” Automatically, the blade rotation gets disabled when the operator no longer has the handle of the mower.
U.S. statistical data shows there are more than 10,000 people who get hospitalized due to lawn mower-related accidents.
What is a Riding Lawn Mower?
A riding mower is a kind of lawn mower in which the user rides on it to operate.
It’s generally bigger than push mowers in terms of size, thus making it highly suitable for wider lawns.
Meanwhile, commercial-type riding mowers often bear very little resemblance to residential lawn tractors. The difference in the design is due in part to its heavy-duty purposes. Commercial riding lawn mowers are designed to mow very wide areas at high speed in the least time possible.
Because of this, experts have strict recommendations to operators of ride on mowers. Users are asked to wear eye protection, heavy footwear, hearing protection, and other protective gears so as to ensure safety.
Moreover, children below 12 years old are strictly not allowed to operate this type of machine by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What is a Tractor?
A tractor is an engineering vehicle that’s widely used to deliver torque or a high tractive effort at slow speeds. It is commonly utilized to haul a trailer or machinery employed in construction and agriculture.
When used to perform some agricultural tasks, an attachment may be mounted or towed behind it. The tractor itself may also be used as a power source with the addition of another mechanized equipment.
One of its most popular types is the lawn tractor. It is often a gas-powered, front-engine riding machine. Its price is usually comparable to the smaller and older rear-engine riders.
One advantage of using a lawn tractor is that it can mow easily a 42 to 48-inch swath. It can likewise mulch and then side-discharge the clippings.
Lawn Tractors vs. Riding Lawn Mowers
The difference between lawn tractors and riding lawn mowers lies mainly in the location of the cutting deck.
A lawn tractor comes equipped with a mid-mounted cutting deck, while a riding lawn mower has its cutting deck situated under the front.
When it comes to maneuverability, the riding lawn mower has the advantage. Thanks to the front-end location of the cutting deck. This makes it highly usable on lawns that are dotted with trees and shrubs.
Meanwhile, there are several attachments that can be used on both lawn tractors and riding lawn mowers. Accessories may range from tools used to remove snow to brushes utilized for spring cleaning.
What to Look For When Buying a Riding Lawn Mower
A riding lawn mower is practically used if you’re working on a large area. The same goes if you’re operating on a smooth, hilly, or sloped lawn.
Here, we’ll list down some common factors that need to be considered when choosing a riding lawn mower.
- Garden Tractors
- A garden tractor is mostly bigger than a standard riding mower, thus it has larger transmissions and has more power.
- It is likewise widely used to perform light to heavy-duty works like heavy hauling and removing shrubs or small trees.
- Zero-Turn Riding Mowers
- A zero-turn riding mower is designed with a pivoting front axle that allows excellent maneuverability. This makes it a first choice among users who have to work on lawns that are covered with lots of flower beds, trees, and other known obstacles.
- Unlike a riding lawn mower, a zero-turn riding mower pivots and turns to quickly perform turns with precision. It therefore does not require anymore to constantly back up and move forward.
- Standard Riding Mower
- A standard riding mower is ideal for basic yard work as it can be used to mow the lawn and carry lightweight implements such as aerators, baggers, carts, and more.
- 42-Inch Deck
- This deck size is best suited for lawns that are about 0.5-1 acre in size.
- 42-Inch to 46-Inch Deck
- This deck size is likewise suggested for lawns that measure about 1-2 acres.
- 46-Inch Deck to 54-Inch Deck
- This deck size is best suited for lawns that are about 2-3 acres in size.
- Blade Height Adjustment
- The blade height adjustment allows an operator to cut the grass to his liking. If he wants to cut grasses longer or shorter depending on the season, he can by all means with the help of the blade height adjustment.
- Multiple Speeds
- With this, an operator can quickly adjust the speed based on the condition of the lawn. A slower speed may be necessary if grasses are thick and tall or if they are wet.
- The fast setting would also be helpful in getting a lawn task done as quickly as possible.
- Quick Brakes
- Internal wet brakes are essential for unexpected quick stops.
- Maintenance Indicator
- Some mowers come equipped with a maintenance indicator which tells users the approximate number of hours left before the machine needs to be checked by a service technician.
- Gas Level Indicator
- Transparent gas tanks allow operators to easily check their machine’s gas level. Some units likewise use gauges that are similar to those used in cars.
Type of Transmissions
- Hydrostatic Transmission – The hydrostatic transmission is mostly used on compact and garden tractors. Just like the automatic transmission in a car, it keeps a pre-configured speed on uneven spots and rough terrains.
- Belt Transmission – Available in garden tractors and in small riding lawn mowers, it is the simplest and easiest type of lawn mower transmission. Some mowers use a fixed speed belt and they can be driven with three to five gears. Some also use variable speed.
- Gear Transmission – Gear transmission provides 3-5 forward and reverse speeds. It is highly reliable, yet it is very cost-efficient. Moreover, it does not offer an infinite speed mechanism. In most cases, a gear transmission is controlled by a lever. It likewise requires manually pressing the clutch pedal before shifting.
Some accessories like the bagging kit are useful as they save time in collecting grass clippings.
An umbrella likewise shields an operator from heat, while a bumper kit protects the mower from bumps and dents.
Other essential accessories you can have are the mulcher, chipper kits, and the cup holder.
How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower
Prior to using a riding lawn mower, make sure to thoroughly read the user manual and the important safety precautions. Also make sure that you’ve understood some of the terminologies being used like the zero turn radius, throttle, maneuverability, and more.
This will not only ensure your safety, but will likewise make you a more efficient user.
Steps you can follow to start a riding mower and start operation
- Start the riding mower
- Sit comfortably on the mower and then step on its clutch or brake lever. This is mostly situated on the left side of the mower.
- Move the gear into the “N” or neutral position.
- Pull the control, otherwise called choke knob, into an open position.
- The throttle of several mowers often has a picture of a turtle or a rabbit to represent the speed. With these images to guide you, simply position the throttle at the middle of the turtle and the rabbit.
- Insert the ignition key and turn it towards the right side. After which, you can wait for at least 15 seconds to allow the starter to crank the engine of the mower.
- Note: If it doesn’t start, turn off the ignition key and then wait for at least 10 seconds before your turn the ignition key again.
- Push in the knob slowly back into its place after the engine starts. After which, set the throttle towards the faster option and allow the engine to warm-up.
- Note: By allowing your engine to warm-up, the chance of experiencing hitches is significantly reduced.
- Try moving each of the control arms in both hands in the forward and backward direction. This will give you a feel on how exactly the unit moves based on the controls you’ve made.
- Pushing the control forward would move the mower forward, while the pulling it back would likewise move the mower in the reverse direction.
- Push the control handles in the forward direction. Do this slowly and keep them equally advanced. This will help the mower move smoothly in a straight path.
- If the mower turns left, try to advance the left arm even more to compensate. Do the opposite if the mower turns right.
- Advance the opposite control stick so that you can turn your mower in either the left and right direction.
- Pull your control arms backwards to try backing.
- Note: In doing so, make sure to set your engine speed to LOW. Also, you’ll notice that the mower moves faster the farther you pull back or advance the control arms.
- If you want to try making some sharp turns, practice reversing the control arm to the side where you would wish to turn around. Make sure to do this while you’re advancing to the opposite side.
- You’ll notice that the reverse wheel is pulling one side of the mower backwards, while the forward wheel is pushing that same side. This causes the mower to spin on its own axis.
- Familiarize the cutting path of your mower. Pay attention to the width of the deck in relation to the mower’s drive wheels. Also, make sure to consider the discharge angle of the mower blades.
Note: Sharp turns in close quarters may cause the mower deck to suddenly jam against an obstacle.
Benefits of Using a Riding Lawn Mower
The riding lawn mower is obviously more expensive than push mowers. However, it’s still a very popular choice among homeowners who own a very large garden that has lots of trees or shrubs.
There are a couple of options like a zero turning radius (ZTR) mower which would allow you to cut trees on a single pass or a tractor mower which can be very useful with the attachments.
Here are the very common advantages of using a riding mower:
Fast and efficient work
By using a riding mower, you’ll be able to mow a big area in the least amount of time possible. This is regardless of the type of tractor mower or zero turning radius mower that you’re using.
Therefore, this is very advantageous among those who have health issues or who can’t stand pushing mowers for extended periods of time.
Much more, you’ll get to comfortably sit and drive your way to the lawn as if you’re just driving a car.
Tractor models offer the option to integrate very helpful accessories like trailers used to haul feeds for animals or plows for eliminating snow during winter.
Other popular attachments are used to collect leaves. Some even have grind features that convert leaves or roots into manure.
If cutting around trees and shrubs is what you like, then a zero turn riding mower is all you need.
Larger Fuel Capacity
Riding mowers have a bigger fuel capacity than electric mowers or push mowers. You’ll therefore have plenty of time to spend mowing trees of varying sizes.
If there’s something that greatly separates riding mowers from push mowers, it would be the attachments.
Regular push mowers merely cut grasses, while riding mowers can be transformed into a multi-purpose machine with the addition of an attachment.
Riding mowers can help spread fertilizer and grass seed. It can also be used to break land with dethatcher attachments or plow snow during winter.
The latter is most helpful in some states where unpredictable weather or snow may easily and quickly build up.
Some rear engine riding mowers even offer more than nine blade height settings to suit various lawn types and vegetations.
Riding mowers are far more comfortable than push mowers for several obvious reasons.
Most riding mowers nowadays are designed with high or mid back seat where operators can sit comfortably for long periods of time. Unlike a push mower, the riding mower can be operated like a car so that you can easily maneuver on the ground.
Depending on your mower’s model type, you may also add an umbrella so you’ll be able to keep yourself protected from extreme heat and other harsh weather conditions.
Most riding mowers have a turning radius that’s less than six inches. This makes it very capable of trimming lawn right up to retaining walls and the edge of driveways.
Rear engine riding mowers, for example, have tucked-in front and rear wheels, thus movement is very smooth and easy.
Riding mowers, like the rear engine models, can be quickly cleaned while it’s in its storage position. You can likewise sharpen its blades in no time and lubricate the blade attachment, steering column, and wheels more accurately and more easily.
Precautions and Safety Tips
Choose a “safe” lawn mower whenever possible
There’s technically no “safe” lawn mower for everyone. Like any other power machines, it can always be dangerous when not handled correctly or cautiously.
Still, it pays to be mindful on some safety features.
Some lawn mowers are designed to stop when its handle is released, while others’ blade disengages when they’re put in reverse.
Read and understand the user manual
Always read the user manual that comes along with your riding mower. Make sure you understand its operation before finally deciding to use it.
There may be some jargons or terminologies that can be very technical for regular users. Therefore, do some research or ask an expert to learn more about them.
Never let your kids operate or ride the mower
The riding mower is a power machine that entails utmost carefulness and safety.
Make sure you don’t let your children ride as passengers to prevent untoward incidents.
Also, keep them away from the lawn or work area as there may be some debris that could get thrown away.
Thoroughly check your yard
The blades of your lawn mower may throw small objects like rocks, woodchips, twigs, and other things. It’s therefore a helpful idea to survey the lawn or yard that you’re about to mow.
Moreover, be cautious when operating your mower on near drop offs or on hills. Be mindful, not just on the obstructions that come your way, but also on the approaching corners.
Wear the proper attire
Never take for granted any type of mowing job. Much more, never get complacent.
Make sure to put on your wraparound sunglasses or safety glasses. Also wear long pants and comfortable dresses to protect yourself from heat.
Close-toed shoes that are strong and durable are likewise highly preferred. Avoid using sandals or sneakers as they may be easily worn out.
A hearing protection would likewise be a very good addition.
Do not wear portable music players
While mowing can be boring at best, it’s still not enough reason to wear gadgets or portable music players. They can be a distraction which may eventually cause accidents.
Prepare the mower
Make sure the mower and any necessary attachments are all in good operating condition. Check the blades if they are sharp and are in a secure position.
Double check the chains, drive belts, gears, and other important parts. Make sure they are all properly guarded. If there’s something that needs to be repaired or replaced, have it checked by a qualified technician.
Take things slow at first
If possible, run the engine first at its lowest speed. This will minimize the likelihood of objects being thrown away.
Turn off engine when adding gasoline
Make sure you have your mower turned off when adding gasoline. It’s also a safe idea to wait for your engine to cool down before adding fuel.
Moreover, never smoke or keep away from smoke when refueling.
Note: In order to avoid igniting vapors, do not restart the engine within 25 feet from where you refueled your mower. Gasoline should also be stored away from any sources of heat.
Mow only in broad daylight
While it’s a good idea to do overtime work, it’s never advisable to mow at night for safety reasons. The surface and obstructions may also not be very visible.
Always allow the blade to completely stop
When turning off the riding mower, make sure not to leave it before its blades have completely stopped.
Recommendations and Buying Tips
Riding mowers or lawn tractors are the best options when it comes to doing quick work of your lawn.
Here are some of the things that need to be put in mind when you’re still planning to purchase your preferred riding mower.
Determine the right riding mower or lawn tractor based on the size of your lawn.
Typically, a 0.5-1 acre yard may require a riding mower with at least 14-HP engine and a cutting width of up to 42 inches.
For yards that measure 1-2 acres, a 16-HP engine and a 42-inch or 46-inch deck may be advisable.
For yards that are over 3 acres, a garden tractor that has at least a 46-inch deck and a minimum of 18-HP engine is ideal.
Riding Mower or Garden Tractor?
If you’re merely looking for a machine that can cut grasses, a riding lawn mower should be enough as it already offers a couple of attachment options. However, do note that you won’t be able to perform heavy duty chores with it like pulling or lifting heavy loads.
If you think there’s a need for you to use pull-ground engaging attachments like a disc harrow, plow, or tiller, then the garden tractor would be the best option.
A garden tractor has a sturdier frame and a heavier transmission. It also has larger rear wheels and better engine specifications which make it more appropriate for larger mowing tasks.
Residential garden tractors may be used to pull a cultivator, tiller, and other ground-engaging tools behind it.
Ways to Get the Best Riding Lawn Mower Deals
- Buy during the off-season
- Lawn mowers are often times very pricy in the summer and spring. Therefore, purchasing a new riding mower in the fall and winter would be the best bet.
- Although riding mowers are likely not very usable during fall or winter, you’ll be able to save a lot of money and be able to use something very affordable, yet durable in the coming summer and spring seasons.
- Shop patiently
- Store owners offer lawn tractors at varying prices. This is often true even on same-model lawn tractors.
- It therefore makes sense to compare the price tags of each of the stores. You’ll soon find out that you’ll be able to save hundreds of bucks and discounts once you’ve spotted that right store.
- Look for close-out sales
- Prices of older models change every year, thus stores always do inventories. Stores have to move old models to give room to the newer ones.
- As you can expect, this older models would be offered with huge discounts. This doesn’t mean though that they’re not good enough anymore. They just have to be separated from the newer models which are more profitable at higher prices.
- Talk to a sales person or manager
- Who says a sales person has to do all the talking?
- You can be more in control of a transaction if you also do your own big share of talking.
- Talk to a sales person and ask them to beat the price of other stores. If he or she doesn’t agree with you, politely ask for their manager or supervisor. The manager often has the last say, thus he’s always in the best position to negotiate pricing deals and options.
- Tell the manager about the price you’ve discovered on the other stores and let them quote theirs at the same rate or preferably at a much lesser amount
Riding mowers or lawn tractors are quite costly compared to push mowers. It’s therefore necessary that you invest your money on a unit that would serve you better and longer.
By properly and patiently performing some research, you’re likely to pick a riding mower or lawn tractor that’s high-quality, yet very affordable.
Aside from shopping different stores, you can read honest reviews from reputable sites online or talk to an expert.
Moreover, make sure to purchase only from trusted sellers.
Our Recommendation: Troy-Bilt 420cc Riding Lawn Mower
Riding Lawn Mower Video Reviews
These are some helpful video reviews featuring the Husqvarna Riding Mower and Poulan Pro Riding Lawn Mower.
- Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawn_mower
- Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tractor#Gasoline_and_kerosene
- About – http://landscaping.about.com/cs/giftideas1/f/lawn_tractors.htm
- WonderHowTo – http://landscaping.wonderhowto.com/how-to/use-riding-lawnmower-mow-large-yard-lawn-422902/
- WikiHow – http://www.wikihow.com/Operate-a-ZTR-Lawnmower
- Lab247 – http://www.lab247.net/start-riding-lawn-mower/
- BriggsandStratton – https://www.briggsandstratton.com/na/en_us/support/maintenance-how-to/browse/lawn-mower-safety-tips.html
- CCOHS – https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/landscaping/lawnmower.html
- American-Lawns – http://www.american-lawns.com/lawns/lawn_tractors.html
- Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riding_mower