Zero Turn Mower Buyers Guide

Zero turn mowers are very effective grass cutting machines which steer using a rear wheel drive. Zero turn mowers were initially developed for commercial use, but because of the wealth of advantages they provide over standard mowers, and consumers’ growing demand to own their own zero turn mower, more and more companies develop residential grade mowers. In this post we take a look at some important features to consider when it comes to buying the right type of mower.

1) Horsepower And Engine

When it comes to zero-turn mowers, the horsepower and engine size are two of the most important features to consider. Horsepower and engine size determine how tough your mower will be. And, the more powerful an engine is, the more expensive it will be. If you have a large property with very thick grass, a mower with less horsepower will struggle to cut through thick patches of grass. In addition to this, a weak mower will wear out overtime, as it struggles to cut thick patches of grass. Therefore, you need a mower with an engine and horsepower that is powerful enough for your property. Alternatively, if your grass is relatively thin, you will do fine with a low power engine.

2) Deck Size

The wider the deck of a mower is, the more grass it will be able to cut on each pass. While it may be true that a zero turn motor can help to drastically reduce the time it takes to mow your lawn, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the deck size. Things to consider include:

  • Smaller deck sizes are ideal for small yards, or if you have to maneuver through tight spaces.
  • Smaller deck sizes allow motors to be controlled more easily.
  • Larger deck sizes are ideal for commercial landscapers and for homeowners who have large properties.
  • Wider deck sizes are ideal for properties that don’t have a lot of trees or obstacles.
  • A smaller deck size, means you will have to make more passes than a wider deck size.

3) Controls

When it comes to the controls on the mower, you have two options: Ergonomic Joystick and Levers. Levers are the most common means of using the mower. However, you have to keep two levers at the same power level to put the unit into a straight light. For instance, pushing one level with a higher power level than the other, will cause the unit to move in a curved line. Increasing the power in one lever, while leaving the other lever at zero power, will cause the unit to pivot. Needless to say, while it’s a good way to control a zero turn mower, it does require a great deal of time and effort to get used to. Nowadays, manufacturers also provide joystick controllers which are more user-friendly and easy to master.

4) Speed

Different mowers have different speed ranges. This is an important factor to consider, especially if you own your own landscaping business. For professionals, a faster mower means that you will be able to complete projects faster. For residential homeowners, faster speeds simply means that you will be able to cut your lawn faster. However, there really isn’t that much of a difference between entry and mid grade level mowers which usually top out at a speed of 6 or 7mph. But, if you have a large property and want to get the fastest kind of mower that would be ideal for your property, you should consider a semi commercial mower which typically tops out at 9mmph. Meanwhile, commercial grade mowers have a top speed of 12-15 mph.

5) Comfort

Since you’ll be riding the unit, surely you’ll want it to be as comfortable as possible. Therefore, check the seat and support that different models offer and look for features such as arm rests, height of the seat’s back and material that the seat was made out of. Don’t be shy about the idea of actually sitting on the unit before you determine if it would be ideal for you to purchase.