Using a riding lawn mower is the most convenient way to trim your lawn. The question of whether you need a riding lawn mower depends on your budget and the size of your lawn. Riding lawn mowers are expensive even the low-price types cost up to $1000, and if you are looking to purchase a premium type, you will spend up to $3000. If you own a large-sized lawn with open space, then, getting a riding lawn mower is worth it.
Riding lawn mowers come in various sizes and are capable of trimming medium to larger sized lawns. The zero turn mower and the garden tractor are two of the most common types available on the market. The size of a riding lawn mower is defined by the width of the cutting deck which houses the blade. This also means that the bigger the cutting deck, the longer the blade. If you have a large lawn and you want to purchase a riding lawn mower, the width of the cutting deck is one thing to look out for.
Many riding lawn mowers come with accessories like a rear bag that collects the grass clippings while some have mulching capabilities, some mowers come with both. The garden tractor allows you to attach numerous accessories like ploughs and trailers. Riding lawn mowers can either be electrical-powered or gas-powered. The electric type runs on a battery, operates quietly and is eco-friendly but is not as efficient as the gas-powered type. Using a riding lawn mower comes with a lot of benefits, and some of those benefits have been provided in this article.
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How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower?
Riding Lawn Mower vs Walk-Behind Mower
Riding mower is completely different from the walk-behind mower, which is also known as a push mower. Walk-behind mowers as the name implies, require you to walk behind the mower and push it across your lawn. Using the push mower requires a lot of energy and time. Riding lawn mowers, on the other hand, is operated while sitting, it has a seat on the deck where the operator can conveniently operate the machine. Push mowers are a perfect choice if you have a small or medium-sized lawn; this is because a lot of strength is required to walk behind and push the mower across your lawn. Using a push mower on large lawns can be very exhausting and time-consuming. There are different types of push lawn mower, among which is the self-propelled push mower.
Self-propelled mowers don’t require as much energy as other types of walk-behind mower although the operator has to walk behind the machine to guide it across the lawn. This makes them great for medium-sized lawn, but it can be very tiring when used on large acres of land. Push mowers are of great advantage if you have tight spaces and corners. They are designed to be compact enough to fit into tight spaces. Riding lawn mowers are best used on land with gentle slopes and even terrain, using it on steep slopes may cause rollover accidents, walk-behind mowers can balance well on hilly terrain or very steep slopes.
When dealing with thick grasses, riding lawn mowers are qui5te rugged and can cut this type of grass with ease, they can also be used on wet grass, unlike the walk-behind mower which is not strong enough cut thick grasses. Riding mowers have wider cutting decks of about 50 inches, meaning it can cut large acres of land in a very short time.
Another difference between the riding and walk-behind mower is the cost. Riding mowers are about three times more expensive than the walk-behind or push mower. In addition to that, the cost of maintaining the riding mower is more than that of the standard walk-behind lawn mower. The self-propelled mower is also expensive and may cost up to $800, maintaining it is also expensive but not as expensive as the riding mower. The greatest advantage of the riding mower over the push mower is the utmost convenience it offers. Riding mowers have a seat on the deck and a steering wheel that directs the machine; all you need do is sit down and drive the machine while the blades do the bulk of the work. In some situations, riding lawn mowers are more superior than a push mower, especially if your lawn is really large.
Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower vs Lawn Tractor
If you have decided to ditch the heavy push mower and purchase a riding lawn mower, you have to decide between the riding lawn mower and the lawn or garden tractor. These are the most common types of riding lawn mowers, and they both have their differences and similarities. These two types of riding mower offer high-quality performance, speed and maximum efficiency. Selecting the best riding mower for you depends on the layout of your lawn and how you want to utilise your lawn mower.
Zero-turn mowers are defined by their turning radius, which is zero inches. Standard riding lawn mowers have a turning radius of about 16 inches or more; this means that when you turn the mower at the end of your swath of grass, you’ll leave some patches of grass uncut. Zero-turn mowers have the ability to turn like a dime; it can cut around obstacles without needing to trim that area. It is best known for its speed and manoeuvrability.
The main difference between the zero-turn mower and the lawn tractor is how they cut the grass. You spend more time mowing your lawn with a lawn tractor than with a zero-turn mower. One of the differences between the zero-turn mower and the lawn tractor is the position of the cutting deck. Zero-turn mowers have theirs at the front of the machine while lawn tractors have theirs located underneath the machine. Lawn tractors are controlled with the steering wheel while zero-turn mowers are controlled with handles or levers, usually two. The steering wheels of a lawn tractor turns the front wheels of the machine while the zero-turn mower handles turn the rear wheels of the lawn mower when making a tight or sharp turn. Zero-turn mowers lack brakes, to put the car to a halt, the control handles have to be put in neutral. Lawn tractors, on the other hand, have brake pedals that need to be pressed to stop or slow the vehicle.
Lawn tractors are easy to drive on slopes because of their front-wheel-drive system while zero-turn mowers are difficult to control on uneven terrain. Keep in mind that both types of lawn mowers are not suitable for extremely steep slopes. Operating the lawn tractor is a lot easier than driving the riding lawn mower. Lawn tractors have steering wheels, acceleration and brake pedals much like a car, all you need to do is push the gas pedal or acceleration to move and press the brake to slow down or halt.
Zero-turn mowers require a little more time to get used to; the speed is controlled by the control handles rather than a pedal and steering. To move the machine forward and in a straight line, the handles need to be pushed forward and to make turns, you have to pull back one of the levers and push the other handle forward. Learning how to manipulate or control these levers requires time and practice. In terms of cutting decks, zero-turn mowers usually have wider decks than lawn tractors which means they can cut more grass in a single swath. Zero-turn mowers have a cutting deck of about 42 inches to more than 60 inches while lawn tractors have cutting decks of width ranging between 40 inches to 54 inches.
Choosing between a lawn tractor and zero-turn mower largely depends on the terrain and layout of your lawn. If you have a large lawn with open spaces, you can opt for the zero-turn mowers which have a longer cutting deck. If your yard is somewhat hilly and has obstacles, the lawn tractor is your best bet.
Some Features to Consider Before Purchasing a Riding Lawn Mower
Now that you have decided to get a riding lawn mower, there are certain factors you need to consider before purchase one. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind when searching for the best riding lawn mower for your lawn.
The transmission is an especially important part of a riding lawn mower. It transmits power from the engine or motor to the wheels causing it to move. Riding mowers have three types of transmission, manual, automatic and hydrostatic transmission. If you are familiar with driving stick or manual cars, then operating a riding lawn mower with manual transmission would be easy. It’s very similar to that of a car, and you have to use a clutch to change gears. Automatic transmissions have acceleration pedals that increase the speed of the mower and doesn’t need a clutch to change gears. Hydrostatic transmissions are much easier to use and are best for areas with obstacles. It uses hydraulic fluid to move the vehicle, changing the speed is quite seamless and turning around obstacles is much easier with this type of transmission. Choosing between these three depends on your preference and skill.
Size of the Mower
The size of the lawnmower is a very important feature to consider. You can determine this by the width of the cutting deck as well as that of the machine. Cutting decks of riding lawn mowers can be as wide as 60 inches. You should get a larger mower if your lawn has wide and open spaces with little or no obstacles. However, if your lawn has many obstructions like trees or corners, you should get a mower small enough to fit between these tight spaces.
Collection bag or Mulch
These are two ways of disposing of the grass clippings. Some riding mowers come with a collection bag that allows you to store the grass clippings while some disperse the clipping back to the ground to protect the soil and help it retain moisture; this is called mulching. The best types of lawn mowers allow you to do both; it allows you to choose between both modes of disposal.
Also read What to Look for in a Riding Lawn Mower? for more.
A riding lawn mower is a great investment, especially if you have own large acres of land that needs to be trimmed frequently. It is the most convenient way to mow your lawn and requires very little strength from the operator. If you have doubts about purchasing one, we hope this article has convinced you that it is worth every penny.