If you are considering purchasing a new lawn mower and you have a large area of lawn that requires regular mowing, then a riding mower could well be your answer.
There are several advantages that riding lawn mowers have over other types, and the first is that they save you a lot of mowing time, meaning that you can enjoy more of your leisure time doing the things you enjoy.
Another advantage is that a riding mower takes away the physical effort required to mow a large expanse of lawn, and of course this becomes particularly important if you suffer from ill health.
Another reason for choosing a riding lawn mower is that instead of being that horrible chore you hate so much, mowing the lawn can actually become ‘fun’.
Right, so you’ve decided that a riding mower is right for you, now what are your options? Among rear engined riding mowers there are two types, conventional riders and ‘zero-turn’ riders.
The big difference between the two types is the steering system. Conventional riders can take up to 28 inches (depending on the model) to make a 180° turn, which is wasted movement at the end of each directional cut, whereas a ‘zero turn’ mower can turn around in its own track.
A conventional mower has a steering wheel that turns the front wheels; a zero turn mower has two steering handles that separately control the two rear wheels, move one forward and the other in reverse and you’ve rotated the mower in place.
Consequently if your lawn has obstacles like flower beds, trees or shrubs, then a zero turn mower is far more versatile and can cut your mowing time in half, especially when you add in the fact that zero turn mowers are also nearly twice the speed of conventional mowers.
It is thought that steering a zero turn lawn mower is as easy as driving a shopping cart, and that most people can master it very quickly.
It’s little wonder then that more and more people are now choosing a zero-turn mower rather than a conventional type.
Once you have decided that a zero turn mower is the right choice then of course the next decision is which model to choose.
Here are a few things you should consider, firstly cost, zero turn mowers are more expensive than conventional mowers, with prices ranging from just over $2000 up to $5000, or even more for the large commercial models.
What size engine should you choose? Lawns with inclines may require extra power, and a very heavy operator may also require extra power.
If you have a very large lawn then you may want to choose a model with a wide cutting width to save time.
Have you somewhere to park the riding mower, they are not tiny, and will it go through any narrow gateways on your property?
Finally be aware that the cost of the mower is just the start, don’t forget the ongoing cost of gas and maintenance.
With the high capital costs involved it is important that you choose the right model for your particular needs.