The appeal of the ride on mower
Trimming the grass is one job sure to make its way back onto the To Do list of anyone with a lawn or grassy area to keep tidy. Push a walk-behind mower for a few months, and you soon understand the appeal of a ride on mower.
Ride on mowers cost more to purchase and maintain, from parts to petrol. But ride on mowers take a lot less energy to operate, while finishing the job faster, making them a worthy long-term investment.
Property size, and comfort factor
For a tiny yard, a ride on mower might be an unnecessary expenditure. If you have a sizeable lawn whose care is eating up your schedule, a ride on mower could be the best option, provided you have the storage space.
A ride on mower lets you sit down on the job. For those with a bad back or busy schedule, a quick cruise across the lawn sounds great. But like any investment, an informed choice is best.
Comparing mower types
Walk behind mowers are push, or self-propelled and must be guided. In terms of effort, self-propelled don’t need the muscle power required by a push mower. These models suit smaller lawns, or corners and curves that call for tight maneuvering.
Keep in mind ride on mowers can battle overgrown grass and patches much more easily, having much wider cutting decks and more power. But most can only handle gentle slopes. A steep area is best left to push mowers.
Rear engine ride on mower and ride on zero-turn mower
Rear engine ride on designs are traditionally seen as popular first-time ride on purchase for those who don’t have large lawn, or much storage space. Usually a smaller design with the engine at the back, they are the least expensive ride on.
The zero-turn ride on mower has a tighter turn radius meaning no skipped patches of grass when turning, and easy maneuvering around trees. The more powerful engine saves time, but the design, like the rear engine, is unable to handle steep inclines.
Lawn tractor and garden tractor
Lawn tractors generally have more power than rear engine ride ons, and are similar to operating a car. They don’t have the same level of control/precision around bushes and corners etc. as zero-turns but are viewed as better for slopes.
Garden tractors, the most powerful listed here, are heavy duty options arguably slightly wasted on a small, tame lawn. They’re designed for more challenging terrain, and this is reflected in the cost.
Extra factors to take into account
Wondering what mid-mount and out front means? Out front means the cutting deck is front-mounted, and mid mount means the cutting deck is beneath the driving seat. Both designs have their advantages.
Remember to ask about the cut width per pass versus size of your mowing area, safety features, available accessories, and towing capacity. Preferred type of control system may also be relevant to your final decision.