Why it’s a wise investment to make
Minimal physical effort
This is undoubtedly the biggest advantage that comes with buying a ride-on lawn mower. Regardless of how big the area is, you will complete the task very quickly with minimal effort. While most electric mowers are usually easy to maneuver and lightweight, they’re recommended only for even terrain. Pushing electric mowers on inclines and slopes can be a little challenging, even with the fact that they are lightweight, so owning a riding lawn mower is a must if your terrain is uneven. Besides, using a ride-on machine will provide lots of fun as it will make you feel like you are driving a car.
Easy to find replacement parts
If you carry out some research, you’ll find out that finding replacement parts for electric/push mowers on the market is very difficult. What this means is that if such a machine breaks down, you’ll need to purchase a new one, and subsequently lose a lot of money. The replacement parts of ride-on lawn mowers, on the other hand, are very easy to find, and this is a huge advantage without a doubt.
Perfect for large lawns
If you read reviews of electric mowers enough, you’ll find out that they are usually recommended for small-sized yards only, whereas a gas-powered ride-on mower is perfect for large-sized lawns. Cutting a large lawn with a traditional mower can take up to a couple of days, and you surely don’t like losing that much time. So, you need to consider buying a larger machine that will help achieve the result desired in the shortest possible time.
Saves you time
Another huge advantage that a ride-on mower has over a stand-behind model is the speed at which it operates. Regardless of whether the stand-behind mower is a push or a self-propelled model, it can never match the speed of a riding lawn mower. When working on large-sized properties, this can save you a lot of time.
Key start ignition
While most stand-behind mowers don’t usually come with key-start ignition, most ride-on mowers currently on the market, like the Snapper 360Z are engineered with this extraordinary feature. It enables you to ignite the machine without any physical effort. It’s perfect especially for individuals with weak upper bodies or those with physical injuries.
How to start your riding lawn mower
It is actually effortless to start a ride-on mower. Due to their powerful engines, sleek automatic transmissions, and electronic systems, most of the riding models currently on the market can be easily started in just a few seconds. In order to start your mowing machine, it’s only required for you to adjust your deck’s cutting height to the setting you desire. Most models even include fender-mounted levers nowadays, which enable you to adjust this setting easily.
Afterward, climb into your rider’s seat, depending on your own model, either turn the on/off knob or press the push button. Ride-on mowers don’t need you to operate a clutch or shift gears when switching to reverse or changing speeds, thanks to the automatic transmission they come with. Rather than that, you will just have to utilize a foot pedal to decrease and increase your speed. Plus, since most models now offer cruise control, the task has been made even easier than ever.
Features to consider when choosing a riding lawn mower
Ride-on mowers offer the best way of easily tackling large-sized yards, delivering professional results while needing just a little effort. However, before you proceed to buy one, there are numerous factors you need to consider. By taking a look at each of those important factors, you will be able to locate the right model for your needs and the kind of ride-on lawn mower that fits you best.
Engine HP, or horsepower, is the term used to describe the power output of an engine. The output means what is available for sharing between the different parts of a mower like the cutting blades and the drive transmission. Therefore, the higher the horsepower provided by an engine, the more power the machine will be able to distribute between different tasks like moving the mower up hills or across the lawn, whilst at the same time delivering the cutting power required to completely mow heavy or tall grass.
Because of the sufficient power required to perform both tasks simultaneously, we recommend you to buy a ride-on mower with an output of about 20 horsepower or even more like the Husqvarna MZ61
as that’s what large-sized properties demand.
There’re three transmission types for ride-on mowers – automatic, manual, and hydrostatic transmission. With an automatic transmission, the speed of the mower is decided by how much fuel is sent through the accelerator, while a manual transmission offers a set of speeds which you need to shift between with the aid of a clutch. A hydrostatic transmission operates in the same way as an automatic transmission but uses fluid pressure instead of belts.
When you are considering buying a new ride-on mower, you need to keep a couple of notes in mind – manual transmissions are suitable for making a lot of turns and maneuvering around obstacles and terrain changes, automatic transmissions are suitable for straight and long stretches, and hydrostatic transmissions are the best, and operate in the same way as automatic transmissions, while offering the smoothest ride possible and require the least amount of maintenance.
Fuel tank capacity
A ride-on mower’s fuel capacity determines the quantity of gas it can hold. Generally, this correlates with the model’s size. The primary concern you need to keep in mind is buying a model with a small fuel capacity that won’t be sufficient to handle your lawn as you don’t want to keep stopping while mowing just to refuel. Therefore, models with a larger fuel capacity like the Husqvarna MZ61 are more ideal for large-sized properties, while those with a smaller capacity like the Snapper 360Z are better suited for medium-sized properties.
A ride-on mower’s cutting width determines the wideness of the area the blade can cut in a single pass. Small models like the Troy-Bilt TB30 Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower can feature a cutting width of 30 inches while larger models can have a cutting width of up to 50 inches or even more. The primary thing you need to take into consideration is your yard’s size.
If your yard is small and has hard-to-reach spots and hurdles such as trees that you will have to maneuver around, you can make do with a smaller cutting width. However, if your property is large and has a fairly open layout, you should go for a larger model that will enable you to handle the task easily and in a timely manner.
Adjustable cutting height
Basic models provide no or little cutting height adjustment, which can prove to be a problem in finer lawn manicuring. It is crucial to find a ride-on machine like the Ariens 915223 IKON-X with a variety of cutting heights, and the capability to switch between them easily. Find models whose height adjustment controls are located either beside the floor pedals or beside the seat to help reduce strain.
If it’s zero turn
Zero-turn mowers like the Poulan Pro P46ZX and the Husqvarna MZ61 usually have exceptionally tight turning radius, thereby allowing them to have incredible maneuverability and an excellent ability to get around shrubs, lawn statues, and trees. They, however, have some issues when maneuvering on hills as they tend to turn excessively sharply on vertical terrain.
Ride-on mowers are usually made in different sizes and shapes. The cutting decks of some mowers are as low as 30 inches (like the one in the Troy-Bilt TB30 Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower) while some models can have cutting decks of up to 50 inches or higher (like the Husqvarna GTH52XLS with a 52-inch deck). Like we already mentioned, a larger model is most ideal for a large-sized property without many obstacles, or it may take a longer time for you to complete mowing the whole lawn. Contrarily, smaller models are perfect for smaller lawns or even larger lawns with many obstacles like slopes and trees.
When you are purchasing something as costly as a riding lawn mower, you need to give the warranty a lot of priority. Should anything go wrong with your lawnmower early in its lifetime, the warranty will save you a lot of money on buying replacement parts or even the entire unit. From our experience, the length of the warranty period usually determines how long you can expect your product to last.
Safety tips to follow while using a riding lawn mower
There are many dangers related to riding lawn mowers, which include falling under the mower and getting run over. The machine might also tip over, which may cause injuries. In order to prevent accidents, we advise you to adhere to the following tips before, during, and after utilizing the machine to lessen the presence of dangers.
- Before you mow the yard, first of all, make sure that there are no kids or pets in the yard as they are more susceptible to danger.
- The lawn you’re about to mow has to be free of toys, wires, and rocks which can damage the blade.
- When turning, you need to slow down first in order to prevent the machine from tipping over.
- It’s important to make sure the machine isn’t left unattended while still running.
- You must understand the essential parts of the mower: read the manual properly before using the machine.
- Know how to quickly stop the engine of the machine in case of an emergency.
- Always make sure you stop the machine when someone comes into the yard in order to lessen the odds of hurting the onlookers or causing an accident.
- Check to make sure that the operator-presence control system of the mower is functional as it helps shut off the blade in the event that the operator gets down from the machine.
- Make sure that there is no debris in the blade’s drive belt and it is at the appropriate tension.
- You’re advised to put on the right attire for the task which includes close-fitting clothes, safety boots, and long pants. You also need to wear heavy work gloves properly in order to guard the hands against the blades and other sharp items.
- Avoid mowing uphill when mowing on a slope if the grade is higher than ten degrees.
How to maintain your riding lawn mower
Do you have a sloppy yard with a lot of landscaping features such as flowerbeds and trees? Ride-on lawn mowers are designed to make mowing such a yard easy with intuitive design, easy maneuverability, and three-in-one convertibility from bagging to side discharge to mulching. Make sure you regularly maintain and tune-up your mower to keep it in tip-top condition. Here are some tips you could find useful for its maintenance.
Replace worn drive belts
Follow the user’s manual to take out and change a worn-out drive belt. Also, this may involve taking out the mower’s deck. In general, deck belts are relatively easy to replace. Be extra careful to change and properly position any brackets or belt guides moved in the course of the procedure.
As recommended, change the oil when the engine of the machine is warm. Many ride-on mowers are outfitted with a plastic hose and a push-pull drain plug. In the event that the engine is equipped with an oil filter, make sure you put some oil on the rubber-sealed gasket before you install.
Use an oil spout or funnel when you change the oil, and ensure you don’t overfill. Periodically check the gauge as you fill. If there is an oil filter in the engine and it was replaced, you need to re-check the level of the oil after the engine is run, and the oil filter will hold some oil.
If there are removable caps on the battery, periodically check the water level, and add purified water as required. Use a wire brush to clean rust battery terminals so as to guarantee maximum starting power and appropriate running of the charging system of the engine. To avert accidental shorts, we recommend you to cut off the negative cable and re-join it firstly.
Check air filter
Frequently check air filters, particularly when using the machine in dusty environments or if the machine is ejecting lots of dry chaff. To get rid of loose debris, tap the air filter on a solid surface and change it when it’s no more effective.
Don’t use stale gas
Don’t utilize stale gas or gas that has spent more than three weeks. Drain the old gas into a can and pour it into the gas tank of your car to dispose of it safely. The little amount won’t cause any harm to your car, so don’t worry about that.