What is so special about zero turn lawn mowers?
There are several different reasons that zero turn mowers are better to use in both large and small yards than a standard riding mower. These include:
Since these mowers have duel wheel motors, they can offer the driver a lot more maneuverability. This added maneuverability is due to the fact that you can control each wheel independently. This makes it possible to turn on a dime without having to move forward or backward at the same time.
Shorter mowing time
By using a zero turn mower, you should be able to cut your mowing time in half. Obviously, this can vary from yard to yard, but no matter how many landscaping features or obstacles you have to mow around, the added maneuverability of a zero turn mower will surely shorten your cutting time.
Less fuel consumption
Since you won’t be cutting as long with this type of mower, you will also certainly save on gas. These gas savings won’t take long to add up to savings in your bank account as well.
Another big advantage to running your mower less time is that it will allow you to keep from putting too much strain on the engine. This will, in turn, make it so the engine lasts even longer, which will help to save you more money in the long run.
Cleaner mowing job
Zero turn mowers are also known for having extremely high blade speeds in comparison to a standard riding mower. These higher speeds make it easier to get a much better cut, which will make your yard look that much better.
Another advantage of using a mower with higher blade speeds is that it will chop up leaves and grass very efficiently, which makes it a much better mulching material.
Less trimming necessary
Since zero-turn mowers can get much closer to landscaping features than a standard riding mower, you won’t need to trim around these features manually. This will, again, make your yard work take a lot less time.
Features to consider when choosing a zero turn lawn mower
As you can imagine, there are several different features that you need to take into account when you are looking for a great zero turn mower. In this section, we will go through everything you need to know to find the best model for your yard and cutting needs.
One of the first things that you need to take into consideration is the amount of power that you will need your mower’s engine to have. This will have a direct impact on a multitude of things, such as how much gas is consumed, the rate your mower can cut it, and how fast it can drive. The power level of a mower’s engine is shown as HP, or horsepower, which is the same scale used for cars. The higher the HP, the more power a mower will have.
If fuel efficiency is something that you are worried about, then you will want to go for a mower like the Poulan Pro P46ZX. Since it has a lower amount of HP, it will not consume as much gasoline as a more powerful model. Fuel efficiency results in lower speed and less power tough. To cut tough stuff with ease, you’ll want to shoot for a model with more HP, like the Husqvarna MZ61, which runs at 27 HP.
Fuel tank capacity
Something else that you will want to keep in the back of your mind when you are shopping for the best zero turn mower is the fuel tank capacity. This is usually measured in gallons. Basically, the larger the tank, the longer your mower should run. If you have a larger yard, then you will want to make sure you get a model that has a larger capacity, like the Husqvarna MZ52. Its five-gallon tank will make it much easier to cut your whole yard without having to refuel midway through.
Of course, something else that should play into this decision is the fuel efficiency with which your mower operates.
More powerful engines are going to need more fuel, so you’ll want to avoid a model that has a small tank and a lot of HP. Ideally, you should look for a mower that can offer you a large tank with a less powerful motor, since that will help to make sure that the gas in the tank can last a lot longer.
Something else that you will want to carefully consider before you finalize your mower purchase is how wide you need your new machine to be. The wider the mower, the more it will be able to cut, which will help to cut your mowing time immensely. If you truly want to get the widest cutting mower possible, then you should definitely check out the Snapper 360Z, which has a cutting width of 52 inches.
Of course, even though these mowers are incredibly maneuverable, you don’t want to get one that is too wide for any spaces on your property. Wider mowers are also going to be more expensive, so bear that in mind when you are looking over your options. The 46 inches of cutting area offered by the Poulan Pro P46ZX may work well in a smaller yard.
Cutting height and number of height positions
As you can imagine, not every yard is the same. This could also be said for the people that are going to be cutting the grass there. Some folks like their grass to be nice and short, while others like it a little bit longer. Grass should also be cut at different lengths based on the time of year. No matter how you intend to cut your grass, it is a good idea to get a mower that allows you to cut at different heights. That way, you can ensure that your lawn is cut to a healthy length for the time of year, and to your liking as well.
If you are looking for the best mower for residential use, then you probably can save a bit of money and go with a mower that doesn’t offer quite as many cutting positions.
Most mowers offer up to thirteen different cutting positions, and can usually be adjusted from 1.5 inches to 4 or 4.5 inches, depending on the mower. Even a mower that only offers six cutting heights should be more than enough for home use.
The overall dimensions of a zero turn mower is another point that you should carefully consider. Even if you get a model that can be folded down, these are not small machines. You need to be sure that you carefully measure the storage space you have so that you are certain you can fit your new mower easily.
You also need to take the overall dimensions of your new mower into account if you are looking for the best overall zero turn mower for commercial use. If you have a lawn care business, then odds are you are going to need to take your new mower with you to a bunch of different locations. Before you make your final purchase, take the time to carefully measure your trailer or transport vehicle, so that you won’t have any issue fitting your mower when it comes time to load it up.
As with any big purchase, you want to make sure that you get a good warranty when you are purchasing a zero turn mower. Otherwise, you could end up having to foot the bill for accidental or incidental damage to the mower. When looking for a warranty, however, make sure that you read through the fine print very carefully.
Some companies will put out a warranty that claims an enormous length of coverage time without actually covering the entire mower. You should be especially careful when you look at a model that only offers a limited warranty, as this usually means that certain aspects of the mower, such as the motor or blades, won’t be covered if something happens to them.
How to maintain your zero turn mower
A zero turn mower is an expensive purchase, so you need to be certain to take good care of it. Here are some quick tips to help extend the life of your mower for a good long time. Each of these tips should be applied before, during, and after the cutting season to make sure your mower is running to its full potential.
- Check the air filter – Air filters help to keep the engine running smoothly by preventing dust, dirt, and grass clippings from entering it. They can become clogged, however, so take the time to check and clear them regularly.
- Clean the mower deck – Since this is the place that sees the most action when you are cutting, the mower deck can quickly become gummed up by yard clippings and debris. It is critical to remove this excess buildup regularly. Otherwise, your mower deck will begin to rust and won’t cut as smoothly, since things will be blocking the blade’s path.
- Sharpen the blades – Even though you are only cutting grass with your mower’s blades, they will become dull over time. A dull blade will tear your grass rather than cutting it, which will make your yard look a lot less neat and trimmed than you would like it. The blades should be sharpened 2-3 times per year so that they can cut as well as they should.
- Check the tire pressure – If your tires don’t have enough air in them, then you may start to notice that your yard isn’t being cut You should check the tire pressure at least once a month, and add air to any tire that is underinflated. That way, you can be sure you are getting a nice even cut every time.
- Change the oil – Much like a car, a zero turn mower needs to have its oil changed every once in a while to make sure all of the moving parts in the engine are working correctly. You should change the oil after every 75 hours of use to keep the engine running smoothly.
- Remove gas before storage for the winter – After the cutting season is over, be sure to remove any leftover gas from the tank. This will help to prevent the gas from going bad within the engine, which could have a negative effect on the mower’s performance.
- Store your mower properly – Finally, make sure you have an enclosed space to store your mower so that it is out of the weather. This is a large investment, after all, so the last thing you want to do is keep it out in the weather to get rusted and ruined.