How To Choose A Riding Lawn Mower
If you have a larger garden and you would prefer to spend your weekends relaxing and enjoying your outdoor space instead of the interminable grind of pushing your mower up and down for hours on end, then consider purchasing a riding lawn mower or lawn tractor. With such choice out there, the features and accessories to decide upon may seem intimidating but ask yourself these few simple questions and you will narrow down your options to the right type of mower for the job within minutes. You’ll be sipping your iced tea on your sun lounger, admiring with satisfaction your beautifully manicured lawn before you know it.
How large is your lawn?
Over half an acre and you could go for a riding mower with a cutting width of around 25-32 inches. A large lawn tractor with its more powerful engine and wider cutting width of between 32-50 inches is more suitable for areas of one acre or more. However, there are other considerations to take into account such as whether you have any gates to get through or whether you require a high level of maneuverability.
Do you have lots of landscaping or obstacles on your lawn?
A zero turn mower turns where it stands, giving much greater maneuverability, although the steering might take a bit more getting used to. If your lawn slopes as well, an all terrain mower is better designed to cope with this and also with rougher ground.
What do you want to do with the grass clippings?
Mulching your clippings is environmentally friendly. The blades chop the clippings until they are very small, eventually spraying them back onto the lawn. This avoids the need for disposal of the clippings and also acts as a compost for the lawn, removing the need for fertilizer. An alternative option is a rear collection feature for a more formal finish.
What kind of transmission do you prefer?
Most common is the manual transmission but there is also a hydro-static transmission, which is more expensive but easier to use and can give you greater torque. Less common and most expensive is electric transmission.
What accessories are right for you?
Consider this carefully as accessories can bump up the price alarmingly. These accessories can add massively usable functionality to your ride-on mower but remember you have to buy and store them when not in use. Options include:
- Tow-behind aerators
- Leaf blowers
What is your budget?
You can pay no more than around $1000 for the most basic models or more than $6,000 for top brand top of the range lawn tractors. In some cases, depending on brand and features, you could even pay up to $15,000. Consider your needs balanced with affordability before you splash the cash. A large number of riding mowers and lawn tractors come in at around the $3,000 to $4,500 mark, which seems more reasonable for the average Joe.
Other points you might want to think about could include where you are going to store the machinery and fueling the mower. Finally, on the subject of emissions, if you want to be environmentally friendly, go for a mower with low emissions. In fact, if you live in a place like California, only certain mowers can be used in order to comply with strict laws on levels of emissions.