Which is Best: Zero Turn Mowers or Riding Lawn Mowers?

posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 in Dealer News

x370 x739 z535 riding mowers

Which is Best: Zero Turn Mowers or Riding Lawn Mowers?

If you’re in the market for new lawn care equipment and are considering either zero turn mowers or riding lawn mowers, you might be wondering, should I buy a zero turn, or is a riding tractor better for my property? The thing is, when it comes to selecting equipment to manage your yard, there is never a one-size-fits all answer—despite what your closest friends and neighbors might advise. Both types of mowers have pros and cons, depending on the setup of your land, the type of work you’re hoping to get done as well as the speed in which you’d like to complete your lawn care. Here are some top considerations to help get you started on making the best decision for your needs.

Zero Turn Mowers are Kings of Maneuverability

Zero turns outrank riding lawn mowers in terms of maneuverability by far. Obstacles like gardens, patios, and trees are easy to work around for this equipment. That’s because zero turn mowers have a tight turning radius of 180 degrees, meaning they can make quick, sharp turns within their own traveling path. This also helps make zero turns a faster ride. A traditional riding mower, however, is only capable of making turns that are wider than the path they’ve traveled. This can create a little more mowing work to account for patches of uncut grass that are left behind within the wider turning circle, and additional manual operation in cases where you have to shift your equipment into reverse to cover the space. That said, zero turns make a great choice for property owners who have a lot of soft or hardscapes to maneuver around.

Manage Tough Terrain with Riding Lawn Mowers

Hilly, uneven terrain is easily managed by a traditional riding mower. They offer greater stability and maintain ground contact along with excellent traction when presented with unlevel underfoot conditions. While steeply sloped properties can pose difficulties for any type of mower, a zero turn is really better suited to more level properties only. That’s because the risk of losing ground contact under these unfavorable conditions is much higher, posing safety risks for the operator.

Riding Lawn Mowers Make Easy Work of Additional Chores

If you’re hoping to use your mower to accomplish more around your property than just keeping your turf at a well-manicured height, a riding tractor offers more options and attachments. While riding tractors and zero turn mowers both offer add-ons and accessories that can turn your equipment into a multi-use machine, you’ll find there are simply more options available for riding mowers, from sprayers and debris collection to versatile multipurpose carts for hauling.

Hit Top Speeds with a Zero Turn

When it comes to speed, zero turn mowers are the faster choice by far, hitting close to double the speed of average riding tractors. If your property is relatively level and you have a lot of acres that need mowing, you can expect to hit speeds between 7–10 mph, depending on the model. Given the right conditions, opting for a zero turn over a riding lawn mower could potentially halve your time spent in the seat mowing.

After considering these top strengths and weaknesses between zero turns and riding tractors, there’s a host of personal preference decisions to be thought through as well. This includes the comfort and convenience features that are most important for you and anyone else who uses the equipment regularly. For example, if you and your partner both use the equipment, having an easily adjustable operator station with a generous range might be a really important factor. Lastly, understanding the total cost of ownership and maintenance practices could also sway you in one direction over the other. Have questions or want to learn more about our available John Deere zero turn mowers and riding tractors? Let our experts at your closest Meade Tractor dealership help guide you through the process.