There are two styles of lawn mowers in the market, the conventional riding mower and the the zero turn lawn mower. Obviously this website is dedicated to the latter, however, lets take some time to compare the two.
The conventional riding mower (or ride on mower) can take 4 to 28 inches to turn 180 degrees at the end of each directional cut, while the the zero turn mower can turns on the spot allowing you to get into tight spots. Using a zero turn mower will allow you to cut your grass quicker as you don’t need to go back over spots that you’ve missed with a conventional ride on mower.
There is of course a price difference – with convenience comes cost. The conventional rider is cheaper than the zero turn radius mower with prices ranging from $2,000 to $4,000. Zero turn mowers usually range in price from $3000 to $5000.
Another major difference between the two lawn mowers is the steering system . While the conventional riding lawn mower has a standard steering wheel, much like a car or tractor, the zero tun has two steering handles that separately control the two rear wheels. With the ZTR’s handle style steering, pushing one handle forward while pulling the other back will have you turning on the spot (thus the name zero turn!).
The handle steering does take a little getting used to, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll wonder how you ever cut grass on a standard rider.
You will also notice that most zero turn mowers have their blades positioned out in front. This means that you don’t have two front wheels flatting the grass before the blades have the chance to cut it. With ZTR’s you end up with a cleaner more even cut that on your standard rider.
When you decide to buy a zero turn mower, make sure you buy from a reputable dealer and choose one with a decent warranty.
We’re seeing more and more ZTM’s being bought domestically, which is great as prices seem to be coming down as their popularity goes up. Traditionally only used by well to do golf clubs, we’re seeing more and more people buying zero turn mowers for homes and rural properties.
Should you decide to spend that little bit extra and buy a zero turn lawn mower, you won’t regret it. Since I bought mine 12 months ago, I can’t believe how I ever lived without it. It’s reduced my lawn maintenance time by one third; I use less fuel and get the job done much quicker. The also looks better for it.