Riding Lawn Mower vs Zero Turn

riding lawn mower vs zero turnIs the weather warm in your region already? If you live in California or Texas, you might be busy with garden works already. In Michigan, it’s still moderately cold. High humidity and low temperatures don’t promote any outdoor activity yet. But snow is melting soon and garden soil thaws on a dime. Let’s compare riding lawn mower vs zero turn unit right now. Have you got a plot of land? If its area is about an acre or so, you have a lot of work to do. A powerful and versatile piece of equipment is a must. Which type of riding mower should you select? It stands upon your needs, lawn size and terrain.

What Size Zero Turn Machine Do I Need?

Spring is your very best time to solve essential house owner’s tasks. In March, snow might fall while you can’t pank it anymore. It looks like dusting or snow shower. Meanwhile, you are to get ready for gardening works. In Michigan, plants survive only in greenhouses right now.

Plant cool-season vegetables like spinach or broccoli from seeds. Indoors, they start perfectly well. Are you a beginner in gardening? If so, check your local hardiness zone map. It lets you determine suitable planting schedule.

You’ll also have to clean and maintain your yard soon. If it’s large, your best zero turn mower for rough terrain would be helpful. Haven’t you got a tractor yet? Do it within a couple of weeks, considering:

  • its footprint;
  • deck width;
  • engine power;
  • functionality;
  • brand reputation;
  • ease of use and maneuverability.

When will you start mowing your lawn? In Michigan, we do in the first half of April. The day depends on current weather and your grass type. As soon as it starts growing, get your finger out.

See interesting information about best zero turn mower for rough terrain!

How Do Zero Turn Mowers Work?

These powerful pieces of equipment are highly maneuverable. Some of them turn 180, innovative ones even 360 degrees. Zero-turn movers pivot on their footprint. Therefore, they can cut closely around various obstacles, like bushes, fences or trees. Why shall you turn like making a “Michigan left”?

zero turn or lawn tractor for hills

Wide turn radius and slow operation are distinctive lawn tractor’s drawbacks. Coming with a steering wheel, it’s easy to operate and maneuver. But passing around bushes or rocks might become complicated. What is the advantage of a zero turn mower? This piece of equipment is:

  • fast;
  • precise;
  • time-saving;
  • maneuverable;
  • durable;
  • efficient to cut grass evenly.

Due to high speed and maneuverability, it suits commercial applications. Z-turns serve sports fields and golf courses. They enable professional-grade cuts. What is the best zero turn mower for home use? Coming with 42-54” cutting decks, residential unit is powerful but not bulky. It lets you get onto the tightest areas of your yard or lawn. Quite naturally, no machine is completely ideal.

Disadvantages of Zero Turn Mowers

Coming with two levers and two motors, your Z-turn is advanced. Pushing left or right lever, you turn left or right. Featuring two hydrostatic transmissions, this unit might be:

  1. Not the most affordable.
  2. Tricky to operate.
  3. Delicate to care for or maintain.
  4. Bulky and unstable on steep slopes.

Are you a beginner in farming and gardening? You may prefer machine control of riding lawn mower units. They come with brakes and steering wheels, like common cars. Lever system of Z-turn is innovative. It would take you a while to get used to it. In some days or weeks, it becomes intuitive.

Experienced operators prefer lever system, as it enables tight turns. Meanwhile, angle of slope may become critical. Are zero turn mowers safe? Riding them on wet or uneven terrain may become dangerous. It can cause losing control and accidents. Avoid mowing sideways around hills. If they incline higher than 10-15 degrees, be careful. Go slowly with a speed that doesn’t exceed 4-5 miles/hour. For certain applications, it might become not stable and not completely safe.

compact tractor vs zero turn

Is a Zero Turn Mower Better than a Lawn Tractor?

Quite naturally, proper lawn watering is essential. In Michigan, climate change may cause an increase in rain. But spring is still a dry season here. Refreshed glass grows fast. Do you tell the difference between lawn tractor and garden tractor? If so, you easily make an informed choice.

Consider your lawn size, its terrain and available obstacles. Both maneuverability and safety matter. You might need a powerful and fast machine. It would help you to maintain several acres of land easily. Which one meets your farming needs more accurately? Let’s get into details.

FactorZero Turn MowerRiding Tractor
Acres of Land 2-4½-1
Maneuverability smoothhigh
Average Speed, MPH 8 4
Deck Size, “ 36-72 32-52
Machine Control advanced easy
Functionalitymowing, plowing snow, mulching, fertilizingmowing, towing, spraying, aerating, fertilizing
Max. Slope Angle, degrees 10-1520-25

Functionality of each type of mower depends on attachments. Steering mechanism might become critically important.

Will You Choose Lawn Tractor or Zero Turn for Hills?

Z-turns ride on flat terrain with ease. They are unusual in terms of control. However, these machines are durable. They are powerful and efficient. But if terrain in your land is uneven, think over your safety measures. Can zero turn mowers tip over? Coming with large, wide and heavy rear wheels, they are specific by design.

Unpowered front wheels are challenging. Riding uphill might become risky. So, mow your lawn only when the soil is dry. Avoid rainy and windy days. Do you have to go round an obstacle? Do it, while going up the hill, not down. Zero turn mowers on slopes require experience or particular care.

Buy and use an affordable pitch-and-angle reader. Check the slope or consider safer and more suitable options. So, which is better: lawn tractor or zero turn for hills?

Thus, lawn tractor is:

  • more affordable;
  • smaller and easier to control;
  • versatile and functional;
  • cost-efficient;
  • easy-to-maintain.

Riding tractor is a slow, but safe and functional machine. It suits mowing wide, empty areas. If they are free of rocks, trees or bushes, it’s an expedient option. Smooth, stepless slopes and hills will be in order. They don’t throw a wrench in the works.

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Bottom Line

March is a cold month. But it’s a busy time in gardening. Haven’t you bought a suitable mower yet? Get a move on with it. In 2-3 weeks, snow melts and grass starts growing. Which mower meets your gardening needs? It depends on your terrain, land and mowing experience. If your field is large and flat, zero-turn machine is a perfect option. It’s fast, accurate and time-saving. On the opposite, uneven areas require slower but safer and more stable options. Regular lawnmower is a versatile, easy-to-control piece of equipment. It suits beginners in farming, hard-working and thrifty house owners.

Robert W. Sherman

Expert knowledge. Recent research data. That’s all you need to select the best yard accessory. Outdoor cooking is fun. It’s attributed to great holidays and a friendly atmosphere. It will be even more pleasant and easy with a perfect fire pit or smoker.

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