What to Look for in a Riding Lawn Mower?

Last updated: November 17, 2020
Published 3:02 pm

Introduction

If you have a lawn, whether large or small, then you definitely need a lawnmower to maintain it and keep it short. There are various types of lawnmowers, and the riding lawn mower is one of them; it is the ideal type of lawnmower if you have one or more acres of grass. Riding lawnmower, also called the “ride-on” lawnmower, is a lawnmower that is operated like a car. It is operated in a way that the user sits inside the vehicle and uses a steering wheel to control and maneuver the machine. It looks a lot like a small tractor, and unlike the other types of lawn mowers that need to be pushed or towed, it is driven and has gears that control it.

There are various kinds of riding lawn mowers on the market, and this makes it challenging to choose the best one for your lawn. There are a lot of things that need to be considered before purchasing a riding lawnmower. Lawnmowers are generally very expensive, and a riding lawnmower would not come at a low price; you don’t want to get a lawnmower that is not compatible with your lawn.

Choosing the right lawnmower for your lawn can be frustrating, but we’ll look into some basic facts that make the experience much easier in this article. Riding lawn mowers can be power gas or battery. The battery-powered type operates more quietly than the gas-powered, but the battery power can only last for a short time; a back-up battery may be needed. It also comes in different shapes and sizes; there are smaller riding lawn mowers with 14-horsepower engines that can cut an acre of grass with ease and heavy-duty types used for lawns with over five acres of grass.

How Do Riding Lawn Mowers Work

Riding lawn mowers are very similar to cars; it has gears and controls that make it easy to maneuver the machine. There’s a seat on the deck of the machine where the user is to sit and control the machine. It features brake and acceleration pedals to control the acceleration system of the machine. Some lawn mowers come with steering wheels, while others have levels that allow the user to easily guide the mower. These controls allow the lawnmower to move back and forth to avoid obstacles or turn in one place. Riding lawn mower blades are located beneath the deck; they are horizontal blades and are beside each other. These blades rotate really fast and cuts grass at the height set by the user. Riding lawn mowers, just like other lawnmowers, have dials or buttons that let you adjust the height and speed of the blade; these are usually at the top of the deck for easy access. Riding lawn mowers are often preferred to push lawn mowers because it has wider decks, which means it can cut wider sections at once, requiring little or no physical labor.

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Factors to Consider When Buying a Riding Lawn Mower

The size of the lawnmower

Lawnmowers come in different sizes from the small-sized mowers with smaller cutting decks and the larger types that look like farm tractors. The cutting deck of the lawnmower is what determines its size. Some riding lawn mowers have decks that are of the same width as large-sized push-mowers, while some heavy-duty riding lawn mowers large cutting decks that can cut a large section in one drive.

The size of lawnmower you’ll buy depends on the size of your lawn. If your lawn is large and relatively open, you need to buy a lawnmower with a large cutting deck. Look out for lawnmowers that are at least 50 inches wide; this is so you can save time when cutting. If you have a lot of obstructions on your property like trees, gates, and shrubs, you may need to get a small-sized lawnmower. You want your lawnmower to be small enough to fit into tight spaces and can handle sharp turns and curves with ease. You should look into getting a mower that is about 30 to 40 inches wide.

Getting the ideal size of lawnmower for your lawn is just as important as getting a mower that works. The right size of lawnmower helps you save time and saves you from stress and frustration.

Topography

The topography of your property is another crucial factor to think about; this is because some riding lawn mowers are built for even ground while others are designed to handle the uneven ground. If your property has an even ground, you can purchase any type of mower, including the zero-turn-radius model. If there are a lot of hills on your property and it has uneven terrain, you should go for lawnmowers with a low center of gravity, great traction, and a broad stance. You need a sturdy mower with tires that can grip the ground firmly; you won’t want your lawnmower sliding down a hill when it’s supposed to climb it. A yard tractor is the ideal tractor for an area with uneven terrain; it is designed to be sturdy and well balanced on any type of terrain. It has a wide cutting deck of about 52 inches and works perfectly even on wet grass.

Type of Transmission

Power is transferred from the engine of the lawn mower to its wheels by the transmission; it controls the speed of the lawnmower and alters its torque when necessary. It also allows the lawnmower to move backward or forward, and without it, the mower is useless. There are three different types of transmission; gear-driven or manual, automatic, and hydrostatic transmission. Choosing the ideal type of transmission depends on your skill level and the topography of your lawn.

The manual or gear-driven transmission is found in old lawn tractors and is similar to those found in sports cars. The user has to manually shift the gears to control the speed of the machine and this provides the user with maximum control of the mower. To control the speed of the mower and change the gear ratio, the user has to engage the clutch and change the gears manually. Operating manual transmission can be difficult, especially if you don’t know how to drive “stick” vehicles. This type of transmission is preferred by people because it is more affordable and ideal for lawns with little to no obstacles or hills. The user has full control over the speed and maneuverability of the mower.

Automatic transmissions are much easier to drive. The engine transfers power to the wheels by a belt and pulley system. It doesn’t need gears to change the speed; rather, it has a pedal that increases the acceleration when it is pushed with your foot. Some may come with a fender-mounted lever that needs to be pushed. Lawnmowers with automatic transmissions work much quicker than the manual types because you don’t have to stop the car to change gears. It is also easy to maneuver, especially in lawns with hills and obstacles.

The hydrostatic transmission is a type of automatic transmission; it uses hydraulic fluid to transmit power from the lawn mower’s engine to the wheels. It is the most popular type of transmission on the market because it is easy to use and does not use belts or gears. With a hydrostatic transmission, making turns around obstacles and changing the speed is easy; all you have to do is press the pedal, and you can almost feel the change in speed. Lawnmowers with hydrostatic transmission are quite expensive, but they provide smooth performance and need little skill to operate.

How to Drive a Riding Lawn Mower

If you want to learn how to drive a riding lawn mower, here are some easy steps you can follow

Step one: Put the key into the ignition slot and turn the key in the clockwise direction while pressing the clutch and the break. If you are driving an automatic transmission mower, just turn the key to start the engine.

Step two: Drive the lawnmower towards your lawn using the steering to control it, much like a car. Shift the gear to a low gear if you are using the manual type.

Step three: When you get to your lawn, stop the lawnmower by pushing the brake pedals.

Step four: Lower the blades by pressing the blade engagement button, lift your foot off the brake and drive your lawnmower through your lawn. Use the adjustment dials or buttons on the deck to adjust the cutting height of the lawnmower. Use the gears, or acceleration pedal of you need to change speeds or put the machine in reverse. You can also see How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower?

Conclusion

Riding lawn mowers are the most convenient types of lawnmowers. They are operated by sitting on the deck and have dials that allow you to control its cutting ability. Choosing the ideal riding lawn mower for your lawn depends on the factors listed in this article. These factors have to be carefully taken into consideration before purchasing a riding lawnmower.