You love your lawn but if we’re being honest, mowing it can be a bit of a pain. You want to get it done quickly and efficiently so you can get the chores out of the way and actually enjoy your weekend. And it wouldn’t hurt if mowing the lawn was actually a little fun. That’s where residential zero turn riding lawn mowers, or ZTR mowers, come in. Zero-turn radius mowers offer the benefits of a standard riding mower like being faster and less physically demanding than a traditional push mower but they take things one step further. However, even something so great has to have its disadvantages – one being that many ride-on mowers do not allow for much maneuverability.
These machines take grass-cutting efficiency to the next level by allowing you to steer it with the rear wheels. This means that these powerful lawn mowers can turn on a dime, letting you cut around obstacles without leaving patches of uncut grass. This eliminates the need for you to break out the string trimmer to trim around trees, shrubs, and other obstacles, saving you tons of time. But there are a lot of options out there and deciding which model is right for you can be kind of confusing.
Between engine power, deck size, transmission, turn radius, and construction, there are tons of factors that you need to consider. Luckily, we took a look at what’s out there and have come up with our list of the best zero turn riding lawn mowers of 2021. So, if you’re looking to make mowing the grass fast and easy, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for our complete Buyers Guide! Say hello to easier lawn care in 2021.
The Best Zero Turn Lawn Tractors for the Money
- Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro
- Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP
- Ariens Zoom 42 19hp Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin Lawn Mower
- Husqvarna Z254 54″
- Troy-Bilt 25HP 725cc Twin Cylinder 54-Inch Pivot
- Swisher ZTR2454KA Kawasaki ZTR Mower
- Ariens IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower 23 HP Kawasaki FR691 Series
- Troy-Bilt Mustang 54″ 25HP Mower
- Poulan Pro 967639601 61″ Riding Mower
Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro
- 3 speed dual wheel transmission
- 46" cutting deck
- Affordable entry-level model
- 22 HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin engine
Poulan is known for their exceptional outdoor tools and the Poulan Pro P46ZX Briggs V-Twin Pro Zero Turn Lawn Tractor is another example of the brand's fine craftsmanship. It's powerful, well-made, and, compared to some other models on our list, relatively affordable.
Engine and Transmission
The P46ZX is an impressive entry-level zero turn and runs on a powerful 22 HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Pro Series Engine. This allows it to mow up to 2.4 acres per hour and its smooth, dual-wheel hydro transmission allows you to control each wheel independently for precise, easy maneuverability.
Design and Performance
The dual hydro-gear EZT drive system is very impressive and gives you maximum control. And with a sturdy 46" twin-bladed reinforced steel deck, it makes wide cutting swathes as you drive across your lawn. Electric Clutch Blade Engagement allows you to get the blades going easily. And a top speed of 6 mph and a generous 3.5 gallon fuel capacity means that this mower is fast and efficient.
This Poulan ZTR Mower features adjustable cutting height settings that can be adjusted in ½" increments from 1.5" to 4". A digital hour meter helps you keep track of time while 3 anti-scalp rollers ensure that you don't damage your lawn. For comfort, this mower was designed with a 15" extra high seat back and dual levers with ergonomic, foam-padded hand grips. And for durability, it was designed with a sturdy welded frame and caster wheels while its 46" deck is covered by a 10 year warranty.
Husqvarna MZ61 27 HP
- Hydrostatic transmission
- High speed of 8.5 MPH
- Very comfortable to operate
- Impressive 27 HP Briggs and Stratton V-Twin engine
One brand that has become synonymous with riding mowers is Husqvarna and the MZ61 Zero Turn is a true workhorse that can tackle any grass condition that you throw at it.
Engine and Transmission
The Husqvarna MZ61 is backed by an impressive 27 HP Briggs and Stratton Endurance V-Twin engine that delivers the power you need to tackle thick lawns quickly. And its commercial-rated Hydrogear ZT3100 hydrostatic transmission is smooth and powerful enough to let you attach large accessories like spreaders, carts, and aerators.
Design and Performance
This powerful zero turn tractor is designed with an extra-wide 61" cutting deck that will make quick work out of even the largest lawns. A pedal assisted cutting deck lift, adjustable cutting height from 1.5" to 4.5", and a 3-blade cutting system is perfect for easy, precise operation. And with a fantastic top speed of 8.5 MPH, you can mow up to 4.2 acres in only one hour.
Husqvarna has earned a reputation for manufacturing high-quality, well-designed mowers and the MZ61is no exception. For durability, it was constructed with a heavy-duty steel frame, a sturdy fabricated steel deck, and aluminum spindles. For comfort, it features a high seat with armrests, ergonomic adjustable steering levers, and foam-coated lap bars. A 5 gallon fuel tank ensures that you have more than enough gas to get the job done and the removable foot pan helps make cleanup a breeze.
Ariens Zoom 42 19hp Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin Lawn Mower
- Cuts lawns quickly
- Very comfortable seat
- Easy to control
- Works well on wet grass
If you're looking for an affordable zero turn mower for small or medium yards, Ariens Zoom 42 ZTR Mower is one of the best options available today. Receiving consistently solid reviews, it's a great way to make mowing the lawn fun, fast, and easy.
Engine and Transmission
The Ariens Zoom 42 runs on a 19 HP, 660 CC Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin engine that's more than capable of mowing through dry or wet lawns with ease. And with a smooth hydrostatic transmission, automatic drive system, and electric PTO, operating it is as simple as driving a car.
Design and Performance
The Zoom 42 is designed with a 42" cutting deck. While this width means that it might take a bit longer to mow large properties than a wider model would, it's perfect for small or medium lawns as well as navigating around obstacles and through tight spaces. And for added versatility, it also works very well whether you are mulching, side discharging, or rear-bagging. And for added precision, the cutting height can be adjusted from 1.5" to 4.5".
These mowers are designed with durability and comfort in mind. It's sturdy and features a 42" stamped steel deck and a washout port for easy cleanup. And for comfort, it was designed with a comfortable high-back seat and foam covered handles which help reduce user fatigue even during long periods of operation.
Husqvarna Z254 54″
- Powerful 24 HP Briggs and Stratton V-Twin engine
- Smooth hydrostatic transmission
- 54" wide cutting deck is great for large properties
Mowing a large lawn takes power and a wide cutting deck, that's where the Husqvarna Z254 54" Zero Turn Garden Tractor comes in. This workhorse is designed to make cutting the grass simple, fast, and relatively maintenance-free.
Engine and Transmission
The Husqvarna Z254 is powered by a 24 HP Briggs and Stratton Endurance Series V-Twin engine that's capable of a maximum forward speed of 6.5 MPH. And its EZT Hydrostatic transmission is maintenance free and provides smooth power and performance. And an auto-choke system provides easier startup, eliminating the need for user input under normal starting conditions.
Design and Performance
The 54" cutting deck of the Z254 makes wide cutting swathes, allowing it to get the job done in record time. And Air Induction Mowing Technology lets it draw air from the top and bottom of the cutting deck, delivering improved grass lift for a superior cut. For precision, it's equipped with a deck-mounted deck lift system which allows you to select the perfect cutting height while sitting in the driver's seat.
This is a rugged, durable ZTR mower that is sure to withstand years of heavy use. The cutting deck is built from stamped steel that's reinforced with heavy flat-stock steel and aluminum spindles for improved strength and durability. And sturdy 6" front casters with pneumatic tires allow it to tackle various lawn conditions without damaging the turf. And with an ergonomic seat, padded handles, and the easy-to-reach height adjustment lever, it's one of the most comfortable models to operate.
Troy-Bilt 25HP 725cc Twin Cylinder 54-Inch Pivot
- Traditional steering wheel
- Large 54" cutting deck
- Can navigate hills and inclines easily
When a brand has been building some of the most popular lawn mowers around since 1937, you know they know what they're doing. Troy-Bilt does it again with the 25 HP Mustang Pivot 54 Zero Turn Rider. This impressive model makes mowing the lawn easier than ever before since it's controlled with a traditional steering wheel.
Engine and Transmission
Backed by a 25 HP 725cc Kohler Twin Courage engine, this ZTR mower can take on massive lawns with ease. And its twin hydro dual EZT transmission offers superior 'Power Take Off' technology, allowing it to engage the cutting blades quickly and easily. And with a maximum forward speed of 7 MPH and a max reverse speed of 2.5 MPH, you can get the job done in record time.
Design and Performance
This model features an extra-large triple blade 54" cutting deck that's great for making quick, wide swathes across any lawn. And, thanks to the SynchroSteer technology 4-wheel steering system, Troy-Bilt combines the control of a steering wheel with the precision of a zero-turn mower, allowing you to conquer hills and uneven terrain. For added precision, the Mustang Pivot 54 comes with 8 adjustable height settings so you can choose the perfect cutting height for your lawn.
This is one zero turn riding mower that is built to last. It's constructed of a reinforced heavy-duty steel frame that boasts a limited lifetime warranty. And its long-lasting, greasable front caster wheels are perfect for navigating any terrain. For added user enjoyment, Troy-Bilt designed this machine with an 18" high back UV seat and its cruise control setting means all you have to do is steer the wheel to mow your lawn.
Swisher ZTR2454KA Kawasaki ZTR Mower
- Unique, comfortable handle operation
- Powerful 24 HP Kawasaki engine
- 8 gallon fuel capacity
- Maximum forward speed of 8 MPH
With over 6 decades of experience, Swisher knows a thing or two about making high-performance, high-quality outdoor tools which is probably why the Swisher ZTR2454KA is one of the best models out there today.
Engine and Transmission
The Swisher ZTR2454KA is built with a 24 HP Kawasaki FR730V Engine and Hydro Gear 2800 transmission with an Ogura clutch. Plus, it's capable of a top forward speed of 8 MPH. With this power, speed, and smooth hydrostatic transmission, it's the perfect option for anyone looking to mow medium or large yards in record time.
Design and Performance
Swisher designed this ZTR mower with a new rapid response control system that delivers optimum comfort and control. Plus, it was designed with short operation handles that are covered with a comfortable grip. This feature is allows your arms to stay in a more natural position compared to models with long steering bars, making it much more comfortable to operate when mowing large properties.
The wide 54" cutting deck comes equipped with 3 Gator mulching blades, allowing this mower to cut grass fast while mulched clipping keep you lawn healthier and neater. And if you want to adjust the cutting height, simply use the foot assisted deck lift to choose the height that's perfect for your needs.
The 54" cutting deck of this workhorse is made from sturdy 11-gauge fabricated steel secured to its commercial grade, heavy-duty welded steel frame. And with useful features like a comfortable seat, cup holder, battery compartment, and a front and rear hitch, it's one of the most well-designed and versatile mowers in its class. Plus, it's a great option for homeowners with larger properties since it has a generous 8 gallon fuel tank that will reduce downtime and eliminate the need to refuel while mowing your lawn.
Ariens IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower 23 HP Kawasaki FR691 Series
- One of the strongest cutting decks in this price range
- Dial-operated cutting height system lets you choose from 13 settings
- Mulch, side discharge, and rear-bagging capabilities
- Plenty of optional accessories available
Looking for a powerful beast that's capable of turning on a dime while mowing large properties quickly and easily? Look no further than Ariens Ikon-X 52" Zero Turn Mower. With solid power, performance, and durable design, it's one of the best options in its class today.
Engine and Transmission
The Ikon-X 52" Zero Turn Mower runs on a 23 HP/726 cc Kawasaki FR V-Twin engine that's more than capable of delivering the power and speed that you need to tackle any lawn condition. And its duel hydrostatic hydro-gear EZT transmission keeps the action smooth, even at the maximum forward speed of 7 MPH.
Design and Performance
This mower features a wide 52" cutting deck with 3 mower blades that offer a maximum speed of 17,000 feet per minute. With side discharge, mulching, and rear-bagging capabilities, it's incredibly versatile. And its 13 cutting heights, ranging from 1.5" to 4.5", allow you to customize the cut of your lawn to the perfect height.
The fabricated 52" deck of this mower is made from 10-gauge steel with steel spindles, making it one of the strongest options in its class. And the fully tubular steel frame and commercial-grade design of this 635 lb workhorse is why is comes backed by 3 year consumer unlimited hours and 5 year frame and deck warranties. For comfort, this mower was designed with a high-back padded seat with armrests and a dial-operated cutting height selection system. And with several optional attachments and accessories available, it's an impressive and versatile outdoor machine.
Troy-Bilt Mustang 54″ 25HP Mower
- Impressive, fuel-efficient engine
- 54" cutting deck is great for large areas
- Deck wash port for easy wash down
- Easy-to-use controls
Troy-Bilt makes our list of the top zero turn mowers of 2021 again with the Mustang 54" 25 HP Mower. This is one of the best picks out there for anyone who wants to make mowing a large property as quick and easy as possible.
Engine and Transmission
This high-quality mower from Troy-Bilt is powered by an impressive 25 HP Briggs and Stratton Intek Twin Cylinder engine with an added oil filter and a dual hydrostatic transmission. This allows it to deliver reliable power and great performance, even at its top forward speed of 7 MPH. And for added safety, you don't have to worry when you're going in reverse at 2.5 MPH thanks to Troy-Bilt's Reverse Mow Control safety feature.
Design and Performance
This powerful zero turn riding mower is equipped with a 54" high performance cutting deck that's perfect for cutting large lots quickly and easily. With Electric Power Take-Off (PTO), it's easy to engage the blade and get mowing. And for versatility, the cutting deck is easily adjusted between 8 different height settings so you can customize the cut height of your lawn.
This is a comfortable and rugged lawn mower designed for anyone with a large property or demanding yard conditions. The 18" high back seat and dual suspension springs offer a more comfortable ride than many of its competitors and a floating front axle and fuel gauge are convenient features. Plus, the four deck wheels, roller, and 13-gauge aluminum deck can withstand years of heavy use without damaging the terrain and the built-in wash port allows you to easily wash debris away for easy maintenance.
Poulan Pro 967639601 61″ Riding Mower
- Powerful motor and hydrostatic drive transmission
- 5 gallon fuel capacity
- Extra-wide cutting deck
- Very Comfortable to operate
The Poulan Pro P61ZXT 61" Riding Mower is a sure-fire way to quickly and efficiently mow even the largest of yards. With impressive power, features, and the one of the widest cutting decks in its class, it's one of the smartest purchases that any homeowner can make.
Engine and Transmission
The Poulan Pro P61ZXT is equipped with a powerful 26 HP Briggs and Stratton V-Twin Pro Series engine and dual commercial-grade hydrostatic drive system, delivering the power and performance you need to tackle any lawn condition. And with a maximum forward and reverse speed of 8.5 and 3 MPH respectively, you'll get the job done in no time.
Design and Performance
This mower is designed with an extra-wide 61" cutting deck equipped with 3 premium cutting blades that engage on demand with a simple flip of a switch. And to make life easier, the cutting height of the deck can easily be adjusted by using the hands-free, foot-activated deck lift.
Poulan is known for their high-quality outdoor tools and accessories and this ZTR mower was built with the exacting standards that you'd expect. The frame is constructed from steel and the 11-gauge fabricated steel deck is remarkably strong and durable. Two anti-scalp deck wheels and nose roller reduce the risk of turf damage. And for comfort, it was designed with ergonomic, foam-padded steering lap bars, a wide step-through area for easier mounting and dismounting, an 18" high-back seat with arm rests, and even a built-in cup holder.
Buyer’s Guide To Zero Turn Lawn Tractor
What to Look for When Buying a Zero Turn Riding Lawn Mower
We know the right zero turn lawn mower can seem a bit confusing but it doesn’t have to be with the help of this buying guide. When you’re ready to buy a zero turn riding lawn mower there are a few key factors that you should consider. By keeping the following things in mind, we guarantee you’ll find the model that’s perfect for your needs. So let’s take a quick walk through the buying process.
When it comes to riding lawn mowers, what’s under the hood really matters. Engine size and horsepower are two of the most critical factors to consider when purchasing a zero turn lawn tractor. But the more powerful the rear engine, the more money you can expect to pay. But by taking a few things into consideration, you can leverage power and price by choosing the right size engine for your needs. There are two kinds of engines commonly used in a residential zero turn mower – single cylinder and V-Twin.
Single cylinder models cost less but they don’t provide the powerful torque that’s offered by their V-Twin counterparts. Because of this, they’re better for smaller properties. You’ll find these engines on many of the entry-level models on the market. V-Twin powered ZTR mowers are more expensive but deliver more power, better gas mileage, and less noise and vibration.
They tend to have longer lives than their single cylinder counterparts and, thanks to their additional torque, they can tackle medium and large yards very well and can even be used for towing various tools and accessories. The next thing to consider when choosing the right engine is the type of grass that you’ll be cutting.
If you have thick grass or tend to let your lawn go longer than you should between cuts, the extra work can put a strain on less powerful engines, increasing the time it takes to mow your lawn and potentially decreasing the life of your mower’s engine. Also, consider how quickly you want to get the job done.
While many ZTR mowers boast speeds of between 6-8 mph, this doesn’t mean that they’ll deliver impeccably precise cuts at these higher speeds. To zip across your lawn quickly while producing a clean, not rough cut, you also need to ensure that the model you’re looking at has enough horsepower. The more horsepower the mower has, the better it can perform at higher speeds.
After deciding what kind of engine and how much horsepower you need, you should take a look at the deck size of the mower. The wider the cutting deck, the more it can mow with every pass. This means that a larger deck zero turn garden tractor will save you time and will be a great mower for the money. But one size doesn’t fit all. You need to match the size of the deck to your lawn.
A large deck is great for large properties but homeowners with smaller yards or who need to maneuver in between tight spaces are better off purchasing a mower with a smaller deck that is easier to control, especially if it has joystick control. Also, keep in mind that wider cutting decks need more powerful endurance engines to tackle the heavy-duty workload.
While there are some wide models with smaller, more affordable engines, they won’t perform remarkably well. To really reap the benefits of a large cutting deck, you need a high-power endurance engine. But this means that the mower is going to cost you more as well.
So, if you’re going to purchase a ZTR mower with a very wide cutting deck, make sure you can afford to purchase a model with enough torque to handle any mowing condition. Otherwise, you’re better off purchasing a model with a slightly smaller deck.
The next thing to think about is the durability of your new ZTR mower. You want it to be reliable and make sure that it’s able to handle whatever you throw at it. One of the most important factors influencing the durability of a zero turn lawn tractor is the construction of its cutting deck. Mower decks can be made from either fabricated or stamped metal.
Stamped decks are made from lighter gauge steel that’s formed by large presses and molds while fabricated decks are usually welded from heavier plate steel. While both options have advantages, it really comes down to how you’ll be using your mower. Stamped decks are lighter, have a better airflow, and are perfectly suited for bagging and mulching.
Fabricated decks offer better durability and ruggedness, making them the ideal option for professionals who are going to be using their mower frequently and under demanding conditions. They’re also the tool of choice if you’re looking for the most durable option.
Another thing to consider is price. Stamped decks are going to be found on most entry-level models, making them the more affordable option. While mid-range and pro-grade mowers with higher price tags are more likely going to have fabricated decks.
With power, cutting width, and durability in mind, the next thing you need to think about is the maneuverability of the mower. Some models are certified as true zero-turn lawn tractors that can make true 180 degree turns, spinning on a dime. Others might have a slightly wider turning radius, making them tougher to navigate and causing them to leave uncut patches when you change directions.
Finally, don’t forget about comfort! You’re going to be riding this mower for years so you might as well make sure that it’s comfortable and enjoyable. Consider the seats and support offered by the different models out there. By considering things like the height of the seat’s back, whether or not the mower has armrests, and if the seat is ergonomically designed, you’ll be able to find a ZTR mower that is a pleasure to operate and reduces user fatigue.
While there are countless ZTR mowers on the market today, choosing the right one to tackle your lawn doesn’t have to be tough. Just consider your lawn conditions and what kind of engine power, deck size, durability, and comfort you need and your new riding lawn mower will be one of the best purchases you’ll ever make.
A zero turn riding lawn mower is capable of making the chore of mowing your lawn faster, easier, and more enjoyable than ever before. With a turning radius of close to zero degrees, they can maneuver around objects and between tight spaces with ease, allowing you to get the job done in record time. Ready to find the ZTR mower that’s right for you? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ve gone through all the models out there and came up with our list of the top 9 zero turn lawn tractors of 2021. When it comes to design, performance, features, and construction, each of these ZTR models mowed down the competition.
Choosing the Perfect Zero Turn Lawn Mower
If cutting your grass makes you think of weaving around cones at a DMV driving test, a zero turn lawn roller might be perfect for you. Thanks to their design, ZTR mowers can maneuver around obstacles and navigate those tight spaces in your yard far more effectively than conventional mowers. Plus, since they don’t leave any uncut patches of grass when you’re turning, you’ll spend less precious mow time cleaning up your lawn with a string trimmer. But with so many models available, choosing the right one can be confusing.
The most important thing to consider first is the size of your yard. Zero turn garden tractors come in a variety of sizes but, generally, the wider the cutting deck, the more money you can expect to pay. Plus, larger models will have a tough time maneuvering between narrow spaces. So if you have a large property and want to mow it quickly and efficiently, then you should look into a large model with a minimum cutting deck of 52″.
But if you have a small or medium yard, a model with a slightly more narrow mowing deck is more than capable of getting the job done and can potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Once you determine the size or the mower you need, just look at a few of the important specs we discussed earlier in this article, particularly the engine power, durability, and comfort provided by the various mowers on the market.
By using this buying strategy, you’ll be able to find the zero turn mower that’s ideal for your particular needs, making the once tedious chore of mowing the lawn fast, efficient, and maybe even a little bit fun.
Most commercial and residential zero turn garden tractors can make 180-degree turns easily. That’s what’s so great about them! But if you just change directions suddenly the mower will pivot on the rear wheels located on the inside of the turn leaving an unsightly gouge in your turf.
To combat this, simply make a 3-point turn instead. To do this, just stop your mower before turning, move both control levers into reverse, and make your turn when the rear wheels start rolling backward. This method stops rear wheels from damaging the lawn and, with a little practice, can be done in seconds.
Did You Know?
On average, homeowners spend about 4 hours a week caring for their lawn. That’s over 8 days, or 208 hours a year! This is why it’s so important to purchase tools like ZTR mowers that can boost your efficiency and cut down on the amount of time you spend working in your yard.
Additional Information When Buying
You know that you want to invest in a riding mower and you have done your research. You have discovered that not all riding lawn mowers are made the same and that there is a particular type of mower that is of the highest quality and makes light work of even the biggest lawn area – a zero turn radius riding mower. But it turns out that there are many different types of mower machines on the market and you want to determine exactly what makes a zero turn lawn tractor right for you. Like any high ticket item, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind before purchasing any riding mower, in particular a zero turn one. These main considerations are detailed below:
Is it certified zero turn? – Don’t be fooled by some imitation zero turn riding lawn mowers that claim to be zero turn, when in fact they are ‘nearly zero turn.’ Nearly zero turns are not the same thing and is one way to ensure disappointment when you discover that you cannot reach a particular corner of your lawn, or that you cannot properly navigate around a particular obstacle on your property. Read the product description properly, and make sure that it has the dual lever operating system as opposed to the traditional steering wheel.
Durability and comfort – Zero turn riding lawn mowers tend to be given the harder jobs, so their durability is extra important. And although they do tackle large areas quicker than a standard riding mower, comfort is still important. If you are not comfortable, you will not be able to concentrate properly, and will not look forward to creating those neatly manicured lawns. And with a riding mower, it is supposed to make the chore fun and enjoyable! So take a good look at the different seats on the different models and get one that will best support your body. Some come with armrests and some do not, and not everyone is going to find an armrest suitable. Ergonomic seats are generally the most preferable.
What size area do you want to mow? – Different zero turn riding lawn mowers are suited for different sizes of lawns. It is essential to purchasing the right product for your exact cutting needs. Traditionally, zero turn mowers are targeted at people with particularly large yards, so most of the mowers will have larger engines, above the 20 Horsepower size. However, there are still some designed for smaller areas, so if you do have a particularly large area you need to cover, ensure that you get a larger mower with a larger deck size.
What is your terrain like? – Like any mower on the market, zero turn riding mowers tend to work best on flat surfaces with thin, easy-to-cut grass. However, in reality, there is a high chance that you will come across as a sloped area. If this is the case, you need to ensure to buy the right product suited for hilly terrain and slopes. As most are designed for thin, flat areas. The rule is for thick, heavy grass, go for a mower with at least 3 cutting blades. This will ensure to cut the grass correctly and not left to mulch up, even if you are working with hilly terrain. Smaller decks are actually better for sloped areas as they allow for better maneuverability and are less inclined to create a rut.
Different Levers – Unlike ordinary riding mowers, zero turn mowers are controlled using two separate levers as opposed to a single steering wheel like those found in a car. The levers can take a bit of getting used to, and there are different types of mowers, shapes, and styles of levers on different models of mowers. It is a good idea to consider what you would find easiest to operate so as to ensure that you do not have trouble controlling your new mower later on down the track.
What are the different classifications of zero turn riding (ZTR) mowers?
When you think of a zero turn riding mower, you just think of a standard riding mower that simply is able to turn on the spot. However, there are actually different classifications, depending on what you are planning to use it for, how often it will get used, and just how hard it will be to work. The good news is that there will be a suitable zero turn riding mower no matter your requirements. Below is a look at the ZTR riding mower classifications:-
Entry-Level – Perfect for the average family in the suburbs that wants to mow their front and back lawn quickly and easily. These mowers will have all the functionality found on a zero turn ridable mower, but will just be smaller in size and will traditionally only have one or two blades. So while it is perfect for smaller spaces, it will be no good for professional landscapers. The best value for money for the average family.
Mid-Grade – Mid grade zero turn lawn tractors will often feature a higher Horsepower engine than the entry-level, and will have a larger deck so will cover more area quicker. They are still smaller than the heavy-duty mowers, so are recommended for smaller areas. They are more durable than the entry-level mowers as well.
They will generally be more comfortable than the entry-level ZTR riding lawn mowers and come with standard features as mowing deck height adjustments that are controlled by foot. There is also a wide variety of engine choices when it comes to the mid-grade ZTR lawn mowers. Kawasaki is a popular engine choice for these mowers but you will also find many built with Kohler or Briggs and Stratton. However, Kawasaki engines are generally considered an excellent choice. Mid-grade ZTR mowers have a starting price of at least $3000.
Semi-Pro – Perfect for the family that lives on a large property that has a large yet easy to manage an area of lawn. Semi-pro zero turn mowers are also favored by professional landscapers as they are so easy to use, and can be used on a variety of different sized areas with ease. They are able to be used every day without getting worn out, and the seats and levers tend to be more comfortably designed. They also have larger gas tanks, and can often mow up to 5 acres on a single tank.
They can accelerate for up to 8 miles per hour and are equipped with a host of features such as adjustable armrests, a high back seat as well as various cup holders. The frames are made from the heavier gauge and they also have heavy-duty transmissions. Pricing generally begins from $4000 although this will vary from one manufacturer to another. Semi-pro zero turn radius riding lawn mowers are popular with many landscape entrepreneurs.
Commercial Models – Commercial zero turn mowers are perfect for extremely large areas, commercial zero turn garden tractors are used by professionals and will be seen cutting areas of high importance such as golf courses and community areas. Every aspect of a commercial model is made to a higher standard, and they are the most efficient, handling up to 4 acres in a single hour.
Commercial grade mowers have higher speeds, bigger fuel tanks, bigger mowing decks, and the most powerful engines. They also cost significantly more with a starting price of at least $10,000. These are mostly used by established landscaping professionals. A common commercial mower would be of the John Deer variety!
What accessories can I purchase for my zero turn lawn mowers?
Zero turn mowers are designed differently from standard riding mowers and require a different set of implements and attachments. The kind of accessories that you can purchase depend on the mower in question including model, size, and power. The most commonly used zero turn lawn tractor accessories include the following:-
Single & twin baggers – These are perfect for picking up the grass, that’s just been cut. This will save you massive amounts of time as it will catch the cut grass for you. Leaving your lawn unspoiled and perfect.
Mulch kit – A mulcher kit cuts up the lawn clipping and turns them into what is effectively mulch! It eliminates the need to bag the grass separately, whilst mulching the lawn at the same time. Very handy!
Tow behind carts – Not so common with zero turn products, however, it is a cart that is towed behind the tractor. You can store tools or other garden products in one easily.
Rear sprayers & spreaders – Suited for smaller farms, a sprayer, and a spreader are used to apply products like chemicals, seeds, and fertilizer evenly over the crops or soil.
Lawn sweepers – Used to collect leaves from the grass, simply ride the mower over the left and they are swept into the waiting bag. Significantly easier than raking during the fall.
Headlights – Special lights that attach to the front of the mower near the levers and allow for extra lighting for mowing. The light is directed in front of the mower.
Non-slip floor mats – Zero turn mowers have large footrest areas, and constant stepping up and down from damp grass can cause the footrests to get wet which can cause a slipping hazard.
What is the warranty?
The warranty should not be underestimated! Riding mowers and in particular zero turn lawn tractors are not cheap, quick investments, so you will be want to get years of use. There are different levels of warranties, and some warranties only cover certain parts of the mower, such as the mowing deck or the engine. Ensure to hunt for a mower with 3 years or more of warranty. Take the time to look and understand the terms and conditions to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
What’s The Best Zero Turn Commercial Mower?
The Swisher 66″ mower gets our vote from the Top9Rated team, but don’t just take our word for it, view the full commercial video below.
Saying that a mower has zero turn capability might not sound like much, but there is a good reason why everybody is clamoring to get their hands on one. Once you use a riding mower that can turn on its axis, you will wonder how you ever used a traditional mower. Basically, you will know that a mower is zero turn when you see two levers to control the mower rather than a traditional steering wheel. The levers can be pulled independently of each other, which is why these mowers are able to perform what would be seemingly impossible turns. There are many different commercial and residential zero turn mowers on the market, so no matter what your needs and lawn size, there will be a perfect one for you to turn your least favorite chore into one that you look forward to!