Zero turn mowers look a lot like conventional ride-on mowers, but they have a few key differences. As the name implies, a zero turn mower has a turning radius of zero. That means that they can turn on their own axis, eliminating the need for wide turns. They also tend to have more powerful engines. These attributes make for some very attractive benefits, but you shouldn't necessarily ditch your ride-on for a zero turn mower, especially since they are usually more expensive than traditional rideable alternatives.
Here's a quick guide to help you decide.
Signs You Might Need a Zero Turn Mower
- You Need More Manoeuvrability: It should come as no surprise to learn that enhanced manoeuvrability is one of the most important advantages that comes along with a zero turn mower. Being able to control each wheel independently means being able to move forwards, backwards, right, and left. You'll be able to turn quickly and efficiently. If your lawn is an odd shape or contains lots of trees, bushes and other impediments, this kind of agility and manoeuvrability is going to make the price of a zero turn mower well worth it.
- You're Dealing with a Larger Area: The fact that you can move so easily also means that you're liable to really cut down on your mowing time. You'll even tend to go faster on the straight thanks to the extra power. This won't be such a big deal if you only have a small lawn, but the minutes saved can quickly turn into hours saved over the course of a summer if your lawn is on the larger side.
- You're Prepared to Pay More for a Better Cut: Though not true of all models, the majority of zero turn mowers boast higher blade tip speeds than traditional ride-on mowers. This means that they cut grass more effectively, leaving you with a better looking garden at the end of each session.
Signs You Shouldn't Buy a Zero Turn Mower
- You're Concerned About Transportation: If you regularly need to load your mower into a truck or transport it in some other fashion, it might be best not to look for a zero turn model. Unfortunately, these mowers are usually significantly heavier than your traditional ride-on mower.
- Your Lawn Has Lots of Slopes: Zero turn mowers have been constructed to ensure maximum stability, but they still shouldn't be used on slopes. The zero turn mechanism just makes riding too unsafe, as does the additional weight. Of course, this won't matter too much if there's only a little sloping space -- you can just use a hand trimmer or older push mower for those areas.
- You Live in a Wet Area: If it tends to rain frequently where you live, zero turn mowers can be less useful. Riding on wet grass increases the likelihood of sliding and losing control. The mower probably won't roll over, but the unexpected movement could damage the grass below.
If you're looking to buy a new lawn mower, consider those offered by a Husqvarna dealer as they'll have many options.