Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Rough Terrain

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When it comes to mowing on rough terrain, riding lawn mowers are a great alternative to walk-behind mowers. You can easily drive them along slopes or bumpy hills while cutting the grass to the desired length with less effort.

If you are in the market for a powerful and efficient riding lawn mower for rough terrain then you’ll love our recommendations. In this article, we reveal 7 best riding lawn mowers for rough terrain that will serve you really well.

In a hurry? Check our top three recommendations below:

Top 3 Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Rough Terrain in 2022

Editor’s Choice
Husqvarna MZ61
Husqvarna MZ61
  • Comes with a Roll-Over Protection System for safer operations.
  • High back seat with armrests, foam-padded hand grips for greater comfort.
  • 24 HP Kawasaki engine offers a top speed of 8.5 mph.
Best Budget
Husqvarna YTH18542
Husqvarna YTH18542
  • 18.5 HP Briggs and Stratton Engine ensures remarkable lawn mowing operation.
  • Tight 16 in. turning radius enables users to mow in tighter spaces.
  • Adjustable 13-inch mid-back seat for comfort.
Highest Rated
Husqvarna Z254
Husqvarna Z254
  • Removable foot pan enables easy access to the top of the mowing deck.
  • 54-inch cutting deck enhances exceptional mowing performance on lawns.
  • Rubber bellows prevent debris from entering the control system.

1. Husqvarna MZ61

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 27 HP Briggs & Stratton Engine
  • Cutting Width: 61 inches
  • Cutting Height:  12 positions, ranging from 1.5-4.5 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (Mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately).
  • Warranty:  4 years
  • Weight: 770lbs
  • Number of Deck Positions: 12
  • Deck Thickness: 11 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 3 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 22 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 13 inches

Pros:

  • It has an air induction mowing technology that improves grass lift.
  • The MZ61 is equipped with a high-back seat with armrests, foam-padded hand grips to provide maximum comfort while mowing.
  • Its hour meter with service minder simplifies routine maintenance tasks.
  • The riding lawn mower runs on a versatile and effective engine that enhances a superior mowing performance on lawns.

Cons

  • It is a bit pricey.
  • Not the best for smaller yards.

The Husqvarna MZ61 is a versatile and efficient longest lasting zero turn mower capable of handling medium to large-sized yards. The mowing machine delivers commercial-grade power and well-suited ergonomics.

Design

The MZ61 runs on a powerful 27 HP Briggs and Stratton engine which includes chrome plated valves, premium air filtration, and an oversized cooling fan for a superior mowing performance.

The rollover protection system ensures improved safety while mowing on uneven terrain. It has an hour meter with a service minder to simplify routine maintenance tasks. 

The high-back seat with armrests, foam-padded hand grips provides maximum comfort while mowing.

Cutting Power & Performance

The sturdy and long-lasting 61-inch cutting deck offers efficient mowing on lawns. Its three cutting blades offer a smooth and nice cut on lawns.

The air induction mowing technology enhances an improved grass lift and delivers superior cuts on lawns.  It has 12 cutting heights which can be adjusted from 1.5-4.5 inches to meet your mowing requirements.

Speed

The MZ61 has a top speed of 8.5 mph which enables you to mow your yard in a short time.

Accessories

The ztr supports a host of accessories. You can discharge, mulch or bag grass clippings via a 9-bushel triple bag system. Other accessories such as a trimmer rack and sunshade ensure an improved mower performance.

Read Husqvarna MZ61 Full Review

2. Husqvarna Z248F

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 21.5 HP Kawasaki Engine
  • Cutting Width: 48 inches
  • Cutting Height: 6 positions, ranging from 1.5-4.0 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (Mulching kit and bagger kit sold separately).
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 656 Pounds
  • Number of Deck Positions: 6
  • Deck Thickness: 10 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 3 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 18 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • The Z248F is equipped with LED headlights which ensures safer operations in dark conditions.
  • The 48-inch ClearCut fabricated cutting deck drives the cutting blades for superior cutting performance on lawns
  • Its deck lift system is spring assisted for easy mowing operation.
  • The rubber bellows prevent moisture from gaining access into the control system.

Cons

  • Accessories such as mulch and bag kits are sold separately
  • Some users complained about zero-turn transmission tearing up their lawns.
  • The steering bars might be difficult to operate.

The Husqvarna Z248F comes with a sizable cutting deck of 48 inches suited for remarkable cutting performance on rough terrains.

Design

The Husqvarna Z248F is equipped with LED headlights which ensures safer operations in dark conditions. The three anti-scalping wheels decrease the risk of scalping on your lawns. It has a deluxe mid-back seat which offers superior support and comfort while mowing.

Its removable footplate enables easy access to the top of the mowing deck. It runs on a powerful and fuel-efficient 21.5 HP Kawasaki engine for a smooth-running performance.

The gas mower comes with a deck lift system that is spring-assisted for easy mowing operation. Its rubber bellows prevent moisture from gaining access into the control system.

Cutting Power & Performance

The riding lawn mower comes with a 48-inch ClearCut fabricated cutting deck which features sturdy and high-performance mower blades for optimal cutting performance on lawns. 

It has six different cutting heights which can be adjusted from 1.5- 4.0 inches to allow you to cut the grass to your desired height. It is best suited for medium to large-sized lawns.

Speed

The lawn equipment has a top speed of 6.5 mph which allows you to mow in a shorter time. 

Accessories

The zero-turn mower’s mulching kit re-cuts grass clippings into tiny pieces to restore nitrogen to the soil while the bag kits collect clippings for easy disposal.

Other accessories such as a zero-turn mower cover, tow behind striping kit also aid the versatility and productivity of the mower.

Read Husqvarna Z248F Full Review

3. Craftsman Z525 for Uneven Ground

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 24 HP Kohler Twin Cylinder Engine
  • Cutting Width: 50 inches
  • Cutting Height: 9 Positions, ranging from 1.25-3.75 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (Mulching kit sold separately).
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Weight: 656 Pounds
  • Number of Deck Positions: 9
  • Cutting Blades: 2 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 20 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • The riding lawn mower has an in-built deck wash that enables easy underside cleaning.
  • The gas mower comes with front and rear tires to ensure smooth mobility on lawns.
  • It has a supportive high back seat for optimum comfort and support while mowing on uneven ground.
  • The Craftsman Z525 can easily trim around objects such as planters, trees and outdoor furniture.

Cons

  • It has a slow speed.
  • The zero-turn mower is quite noisy.

The Craftsman Z525 is a powerful zero-turn mower perfect for mowing medium to large-sized yards.

Design

The zero-turn mower has a high back seat for ultimate comfort and support while mowing. It is equipped with a durable and robust steel frame that ensures an enhanced smooth mowing experience.

The Z525 runs on a versatile and reliable 24 HP Kohler engine for a top-notch mowing performance. Its in-built deck wash enables easy underside cleaning. The machine is easy to start, thanks to its auto-choke feature.

The foot pedal transmission (hydrostatic) allows for a smooth transition in speed and direction. Its 11-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels ensure easy and smooth maneuverability on lawns.

Cutting Power & Performance

The gas mower comes with a 50-inch cutting deck for exceptional mowing on lawns. Its cutting options range from 1.25-3.75 inches to suit your varying needs. It performs well on tall and tough grass.

The riding mower is perfect for handling medium and large-sized yards. Plus, it can easily trim around objects such as planters, trees and outdoor furniture

Speed

The Craftsman Z525 has a maximum forward speed of 5.5mph and a maximum reverse speed of 3.5mph

Accessories

The zero-turn mower supports a mulching kit as an accessory. The mulching kit re-cuts grass clippings into small pieces to restore nutrients into the soil for a healthy lawn 

4. Ariens IKON XD-52

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 24 HP Kohler Engine
  • Cutting Width: 52 inches
  • Cutting Height: 13 Positions ranging from 1.5-4.5 inches
  • Capabilities: Side discharge, Mulching and Bagging (mulching kit is sold separately)
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 681lbs
  • Number of Deck Positions: 13
  • Deck Thickness: 11 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 3 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 20 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • The Ariens IKON XD 52 runs on a 24 HP Kohler engine which ensures power and efficiency for a long time.
  • The sharp and sturdy blades works well on tall and thick grass
  • The Ariens XD-52 comes with a high back seat with armrests to ensure maximum support and comfort.
  • Its safety interlock systems help to reduce the possibility of accidental injuries.

Cons

  • Not the best for smaller yards.
  • The quality of the EZT Transaxles is below standard.
  • Accessories such as headlights, mulch and bag kits are sold separately.

The Ariens IKON XD-52 has a high torque and a durable construction. It operates efficiently on tall and thick grass. 

Design

The gas mower comes with a high back seat with padded armrests for maximum comfort. Its padded levers absorb vibrations while mowing. It runs on a 24 HP Kohler engine that provides power and efficiency for a long time.

The front and rear tires for excellent traction and a smoother ride on lawns while the safety interlock systems reduce the possibility of accidental injuries.

The mower offers hydraulic transmissions which makes it easy to mow through obstacles such as shrubs and trees by manual changing of speeds. The Ariens IKON XD-52 is one of the top rated riding lawn mowers for big men.

Cutting Power & Performance

The riding lawn mower has a 52-inch fabricated deck which enhances an exceptional cutting performance. The cutting blades are sturdy and sharp to mow through tall and thick grass. Its cutting options range from 1.5-4.5 inches to suit your mowing requirements. 

The zero-turn radius technology enables the mower to cut more efficiently because of the 180-degree turn at the end of the row.  The riding mower can mow an acre within 30-40 minutes.

Speed

The gas-powered mower has a maximum forward speed of 7mph and a maximum reverse speed of 3mph.

Accessories

The XD-52 model supports a host of accessories. The mulching kit re-cuts grass clippings into fine mulch to restore nutrients into the soil while the bagger collects grass clippings for a healthy-looking lawn.

Other accessories such as a mower cover, hitch kit, headlights enhance an increased mower performance.  

Read Ariens IKON XD-52 Full Review

5. Ariens Edge 42 inch 19 HP

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 19HP Kohler 6000 Series V-Twin Engine
  • Cutting Width: 42 inches
  • Cutting Height: 7 Positions, ranging from 1.5-4.5 inches
  • Capabilities: Side discharge, mulching and bagging (mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately)
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Number of Deck Positions: 7
  • Deck Thickness: 11 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 2 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 20 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • The 915245 model runs on a versatile 19 HP Kohler engine for a smooth mowing operation.
  • It comes with 11-inch 20-inch rear wheels for excellent traction.
  • The riding mower performs incredibly well on thick and tough grass.
  • It has a high back seat for maximum comfort while mowing.

Cons

  • The mower has a small gas tank.
  • Accessories such as mulch and bag kits are sold separately.

Design

The Ariens Edge 915245 has 11-inch front tires and 20-inch rear tires that offer great traction and a smoother ride on lawns. It runs on a 19 HP Kohler engine for a smooth-running mowing operation

The high back seat with seat springs provides rider comfort while mowing in the garden. In addition, its foot-operated deck lift offers simple deck height adjustments with the slide of a lever. 

The durable zero-turn mower has twin EZT hydrostatic transaxles which aid the easy control of the mower.

Cutting Power & Performance

The riding mower has a 42-inch cutting deck with a four-point hanging system for superb and stable grass-cutting performance on lawns.

Its deck adjustment ranges from 1.5-4.5 inches to enable you to cut the grass to a desired height or size. The zero-turn mower operates efficiently on tall and tough grasses.

Speed

The Ariens Edge riding mower has a maximum speed of 6mph and a reverse speed of 3mph.

Accessories

The 42-inch zero-turn mower supports a host of accessories such as mulch and bag kits for improved mower performance.

6. Husqvarna Z254

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 26 HP Kohler Engine
  • Cutting Width: 54 inches
  • Cutting Height: 6 positions, ranging from 1.5-4 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (Mulching kit and bagger attachment sold separately).
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Weight: 549lbs
  • Number of Deck Positions: 6
  • Deck Thickness: 11 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 3 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 18 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 11 inches

Pros:

  • Its large cooling fans keep the engine operating at an ideal temperature.
  • The three blades operate efficiently on thick grass.
  • The rubber bellows prevent debris and moisture from gaining access into the control system.
  • It has a high back seat for maximum comfort while mowing on hills.

Cons

  • Not the best for small lawns.
  • Accessories such as mulch and bag kits are sold separately.

The Husqvarna Z254 is a durable riding mowing machine capable of carrying out mowing tasks on rough terrain. Its hydrostatic transmission makes it easy to mow acres of grass.

Design

The Husqvarna Z254 runs on a 26HP Kohler engine for superb mowing performance. The robust frame and casters provide maximum durability and its hydrostatic transmission simplify the handling of the lawn mower.

The riding mower comes with a removable foot pan which gives easy access to the top of the cutting deck. It has a high back seat for maximum comfort while mowing.

The Z254 features rubber bellows which prevent moisture from gaining access into the control system.  The big cooling fans keep the engine running at an appropriate temperature and its front and rear wheels enhance stability while mowing on uneven terrain.

Cutting Power & Performance

The riding mower is equipped with a 54-inch cutting deck for efficient and effective mowing on lawns. The mower blades perform well on thick grass and the air induction mowing technology improves grass lift and delivers superior cut.

The Z254 has six different cutting positions which can be adjusted from 1.5-4 inches to suit your varying needs. 

Speed

The zero-turn mower has a top speed of 6.5 mph for fast cutting results.

Accessories

The Z254 model supports a host of accessories such as triple baggers, mulching kit, tow behind striping kit for an increased mower performance.

Read Husqvarna Z254 Full Review

7. Husqvarna YTH18542

  • Power Source: Gas
  • Engine: 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Engine
  • Cutting Width: 42 inches
  • Cutting Height:  6 positions, ranging from 1.5-4 inches
  • Capabilities: Side Discharge, Mulching and Bagging (Mulching kit sold separately).
  • Warranty:  3 years
  • Weight: 443lbs
  • Number of Deck Positions: 6
  • Deck Thickness: 13 gauge
  • Cutting Blades: 2 in the deck
  • Rear Wheel Size: 20 inches
  • Front Wheel Size: 15 inches

Pros:

  • The Husqvarna YTH18542 has led lights that enhance safe mowing in dark conditions.
  •  Its anti-scalp wheels decrease the risk of scalping when mowing on uneven terrain.
  • The riding lawnmower has a cruise control feature that helps to maintain a constant speed while mowing on rough terrains.
  •  The deck wash port is connected to the water hose for easy cleaning of the deck.

Cons

  • The gardening equipment has a small fuel tank.
  • Not the best for large estates like golf courses.

The Husqvarna YTH18542 is a durable riding mower ideal for medium to large-sized yards. Its compact size makes it easy to maneuver on lawns and requires less storage space.

Design

The gas lawn mower comes with headlights that provide safe operation in dark conditions. The cutting deck has anti-scalp wheels which reduce the risk of lawn scalping while mowing on uneven terrain. 

It comes with a cup holder for refreshments and its cruise control helps you to maintain speed on rough terrain.

The adjustable sliding seat moves forward or rearward to optimize operator position. The deck wash port is connected to the water hose for easy cleaning of the deck. It runs on an 18.5 HP Briggs & Stratton engine for a remarkable lawn mowing operation.

Cutting Power & Performance

The YTH18542 model is equipped with a 42-inch cutting deck which enables solid grass cutting performance on lawns. Its blades can mow through tall grass with ease.

It has six cutting positions which can be adjusted from 1.5-4.0 inches to enable homeowners to cut the grass to the required grass height.

Speed

The lawn care tool has a maximum forward speed of 5.5mph and a maximum reverse speed of 2.5 mph.

Accessories

The gas mower supports a host of accessories such as 12.5 C.u. Ft. Poly Swivel Dump Cart, 130 Lb. Tow-behind spreader, mulch kit,bin collectors  to enhance its versatility.

Final Verdict

The Husqvarna MZ61 riding lawn mower is our top pick for rough terrain because it ranks #1 when it comes to efficiency, versatility and great performance.

The Husqvarna MZ61 has a high back seat with armrests, vibration dampeners, foam-padded hand grips to enhance maximum comfort while mowing. Its hour meter with service minder simplifies routine maintenance tasks.

Its 61-inch cutting deck has 12 cutting positions that can be adjusted from 1.5-4.5 inches to enable you to cut the grass to an ideal grass height. The rollover protection system ensures improved safety while mowing on uneven terrain.

Editor's choice
Husqvarna MZ61
  • Comes with a Roll-Over Protection System for safer operations.
  • High back seat with armrests, foam-padded hand grips for greater comfort.
  • 24 HP Kawasaki engine offers a top speed of 8.5 mph.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain

If you are in the market for an ideal riding lawn mower for rough terrain, there are factors to consider which will help you make the right choice. Here are a few of them:

Suspension System

It is important to select a riding mower with a good suspension system. It will allow you to mow properly on rough terrain. A standard suspension seat absorbs shocks to enhance a smooth ride on lawns.

Cutting Deck

The larger the cutting deck, the fewer passes you will have to make over the grass to get the job done. If you have a larger lawn, you will have to purchase the one with a large deck width.

If you have a lawn that is up to half an acre or less, you can purchase a riding lawn mower with a deck size of 40 inches. If the yard is up to 2 acres, get a 42-48 inch mower deck and 50-inches or above for lawns that are larger than three acres.

Also Read: Best Riding Mower For 2 Acres

Powerful Engine

A rugged engine is best suited for mowing on rough terrains. A riding lawn mower that has an engine output that is more than 20 HP is suitable for carrying out your mowing task (s).

Comfort

High back seat with armrests, cup holder, vibration dampening technology is recommended for rough terrain. This will enhance comfortable and easy mowing operations.

Deck Castor Wheels

Ensure that you buy a riding mower with deck castor wheels to guide the deck and give you an even cut while mowing on rough terrain. They also prevent lawn scalping when you are trying to get an even cut on your lawn

Padded Seat Backs and Steering Wheel

Seatbacks offer you stability when riding a lawnmower. If your seat is properly padded, it will prevent back issues and other posture problems. 

The mower’s steering wheel usually vibrates when riding the mowing machine. The best way to reduce the toll on your hands is to purchase the one with a padded steering wheel.  This prevents joint pain, circulatory issues and other associated problems.

Cutting Speed

It is also important to know the cutting speed of the mower before getting it. Ensure that you get the one that has a sharp cutting edge with a cutting speed of 2000 RPM or 2500 RPM.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I sharpen my riding lawn mower blades?

A: If you mow your grass weekly or more, you can sharpen the blade once a month. If the intensity isn’t that much, it can be done once or twice per season.

How much oil does a riding lawn mower take?

A: The amount of oil for a riding lawn mower is usually specified in the manufacturer’s instructions. 
It is important to note that changing of oil is based on the condition of the engine. If you just bought a new mower, you might need to change the oil after the mowing job is done, approximately five to six hours of operation.

Does the best mower for uneven terrain even exist?

A: Yes, it exists. The choice of the rough terrain lawnmowers is based on your mowing needs and budget. In this article, we recommend the Husqvarna MZ61 is the best riding lawn mower for uneven terrain because of its efficiency and great performance on rough terrains.

What attachments can I fit on my riding lawn mower?

A: You can attach mulch kits, bag kits, snowblowers, grass collectors or baggers, roll bars, etc.