Pros and Cons of Zero Turn Mowers

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A zero-turn mower is an efficient and sturdy mowing machine suitable for both residential and light commercial lawn maintenance. It mows faster than several riding mowers with an average speed of 5-8mph. A zero turn mower comes with special features such as a powerful engine and a large cutting deck. 

In this article, you are going to learn about the pros and cons of a zero turn mower so you know exactly what to expect, if you are looking to buy one.

Pros and Cons of a zero turn mower

Pros

Here are some of the pros of a zero turn mower:

  • Improved maneuverability
    A zero-turn mower has two levers that ensure easy control while mowing. The durable tires enhance a smooth ride while mowing. This will enable you to maneuver around thick and tall grasses, shrubs and boulders. 

    With a zero-turn mower, you can do turns of 360 degrees and 180 degrees with ease. This will lessen additional trimming work after mowing. This is a missing piece in several traditional riding mowers. Read more about Best Commercial Zero Turn Mowers.
  • Efficiency
    It comes with a powerful and versatile engine that enhances efficient mowing. It has a long blade radius which can cut up to 2 to 3 acres in a short time. The zero-turn technology enhances time efficiency.  It performs incredibly well on flat terrains and can cut tall and thick grass.
  • Versatility
    A zero-turn mower provides extra functionality. It supports a host of attachments and accessories which enhances an improved mower performance. Different models have mulching and bagging kits that allow you to mulch and simultaneously bag grass clippings. 

    The bagger options are available in two and three-bucket designs. Some mowers accommodate a snowblower to clear snow or debris. Other attachments such as dump cart, spreader, aerators make the mower versatile.
  • Comfort
    Each model has a power-steering feature which means that you don’t need to struggle with a steering wheel. It comes with a suspension seat and armrests to provide comfort and support while mowing. 

    It supports a canopy (as an accessory) to prevent sunburn during the summer. This will enable you to mow in any area of your choice regardless of weather conditions. 
  • Cleaner cuts
    A zero-turn mower has a remarkable blade speed that enhances a neat and smooth cut. This is not only for residential maintenance but also for commercial purposes. The blades rotate at a high speed to provide a neat and beautiful cut. 

    In addition, it can trim areas that are close to obstructions such as trees and flowerbeds. With a zero-turn mower, you don’t need a string trimmer to trim grass in hard-to-reach spots.
  • A wider range of models
    There are different models of zero-turn mowers that can mow more than five acres of land at a go. It comes with many features that can suit your needs as well as your budget.
  • Saves time
    A zero-turn mower can cut your grass faster than several mowers. While traditional riding mowers have an average speed of 4mph and a maximum speed of 7mph, zero-turn mowers cut grass at an average speed of 5mph and a maximum speed of 10mph. 

    You can mow in a single pass and also eliminate follow-up trimming in a short period. Thus, you don’t need to backtrack to get missed patches. This makes cutting easier and faster. 
  • Ease of use
    Although it might look a bit complex at first, driving it is easier than a lot of traditional mowers with traditional steering. The two levers control speed and directions. You just need to move the levers whenever you want to forward or backward. 

    Also, stopping the mower is quite easy. You need to move the lever to a neutral position to stop the mower. In addition, it comes with a suspension seat to enhance an easy ride while mowing.  
  • Durability
    A zero-turn mower has a high-grade quality build-up. This improves the longevity of its life span.
  • Smoother and Neater Lawn
    Zero-turn mowers have enhanced and improved navigation to achieve a smoother and neater lawn. It helps you to maintain parallel stripes on your lawn. The blades are cut at a fast speed to enhance a neat and smooth cut for your lawn.
  • Extra Safety Feature
    Some zero-turn mowers give users the option to install a rollover protection structure (ROPS) as an extra safety feature. This is a missing piece in several traditional riding mowers.

Cons

Although a zero-turn mower is packed with many benefits, there are a few drawbacks as well. Here are a few zero turn mower problems you should be aware of; if you are planning to add one to your machine set:

  • Unsuitability on wet lawns
    Most zero-turn mowers struggle on wet lawns because the damp soil can stick into the tires and cutting deck. 

    The mower’s caster wheels lose traction when placed on wet lawns. This can cause loss of control and slippage while mowing. The fast-feature damages your lawn when you slip. It is only advisable to use them in dry conditions.
  • Quite expensive
    It is a bit pricey. It ranges from $2000 and upwards. Some experts reveal that a new zero-turn mower can cost the same as the price of three walk-behind mowers. Its cutting deck and hydrostatic transmission require frequent maintenance and this can cost you a lot of money. 
  • Pollution
    Zero-turn mowers are not environmentally friendly. They generate a lot of hydrocarbons which can be harmful to the environment. 
  • Not suitable on hilly terrain
    Some users complained that it cannot operate efficiently on hills. It is not safe to mow on slopes that are over 10-15 degrees because its front caster wheels might lose traction.
  • Quite heavy
    Zero-turn mowers are massive and heavy. They weigh up to 700lbs depending on the model. You might need a jack to check the underside of the cutting deck for cleaning. Its weight can have a negative impact on sloppy areas that are more than 10-15 degrees.
  • Ignition problems
    This is one of the flaws of zero-turn mowers. They come with spark plugs, thus, they have problems with the ignition when the spark plugs get clogged with debris, carbon or dirt.