Turning on a Dime – Tips for getting your first zero turn mower.
So you’ve seen people using them. They look like something out of a sci-fi movie, and they cut grass like a dream, but you may be wondering what you should look for in a zero turn mower.
I recommend that the average homeowner with a large yard go for the mid-grade zero turn, because it gets you the best combination of quality and features for the cost. However, some yards are going to have things that will limit your size options. Gates found at most homes are 3 feet wide, so if you have one, measure it, and make sure the deck width will fit through. Keep in mind that most sizes listed in product specifications list the size of the deck alone. Look for the size of the deck with the discharge chute down; you don’t want to tear that off thinking you’ll fit through your gate.
Zero turn mowers have small, smooth tread front wheels, so although they have a lower center of gravity than lawn tractors, they may have issues getting up and down a very hilly yard. If you are going to be dealing with a hilly terrain, consider a new steering wheel model, which tend to handle hills a bit better than their lap-bar counterparts.
To pick the right mid-grade zero turn, you’ll want to pick out a deck size that’s appropriate for your property. For anything from 1-2 acres, I’d suggest a 42-48″ deck. If your property is over 2 acres, you may want to consider a 50-60″ deck. The larger the deck, the fewer passes you have to make, but don’t always think bigger is better. If you’re cutting more a couple acres, and have wide open spaces, models are available from 61″ to 72″, but in many cases it is just too much deck to be nimble around a landscaped lawn.