Landscape companies around the country have made it common practice to use riding lawn mowers in their businesses. Riding mowers are also becoming more popular for residential home owners as well. Compared to manual push mowers, riding lawn mowers have made it easier for home owners to take care of their yard. The question is, what are the best riding lawn mowers?
If your lawn is larger than a half-acre, a riding lawn mower would be your optimal choice. When choosing the right riding mower, what you should pay attention to the most is the front cutting deck. The front cutting deck is a covering that houses the cutting blade. The longer the cutting deck, the larger the cutting blade. The larger the cutting blade, the greater amount of cut grass. Hence, if you have a huge lawn, then you would want to choose a mower with a longer cutting deck to speed up your cutting time.
It is much quicker to cut your lawn with a riding mower. Riding mowers are also better for those individuals with health issues because there is much less manual labor involved. Riding lawn mowers can also serve other purposes such as being used as a snow plow or a small trailer.
Riding lawn mowers should not be confused with gardening or lawn tractors. The big difference is that riding tractors have cutting decks mounted in the middle rather than the front. Because of this, riding tractors are much less maneuverable.
Electric vs. Gas Powered
Just like automobiles, there are both gas and electrically powered riding lawn mowers. If you purchase an electric mower, you always need to make sure that the battery is fully charged before using. Electric mowers are also quieter and more environmentally friendly. On the negative side, since the mower runs on a battery, there is always the concern that the battery will drain before the job is complete. Price-wise, electric mowers can be quite expensive.
Gas powered mowers are more efficient than electric mowers. Gas mowers also expend less energy. Gas mowers handle wet conditions much better than electric mowers. Gas mowers are much less expensive.
Each type of mower has its advantages and disadvantages. When trying to determine which type of mower to purchase, you must weigh the environmental advantage against the efficiency advantage.
Bells & Whistles
Riding lawn mowers for sale have kept pace with the automobile as far as bells and whistles are concerned. Riding mowers can come equipped with accessories such as cup holders, cruise control, sun shades and even CD players.
Maintaining Your Mower Regardless of if you purchase a gas or electric mower, you will always want to keep it well maintained. The most important thing you will need to do is keep the blades sharpened. Your lawn will look much nicer with a sharper blade. Dull blades will give your lawn a raggedy, uneven look.
Similar to a car, low tire pressure can negatively affect the performance of riding lawn mower. Low tire pressure will cause the mower to use more gas or battery power while in use. However, you do not want to over-inflate your tires either. Over-inflated tires could burst when running over something sharp such as glass or a sharp stone.
You should regularly clean the rider and engine compartment before each use. Your goal is to clean out any debris that may have built up from the last use. Check the air filter as well because dust and debris will build up over time which will cause airflow problems. Airflow problems will eventually lead to efficiency problems.
Always keep an eye on your oil level. Just like an automobile, if the engine runs low on oil, the engine may seize up. If the engine seizes up, it may ruin the motor and require you to replace it. Always change the oil every 50 hours of use or before the beginning of every season.
Finally, you should keep an eye on the battery and cables. Eliminate any corrosion if it starts to build up by using a damp rag. Corrosion can build up due to acid leaks from the battery.
Cautions and Dangers
Since riding mowers are larger than manual mowers, this makes them more dangerous to operate. In a study released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, common dangerous problems include mowers tipping over, riders falling off the seat and riders being run over by the mower.
Therefore, to fully protect yourself and your family, you should take the following precautions:
* Always read the owner's manual first
* Do not let kids operate the mower
* Test ride the mower before turning on the blade
* Do not wear loose fitting clothing that could get caught in the blades
* Do not carry other passengers
* Always clean the lawn first to make sure you won't run over something that will send a dangerous item airborne
* Properly maintain the mower and get it serviced regularly
* Shut the mower off before trying to make any repairs
* Don't try to operate the mower if you are not in the driver's seat
* Don't put gas in the tank while the engine is running
* Shut off the blade when you are riding on sidewalks, the driveway or gravel areas
Riding Lawn Mowers - Conclusion
Choosing the right riding lawn mower can be a very difficult decision. In the end, the factors that will influence you the most will be price and safety. Bells and whistles are nice but certainly unnecessary. Always read product descriptions, consumer reports and customer reviews very carefully before purchasing any riding lawn mower.