Professional landscape contractors have been using zero turn mowers for many years to produce a perfectly trimmed lawn in the most efficient way possible. Zero-turn lawn tractors have a turn radius of zero inches. In other words, the zero turn mower can turn within its own footprint. Zero turn mowers are designed without steering wheels or pedal brakes, and the seat is at an angle. Zero turn mowers and steering wheel lawn tractors differ primarily in their controls. Each rear wheel has an independent wheel motor (one on the right and one on the left), which is controlled by the steering handles. There are several advantages to zero-turn mowers that can improve the efficiency of mowing.
1. Cutting Pattern
With a zero turn mower, you can mow a property more efficiently due to its ability to turn 180 degrees after each mowing cycle. Additionally, the efficient cut pattern helps you achieve that “striping” look that comes from a professionally cut job.
2. Reduce Mowing Time by Half
Zero turn mowers enable facility managers to halve the amount of time they spend mowing. Zero turn technology offers the following time-saving benefits:
- You can mow around trees, flower beds, and other obstacles more easily with zero turn mowers than with steering wheel vehicles such as a riding lawn tractor.
- The mowing speed with zero turn mowers is about twice as fast as with traditional lawn tractors. The typical lawn tractor cuts at a speed of 3-4 mph, while the average zero turn mower cuts at 5-8 mph.
- You can mow all the way back to the beginning of your property in a single pass, which eliminates the need to back up and cut the grass that you would miss when turning a lawn tractor.
- You can almost eliminate having to follow-up with a push mower or string trimmer by cutting very close to your trimming edges with a zero turn mower.
3. Be Versatile by Adding Attachments
Zero turn mowers can be equipped with a wide variety of attachments. Several attachments are designed to be used with zero turn mowers, including bags for clippings, materials for transport, and snow plows. One of the most popular attachments is a bagging system for collecting grass clippings. Zero-turn mowers operate with a variety of rear attachments including dump carts, spreaders, plug aerators, dethatchers, rollers and sprayers. Some zero-turn mowers may require a hitch for these attachments, while others may come standard with a hitch. Furthermore, some zero turn mowers can be fitted with a front-mounted blade, as well as a snow blower or brush for clearing snow or debris.
4. Easy to Use
A zero turn machine may seem intimidating without a steering wheel but most operators become comfortable with the way it handles after a few uses. A zero turn mower is easy to steer. Ensure that you apply each lever with the same amount of pressure if you want to drive straight. Generally, zero-turn mowers do not have a foot-pedal brake. Zero turn mowers use steering handles to control both their direction and speed. You can increase the speed of the mower by pushing the handles forward. If you want to stop, simply bring the handles back to neutral. A zero turn mower is equipped with a parking/emergency brake.
5. How do Zero Turn Mowers Handle Slopes?
A zero-turn mower should not be operated on slopes greater than 10 degrees. Zero-turn mowers are driven by the traction of the rear wheels, so a loss of traction may also impair your ability to stop. In sloped terrain, a zero turn mower cannot steer if it is sliding or skidding. Zero-turn mowers don’t have power at the front of the wheels.
6. Price Comparison
A zero turn mower typically costs more than a traditional lawn tractor. A zero turn mower has two hydrostatic transmissions instead of one in a lawn tractor, which contributes to the higher cost. The engines, decks, frames and overall construction of zero-turn mowers are usually larger than those of lawn tractors. In spite of the higher price tag, zero-turn mowers have some long-term cost savings that are often overlooked. A zero-turn mower can cut mowing time in half, so less gas is required to cut your lawn. Additionally, shorter run times mean less wear and tear on belts and pulleys, resulting in a longer machine life.