Ride-on-mowers: How they can make your life easier
For those who have a lot of ground to cover or want to reduce how long it takes you to mow then a ride on mower could be a worthwhile investment. This post will cover the benefits of a ride on-mower, the features you should be looking out for, and follows with some recommendations of popular brands and models to have a browse at.
Why do I need a ride on the mower?
The need for a ride on a mower will depend on your preferences, your garden, and your budget.
If you have a small to medium garden but are just looking for a way to make cutting your lawn easier than there are different alternatives for this including robotic mowers
As well as this the terrain of your garden is a consideration, is there a lot of obstacles? Despite some models having high maneuverability they still cannot access a lot of hard-to-reach areas due to their size. If your garden is sloped then this can make it more difficult to use a ride-on mower, in general for safety considerations, it is advised not to mow sideways across slopes greater than 10 degrees and therefore more care should be taken when considering the type of ride-on you purchase as some are more suitable and adaptable to slopes than others.
However, if you have a larger garden, the need for fast mowing, the appropriate budget, or even the strong desire to have a ride-on then you can be sure that they will bring with them a list of benefits that make your life simpler.
What do I look for?
With such a wide range of mowers available it’s no surprise that the average person gets confused with an abundance of jargon and model numbers flying about with no meaning to the vast majority of us, so let’s break it down.
These mowers can be divided into lawn riders and lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers. The difference between these terms is that a lawn tractor will typically have a mid-mounted cutting deck, in comparison a ride on mower’s deck is under the front of the vehicle and a zero-turn mower sometimes also referred to as a garden tractor, sports a ‘go-cart’ type of design and is more designed for heavy-duty work. The main difference with where the deck is mounted is maneuverability, and the need for this will stem from how complex your garden shape is and what obstacles like trees, flowers, and shrubs are in the way.
All of these machines typically will come with the option for different accessories which can include snow removal equipment or trailers making these machines more versatile than your traditional mower.
So, you’ve decided what kind of ride-on mower you want, and you’ve had a browse at some brands and models and been presented with a list of specifications. What do they mean? Well, here are some of the most important specifications you should keep an eye out for and what they mean in terms of you using the machine.
Mulching VS collecting
Like traditional mowers, one of the questions you must ask yourself when searching for the ideal mower is do you want to collect the grass, or would a mulching mower be more ideal?
Mowers can either be dedicated mulching mowers, have the option to switch between or some can be converted by fitting a mulching kit. Mulching is where the grass clippings are cut into very fine clippings, and spread back out onto the lawn. They then decompose and act as a natural fertilizer to feed the turf and in turn, your grass is healthier.
Alternatively, if you’re not one for leaving clippings on your lawn then a rear collection mower might be for you. If you are looking into a rear collection, what you would need to look out for is how large the collection bag is, this will let you know how many times you will need to empty it while mowing which will impact the length of time it takes you to mow. As well as this, whether the emptying is automatic or manual will make a huge difference both in time and effort, the bags, particularly the larger ones can get heavy so if you don’t have the strength or want to make your lawn mowing as low effort as possible then an automatic tipping system would be for you.
Similar to your traditional push mower, the cutting width of the machine will determine how much grass it can cover and ultimately, how long it will then take you to mow your lawn, that doesn’t necessarily mean to go for the biggest one, as this will impact the cost as well as the size for when it comes to fit through narrow gaps and for storing the machine.
Transmission & Engine
Most mowers will be either manual or hydrostatic transmission, this relates to how the gears work and ultimately how smooth of a drive you will have. Similar to a car, the manual transmission uses a clutch system, and the hydrostatic system makes the drive smoother and easier but typically costs more. This is not always the priority when it comes to these machines and typically users look at the engine size and the weight before approaching the transmission. Which of these you get will depend upon the terrain you will be using it on as well as the use and attachments you use.
This can be a particularly useful specification to keep an eye out for if your lawn is often wet and slippery or steep. This gives you better traction and can make maneuvering simpler and easier however this option is more popular with those who want to frequently mow their lawn or mow it all year round as this specification can be an investment.
So, what brands make ride-on mowers, here are some examples of some popular brands which have their own ride-on mowers and some examples of models suitable for the average homeowner or those looking for a professional machine.
Honda is a popular choice for mowers due to their reputation for long-lasting machinery, they offer a range of petrol ride-on mowers designed for larger gardens.
28” cut, hydrostatic drive, and a 170-liter grass bag. This model is ideal for the homeowner with a large garden to cover quickly.
Somewhere in-between, this model is ideal for those looking for a powerful mower, this model features a 94cm combi cutting deck and has mulching as well as rear ejection so you can have the best of both.
Iseki is known to be a reliable brand for a ride on mowers and garden tractors, this brand can be known for its iconic blue design.
This model is featured within the popular SXG series and is designed for demanding users who frequently require a powerful machine to quickly cut large areas. This model has a 48” rear discharge deck and a 550L collector.
Stiga is a largely popular brand that provides a range of models of ride-on mowers suited for a wide variety of gardens, alongside this they also have their range of all-electric powered mowers.
This Stiga estate is a petrol-powered machine with an 84cm cutting deck and a 200-liter rear grass collector. As well as this It has the option to be combined with the STIGA multi-clip plug (sold separately) to be used for mulching.
Stihl is another optimal choice for a ride-on mower, with a variety of mowers suited to different sized lawns and the iconic orange design these mowers are all designed with usability at the forefront.
Ideal for the home or estate owner, this machine can cover lawns of up to 4000m2 and has a small turning circle for additional maneuverability around objects. This machine has a 250-liter grass collection box or a mulch insert can be installed (sold separately)
If you’re still unsure or just want to speak to an expert who can help provide recommendations based on your requirements, then give your local dealers a call on 01307 468 556 and have a chat with one of our experts who can help you find what you’re looking for.