How Does a Zero Turn Mower Work?

How does a zero turn mower work and how does it differ from other mowers we use for lawns? Landscaping is one of the beneficiaries of the speeding pace of technology. With the recent innovations with landscaping machinery, gone are the days when you treat it, especially lawn mowing, as a chore. 

Maintaining a lawn is already a hard task. Doing it on a larger scale is even harder. It seems like using conventional lawnmowers can be a bit of a challenge in terms of efficiency if you are to mow on a larger scale. These conventional types of lawn mowers are not the first option for mowing large patches of land, especially walk behind mowers. They cut through small areas and are relatively slow since it follows the pace of the user. Not the best equipment for you if you are a slow walker.  It can be tiresome and mind-numbingly boring. On the other hand, lawn tractors are also good in maintaining turf but it is challenging to use these on land with tight spaces or have a lot of obstacles.

All these considered – a ride-on mower looks like a good alternative. So, exactly how does a zero turn mower work, and how does it differ from the conventional ones? Is it as comfortable and efficient as it looks? There are multiple types of lawnmowers we can use to maintain our yards in perfect condition. But a zero turn mower is considered the most efficient lawn mower you can buy. Using a lawnmower that is fast, efficient, and easy to move can make a big difference in maintaining your land.

It is called a Zero Turn Mower because of the zero radius or zero degrees it requires to turn it. It is under the Ride-On type of lawnmower, but compared to others, this specific type offers excellent maneuverability. When you want to make light of mowing a large patch of land, learning how to work a zero turn mower will make your task easier and faster. 

How Does a Zero Turn Mower Work?

It is easy to learn how a zero turn mower works but actually riding and operating one needs time to get used to it. This is because it is not your usual steering and propulsion system. It has neither throttle, pedals for the brake, nor a steering wheel. Accelerating, braking, and steering are all controlled by hand through levers located at the front seat. A zero turn mower that uses a steering wheel is available but some argue that they are less durable and more fatiguing compared to the original that uses lap bar operation.

To start the zero turn mower, you must first check if all of the safety devices are in position. There is a safety switch underneath the seat that will not let the mower start if no weight is detected. A zero turn mower commonly uses two levers (lap bars) for steering located in the front seat. These levers operate the hydrostatic transmissions at the rear wheels. As a result, this type can pivot 180 degrees without moving from its place. Aside from the levers, transmissions, and wheels, it also has an engine and a platform (or deck) made of steel. Its deck width usually ranges from 32 inches to 60 inches, while its engine can generate around 21 to 38 horsepower, depending on its type.

Shifting the two levers forward will cause the mower to move straight forward. To move it in a straight reverse, move both levers backward. Shifting only the left lever forward will move the mower to the right direction. In the same way, moving only the right lever forward will move the mower to the left direction. If one lever is moved forward and the other one is moved backward, the mower will pivot in place.

Why You Need a Zero Turn Mower

If you are contemplating whether you should buy one or not, check out these features that a zero turn mower offers:

▶️ Easy to maneuver

 In terms of maneuverability, how does a zero turn mower work? It offers all-around mowing performance because it can pivot, do sharp turns, and quick directional changes. Taking advantage of its 180-degree maneuverability, it can navigate through trees, rocks, and other obstructions. When it comes to landscaped edges of your land, a zero turn mower can maintain it since it can work closer to obstructions or obstacles. Nothing beats a zero turn mower when it comes to mobility.

▶️ Efficient

 In terms of efficiency, learning how to run a zero turn mower combined with a well-planned pattern in cutting your lawn will greatly affect the time you spend mowing. It has the capacity to cut most grass in a short span of time, nearly twice faster than conventional lawn tractors. This will help you make the most out of the time you will not spend working on your land.

▶️ Money-saving

Prices for a zero turn mower can be a major issue to some people, but when you look at the bigger picture, you will get what you paid for. This is considering a zero turn mower is what is best for fast and efficient mowing . Because it covers more ground in a short time, it consumes less fuel than other mowers. You have an option to buy cheaper alternatives, but these can be costlier. Buying cheaper options can mean a shorter warranty period. In the long run, it may have maintenance issues that might need costlier repairs. In addition, because of the ability of a zero turn mower to trim closely around trees and other obstacles, you can avoid any need for additional trimming tools and will save you both time and money.

How to Run a Zero Turn Mower Without Damaging Your Lawn?

It is necessary to learn how to run a zero turn mower while maintaining both wheels moving throughout a turn. The reason being if one wheel is locked while the other is moving, it will tear up your yard. Though a zero turn mower is capable of pivoting 180 degrees, it is suggested to make the turn while the wheels are moving backward. This will help keep the lawn from tearing up.

Avoid making sharp turns when mowing grass on slopes to prevent the lawn from having uneven cuts across the slope

Things to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Zero Turn Mower

If you are interested in buying a zero turn mower because of its remarkable features, ask yourself these questions first before you go and buy one.

▶️ Should I buy the lever-operated or the steering wheel option? 

Since versions of the zero turn mower with the steering wheel had already been developed, you have two options. But then again, a steering wheel, like the one on a lawn tractor, takes away the easy-to-maneuver feature of a zero turn mower. However, the one that uses lap bars for controls needs time to master. It is suggested to practice operating one first without engaging the cutting blades.

▶️ Can I put attachments on it? 

Yes. Zero turn mowers can pull attachments like trailers, garden blowers, and the likes. But these are usually available for commercial zero turn mowers and may not be available for residential grade types.

▶️ How will I maintain or repair it?

A mower that is self-serviceable is the best option. It is easier to work  on a zero turn mower if you can easily access the engine, battery, filters, etc. so you can maintain it without much trouble. A brand that offers replacement parts, or shares a common design with others is also a good option.

▶️ Is it comfortable to use?

Because a zero turn mower can operate on a large area in a short period of time, or fast mowing; how it feels when you ride on is also a good question to ask. Some brands use materials in the seat that helps minimize vibrations. If you want, you can also opt for one that has adjustable seats.

▶️ What deck do I need?

Decks made with fabricated steel are thicker and more durable than those made of pressed steel. Pressed steel decks are more prone to bending and rust.

Types of Zero Turn Mowers

Similar to conventional lawnmowers, zero turn mowers also have a variety of types you can choose from depending on what type of land you occupy. The common types are:

▶️ Entry-level Zero Turn Mower

This type is the best zero turn mower for homeowners with flat lawns, with slopes not greater than 15 degrees. It works with speeds around 5 mph to 8 mph and can cover a land area of about 2 to 6 acres. The engine for this is 22 to 27-horsepower. This type features bigger tires and front casters with a welded fabricated deck. This is the simplest and affordable type, great for beginners.

▶️ Commercial Zero Turn Mower

From the name itself, this type is best for professional landscaping. It has a speed of around 8 mph to 13 mph and can cover a land area more than that of a Residential Zero Turn Mower. It has a bigger engine ranging from 27 to 38 horsepower and a bigger fabricated deck.

▶️ Stand-On Zero Turn

It can move well on steep slopes at 8 mph to 13 mph powered by engines that generate 21 to 35 horsepower.

Best Zero Turn Mower for Homeowners

We looked at the zero turn mowers available on the market. After considering their durability, price, ease of use, and comfort – we have come up with these best zero turn mowers for homeowners, in no particular order.

Achieve a professionally manicured lawn It promises to cut with precision for both wet and dry grass. This features a 24HP Kohler twin-cylinder engine, dual-range hydrostatic transmission, cutting width of 50 inches, and maximum speed at 7mph. 

Pros:

  • It consists of high back seat cushions designed for back support, to provide comfort while operating the mower.
  • It offers adjustable cutting heights you can set from 1.25 inches to 3.75 inches so you can adjust whichever height is best for the task.
  • It also has a durable steel deck.

Cons:

  • Some reviews say that it is not that great for inclines.
  • It can be hard to start if you are not good at instruction manuals.

Husqvarna 48″ – Z248F Zero Turn Mower

This model from the Husqvarna Z200 series features a 21.5 HP Kawasaki engine with a hydrostatic no-maintenance transmission. It has a slightly lower maximum speed compared to the previous one with 6.5 mph. It is a smaller model compared to other models that are equally efficient because it only has a 48-inch deck and 3.5 gallons fuel capacity. This is the best zero turn mower for homeowners who have a small yard and limited space for storage.

Pros:

  • It has a bumper-to-bumper warranty of up to 3 years for homeowners!
  • Husqvarna Z248F  Zero Turn Mower takes up less space in storage.

Cons:

  • It has a smaller cutting width.
  • It also has a low fuel capacity and low maximum speed.

Conclusion on How does a zero turn mower work

Maintaining a lawn, especially on a large scale, is a hard task as it is. So it is only sensible to have the right tools and equipment to improve your yard work. A zero turn mower is a piece of efficient garden equipment that will complement your efficiency, too. Just like any other piece of technology, it might need time for users to get used to but it is not that hard to master. And once you get the hang of it, it will make a huge difference in your mowing experience. If you want to take your lawn-mowing experience to the next level, see for yourself how does a zero turn mower work fast and easy now.

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