Zero turn mowers have much greater flexibility than traditional lawn tractors. Unrivaled in speed, power, and maneuverability, zero turns have become standard equipment for lawn care professionals. They are simply the best for mowing customers lawns quickly and neatly. In this article, we will discuss what makes zero turn mowers so useful and recommend three in particular that we think are the best.
How Do Commercial Zero Turn Mowers Differ From Traditional Mowers?
Unlike traditional mowers, which require up to 30 inches to turn around, zero turn mowers will effortlessly pivot a full 180 degrees. This means mowing crew will spend less time positioning their mowers and more time actually mowing. In addition to their fast speeds of up to 13 mph, they can cut closely around obstacles with great precision, alleviating the need to bust out the weed trimmer for the fine details.
Commercial Zero turn mowers do this through a change in how you control them, employing two levers placed on each side of the vehicle in place of a traditional steering wheel. These levers serve a variety of purposes. Not only are they used for turning, including going both forwards and backwards, but they also brake the mower as well.
To stop or slow down, simply release your grip on the levers. If you want to make a large turning circle, pull just one of the levers. If you want to make a sharp turn, pull them in opposite directions to make the mower spin around on a dime.
While all of this takes some getting used to, the end result is that you have far greater control over the movement of the mower than you ever would with a traditional riding mower.
Our Picks For Best Zero Turn Mowers for Commercial Mowing
The F400S is our first pick for a fantastic zero turn mower. When it comes to both durability and speed among lawn mowers, not many models are able to give you a perfect balance between both. The F400S checks those boxes. It is just as compact as it is fast and easy to use.
The mower comes with a decent entry-level body that is compact enough to easily maneuver through tight spaces without compromising on other features. It even has a dual drive system which makes every lawn trimming job an absolute breeze.
Compared to zero turn mowers in the same price range, it has a fuel capacity that is well above average, perfect for longer trimming jobs. It has thicker tires for better traction in both wet and dry environments, saving you time and energy that would normally go towards things like getting the mower unstuck from the mud.
The Briggs and Stratton engine models are among the most powerful on the market, and coupled with a dual drive system for extra engine power, the F400S has one of the best debris control systems you can get. Not only does this allow the mower to go over bumpy terrain with ease, but it will also make the machine last for years to come, thanks to the enhanced dust and particle filtration system.
At an MSRP of $4,700, this is a great choice for somebody looking to get in the door but isn’t yet ready to commit to a more expensive model.
Scag Turf Tiger
The slogan on their website sets expectations fairly high for this zero turn lawn mower: “Simply the best.” but Scag’s Turf Tiger has made a habit of beating expectations since its launch in 1998. Scag manufactures gas, diesel, and even propane mowers, and is highly regarded in the lawn care industry as a trend setter. The Turf Tiger, the brand’s flagship model, has the speed, quality, and size that make it perfect for any yard, especially large ones.
Many owners of the Turf Tiger have described it being built like a tank and they’re certainly not wrong. This zero radius mower is not only fast and fun to mow with, but it’s also rugged and built to last thanks to its extra-strong mower deck and reliable shaft-drive.
Turf Tigers with higher-end engines are known for being able to hack even Bahia grass at high speeds without choking. The choices range from the humble 25 hp Kubota Diesel all the way up to the beastly 35 hp Briggs Vanguard.
The Turf Tiger comes in a wide variety of models to fit any sort of situation, with the MSRP ranging from $14,004 to $20,957, but the model we recommend for most people is going to be the Velocity+ deck, which has a much larger discharge outlet than the standard model. Pricing varies, so you will need to call your dealer of choice to get specifics on it.
TORO 54″ TimeCutter MyRIDE
Last, but definitely not least, the Toro TimeCutter. Like the name suggests, the TimeCutter is designed to reduce all that time you normally spend mowing. What you’ll notice from the moment you start driving is how the Smart Speed works. It’s designed so that you can adjust your mowing speed and blade speed separately. This extra element of control allows you to maintain a constant and precise cut across your lawn and not worry about leaving uneven spots behind you when you reduce speed.
The three speeds function as different modes for different situations. MOW is 7 mph and is meant for flat out high-speed mowing, TRIM is 5.5 mph and is meant for trimming around delicate foliage, plants and landscaping. Finally TOW is 4 mph and is used for pulling heavy equipment across the yard.
That being said, what really makes it stand out from the competition is the incredible comfort feature, the myRIDE Suspension System. Traditional mowers have seating that will kill your back over time.
Most zero turn mowers will include more comfortable seating, but the myRIDE Suspension System blows just about every other offering right out of the park. You will feel as though you are floating on a cloud above the lawn. It also comes with an adjuster in the event that you want to fine tune it. Your back will thank you for it!
Surprisingly, despite having one of the most comfortable rides available, the MSRP for Toro TimeCutter is only $4,099, making it easily the most cost-effective zero turn model of the three. It truly is an excellent value for the price and can even punch well above its weight and compete with much more expensive models from other brands.
As you can now see, there is simply no good reason not to upgrade to one of these commercial zero turn mowers. The only downside is maybe the price tag, but when you factor in all that these beauties can do, it is well worth the investment in your lawn care business. With the warmer months approaching, the sun growing brighter, business is going to be picking up again. There’s never been a better time to upgrade, both for your business and for your back!