The landscaping industry has come a long way from the cliche image of someone pushing a lawn mower through high grass and then laboriously emptying the bag into a garbage can. Today, there are many different mowing options and different types of mowers that can be purchased to make your landscaping duties much easier on you. Perhaps one of the greatest options today is a zero-turn mower, sometimes called a z-turn. Pretty much what it sounds like, a zero-turn mower has a zero-turn radius, which lets you spin around flawlessly on the mower. Beyond that description, many people don’t know what a zero-turn mower is, so let’s take a closer look at zero turn mowers.
The way zero turn mowers work is complex yet simple. Utilizing hydraulic controls operated by the user, these allow users to make sharp, even turns even if there are obstacles in a yard or field. While these are obviously excellent for wide open lawns and fields, they are also great for areas with a lot of trees, bushes, and so on because they are able to maneuver around them almost flawlessly. The easy, close cuts are relatively unmatched when it comes to other mowers and provide some of the greatest results.
Many of the more expensive zero turn mowers have speeds up to 15 miles per hour, which is significantly faster than other traditional riding mowers. The larger the acreage of land you have to mow, the more valuable one of these can be. They say time is money, so if you have a lot of mowing to do, it might be worth it to get a zero turn mower so you can be done and get on with your day.
It’s true – zero turn mowers also have better visibility than regular riding mowers. The engine in a zero turn mower is under (or behind) the seat instead of in the user’s view, meaning he or she can get a good view of what is in front of the mower. While it might take a while to get used to the lap bar (which is used to steer), higher visibility is a massive bonus. This is especially useful for grassy areas that need to be cut precisely including football and soccer fields.
Operating a zero turn mower is quite different than any other type of mower. In general, each wheel is operated individually. Pushing both levers propels it forward and pushing both levels backwards propels it into reverse. To get the maximum zero-turning-radius effect, users need to pull one of the levers forward in the proper turn direction. Most zero turn mowers come with a foot assist that allows users to seamlessly adjust the deck height when needed. These are the best option, as having to get off of the mower to adjust the deck height is time consuming and reduces productivity.
The most noted downside to a zero turn is the price. These are normally more expensive than the typical lawn tractor. However, these allow you to work much faster and are sometimes a much better option. High end zero turn mowers can easily cost upwards of $10,000, but more basic models can be found for a few thousand.
Of course, mowing hills can be tricky regardless what mowing device you are using. While zero turn mowers are excellent for large fields and yards, they may not be the best option for steep hills. This is mainly due to safety concerns, and other options (e.g., a lawn tractor) may be better for the steeper landscapes.
Overall, if you have a lot of land to cover, a zero turn mower might be your best option. While they can be pricey, they can save heaps of time and allow you to cover a lot of ground extremely fast, literally. Being able to easily maneuver around trees, gardens, and other obstacles is a major pro to these that you cannot find with many other mowing devices. If you are looking for a mower that will make a lawn or field look amazing, consider getting a zero turn mower.