Buying Small Riding Lawn Mowers in 2020
An immaculately trimmed lawn is every homeowner’s dream. But when it comes to maintaining larger lawns, surely a push mower might not be the best option? The solution to getting your grass cut in an ideal manner is by purchasing one of the best small riding lawn mowers.
Lush green growth is excellent for any yard but that often means tons of work getting the grass trimmed. They say that grass is cheap to install but often hard to maintain when it comes to landscaping.
Why do I need a small riding lawn mower?
You may wonder what some of the benefits and convenience of having a small riding lawn mower are.
Well, it’s all about comfort and convenience but also covering a wide area which would take you days to weeks on foot. The best riding lawn mowers are all about time and fuel efficiency and not having to go topless in the heat of summer.
Unlike pushed mowers, riding lawn mowers are convenient as well as both energy and time-efficient. They are diesel engine powered, so you can cover the entire yard in minutes and without breaking a sweat.
Typically you take half the time you would have taken walking behind the mower. More importantly, riding lawn mowers are designed for easy operation by both beginner and advanced lawn care experts.
A good lawn tractor will help you give your grass the right cut for lush growth and curb appeal.
Here is how to buy one.
What to look for in small riding lawn mowers
You might start off your search for the best lawn tractor knowing full well what you want, but the market is flooded with hundreds of brands and sizes making it difficult to discern the best within your budget.
We know it’s hard to find one brand that perfectly fits your needs, your budget, and other requirements. But as you explore, these are some factors you need to consider when choosing one.
When it comes to buying these mini tractors, the brand is arguably the most important thing to consider. Companies like Troy-Bilt, Murray, Husqvarna, John Deere, Cub Cadet, Kholer are among the leading manufacturers. Here are some short notes on our top three brands for lawn tractors.
John Deere riding mowers have been around for many years as a quality outdoor equipment manufacturer, and any mower within their brand will serve you well for years with high-quality output.
Troy-bilt offers the perfect blend of quality outdoor equipment and affordability. It is ideal for private residential owners with small-to-medium
Husqvarna is more of a luxury brand with high-quality equipment. Their brand is targeted toward residential owners with a need for easy to operate lawn tractors that boast both comfort and convenience features.
Lawn sizes and terrain
The type of mower that is appropriate for your lawn depends on its size and terrain. Hilly landscape requires more traction and larger sized wheels to prevent toppling over and provide sufficient power cut uphill.
Speed needs no introduction as it obviously means getting the job done faster. There is another consideration to make regarding the speed which is single speed or multi-speed mowing. Multi-speed machines are better as they enable shifting to go faster or slower as desired.
When speaking about lawnmowers, deck size matters because it affects not only the ease of mowing larger lawns the storage space an engine power required as well as the fuel efficiency.
It also affects maneuverability such that a large yard may require a 42-inch deck but it will not be ideal for a large field with a number of obstacles such as trees balls flowers and winding paths.
A smaller deck of about 28 to 34 inches is perfect for maneuvering. Also, storage space and entrance to your garage or shed are important to consider when choosing the right deck size.
Engine power and traction
Ideally, engine power should be 12 to 26 horsepower (HP) for an acre of land area. The steeper your yard, the more horsepower you should go for but that in turn means a hire purchase price plus fuel consumption. More power is not always a plus so you should go for optimal power.
The type of engine mount determines the maneuverability and efficiency of the mower.
Small riding lawn mowers between 11 and 15 horsepower will have a rear mount engine and a smaller deck. Large front-mounted engines with hydrostatic transmissions deliver greater horsepower from 18 to 26 HP.
Comfort and convenience features
Luxury mowers come with a myriad of features for the safety and comfort of the operator. This includes reclining seats with adjustable positions, soft-touch cruise control, soft-grip steering electric clutch for easy blade engagement, and built-in cup holder among others.
Safety is paramount when it comes to operating powerful equipment and these tractors are no exception.
Operator safety is enhanced by features like the following:
- Compact size for maneuverability near obstacles
- Anti-accidental reverse features
- LED headlights for enhanced visibility when cutting during the evenings
- Wide step area for easy mounting and dismounting
- Anti-scalp wheels
- Easily accessible control panel and brake lock system to prevent accidental release of brakes
Maintenance tips for small riding lawn mowers
Care and maintenance of small mowers, you say? Well, caring for small riding lawn mowers is pretty much the same as that of large mowers except that they are that much more delicate. Here what to think about when you’re looking at taking care of them over time.
- Read the operator’s manual and keep it
- Check oil just as you would for your car
- Clean and drain gasoline after each cutting season
- If it cannot start, try changing the spark plug (Click here to learn how to start a riding lawn mower)
- Unclog the undercarriage of grass and twigs
- Sharpen your blades for proper cutting
- Wear protective gear when operating the lawn tractor
- Have your engine checked by experts at recommended intervals
The lifespan and service of your lawnmower ultimately depend on how well you use and maintain it. With regular engine tuning and repairs and replacements, you can enjoy your new mower for years to come.
If you’re looking at a lawnmower of any shape or size, make sure you refer to our riding lawn mower buying guide.