Top Facts About Lawn Tractors and Zero-Turn Mowers

There are four key things to look for when buying a lawn tractor that will ensure the job gets done to your standard.

1. Steering

One of the most important features to consider when purchasing a lawn tractor is steering. There are three distinct options offered: two-wheel steering, four-wheel steering, and zero-turn radius mowers.

A two-wheel steering mower is great for homeowners with a lawn with few obstructions to mow around that ranges from ⅓ of an acre to up to 3 acres. These mowers don’t offer a very tight turning radius compared to their four-wheel steering and zero-turn counterparts, therefore they are ideal for yards that do not have many obstacles or tight corners.

riding mower

A four-wheel steering mower is great for homeowners with a lawn size that is greater than three acres or generally many obstructions that need to be mowed around. These lawn tractors are more comfortable and easier to use than their two-wheel steering and zero-turn counterparts. Their steering wheel allows the operator to navigate around obstacles like trees and shrubs and make tight turns at the end of each pass up and down a lawn.

Zero-turn mowers offer an added speed and agility that two-wheel and four-wheel mowers have difficulty keeping up with. These mowers are better suited for flat lawns, but can handle obstacles like trees and shrubs like a pro. These mowers are great for homeowners with all lawn sizes. While steering-wheel residential zero-turn mowers (RZTs) are available, traditionally these mowers use a pair of bars to independently control the movement of each side of the machine. This method of control provides true zero-turn capabilities providing the unparalleled agility to mow into every nook and cranny with ease. This method of control is not necessarily intuitive for every user. Consider visiting your local dealership to test drive an RZT before you commit to purchasing one.

2. Attachments

A great benefit to choosing a lawn tractor over an RZT is it’s versatility. These units are able to be used year-long to complete numerous tasks around your garden when paired with the right features and accessories. Some common attachments are utility trailers, snow blowers, lawn aerators, and bagging and mulching kits. There are also attachments that offer the operator the ability to attach a sweeper or sprayer, this can include liquid fertilizer, weed killer, and de-icing materials.

During the winter months, your lawn tractor can be turned into a snow removal machine with front blades, blowers and broom attachments.

While zero-turn mowers do have some attachment options, these are generally focused on grass cutting specifically. This is one of the major differences between RZTs or basic riding mowers and full-featured lawn tractors.

3. Maintenance

Taking care of your lawn tractor is the best way to protect your machine and your investment.

Always take the time to review the operator’s manual before using your machine. This manual explains the parts of the machine, includes safety features and also outlines the best ways to perform basic maintenance.

Before using your lawn tractor, make sure you perform a basic inspection to determine that there are no damaged or loose parts, check tire pressure, check fuel level, and to clean the mower of any debris.

Oil and air filters should be changed on an annual basis, or oil should be changed per every 100 hours of operation, whichever comes first.

These are some of the key things you can look for when buying a lawn tractor. For additional, detailed information on other lawn tractor features and accessories, make sure to check out Cub Cadet’s Ultimate Lawn Tractor Buyer Riding and Maintenance Guide.

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