When it comes to zero turn mowers, bigger is not always better. The larger the mower, the more the cost is to acquire it. If you are paying cash for a mower, you can waste a good bit of money. If you are financing a mower, you can lose even more, especially if you are in need of bad credit zero turn financing. Every extra dollar that you finance comes with fees.
Besides the purchase price, you also have maintenance to consider. Larger mowers come with larger engines and these can be more expensive to maintain. A Briggs & Stratton, for example, would be far cheaper to maintain than a Kubota diesel.
So, to make the most of the money tha you spend, it is appropriate to choose the right mower for the lawn that you need to cut. Here are some guidelines that can give you an idea Your mileage may vary.
Choosing Your Mower Deck Size
This is going to be the single biggest decision that you have to make when deciding what size zero turn to choose.
On the surface, you might think that you should get the biggest cutting deck that you can afford. After all, you are getting a zero turn mower to make cutting your property faster, so why not go big? Well, it is not always that easy.
Going Too Big
Going with too big of a cutting deck can actually slow you down and in some cases might be dangerous.
If you have a lot of trees and obstructions, for example, a larger mower will be much harder to maneuver. It might even be too big to fit between features like trees, boulders and fence lines. That could cause you to have to do detail mowing with a push mower, which would defeat the purpose of getting a zero turn.
In addition, if you have ditches or uneven terrain, a larger mower could be less nimble. That could actually make your mower a safety hazard and a liability.
Just The Right Size
So, just how big should you go? If you have about 2 acres to cut, manufacturers suggest that you go with a deck size of 48 inches to 54 inches. If your land is relatively flat without obstructions, go bigger. If your land has ditches and multiple trees or obstructions, a smaller deck size would probably be more appropriate.
If you have land in excess of 2 acres, you can go even larger than a 54 inch deck size. Just keep in mind that as you go bigger, maneuverability will suffer.
Choosing Your Engine Size
We all want power and we can let this urge get the better of us. More power is not always the way to go because it comes at a great financial cost. Larger engines are more expensive to buy and more expensive to maintain.
In the world of zero turn mowers, what you get with power is speed. This is great unless you can not use that speed or simply do not need it.
Check with the manufacturer to determine the maximum speed that comes with an engine size. Choose one that is appropriate for your yard and conditions. Keep in mind that obstacles and hilly terrain will limit the speed that you can go. Choosing a machine that is capable of more speed than you need is simply wasting money.
When choosing speed, also keep in mind that things like mulching will reduce it. If you intend to use a mulching blade, your speed will be about half of the manufacturers stated speed.
When To NOT Choose A Zero Turn
Sometimes when deciding what size zero turn to choose, you might end up not choosing one at all. Zero turn mowers are great, but they are not for every yard. There are two big reasons that you might not want to get a zero turn mower.
Your Yard Is Too Small
If your yard is less than 1.5 acres, a zero turn mill probably be overkill. You could get away with a nice sized lawn tractor and save thousands of dollars. A zero turn is cool but if it costs you 2000 dollars and only saves you a few minutes a week in mowing time, it s imply is not worth it.
Your Yard Is Hilly
If you have slopes with inclines of greater than 15 percent, a zero turn mower may not be appropriate. In fact, it might even be a safety concern. Zero turn mower can turn on a dime but not if they do not have traction. You can easily lose control of one of these mowers on steep inclines, especially if the grass is slick.