on Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Whether you’re a green thumb that loves lawncare or a mower out of necessity, it’s important that you select the right mower to make the most of your lawn and your time. While there is no replacement for a test drive and expert advice, here’s a quick list of three questions to help guide your selection process.
Like any other job, it’s important to understand the scope of the task at hand. That’s why it’s important to know how much land your new mower will need to mow. Be sure to jot down the size of your property in acres and think about how much area is consumed by things other than lawn – things like your home, driveway, landscaping, trees, etc. Just because you have a 2-acre parcel or a .25-acre lot, it doesn’t mean that’s the amount of grass you’ll need to mow. Here’s a good example – a homeowner with a large ranch home on a half-acre lot with a large driveway, small trees and landscaping would be an ideal candidate for a push mower or a small lawn tractor or zero-turn mower with a 42-inch deck because the size of the actual lawn to be mowed is less than a half acre.
One of the most essential items to understand when shopping for a mower is the terrain in which the equipment will be used upon. Lawns that are rough or have hills and ditches may require a different approach than a similarly sized flat parcel. A great example can be found with zero turn mowers. Known as ZTRs, these mowers mow well fast and are available in a myriad of configurations. Light use homeowner units are often smaller and light weight – a fantastic feature when storing it in the garage or servicing the unit – but not ideal when riding over ruts in the yard. The light weight can cause the unit to bounce and ride rough. ZTRs are amazing machines – it’s what I have at home – just understand the smaller wheel base and weight distribution can create a different ride on rough terrain. If you’re unsure about how rough your property really is, take a walk around and get a feel for the land. You’ll be glad you invested the time before visiting your local equipment provider.
Being able to accurately describe the land you will mow is paramount. What may be “a lot of trees” to one person is “only a few” to another. Technology has made this significantly easier. I recommend taking a few pictures on your smart phone and looking at your property on Google Maps to better understand the obstacles you will face in your mowing adventure. If you have a significant number of trees, undulating landsape beds or other obstacles, a ZTR can be a fantastic choice. They mow extremely well, are faster than other types of mowers and offer the ultimate maneuverability. However, ZTRs are single use pieces of equipment. Unlike some riding mowers and compact tractors, they aren’t designed for multiple uses – things like pushing snow in the winter, seeding, or serving as a workhorse to pull equipment around the yard.
Knowing answers to these questions will help you and your equipment provider select the best mower to meet your needs. You can always schedule a personalized session with a lawn equipment expert at Reynolds to help you select the best John Deere or Honda mower for your land.