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Everything You Need to Know Before Considering Buying Your First Lawn Mower

Everything You Need to Know Before Considering Buying Your First Lawn Mower

20 Apr 2023 Author: Garrett Goodwin Read time: 4 min

Similar to most home-related investments, the first-time buying lawn care equipment can be daunting, even after Googling a few initial questions such as: “What mower is the best deal?” and “Lawn mower reviews,” or the relatable, “Which lawn mower is the easiest to maintain?”

Be aware of your ever-expanding Google searches that can take you down unwanted rabbit holes. Before opening that browser, list your property’s features to select a riding lawn mower to suit its unique property sizes and characteristics.  

What’s the best mower if you have a mid-size lawn with few slopes or obstacles?  

Standard rear-wheel drive, two-wheel front steering mowers work well for homeowners with an open piece of land that doesn’t have many obstacles or tight corners. Also, yards with a few slopes are no problem for a standard two-wheel steer style lawn tractor. Standard rear-wheel drive mowers have a variety of price points so first-time buyers who are interested in staying within their budget can consider these mowers as options. 

Regarding property size, a two-wheel-steer mower is generally a good fit for properties 1/3 of an acre up to 3 acres  

What’s the best mower if you have a 3-plus acre lawn with trees, shrubs and slopes?  

A riding lawn tractor with a four-wheel-steering offers a tighter turn radius than a two-wheel steering mower, making it great for lawns that have naturally occurring obstacles to navigate, like trees and shrubs or hardscapes. Like two-wheel-steer models, four-wheel-steer lawnmowers also handle sloped terrain well.  

The four-wheel-steer mower is advised for more significant property owners caring for a total land area of 3 acres or more.  

What is best for a 5-plus acre lawn that’s relatively flat?

As the name implies, a zero turn mower (ZTR) has a zero-turn radius – meaning it can turn on a dime to hug tight corners and curves. Homeowners with properties that include gardens, hardscapes, and several plants, shrubs and trees may find this mower to deliver the best results faster than other mowers. One potential downside, however, is ZTRs don’t perform as well on hilly terrain as two and four-wheel-steering lawn tractors — so these are best suited for flat land with minimal slopes.  

Zero-turn mowers operate at a higher average speed than two- and four-wheel riding lawn tractors and are precise machines focused on maximizing productivity. Landscaping and municipal and lawn maintenance professionals usually opt for zero-turn mowers since they reduce total mowing time. Every year, more and more attachments for zero turn mowers become available. Standard collection systems and mulching kits are available, as are attachments such as fertilizer spreaders, dethatchers, and even snowplows. Towable attachments can be used with the installation of a hitch behind the machine. Collection systems range from side-mounted collection bins to rear-mounted collection bags, whereas mulching systems include a modified mowing deck and specialized mulching blades.;

No matter what part of the country, the weather is a factor in outdoor work. Consider sunshades for protection, while complete enclosures and heater add-ons are ideal for cold-weather comfort.

Speaking of cold-weather use, operators in seasonal climates can still use the mower year-round. Adding front blades, blowers and brooms turns the mower into a snow-removal machine during the winter months.  

Now we have a better picture of the lawn mower and its attachments, let’s consider the operator. Define your comfort level with regular maintenance and how often the mower will run.

Typically, the larger the lawn, the wider the cutting deck size is needed. The larger size improves productivity and makes fewer passes with the riding mower. Most of John Deere’s X-series riding mowers’ decks are height-adjustable, as well as the zero-turns. John Deere mower decks range in size from 42 to 60 inches depending on the model of mower it’s being installed on.

Knowing these unique features of your current property and what you envision for the next five years ensures the right mower is selected for future potential growth.

Finally, some dealers offer an annual mower inspection. RDO Equipment Co. Mobile Maintenance is offered in select areas, provided by a certified RDO service technician. Mobile Maintenance brings lawn mower and compact tractor service to customers – whether at home or on the job site – and scheduling is easy and convenient. 

Garrett Goodwin

Garrett Goodwin is an Ag and Turf Sales Professional with more than five years of experience at RDO Equipment in Kennewick, Washington where he’s focused on customer service by providing information and answering questions on John Deere equipment and ensuring a smooth delivery experience. He enjoys helping customers to find the right equipment to meet their needs. Goodwin spends quality time with his two kids and works as a volunteer firefighter in his free time. For more information on choosing the right lawn mower and attachments, or servicing your existing equipment, call or visit your local RDO Equipment Co. store.

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