Consider benefits of a zero-turn mower

Consider benefits of a zero-turn mower

Every lawn is unique.

From slopes and rough terrain to a cleverly crafted maze of trees, each lawn requires the right mower to make clean, precise cuts.

To help make the right decision when it comes to mower selection, here are some expert tips to select a zero-turn lawn mower:

• Durability — Comparing specs on steel frame design and dimension, the gauge of the steel — the lower the gauge, the thicker the material — and protection surrounding the rear-mounted engine can provide a good idea of overall durability.

• Deck construction — Residential mow-ers have decks of lighter-gauge steel stamped in a press. For typical residential properties, stamped decks are more than adequate, but for properties with rough terrain, they may be less durable than the commercial-grade welded decks.

• Engine design ­— It’s important to be alert for brands that are found on commercial zero-turn mowers or a mower manufacturer’s own brand. These engines can be customized for specific machines.

• Easy-to-adjust cutting height — Adjust-ing cutting height on a mower should be easy and fast. A foot assist will provide extra leverage besides a hand lever. This lets the operator quickly raise the deck for short periods, such as mowing over an ex-posed tree root.

• Tire width — Wider tires distribute the machine’s weight over a large area and are easier on the grass. Additionally, they provide improved traction.

• Comfort — Although zero-turn mowers reduce the amount of time spent mowing, comfort is still key. Ensure the seat is comfortable and provides good back support.

Control panel location is also important. Ensure the controls are highly visible and within easy reach. Operation is less complicated when controls are on the same side.

• Price — Residential zero-turn mowers range from $2,000 to $6,000. While it’s possible to get a quality zero-turn mower at the lower end of that range, mowers at the higher end usually have more features and added durability.