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    Tractor Supply Company

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    5 Must-Have Features for Your New Riding Lawn Mower

    Whether you're shopping for a traditional riding mower or want a zero-turn riding lawn mower, you're in the right place. As the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, Tractor Supply is home to a trusted lineup of riding lawn mowers from top manufacturers. There are many considerations to navigate when finding the right riding mower for your needs, so we've recapped five of the must-have lawn mower features to look for.

    1. Enough Power for Your Terrain Type

    First and foremost, your new riding lawn mower needs to be capable of handling your grass type, lawn size and overall terrain. That's why riding mower engine size and horsepower output are two of the most important factors to think about. 

    When it comes to the power output, your ideal mower should have an engine producing enough horsepower to cut through specific types of grass or terrain. Your decision should rely heavily upon the type of lawn mower engine the machine has, such as:

    • V-twin riding lawn mower engine: Producing more horsepower and allowing for faster speeds, V-twin engines are ideal for yards with thick or tall grass. With their higher torque, they are also the preferred choice for those who utilize mower attachments like dump carts or snow plows. With cooler operating temperatures, V-twin engines also produce less vibration during use, meaning they have a reduced rate of wear and tear over time. 
    • Single-cylinder riding lawn mower engine: For small yards with thin to normal grass, a single-cylinder engine might provide all of the power necessary to effortlessly maintain a lawn. Mowers with single-cylinder engines are typically less expensive than their V-twin counterparts. 

    Tractor Supply sells mowers designed to specifically handle flatunevensloped and most terrains. Our selection features riding mower engines from top brands, including Briggs & StrattonCub CadetGreenworksKawasaki and Kohler.

    2. High-Quality Mower Cutting Deck Material

    Mower decks, also called cutting decks, house the mower's blades. The mower cutting deck size refers to how many passes it takes to cut the grass to a desired height. The wider the mower deck, the fewer passes it takes to mow a lawn, and the less time you'll have to spend doing lawn maintenance. 

    While the mower cutting deck size itself is a crucial consideration, so is the material comprising the mower deck. Most mower cutting decks are made from:

    • Stamped metal: This mower deck type is produced when flat sheet metal goes through a stamping press and is formed into the desired shape. Also known as pressed metal, stamped metal cutting decks are lightweight and usually sufficient for most residential mowing jobs, as well as bagging, mulching or other tasks using attachments. 
    • Fabricated metal: This mower deck type is created by manipulating raw metal and transforming it into a cutting deck. Fabricated metal mower decks are sturdier and ideal for commercial use, although homeowners with difficult terrain or tougher jobs could also be well-served. 

    3. Features for Efficiency and Maneuverability

    By design, riding lawn mowers are meant to be an efficient alternative to push mowers or walk-behind mowers. But they're also packed with mower features for even better efficiency and maneuverability, including:

    • Headlights: For many of us living Life Out Here, headlights are a must when working on projects before dawn or after dusk. From keeping your yard pristine to moving loads of leaves and clippings, choose a model with headlights so you have the light you need to operate safely. 
    • Adjustable cutting heights: Have more control over the height of your mowed grass with adjustable cutting height mowers. It’s recommended to keep grass shorter in the warm months and longer in the cold months, so having the adjustable cutting height option is great for keeping lawns at the ideal healthy length year-round. 
    • Cruise control: Set your mower to operate at a certain speed without having to hit the gas pedal constantly. Operating your riding mower in cruise control can lead to better fuel efficiency for gas models. 
    • Deck cleanoutSometimes called a washout port, this feature makes cleaning the mower deck easier. It's important to clean out the deck after every use, preventing trapped dirt, grass clippings and other debris from causing the mower to run ineffectively. 

    You should also consider the riding mower turning radius you need. Traditional riding mowers have a wider turning radius, so they can be tougher to maneuver in certain areas. On the other hand, zero-turn mowers can turn on a dime with a 180° turning radius, making them heroes when mowing around garden beds, tree lines, shrubbery, pathways, fountains and other landscaping obstacles. 

    4. Compatibility with Mower Attachments and Accessories

    A riding mower can be much more than just a lawn-cutting machine. By choosing a model compatible with attachments and accessories, you can address specific lawn maintenance needs and turn your mower into a year-round tool. Browse Tractor Supply's selection of mower attachments and mower accessories, including dump carts, mulching kits, bagging options and snow plows

    5. Riding Mower Extras for Comfort and Convenience

    Riding lawn mowers are a long-term investment, so you need to make sure it is comfortable for you to sit in and use. The controls should be easy to reach and move, and the seat should provide enough support for your back. You may also want to consider extra features that add even more comfort and convenience, like armrests, cupholdersapp compatibility or GPS tracking.  

    Frequently Asked Questions About Riding Lawn Mowers

    How does a riding lawn mower work?

    Riding lawn mowers offer a faster and more effective alternative to manual mowing options, like push mowers. The rider steers the vehicle and strong engines push the mower forward. A mowing deck with blades cuts grass as you ride. 

    What are the benefits of riding lawn mowers? 

    Riding lawn mowers can cover more ground quickly, saving time and effort on yard maintenance. They also make mowing more comfortable by allowing riders to sit while completing yard work. 

    Are riding lawn mowers designed for uneven terrain?

    Most riding lawn mowers are intended for flat or gently sloping terrain, but some models can handle uneven terrain. Review the manufacturer’s guidelines on your mower to determine compatible terrain. 

    What riding mower deck size is best? 

    Different types of riding mowers have different mower decks. Some have wider decks for efficient grass cutting, while others have smaller blade decks or zero-turn designs for more easily handling lawns with obstacles like trees and bushes. General mower deck guidelines for different yard sizes include: 

    What is the ideal mowing height for my grass?

    Grass type and season can impact which riding mower cutting height is best. In general, you want to keep grass between 2” and 2.5” high during the spring and summer and 3” to 4” high during the fall and winter. 

    Which is best: a gas or electric riding mower? 

    There’s no right or wrong answer — the best option will depend on your specific needs and preferences. However, each has distinct benefits and drawbacks. For instance, electric mowers have greater longevity and are more eco-friendly. Gas mowers have more power and tend to run longer before requiring more fuel.  

    What’s the ideal lawn size for a riding mower? 

    The various riding mower models with different features mean they’re great for any size yard. However, most homeowners who use them have at least ½ acres of land or more. 

    Which is the right riding lawn mower for me? 

    Many factors, from your grass and terrain type to yard size, dictate which riding mower is best for you. Think about upfront and long-term costs as well. For help selecting the right riding lawn mower, turn to Tractor Supply. We’ll compare mowers with you so you can determine which might get the job done best.

    What should I know about riding lawn mower maintenance? 

    With proper maintenance, a riding lawn mower can operate effectively for many years. Complete these routine maintenance tasks to increase the lifespan of your mower: 

    • Checking air filters
    • Checking tire pressure
    • Cleaning the mower (especially the deck)
    • Protecting from the elements with proper storage 
    • Refueling or recharging the battery
    • Sharpening blades

    Learn More About Riding Lawn Mowers at Tractor Supply 

    Ultimately, the right riding lawn mower for your property depends on your yard size, grass type, typical terrain conditions and budget. Whether you're a first-time riding mower buyer or want to upgrade from your current mower, Tractor Supply is here to help you find the best match. Our selection includes all mower drive types, including front-wheel-drive (FWD) riding mowers, rear-wheel-drive (RWD) riding mowers and all-wheel-drive (AWD) riding mowers. Check out our inventory online or at your local Tractor Supply store.