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    Which Riding Lawn Mower Is Right for Your Terrain Type?

    Which Riding Lawn Mower Is Right for Your Terrain Type?

    A riding lawn mower, also known as a tractor-style mower, is an efficient and ergonomic way to mow large lawns or landscaping properties. There are a few different kinds of riding mowers, with some being better suited for certain terrains than others. Tractor Supply, America’s largest rural lifestyle retailer, provides quality products to make life easier, like riding lawn mowers and other lawn and garden tools. Here, we discuss more about the types of riding mowers and how to determine which is best for your lawn and terrain.

    Types of Riding Lawn Mowers

    If you have a medium to large-sized property, a landscaping business or are simply looking to make lawn maintenance easier, a riding lawn mower may be the answer. These mowers are designed with four wheels, a seat for the rider and steering controls—an upgrade from a traditional push mower. There are two main types of riding mowers:

     Traditional Riding Mowers

    A traditional riding mower is operated much like a car, with a steering wheel and a pedal. They have a speed of around five miles per hour and are best suited for small to medium-sized yards. Traditional riding mowers tend to have lower upfront costs than zero-turn mowers, but they also have less power.

     Zero-Turn Riding Mowers

    zero-turn riding mower is operated with two levers or lap bars. They control the front wheels that are on casters to pivot 180 degrees and allow for easy turning. Zero-turn mowers are ideal for yards with many obstacles like gardens, trees, bushes and more. They tend to cost more but make up for it with their efficiency, maneuverability and power.

    Riding mowers can be either gas or electric-powered, but gas-powered models are more common because they last longer and have more torque and power. Electric-powered riding mowers need to be charged frequently and don’t have the same cutting time as gas-powered models, but they also need less maintenance and release no emissions.

    Best Riding Mowers for Your Terrain

    At Tractor Supply, our selection of traditional riding mowers and zero-turn riding mowers includes options suitable for most terrains. We can also help you find models ideal for other terrain types, such as:

    Flat Terrain

    If your yard is mostly flat, you can use almost any riding mower. However, you should also consider the size of your yard and the type of grass. If the yard is small to medium-sized with thinner grass, a traditional riding mower should be suitable. You can choose between gas or electric-powered, but gas-powered is better for yards that are medium or larger because they last much longer than electric-powered riding mowers that have to be charged. Electric riding mowers can be good for people with small, flat yards.

    If the yard has flat terrain but is larger with thicker grass, a zero-turn mower is better than a traditional riding mower because it has more horsepower to handle tougher conditions.

    Uneven Terrain

    If you have a yard with uneven terrain, a riding mower can be suitable but may not be the best choice. Push or walk-behind mowers tend to be better on uneven terrain because they are easier to control over bumps and divots. If your lawn is very large with uneven terrain, a riding mower with all-wheel drive may be your best bet. Zero-turn riding mowers can also be suitable for uneven terrain because they have rear wheel drive that allows for better traction. 

    Sloped or Hilly Terrain

    If your property has many hills or sloped terrain, a zero-turn riding mower may be the best option for you. Zero-turn mowers have rear-wheel-drive which helps provide traction, so most zero-turn models can handle slopes less than 15 degrees. However, if the slope is bigger than that, zero-turn mowers and riding mowers in general aren’t recommended. 

    Frequently Asked Questions about Riding Lawn Mowers

    How do riding lawn mowers work?

    Riding lawn mowers feature strong engines, either gas or electric-powered, that propel the mower along. There is a seat on top of the mower deck where the rider sits and controls the direction of the mower with the steering wheel or lap bars. Underneath the deck are sharp blades that cut the grass while the user steers.

    What are the advantages of a riding lawn mower? 

    Riding lawn mowers can make lawn care quicker and easier by covering more ground in less time, compared to push mowers. They also are more comfortable because the user doesn’t have to push the mower along and can stay comfortably seated. 

    What other factors should you consider when choosing a riding lawn mower?

    Besides your lawn’s terrain type, you should also consider other important factors like your grass type, the size of your yard, your budget and how much maintenance you want to do. Gas-powered riding mowers tend to need more maintenance compared to electric-powered riding mowers.

    Are riding lawn mowers suitable for use on wet grass?

    Riding lawn mowers are typically not recommended for use on damp grass because they can damage the lawn or lead to accidents. Therefore, it’s best to wait until your grass is dry to use your riding mower.

    What brands of riding mowers are available at Tractor Supply?

    Tractor Supply offers a wide selection of riding mowers from top brands like Bad BoyCub Cadet,  Greenworks,Husqvarna and Toro. We can recommend options suited to your specific terrain, budget and grass type.

    Find Your Ideal Riding Lawn Mower at Tractor Supply

    Whether your yard is big or small, flat or sloped, Tractor Supply has a riding mower for you. For more than 85 years, Tractor Supply has been providing high-quality products and sound recommendations to help make living Life Out Here simpler. We have riding lawn mowers suitable for various terrains and can help you decide on the best one for your specific needs. Visit your local Tractor Supply store today to speak to an experienced team member or browse our riding mower models available online through Tractor Supply.