Hands up if the thought of sitting down while mowing the lawn sounds like an awesome idea. Well, Mower Source has put together a handy guide that’ll tell you if you should be shopping for one right now.
You’ve Got a Huge Yard
You don’t have to have property the size of a baseball diamond to know that a riding mower is the right choice for you. We recommend that yard sizes around one acre and up are big enough to warrant such a machine, as this’ll be far more efficient than even the highest-powered walk-behind mower.
You’ve also got to take deck size (the width of the mower or tractor) into account — this will determine how wide a swath the machine cuts.
Your Personal Health
Maybe you don’t have a huge yard, like one that’s half an acre or so. For the general population, we’d say that a walk-behind mower is plenty good and you don’t need to spend the extra money unnecessarily.
But if your health isn’t good (i.e. back or knee problems, asthma, trouble walking) and/or you can’t afford to hire someone to cut the grass, then by all means, invest in a riding mower so you can do it at your own pace. The important thing is to take care of yourself first so you’re in great condition to mow the lawn.
How Many Obstacles Does Your Yard Have?
Is your yard the type to have a few dozen pink flamingoes, or little rock gardens, or Japanese maples arranged here and there? If so, then a riding mower is going to be pretty tough to navigate around all these obstacles (although, a zero-turn mower may be in the picture for you, so read up on our post for that).
But if you’ve got a yard that’s just straight up grass, then hey! Go ahead and invest in a riding mower! You won’t have to be constantly watching your path for fancy stuff placed in your way and can just chug on ahead. If you’re intent on getting a riding mower when there are plenty of obstacles, then look into one with multi speeds so you can control the pace.
Take a Look at Terrain
How this differs from size or shape of your yard is the flatness or hilliness of it. If there are plenty of mounds in your yard, or if there’s a section with a steep drop-off, then you’ll want a machine that’s nimble, agile and kind of light (as opposed to one that just tears through like a bulldozer).
This is so it can tackle everything in its path with grace, sort of like how a figure skater glides across the ice versus a football linebacker barreling through a concrete wall. We’re also a bit on the fence about whether a walk-behind or riding mower is better for hilly terrain, as it comes down to the square footage of your yard. Plus, if the worst happens and the machine tips over, think of how you’d a) keep safe, and b) rescue the machine afterwards.