Lawn Mower Lane is reader-supported. If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Riding Lawnmower Options

While I have used a riding lawnmower I’ve never had the opportunity to own one so far. For one thing this type of mower isn’t really practical unless you have a considerably larger yard – I would say at least an acre or so. It doesn’t mean you can’t purchase one if you have a smaller yard than that, but it’s not really necessary unless certain health concerns dictate the need for this type of mower.

If you do find yourself in the market for a riding lawnmower, whatever your reasons, you might be surprised to know that there are actually a few different types of lawnmowers in this particular category. There are your basic mowers that are simply designed to cut the lawn, lawn tractors that can do a lot more than just cut the lawn, zero-turn riding lawnmowers which are ideal for a yard full of obstacles, and hybrid lawnmowers that have off-road capabilities as well. Below we take a closer look at all of these options.

Basic Riding Mowers

Your basic riding lawnmower does one thing and it does one thing well – it cuts your lawn. It’s not designed to be converted into a snowplow in the winter and it can’t pull a trailer behind it for you when you’re ready to rake up the leaves, but it can make your life a heck of a lot easier than it was if you’ve been pushing around a standard lawnmower until now. Normally these mowers are controlled by a steering wheel and there’s generally a gearshift with forward, neutral, and reverse functions for moving the mower around. It has a cutting deck just like any other lawnmower you’ve ever owned, with a blade underneath it that cuts the lawn. The only difference between this type of mower and a standard lawnmower is that you sit on it and you don’t have to push it.

As you might expect, this type of mower can require a lot of maintenance as it is a vehicle; if you’ve ever owned a car you’ll know that maintaining a regular maintenance schedule is essential to the proper functioning of your vehicle. It’s no different with this type of mower, so if you’re going to buy one be prepared to develop and maintain a proper maintenance schedule.

Lawn Tractors

Lawn tractors take cutting your lawn to the next level – as is the case with the basic riding lawnmower we discussed above, these vehicles are great for cutting your lawn and eliminating the need for you to follow behind and push them, but they do a lot more than just that. A lawn tractor also generally has some type of hitch attachment on the back of it which will allow you to attach a trailer for collecting leaves and other refuse around the yard. Many of them also have the option to add a snow plow attachment on the front so that they can be used for clearing your driveway in the winter. They really are a handy little vehicle, and if you own a larger property they’re definitely worth considering.

As is the case with the basic riding lawnmowers discussed above, these also require a lot of maintenance and you do have to develop a regular schedule of maintenance. The other drawback to these machines is that when you want to add on a trailer or a snowplow you will have to have a little bit of mechanical aptitude as it’s not always a straightforward process. For most people the benefits will probably outweigh the negative qualities we’ve discussed, but they certainly can’t be ignored.

Zero Turn Radius

If you don’t really need all of the extra features that come with a lawn tractor, but you’re not quite satisfied with the basic riding lawnmower, you may want to consider one with a zero-turn radius. These riding lawnmowers can literally turn on a dime. If you’ve ever drove a forklift you’ll be familiar with this type of turning mechanism – normally the two front wheels pivots on an axis that will turn 360 degrees and when you turn the back wheels in one direction or the other you can perform a continuous turn in a circle which allows you to navigate through some tight areas and get around many obstacles.

Hybrid Off-Road Vehicles

There is one more type of riding lawnmower that deserves a mention in this list and these mowers are what you might call hybrid off-road vehicles. They often do have the ability to add a trailer at the back as you can with lawn tractors, or a plow in the winter, but that’s not all they can do. These types of mowers actually allow you to remove the cutting deck from underneath the mower and then use the mower as an off-road vehicle to get around your property. In general these will move a little quicker than your standard lawnmower – anywhere from 15 to 20 miles an hour. They’re not designed for the most rugged situations, but if you have a nice fishing hole on a property with several acres, these types of lawnmowers may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Who Knew Cutting Your Lawn Could Be Fun?

If there is one way to best describe a riding lawnmower for me, it’s fun. Most people look at cutting the lawn as a necessary evil, but if you own one of these types of vehicles it can transform the way you look at this activity. They really can be a lot of fun and there’s a good chance they’ll help you to reawaken your inner child. Whether you choose a simple basic riding lawnmower or one of the more advanced options suggested above, there is a good chance you’ll find cutting your lawn a much more fulfilling experience than you’ve had in the past.