Can You Jump Start a Riding Lawn Mower with a Car? Guide with pics. Lawn mowing car

Can You Jump Start a Riding Lawn Mower with a Car? Guide with pics

A flat battery must be the most common riding mower complaint. It’s so annoying to hear the click, click, click. Let’s get it figured out right now!

So, can you jump-start a riding mower with a car? You can jump-start a riding mower with a car. Most mowers operate a 12-volt system. Put the jumpers on in sequences 1, 2, 3, 4, and start your mower. With the mower running, remove the jumpers in reverse order 4, 3, 2, and 1.

Not sure you have a 12-volt system – check the battery details on your mower. A sticker or stamp on the casing of the battery will indicate the voltage.

Common locations for batteries to be found – are the underhood, under-seat, under-drink holder, behind-the-wheel, and lots of other hard-to-find places.

Safety

Before attempting to jump-start, check that the battery is secure and not leaking. Leaking battery acid will burn your skin, so if the battery is wet, use gloves and eye protection. Check also that the terminals are secure and not damaged. Damaged or loose terminals will cause arcing and prevent power flow to the starter.

Dirty Battery Terminals

If your battery posts are dirty, clean them before jump-starting. First, kit yourself out with protective eyewear and gloves. It will look like a white crusty build-up on the terminals and battery posts.

Dirty, corroded, or loose terminals create resistance to the flow of power from the battery to your starter and, in return, prevent the recharging of the battery by the alternator.

Sprinkle some baking soda on the terminals and add a small amount of water. This will neutralize the acid and remove the corrosion.

Use a wire brush to clean the surface. Now remove the terminals and clean around the poles and the terminals. Apply a coat of petroleum jelly to help protect against corrosion.

Cleaning The Battery Terminals

Battery terminals (connections) often come loose because of mower vibration, and as you know, corrosion is also common. If your battery terminals are damaged or badly corroded, replace them. Damaged cables may have broken wires within. This causes excessive resistance.

Often you may notice the cables getting very hot while you’re attempting to start the mower. This is a sign of high resistance. Replace with good quality leads and terminals.

Cables – Damaged, worn, or dirty cables will mimic a flat battery. Always check battery cables and terminals before condemning the battery.

Jumping / Boosting Your Mower

The jump/Boost start procedure is very simple; obviously, you’ll need a set of booster cables. If you need to buy boosters, buy a good quality set. Poor quality cables won’t make a good connection and make the whole job a lot more difficult.

I recently bought a set of Cartman boosters recently. I like cables that remain flexible in cold weather and jaw clamps that grip firmly, my guess is I’ll have the years, but I’ll keep you updated, and if I like them, I’ll post a link on the “Small engine tools page.”

Connecting Jumpers

Battery poles are sometimes colored red for positive and black for negative. However, batteries will definitely be marked for positive and (-) for negative. You may need to clean the battery a little to find the markings.

Battery post markings – Look out for positive and negative markings on the battery casing.

Move your vehicle close to the mower and pop the hood to access the battery. You will likely have to remove a plastic shield from the car battery terminals.

Simply match the color and polarity of the leads. Always begin by fitting the Red jump lead to both battery poles first, but it’s all covered below. Just follow the sequence, and you’ll be mowing in jig time.

Jump Start Preparation Jumper Sequence

A ground source is any bare metal. There are always a ton of good places on the engine to clamp to. Clamping the final clamp to the battery negative pole isn’t advised. Doing so may cause arcing, which could ignite battery vapors. It’s a small risk, but it is possible.

Check – All modern mowers run a 12-volt system, and it’s perfectly OK to jump-start from your car. If you are unsure, check the battery casing, it will be marked 12 volts (V).

Tight – Mower blades and engines cause a lot of vibration, and bolts come loose from time to time. Check both connections. Positive red and negative black (-) are clean, tight, and in good condition.

Jumpers – Use good quality jump leads. These are my old worn-out ones.

Connect – Start by connecting the positive red of the mower (1) to the red of the car (2).

Now connect the negative black (-) on the car (3) to a ground (GRD) source on the mower (4). (Any bare metal will work)

Start – After starting the mower, allow it to run for a couple of minutes while still connected.

Remove the jumpers in reverse order, 4, 3, 2, and 1.

Mower Just Clicks

If you tried jump-starting your mower or the battery tested OK, then you may have a starter solenoid fault. These guys give lots of trouble, so it’s highly likely, but it’s not the only possible cause of the click sound. Check out this simple, easy-to-follow guide, we’ll test the solenoid, and I’ll show you the other common causes of the click sound – “Won’t start just clicks.”

Mower Won’t Start No Click

If you tried jump starting or the battery tested OK, but the mower makes no sound at all when you turn the key – You may simply have an open safety sensor, like not sitting on the seat or brake pedal not pressed, or you could have a more complex issue.

Anyway, I wrote a guide to help you find the problem. Check out all the most likely causes here “Mower won’t start – no click.”

Tractor Battery Function

The function of a lawn tractor battery is to start the engine. Once started, the alternator then produces the power required to run electrical systems and recharge the battery. Batteries are designed to give, receive and store electrical power.

A strong, healthy battery is critical to starting a lawn tractor mower. A mower engine only creates enough energy for the spark plug to fire if the engine cranks over fast enough, min 350rpm. So if your mower cranks but won’t start, try jump-starting to eliminate the possibility of a faulty battery causing a slow crank speed.

Once the engines are running, a bad battery isn’t so important. That’s why a mower with a bad battery still runs after you remove the jumper leads. See crank testing the battery below.

Battery Testing

Checking for a full 12.65 volts on a battery at rest is fine for giving you an indication of the state of charge, but it’s not a guarantee that it’s OK. To test a battery for faults, it needs to be loaded, and by loaded, I mean worked hard.

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How to Jump Start a Riding Lawn Mower with your Car Safely

  • 100% charged is 12.7 – 13.2 volts
  • 75% charged is 12.4 volts
  • 50% charged is 12.2 volts
  • 25% charged is 12.0 volts
  • Discharged (Flat) 0 – 11.9 volts

The fast and easy way to check the battery is to use a voltmeter set to 20 volts DC.

I’ve listed a voltmeter on the tools page. It’s a good meter you’ll have for years that won’t break the bank “Small engine repair tools.”

Battery Crank Test – To test a battery, it needs to be loaded with a voltmeter set to volts DC, red to red, and black to black. Have a helper crank over the engine. If the meter drops below 9 volts, the battery is faulty.

Charging System Test – If you have a voltmeter, checking your charging system is easy. With the engine running, set your meter to volts DC and connect the red to red and black to black. Any reading above 12.65 volts means your charging system is OK.

What Battery Type

There are many different types of batteries, wet, gel, and AGM…. Let’s keep this simple.

Don’t buy a wet battery; you’ll know a wet battery – has fluid top-up plugs across the top of the battery. These batteries leak and are usually all over the connectors causing corrosion. It needs to be topped up regularly, and if you don’t, you’ll kill it and void the warranty.

They can’t be stored indoors safely. It can’t be shipped with acid, so if you buy it online, you’ll have to go to an auto store and buy acid. Then using suitable gloves, eye protection, and a mask (because this stuff is nasty), fill the battery cells individually, careful not to overfill them.

Now you’ll need to charge the battery, so you’ll need a charger, back to the auto store……

Instead, buy a sealed battery; they’re easy to handle, have no risk of leaks, no topping up of electrolytes needed, and can be shipped and arrive locked and loaded. Check out the Amazon link below for great deals on mower-sealed batteries delivered to your door already charged and ready to roll.

12 Volt Battery

A typical lawn tractor battery is 12 volts. They are made up of six individual cells, each producing 2.10 volts. This makes a total of 12.65 volts when fully charged; however, referred to as a 12-volt battery. Within each cell are opposing lead plates of cathode and anode submerged in an electrolyte. The chemical reaction of these opposing lead plates causes electrons to flow – producing electricity.

Check Your Battery Shape

Batteries are classified by the shape, size, and orientation of posts and are given a group code, such as U1R. This code will be marked on the battery. If you get this wrong, the battery would still start the mower OK but may not fit in its location, or the leads may not reach the battery posts.

If you don’t want to mess around with codes, just measure the battery height, width, and depth, note which side the posts are and if they are negative or positive. Go online, and you’ll be juiced up in no time.

How Many Amp Battery?

The bigger your mower engine, the more amps will be required to turn that engine over. The output of the battery is very important. When diagnosing electrical systems and thinking about Volts, Amps, and Resistance within that system and how they all relate to each other, I find it helpful to think about energy as water in a garden hose.

  • Volts are the water pressure in the garden hose.
  • Amps being the water flow rate from the garden hose
  • Resistance is the size of the garden hose

Amps

A single-cylinder lawn tractor starter motor will draw 80 – 100 Amps when starting the engine. The more mechanical resistance in the engine, the larger the draw.

For example, in cold weather, when the engine oil is thicker, it’s harder for the starter to turn the engine, and so it draws more energy (amps).

Excessive Amp Draw

A starter pulling excessive amps will mimic a flat battery. The reasons a starter pulls excessive amps vary; common among them include:

  • Excessive valve lash
  • Hydro-locked engine
  • Faulty starter motor
  • Over full oil level
  • Oil too thick
  • Internal engine damage

Measuring amp draw is simple. However, you will need a clamp meter.

A typical lawn mower battery will be amp-rated and marked on a sticker 12 V – 32 Ah – 280 A.

12 v = 12 Volts32 Ah = Means this battery can supply 1 Amp for 32 hours (1 Amp would be equivalent to a small light)280 A = Max amount of Amps available

46-inch Stamped, 12-Gauge, Twin-Blade Deck with 12 Cutting Positions []

Other common reasons for a larger amp draw: are worn starter motor; binding starter motor; engine damage; engine hydro-locked; overfull oil level; wrong oil type; valve lash off; failed compression release assembly.

Many of these problems are on the spendy side to repair, so it may be time to assess the overall condition of the old girl before spending money, it may be time for a new set of wheels.

How To Charge Mower Battery

To charge your riding mower battery, you will obviously need a battery charger. You don’t need to remove the battery from the mower, but you will need to remove the black negative (-) cable terminal connection.

Your mower may be fitted with a sealed, maintenance-free battery or a regular lead-acid battery; both can be charged with a normal charger.

I prefer to use a Smart charger; they’re safe to leave on your mower all winter and can also be used as a normal battery charger.

Totally Flat Battery Charge Hack

If your battery is fully discharged, the battery charger will not charge it; it’s designed that way. To hack this, we need to fool the charger, simply connect the flat battery to a charged battery with jump leads in the normal way, then connect the charger and charge.

The jump leads, and donor battery can be removed after an hour.

Wet Battery Charging

A regular lead-acid battery will have a fluid level indicator and removable cell caps, as per the pictures below. A wet battery will need the cell caps removed and the fluid level checked before charging.

Top up with distilled water or rainwater caught in a plastic container. Do not fill past the max level. If you find any of the cells dry, then it’s likely the battery is junk. Advise using protective eyewear and gloves.

Sealed Battery Charging

The sealed battery is much less work; you only need to remove the negative terminal before charging (you don’t need to disconnect it if using a Smart charger). You’ll recognize a sealed battery; it won’t have the fluid caps or fluid level indicator.

1 Volt – A fully charged 12 v battery reads 12.65 volts. Any reading below 12.4 means the battery needs a charge.

2 Remove – Before charging the battery, remove the negative terminal. No need to remove the positive terminal.

3 Fluid – If you have a regular lead-acid battery, you will have a fluid level mark. Check the level; it can be seen through the casing.

4 Top Up – Remove all plastic caps. Top up with distilled water or rainwater caught in a plastic container. Fill to the max. Use safety glasses and gloves; ACID WILL BURN CLOTHES AND SKIN

5 Sealed – You don’t need to remove a battery to charge it, but sometimes removing it can be easier. A sealed battery is maintenance-free; just disconnect the negative wire and charge.

6 Charger – The charger is connected red to positive and black to negative, as per the picture. Charge time – about 2 hours.

What Is A Smart Charger

Consider buying a Smart/trickle charger; these chargers are connected to your mower when not in use. They put out a low amp charge of 1 to 3 amps which maintains your battery.

I treated my own tractor mower last year to a new Smart charger; I bought the Noco Genius Smart charger; you can check it out on the “Small engine tools page,” I’m very happy with it so far, it’s simple to use and works on all battery types, but I’ll keep you posted.

Trickle Chargers

There are different types of trickle chargers:

  • Manual, which needs to be turned on and off.
  • Smart auto charger – turn themselves on and off as the battery requires.
  • The hybrid version will double as a high amp charger when needed.
  • Solar trickle versions are also available.

Using Trickle Charger

Connecting them is simple, pop on the color-coded crocodile clips and plug them in. This leaves you with a fully charged battery every time you turn the key. Batteries work best and last longer when their state of charge is maintained; off-season charging is always advised.

How Long to Charge Mower Battery?

This will depend on the size of the battery, how depleted that battery is, and the type of charger you using. There are fast chargers, trickle chargers, and Smart chargers; all will vary in charge time. Usually, 3 to 4 hours is enough for most chargers to lift a flat battery.

Amp Rating

Chargers are amp-rated, so, for example – the mower battery is a 32 amp-hour (Ah) and totally flat. Using a 10 amp charger to fully charge it will take approximately 3 hours.

The Hybrid Smart chargers are the best and, of course, are more expensive; they are designed to charge and maintain your battery when the mower isn’t in use. They will turn off and on as needed.

Related Questions

Do riding mowers charge the battery? Yes, all riding mowers have a battery charging alternator and regulator; they monitor and charge the battery when the engine is running.

Can I use a car battery in a lawnmower? Yes, you could use a car battery to start a riding mower, but car batteries are much larger, and so may not fit in the mower battery tray.

Hey, I’m John, and I’m a Red Seal Qualified Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience.

I’ve worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars to grass machinery, and this site is where I share fluff-free hacks, tips, and insider know-how.

Is it Legal to Drive a Lawn Mower on the Road?

In some instances, people have to move their lawn mowers or other low-speed vehicles, like golf carts, from location to location. Especially if they have to mow multiple lawns or lend it out to a family member or a friend. So, the question is, are lawn mowers street legal? Keep reading and discover if driving a lawn mower is legally allowed in most areas.

Are Mowers Street Legal?

Many people believe that driving their lawn mower on the public street is legal or outside their property. However, it is just a misconception and not always the case. In most rural areas, people are allowed to ride on the road.

However, concerning city streets, it is illegal. People have to realize that riding a lawn mower is only meant for one place and to cut grass, and it is the lawn. Lawn mowers are not street legal in many states. These states have lawn mower driving laws that ban their residents from driving their lawn mowers on highways and public roads.

How Do You Make a Lawn Mower Road Legal?

Lawn mower owners may wonder whether their lawn mowers are street legal. The answer to that depends on several things. This means some states allow people to ride their lawn mowers on the road, while others prohibit driving lawn mowers.

For instance, if they drive their lawn mowers on a highly trafficked road and streets even with a slow-moving vehicle sign, then the answer is no. In most states, lawn mower driving laws consider a vehicle to be street legal if it has registration, license plates, proper lights, and turn signals. Unfortunately, most lawn mowers are not considered street legal because of those requirements.

On the other hand, if the street people refer to a rural road, they can consider it safe to say that the lawn movers are street legal. It is legal to ride lawn mowers from point A to point B in some states with rural areas.

Beware that many rural counties’ farm equipment, such as lawn mowers, tractors, etc., are known to be legal. This means seeing people driving their farm machinery like riding a lawn mower is an ordinary scene, from one destination to another.

Can I Drive My Lawn Mower on the Road?

People should remember that driving their lawn mowers is street legal as long as stated on their state lawn mower driving laws.

When the topic is about the legality of driving a lawn mower on the road, it boils down to how the country and state regulate the action.

For example, most lawn mower driving laws in different cities, states, and countries have varying views about what is legal and illegal. So, the answer to whether a person can drive their lawn mower depends on the state driving law.

People can drive their lawn mowers if they are not in town streets, highways, or areas with high traffics. Lawn mowers are not permitted to be on the highway. Lawn mower owners must remember that a lawn mower cannot reach the specific speed set by the public roads. Even if lawn mowers can reach it, it is still unsafe.

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In addition, lawn mowers are not designed or built as high as a car or tractors. This means lawn mowers are hard to see on the street or highway.

Is a Lawn Mower a Vehicle?

For sure, many people are confused about whether a lawn mower is a motor vehicle or not. Well, the answer depends on the state where they live.

Lawn mowers are not considered motorized vehicles in some states with golf cart laws. People should not be surprised if their lawn mowers are not categorized as motor vehicles in their state. In other words, they cannot drive their lawn mowers off their private property regardless of the situation. Even driving the lawn mowers down the block is considered illegal.

The laws in some states might be confusing when it comes to lawn mowers since they have motors. However, it does not change that not considering them as motor vehicles means it is not allowed to be driven across the town.

DUI Charges and License Suspension

According to most local laws, lawn mower owners can be charged with a DUI. A lawn mower might not be allowed on the public streets or highways, but it does not necessarily mean that the owner is exempted from being charged with a DUI. Police officers and local authorities can pull over a drunk driver on their lawn mower. The law says they can also ticket them once they feel that the operation of the lawn mowers is inhibited by alcohol.

Meanwhile, in some states, lawn mower owners cannot ride them around if they have a suspended license. Most people try to use their lawn mowers as alternatives to their vehicles after having their licenses suspended. The law seeks to stop people from driving their lawn mowers with a suspended license can only land them in more trouble.

Lawn Mower Horsepower

Riding lawn mowers rarely have enough horsepower to drive at the posted speed limit. This means even if a particular country or state allows driving lawn mowers on public roads, the main highway, or streets even with painted lines, people still have to deal with laws that prohibit impeding traffic. According to the law, if the mower is not faster than 15 miles per hour, they present risks.

Not enough power on lawn mowers also poses safety concerns. If the lawn mowers have no blinkers, taillights, headlights, rearview mirrors, and the necessary speed limit, the driver and the lawn mower itself could be at risk from driving beside motorcycles, trucks, cars, and other automobiles. Talk to an injury law firm if you have gotten into an accident from a lawn mower driving on the road.

Lawn Mowers Are Starting to Look Like Go Carts!

Conclusion

Are lawn mowers street legal? Unfortunately, only a few individuals know better about driving laws in their state. People are only allowed to drive their lawn mowers on the road in rural areas. If a person at certain age wants to ride their lawn mower on a public road, they must check their local ordinances. A lawn mower only has one seat. The driving law also suggests installing proper turn signals and lights on the lawn mower. Some lawn mower driving laws require the owner to register their lawn mower and get a license plate. Plus, they are not even considered motor vehicles, and there are age restrictions (provide proof) about who can drive the powered vehicle. People should always comply with the driving laws to prevent a significant issue in the future and if one arises, contact an accident law firm. These are the things every individual, particularly the old guy who always uses a lawn mower, should know.

Weird Lawnmower Driving Laws In The U.S. That You Didn’t Know About

Just because it’s a lawnmower doesn’t mean you are free from driving laws. as these prove.

We all know what a riding lawn mower looks like, but what you probably didn’t know was that there are several laws that regulate how they are used. These laws vary depending on the state, but several of them might surprise you. These laws will make you reconsider your plan to use your lawnmower in place of your car.

We have compiled a list of lawn mower driving laws that you may not have known existed. They might seem strange and oddly specific in regards to certain aspects of your mower, but they were all intended to keep people safe. Keep reading to learn about the ten weird lawn mower driving laws in the U.S. that you didn’t know about!

10. They are not city street legal

It is a common misconception that lawnmowers are street legal, but this is not always the case. It is common in rural areas for them to be allowed on the roadways, but when it comes to city streets that is an entirely new ball game. If you plan to drive your lawnmower around town than it must have the proper lights, turn signals, registration, and license plate that is required of all cars on the roadway. It might seem insignificant, but it is truly for the safety of everyone on the road.

You can be charged with a DUI

Lawnmowers may not be allowed on the road, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t be charged with a DUI. Officers have the ability to pull you and your lawnmower over and ticket you if they feel that your operation of the motorized vehicle is inhibited by alcohol. The same rule goes for bikers who drink and ride, but it is highly unlikely any officer will ticket you on your own lawn if you decide to crack a cold one open on a hot summer day.

They are only meant to carry one person

It goes without saying that lawnmowers only have one seat and are only meant to carry one person, but what you might not realize is that it is actually against the law. This law is mainly to protect small children from being mutilated by the blades if they are accidentally dropped, but it is a good rule for anyone to follow. You might be disappointed that your buddy can’t hitch a ride on the back of your lawnmower, but in the end, the law is doing you a favor by keeping you both safe.

They must display a sign if they are slow moving in certain states

This law is different depending on the state, but many have switched to mandate this for any lawnmowers that have decided to hit the road. Lawnmowers are required to display a sign on the back of their bumper if they plan to traverse a roadway.

This sign is usually an orange triangle and helps prevent any unfortunate accidents caused by speeding cars. This again usually only applies to rural areas, but it helps make them more visible to other drivers on the roadway.

They are not allowed on highways

This is pretty standard, but lawnmowers are not permitted on highways. They are unable to reach the speeds set by the roadway, and even if they are able to it is just not safe. Lawnmowers are not built as high as tractors or cars, which can make them hard to see. This law is in place to help everyone stay safe, and if you are desperate enough to take your lawnmower on the highway then you should have taken an Uber.

They are not considered motor vehicles in certain states

There are certain states who do not consider them motor vehicles at all. This means they cannot be taken off of your private property no matter the circumstance, and even driving it down your block is considered illegal. This law can be confusing as it does have a motor, but by stripping it of its title as a motor vehicle, they also strip away any rights it might have had to its planned journey across town. It might seem weird not to call it a vehicle, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions, even different states.

You can’t use them to ride around if your license is suspended

This weird rule is similar to the DUI rule, but many people attempt to use lawnmowers as an alternative vehicle after they have their license suspended. The law seeks to take away any possibility of a drunk driver striking again because even lawnmowers can cause quite a bit of damage if used improperly.

People with suspended licenses are better off carpooling with a friend, ordering food in, or walking to their destination because driving a lawnmower will only land them in more trouble.

The sidewalk is also off-limits

You might think of a sidewalk as a gift to the public, but you will be sorely disappointed to learn that this is not the case. The sidewalk is owned by the city, which means that they cannot be used as a gateway for your lawnmower to drive from one place to the next. It might seem like a good idea until you are arrested for trespassing. Your poor lawnmower will be impounded and you will have a nice ticket and court date.

They are age restricted

There are certain states who require that people of a certain age not be allowed to drive lawnmowers. This is usually just mandated as a proper safety measure, but some states take it a step further and demand that those younger than sixteen not be allowed to operate the mower. This is usually only found in the states who deem lawnmowers to be motor vehicles, but it also holds you back from giving your child a fun new weekly chore.

California sets emission regulations

California is the only state to date who has set emission regulations on lawnmowers. Owners are required by law to only own mowers with the specific emission standards that are set by the California Air Resources Board. This board wants to reduce the smog let into the air by mowers, and hope to achieve that through these regulations. It might seem a bit overkill, but they also might be ahead of our generation with this next level thinking in terms of the environment.

Rebecca O’Neill is a reader and writer based in Ohio, near the heart of the CLE. She enjoys playing a wide variety of video games and spending time with her husband and son when she’s not writing.

What to know before buying a riding lawn mower

Before you splurge on a new riding lawn mower, read this guide to figure out what type of machine is best for your needs.

Sean Jackson is a creative copywriter living in Florida. He’s had work published with Realtor.com, theScore, ESPN, and the San Francisco Chronicle. In his free time, Sean likes to play drums, fail miserably at improv and spend time at the beach.

Keeping your yard looking sharp is an important part of homeownership. A well-maintained lawn not only enhances your home’s curb appeal, it could also increase its value. That’s why it makes plenty of sense to invest in a decent lawn mower. With robot mowers still struggling to gain traction. your choices are mainly split between walking models and riding models.

A walking lawn mower is perfect if you have a small yard. However, if your yard exceeds a quarter of an acre, or you’re looking to spend less time mowing it, then it’s worth considering the upgrade to a riding lawn mower. This guide will help you find the right one by examining factors like your lawn size, type of terrain and special features to look for.

How big is your lawn?

The size of your lawn is a vital factor when you’re choosing a lawn mower. After all, if you’ve got a large lawn encompassing multiple acres, then your mower will need the chops to handle the job well while saving you time.

One effective way to measure a mower’s capabilities is its cut width, which tells you how wide a strip of grass it can clear in a single pass. The bigger the cut width, the more grass you’ll be able to mow at once.

A yard less than 1 acre would do well with a cutting width of 30 to 42 inches. Two popular models that fit the bill are the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro and the Craftsman T210 Turn Tight. Both mowers have 18-horsepower gas engines, hydrostatic transmissions and a cutting width of 42 inches.

Lawns 5 or more acres in size will typically require a cutting width of at least 54 inches.- otherwise you’ll be out there mowing all day. One such model is the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco 54 XP. With a 24-HP gas engine and a broad, 54-inch cutting width, it should make fast work of big lawns.

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Study your property’s terrain

Does your lawn have lots of obstacles to navigate? If it does, consider a riding mower with a tight turning radius, which is helpful for steering around tight spots and corners. A tighter turning radius makes for smoother handling, and it’ll help to ensure a uniform cut. A mower’s turn radius is usually listed in inches with smaller figures describing tighter turns.

Meanwhile, if your yard contains an abundance of items like flower beds or shrubs, then a zero-turn mower might be more your speed. With a zero-turn mower, you’ll use a pair of levers instead of a steering wheel to maneuver. Zero-turn mowers spin on a dime, with an effective turning radius of 0 inches. They have a high forward speed, too. That allows them to whip around tight edges while still providing a smooth cut.

One example of a zero-turn mower is the John Deere Z355R. It’s equipped with a 22-HP gas engine and has a top speed of 7 miles per hour.

Carts and attachments

Riding mowers can do more than just cut grass. For instance, some can haul extra items. You can hitch stuff like dump carts, giving you the option to move lawn debris and other items with ease. Other handy options include snow plows and even snowblower attachments to deal with tough winters.

Comfort options

There are comfort features you can look for in your next mower, too. Seating is a primary point of FOCUS, especially if you’ll be riding on your mower for hours at a time. If long rides like those are a concern, look for a mower with high-back seats, lumbar support and armrests, as they can help keep you comfortable for a longer ride.

Some riding mowers also include cup holders to keep you hydrated while you’re out mowing. There are also options for extended leg room, rubber foot pedals and much more.

Other features and capabilities

As you shop, be sure to factor in engine design, as well. Single engines tend to be the least expensive and are perfect for smaller yards. However, if you have a yard with multiple acres, then you should consider a V-twin engine. Not only does a V-twin provide faster mowing, it helps you navigate uneven terrain with ease.

Some riding lawn mowers can also mow in reverse.- a helpful feature if you need a different angle when cutting around obstacles. Additionally, cutting in reverse often helps to smooth out spots over hilly terrain.

Find the right balance

So now you know some of the key things to consider when choosing a lawn mower. The final step is to weigh the features you want against your budget. Also, keep in mind that some manufacturers such as John Deere offer financing incentives. Better yet, if you pay off the loan within the promotional period, you’re not on the hook for interest charges.

Financing like that could also give you the flexibility to purchase a more powerful lawn mower, or even the machine of your dreams. And with regular maintenance. your lawn mower could provide many years of valuable service.

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