Husqvarna Riding Mower Won’t Move Forward Or Reverse – What To Do Now. Husqvarna tractor lawn mower

Husqvarna Riding Mower Won’t Move Forward Or Reverse – What To Do Now?

Can’t figure out why your Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse? Sometimes all it takes is a simple fix, but if the problem lies within the transmission, your Husqvarna riding mower can be harder to fix and will cost more.

Husqvarna lawnmowers won’t move forward or backward for many reasons. It can be caused by a worn-out belt, low level of hydraulic fluid, missing axle key, and whatnot.

Turn off your Husqvarna and disconnect the spark cord before you work on it. Be very careful when working near a hot transmission. Carefully determine the cause and take measures accordingly.

Why Won’t Your Husqvarna Riding Mower Move Forward or Reverse?

husqvarna, riding, mower, move

husqvarna, riding, mower, move

If your Husqvarna riding lawn mower won’t move forward or backward, what you can do is, try a few fixing ideas. First, make sure the transmission is where it should be. If your riding mower’s gearbox is misplaced, then the riding mower won’t move.

Check the mower’s drive belt to see if it’s broken or if it’s come off the pulleys. Replace the drive belt if it isn’t working right.

Last but not the least, check to see how much hydrostatic fluid is left in the tank. If there isn’t enough fluid in the mower, it won’t move.

Reasons Why Your Husqvarna Riding Mower Won’t Move Forward or Reverse.

What are the possible reasons of your Husqvarna mower not moving back and forth? Once you find out the reason, you can easily find out what you can do about it. That’s why we’ve made a list of possible reasons and solutions.

The Bypass Lever of Your Husqvarna Mower’s Manual Transmission is Not Working

Husqvarna lawnmowers with hydrostatic transmissions use fluid to move the drive wheels. The wheels run by pumping this fluid. To fix this problem, you can push the riding mower by hand using this lever transmission bypass.

When you’re using the lever to move your mower manually, let go of the bypass when you’re done so that the hydrostatic transmission runs the wheels in the right direction. You have to turn on the gearbox otherwise your Husqvarna won’t move.

Fallen Drive Belt

See if the drive belt has come loose from the pulleys. If the belt on your mower is worn-out, it might slip upon the pulleys and make it move sluggishly. If it falls off your mower’s pulleys, it won’t move at all.

If this is the case, the remedy is simple. When you find your mower’s drive belt broken or worn out, you should get a new one.

A Moving Drive Belt

Check to see if your mower’s drive belt has been worn and if it is going around the mower pulleys in the right way. Change the broken or worn-out belts. The belts need to fit tightly to the pulleys as well as the belt guards.

If you find your mower’s drive belt fallen, check the pulleys and make sure that they are in good shape and the belt guards are not damaged or misplaced.

Lost Axle Key?

If you just changed the tire of your Husqvarna riding lawn mower, you might have lost a small key. This key looks like a long, thin bar. It’s called the “Axle key”. You must find it and put it in before you try to move the wheels. If you cannot find the key then go to your nearby hardware shop where Husqvarna parts are sold and ask them to help you out.

The “Idler Arm Spring” on Your Husqvarna is Missing or Worn.

The idler spring’s duty is to tighten the drive belt. You must replace the spring if it is damaged, missing, or strained. Don’t forget to grease your mower’s tensioner arm so that it can move forward and reverse without getting stuck.

The Hydraulic Fluid of Your Husqvarna Mower is Running on Low or The Oil is Outdated.

To keep your transmission system functioning smoothly, you must keep track of the hydraulic fluid. Is your Husqvarna riding mower running out of hydraulic oil? Or maybe the oil has been there for too long.

If your Husqvarna mower’s hydraulic oil is very old or the quantity is very low, your mower won’t move forward or reverse. In this case, pour clean, fresh hydraulic oil into your mower. However, some Husqvarna riding mower transmission systems are bolted and cannot be repaired.

In this case, you cannot change the hydraulic oil. Look up your owner’s handbook to understand whether your gearbox requires frequent maintenance. If the gearbox of your Husqvarna mower is up and working, all you need to do is replace the hydraulic fluid by the end of the specified period in the manual.

Be sure to change the hydraulic oil first before you fix other parts of your mower. If your mower’s hydraulic oil has gone cold, add extra hydro fluid until it rises to its maximum. Also, check to see whether the fluid level is low due to a leak in the hydraulic fluid chamber. If your Husqvarna riding mower’s hydraulic tank is leaking, call professionals to deal with it without any delay.

Heated Hydraulic Fluid Can Cause Your Husqvarna Mower Not to Move.

When you use your Husqvarna riding mower with unclean or insufficient hydraulic fluid and the oil is unable to lubricate the mower’s hydraulic system the way it should, the additional friction overheats the hydraulic oil.

If the oil gets overheated, the mower becomes unable to move. Heated hydraulic fluid will potentially cause more serious damage. If the lawn mower doesn’t operate properly while it’s heated but works fine when it’s cold, get your mower’s gearbox checked by an expert.

Air in Your Husqvarna Lawn Mower’s Hydraulic System

Your Husqvarna lawn mower may move slowly or not move at all if the transmission is filled with air more than there should be. You must get rid of the air from your Husqvarna gearbox.

Place the gearbox on a flat surface. Take wheel chocks and put them on the mower’s front wheels so that it stays still. Lift the tires of the back drive by using jack stands. Spin the tires back and forth until the weird sound stops and the wheels start moving at a consistent pace.

Take a look at the operator’s handbook for a better understanding according to your Husqvarna mower model. If yours is a zero-turn mower, then you need to be using drive-releasing handles on the rear to open the bypass valve. What you have to do is,

  • Restart the mower, and increase the engine to a fast stop while releasing the brake pedal.
  • To remove the air from the system, move the driving levers back and forth about six times.
  • Shut your mower down and press the brake pedal.
  • Shut the bypass valve. You need to repeat the process again.
  • Restart your mower, disengage the brake pedal, and move back and forth using the drive levers for forward and reverse. Continue repeating this process until your mower’s gearbox stops generating abnormal noise as well as the wheels travel at the exact pace.
  • Seek help from the operator’s handbook for a clearer idea according to your Husqvarna model.

Clogged Carburetor or Blocked Fuel Lines

Have you looked at all the possible reasons why your Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse? But all of the reasons stated above have nothing to do with your mower not working. In this case, check the fuel filter. it’s possible that your mower isn’t moving because its fuel lines are blocked or the carburetor is clogged. In this case, it’s best to call a professional instead of doing this all on your own.

Final Words

The Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse? Isn’t that the most annoying thing ever? If your riding mower isn’t moving back or forth, then we’d suggest you find the reason behind it and then come up with a solution.

s:

Husqvarna Riding Mower Won’t Move Forward Or Reverse – What To Do Now?

Can’t figure out why your Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse? Sometimes all it takes is a simple fix, but if the problem lies within the transmission, your Husqvarna riding mower can be harder to fix and will cost more.

Husqvarna lawnmowers won’t move forward or backward for many reasons. It can be caused by a worn-out belt, low level of hydraulic fluid, missing axle key, and whatnot.

Turn off your Husqvarna and disconnect the spark cord before you work on it. Be very careful when working near a hot transmission. Carefully determine the cause and take measures accordingly.

Why Won’t Your Husqvarna Riding Mower Move Forward or Reverse?

husqvarna, riding, mower, move

husqvarna, riding, mower, move

If your Husqvarna riding lawn mower won’t move forward or backward, what you can do is, try a few fixing ideas. First, make sure the transmission is where it should be. If your riding mower’s gearbox is misplaced, then the riding mower won’t move.

Check the mower’s drive belt to see if it’s broken or if it’s come off the pulleys. Replace the drive belt if it isn’t working right.

Last but not the least, check to see how much hydrostatic fluid is left in the tank. If there isn’t enough fluid in the mower, it won’t move.

Reasons Why Your Husqvarna Riding Mower Won’t Move Forward or Reverse.

What are the possible reasons of your Husqvarna mower not moving back and forth? Once you find out the reason, you can easily find out what you can do about it. That’s why we’ve made a list of possible reasons and solutions.

The Bypass Lever of Your Husqvarna Mower’s Manual Transmission is Not Working

Husqvarna lawnmowers with hydrostatic transmissions use fluid to move the drive wheels. The wheels run by pumping this fluid. To fix this problem, you can push the riding mower by hand using this lever transmission bypass.

When you’re using the lever to move your mower manually, let go of the bypass when you’re done so that the hydrostatic transmission runs the wheels in the right direction. You have to turn on the gearbox otherwise your Husqvarna won’t move.

Fallen Drive Belt

See if the drive belt has come loose from the pulleys. If the belt on your mower is worn-out, it might slip upon the pulleys and make it move sluggishly. If it falls off your mower’s pulleys, it won’t move at all.

If this is the case, the remedy is simple. When you find your mower’s drive belt broken or worn out, you should get a new one.

A Moving Drive Belt

Check to see if your mower’s drive belt has been worn and if it is going around the mower pulleys in the right way. Change the broken or worn-out belts. The belts need to fit tightly to the pulleys as well as the belt guards.

If you find your mower’s drive belt fallen, check the pulleys and make sure that they are in good shape and the belt guards are not damaged or misplaced.

Lost Axle Key?

If you just changed the tire of your Husqvarna riding lawn mower, you might have lost a small key. This key looks like a long, thin bar. It’s called the “Axle key”. You must find it and put it in before you try to move the wheels. If you cannot find the key then go to your nearby hardware shop where Husqvarna parts are sold and ask them to help you out.

The “Idler Arm Spring” on Your Husqvarna is Missing or Worn.

The idler spring’s duty is to tighten the drive belt. You must replace the spring if it is damaged, missing, or strained. Don’t forget to grease your mower’s tensioner arm so that it can move forward and reverse without getting stuck.

The Hydraulic Fluid of Your Husqvarna Mower is Running on Low or The Oil is Outdated.

To keep your transmission system functioning smoothly, you must keep track of the hydraulic fluid. Is your Husqvarna riding mower running out of hydraulic oil? Or maybe the oil has been there for too long.

If your Husqvarna mower’s hydraulic oil is very old or the quantity is very low, your mower won’t move forward or reverse. In this case, pour clean, fresh hydraulic oil into your mower. However, some Husqvarna riding mower transmission systems are bolted and cannot be repaired.

In this case, you cannot change the hydraulic oil. Look up your owner’s handbook to understand whether your gearbox requires frequent maintenance. If the gearbox of your Husqvarna mower is up and working, all you need to do is replace the hydraulic fluid by the end of the specified period in the manual.

Be sure to change the hydraulic oil first before you fix other parts of your mower. If your mower’s hydraulic oil has gone cold, add extra hydro fluid until it rises to its maximum. Also, check to see whether the fluid level is low due to a leak in the hydraulic fluid chamber. If your Husqvarna riding mower’s hydraulic tank is leaking, call professionals to deal with it without any delay.

Heated Hydraulic Fluid Can Cause Your Husqvarna Mower Not to Move.

When you use your Husqvarna riding mower with unclean or insufficient hydraulic fluid and the oil is unable to lubricate the mower’s hydraulic system the way it should, the additional friction overheats the hydraulic oil.

If the oil gets overheated, the mower becomes unable to move. Heated hydraulic fluid will potentially cause more serious damage. If the lawn mower doesn’t operate properly while it’s heated but works fine when it’s cold, get your mower’s gearbox checked by an expert.

Air in Your Husqvarna Lawn Mower’s Hydraulic System

Your Husqvarna lawn mower may move slowly or not move at all if the transmission is filled with air more than there should be. You must get rid of the air from your Husqvarna gearbox.

Place the gearbox on a flat surface. Take wheel chocks and put them on the mower’s front wheels so that it stays still. Lift the tires of the back drive by using jack stands. Spin the tires back and forth until the weird sound stops and the wheels start moving at a consistent pace.

Take a look at the operator’s handbook for a better understanding according to your Husqvarna mower model. If yours is a zero-turn mower, then you need to be using drive-releasing handles on the rear to open the bypass valve. What you have to do is,

  • Restart the mower, and increase the engine to a fast stop while releasing the brake pedal.
  • To remove the air from the system, move the driving levers back and forth about six times.
  • Shut your mower down and press the brake pedal.
  • Shut the bypass valve. You need to repeat the process again.
  • Restart your mower, disengage the brake pedal, and move back and forth using the drive levers for forward and reverse. Continue repeating this process until your mower’s gearbox stops generating abnormal noise as well as the wheels travel at the exact pace.
  • Seek help from the operator’s handbook for a clearer idea according to your Husqvarna model.

Clogged Carburetor or Blocked Fuel Lines

Have you looked at all the possible reasons why your Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse? But all of the reasons stated above have nothing to do with your mower not working. In this case, check the fuel filter. it’s possible that your mower isn’t moving because its fuel lines are blocked or the carburetor is clogged. In this case, it’s best to call a professional instead of doing this all on your own.

Final Words

The Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse? Isn’t that the most annoying thing ever? If your riding mower isn’t moving back or forth, then we’d suggest you find the reason behind it and then come up with a solution.

s:

Top 5 Riding Lawn Mowers for 2023 To Gain the Advantage Over Your Grass

husqvarna, riding, mower, move

If you’re looking for a riding lawn mower to conquer your lawn in 2023, one of these models from John Deere, Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, or Ryobi might serve you well.

Summer is around the corner, and for some owners, riding lawn mowers are the only way to stay on top of lawn maintenance. However, the market is full of options, from EFI-equipped large-deck options to fully-electric mini mowers. Fret not; one of these five riding mowers can deliver what you need to conquer your grass in 2023, like the John Deere S130, S120, and Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT.

What are the top five riding lawn mowers?

When it comes to well-rounded riding mowers for small to medium lawns, these five are some of the most capable on the market.

husqvarna, riding, mower, move

  • Husqvarna YTH18542
  • John Deere S130
  • Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT
  • John Deere S120
  • Ryobi RY48111

Additionally, the Husqvarna YTH18542 boasts two sets of cutting blades instead of a single cutting surface. However, the deck can be difficult to dismantle for sharpening, per ZDNet. Further, the YTH18542’s 18.5-horsepower Briggs Stratton engine is more than enough to handle challenging lawns and hills. The Husqvarna model starts at around 2,399.00.

What engine is in a John Deere S130?

John Deere’s S130 riding lawn mower packs a 22-horsepower, 724cc Briggs Stratton engine. As a result, the S130 is a more powerful riding mower, albeit more expensive than the Husqvarna YTH18542, per Bob Vila.

husqvarna, riding, mower, move

over, the John Deere model will mow in reverse, packs multiple blades, and delivers easily controlled throttle via a hydrostatic transmission. Better yet, Bob Vila says the S130 will eagerly handle a two-acre lawn, but anything over three acres might be pushing it for the green machine.

Is a Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT one of the best riding lawn mowers?

With a 19.5-horsepower Kohler engine and a 42-inch deck, the Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT is an excellent gas-powered alternative to the John Deere S130 and Husqvarna YTH18542. over, with starting price point of 2,399, the Cub Cadet XT1 model is comparably priced in the segment.

Better yet, potential owners won’t be compromising compared to close competitors; the Enduro LT packs a smooth hydrostatic transmission and twin-blade cutting system.

husqvarna, riding, mower, move

How much is a John Deere S120?

The John Deere S120 starts at 2,699.00, making it a pricier option than a comparable Husqvarna YTH18542 or Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT. However, the S120 shares many of the features of the S130, like the 22-horsepower engine and a 42-inch cutting deck.

husqvarna, riding, mower, move

Is a Ryobi RY48111 a good electric riding mower for small lawns?

The Ryobi RY48111 is an excellent option for potential owners seeking an electric mower to tackle their small to mid-size lawns. With a low-maintenance, fully-electric 100 amp-hour battery system, the Ryobi model can continuously cut up to 2.5 hours.

The best riding mowers: Troy-Bilt, Toro, and more compared

Up your summer lawn care game with a riding mower that makes for a faster, more eco-friendly mowing experience.

Taylor Clemons is a tech writer and reviewer based near Cleveland, OH. After graduating from Tiffin University in 2011, they spent several years in lawn and garden manufacturing before working on their own (now defunct) game review site, Steam Shovel.

Sean Jackson is a creative copywriter living in Florida. He’s had work published with CNET, Realtor.com, theScore, ESPN, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Taylor Clemons is a tech writer and reviewer based near Cleveland, OH. After graduating from Tiffin University in 2011, they spent several years in lawn and garden manufacturing before working on their own (now defunct) game review site, Steam Shovel.

Sean Jackson is a creative copywriter living in Florida. He’s had work published with CNET, Realtor.com, theScore, ESPN, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Riding mowers are a popular mower choice for homeowners, especially if you have a big property to maintain every summer. They have cutting decks measuring from 42 to 72 inches, so you can make short work of everything from typical lawns to large properties, like sports complexes and golf courses.

Unlike their push mower counterparts, riding mowers have more features to consider in order to find the right fit for your yard. You can choose either a manual or hydrostatic transmission, so you can “set and forget” your speed or operate your mower like a car. You can even get riding mowers with cruise control or all-wheel drive for better traction.

While gas engines are far more common among riding mowers, there is a wide selection of battery-powered models if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly solution for lawn care. To help you find the perfect fit for your yard and workshop, I’ve rounded up five of the best riding mowers you can buy. I broke down their cutting widths, transmission types, power sources, and other features, as well as their price points to help you decide which one best matches your needs and your budget.

Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP

Best riding mower overall

  • 24HP engine
  • 54-inch cutting deck
  • Automatic transmission
  • Attachments and accessories available

Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP tech specs: Engine: 24HP Kohler | Cutting width: 54 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic/Automatic | Max yard size: 4 acres

The Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP riding mower is an excellent choice for a variety of lawns. It’s built with a 24HP Kohler engine and a 54-inch cutting deck to let you handle inclines and rough terrain or haul tools, mulch, and potting soil around your property.

The hydrostatic, automatic transmission makes operation similar to a typical car, so you can spend more time actually cutting your grass and less time learning how to drive your mower. With a 3-gallon tank, you’ll be able to mow up to 4 acres at a time.

Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor

Best electric riding mower

  • 2.5 acre max range
  • Quick-charge batteries
  • LCD heads-up display
  • USB charging ports

Ryobi 80V electric lawn tractor tech specs: Engine: 80V brushless electric | Cutting width: 46 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic/Automatic | Max yard size: 2.5 acres

Electric riding mowers have become more popular in recent years as homeowners and landscaping professionals look for ways to make lawn care more eco-friendly. The Ryobi 80V electric lawn tractor features a 46-inch cutting deck and enough power to let you mow up to 2.5 acres on a single charge, and you can recharge your mower batteries in as little as 2.5 hours.

This means you can take care of other tasks, like weeding or landscaping, while you’re waiting for your mower to recharge. An LCD screen gives you a heads-up display of run time, battery levels, and reminders to inspect and sharpen your mower blades. It even has two USB ports for charging your phone while you mow.

Toro Titan Max

Best zero-turn riding mower

  • Mows up to 7 acres at once
  • Highly maneuverable
  • 10-gauge steel construction
  • Tool-free air filters

Toro Titan Max tech specs: Engine: 26HP Kohler 7000 | Cutting width: 60 inches | Transmission: Dual hydrostatic/automatic | Max yard size: 7 acres

Zero-turn riding mowers are popular with homeowners who have larger properties or lots of obstacles like trees or specialized landscaping. The Toro Titan Max’s exceptional maneuverability and larger cutting decks make quick work of yards up to 7 acres in size, while the 26HP Kohler 7000 engine uses a dual hydrostatic drive for smooth, intuitive operation.

Toro also made regular maintenance a bit more streamlined with tool-free air filters. The deck and mower body are made from tough, 10-gauge steel to stand up to dings, rocks, run-ins, and anything else your lawn can throw at it.

Cub Cadet CC30E

Best compact riding mower

  • Battery-powered
  • Great for yards up to 1 acre
  • Compact design great for small storage areas and narrow spaces
  • Push-button cruise control

Cub Cadet CC30E tech specs: Engine: 56V electric | Cutting width: 30 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic/Automatic | Max yard size: 1 acre

Compact riding mowers like the Cub Caded CC30E are great for suburban lawns on the smaller side. The CC30E features a smaller design that is perfect for storing in multi-use sheds and garages or maneuvering through gates and narrow spaces. The 30-inch cutting deck and 56V battery let you mow up to 1 acre (or one hour) at once.

It uses a hydrostatic drive for smooth, intuitive driving while the 18-inch turning radius lets you easily mow around trees and other obstacles. It even features a push-button cruise control, so you can “set-and-forget” your forward speed and concentrate on mowing around obstacles, as well as staying aware of your surroundings.

DeWALT Z160 Commercial

Best riding mower for large properties

  • Mow up to 10 acres
  • 5.5 gallon gas tank
  • Dual hydrostatic drive
  • Great for hills and inclines

DeWALT Z160 Commercial tech specs: Engine: 24HP Kawasaki V-Twin | Cutting width: 60 inches | Transmission: Dual hydrostatic/automatic | Max yard size: 10 acres

The DeWALT Z160 Commercial zero-turn riding mower is designed from the ground up to handle large properties. The 60-inch cutting deck and 24HP Kawasaki V-Twin engine let you mow up to 10 acres at once, making it an almost perfect choice for rural properties or landscaping professionals. The dual hydrostatic drive makes operation smoother, though the twin-stick steering does take some getting used to.

With 22-inch rear wheels, you can easily take on inclines and rolling hills that may be on your property. A 5.5-gallon fuel tank means you’ll spend more time actually mowing and less time refueling. And if you opt for the bagger attachment, you’ll be able to gather up to 11 bushels of clippings before you need to empty.

What is the best riding mower?

I chose the Troy-Bilt Super Bronco XP as the best riding mower you can buy. It features a 54-inch cutting deck and 3-gallon fuel tank, letting you mow up to 4 acres in a single go. The 24 horsepower engine also lets you take on steeper inclines and rough terrain or haul tools and gardening supplies around your property. The hydrostatic drive makes operation similar to a typical car, while an LED display gives you accurate usage hours for streamlined maintenance.

Best riding mower

Cutting width

Transmission type

Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor

Which is the right riding mower for you?

Other than your budget, there are a lot of features and scenarios you have to consider while shopping for a new riding mower. The size of your yard will determine how wide the cutting deck should be, though either a 42 or 46-inch version will be more than enough for most yards.

You can choose either a manual or hydrostatic transmission. A manual model lets you “set and forget” your speed so you can FOCUS, while hydrostatic models operate more like cars, going faster the harder you press the pedal. This makes them more intuitive to operate but also more expensive.

Zero-turn mowers are designed for mowing in oddly-shaped areas or around lots of obstacles like trees, lamp posts, and lawn ornaments. They’re called “zero-turn” because they have a zero-inch turn radius; you pivot around either rear wheel for ultra-tight turning.

Buy this best riding mower.

If you need.

A well-rounded riding mower. The 54-inch cutting deck and 24HP engine let you mow up to 4 acres at a time.

Ryobi 80V electric riding lawn tractor

An all-electric riding mower. The electric engine requires less maintenance than gas models, making your lawn-care routine more eco-friendly.

An excellent zero-turn riding mower. Precision maneuvering lets you mow around trees, landscaping, and other obstacles with ease.

A compact riding mower. The 30-inch deck and smaller build make this riding mower perfect for smaller suburban lawns.

A riding mower that can handle larger properties. This commercial-grade, zero-turn riding mower lets you cut up to 10 acres at once.

How did we choose these riding mowers?

I used to work for MTD Products (now owned by BlackDecker), which assembles a variety of lawn mowers, snow blowers, and other powered lawn equipment. Using the expertise and knowledge I gained during my time there, I looked for riding mowers with these qualities:

  • Motor size: You’ll want a riding mower with at least a 10HP engine to give you enough power to handle minor inclines and lawns up to half an acre. Larger riding mowers like the John Deere Z530M have more powerful engines, often topping out over 20HP to let you tackle rough terrain and even haul equipment.
  • Cutting width: Many riding mowers have either a 42 or 46-inch cutting deck, which is great for lawns between.5 and 1.5 acres. However, if you have a large, multi-acre property, you’ll want to choose a larger cutting deck. Many brands have options between 50 and 72-inch cutting decks.
  • Transmission type: The less expensive riding mowers will have either a 6 or 7-speed manual transmission. This means you will use a dedicated lever to set your engine’s forward and reverse speeds, with a single brake pedal for stop control. The more expensive models feature a hydrostatic drive, which operates in a similar way to an automatic transmission in a typical car or truck.
  • Accessories: Lawn care goes beyond regular mowing. I chose riding mowers that have the ability to hitch small trailers or wagons for hauling tools, mulch, or potting soil. I also chose mowers from brands that make after-market add-ons, like rear bagging units for collecting grass clippings, mulching kits for re-feeding lawns, and snow plows for year-round use.

How do you decide which riding mower to buy?

Assuming you have a budget in mind, the first thing you need to do is find out how big your lawn is. You can either find your lot size on your memorandum deeds if you’ve bought your house, or you can check your city’s website to see if you can request lot measurements if you’re renting. If your lot measures about an acre, you’ll be able to use a 30 or 42-inch cutting deck without any issues. For lawns up to two acres, a 42 or 46-inch deck is ideal. And if your lot is over two acres, you can get a mower with up to a 72-inch cutting deck to handle larger areas.

The transmission type is also important. Many newer models have what is known as a hydrostatic drive. This means that they operate similarly to how a car drives: You push the pedal and it moves forward or backward. And the harder you push, the faster you go. This makes it easier to learn how to drive, but that also makes the mower more expensive. stripped-back models have variable speed manual transmissions, which allow you to “set and forget” your speed so you can FOCUS on paying attention to obstacles and people who may be nearby.

And finally, you’ll want to consider the power source for your new riding mower. Gasoline engines are far more common, but there is now a wider variety of battery-powered models to choose from. The perks of a gas engine are that you’ll get near-infinite run times (as long as you have enough fuel to keep the engine going) and a bit more power for handling steep inclines and rough terrain. The downsides are dealing with exhaust emissions and maintenance that can be a time and money sink. Electric models don’t need engine maintenance, so you save a bit of money in the long run. But they usually have a maximum run time of about an hour, which means that you may have to plan your mowing over several days if you have a larger yard.

How big of a yard do I need for a riding mower?

Riding mowers are best suited for yards measuring one acre or larger. A model with a 42-inch cutting deck is great for mowing up to two acres, so if you have more land than that, you’ll want to spring for a 46, 54, 60, or 72-inch cutting deck.

If you’re right on the threshold, you can get what’s known as a “mini rider.” They usually have compact bodies for easier storage and 30-inch cutting decks to make short work of lawns that are just a touch too large for a push mower.

How long should a riding mower last?

No matter if you choose a gas or battery-powered riding mower, proper maintenance is key to extending the life of your mower. For gas engines, you should change the oil and filters, clean the spark plugs, and sharpen the blades before you mow for the first time in the spring. And you should use fuel treatments like STA-BIL to prevent gas in the tank or extra jerry cans from going bad from moisture contamination. This prevents buildup of gunk that can ruin your engine, improves engine performance, and gives you a cleaner cut for a healthier lawn.

Electric mowers don’t need engine maintenance, but you should perform thorough inspections at the start of mowing season to check for battery damage, corrosion on battery contacts, damage to the battery housing, and also to sharpen the blades. If you do regular maintenance, not only will you save money by avoiding big repairs from worn-out parts, but you can also expect your riding mower to last 10 years or more.- which is great news, since they can be an expensive investment.

What is the cheapest riding mower?

Unfortunately, riding mowers aren’t ever really what we consider “budget-friendly.” However, there are models like the Murray MT100 that retail for less than 2000 without sacrificing power or cutting width.

Are there alternative riding mowers worth considering?

Whether you’re shopping at a big-name DIY store like Lowe’s, a local hardware store, or an authorized brand dealer, there are tons of options for a new riding mower. You can choose either gas or battery-powered models, cutting deck widths from as small as 30 inches to as wide as six feet.

Here’s a short list of other riding mowers I thought were great choices:

John Deere Z530M. Runner-up best zero-turn riding mower

The John Deere Z530M features a 60-inch cutting deck for making quick work of large properties. Exceptional maneuverability lets you mow around trees, lawn decor, and other obstacles with ease.

Husqvarna YTH1942. Great for larger suburban lawns

The Husqvarna YTH1942 features an updated, 19 horsepower engine and 42-inch cutting deck to take on inclines and haul dirt, mulch, and gardening equipment.

Murray MT100. Best budget-friendly riding mower

For under 2000, you’ll get a 13.5 horsepower engine, a 42-inch cutting deck, and a 6-speed manual transmission with the Murray MT100.

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