Have you ever wondered if a stand-on mower is the right option for your lawn? We break down the pros and cons and help you make a decision.
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Buying a Stand-On Mower
If you’ve ever seen professional landscapers zipping around on stand-on mowers and completing their work in record time, you’ve likely wondered if you should get one for your own home lawn care.
These machines are favorites among pros for their nimbleness, comfort, durability and relatively small footprint, which means more of them fit onto a landscaping trailer.
Homeowners can also enjoy the benefits of these mowers. In particular, some homeowners favor the comfortable ride and precision controls.
Comfort comes from the design. Stand-on mowers spread the bouncing and jolts across your entire body, rather than concentrating it in your hips and back. Precision is another benefit. A stand-on mower provides a line of sight to the cutting line that can’t be beaten.
However, they’re not for everyone. Stand-on mowers are much more expensive than typical residential models, running in the thousands of dollars. It makes sense for pros to pay extra for that kind of reliability and power, but many homeowners find them cost prohibitive.
If you’re in the market for a stand-on mower, here are some essential factors to consider:
- Price: These mowers are built for rugged daily or near-daily use, which is why they’re targeted to commercial buyers. The cheapest will still run you more than 5,000, while most models are more than 10,000.
- Deck size: If you need to navigate gates and turn tight circles around beloved bushes and trees, a smaller deck is often better. If you have more wide-open spaces, look for a mower with a wider deck.
- Deck construction: A lower gauge steel deck can take more of a beating. Most stand-on mowers come with seven- or 10-gauge steel decks.
- Cutting speed: Stand-on mowers typically move forward at seven to 12 miles per hour. This puts them in line with. or even ahead of, most residential zero-turn riding lawnmowers. The bigger and more open your lawn is, the more that cutting speed pays off.
- Fuel supply: Almost all stand-on powers are gasoline powered, though one we’ll mention below runs on propane. If you have a particularly large yard, look for a mower with a larger fuel tank.
- Warranty: These vary by manufacturer and model. Most run at least a two years, but check the fine print. Some are different for commercial or residential use, and some limit coverage it you exceed a certain number of operating hours.
Best All-Around Stand-On Mower
The Husqvarna V548 is a good middle-of-the-road option. Its 48-inch cutting deck is narrow enough to make it through most gates, while still big enough to make quick work of larger yards.
The seven-gauge steel deck can take a beating, and the seven gallon fuel tank carries enough gas to handle most jobs in one filling. It comes with a 24.5-horsepower (HP) Kawasaki engine, and a maximum cutting speed of 11 miles per hour (mph). Oh, and if you like robotic lawnmowers, check out the Husqvarna Automower, too.
Best Entry-Level Stand-On Mower
Cub Cadet’s Pro X 636 comes with a 36-inch-wide deck, allowing you to navigate tighter obstacles. It’s also a good choice if you’ll need to pass through narrower gates, or have limited storage options.
The Pro X 636 features an 18.5-HP Kawasaki engine and an 8.5 mph maximum cutting speed. It comes with a six-gallon fuel tank. The 10-gauge steel deck shell is on the thinner side, but should handle the wear and tear of residential use.
Bradley Even-Cut 24 Self-Propelled Commercial Push Mower
Get even with your lawn with this heavy-duty self-propelled lawn mower.
When you’re looking for a new self-propelled mower, the Bradley even-cut 24-inch option is a wise choice. This mower features a transmission that pushes the drive wheels, so you can push the lawn mower with ease.
Whether you are a lawn care provider or are looking for a new lawnmower to use on your own lawn, this is an excellent and easy-to-use option.
Benefits of Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers
Self-propelled lawn mowers are convenient. They push through tall or weed-filled lawns with ease. If you have to go uphill, you will not have to give the mower an extra push. These mowers offer a ground speed of right at about 3 MPH.
You can use the optional mulching kit to have your mower mulch the grass clippings.
Uses of Self-Propelled Commercial Push Mowers
Commercial push mowers can be used on the lawns of office parks and small businesses, as well as on grassy medians along busy roads.
These mowers are also ideal for residential lawns that present a more challenging terrain! Even if your lawn is large and hilly, you will find it easy to mow with the Bradley even-cut self-propelled commercial push mower. This is also a great mower for larger, more estate-like properties.
Shop with Bradley Mowers today for the best in self-propelled mowers for commercial or residential use.
What to Look for in a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
- The deck’s dimensions: You want a large enough terrace to handle your yard quickly, so you don’t have to waste your time pushing it around. If you have a large yard with many obstacles, consider getting a large front wheel self-propelled lawn mower with a small turning radius (like trees). This will assist you in quickly navigating trees and other objects, allowing you to work more efficiently.
- The blade’s teeth: The number of teeth on the blade determines how finely it cuts, affecting how healthy your grass remains after each mow. There are 16 teeth on a standard edge, but some options have fewer or more teeth. teeth imply smaller clippings and better overall cutting performance whereas fewer teeth mean more extensive clippings and poorer cutting results.
What’s the Difference Between a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower and a Push Mower?
A push mower and a self-propelled one are vastly different in terms of size and capabilities. A push mower must be pushed across your lawn whereas a self-propelled lawn mower has a drive system that moves forward on its own, allowing you to steer and to control the speed. In addition, push mowers are less expensive than self-propelled models, so they may be a good fit for someone on a budget. Self-propelled walk-behind lawn mowers have larger engines and are better suited to more extensive lawns or challenging terrain.
How Do You Maintain a Self-Propelled Mower?
Here are a few tips for keeping your lawn mower well-maintained:
Clean the mower after each use.
Remove the air filter, clean it, and reinstall it after drying.
Before storing the mower for an extended period, change the oil at least once a month during peak usage periods.
Sharpen and balance the blade every three months to ensure a smooth cut and even grass dispersal.
Professional landscapers are reluctant to plug into electric mowers due to cost
Austin Acocella, co-owner of Acocella Landscaping in Westchester County, N.Y., is holding onto his gas-powered mowers. He says electric ride-ons are too expensive for him to switch right now. Matthew Schuerman hide caption
Austin Acocella, co-owner of Acocella Landscaping in Westchester County, N.Y., is holding onto his gas-powered mowers. He says electric ride-ons are too expensive for him to switch right now.
SCARSDALE, N.Y. — Electric lawn mowers have taken the U.S. consumer market by storm over the past few years. And they’ve done so quietly — about 20 decibels more quietly in some cases.
Once restricted to lawns no larger than the length of an extension cord, mowers on the market today run on lithium ion batteries that can last 45 minutes or more without charging and cost about as much as gas-powered versions. And in 2021, according to market research company FactMR, electric lawn mowers made up 37% of all sales.
But professional landscapers, who have to run their machines all day, day after day, have yet to join the trend in large numbers. Electric heavy-duty ride-on mowers make up just 11% of the total market for all heavy-duty ride-on mowers.
For homeowners, I feel like it’s great, said Austin Acocella, co-owner of Acocella Landscaping in Scarsdale, N.Y. The battery just doesn’t last long, especially for the stuff that I do.
He has checked out commercial-grade mowers with batteries that can last six or more hours, but hasn’t wanted to pay the upfront costs. A 52-inch-wide ride-on model, the Rival from Mean Green Mowers, starts at nearly 30,000. That is more than three times a comparable gas-powered machine – though the manufacturer says the customer will break even given significantly lower operation and maintenance costs.
In the future I would love to buy them, but right at this second, I just can’t because of inflation and just everything that’s going on, Acocella says. I just can’t swing it yet.
Acocella and his employees began using hand-held electric devices – leaf blowers, weed whackers and hedge trimmers – last year when one of his clients, the town of Larchmont, required it. He’s begun to use them on other properties as well because they are lighter, much quieter, and don’t emit pollutants. But with the exception of the hedge trimmer, he says, they need frequent battery changes and are not as powerful.
I need something that’s going to last long or something that’s easy, Austin says. Like I have a gas can, it’s on a truck that I just fuel up and I go. How many batteries do I need to have in order to get through the day?
Mean Green Mowers, a 10-year-old electric lawn mower company based in Ohio, sells commercial-grade ride-on lawn mowers with long-lasting batteries. Jen Stroker (left), regional development manager for the company, and Raymond Rocco, co-owner of C.R. Power, which sells the products, demonstrated the Rival model in a Port Chester, N.Y., park recently. Matthew Schuerman hide caption
Mean Green Mowers, a 10-year-old electric lawn mower company based in Ohio, sells commercial-grade ride-on lawn mowers with long-lasting batteries. Jen Stroker (left), regional development manager for the company, and Raymond Rocco, co-owner of C.R. Power, which sells the products, demonstrated the Rival model in a Port Chester, N.Y., park recently.
Bans on gas-powered gear
Yet landscapers are being pressured to change – sometimes by clients and sometimes by governments. Last fall, the California Legislature passed a law requiring that all new landscaping equipment sold in the state be emissions-free beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
The state and national landscaping associations objected, arguing that electric equipment wasn’t advanced enough to operate for long periods of time, and in some cases, did not work as well as gas equipment. As proof, they cited a study from the California State University at Fullerton to show that zero emissions equipment hadn’t caught on among professionals. The study found that less than 6% of equipment used by landscapers were zero-emissions, compared to more than 50% of the gear used by homeowners.
But Assemblymember Marc Berman, the bill’s author, disputes the industry’s characterization of zero-emissions equipment.
This equipment is ready today, said Berman, a Democrat from Palo Alto. There are at least eight brands that produce zero emission equipment in each major equipment category for commercial equipment.
After that bill was passed, New York State Sen. Pete Harckham introduced a similar bill in Albany. Though it did not pass in the regular session, Harckham told NPR he plans to re-introduce it but has not decided on when the mandate would take effect.
Both the California legislation and the New York proposal only address the sale of new equipment, meaning landscapers and homeowners can continue using their existing gas-powered tools.
Numerous cities and towns across the country have gone further and restricted the use – as opposed to just the purchase – of gas-powered leaf blowers. And this month, two municipalities in Marin County, Calif., – Fairfax and Sausalito – banned the use of other gas-powered equipment as well, including mowers, to be phased in over the next 18 months.
Mixed environmental impact
Electric lawn mowers won’t help much in terms of climate-changing emissions – people just don’t mow their lawns nearly as much as they drive. The California Air Resources Board, for example, estimates that phasing out gasoline-powered lawn equipment will save an average of 0.66 million metric tons of CO2 a year, while the state produced 418 million tons in 2019 – the last year data was available.
But the agency found that gasoline-powered engines produce substantial amounts of other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, which can lead to respiratory difficulties and smog. In addition, researchers have raised concerns about the impact of the equipment’s noise and vibrations on operators’ health.
Large, commercial-grade equipment is used on a significant proportion of green spaces around the country – not only public properties and office parks. The California State University survey found, for example, that half of the state’s residents with lawns hired landscapers to take care of them, either partially or fully.
Drawbacks of mandates
Still, even some supporters of green landscaping oppose mandating electric equipment, arguing that it may cause small landscapers – an important employer of immigrants and limited-skill workers – to go out of business.
If you just ban the use of equipment, you’re really putting the entire onus on the landscapers to come up with the money that they need to purchase the equipment, said Jamie Banks, the founder and CEO of the non-profit Quiet Communities, Inc. It’s not just purchasing the tool but also purchasing enough batteries and enough chargers that they can meet their work production needs.
And some of those batteries are expensive – as much as 1,500 for a backpack-style one to power a leaf blower. California lawmakers have so far allocated 30 million for subsidies to offset the higher landscapers will have to pay for new electric equipment. But the National Association of Landscape Professionals said the amount breaks down to just 15 for each piece of gas-powered equipment that landscapers in the state need to replace.
Berman, the state legislator, said that he is hoping to get more subsidies in the budget for the coming year.
Quiet Communities and another nonprofit, the American Green Zone Alliance, have been working with towns, school districts, and other entities to adopt zero-emissions equipment for their own properties, but to do so voluntarily. So far, they say they have recruited about 20 locales and institutions across the country to take part in their program.
I think the writing is on the wall, Banks said. It’s just, how do we get there in a way that’s, you know, fair, most efficient and so forth.
READY TO WORK
With heavy duty construction and high-powered performance, DeWALT ® Commercial Mowers are built to take on the most demanding workloads. And with support and service to match, you can run your business on your terms.
Find parts and resources, locate authorized service centers, and get quick access to customer service experts. The Pro Support Hub is a completely reimagined digital service solution that finds landscapers the right help, right now. Available through the app or desktop, this service comes free with the registration of your DeWALT mower.
BUILT FOR DEMANDING JOBS
Serious durability in the form of commercial engines, high-lift MARBAIN ® blades (select models), fabricated decks, and thick frames.
Tackle tough jobs with ease with the performance and cutting you expect from DeWALT machinery.
Top-of-the-line, customizable features help to keep operators comfortable for hard jobs and long hours.
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