Ryobi Riding Lawn Mower Reviews Jul 2023 – RY48110 38″ Battery Electric Rear Engine
I have had the opportunity to operate a manual lawn-mower.
If you’re a millennial, you might cringe at the word “manual” and probably don’t know what it’s like to use a manual mower.
Well, long story short, it’s inefficient, exhaustive and inferior to using a motorized mower.
Thanks to the march of technology, almost every landowner is now switching to a motorized mower, and can you really blame them?
But the market is incredibly saturated these days, and if you don’t do your homework before buying one, you might end up with a rotten egg.
But the one I’m featuring today is anything but a rotten egg. In fact, it’s one of the best mowers on the market!
This is my review of the Ryobi RY48110 electric lawn mower, so let’s get started with its features.
Last update on 2022-02-28 at 13:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ryobi Electric Riding Lawn Mower Review Jul 2023: What did I like about it?
That’s right, the Ryobi isn’t an archaic dinosaur from the past; it’s advanced and futuristic.
Instead of utilizing a gas-guzzling, smoke-belching, constantly-breaking internal combustion engine, the Ryobi uses an electric powertrain to propel itself.
It uses a 75 Ah lead-acid (no lithium-ion here, folks) battery (that’s 75,000 mAh for computer and mobile freaks) which gives the Ryobi a run-time of two hours (more on that later) or can trim two acres per charge.
The power from that battery is transmitted via three noiseless and brushless motors (one for the drive and two for cutting), and that power is delivered at a voltage of 48 volts.
The upshot of electrification is that there is no noise, there are no emissions, you don’t need to brim the tank repeatedly and maintenance is generally not required as there are no pistons, belts, cams, spark plugs, etc. Even if the need for maintenance arises, it is incredibly easy. You can charge the battery by plugging into any standard power outlet via the provided cord.
over, the mower can be used for retreats and resorts, where silence is of paramount importance.
Maximum speed is 13 km/h when the blades are not engaged, 8 km/h if the blades are employed, and 3 km/h if in reverse.
Cutting and Mowing Instruments
Despite the Ryobi’s best efforts to mimic a Tesla, it is still a lawnmower, and it has the tools for the purpose.
It has a 38 inches cutting deck which is more than adequate for a mower of its size and capacity. The deck features two blades and can be adjusted in twelve different positions between 38 to 114 millimeters to ensure that you can trim your grass to the desired level.
I found the trimming and mowing tools to be great, with the blades providing great consistency to the cutting process. Uneven patches and undulations were dealt with beautifully, no complaints here.
After mowing, I proceeded to clean the deck which proved to be slightly problematic as it does not have a self-cleaning mechanism. over, as most of the weight is concentrated down low, hence lifting the Ryobi would be cumbersome.
But I guess the lack of this feature is justified at this price point, so the Ryobi is excused.
One of the most interesting things about the Ryobi RY48110 riding lawn mower is its chassis, something you will notice instantly if you’re a motorcycle maniac.
The chassis is exposed and resembles the exoskeleton of an insect. The inspiration behind this could’ve been the Ariel Atom or most of KTM and Ducati’s lineup.
5 Tips To Help Your RYOBI Riding Lawnmower Last Longer!
I, for one, found it to be an absolute stunner, especially with its lime-acid green paint job.
Controls, Ergonomics and Lighting
The Ryobi features two fairly standard control panels on either side of the operator. The switchgear feels sturdy and unlikely to break soon. The mower features cruise control as well which is useful for those long patches of land, and you can even charge your phone while mowing thanks to the built-in charger.
As far as ergonomics go, the chair is placed pretty high and provides great cushioning and support, making the Ryobi ideal for protracted jobs. I would’ve liked the steering to be more angled towards me, but I guess I’m nitpicking.
I found the lighting on the Ryobi excellent for mowing your lawn before the break of dawn.
The two thin strips of LED lights do not seem like much, but they’re incredibly bright and do an excellent job of illuminating your path.
Is Owning a Ryobi RM480E Electric Riding Mower Cost Effective?
Many of us now want to dump the gas-powered riding mower for something quieter, easier to maintain and more environmentally friendly. But even so we’d like to feel good about that purchase. So let’s detail the purchase a new gas riding lawn mower, the Ryobi RM480E electric riding mower and then figure the cost of using each one for 5 years.
Hi, I’m Paul Sikkema. Don’t know me? Check out this About Page or my YouTube Channel #mycountryacre #todaysmower #movingsnow
This mower is designed to replace the typical 42-46 inch lawn tractor. Most of us today spend around 1899 for the equivalent gas-powered model. The Ryobi RM480E retails for 2499
The Ryobi RM480E costs more initially but it actually includes 3-5 years of normal operating costs in that price. In other words, when you buy a lawn tractor you pay an amount for the tractor and then over its lifetime you have to pay for gas, oil, filters, tune-ups, belts, mower blades, etc. With the Ryobi RM480E you pay for everything except the mower blades up front for at least 3-5 years.
Mowers I used for this comparison. There is only one electric rider but well over 100 lawn tractors that fit into this general category. Some are much more expensive and there are cheaper gas-powered lawn tractors available but these are the most popular models sold on my site last year.
I’m going to list the final numbers first and then if you are interested you may review the detail of how I came up with the numbers. Disclaimer: These are my own calculations based on average costs I am aware of from my own experience. Your cost or manufacturer’s published cost may be different.
What is the actual cost of ownership per year for a typical 42-46 inch lawn tractor.
- 229 per year – Average Case. Performing your own maintenance.
- 309 per year – Worst Case Performing your own maintenance including replacing belts as part of normal maintenance.
- Using your local dealer repair shop not figuring in the deck and drive belts. 350 per year – Average Case
- Using your local dealer repair shop figuring in typical life on the deck and drive belts. 475 per year – Worst Case
What is the actual cost of ownership per year for the Ryobi RM480E?
- 115 per year – Best Case. Performing your own maintenance, maintaining your batteries correctly, replacing batteries yourself every 7 years.
- 152 per year – Average Case. Performing your own maintenance including replacing batteries every 5 years.
- 237 per year – Worst Case Performing your own maintenance including replacing batteries every 3 years.
- Using your local dealer repair shop to replace blades every year and replacing the batteries every 5 years. 348 per year – Best Case
- Using your local dealer repair shop to replace blades every year and replacing the batteries every 3 years. 465 per year – Worst Case
If you have a repair shop do all the preventative maintenance the costs are about the same. If you do the maintenance yourself the Ryobi RM480E is the clear winner even if you don’t maintain the batteries and they only last 3 years.
Want to know more about getting the best possible life out of your Ryobi RM480e’s batteries. Check this article out: 5 Ultimate Electric Riding Mower Battery Care Tips
How I Made Up Those Numbers.
Typical Lawn Tractor Cost Per Year
I’m going to list the assumptions I made about your yard up front. You may adjust these numbers for your own particular lawn.
Typical Lawn. The “typical” suburban lawn is 1/3 to 2 acres. We usually spend 40 hours per year mowing and running around it with our lawn tractor.
Gas 2.50. That 1899 V-Twin lawn tractor uses about one gallon an hour so a year’s worth of fuel is 40 hours times 2.50 a gallon. 100. If your fuel are higher you will see even more savings with the Ryobi RM480E
Fuel Storage Can. To be realistic you really need a new sealed fuel can that works well. New Fuel Can 34
Yearly Tune-up. Let’s be realistic. Most of us don’t tune up our own car. We take it somewhere. I expect that most of us don’t have the tools, time or patience to tune up and/or repair our own riding lawn mowers either now days. We either have a dealer service it or it doesn’t get done. Yes, the are a few tightwads, myself included, who will do all the work ourselves but….
- Pick-up and Delivery as part of a spring dealer promotion 50 Without promotion many shops charge 125
- Minimum Labor for just the tuneup 69 (At your home including trip charge typically 125-169)
- Oil Filter 13-19
- V-Twin Air Filter 26-40
- Oil V-Twin SAE 30W 48 oz 9
- Spark Plug MRS Plug X2 19
- Blades 42 inch Mulch Blade 2-pack42
- Typical Yearly Tune-up Total Cost: 248 if you get the delivery special. If you do it yourself 129
Deck Belt as part of yearly tune-up 40 for belt 35 labor. 75
Deck Belt if it breaks. Pickup and delivery 125, one hour labor 69, belt 40. Most belts only last 1-4 years. 234
Engine to Transmission Drive Belt. Pickup and delivery 125, One hour labor 69, belt 40. Depending on the slope of your yard, most belts last 2 to 5 years. 234
Yearly costs for Gas Powered Lawn Tractor. Fuel 100, Tune-Up 248 minimum costs 348 a year. When you figure typical belt life add another 100 or so per year.
If you don’t mind I’m going to round up to 350 per year minimum cost if your dealer does all the preventative maintenance. If you do your own maintenance the yearly cost is. 249
Ryobi RM480E Costs Per Year.
Average price of electricity = 12 cents per kilowatt.
Average amount of electricity to charge the 75AH batteries = 1.8 kilowatts. About 20 cents per charge. Using the 40 hours a year typical use above “fuel” cost is.20 times 40 or 8.00 a year.
Battery Life. The big question is how long should these batteries last? Unfortunately, it is one of the hardest to answer. The correct answer for a typical golf cart battery is: “It all depends on how you take care of them.” Why is this? Well, deep cycle battery packs require some basic maintenance which includes maintaining the correct electrolyte (water) levels while ensuring the battery pack is fully charged and never left in a discharged state (plugging it in after each use). Deep cycle lead acid batteries get the longest life by having them constantly peaked (on the supplied charger) when not in use. Typically, a set of golf cart batteries that are used 1-2 times a week will last 5-10 years. Keep in mind the golf cart batteries are a lot heavier and a lot more expensive than the batteries in the Ryobi RM480E.
The correct answer for the Ryobi RM40E is a little different. The batteries used are lead acid deep cycle but they are sealed batteries that are commonly used in powered wheelchairs. Physically they are smaller and require less maintenance for them to last. Since they are sealed you can’t and should not try to check the electrolyte level. They have an extra-large reservoir that has enough electrolyte to last the life of the battery. Because they are sealed expect to get 3-7 years in a wheelchair when properly maintained.
In the case of the Ryobi RM480E then let’s guess that you will mow once a week and run around the yard for cleanup and gardening a few times a week. You keep the batteries properly maintained – that means leaving the charger plugged in all the time when you are not using the RM480E. All things considered, I am going to guess you will get at least 3 years and normally 5 years out of the battery set. If you never let the batteries discharge under 80% and keep them away from extreme heat or cold they may give you 7 years.
Cost of Batteries. Home Depot will have replacement batteries available for this mower but they have not listed the cost yet. So, I’ll use Amazon for the exact replacement 75 AH batteries.
75Ah (LPC12-75) is 114 plus shipping. 159. You need four. 636. So cost at 3 years is 212 per year, cost at 5 years is 127 per year and cost at 7 years is 115.
I don’t have any details on using a Ryobi authorized service center yet for the Ryobi RM480E. So I’ll use the same service/repair costs as the gas-powered lawn tractor.
- Pick-up and Delivery. Many shops charge 100
- Two hours Labor for replacing the batteries 138
- Total cost to replace at 3 years 874 cost per year is 291
- Total cost to replace at 5 years 874 cost per year is 174
Other maintenance items on the Ryobi RM480E
One set of mower blades 25. Using the same criteria as the gas-powered mower having a dealer pick up the Ryobi RM480E and changing the blade. Trip charge plus one hour labor. 169. Total cost per year 174.
So what is the actual cost of ownership per year for the Ryobi RM480E?
Replacing the batteries every 3 years. 465 per year
Replacing the batteries every 5 years. 348 per year
The typical cost of the lawn tractor is 1899 – the typical cost of the RYOBI RM480E is 2499. The difference is 600.
The cost of the lawn tractor does not include the maintenance costs. Fuel and repairs are paid for when they are needed.
The cost of the Ryobi RM480E includes the battery cost for the first 3-5 years. “Fuel” is included but not the mower blades.
In summary, owning a typical 42-inch lawn tractor costs about 350 to 475 per year if your dealer does all the maintenance. Owning the RM480E costs 348 to 465 a year depending on how you maintain your batteries.
If you do your own maintenance the gas-powered lawn tractor costs 249 a year and the RM480E Costs 237 for 3-year replacement and 152 if batteries last 5 years.
I would feel quite comfortable buying the Ryobi RM480E for my one-acre yard.
Have I helped you? If would you like to buy from your local dealer or store but still want to support TodaysMower just click on this link and buy anything you need. I’ll make a small commission from the sale. Buy at Amazon. TodaysMower.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and we get a commission on purchases made through our links.
The Best Electric Riding Lawn Mower, Including Mower with Cruise Control
Welcome to the Thomas guide to the best electric riding lawn mower 2023. Thomas has been connecting North American industrial buyers and suppliers for more than 120 years. When you purchase products through our independent recommendations, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Having a perfectly healthy and trimmed lawn is every homeowner’s dream. However, spending a fortune on landscaping services every few weeks isn’t practical, and using the typical push mower can take hours. A riding mower is a great solution, as it is comfortable to use and can get the job done in no time. Gas-powered riding mowers are the traditional option for buyers, but more and more manufacturers are offering electric riding lawn mowers as they can offer a true one-time investment, unlike gas mowers.
Electric riding mowers tend to use brushless motors that are powered by multiple rechargeable batteries. Unlike a gas engine, electric mowers have zero carbon emissions and no fumes, making them very environmentally friendly. They are also a lot quieter than gas-powered lawn mowers and don’t require expensive maintenance, such as filling up on gas and replacing spark plugs, belts, and filters.
Here is a list of the best electric riding lawn mowers, followed by a buying guide to help you select the best electric riding lawn mower.
Thomas’ Top Picks for the Best Electric Riding Lawn Mowers 2023
Gas-powered mowers are a thing of the past, and there is a type of electric riding lawn mower out there for any lawn.
Best Battery Life for a Mower: Greenworks Pro 60V 42-Inch CrossoverT Riding Lawn Mower | Buy Now
Best Mower with Cruise Control: RYOBI 38-Inch Electric Riding Mower 100 Ah | Buy Now
Scroll down to read more about these top picks for the best electric riding lawn mowers, according to many happy buyers.
listed in this article were as shown in US on lowes.com, homedepot.com, walmart.com, tractorsupply.com, and cubcadet.com (USA) as of May 2023
Best Overall Mower—EGO POWER 42-Inch Z6 Zero-Turn Riding Mower
With innovative technology and plenty of battery power, the EGO POWER Z6 riding mower has earned its spot at the top of the list. This zero-turn mower comes with four lithium-ion batteries that can last up to two acres on just one charge. The electric mower even has the capacity to hold up to six batteries to extend its life further.
The featured wall charger can charge six batteries at once and get a full charge on four 10 Ah batteries in just two hours, making it perfect for long lawns that need multiple runs. The batteries even have fuel gauges to alert the user when they are ready to return to work.
“The power and speed remained consistent whether the mower was fully charged at 100% or down to 5%,” wrote a customer. “This is not any basic electric mower, it is very user intuitive with an advanced control panel and Bluetooth connection that grants a remote key and charging status from a user’s phone. On top of it all, it even has a USB phone charger.”
Deck width: 42 in.
Power: 56 V
Maximum speed: 8 mph
Best Mower for Large Residential Lawns—RYOBI 54-Inch 115 Ah Zero-Turn Electric Riding Lawn Mower
At 54 inches wide, the large cutting deck on the RYOBI electric riding lawn mower can cover a surface area that a push mower couldn’t dream of. This electric rider comes with 115 Ah lead-acid batteries that run for 2.5 hours. It also integrates five brushless motors that have the power to cut any large lawn up to 3.5 acres.
After cutting such a long lawn, most users would be fatigued on any regular gas mower, but the RYOBI lawn mower gives riders the most comfortable experience. This is thanks to its easy-to-control zero-degree turning radius, the convenient arm supports, and a double cup holder.
The three mower blades are able to cut through large swaths of grass. “We live on a farm and we do get tall grass and it handles it,” wrote one customer. “It has a nice large chute that almost never gets plugged.” Another person who lives on five acres noted, “I can mow all grassy areas on a full charge and still have about 20–40% remaining. It cuts like a dream.”
Deck width: 54 in.
Power: 48 V
Maximum speed: 7 mph
Best Mower for a Smooth Ride—HART 80V Brushless 30-Inch Lithium-Ion Riding Mower
According to reviews, this 80V electric HART riding mower makes cutting the grass much easier and smoother than many gas-powered mowers. Customers report that this thing’s lithium-ion battery makes it operate extremely quietly. It can easily cut through thick grass, too, thanks to 80 volts of power.
Even on a lawn with a ton of barriers and obstacles, the tight turning radius allows for simple navigation when maneuvering through small gates and around turns. Without fuel and the need to replace spark plugs, even maintenance is nearly non-existent.
“As someone that does a lot of lawn mowing, the smooth and comfortable ride of this will be so appreciated,” one reviewer confirmed. “I love that I can adjust the height for an even more comfortable ride.”
Deck width: 30 in.
Power: 80 V
Maximum speed: 5 mph
Best Battery Life for a Mower—Greenworks Pro 60V 42-Inch CrossoverT Riding Lawn Mower
The Greenworks Pro CrossoverT riding lawn mower has six batteries with 8Ah of power to cover up to 2.5 acres per charge. One of its best features is its set of three turbochargers that each hook up to two batteries for simultaneously recharging in only 90 minutes.
Not only does this electric mower have a long battery life, but it’s tough, too. It has the power of a 24hp gas engine and can handle any surface as it climbs a 15° incline. It even has SmartCut technology to reserve power while handling any lawn condition, from thick to wet grass.
This electric rider can do more than just trim the grass: It can tow and has a cargo bed for transporting loads up to 200 pounds. “We have close to two acres to mow, it is not flat, and there are lots of things to go around,” wrote a buyer. “Starting at 100% charge, it does the whole thing.”
Deck width: 42 in.
Power: 60 V
Maximum speed: 8 mph
Best Mower for Medium-Sized Lawns—Cub Cadet CC30E Electric Mini Riding Mower
For medium or smaller lawns, most buyers would not need commercial-sized zero-turn mowers, let alone have the space to store them, but the Cub Cadet electric mini riding mower is just the right size. At 30 inches in width, Cub Cadet has a smaller cutting deck and is a much more compact machine for tight backyards.
Even though this Cub Cadet model is smaller and more economical than others on this list, it still has all the necessary bells and whistles, such as LED headlights and USB charging. It uses a 30 Ah lithium-ion battery that can last one hour or for one acre, which is just enough time for houses on limited land.
Even when the rechargeable battery level starts to dip, there will be no fade in the cutting performance. “What they advertise has been right on,” explained one customer. “I normally have 23% left after mowing 3/4 of an acre lot.”
Deck width: 30 in.
Power: 56 v
Maximum speed: 4 mph
Best Mower with Cruise Control—RYOBI 38-Inch Electric Riding Mower 100 Ah
For an easy electric ride, the RYOBI electric riding mower features a cruise control button to set a consistent speed up to 8 mph. To further customize their ride, users have 12 cutting heights to choose from—ranging from 1.5 inches to 4.5 inches—to get the best grass length.
The control panel also has a gauge for the lead-acid battery and the option to turn on the LED headlights for mowing in low light.
One happy buyer wrote, “Cruise control works very well even on steep hills.” Due to the 16-inch turning radius, they also found that the mower “zips around corners.”
Deck width: 38 in.
Power: 48 V
Maximum speed: 8 mph
The Best Electric Riding Lawn Mower—Summary
For a very advanced and efficient machine, the EGO POWER Z6 riding mower (US4,499, Lowe’s) has lots of battery power and interactive features.
For a great battery life with little in-between time, the Greenworks Pro CrossoverT riding lawn mower (US3,999.99, Tractor Supply Company) will last and has extremely fast-charging batteries.
Choosing the Best Electric Riding Lawn Mowers—Buying Guide
Although electric riding mowers are becoming more popular due to their numerous benefits, they are still somewhat limited on the market compared to the number of gas mowers for sale. However, there are still lots of variations in size and power out there when choosing the best electric riding mower.
Since the entire cutting and driving force behind electric mowers comes from their batteries, a buyer should prioritize considering all of their aspects.
Types of Batteries: There are two common types of rechargeable batteries that electric lawn mowers will come with: a lead-acid battery or a lithium-ion battery. Generally speaking, lithium-ion batteries are typically more efficient and will last longer; however, these factors can be heavily impacted by the type and quality of the electric lawn tractor.
Power: The power of these batteries can be determined by their amperage hours (Ah). This directly measures how many amps a battery can exert per hour. This can also reflect the battery’s capacity, so a higher Ah can last longer. Again, this is dependent on each lawn tractor. For example, the voltage of electric mowers will tell the buyer a lot about how much power the electric rider is capable of, but it also needs enough Ah in a battery to last, and vice versa.
Runtime: How long an electric lawn mower can last per charge is typically measured by acreage or hours. For most buyers, acreage will be the best way to estimate if a lawn tractor can finish the job in a single charge. For long lawns or farms, lawn mowers that can cut up to three acres or more will be the best fit. However, for smaller land, that extra runtime isn’t needed.
Charging: The battery charger itself and how long it takes to charge are also very important. Most electric lawn mowers won’t last over three hours, so for the jobs that may take a little longer, needing two cutting sessions is normal. That is why riding mowers that feature a fast charger that can charge all the batteries at once are a must for getting right back to work.
The other big characteristic that sets electric riding mowers apart from one another is the style of steering and the turning radius.
Standard Riding Mower: A standard riding mower is the traditional design of lawn tractors that come equipped with a basic or ergonomic steering wheel. These models will have various turning radiuses, but in the department of electric riders, they typically have a turning radius of 16 or 18 inches. These mowers are more compact and less expensive, making them the best choice for those either on a budget or with small yards.
RYOBI Ride-On Lawn Mowers – Troubleshooting Tractor-Style Mowers
Zero-Turn Mower: A zero-turn mower has a turning radius of zero, hence the name. Instead of a steering wheel, the direction and speed are controlled by two handles on each side. They are incredibly easy to control and can make cutting the lawn very fast and efficient. They are also the best electric riding mowers for very large lawns and land that has lots of obstacles to move around. However, a zero-turn lawn mower is often more expensive, larger, and can’t handle large slopes and hills.
For buying any lawn equipment, the choice will really depend on the type of lawn a buyer is looking to trim. The following can be further considered to narrow down what is the best electric lawn mower for each user.
Cutting Deck Size: The cutting deck of a lawn mower is where the blades are, so the cutting deck size tells a buyer how much area will be covered after one run. A large cutting width is more efficient, making it an excellent choice for large lawns. On the other hand, a wide cutting deck will likely make the job more difficult for smaller yards as they can’t as easily move through tight spaces.
Accessories: Some lawn mowers will offer different features and accessories to make the job more comfortable, such as cup holders, USB charging ports, and headlights. Electric mowers can also either come with or are compatible with, mulching and bagging kits. A bag can neatly collect all of the grass clippings, but the process can be seen as wasteful and time-consuming. Mulching is an alternative process that finely chops the grass multiple times and spreads it across the lawn. It is great for the environment and the health of the grass. A mulch kit can be added to compatible mowers to enable this feature with a mulching plug and mulching blades.
We hope our review of the best electric riding lawn mowers has been helpful. For more suppliers of related products, including edge and weed lawn trimmers, hand shears, fertilizers, weed killers, and leaf blowers, consult our additional guides, or visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform.
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Home » Latest Tool Reviews » Lawn Garden » Ryobi 48V HP 54″ Zero-Turn Mower Review
Ryobi 48V HP 54″ Model RY48140 Zero-Turn Electric Mower Review
Editors Note: This mower is a significant investment for users so we tested two separate units with two different editors. Wes reviewed one and is the primary editor on this review. Todd Fratzel, Editor-in-Chief, also reviewed and unit and contributed to this article. It is out hope that the perspective from two users and a full Summer of operation will give readers a great perspective on this mower.
54 Zero Turn Electric Riding Mower
Manufacturer: Ryobi Model number: RY48140 Price: 4,599.00 Power source: 48V Battery System Weight: 796 Lbs.
The last year has brought about changes, challenges, and demand unlike ever before for high-quality and innovative outdoor power equipment solutions. In December 2020, Ryobi announced their new line of battery equipment to include an incredible new mower offering. The new 48V HP 54″ Zero Turn Electric Riding Mower Model #RY48140 is an innovative tool for demanding homeowners. This new mower is also an exceptional example of Ryobi addressing the current market demands.
This tool review will offer an initial impressions look at the Ryobi 48V HP zero-turn mower. The abbreviate version is; if Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights designed a Power-Wheels that also cut grass, you would end up with the Ryobi 48V HP mower. Hell yeah!
- Deck Size: 54″
- Weight: 796 Lbs.
- Cutting Height: 1.5″-4.5″
- Deck Height Positions: 12
- Deck Construction: Fabricated/ Welded Steel
- Battery System: 48V 115 Ah
- Charging: 120V Outlet
- Cutting Area Per Charge: Up to 3.5 Acres
- Replacement Batteries: Leoch Model LDC12-115
- Warranty: 3 Year Tool / 1 Year Battery
Unboxing the Ryobi RY48140
The mower was dropped shipped to my home for the review process. It comes packaged in a metal shipping crate and requires some basic assembly. Primarily the handlebars and seat. This is easily done with the provided hand tools, but an impact wrench and socket set greatly speed up the process.
The battery storage area is located under the seat. A total of four 12V batteries are used to power the mower. The batteries are connected in series with each other to provide the 115 Ah system. The batteries are lead-acid Leoch Model LDC12-115 that are commonly found in golf carts. Replacements can easily be found on Amazon as well as with power equipment shops. The battery cables must be connected during the assembly process.
There are a total of three electric motor housings on the deck assembly. Each housing has a twist-lock cable connection located on the top. This design is similar to the Ryobi 40V auger. The individual motors also resemble and sound similar to the Ryobi auger and walk-behind mowers.
The Testing Process
The last year has changed the lawn care and property maintenance world forever and my house was no exception. My home is situated on 2.3 acres that I cleared and leveled over the last few years. The lawn is maintained with a 54″ gas-powered zero-turn however, the Ryobi took over this task upon arrival. In addition, my wife has taken over the responsibility of cutting the grass. It became a welcome escape for her while working from home for the majority of the last year. The majority of the feedback on the performance of the Ryobi 48V HP zero turn will come from her firsthand experience.
Perspective such as this is applicable now more than ever. Especially when considering the number of homeowners who discovered the joys of lawn care over the last year.
Fabricated Steel Mower Deck
The 54″ cutting deck on the Ryobi is made from 10 gauge welded steel. This is an extremely desirable feature of the mower because it adds strength and durability to the machine. The majority of homeowner machines have stamped steel decks which are far more prone to bending and damage. The Ryobi deck can easily be leveled. There is a simple process for this outlined in the manual.
Cup Holders and Storage
There is an unbelievable amount of storage on this mower. The left side features two deep cup holders as well as a storage compartment with a spring-loaded lid. The right side features an additional storage compartment with a spring-loaded lid. These compartments are large enough for big phones and other devices. Or to pack a lunch.
These are features that I typically don’t pay much attention to. Usually, my phone goes in my. and music is played on a Bluetooth headset. But my wife was a huge fan of this option. She reminded me that women’s pants or leggings typically don’t have s. Which I never would have thought of on my own. My leggings are strictly for yoga.
USB Charging Capability
A single USB charging port is located on the right console. This port provides 1A output and has a spring-loaded cover. A nice bonus feature, although I have not found a need to use it. On the other hand, Todd found it very useful as he lives in a rural area and his phone is roaming while mowing and it was handy charging as he mowed.
Manual Parking Brake
There is a large manual brake pedal on the center of the deck. This brake works well for slowing the machine down on hills or for sudden quick stops. The brake latches into place to serve as a parking brake as well. The parking brake engages and disengages easily using the toe area of the foot.
Easy to Use Control Panel
All of the controls on the Ryobi RY48140 are simple and intuitive to use. The mower deck PTO control is a large upward pull knob. This design is consistent with the manual of operations for traditional mowers. Individual push buttons control the LED light bar, as well as lower-speed drive and cut modes. The large circular battery gauge clearly displays the charge level of the mower.
Fast and Easy Deck Height Adjustment
The Ryobi deck height is adjusted with a large manual lever. The lever is easy to reach and move while seated. There are a total of twelve cutting height positions that range from 1.5″ to 4.5″. There is a plastic “Auto Stop Plug” that Ryobi includes as well. This plug is inserted at a preferred deck height and acts as a quick reference point. Adjusting the deck is extremely easy although I find myself guessing the height occasionally due to a lack of labeling on some of the detents.
The Ryobi Wants to Go Fast
With a top speed of 7 MPH during travel or cutting, the Ryobi 48V HP mower is built for speed. There is a separate brushless electric motor attached to each rear wheel. While 7 MPH may not be the fastest mower on the market, the responsiveness and on-demand torque of the Ryobi 48V HP give the operator an experience that is unmatched. The power and speed are instantaneous from the second the controls are moved. There is zero lag or delay. This experience shocked me at first, but I grew to immediately love it. Similar to the first time sitting in an electric car and experiencing the break-force torque when putting the pedal to the floor.
However, this on-demand speed is somewhat of a hindrance to the Ryobi too. If not careful, it is extremely easy to whip the mower from side to side during tight turns, similar to over-steering in a skid-steer machine. Over-steering with the Ryobi will cause burnout spots in your lawn damaging the grass. The low-speed setting on the mower will limit the top speed to 5 MPH and reduce the possibility of this. The low-speed option is also recommended for slopes, tight spaces, and inexperienced users.
Ryobi 48V HP Cutting Performance
The quality of cut produced by the Ryobi 54″ zero-turn is excellent during ideal mowing conditions. The three factory OEM blades are sharp and efficient. While the quality of cut may not be up to standard with elite golf courses, it was more than acceptable on my very average grass. As I mentioned before, the ability of the operator to control the speed of the machine will be a huge factor in determining cut quality. In the picture below, grass that was pushed over instead of cut can be seen. This is common at first when learning to adjust the mowing speed for the density of the grass. The blade speed won’t match the drive speed in demanding cuts without operator adjustment.
The side discharge chute on the cutting deck does a great job at broadcasting the clippings and keeping the deck cleared. A bagging attachment is available separate from Ryobi.
King of the Hill?
Steep hills and zero-turns are not a great pairing. Unfortunately, zero-turn mowers are inherently prone to flipping over on steep grades due to their design. The Ryobi is no exception to this issue. Due to the weight distribution and operator positioning of the 48V HP, there is a true risk of tipping backward if attacking a hill head-on. A controlled downhill cut is a much safer tactic. I discuss the weight distribution further, later on in this article.
Controlling the mower on the downhill also presents some issues. The mower wants to move forward once it gains momentum. As an operator, I was forced to pull backward on the control levers aggressively to slow the mower down. At this time, it often experienced a strange glitch in the control system. While pulling all the way backwards in the controls, the drive system would shudder and continue moving forward. The controls would need to be brought back to a neutral position to be reset and then pulled backwards again. This process often caused the wheels to lose traction and spin out or lock up and slide causing burnouts in the grass.
This issue only occurred during downhill cutting on steep grades. One of the best parts about what we do is the ability to discuss issues with manufacturers. The Tool Box Buzz crew brought our concerns to Ryobi and met with their project management team. They shared with us that the steering issue is likely the result of a built-in fail safe to preserve the battery system. They informed us that they are working on an improvement to fix this issue.
When climbing steep slopes the mower seems to lack sufficient power. This is odd at first because the mower itself can churn through some incredibly thick grass. When we inquired about why the mower struggled up slopes we were told it’s a balancing act between power demand (amp draw) on the batteries and keeping the batteries in a safe zone. Below is an image in Todd’s yard showing approximately the steepest slope he could drive up. That slope is roughly 30 degrees and while the mower was able to climb it, it was definitely at the top of it’s range. We suspect newer versions of this type of mower will greatly benefit from upgrading to Li-Ion batteries instead of the lead core ones being used in this version.
Ryobi 54″ Zero-Turn Battery Run-Time
The elephant in the room is how long does the battery last? Well, that’s complicated. According to Ryobi, the 48V HP zero-turn will cut up to 3.5 Acres on a single charge. This capability is possible thanks to the huge 115 Ah battery system I mentioned earlier. I am unclear how Ryobi determined or calculated this number, but I am unable to replicate the testing exactly. Instead, I can share my real-world experiences with the battery system’s performance.
My lot is 2.3 total acres. The majority of it has been cleared and leveled with a lawn planted. Under regularly maintained conditions, I am able to cut the full lawn, including backyard hills, sides of the driveway, etc… approximately 1.75 times on a full charge. However, we experienced a week and a half of rain and the grass grew in some areas between 8-10″ tall. In conditions such as these, the batteries were completely depleted after 1:23:23 of continuous cutting.
I also experienced somewhat compromised performance cutting with a partially charged battery. Starting at 40% charged, cutting a week’s worth of regular growth, the battery dropped to 5% charge in 32:46. At 5% battery life the cutting deck automatically shuts off to maintain enough power to get the mower back to an outlet. Cutting in the lower cut speed mode will conserve power, but without consciously adjusting the speed as well this mode will lead to more missed areas of cutting.
Todd’s yard is 1.33 acres and not very flat. In fact, most of it has some slopes to it. He was able to mow the entire yard on approximately 85% of the battery charge leaving just around 15% battery life at the end of mowing.
48V HP Battery Charging
The large battery inverter that Ryobi includes to charge the 48V HP system features 60 Hz of output. The charging port is located on the rear of the mower, behind the seat. Charge time is stated as “overnight” and that has proven true in my experience. When completely depleted, the batteries will require between 10-12 hours to fully charge.
Price and Availability
The Ryobi RY48140 is available now as a Home Depot exclusive. At the time of writing this article, the 54″ mower retails for 4,999.00. That is a serious price tag, but this is a serious piece of outdoor power equipment. The optional bagger assembly costs an additional 349.00. Even at base pricing, the Ryobi is in the same price range as an entry-level commercial gas-powered zero-turn. The Ryobi warranty covers the mower for three years and the batteries for one year.
Is the high price tag worth it? I can’t answer that in a general blanket statement. This mower is the future. That 5K is buying the end-user a front-row seat to the future of lawn care and OPE. The ease of maintenance, zero emissions, incredible performance capability, and unbelievably quiet operation will all make that initial expense easier to justify in my opinion.
To purchase the Ryobi 48V HP zero-turn mower directly from Home Depot, follow the Buy Now button below.
Room for Improvement With the Ryobi 48V HP
As much as I enjoyed using the Ryobi during testing, there were several issues I discovered that I feel warrant discussion. The first being the overall size and balance of the mower. All four batteries are located in a storage compartment under the seat. This shortens the wheelbase of the mower, however, it concentrates the majority of the weight and bulk of the machine to the same area as the seat. This places the operator higher up in the area and results in a pretty rough ride. My wife constantly described the Ryobi as “bouncy”. It is excellent and smooth while riding over flat ground, however, it hits dips and divots hard.
At 796 pounds, the Ryobi is heavier than my 52″ gas mower. In spite of that, the Ryobi still feels top-heavy and awkward at times. Particularly on steep slopes or inclines. I felt the Ryobi slide more when dialing back the speed downhill.
The handlebar construction is also a shortcoming. The control bars mount via two bolts that allow for some adjustability and pivoting for individual users. The extra room for adjustment also means that the handlebars can experience unwanted movement should the bolts become loose. This happened to me several times when cutting and compromised my ability to control the mower properly.
It became enough of a reoccurring issue that I have to check the bolts for tightness before taking the machine out. The issue occurs regardless of the use of thread locking compound. I would happily sacrifice adjustability for solidly securing handlebars. Ryobi told us they are addressing this issue in future releases.
Overall Impressions of the Ryobi RY48140
Ryobi has always maintained a stronghold in the battery OPE market with its 18V and 40V offerings. However, this new 48V HP 54″ zero-turn mower is a quantum leap forward for the future of battery lawn care. Even now after having logged hours of use between my wife and I, I am still amazed every time I flip the power switch and take off.
I failed to mention how quiet this machine is overall. While cutting, the decibel output measures just under 80 decibels at the ear. A reduction of noise like this enhances the enjoyment of using the mower exponentially. It becomes almost meditative cutting the grass while enjoying a podcast or music and not blowing out my eardrums trying to hear the media over the motor.
When considering the quiet engine noise, speed, and power, along with reduced emissions and maintenance, I think it is clear why I believe the Ryobi to be the future of lawn care. While this machine is not designed or built for commercial use, it will serve the demanding homeowner or landowner exceptionally well.
The initial investment is steep, but the benefits are so great that I would highly recommend taking the plunge if you are considering upgrading your own lawn care capabilities. In the meantime, I plan to continue to run the Ryobi as a direct comparison to my Scag 52″ Liberty Z zero-turn. I will follow up on this review with a comparison article when finished.