Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, or Garden Tractor. Garden tractor with mower

Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, or Garden Tractor?

Sometimes the terms “lawn tractor” and “garden tractor” are thrown around when people are talking about riding mowers, but the two are not the same pieces of equipment. There are certain things that set the two types of equipment apart, making them suitable for different jobs and situations.

Riding Mower

A riding mower is a unit with a mowing deck attached to a unit that is self-propelled and can be ridden. In most cases the mowing deck can be detached, although some mowing decks are part of the chassis and cannot be removed. A riding mower is generally best for areas larger than a small urban yard, but under the size of one acre, with mowing decks that are usually slightly wider than a push mower, but still only have a single blade. The chassis, axles, and other parts are generally made only for light duty, and while not fragile, can only withstand light work.

Lawn Tractor

A lawn tractor is technically a type of riding mower, made to resemble an agricultural tractor. Like an agricultural tractor, the lawn tractor is a multi-function unit that comes with a hitch and a front-end attachment point. The mowing decks of lawn tractors are wider than those of a riding mower, usually with two blades.

Unlike a plain riding mower, a lawn tractor can pull trailers, attachments and bag units, and can also hook up small attachments to the front end to push around, including small plows. They are useful for larger yards, from a half-acre yard up to around 2 acres, depending on what other tasks you may need it for aside from mowing. Attachments include leaf blower units and small plows but nothing too large.

Garden Tractor

The largest of the three, a garden tractor is built for heavy-duty work. The chassis and axle are made to withstand heavier loads and rougher terrains, the wheels are larger to be able to make it over all sorts of terrains, and their transmissions are made to haul heavier loads and handle heavier pieces of equipment.

The mower decks underneath garden tractors will have three or more sets of blades, making them perfect for handling anywhere from one acre up to six or seven acres of grass. They are perfect for year-round work, though, as they can handle all sorts of attachments, including blades for shoveling or grading, snow removal equipment, and tow-behind equipment for cosmetic work across the lawn. This makes garden tractors the right piece of equipment to own if you are planning projects around the house. The usability comes at a price, though – the average garden tractor will be twice as much as a lawn tractor, plus the attachments will run in the hundreds of dollars each.

By using this information, you can decide which of these is best for you, your lawn, and the projects you may have planned. Check our next blog, where we discuss the available attachments for lawn tractors and garden tractors, how they can be used and which ones are worth purchasing.

Save time mowing your lawn with these riding mowers

Looking to save time mowing your lawn? The best riding lawn mowers help you achieve this. They also have nifty features like narrow turn radius, generous deck sizes, and they’re fun to ride.

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.

The 5 best lawn mowers: Top gas and electric-powered mowers

How you can make short work of your yard work.

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.

Husqvarna YTH18542

Best riding mower overall

Cutting width: 42 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic variable speed | Power source: Gasoline | Mow in reverse: Yes | Mulching/bagger capable: Yes

The Husqvarna YTH18542 snagged the top spot on our list of the best lawn mowers, and it also takes the crown here as the best riding mower you can buy. Personally, I have a slightly older version of this model, and I absolutely adore it.

The 42-inch cutting deck has two sets of blades for more even and consistent cuts, and you can fit it with a mulching kit or bagger attachment for easier cleanup or to re-feed your lawn with ultra-fine clippings. You can set the cutting height to six different positions to get the best cut all season long, and a deck wash feature lets you hook up a garden hose to clear dried grass clippings to maintain optimum performance.

The hydrostatic transmission works like a car: the harder you push the pedal, the faster you go. Which means using this riding mower is much easier than variable speed manual models. It even has a mow-in-reverse feature that keeps the blades engaged when you back up, making it quick and easy to go over spots you may have missed or navigate tricky areas around garden beds.

It’s also equipped with an 18.5HP Briggs and Stratton engine that’s powerful enough to handle hills, inclines, and even rough terrain. The 16-inch turning radius makes it easy to mow around obstacles like trees, lamp posts, and lawn ornaments, and you can hitch a wagon accessory to the back to haul mulch, potting soil, or tools for other yard work.

Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT

Best electric riding mower

Cutting width: 42 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic variable speed with cruise control | Power source: 56V battery | Mow in reverse: Yes | Mulching/bagger capable: Yes

The Cub Cadet XT1 Enduro LT was one of our picks for the best electric lawn mowers, and it’s still the best electric riding mower you can buy. It’s built on the same chassis as the gas-powered XT1, so you’ll get the same durable construction without the hassle of an engine maintenance routine.

The XT1 Enduro LT uses a built-in, 56V battery to power the unit, and it can be charged with a regular wall outlet, so you don’t have to worry about needing a special charger. A full charge will give you about 90 minutes of run time, which is enough to handle lawns up to two acres. When you do need to plug in, it’ll reach 100 percent in about four hours, so you can top up the battery while you take a lunch break or tackle other outdoor chores.

The 42-inch deck uses dual blades for an even, consistent cut and has a mow-in-reverse feature that keeps the blades running while you back up so you can navigate tricky areas or go back over spots you missed. You can adjust the deck to 12 different heights for the perfect cut all season long over almost any terrain. There are even built-in USB ports so you can charge your phone while you mow.

Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1

Best zero turn riding mower

Cutting width: 50 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic variable speed | Power source: Gasoline | Mow in reverse: Yes | Mulching/bagger capable: yes

The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 nabbed our pick for the best zero turn mower you can buy. It’s equipped with a 23 horsepower Kawasaki, twin-cylinder engine, and a hydrostatic transmission for easier operation.- and enough power to handle steep inclines and large yards. The frame is made of tubular steel for durability and strength and is painted with a corrosion resistant powder coat to prevent rust and damage from the elements.

The 11-gauge stamped steel deck comes in sizes from as small as 42 inches up to 54 inches to make short work of just about any size lawn, and it can be adjusted to 15 different cutting heights for perfect results all season long. The seat and lap bars are fully adjustable and feature ergonomic designs for more comfortable long-term use, while the seat suspension system provides a smoother ride across rough terrain.

Like the name implies, the zero-inch turn radius means you can pivot in place when you need to, making it easy to maneuver the lawn mower around obstacles like small trees and lawn ornaments or oddly shaped sections of your yard.

Troy-Bilt TB30

Most affordable riding mower

  • Compact design
  • Affordable price compared to other models
  • Six-speed transmission
  • Rear-mounted engine
  • Mulching capable

Cutting width: 30 inches | Transmission: Six-speed manual | Power source: Gasoline | Mow in reverse: No | Mulching/bagger capable: Yes

While it’s hard to find a riding mower that can truly be considered “budget-friendly,” the Troy-Bilt TB30 is one of the most affordable models on the market. If you buy directly from Troy-Bilt, it retails for around 1,800, while retailers like Home Depot and Tractor Supply Company sell them for just a hair under 2,000.

It features a 30-inch cutting deck, which is perfect for lawns that hit that rare middle ground of being too big for a push mower to be practical but not quite big enough to justify buying a 42 or 46-inch lawn tractor. The deck is designed to easily transition from a traditional side discharge to mulching grass to make it easy to re-feed your lawn with ultra-fine clippings. It also has a six-speed manual transmission, so you can set the forward or reverse speed that best suits your yard and go.

The body of the mower features a slim, compact design that’s great for garages and tool sheds on the smaller side. Since the engine is mounted on the rear of the lawn mower, you’ll have a better line of sight, which is great for seeing things like sticks and rocks that need to be removed and watching out for pets and children who may be nearby. And just because the engine is smaller doesn’t mean it skimps out on power; with 10.5HP, you’ll be able to pull garden carts, spreaders, sprayers, and other implements to tackle every outdoor chore.

John Deere 1570 TerrainCut

Best commercial riding mower

Cutting width: 60 or 72 inches | Transmission: Hydrostatic variable speed with optional AWD and cruise control | Power source: Diesel | Mow in reverse: Not specified | Mulching/bagger capable: Not specified

The John Deere 1570 TerrainCut is a commercial-grade lawn mower designed for handling places like golf courses, sports complexes, and public parks. But if you live in a rural area and have a 5- to 10-acre property to maintain, it can be a powerful asset to have in your workshop.

It’s available only through local dealers or the official John Deere website, and if you go through the official site, you can customize aspects of the 1570 TerrainCut to better suit your needs. You can choose either rear or side discharging decks in either 60- or 72-inch lengths for ideal clipping disbursement and streamlined mowing. The gas tank holds up to 16 gallons (60.6 liters) of diesel fuel, so you can spend more time working and less time refilling your tank.

The 37.4HP engine and hydrostatic drive allow you to operate the TerrainCut like a car, and you can opt for all-wheel drive for better traction across steep or rough terrain. The mower has a “steer from the rear” design, meaning the back two wheels control the direction of the entire unit, which will take some getting used to if you’ve never driven something similar before, especially when driving in reverse.

The deck is stamped from seven-gauge steel and can be adjusted from one to six inches for cutting height, so you can maintain everything from upscale golf courses to grazing pastures and drainage ditches. And while the almost 28,000 price tag puts this mower squarely out of reach of typical homeowners, it’s a worthy investment if you have a landscaping business or need to maintain a very large, rural property.

What is the best riding mower?

In my opinion, the Husqvarna YTH18542 is the best riding mower you can buy. It has a 42-inch stamped steel deck, dual cutting blades, and a mow-in-reverse feature for maneuvering around tricky areas and obstacles. It also has a hydrostatic transmission which allows you to operate the mower like a car: press the pedal and go, no more messing with levers.

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.

Choose this riding mower…

A well-rounded, gas-powered mower for yards up to two acres

A battery-powered riding mower for eco-friendly lawn care

A zero turn mower for maneuvering around obstacles or tricky areas

A compact riding mower for lawns a touch too large for a push mower

A commercial-grade mower for a landscaping business or large rural property

How did we choose these riding mowers?

Aside from price, I chose both gas and battery-powered riding mowers to give you a choice in how you handle yard work. Gas-powered models give you better run times and more horsepower, while battery-powered ones save you time and money on engine maintenance and help reduce your carbon footprint.

I also chose a variety of cutting deck widths for handling everything from 1 to 10 acres, including a commercial-grade model for large rural properties and landscaping businesses.

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 similar to how a car drives: you push the pedal and it moves forward or backwards. 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 in extra jerry cans from going bad from moisture contamination. This prevents build-up 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 to sharpen the blades. If you do regular maintenance, not only will you save money by avoiding big repairs from worn out parts, 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?

In this guide, the 1,799 30-inch, six-speed manual Troy-Bilt TB30B is the cheapest top-notch rider you can buy.

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:

Zero Turn vs Lawn Tractor for Hills: Which is Better Why?

Are you moving into a new house on a hillside and don’t want to deal with hauling your push lawn mower all the way up and down your property? If so you’re probably concerned about safety with a riding mower — wanting something that won’t tip while navigating the pitch of your lawn.

In this article we’ll compare two great riding mower options — zero turn vs lawn tractor to help you make the best choice for your property.

We’ll explain the key differences between zero turn mowers and lawn tractors, discuss the pros and cons of each type of mower, and make a recommendation based on these factors.

riding, mower, lawn, tractor, garden
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What is a Zero Turn Lawn Mower?

When considering which type of riding lawn mower is best for your property property, you may want to look at a zero turn mower.

A zero turn is just what it sounds like. It is a lawn mower tractor with a nearly zero turn radius.

It’s the preferred type of mower for landscaping and lawn care professionals. They are expensive, but they offer excellent performance, and if you own a large property it may be worth the investment.

Zero turn lawn mowers work through a series of hydraulic controls which are available on the handles you use to pilot the mower.

This allows you to spin around without losing your place on your lawn completely.

Zero turn lawn mowers generally make your lawn work go faster, but they can be more expensive than a lawn tractor.

Once you try this electric zero turn mower from Greenworks you’ll never look at battery powered tools the same way again.

  • Mows up to 2.5 acres in a single charge.
  • Fully charged in 90 minutes.
  • Equivalent power to 24 HP gas engine.
  • Quiet, no fumes, and faster than competitors (8 MPH max speed).

What is a Riding Lawn Tractor?

A lawn tractor, like the zero turn lawn mower, is a riding mower that will help to cut your yard work time in half. Named after its appearance, a lawn tractor looks similar to a full-size tractor, but it’s the right size to fit easily in your garden shed or garage.

Unlike the zero turn lawn mower, the lawn tractor has a larger turning radius, similar to what you might be used to with your car. This means that you’ll have to circle back to ensure all of your lawn is cut.

A lawn tractor will typically be less efficient at mowing your property than a zero turn mower, as you may have to take extra passes and you can’t zip around trees and gardens with quite the same ease.

With that said, a lawn tractor offers some advantages for those living in northern climates, as it’s easy to swap out the mower for a snowblower during the snowy months.

Lawn tractors also tend to be less expensive than zero turn mowers.

Comparison: Lawn Tractor vs Zero Turn Mower

Now that you know a little bit about each type of riding mower, lets compare the two in a variety of different categories:


Because it has superior maneuvarability, the zero turn lawn mower comes out on top when it comes to speed. Zero turn mowers can make short work of any lawn … whether your yard is wide open without obstructions, or has many trees, gardens, and landscaping features.


While a lawn tractor is faster to maneuver than a push or walk-behind mower, its inferior turning radius makes it less precise than mowing with a zero turn mower.

Not only does the improved radius of the zero turn mower play a role here, but zero turn mowers also offer superior visibility. The engine is below your seat, which allows you a clear view of the terrain in front of your machine.


If you’re on a budget, you can usually get the best bang for your buck with a lawn tractor. Your local hardware store or big box store will likely have a number of lawn tractors to choose from in your price range, and you can also order these machines online with free shipping if you’re so inclined.

I recommend you consider the size of your yard and how much storage space you have available for your mower before making a purchase. The cheapest lawn tractor won’t last as long as a more expensive model with a superior engine.

Read some reviews online to choose the right model for your property.

Performance on Hillsides

Hills are an obstacle that poses a challenge to many types of lawn mowers, and if you have a hilly property to mow, then it’s important to consider several factors before you choose between a lawn tractor and zero turn mower.

  • Grade of the Hill – If the hills on your property are not steep and you have the budget for it, I definitely recommend the zero turn lawn mower. It is quick and effective, and you’ll look like a pro driving it. With that said, if you have steep grades on your property, I feel a lawn tractor will be safer, especially if you buy one with a roll bar (just in case).
  • Safety – Because of the lab bar on the zero turn mower, the lawn tractor is a lot safer to use on steep hills in my opinion.

Special Considerations When Using a Riding Lawn Mower on Hillsides

If your property has hills where the drop is one foot or more every three feet of hillside then you probably should consider alternatives to a mower.

Tipping on a riding lawn mower when mowing on a hillside is a very real concern and even if you’ve mowed your hilly property a hundred times, all it takes is one tip to cause catastrophic injury.

It’s just not worth the risk on steep grades.

Alternatives to a Zero Turn or Lawn Tractor for Properties with Steep Hills

There are many options that homeowners have when they live on a property with a steep hill.

  • Use a Push Mower – Steep hills are a pain to mow with a push mower, but if you get a powerful self-drive walk behind mower, you can do it without too much exertion, and it’s much safer than a riding mower.
  • Build a Terraced Garden – If you have a green thumb, consider building a terraced garden on your hillside. You’ll be able to grow beautiful flowers and edibles here, and offer more variety to bees and butterflies than a grassy yard ever could.
  • Use a String Trimmer – If your steep slope isn’t that big, you can use a string trimmer to keep your hillside neat and tidy.
  • Invest in a Slope Mower – If you have a large property with many steep hillsides and you’re determined to have those hillsides be maintained as lawn, there are several different varieties of piloted or remote-controlled slope mowers that are up to the challenge and which are safe to use on steep grades.
  • Buy a Robotic Lawn Mower – These innovative machines come with a docking station where they charge up and you can program them to mow your lawn or just your steep hillsides on a certain schedule. They work like a Roomba robotic vacuum would in your home, and they are surprisingly affordable. Here are the models I recommend.

Zero Turn vs Lawn Tractor: Which Should You Choose?

As long as your hillsides are of a modest pitch, either a zero turn mower or lawn tractor can work for your property.

riding, mower, lawn, tractor, garden

My preference is a zero turn mower, which is fun to drive and a great investment if you have a large property as it will cut your mowing time significantly and make it easy to navigate around trees, garden beds, and other obstacles.

In northern climates, I typically recommend a lawn tractor because you can purchase a snow-blowing attachment to use with your lawn and garden tractor in the winter, making it a year-round piece of equipment for your property, and a better investment.

I hope this article has helped you when comparing zero turn vs lawn tractor. Let me know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев which type of riding mower you chose and why!

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by Sarah The Lawn Chick

Sarah’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When. Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.

thoughts on “ Zero Turn vs Lawn Tractor for Hills: Which is Better Why? ”

This was really helpful. I just recently purchased a house with 6 acres and went back and forth. Do I purchase a riding lawn mower or a zero-turn? Your article helped me to decide on an Ariens 54″ zero-turn and I could not be happier. It’s fun, relaxing and does an incredible job around the turns. I have some steep hills on my acreage and it does considerably well especially during dry season. Thanks again for your advice!! It truly made a difference. Jay

So glad this helped, Jay! Ariens makes a great machine, I’m sure you’ll be happy with your new mower for a long time. Enjoy it!

riding, mower, lawn, tractor, garden

I really want to get a ZTR, but I’m concerned about the hills on my property. So if I want the safest ZTR, what are the features I should look for. I see lots of websites that recommend various ZTRs as being best for hilly terrain, but none of them explain what it is about those models that makes them good on hills. Bigger (or just wider?) tires maybe? But what else?

Hey, Donald – great questions. In my experience (I don’t own one, but my dad does and I’ve used his) I would prioritize a wider, heavier model and I’d also get one with a roll bar for safety. The truth about tires is that you can upgrade or change those out for a few hundred dollars if you wish once you have your mower, so I wouldn’t let that be a determining factor for you unless the two models you’re looking at are the same price and the same other than the tires. Super aggressive treads aren’t great for most lawns either (especially if you’re going to be spinning tight with a ZTR), so there’s a bit of a trade-off there that you’ll have to weigh. Your grass type will play a role there as well – some lawn grasses can take a beating and others can’t. I will also say that if you have steep hills neither type of riding lawn mower is as safe as a high-end self-propelled mower you walk behind, but if you do get a riding mower make sure you’re mowing up/down and never side to side. If you’re worried about the hills you could also see about renting or borrowing one some day this spring to try it out and see how it feels on your property before you take the plunge and drop a lot of money on a zero turn mower. Good luck!

Welcome to my blog!

Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m the chick behind LawnChick.com.

I’m glad you decided to visit and I hope you find the tips and advice about lawn care and maintenance that I this blog helpful.

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Zero Turn vs. Lawn Tractor: Choosing the Right Mower for Your Property

For large property owners, choosing the right mower can be a challenge. Each individual property has unique features that can influence your choice of mowing solution. Where one lawn may feature several trees and bushes that require precise cuts, others may be large, expansive properties with various elevation changes.

With large properties, the choice often comes down to a zero turn or tractor-style motor. Each offers a unique set of benefits and setbacks that vary between different models and configurations. In this helpful guide, we’ll explain the difference between each mower type, their unique features, and the types of properties they’re best for.

Zero Turn Mowers: Precision and Performance

Ideal for lawns over a half-acre in size with multiple landscape features (flower beds, bushes, etc.), zero turn mowers are efficient and precise. These power motors get their name from their ability to make turns on a dime, with almost zero degrees of turn radius. They use dual-hydrostatic transmissions which the rider operates using two levers on either side of the seat. Their tight turning radius allows mowers to cut a precise pattern with only small patches of missed grass.

Zero turn mowers make it incredibly easy to mow around turns, corners, obstacles, and more. They’re also fast, with a top speed of around 10 mph. While speed is nice, precise cuts should be done at slower speeds.

Where zero turn mowers lose some performance over lawn mowers is dealing with elevation and versatility. Lawn mowers use front wheel drive, while zero turn mowers operate with rear wheel drive. The latter can be difficult to control on uneven terrain and often do not have the power to get up steep slopes. Zero turn mowers are also often not fitted for attachments, or if they are, rated for anything of significant size.

Lawn Tractors: Power and Versatility

Lawn Tractors are excellent options for property owners with a yard an acre or larger. Built like a small go-kart, tractor or riding mowers use a traditional steering wheel. Easy-to-use and powerful, these mowers do not require much practice to master. With various deck sizes available, you can cut a good amount of lawn with each pass.

Lawn Tractors offer incredible versatility. Beyond being able to tackle hills and slopes, they are often rated for attachments. With a riding mower, you can seed, transport, tow, and mow (up and down hills too, depending on the size and weight of the attachment).

What lawn tractors have in power and versatility, they sacrifice in precision. Riding mowers have a larger turn radius than zero turn mowers, so you will have larger patches of missed grass on each pass. This will require a few more passes to cover the full lawn and some additional trimming on tight corners and around obstacles.

Should You Get a Zero Turn or Lawn Tractor

Looking at the pros and cons of each mower, the decision on which one to choose comes down to three factors:

If you own a lawn over a half-acre, either mower can come into play, but a smaller lawn than the half-acre would make using a lawn tractor quite difficult. The two more important factors to consider are the features of your lawn and the job you need your mower to do.

We’re Here to Help

To learn more about zero turn and lawn tractors, visit or contact your nearest Papé Machinery Ag Turf! Our incredible team members can answer your lawn upkeep and mower questions, and walk you through our incredible selection of zero turn and lawn tractors.