The rear wheels of a zero turn mower are independently driven by hydrostatic drives that give the zero turn mower its fast turning ability. The mower engine powers a pump that pressurizes both transmissions. As the operator moves the control levers, the amount of fluid flowing to each wheel, and therefore the amount of power, increases or decreases. The mower will rotate as a top by pushing one lever forward and pulling the other back simultaneously.
6 tips for zero turn mowers, 6 before you buy and 1 for after
1 – Only buy what you need
Zero turn mowers have been available to professional landscaping companies for some time. Residential models are refined but reduced versions with prices that can vary by several thousand dollars. If you mow a lot of acres, the larger mower deck makes sense, but if your interest is just zero-turn maneuverability, buy the lower-priced version.
2 – Ideal for shipyards with many obstacles
If mowing the lawn reminds you to maneuver around traffic cones on a test drive, the zero turn mower might be for you. Because they are agile, a zero turn mower will weave in, out, and around those tight areas more easily than conventional models. You’ll enjoy having less “cleaning” work with your lawn mower and string trimmer.
3 – Ideal for open fields too
Landscapers agree that when it comes to open fields, a zero turn mower can be faster than even some tractors. If you currently mow with a conventional lawn mower, zero turn will definitely speed it up. Fluid actuated wheels propel the mower at a faster rate.
Another benefit that professionals appreciate is that the platform is below the operator, not in front of it. This means that dirt that is agitated while cutting the field does not return to the operator.
4 – Not good for inside corners
Lawn care experts agree that zero turn mowers create more work with fences or other inside corners. The mower deck is below the operator, so the clearance between the front wheels and the front of the mower deck limits the mower’s proximity to the corner. This will leave extra work for the trimmer at each interior intersection.
The outside corners are a different story. Here a zero turn mower will outperform other options because it can turn instead to make the turn.
5 – Look at the seat
You will be spending several hours a week on your lawn mower so you want to be comfortable. Test the seat and its adjustments. Shock and vibration absorption are also good features.
6 – Ergonomic controls
Like the seat, check the control levers – do they adjust to your height? Control valves can supply fluid at different speeds. Does the model you are considering feature tuning adjustments so that both levers work equally?
Once you have your new nimble mower:
Fast 180’s will tear up the lawn
Zero turn mowers are heavier than their cousins and hydrostatic transmissions provide enough power for quick turns. Weight combines with speed to damage the turf. Use caution when turning.