A zero turn mower on a front lawn

A Guide to Zero Turn Mowers in Australia

You’ve likely seen a zero turn mower as they’re a popular tool for commercial landscaping. The reason for their popularity is due to their speed, efficiency and ability to mow consistently. 

There is a misconception that these mowers are difficult to manoeuvre and very expensive to buy because people see these mowers being used by professional landscapers, but that isn’t true.

Many Australian homeowners are now discovering the benefits of having a zero turn mower for their backyard. Grass can be cut more efficiently and shave off 50 to 70 per cent off the time that it took before. Its large deck and specialty engineering provide more consistent results, and because the person mowing is seated high, it allows better visibility and more control.

If you want to save time and energy, then perhaps it’s time to invest in a zero turn mower. Here’s our guide on everything you need to know about zero turn mowers.

What is a zero turn mower? 

A zero turn mower is a riding lawn mower with an effectively zero turning radius. There are two levers, one on either side, to help you manoeuvre the mower around so it does not have a steering wheel. The levers move independently of one another, allowing the driver to control the direction and speed of the mower. Take the time to become acquainted with using a zero turn mower as it will take time to master it. New technology has significantly improved zero turn mowers over the years, making it much more efficient. The mower deck is the secret to these great mowing machines. 

Lawn striping with a zero turn mower Source: SCAG

What are the main benefits of using a zero turn mower? 

Technology-Based Product 

Advances in technology and data collection have vastly improved the zero turn mower. Suspension systems and comfortable seats are increasing in popularity to offer people a smoother ride while they’re cutting the grass. This is particularly beneficial to groundskeepers who spend all day on the mower. For the homeowner who doesn’t enjoy mowing the lawn, being able to sit down comfortably is a huge plus.

Saves Time 

People with larger lawns will particularly appreciate having a zero turn mower. They cut faster, are more durable and have large tyres to make it a powerful machine. To make mowing as painless as possible, think about investing in a zero turn mower. They’re great at cutting around flower beds and bushes so take the time to learn the ins and outs of your mower so that you can make your lawn look as professional as possible. Check the cutting deck width of the zero turn mower before making a final purchase decision.

Smooth Operation

Zero turn mowers are designed to smoothly cut around trees, plants and other items in the backyard. Their manoeuvrability makes it easy for the mower to cut the grass consistently and efficiently.

Is a zero turn mower easy to use?

Although it may take a few go’s, a zero turn mower is fairly easy to operate. Think of it like using a shopping cart as it is different from traditional mowers. Time is a precious commodity, so using a zero turn mower will give you more time for other gardening activities. Once you’ve become a zero turn mower pro, think about exciting things you can do with the grass like lawn striping. Some zero turn mowers don’t have a foot pedal brake but some do have an emergency or parking brake.

How to keep a zero turn mower in good condition

Below are some of the tips that can help with the maintenance: 

Read The Manual 

To keep your zero turn mower in good condition, make sure you read the instruction manual. Even if you have used a zero turn mower before, each one is different so familiarise yourself with the model you’re using.

Save Internal Engine From Corrosion 

Only put fuel in your mower that is recommended by the dealer or what is stated in the manual. Before retiring your mower for the season, use a fuel stabiliser to prevent water and gasoline from separating. Without a fuel stabiliser, you could run the risk of sucking up water instead of fuel the next time the mower is started up. The absence of a fuel stabiliser can cause corrosion and damage to internal engine parts.

Life Span

Zero turn mowers are a big investment so to get the best bang for your buck it’s important to look after it as best you can. It should be stored in an undercover area away from the elements and indoors if possible. Leaving it outdoors can result in corrosion or damage, so keeping it in a dry, cool area is the best option.

Keep An Eye On Tyre Pressure 

Another thing that can improve the life of a zero turn mower is tyre pressure. Make sure you keep a close eye on tyre pressure to keep your zero turn mower in good condition. 

Advantages of zero turn mowers over other mowers

Here are the main advantages of choosing a zero turn mower: 

  • It is used by professionals to give the lawn a manicured look.
  • It is different from traditional mowers as it does not use a steering wheel and can make sharp turns with ease.
  • Zero turn mowers are great for lawn striping.
  • Saves you 50 to 70 per cent more time.
  • Attachments can be added for versatility. 
  • Easy to manoeuvre.

There are many things to consider before purchasing a zero turn mower, but for speed and efficiency, there is no better type of mower on the market. As with any major purchase, make sure you speak to a few different dealers and read reviews online to see what people are saying about zero turn mowers. Joining a landscaping Facebook group or looking at some online marketplaces to see what is available could be a good starting point. Think about where you’d keep your zero turn mower when it’s not in use and read articles on how to keep it in tip-top shape.

Author Bio: Rob Shearer is the National Sales & Marketing Manager for SCAG Australia, who travels around Australia visiting dealers and attending field days to understand trends in each region of the country. He also conducts demonstrations for fleet buyers and government departments. 

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