We’ve learned to love the instant gratification and simplicity new technology gives us. Thankfully, some manufacturers have read the “consumer wants” list and have driven a whole new trend, the ZTR. The best zero turn riding mower will offer all the power of standard riders mowers with the focus being on the end users overall experience.
The best zero turn riding mower is a loose term and subjective to each user. Depending on property size, type of terrain, yard obstacles, and how often the mower will be used, all determine which is the best zero turn riding mower for each person.
Even if you’ve never operated a tractor, you’ll catch on quick with a zero turn riding mower. They are super powerful and efficient machines where operator steers using the back wheels in a pivoting fashion instead of having to turn the entire rider.
- Look for the most durable machine. If you don’t have a stable frame and reliable engine, you’re just throwing your money away. There are quite a few ZTRs that are affordable and extremely durable. Just because the price tag is higher, doesn’t always mean the machine is better. As far as durability goes, we’d probably pick the Swisher Ride King, the Snapper 355Z, or the Poulan Pro 950 as the most durable. We have product descriptions of them on our site. One we don’t have on the site and probably should would be the Ariens Zoom XL 42″, you can see that here. (Keep in mind, the ones we’ve suggested are only the most durable in our opinion. All of the zero turns that we feature on this site however, are plenty durable for normal homeowner use.)
- Comfort. If the driver isn’t comfortable, they’ll end up hating having to mow. Decent suspension, vibration dampening, a comfortable seat and by all means armrests will make your zero turn riding mower a great experience every time. The Snapper 355Z seems to be the most comfortable of all ZTRs. At least, that’s what consumers are saying. While we agree the Snapper is extremely comfortable, we think the Ariens 42″ Zoom is just as comfortable.
- If you have an extremely large area to mow, consider dual fuel tanks or at least an extra large fuel tank.This should shorten time normally used to stop and refill. All controls should be easy to reach. The filters need to be easy to reach to make maintenance quick and simple. The Swisher ZT2052 and Snapper 355Z fall into this category hands down.
- The larger the rear wheel, the better. The larger wheels flatten the grass less, which improves performance. Is the ground you mow even or uneven? For uneven grounds, select a zero turn rider with a low center of gravity to provide you with better traction and stability. This category has to go to the Husqvarna MZ6128ZT or the Swisher ZT2052
- An efficient cooling system is important, if the machine is going to operate at an optimal temperature for long periods – especially on hot days. Pretty much all of the newer zero turn mowers have this taken care of.
After you’ve narrowed down your search using the examples and explanations above, then you’ll want to determine which is the best zero turn riding mower for your property type and usage needs.