For professional landscapers, the zero-turn riding mower has consistently been the preferred tool of the trade. Zero turns are fast, efficient, and consistently deliver a smooth, even cut.
For residential home and acreage owners, however, the question of zero-turn vs lawn tractor is a trickier one. In order to decide if you are ready to invest in a commercial-quality mower, it is important to consider both long- and short-term benefits.
Faster Mow Times
If you compare zero-turns and lawn tractors based solely on mowing efficiency, the zero-turn mower wins. They have better maneuverability, so you spend less time making 3-point turns. Better maneuverability also means less overlap on your rows. High performance engines can cut at higher speeds, so you mow faster. And there is usually less time trimming, because you can mow right up to the edge of trees, ornamental plantings, and other landscape features.
The average traditional lawn tractor with a 48 inch deck mows at 4 mph, averaging 1.6 acres per hour at 80% efficiency. At 5 mph, a 48" Exmark zero turn mower at 80% efficiency mows 1.95 acres per hour.
Better Cut Quality
One of the benefits to a zero-turn mower is that the cut quality improves. For most mowers, you lose cut quality once you start to approach the highest speeds. But zero-turns are designed to cut at higher speeds. They generally have a higher blade tip speed than garden tractors, and their deck design allows for better clipping handling. This means you work efficiently, with less mowing time but high cut quality.
At Exmark, we go beyond speed to improve cut quality with our UltraCut cutting systems in a variety of deck sizes. This patented machinery provides a beautiful finished appearance even on rough terrain.
Steering a Zero-Turn
Because steering wheels are familiar, many homeowners shy away from zero-turn mowers, which have steering levers. The steering levers may look intimidating, but they are easy to operate. To go forward, you push both handles. To turn right, you push the left handle forward, and to turn left, you push the right handle forward.
Greater Durability and Versatility
With features like fabricated cutting decks, sophisticated drive systems, performance engines, and commercial-grade frames, zero-turn mowers are designed to stand the test of time.
When compared head-to-head, it is clear a zero-turn lawn mower offers the most compelling combination of productivity, maneuverability and quality of cut available today.
When it comes to durability, Exmark scores big with cutting decks, drive systems and engines designed to stand the test of time, and commercial-grade frames.
Bottom line: an Exmark zero-turn riding mower very well could be the last mower you need to buy.