Any homeowner cares about keeping their acres trimmed to maintain an eye-pleasing yard. However, when faced with unaligned grounds and rugged terrains, it might be hard to find a mower that can work well with them.
This is why most customers go for zero-turn lawn mowers. That’s due to their durability and power that can withstand this harsh terrain. A zero-turn lawn mower is also designed to mow and maneuver bushy landscapes safely.
So, do zero-turn mowers work on uneven ground and rough terrains?
Absolutely. Yet, there are multiple factors to consider when mowing harsh landscapes. We’ll discuss them and also go through the safety procedures of driving zero-turns on such lands.
What a Zero-Turn Mower Should Have to Mow Uneven Ground
When choosing a lawn mower to trim your uneven lawn, it’s not enough that it be a zero-turn one. There are some features you should know first so that you can choose the right mower for your land.
The Engine’s Horsepower
The larger the horsepower, the stronger the mower’s engine is. This is an important detail regarding mowing in general, and it’s even more critical when cutting uneven ground.
Since rough terrains come with their own obstacle courses, a zero-turn lawn mower with 37 HP or higher will be up for the job. Not just that, but working with a strong engine will also reduce your mowing time.
That being said, operating a powerful zero-turn mower might be problematic if you aren’t careful. This kind of lawn mower is heavier, louder, and harder to balance. This is why you should prioritize your safety next to the engine’s brand and quality.
Design and Comfort
As we’ve mentioned, choosing a lawn mower that optimizes your safety and convenience is best. This is why you should keep your eyes out for a zero-turn that has the following:
- Shelf-type seats that are well-cushioned and plush to support your back
- Seats with isolation systems to absorb the shocks
- A design with an air ride mechanism that’ll protect the driver from strong vibrations and jolts
- Seat belts to keep you secure in place while you drive
- Foot mats to reduce the effect of vibration on your feet
- Handlebars or steering levers for a better grip of the vehicle
Picking out a zero-turn mower that checks off all the previous requirements should maximize your safety. It’ll save you from irrevocable back pains and keep you secure if the vehicle tips over.
The Mower’s Cutting Deck and Width
Choosing the right cutting deck is another factor that’ll help you mow uneven lands faster. The math behind this decision isn’t too complex either.
A lawn from half to two acres needs a 43 to 48-inch deck, while a three acres or bigger yard requires a 50-inch-wide deck.
Mowing time will be reduced the wider the cutting deck is. Better still, you can save up to 17% of the normal time required to cut grass. The only downside to operating a wide-cutting deck is that it’s harder to maneuver around tight spots and obstacles.
But, thankfully, there’s a way around this. If your uneven lawn has many trees or flower beds, go for a smaller cutting deck, so it’s easier to operate. Pair that with high horsepower, and you’ve got the perfect lawn mower!
The Lawn Mower’s Type
Durability is a big part of choosing the right garden equipment. After all, if the mower doesn’t last long, then it’s a waste of an investment. This is why you should go for a commercial zero-turn lawn mower instead of a residential one.
Commercial zero-turns are not only durable, but you can also operate them for longer hours than their residential counterparts. Plus, they’re built with powerful engines, so they’ll be able to drive up steep and uneven terrains. In addition, they can enable you to cut your grass more often if you ever need to.
On the other hand, if a commercial zero-turn lawn mower is a possible overkill, you can opt for a high-end residential one instead. It’ll achieve more or less the same result, but it can only be used once to thrice a week.
Why a Zero-Turn Is Perfect for Uneven Ground
The structure of a zero-turn mower is made to cut grass on harsh terrains.
First, the engine and the tires are positioned on the same end. This helps reduce the machine’s traction and fixes its frame.
Second, steering zero-turn lawn mowers on uneven acres isn’t as tricky as regular lawn mowers. This is because they have a narrower radius turn than other mowers, which ranges between 42 to 48 inches. This tight turn helps you maneuver around tight corners.
In addition, most zero-turn mowers have larger tires that lower the chances of the vehicle rolling on its side. They also have a lower center of gravity, so they can hold themselves up better when going up and down rough terrains.
Safety Tips When Using Zero-Turns on Rough Terrains
Operating a lawn mower is already difficult enough. However, using a zero-turn mower can sometimes be more challenging. Not only that but driving a zero-turn can also be riskier to use than other mowers.
This is why you should be aware of the following rules and precautions. This way, you can ensure your safety and that no accidents happen while mowing your lawn.
It’s hard enough to walk on uneven ground, never mind mowing one. So, keep mowing your yard in an up and down motion while minimizing turnarounds. Also, driving lawn mowers diagonally might cause the vehicle to tip over.
Another tip to keep in mind is to steer slowly and carefully. On steep terrains mainly, you should stick to ground speed. You also shouldn’t stop or shift as all your maneuvers must be slow and consistent.
Check Your Tires
Zero-turn mowers have caster wheels. These tires have less traction, which helps zero-turns operate faster. That being said, the mower’s rear tires are more stable than the front ones. This is why you should check them before every mowing session.
The rear wheels need to be wide enough to increase their surface area on the terrain. However, they also shouldn’t lack tread; otherwise, they might slip and tip the lawn mower over.
Stick to a Speed Limit
The selling factor of a zero-turn mower is its power and speed. But, unfortunately, you’ll need to monitor that while you’re mowing your yard. Meaning you should stick to a steady four to five mph while operating on bumpy grounds.
Additionally, before mowing your lawn, you should check your brakes and transmissions to ensure they’re working correctly. This way, you can help avoid future accidents.
Also, any accessories on your mower might slow you down or make it hard to turn. So, it’s better to remove the attachments you don’t need regularly.
Do zero-turn mowers work on uneven ground and rough terrains?
Definitely! Zero-turns have the horsepower to maneuver around rough landscapes. They also have the perfect turning radius and cutting decks to reduce the time and effort behind mowing.
That said, you need to be thorough when choosing the right zero-turn to do the job. Consider the factors we mentioned above in addition to the safety tips. Of course, it helps to check your vehicle’s brakes and tires before every mowing, too.