Mowing the lawn is something I do at least twice a month. I recently had the chance to use a Ride-on lawn mower for the first time which was a lot of fun. It made the job a breeze and didn’t feel like work at all. (Below is a video of me having my maiden ride on a lawn mower).
So in that vein Mark Bartram, who is the managing director of Lawnmowers Direct (which offers a wide range of ride on mowers) looks at what you should consider when looking to buy a Ride-on Lawn Mower:
Ride on mowers look like the most fun someone can have in a garden. At first glance they look like a dodge ‘em car you can ride in your back garden. However ride on mowers provide a lot more that just some fun.
They’re a great way for tackling larger grassy spaces, allowing you to cover more ground quickly while also carrying tools with you as and when they’re needed. This can save you a tonne of time when it comes to clearing leaves or collecting up cuttings. Still, they can be quite a hefty investment, so here are some issues worth considering before you pay out any money.
Get the right size machine for the job
A lot of first-time buyers, looking to economise, can end up getting a smaller machine than they really need. If you’re buying a mower for a space large enough to need a ride-on mower (basically anything over three quarters of an acre (approx 3000 square metres)) then it’s worth getting a machine powerful enough for the job.
You also need to think about what sort of terrain you’re going to be riding it across. A smooth, flat lawn will be fine for any mower deck, however if you’re using your mower for uneven terrain you want to make sure you get a mower deck with floating wheels to avoid scalping the ground.
Get a Collector
There’s no point riding your lawn mower up and down the lawn in style, only to have to go back with a bin bag afterwards to collect all the cuttings. Make sure your mower has a collector and it’ll be handy not just for cleaning up the freshly cut grass, but also autumn leaves and hedge trimmings that might otherwise get in the way.
Be Prepared for Things to Break
Murphy’s law applies even to the best mowers. That’s not to say it will definitely go wrong, only that you need to be prepared if it does. Does the dealer who sold you the machine also offer repairs? Do you know where you can get spare parts?
It’s worth looking not just at the machine itself, but the support materials that come with it. Is the user manual comprehensive and easy to understand? Will you have trouble when it comes to performing simple maintenance on the machine?
Make Sure you See it in Action
This should be obvious, but it’s worth stating outright: Don’t pay money for something you haven’t seen working. Before deciding to put down money, ask for a test drive. Have the dealer talk you through the controls. Make sure you know how it feels to drive, how easy it is to control, and responsive it is to your instructions.
These points cover your main concerns when purchasing a new rider mower, but there are a few other things worth thinking about. How the mower is fuelled is an important one to consider. Most lawnmowers now use unleaded fuel, which is better for the environment, but you should always check before you buy. You should also think about where you’re going to store your mower, as you want to make sure it’s protected from the elements when you aren’t using it.
Once you’ve covered each and all of these points, you can pick out the best ride on mower for you and have hours of run riding it up and down the lawn.