Riding mowers allow homeowners to mow large lawns quickly with little physical exertion. How quickly the lawn mower can go depends on the model of lawn mower. While speed might help landscapers get the job done more quickly, high-powered lawn mowers can overwhelm to the operator. Other factors, such as the location of the handles and the type of transmission, can play a role in determining which lawn mower a home owner buys.
Traditionally lawn mowers have been front-turning mowers where the steering wheel turns the front wheels, causing the rest of the riding lawn mower to move in the turned direction. However, new lines of rear-wheel lawn mowers use hydraulic transmission to create sharper turns.
Lawn mowers usually have handles allowing the operator to hold on to the lawn mower. The Cub Cadet lawn mower has handles on the front with the steering and speed levers. The Craftsman Zero Turn lawn mower has levers on the side, making it easier to get on and off the lawn mower, according to Popular Mechanics. The Snapper lawn mower has a single joystick used to control the lawn mower.
There are edges of the lawn that many older lawn mowers have a difficult time reaching, requiring the use of an edge trimmer. This adds time to the lawn-mowing project by forcing the landscaper to start up the edge trimmer and cut the edges manually. However, newer lawn mowers are more capable of reaching the elusive grass on the edges of the lawn.
Some riding lawn mowers, such as the Cub Cadet, can travel very quickly and have high maneuverability. While these sorts of features speed up yard work, they can be overwhelming for some operators, according to Popular Mechanics. The Simplicity lawn mower is a more suitable mower for landscapers who are worried about losing control of their mower.
Riding lawn mowers turn in different degrees. Many lawn mowers can make 180-degree turns, but only some lawn mowers capable of doing so without missing grass. Being able to make a 180-degree turn without missing grass makes lawn mowing, easier since the landscaper can go back and forth over the grass in the most efficient manner possible.
Lawn mowers usually have manual transmissions with the lawn mower having to shift gears when traveling at higher speeds and going up hill. However, there are lawn mowers like the Murray EMT20460H mower that have an automatic transmission.