Today, we’re going over a question many people face. Should I get a zero turn or a tractor? We’re going to go over the pros and cons of both and hopefully help you decide which machine is right for your property.
Keep in mind this article is from a residential point of view. If we were to do this article from a commercial standpoint, we would have different criteria.
Pros & Cons of Zero-Turn Mowers
Let’s begin with the pros for zero turns.
The biggest pro with these machines is their maneuverability.
They can turn in place and easily navigate yards with flower beds, shrubs, trees, rocks, and any other obstacles. So if you have a flat yard with quite a few things to mow around, the zero-turn is the right machine for you. It will allow you to mow your yard quickly and efficiently.
Another pro with these zero-turns is their visibility. When you’re sitting here in the operator seat, you can easily see what you’re going to mow next, and that’s very beneficial when you’re mowing a yard with a lot of obstacles.
Difficult machine for the beginners
Now let’s move into cons for the zero-turn. The first con is for lap bar operated models as we have here today. There’s a bit of a learning curve for beginners on learning how to drive it. It might take you a couple of mows to figure out the controls.
Need experience on small yard
Besides, when you’re making turns with these machines, you must keep both wheels moving throughout the turn. If you keep one wheel locked and move to the other, you’re going to rip up your yard quite a bit.
No attachments for zero-turn mowers
Also, these zero-turns don’t have the attachment variety tractors do. When you buy a zero-turn, you’re buying it to mow. You can’t do a whole lot else with it. There are sprayers available in some cases, but other than that, there’s not much you can do with it. This con depends on your expectations and tasks: if you need only to mow, there are no cons 🙂
Think about hills
Besides, standard zero-turns are not as steady on steep slopes. This is because the front casters do not help you out very much when it comes to traction. If you have this type of yard, we recommend looking at this type of slope mowers.
The engine not so powerful for the soft ground
And finally, also for smaller zero turns, it’s easy to get the casters stuck in the soft ground if you’re not mindful of where you’re mowing.
Pros & Cons of Garden and Lawn Tractors
The different tasks for tractors: not only mowing!
Let’s move on to the pros for the garden and lawn tractors. The first pro and by far the biggest is their versatility. These tractors have a whole world of attachments available to them that allow you to do anything from snow blowing to ground-engaging work with something like a tractor shovel, spraying, spreading, mowing, and much more.
Hills? Where are they?
Moreover, these tractors are very stable on hills. They don’t give you many problems when it comes to traction, and provided you mow straight up, and down the hills, you will have no problems.
Hit & Run! Special for the beginners!
Besides, these tractors are also very easy to drive for beginners. They have a steering wheel, so anyone can hop on and almost instantly know how to drive it.
The first con is maneuverability. Yes, these tractors, especially the John Deere ones, are very maneuverable. They have a very tight turn radius, but you cannot beat the zero turns when it comes to mobility.
If you have a yard with a lot of obstacles and you’re mowing with the tractor, you’re going after reversing a lot, back up, make three-point turns, and find yourself in tough spots that you wouldn’t find yourself in with the zero-turn, because of its superior mobility.
Next up is the price. The John Deere X730 costs over twice as much as the John Deere Z540M. Keep in mind this also reflects life design.
Tractor Type Mower Vs. Zero Turn For Hilly Rough Lawn
Believe us, you can combinate the lawn tractor and push mower for mowing hills! Watch the video below 🙂
In fact, to mow these hills difficult with a tractor like in this video. The best option is to buy a zero-turn mower like Husqvarna MZ61 or hire an organization for mowing every week.
How to choose between the company and your own zero-turn mower? Mowing the lawn costs about $150-$200 per acre or 25-34 times compared with the price of Husqvarna.
Ok, we take the average price of $175 or 29 times with your new zero-turn mower ($5100 divide by $175), don’t forget about the gas and maintenance; we just make minus 4 times.
And we have 25 weeks or 6.25 months. Six months! It is just 1 season in a cold area or less in a warm! So I prefer to buy a zero-turn. Why? You can easily sell it out and back 50% of the money.
Now we’re going to show a couple of tests with zero-turn, tractor, and push mower. Thanks to HandyDadTV for making this comparison. Subscribe to his channel here.
As you can see, if you have more than 1/2 acre yard, you will choose a zero-turn mower to save your time.
To recap, if you want to mow, go with the zero-turn. You cannot beat its maneuverability, and you will be able to quickly and efficiently mow your yard.
However, if you want to use multiple attachments or have many hills on your property, go with the tractor as that will be the best fit for you.
Hopefully, this article helped you decide between a tractor or a zero-turn, and if you have any questions or thoughts, please leave those in the comments below.