Purchasing a zero-turn mower can be a big step for some homeowners, especially those that have been content with a simple push mower up to this point. With the cost of a mower hovering around the cost of a cheap used car, this choice shouldn't be taken lightly. Even if you think you've thought of everything and are prepared to make the right choice, here are four little details that you should check on before signing the papers on your new mower.
Cutting in Reverse
Especially in smaller yards or those with plentiful shrubbery and ornaments, getting a mower that can cut in reverse can be a lifesaver after a long day of mowing when you just have one pesky spot left. The ability of your mower to cut while driving in reverse can cut down on your trips through your cutting area, for example, you might be able to only go in between a pair of trees once rather than 3 or 5 times, since you'd only be cutting while driving in one direction on a mower without reverse cutting.
Fuel Gauge Placement
Another stupid little thing that can become a real headache quickly is the placement of the fuel gauge on your mower. Constantly having to shut down and get up to check an inconveniently placed fuel gauge can be a real waste of time, and could also put you at risk of running out of gas in a far part of your property or at a job site, making you lug a gas can over to your tuckered-out mower. When test driving your mower, try checking the fuel level while you're riding it to see if the placement works for you.
Nature of the Deck
Sure, you may have picked the mower with the perfect sized deck for your yard, but did you check to make sure what the deck is made of? Flimsy plastic decks can break and discolor with age and sunlight, and a thin metal deck can be similarly unreliable. What you may find convenient is a diamond plate steel deck for traction, or maybe even a perforated one that will allow for easy cleaning and even better traction.
An often poorly researched aspect of any new mower is simply how loud it is. This can be a really important aspect of your decision if you have a job that would only give you certain inopportune times of day to mow your lawn, or if you have a dog or cat that's sensitive to loud noises. You can often just ask the salesperson how loud a given mower is, or an online video review of the model you're shopping for should give you an idea as well.