Best Lawn Tractor for Different Lawn Types

By on April 15, 2021

Since its invention, the riding mower has saved homeowners thousands of hours and untold physical effort in caring for mid-to-large-sized lawns. When choosing a lawn tractor, it is important to consider what would be the best lawn tractor for different lawn types. 

Step 1: Terrain 

First, take inventory of your lawn garden’s terrain and grass types. Make note of any trees or obstacles you might need to mow around. Assess how thick your grass is and whether you will need to mow over twigs, nuts, or leaves. If this is the case, pick a mower with at least 4 different blades. Observe any hills or uneven terrains within your lawn and determine their steepness. These questions are important because they will help to understand what type of lawn tractor will be best suited for your lawn. If you have a lot of grass with a lot of hills, you’re going to want a powerful motor, hydrostatic transmission, and comfortable seating. Consider a smaller-sized deck to maneuver easily through hills. In most cases, the largest deck sizes are best for very big flat and open lawns. 

For hilly terrain, check the grade of the slope a lawn tractor is rated for. Also, keep in mind that wet grass on sloped terrain can be quite dangerous and you may need to wait for it to dry out before mowing. Generally speaking, it is best to wait for your lawn to dry before mowing but don’t wait too long during extended wet periods. As with operating any dangerous machinery, always be mindful of changing conditions and err on the side of caution.

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If you have a lawn that is half-acre or more, a ride-on mower will make light work for your lawn care needs by reducing the time it takes to cut your grass. Lawn tractors are designed to mow and assist with other yard maintenance tasks. With the right attachments, a lawn tractor can help with hauling, moving, weed control, and animal care. 

Step 2: Area

Next, consider how much area you will need to mow in acres. We recommend comparing the size of your lawn to a football field, where a one-acre lot equals 1.25 regulation football fields. If you have less than a half-acre, a walk-behind mower or rear-engine riding mower will work best as they are smaller and easy to navigate through tight areas. For lawns larger than a half-acre, a lawn tractor or zero-turn mower will save you plenty of time and hassle. 

Lawn tractors are a great choice for homeowners with large lawns. A lawn tractors’ deck widths can typically range from 42 to 54 inches. To calculate which lawn tractor you need for your yard, divide the tractors’ deck width by twelve, the answer will be the maximum acreage of lawn it is a good fit to mow. As a rule of thumb, a 42-inch deck width will be a perfect size for lawns up to 4 acres. 

Homeowners with lawns too big for a walk-behind mower but too small for a lawn tractor can consider a rear-engine riding mower as an alternative. Rear-engine mowers have deck sizes that usually range from 30 to 33 inches, use a manual lever for deck engagement and have a smaller price tag. 

These are some of the top items to consider when choosing a lawn tractor for your yard. For additional, detailed information on other lawn tractor features and accessories, check out the Cub Cadet’s Ultimate Lawn Tractor Guide that helped inform this article.

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Best Lawn Tractor for Different Lawn Types