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Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard #5442609 05/30/20 03:51 PM
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YardWork Offline OP
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Hey Everyone, my husband and I are too old to deal with a walk-behind mower and our son can no longer cut our grass. So, we are thinking of getting a ride-on mower. We have about 1/4 acre to mow with some tight spaces, bird bath, and trees. Without considering cost, since reliability, easy of use and maintenance--not to mention maneuverability--are important considerations for us, would you be able to recommend one, and why?

Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442617 05/30/20 04:06 PM
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nomas Offline
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Bad Boy MZ 42" Zero Turn . Mine has been trouble free . If you have any gates to go through , measure the opening before purchasing anything .

Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442626 05/30/20 04:22 PM
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spasm3 Online Happy
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i have been happy with my toro timecutter ss 50 zero turn. Its a 2013 model. i have about 140hrs on it. no problems. I run 15w40 and fram ultra filters.

Only complaint with mine is on a rough yard , it can shake you a bit. Smooth yard no problem. New models may have a better shock absorbing seat.

Last edited by spasm3; 05/30/20 04:24 PM.

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Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442637 05/30/20 04:47 PM
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DeafBrad Offline
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I don't have experience with these... but have you considered a robotic mower? It will do everything for you and even plug itself in to recharge.


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Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442639 05/30/20 04:52 PM
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samven Offline
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With your description of age and lawn size and not considering cost my recommendation would be a Steering Wheel Zero Turn like this one. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Cub-Cad...=wKCSMMyouxyOR9twUx0Mo38QUki1rHS1LwaZxA0
It has fuel injection for easier starting and reliability, the 42" deck is plenty big for 1/4 ac and you could even go smaller, the steering wheel is safer on slopes and more intuitive for beginners and being a zero turn it will be extremely maneuverable around trees and other obstacles in the yard and you can get it at the local box store with delivery. Cutting 1/4 ac 30 times a year it should last 10-15 year and should only take about 20-30 min to cut the whole shebang, very nice on those hot humid July and Aug days and it will cut close enough that trimming will be no more than with a push mower.

They do make less expensive mowers with smaller decks which might be more what you are looking for. They take less storage space and willl go through narrower gates if thats an issue, just dont go any bigger than 42" for your size yard, the next step up takes you to 3 blade decks and they get a bit cumbersome in small areas.

Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442647 05/30/20 05:13 PM
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knerml Offline
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A 42" zero turn, riding lawn mower or tractor will take about an hour to mow 1/4 acre (90 minutes if you are bagging).

For reliability, do not buy anything made by MTD. This includes entry level Toro tractors, Huskee, Yard Man, Cub Cadet, Bolens, Craftsman and Troy-Bilt.

A zero turn is the best product, but takes a lot of garage space.

Last edited by knerml; 05/30/20 05:14 PM.

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Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442649 05/30/20 05:19 PM
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You probably will need a 32-36 inch deck and about a 12 HP Briggs for that size yard. If your like me I still like mowers with steering wheels. Had a "Handle" mower and gave it to my son. I can go and steer with one hand on the wheel and lift a stray low branch with the other one. I am just not interested in all the hydraulic controls. Home Depot has a good selection. Be sure to try driving it before you buy one. We have a Husqvarna that wife and I both love. It is over 10 years old and has had two batteries one set of blades and an annual sharpening and oil change.


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Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442650 05/30/20 05:20 PM
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philipp10 Offline
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A 1/4 acre is quite small for some of these suggestions.... I would go with a snapper, single blade design. I think they are 30" cut.

But I also like the robotic mower suggestion even more.

Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442653 05/30/20 05:21 PM
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samven Offline
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I can cut a 1/4 ac with a 21" push mower in under an hour and I am 66. I do cut 1 ac with a 42" Troy bilt pony in just over 50 min and have been for the last 10 years. The other 5 ac gets cut with a 60" Kubota B but its too big around the house and gardens.

Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442656 05/30/20 05:24 PM
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spasm3 Online Happy
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1/4 acre, i'd go 50 inch deck. That will save a lot of mowing time. Nothing like getting home and knocking out the yard quick. The zero turns have a high blade speed, mulch really well and are fast, way faster cutting than a tractor type. A wider deck will also keep the engine/transaxle hours down in the long run.

My 21hp kawasaki engine has been flawless.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Toro-50...c-Zero-Turn-Riding-Mower-75750/310838224

Last edited by spasm3; 05/30/20 05:28 PM.

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Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: philipp10] #5442680 05/30/20 05:50 PM
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NormanBuntz Offline
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Originally Posted by philipp10
A 1/4 acre is quite small for some of these suggestions.... I would go with a snapper, single blade design. I think they are 30" cut.
But I also like the robotic mower suggestion even more.

Right. A ZTR mower for 1/4 acre (repeat one quarter acre) is nothing but overkill. YardWork, you should avoid the bigbox stores, and instead go to a few mower dealers to see what they have. Remember they will be the ones you need for service, not the big box stores.


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Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442681 05/30/20 05:51 PM
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simple_gifts Offline
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Quote

i'd go 50 inch deck.


OP said
Quote


We have about 1/4 acre to mow with some tight spaces, bird bath, and trees.

not to mention maneuverability--are important considerations for us,


Respectfully a 50" deck for a 1/4 acre is crazy.

Last edited by simple_gifts; 05/30/20 05:52 PM.

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Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442712 05/30/20 07:00 PM
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Eddie Offline
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I would get a single 30 inch blade mower which is easy to handle easy to store and very maneuverable. A 42 inch can be a hand full when turning and backing which you will do a lot of with a large mower. Like phillop10 above said, the Snapper mower is worth a look. Ed


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Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442719 05/30/20 07:11 PM
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Hermann Offline
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I have a 2019 model 38" Murray from WalMart that I paid under $800 with a 5 year warranty. It is perfect for my small yard. Has a 13.5 hp Briggs and Stratton. Get through tight spots. Have not had to adjust a thing. On the max height setting it is just perfect and cuts level. 6 speed tranny and the throttle is quite responsive when it need a boost up the terrace. Not the greatest mower ever made but I think it will handle my yard. Best part, nothing has broke. (Wood being knocked) Be advised this price was available late last season. I bought mine in August.

Last edited by Hermann; 05/30/20 07:14 PM. Reason: Additional vital information LOL

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Re: Help with Riding Mower for Small Yard [Re: YardWork] #5442732 05/30/20 07:36 PM
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walterjay Offline
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If you are getting older, you may want to consider a regular lawn tractor with power steering. It can save you a lot of physical grief. I have had carpal tunnel and currently have some arthritis in my hand and the levers you have to use on a zero turn are a killer. I switched to a regular tractor with power steering and it is great. If you think you want to go with a zero turn, I recommend that you rent one and give it a good workout on your lawn.

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