A task as meager and as simple as mowing grass can often prove to be a major challenge in challenging terrains such as in hilly areas. With a slope present to constantly make your life difficult, traditional lawnmowers find it difficult to make proper contact with the grass and thus not delivering appropriate results for which we have endeavored to find a solution for you and compile a list of the best zero turn mowers for hills and consequently make your life easier.
Before venturing on an explorative journey, let us quickly understand the ins and outs of zero-turn mowers. The best thing about inventions these days is that their name is quite self-explanatory in itself. A zero-turn mower is a mower that can turn at zero degrees. But turn where is the question? On its axis is the answer, or better yet, turn on its direction of movement. Zero-turn mowers can essentially turn in a full circle and travel in the opposite direction without having to cover any extra ground; their turning radius is next to zero, hence the name ‘zero-turn mower’.
These mowers don’t differ much from standard riding lawn mowers. The only difference is the design; where traditional lawn mowers have the mowing deck underneath the machine, zero-turn mowers have the deck in front of the machine. Bearing the ability to turn instantaneously, zero-turn mowers are known for their maneuverability and the considerable speed advantage that they hold over traditional mowers.
Another noticeable difference between lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers is again in the design; the four-wheeled mowers instead of having the same tires have 2 swiveling wheels in the front and 2 larger wheels at the back. There are essentially 3 types of zero-turn mowers:
Depending on how you are going to use it, you have the liberty to choose from the above 3 types, although riding mowers are the most common and preferred amongst users.
Steering a zero-turn mower is quite different from all types of steering consoles you have sat behind. Instead of the standard steering wheel to maneuver your vehicle, zero-turn mowers make use of a steering method that is used in heavy-duty vehicles such as tanks and bulldozers. This method is called differential steering where steering is achieved by applying more or less torque on one side of the vehicle than the other. All of this is achieved just by two simple levers on either side of the driver. The following are the methods to achieve different types of motion:
1. Husqvarna Z242f 42 In. 18 Hp Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Husqvarna motors are one of the fastest on the market today. The Z242 model, in particular, can give you a maximum speed of 5MPH due to the underlying 18HP engine. Furthermore, the Z242 comes equipped with a decent-sized 42-inch cutting deck that makes trimming your lawn an easy task; basically, you shall enjoy sitting on the mower trimming your grass instead of thinking about when it’s going to end!
We could go on and on about the features of the Z242 and still not finish-it is that much feature-packed: the park braking system, the full pressure lubrication system which allows you to mow up to 2 acres of grass with a 3.5 gallon fuel tank, the air induction mowing technology that draws air both from the top as well as the bottom of the deck to deliver the best cut to your grass, heavy-duty and sturdy wheels that can weather through any kind of terrain, etc. The Z242 does not fall behind in terms of features and performance in any manner, making it one of the best substitutes in the market at the moment.
2. 25hp 60" Ztr Tractor
The name may not be much, but it is enough to garner your attention and once that has been accomplished, the chances are slim that you would turn to something else than the ZTR Tractor. The very first thing to note in the ZTR is the 25HP Kohler 7000 series engine with V-Twin-cylinders. If that is nothing but jargon to you, just know that it is enough to offer you speeds as high as 8MPH that gives you the ability to mow up to 4 acres of grass in an hour.
The commercial-grade axles on the ZTR make this entire ride and experience a comfortable one. The 22-inch wide rear tires and the 13-inch front tires ensure a firm grip with the land regardless of the terrain. The cutting deck is massive; at 60 inches wide, the performance of the ZTR is a parameter you would not question. The padded backseats and armrests ensure that you are in for a comfortable ride and you will feel no exertion at all. The ZTR tractor also gives you the ability to make height increments in the cutting to as minute as a quarter of an inch that decreases the risk of the turf getting ground up. Just like the Husqvarna Z242, there are many features of the ZTR tractor.
3. Husqvarna Z254 54 In. 26 Hp Kohler Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Yet another deserving entry on the list from Husqvarna is another Z series zero-turn mower - the Z254. There are not many differences in the Z254 and the Z242. The first noticeable change, however, is the engine; the Z254 has a 26HP engine as compared to the 18HP engine in the Z242 that gives the Z254 a maximum speed of 6.5MPH, a steady rise from the 5MPH top speed. The cutting deck also has been increased in size and the Z254 packs quite a massive deck measuring 54 inches, thus significantly increasing the performance of the same.
Other than these, the rest is virtually the same with a few adjustments to some things to deliver a better performance. For example, the air induction mowing has been significantly improved just by increasing its torque that allows for a better upliftment of grass and delivering a cleaner and more professional cut. The deck too has been revamped and made with stamped steel that is subsequently reinforced with heavy flat-stock steel to account for the extra strength and durability. Being 54 inches wide, the deck boasts of an improved triple-blade cutting system to reduce the number of passes and the mowing time simultaneously. The most noticeable change is that the newer and bigger 26HP Kohler engine is a 7000 series V-Twin engine. It is one of the most powerful in any zero-turn mower at present.
4. Swisher Ztr2454ka Response 24hp 54-Inch Kawasaki Ztr Mower
The ZTR2454 from Swisher is not what you would call power or performance packed. The reason, however, that it is on this list is its durability and reliability. The materials used for its build are extremely sturdy and made to last as long as it is not abused. The design of the ZTR2454 is pretty sleek and packs all the features needed in a zero-turn mower in a very compact design.
Even though it is not known or meant for performance, the ZTR2454 still packs a massively powerful 24HP Briggs and Stratton engine underneath probably to ensure that whatever it delivers, it does in the best of manners. Another feature to note in the ZTR2454 is the foot-assisted deck lift that allows you to change and sharpen the blades without a jack lift. The 54-inch cutting deck is also excellent that cuts out a considerable amount of grass with each pass-so much for not being a performance-based machine!
5. Ariens 915223 Ikon-X 52" Zero Turn Mower 23hp Kawasaki Fr691 Series
The 915223 zero-turn mower was launched by Ariens to make an unequivocal statement and set a new standard in the market and this target has been achieved in a manner that goes beyond just ‘successful’. The 915223 is solid right from its design to its performance.
The engine on this amazing - if all the other mowers on the list are simple cars, then the 915223 would be like a NASCAR car at best! A 726 cc (~35-40HP) Kawasaki FR V-Twin engine makes sure of that fact which makes mowing your lawn much quicker. The design is highly ergonomic too. With armrests and high-back padded seats, the comfort is matched by a select few. The build quality is also beyond excellent and with a 52” deck, a considerable amount of grass is thrown out with each pass.
After reading this article you must have learned the meaning of zero turn mowers and got to know about the features, pros and cons of 5 best models available in market today. Out of these 5 models my favorite is Husqvarna Z254 54 In. 26 Hp Kohler Hydrostatic Zero-Turn Riding Mower.
This mower is equipped with 7000 series V-Twin engine which makes it one of the most powerful in any zero-turn mower at present. Even in sub-zero temperatures, you can fire it up in the first turn. Its performance is uncharted territory at present.