If your yard is big enough that you’re prepared to invest in a riding lawn mower, don’t spend a penny until you’ve learned about the best zero turn models for 2012. No matter how large your lawn is, somehow you always get stuck in the nooks and crannies, having to make a ten-point turn in order to get out. With zero turn mowers, on the other hand, you can zip in and out of tough spots even more easily than you could with a traditional push mower. The key is the use of two separate steering levers instead of a wheel, which allow you to maneuver the two back wheels independently. While getting used to levers may take a little bit of time, once you’ve got the hang of handling them you’ll be moving through those tight areas as easily as if you were walking it. Not all zero turn mowers are created equally, however, and the significant investment means you’ll want to know which brands are the best choices. Here are three that are worth having a look at.
One of the biggest criticisms of zero turn mowers is their reduced stability when mowing on inclines in comparison to more traditional mowers, but that’s not something you’ll have to worry about with Husqvarna’s latest models. Their design offers a low center of gravity with generously wide rear wheels that give you not only a comfortable ride, but reduced grass compaction when turning as well. Premium engines that are still relatively quiet mean you won’t have to worry about sacrificing power either, and the high cutting speed means that you can accomplish big mowing tasks in much less time. An efficient cooling system means the engine won’t drop out before you do on even the hottest days. Expect to pay about $10,000 on the high end for models like the PZ603CV, and between $3,000 and $5,000 on the low end for models like the MZ5225ZT.
Sometimes good design starts with the simple things, and with zero turn mowers from Simplicity, you’ll get what you’re looking for, a stable ride, ease of use, and a great finished result. The Axion sells for around $2,500, a steal for a zero turn mower, and features a powerful and durable Briggs & Stratton Professional Series OHV Engine as well as a cast iron pivoting front axle and wide front and rear tires for smooth and comfortable maneuverability. If you’re looking for a zero turn mower that rivals what the pros use, check out the Cobalt for just under $10,000. Loads of rugged, commercial-quality features are mixed with comfort-conscious details to make cutting the grass something you almost look forward to doing.
Craftsman is a name we’ve grown to trust for high-quality performance at a reasonable price. When it comes to zero turn lawn mowers, their models sell for between about $3,000 and $5,000, an extremely reasonable price range, without sacrificing any of the features. A powerful 27 horsepower engine and well-designed transmission mean plenty of power, while the wide wheels, floating deck, and pivoting front axle mean a steady ride that will produce a beautiful result. The high back of the seat, armrests, gel suspension, and foam-covered grips add up to an extremely comfortable afternoon. Just slip a glass of lemonade in the cup holder and get mowing!