The turning radius is the smallest angle possible when a U-turn is made. When only the front wheels can turn, this is determined by the distance between front and hind wheel and the angle of the front wheel. The zero turn lawn mower has been built to have a turning radius of nil. Like there is no arc at all. This cuts down the mowing time by more than half. It also offers a consistent cutting. These mechanical marvels are easy to handle as they come with a wide range of steering choices. They are also easily maneuverable into tiny spaces. This makes it way easier to cut near or around obstacles. For these reasons, they are incredibly wonderful for large lots.
The first thing to consider before purchasing a zero turn mower is the size of the lot. See a larger deck will be beneficial when working on a large lot. The larger the better when there are acres and acres to mow. The deck is the cutting width.
Another consideration is the number of obstacles and the distances between said obstacles. This is another factor that will determine the deck requirement. If the spaces between obstacles are too tight then you should use a smaller deck. This will be easier to cut in those tight spots without damaging the machine and causing a whole lot of ruckus.
Other considerations are more about personal preference and beliefs. Like the kind of fuel the machine will require. The most common is gasoline but there are others that use compressed natural gas which burns better than the gas. Steering option is another thing. One can get joysticks and control levers. One can also get a steering wheel. It has been said that the steering wheel offers more control on steep areas. It will also help one adjust to the zero turn radius faster and easily.
Class 1: Entry Level
There are four classes of zero turn mowers. The first class is the entry-level zero turn mower. This is not built for everyday use as the parts and compartments are built out of not quite sturdy materials. They have a deck of up to 54 inches and would work better on a one acre lot or one with tight spaces. These can go up to 7 miles per hour and have a gas tank capacity of about 3 gallons.
Class 2: Mid-Grade
The second class is the mid grade zero turn mower. This is obviously heavier duty and has a higher price tag by about $400. The deck is between 34-60 inches wide. The engine is more powerful and gas tank holds more capacity of up to 4 gallons. You should ask for a zero turn mower with a 3 in 1 capability. This will allow switching from side discharge of the clippings to mulching or bagging. Also look out for a mechanical foot lift. This adjusts the height of the deck to either lower or rise.
Class 3: Semi-Pro
The third class of zero turn mowers is the semi-pro. Obviously this comes with a lot more heavy gauge material. This is more suitable for small scale landscapers. It is built for everyday mowing and will accelerate u to 8 miles per hour. The gas tank holds between 5-8 gallons of fuel. The deck is 42-66 inches wide.
This third class also comes with comforts as it is built for long periods of work. It comes with cup holders and adjustable armrests. The price of a zero turn mower in this class will be about twice that of an entry level machine.
Class 4: Commercial
The final class, one with the highest price tag, is the commercial. This is the big leagues. The deck goes up to 72 inches in width and fuel tank can hold up to 13 gallons of fuel. A machine is this class may boast engine power of up to 38 horse power. It is heavy duty and built for everyday use.
When purchasing this ask for full suspension. Not only will the ride be way smoother it will allow better tracing of the curve and contours. Full suspension also means less shock on the machine and thus less prevalent to repair needs.
Also look out for sloped fronts on the decks. These will provide a more consistent cut. You may want to check out the stand on mowers. It is said that they offer the best zero turning radius and provide more precise cutting. They are also compact and easier to transport. Perfect for a landscaper.
What then does one do with the grass clippings? There is an option of mulching where the clippings are cut into small bits that can be used as nutrient resource for the grass and plants. They can also be bagged. The key thing is to ensure is compatibility. Ensure to use the same brand bagger or mulching kit that is compatible with your machine. Also ensure to get the right size too.
Try to avoid slopes with a more than 15˚ angle as this makes it easier for the machine to topple over. Also avoid working on wet ground. Wet ground increases the chances of sliding and losing control.