Like most lawn owners, you probably love the look of an evenly-cut and carefully-trimmed yard – but you probably do NOT love all the work involved in doing the cutting and edging manually. If that is the case, you should consider learning more about zero turn lawn mowers. These mowers are capable of turning 180 degrees without going beyond its own body length – in fact, it can make a full 360-degree circle without leaving a gap in the middle.
Originally, zero turn lawn mowers were designed for industrial uses, due to their outstanding maneuverability. This feature allowed golf course maintenance and other landscapers to get right next to and move around obstacles without the need to stop in trim.
In fact, these ride-on mowers, with their ability to turn back around on themselves, have a lot in common with a bulldozer or even a tank. While tanks and bulldozers have treads which control their movement, whereas a zero turn lawn mower has rear wheels, the principle governing the movement is the same: by controlling the direction and amount of drive power which each wheel receives, the movement of the machine changes accordingly.
To explain: imagine both rear drive wheels have the same amount of drive force applied to them. The mower will simply go straight forward. But, if the drive force on one wheel is decreased (causing drag), the mower will turn in the direction of that wheel. To cause the mower to make a complete half circle turn, we now modify direction – one wheel should continue turning forward, and the other should go backward, causing the mower to make a complete turnaround.
Usually, a zero turn lawn mower’s two rear wheels are linked to a hydrostatic transmission. This apparatus is what converts the engine’s power into hydraulic pressure. This pressure, obviously, is what propels the mower, driving the wheels. Older zero turn mower models were equipped with a pair of levers controlling speed and direction. Now, zero turn mowers might be controlled with a joystick, handlebars that function similar to a motorcycle’s, or a steering wheel (providing additional control).
As zero turn lawn mowers were originally designed for heavy-duty usage, as mentioned above, they were built to be extremely reliable. Manufacturers of this kind of mower state that their hydraulic pumps rarely present problems. If you are interested in purchasing a zero turn lawn mower, you simply must commit to maintaining it, as you would any other mower, by keeping the engine tuned up and the mower deck clean. If you are willing to put in the right amount of care, and pay out the (considerable) purchase price, a zero turn lawn mower’s convenience, performance, and durability should give you many years of beautiful lawn – no trimming required.