Riding lawn mowers are a significantly bigger investment than their push-powered counterparts, but they also offer a lot of advantages. If you’re looking to buy a new riding mower, you won’t find many recognizable names for under $1,000, or really many choices at all. Most of the best known brands price their basic models between $2,000 and $3,500, with various features available in that window. If you’re willing to spend $5,000 or more, performance mowers and multi-use lawn tractors offer a variety of modular features that make them worth the investment.
Benefits of Owning a Riding Lawn Mower
There are a range of benefits to owning a riding mower, but many of them depend on the shopper’s choice of model. Some of the most common benefits you’ll see even with economy class mowers include:
- Time saved mowing the lawn, since riding mowers are faster
- Increased energy for other tasks if your last mower was not self-propelled
- Towing power for small debris carts or wagons
- Longer operating lifespans than the average push mower
Like automobiles and tractors, riding mowers are long-term investments that can last decades if properly maintained. The key is understanding how to care for and when to replace key parts like your riding lawn mower batteries. So what is a lawn mower battery? It’s a specially designed variety of 12v with the power to keep riding mowers running for years without a replacement.
Riding Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips
Like any new vehicle, the first and most important tip you can follow is to consult your owner’s manual. There are a variety of designs and features for riding mowers, so not all of them need the same types of oil or even the same types of gas. Like cars, they also have different maintenance schedules from model to model, and the manual will tell you how often to perform basic maintenance like spark plug replacements.
You’ll also want to learn how to charge a lawn mower battery, because it’s just a little different from working with an automotive battery. Beyond that, maintaining a small engine follows a lot of the same patters as maintaining a larger one. Replace any rubber hoses as they show signs of age, check the integrity of any belts regularly, and follow the instructions from your manufacturer.
The biggest difference is in maintaining the blades. Riding mowers can pick up sticks and other pieces of debris that then get stuck and cause larger buildups, binding the blades or stopping the engine. Clearing the underside is important, and doing so safely means removing the battery connections first.
When you inspect the underside for blockages and buildup, it’s also worth checking the blades for damage. Regular sharpenings are essential when you see rolled edges if you want to maintain your mower’s performance.
Looking To Save on Riding Mowers?
While a new riding mower is likely to cost a couple thousand dollars or more, you can save a lot of money by shopping the used market, especially if you’re willing to do some work on the mower. Often, the cost of a fixer-upper and the parts needed winds up being a fraction of even a late model used mower.