How Does a Riding Lawn Mower work? Complete User’s Guide

Push Mowers are only and easy to use on a small or medium-sized Lawn. If you own a bigger Lawn, you need a bigger deck size and a mower that you don’t have to push around to get your Lawn clean. The Riding Lawn Mower can offer you that.

With a Riding Mower, you can just sit and drive your mower around the lawn, and your grass will be cleaned.

So why don’t we use the Ridding Mower on the smaller lawns as well? All different types of mowers have different purposes, and they work better in suitable situations.

Mowing in a large lawn is Riding Lawn Mower’s purpose as they are more convenient to use and have a bigger deck size. So, you can mow your whole lawn without putting a lot of time and effort.

Some of you may have wanted to buy a riding lawn mower but don’t know how to use it properly. To help you, we bring you this article so you can learn how a riding lawn mower works and how to use it properly.

Also, you can learn about some of the best ways to mow your Lawn about the best time to buy a Riding Lawn Mower.

How does a Riding Lawn Mower work?

Riding Lawn Mower’s mechanism is similar to a Self-propelled Mower as they both have one engine that gives power for moving and cutting. There is a slight difference between a self-propelled mower and riding mower that in riding mowers, the blade is connected to the engine by a belt. In self-propelled mowers, the blades are directly connected to the engine by an axle.

The blades are found under the large deck, and they cut grass as they spin. The deck also prevents any debris from flying out, most of the riding lawn Mowers have a side discharge for clipping disposal.

For navigating the Riding Mower, there is a steering wheel or two levers. So you just have to sit and drive your Riding Mower to clean you Lawn. You can also adjust your speed and cutting height.Riding Lawn Mower

Types of Riding Lawn Mower

There are several types of Riding Mowers that many people use for different landscapes. We are going to talk about the ones that are more useful on a Lawn. So let’s get into it.

Rear Engine Mower and Lawn Tractor

These mowers have an engine for powering wheels and blades. There is a steering wheel for controlling the mower, which allows you to navigate the mower through your lawn easily.

The rear engine mowers are smaller than others and have a rear-engine configuration. They are suitable for light work on 1/2 acre to 2 acre Lawn, and they have a smaller deck than other riding Lawn Mowers.

The Lawn Tractors are the most commonly used models of riding Lawn Mowers. They have a front-engine configuration and have more speed than the rear engine mowers.

These mowers are great for a semi-large Lawn, and they are less expensive, which makes them an ideal choice if you have a tight budget.

Zero-Turn Mowers

This Mower is more effective than the models above. It has a wider cutting deck and a more powerful engine. It moves faster, and with the wider cutting deck, you can easily cut grass in less time.

This mower also has a Rear-engine configuration.

Instead of a steering wheel, this mower has two levers or bars for speed and navigating the mower. It features front caster wheels that give you the advantage of making quick turns around the corners. You can also mow around any objects very quickly as this mower is very easy to maneuver.

Zero-turn-radius mowers are a bit expensive, but they offer many features for that price.

Advantages of Riding Lawn Mower

There are a lot of things that make riding Lawn Mower a better choice. They can mow a more substantial area in less time, and you don’t have to push them through your lawn to get the job done.

Let’s see what other advantages you can get from a Riding Lawn Mower.


The best advantage of using a Riding Lawn Mower is convenience. You just have to sit on the mower and drive it in the right direction, and it will mow your entire lawn in no time.

There are no collecting the grass clippings and emptying the bag in between the mowing sessions.

The bigger wheels and the steering wheel give you the advantage of better maneuverability. With zero-turn mowers, you can easily mow in tight spots and make quick turns on the corners.

Faster and Better Cutting

Riding Lawn Mowers run faster than regular rotary mowers as they have more powerful engines and bigger wheels. You can cover a more extensive area in a short time with Riding Lawn Mowers.

It saves you a lot of time and effort while you effectively mow your lawn.

If you are using a Push Lawn Mower, you are going to get tired sometime, and this is not the case with riding Lawn Mower. You don’t have to stop for 5-minute brakes in between mowing sessions.

Easy Mowing around Objects

Zero-turn-radius Mowers are very useful if you have trees and rocks on your lawn. The front caster wheels help make easy, quick turns and to mow around these objects.

The Push mowers get clogged if there are some small weeds on the way of mowing, but Riding mowers don’t get stopped by them. Along with cutting grass with the best of quality, you can also take care of some small weeds and twigs on the way.

A Better choice for Bigger Lawns

Riding Lawn Mowers have a powerful engine that allows them to cut grass faster. Not having to push the mower gives you less fatigue, and you can work for hours without getting tired.

The cutting deck is more significant, and the blades have more power, so you can easily cut thicker grass very quickly.

Add Extra Accessories

You can easily cut grass by using Riding Lawn Mower, and you can add some accessories for other tasks as well. Let’s see some of the accessories that can help you tackle other small tasks.

  • Snow Plow- If your lawn gets covered in snow in winter, you can add a snowplow to your Riding Lawn Mower for clearing the snow.
  • Sprayer- If your lawn needs some nutrients, weed killers, or pest control chemicals, you can easily spray them into your lawn by attaching a sprayer to your Riding Lawn Mower.
  • Bagger- If you don’t Like the clippings just laying on your Lawn, you can attach a bagger so you can collect the clippings and then decide how you want to dispose of them.

Check out our list of Best Riding Lawn Mowers, so you can buy the best one for yourself.

Disadvantages of Riding Lawn Mower

Every product you buy has its ups and downs; riding mower also has some things that make them unsuitable for certain situations. Let’s take a look at some downsides of using a Riding Lawn Mower.

Big and Heavy

The size of a Riding Lawn Mower is also a disadvantage as you can not use them on slopes or uneven grounds. The big size sometimes confuses the user for height adjustments, and you could damage your lawn and the blades on uneven grounds.

Riding Lawn Mowers are also very heavy, and it makes their maintenance very hard. You are going to need a lift and some other tools for the effective maintenance of your Riding Lawn Mower.

If you have steep hills in your lawn, you should not think about buying a Riding Lawn Mower as you can lose control of the hills and cause some serious damage to you and your mower.


Riding Lawn Mowers come with a big price tag which is not suitable for the people who don’t want their lawn management cost to be high. Even if the price offers some intriguing features that will worth the price in the long run but it can put some extra weight on your budget in the present.

Riding Lawn Mowers also consume more fuel, and the maintenance needs some extra tools which add up to more costly Lawn Management. They have powerful blades and engines, and that costs more, so if you have a tight budget, this mower is not for you.

Learning to Use is Difficult

For some people driving the Zero-turn Mowers can be hard, and it can take some time to learn all the functions. Also, they have a sophisticated mechanism for different things like starting the mower or changing the cutting height.

If you want to get the full efficiency of the mower, you need to use it correctly, and it can take some time if you are not familiar with it.

If you want to see some other options, we recommend you to see our list of the Best Push Mower for the Money; and buy the right mower for your home.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Riding Lawn Mower?

There is no right time to buy a riding Lawn Mower or any Mower. You just have to look at your lawn and see if the grass is grown too much, then it is time for a new Lawn Mower.

If you want to get new models that will bring some new additional features, you should buy the Riding Lawn Mower at the start of the mowing season. Most of the brands bring the new models at the beginning of every mowing season so you can get a better mower.

The downside of buying the mower at the start of the mowing season is that you have to pay extra for the same mower that you can get at a lesser price at any different time of the year.

So, if you like to have a lesser price, you should buy your Riding Lawn Mower at the end of the Mowing season. Most of the distributors and brands decrease their mower’s price because of fewer sales.Riding Lawn Mower

How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower?

Using a Riding Lawn Mower is not that hard, but some might need the practice to get used to it. Here we are going to tell you how you can start and use a Riding Lawn tractor and Zero-turn Mower.

How to use Lawn Tractor

Using a lawn Tractor is just like riding a car, except it can also cut grass in your Lawn. First, you need to add necessary fluids so your mower can have the power to move and cut.

There are three or two paddles for gas, brake, and clutch. To navigate the mower, you have a steering wheel.

Now, sit on the mower and start the engine. There are different options on different mowers; some use a manual transmission, and some have an electric start function. If you have a manual transmission, you have to push the brake and clutch padel down and start the ignition.

In the newer models, a dual-purpose padel does the work for both paddles. You just have to push it down and push the start button or turn the ignition key.

There are two types of gear shifting function available in the market. In the manual mower, you can switch gears and choose your pace as you mow. For the automatic systems, you don’t need to change gears; you can just drive, and the mower will adjust gears by itself.

Hit the gas padel to move the mower and set the mower at the place where you want to start mowing. Then you have to disengage the blades and move forward to begin mowing.

How to Use Zero-Turn Mowers

In the Zero-turn mowers, you have a rear-engine configuration and two separate motors for both rear wheels. It means both rear wheels have different controls so you can move a wheel forward while reversing the other one.

All of the other functions work the same as the Lawn Tractor; you just have to practice moving the mower in the right direction. It is not that hard once you understand it.

There are two levers for speed and to control the mower. You can increase the speed by pushing the levers forward, and pulling the levers backward will put the mower in reverse mode.

You have to sit on the mower and push both of the levers forward to move it in a straight line. You can take turns by pushing one lever forward more than the other one.

Pushing one lever forward and another one back will allow you to make pivot turns; for example- if you push the left lever forward more and pull the right lever, the mower will make a right curve. You have to understand the mower’s sensitivity to make perfect turns, that is going to take some practice.

Pulling both levers over your lap will make the mower neutral.Zero-turn Mower

What Is the best way to cut grass with Riding Lawn Mower?

The quality of the cut is based on the performance of the mower and the structure of the Lawn. The best way to mow your lawn comes from a better understanding of your Lawn.

For now, I can tell you some ways to mow your lawn effectively.

First, you should choose a starting point and move forward in a specific pattern as you mow. If you have a squared Lawn with even ground, you can move forward in a straight line; once you’ve reached the end, start again and do overlap. The overlap ensures a better quality of cutting.

If you have uneven ground on your lawn, you should set the cutting height at the highest level. Slow down the mower on corners and slopes because the weight can make the mower turn on itself with you in it. Mow up and down rather than one side to another on steep hills so you can have better balance and control.

If your Lawn is round, you can mow in a circular pattern. Start from a point and go outward or inward as you mow.

Riding Lawn Mower also knocks down some grass while mowing; if you mow in the same direction many times, the grass will be completely knocked down. So, you have to mow in different patterns to keep the grass vertical.

In Summary

Using a Riding Lawn Mower can make your mowing experience more comfortable. It is the best mower to use on a bigger lawn because of the deck size and convenience of use.

With a Riding Lawn Mower in your arsenal, you can take out overgrown grass in less time.

Learning to drive the zero-turn mower can be a little difficult for some people, but once you know how to use the mower properly, you will never complain about the quality of cutting.

Buy a capable Riding lawn Mower, and you will know how much fun you can have by mowing your Lawn.

Let me know if this article was helpful.


  1. Zero-Turn-Radius Lawn Mowers- Wikipedia

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