Last Updated on December 29, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
Riding lawn mower models are available in myriad different sizes, which leads to the big questions-what is the width of a riding lawn mower and which options are right for my yard.
Apart from the features such as mower blades and engine horsepower, discharge chute and mulching blades, the mower deck size is an important factor to consider, because it allows you to determine several things such as how much ground you can cover, and the space you need for storage.
Most riding mowers such as models from leading brand John Deere measure between 30-inches to 85-inches in width, which is much wider than a push mower.
Riding lawn mowers fitted with a rear engine can measure 30-inches wide, while commercial zero-turn mowers, with or without a steering wheel can have a width of over 80-inches, and are equipped with one of many different types of transmissions including hydrostatic transmissions, and heavy-duty transmissions.
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Why is it Important to Measure the Width of a Riding Mower?
When buying a riding lawn mower, we often look for factors such as speeds, height, engine type, and whether it’s a good fit for uneven terrain.
But we often overlook the size of a respective lawn mower model, commonly referred to as the cutting width.
Whether you own a sprawling yard or you have a small yard size, it’s important to measure the size of the lawn mower to ensure that you can work at the right speed to cut your lawn.
Technically, you can buy any size mower deck riding lawn mower for your yard size, but buying the right size lawn mower with the right deck size offers a plethora of benefits, including reducing the time it takes to mow your lawn, making it easy to mow challenging yards such as uphill or steep terrain and makes it easy to maneuver through gated yards and challenging obstacles and patches.
With a larger size cutting width lawn mower, you can cover more ground with a single pass. However, a larger size cutting deck isn’t suitable for small size lawns because you may have issues with maneuvering, and turning it around.
The wider you can cut with each pass, the sooner you’ll have the job done. For example, a larger tractor mower or riding mower with a 42-inch cutting deck can mow a 1-acre lawn in roughly an hour.
Smaller Deck Mower Garden Tractors
If you have a lawn with several flower beds and trees to navigate around, buy a riding lawn mower with a small size deck.
These mowers won’t cut wide paths with a single pass, but you can accelerate the mowing process by buying a riding lawnmower with a larger horsepower engine.
What is the Right Width for Your Lawn Size?
Whether you have a smaller or larger yard, there are several ways to determine the right cutting width for your lawn size. Here’s some of the more common mower deck sizes you will come across;
If you have a 1-acre to 1.5-acre lawn. Buy a riding mower with a deck width between 42-inches to 46 inches. The Kohler 5400 Series Engine Hydrostatic Drive Gas Riding Lawn Tractor offers a 42-inch cutting width and is a professional grade model for 1-acre to 1.5-acre lawns.
For lawns that measure 3-acres, a deck width of 46-inches to 54-inches should suffice. The HP V-Twin Kohler 7000 Series is a premium model that comes with a muscular 46-inch stamped deck, and an array of compatibility options such as a high back seat, and discharge chute.
For 5-acre or larger lawn sizes, a lawnmower with a 54-inch cutting width is a great option. The XT1 Enduro ST 54 in. riding lawn mower comes with a slew of comfort features and an automatic transmission. It is engineered to deliver a 54-inch wide cut while creating fewer clumps.
Different Types of Riding Mowers
There are two main types of riding mowers-tractors (including lawn tractors) and zero-turn mowers, which are a great choice for challenging terrains and hilly terrain.
Riding mowers have their own advantages, such as comfort options and powerful engines, and disadvantages, so pick the one that works well for your lawn.
A lawn tractor is an ideal choice if you want to do more than mowing. These workhorses come with powerful V-Twin engines such as a robust 22-HP V-Twin engine or 24 HP-V-Twin engine, giving them the right amount of muscle to tackle big jobs.
Furthermore, lawn and garden tractors aren’t an economical option, but on a brighter note are a versatile option in that they allow you to connect the mower with many attachments such as for dethatching, snow plowing, and more.
With regard to cutting width, lawn and garden tractors are available, starting from 42-inches to 54-inches, making them a great choice to tackle any job on your turf.
John Deere is one of the leading names in the lawn and garden tractor segment and offers a wide range of models to choose from.
This range of lawnmowers from the John Deere hangar comes with a rich set of features like easy change oil systems, hydrostatic transmissions, foot-controlled deck height adjustment, heavy-duty all-purpose tires, and two to three-year manufacturer warranties.
Zero Turn Mowers
Zero-turn mowers, including the John Deere Z355R, offer top-notch performance, and the fastest speeds of up to 10 miles per hour.
In addition, a zero – turn mower can be ordered in different grades depending on your application, and there are also some steering wheel options.
To explain briefly, the mowing deck of a zero-turn mower is located at the front of the machine rather than underneath in lawn tractors.
A zero-turn mower has a turning radius of zero when the two drive wheels are rotating in opposite directions.
Zero-turn mowers are generally fitted with large caster wheels, deck wheels, or rubberized wheels. They provide a mower deck width between 60-inches and 66-inches, and some models even come with cup holders for a comfortable mowing experience.
The John Deere Z355R ZTrak zero-turn mower provides a wide 48-inch mower deck width and is powered by a 22 HP engine.
One of this model’s popular features is its electronic ignition for quick starts. Additionally, the Z355R ZTrak zero-turn mower is fitted with overhead valves, a spin-on filter with pressure lubrication, and cast iron sleeves for longer engine service life.
Most, if not all, Cub Cadet zero-turn mowers come with Briggs & Stratton V-Twin engines, which are cheaper than HP V-Twin ELS engines but are still good engines.
How to Measure the Riding Mower Deck Width?
Riding lawn mowers are available in a multitude of deck sizes and shapes, from square shapes to round, ones. You will be sure to find one suitable for your yard.
Before measuring the deck of a riding lawn mower, make sure it’s switched off completely. The width of a riding lawn mower is generally listed in the manufacturer specifications, but if it isn’t, here’s how to go about finding the number.
Check out pulley placements, and make sure there are no obstructions from one side to side of the deck.
Place your tape through the pulleys, and across the center of the deck, and take note of the width. If you can’t access a straight path via the pulleys, raise the front of the mower deck about six inches, get down to the mower deck level, and measure from one side of the deck to the other side of the deck.