For many Australians, the cost of your products is going to be a big influencing factor. And needless to say, there is a notable price difference between the two models, with your typical walk-behind costing approximately one-tenth of a ride-on or zero-turn mower. This can immediately make the walk-behind mower appear to be the more favourable option, but it’s a good idea to look at the other pros and cons before making your decision.
Australian summers can be brutal, and nobody wants to spend more time mowing than necessary. The potential for operator fatigue is an important thing to think about before you purchase a new mower.
How long does it take you to mow your lawn? A general rule-of-thumb is that if it takes you longer than 45 minutes to mow with a walk-behind, you might benefit from the use of a ride-on. Look at the size of your yard and the amount of grass you have to cut, and determine whether or not a walk-behind will cause too much stress on your body. Alternatively, some people actually prefer a walk-behind due to the physical activity; mowing a small to medium sized yard can be a great form of exercise!
Ride-on mowers are undoubtedly the faster and less fatiguing option for large residential or commercial jobs. But how nimble do you need your mower to be? If you have sloped areas or tight spaces in your yard, you may require the walk-behind’s stability and controllability. And because these types of mowers weigh less than a ride-on, it is gentler on turf — perfect for high-traffic areas.
On the other hand, zero-turn mowers have the horsepower to quickly and efficiently clear away tough scrub. So if you have a lot of ground to cover, if you’re tackling more than your typical lawn grasses, or if you’d like the benefit of being able to tow a trailer and move heavy loads, a ride-on or zero-turn mower will have the configuration and power you need.
The great thing about ride-on mowers is that they are deceptively easy to learn how to use. Most people will be riding them like a pro from only a few mowing sessions, after which they can cruise in comfort on even the hottest day. Meanwhile, walk-behind mowers, while having no obvious tricks to their use, are more likely to show evidence of inexperienced hands. Unpracticed walk-behind users might accidentally damage turf with a poor turn-around technique, or achieve an uneven cut if they jostle the mower while walking.
Another factor that some people don’t immediately think about is storage. The smaller, more compact walk-behind mowers can easily fit into storage sheds, in the corner of a garage, or onto trailers for transportation. Larger ride-ons will clearly need a bit more space; the longevity of any mower will be supported by clean and dry storage. So if you’d prefer a ride-on mower, make sure it has a safe place to live!
Still unsure which type of mower is best suited to your lawn maintenance needs? Come chat with us at STIHL Shop Geebung! We have a great range of ride-on, zero-turn, walk-behind and self-propelled mowers, from both John Deere and Masport — and we know how to use them.
We’ll talk you through the important deciding factors so that you can get the mower that’s right for you.