The Complete Guide to Buying a Ride-On Mower

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The Complete Guide to Buying a Ride-On Mower

For some, pushing a lawn mower can be a daunting task, especially if the area being mowed is on a slope or is overly large. Some may find it difficult to push a mower due to physical disability or advanced age. The solution for these people, as well as anyone who simply wants an easier way to mow their lawn, is to purchase a ride-on mower. A ride-on mower allows the user to sit comfortably and drive the mower as if it is a small car. It may be surprising to discover that a ride-on mower can be purchased on eBay, as well as in a traditional garden or hardware store.

When buying a ride-on mower, it is helpful to have a clear understanding of what kinds of ride-on mowers are available and what other features can make a significant difference between different models. These other features may inspire debates, such as whether or not it is better to bag cut grass or to mulch it. When all of these factors have been considered, making a smart, informed choice is easily possible.

Types of Ride-On Mowers

Just as there are differences between the way cars are built, with some having the engine in front, and some in the rear, there are also differences in the way that ride-on mowers are designed. There are three main types of ride-on mowers, some of which are better suited to different tasks than others. The main categories of ride-on mowers are: rear engine mowers, tractors, and zero-turn mowers.

Rear Engine Ride-On Mowers

For the most basic lawn maintenance, a rear engine mower is ideal. A rear engine mower may lack the raw power that is found in other types of mowers, but for a smaller lawn, this should not be an issue. Another way in which a rear engine mower is ideal for a small lawn, is that it has a narrower build than other mowers and can easily fit through a fence gate. This narrowness also makes it possible for the driver to trim a smaller yard in a very precise manner, especially in between walls and garden plots or behind a garden shed.

Lawn Tractors and Garden Tractors

Tractors are designed to have larger engines and have more abilities than a rear engine mower. A tractor can perform very well on a slope, or can even be used to haul a trailer filled with heavy equipment from place to place. This latter ability means that a tractor does not even need to be used as a mower and can perform many more duties in the case of a very large yard or something even larger, such as a golf course or cemetery. There are two different kinds of tractors: lawn tractors and garden tractors.

Lawn Tractors

A lawn tractor is smaller than a garden tractor, but it is still capable of handling a heavy workload. In fact, using a lawn tractor on a small yard is often considered overkill. There are differences in size and horsepower between lawn tractors, and some have the ability to be used for a wide variety of yard activities. The general rule of thumb for using a lawn tractor, is that it can be used to handle a lawn that is 0.5 acres or larger.

Garden Tractors

Garden tractors are larger than lawn tractors, and are capable of doing more than the average tractor. A garden tractor can be used to perform actual farm work, such as tilling soil and uprooting stubborn bushes and tree stumps. A garden tractor usually has a higher horsepower engine than a lawn tractor. One major difference between a lawn tractor and a garden tractor, is that a garden tractor usually has a wider cutting deck. This is a factor when the user needs to cut a large swath of grass, or perhaps when it is necessary to navigate through narrow passages.

Zero-Turn Ride-On Mowers

Zero-turn mowers are much faster than any other kind of ride-on mowers. This is true in terms of top speed, but most importantly, in terms of turing. Because of the unique design of a zero-turn mower, the driver can turn easily and quickly, even making 360 degree turns in an instant. Being able to turn instantly, is helpful for anyone who wants to quickly mow a large patch of ground, or who needs to manoeuvre around flower beds and other obstacles.

Differences between Zero-Turn Mowers

Zero-turn mowers, come in a number of different varieties which vary in pricing. The main differences are between the engines used to power the mowers. An affordable zero-turn mower has a lower horsepower and, therefore, a lower top speed than another mower. There are also large, powerful commercial-grade mowers that are extremely fast and efficient. The price of these mowers is likely too much for the average buyer, as they are designed mainly for golf courses and other commercial interests. Between these two extremes, are a range of mowers considered mid-range and semi-professional. It is important to make a thorough evaluation of a yard or garden mower before determining which one will be of most use.

Other Features of Ride-On Mowers

It has been established that there are a great many differences not only between types of mowers, but within each category of ride-on mowers. Aside from differences in engines and cutting decks. There are other features found in individual mowers that may help sway a buyer into choosing one model over another. Some buyers may be intrigued to learn that there are minor upgrades like cupholders or cruise control in some of the newer lawn mower models. Others may be more interested in what kind of engines are available, or whether or not they should invest in a manual transmission or an automatic transmission.

Ride-On Mower Engines

There are many different options in engines available for ride-on mowers. Some of them are small, single-cylinder engines that provide adequate power for small tasks and smaller mowers. A mower with a small engine may lose power on a slope, but for flat terrain, they should prove perfectly capable. There are also larger engines with two or more cylinders. Those that have more horsepower also produce more speed, towing capacity, and even tend to last longer. The reason for this is that a single cylinder engine tends to vibrate more than one with multiple cylinders because multiple cylinders balance each other out. Many vibrations over a long period of time, can cause wear on an engine. Even though a multiple cylinder engine is usually more expensive, it may be a better investment in the long run.

Power Source

Some ride-on mowers make use of a traditional petrol engine, but there are other options, such as diesel engines. A diesel engine is more fuel efficient, but it may be harder for some users to locate diesel fuel. Some ride-on mowers are electric and run on an electric battery. These mowers do not require any extra fuel, but battery life may be limited, meaning that mowing for long periods of time, or mowing a large patch of grass, may wear down the battery.

Automatic vs. Manual Transmission

Like cars, ride-on mowers are sold with either an automatic or a standard transmission. An automatic transmission is much easier to use, and does not require the driver to shift gears frequently, as is the case with a manual transmission. A manual transmission is cheaper than an automatic transmission and is easier to repair and maintain.

Hydrostatic Transmission

Hydrostatic transmission is another option for ride-on mowers. Like an automatic transmission, those who use a hydrostatic transmission do not need to shift gears. The main difference between the two lies in the fact that a hydrostatic transmission uses fluids to transfer power rather than a series of gears. Hydrostatic transmissions are more difficult to repair and maintenance may be more expensive. Both automatic transmissions and hydrostatic transmissions, have the option of cruise control for an  effortless mowing experience.

Bag vs. Mulch

Nearly every model of ride-on mower comes with the option to keep lawn clippings in a bag, or to leave the clippings on the ground to act as mulch. There are distinct benefits to each approach, and the choice ultimately depends on the goals of the user. Grass clippings that are kept in a bag, are easy to dispose of in order to ensure that a lawn is kept clean. Bagged yard waste can also be used to create a compost pile which can eventually be used to fertilise a garden, or the grass itself. Mulched grass left on a lawn helps the remaining grass to stay green for a longer period of time, and does not require any extra work to dispose of it or put it in a compost pile.

Buying a Ride-On Mower on eBay

Many assume that a ride-on mower is a large piece of equipment that might cause some buyers to assume that they cannot be purchased online. The truth, however, is that anything, even something as large as a ride-on mower, can be found on the internet, and especially on eBay. Anyone looking for a ride-on mower can find what they are looking for with a quick and simple search using the search bar on the eBay home page. All it takes is for the potential buyer to enter a search term like "Ride-On Mower". Of course, this search term can be modified to include references to the type of mower, along with other features like transmission and engine size.

With the right keywords, buyers can find any mower that they are looking for, including both new and used ride-on mowers. Once the right mower has been located, making a purchase is simple and straightforward, and a buyer can start keeping their lawn in perfect condition in no time.


A ride-on mower is a great way to keep a large patch of grass maintained without having to spend hours upon hours at the task. Being able to sit on a mower also makes the task easier for anyone who has trouble pushing a more traditional mower, or who has health problems, that make it difficult to remain standing for a long period of time. Ride-on mowers come in three distinct styles, although there are quite a few differences between models, even within one particular style.

Buyers may also be interested in other mechanical features that can be found in all three styles, such as different engine sizes and different transmissions. Each of these features make a difference in price and how much it will cost to maintain and repair, so it is important to be aware of what options are found on a specific model. There are so many differences between individual ride-on mowers, that one might assume that buying one should be a simple matter. However, finding a ride-on mower that fits the very specific needs of an individual's home and yard can only truly be done after doing the proper research first.

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