What Is a Riding Mower?

Although the question “What is a riding mower?” may seem extremely simple to you, I can assure you I might just give you some unknown info and a few great tips, so that you can choose wisely and enjoy the most funny and efficient way to mow your yard! 

If you have a large lawn, say bigger than the space needed for a rousing game of garden croquet, a riding mower is a great option. So, let´s start by giving you some basic info and after that you can have a peek at the Riding Mower Buyer´s Guide  to make sure to be completely up to date!

what is a riding mower

The most comfy ánd funny way to mow your lawn is a riding mower. Sometimes though, due to large sizes lawns or physical limitations of the houweowner, a riding mower is no frivolous luxury; it is an absolute necessity.

What is a Riding Mower?

Homeowners with over ½ acre to mow agree that there is too much sweating involved with using a walk behind mower to maintain the lawn. Even if you don’t mind the exertion of mowing such a large area, it is not likely you’ll have the time to complete the maintenance unless you use a riding mower.

Some people may think the question of “what is a riding mower” is a silly one. But they need to remember that not everyone has been tasked with mowing lawns since their childhood like me! Some folks may have grown up in an apartment building that did not require the residents to even consider a lawn mower at all. To make it simple for you, a riding lawn mower is a machine that is made to cut the grass and allows the operator to ride on it, like a tiny car. These riding mowers are an easy way to mow the grass as opposed to push mowers that require the user to walk while mowing. Riding mowers take nearly no energy to operate.

There are options galore when it comes to riding lawn mowers. There are different sized engines, cutting widths, and different ways to maneuver the machines. All these options are wonderful but can be confusing for the average consumer. Don’t worry though, I have detailed explanations below of the main points to consider when searching for the right mower for your property. Whether you will be mowing 10 acres or just a tiny lot, I will steer you in the right direction. The correct riding lawn mower will make your life much easier over the long haul. After all, grass grows constantly, week after week and year after year. Think of all the steps a riding machine will save you over the walk behind mowing option, even the self propelled ones.

Main Three Types of Riding Mowers

Your choice of a riding mower will be based on the size of your land, how much you like to invest in making your property the perfect place for gatherings, and how often you plan to mow your lawn. The most comon types of riding mowers for home use are:

  • Rear Engine Mowers
  • Lawn Tractors
  • Zero Turn Mowers

 See All FAQ for more details on each type

Riding Mowers Buyer´s Guide

Engine size

It is obvious that any riding mower will make cutting a large lawn easier than using a walk behind, but you still need to decide how much horsepower you need. Horsepower measures the power output of the engine that is available to share among mower components such as the transmission, blades, etc. A higher horsepower indicates a more powerful engine. If you intend to use the machine to do heavy work, you will want more horsepower.

Riding Ability

There are two options to choose from, a manual or automatic riding mower. If you have a fairly open lawn area, then manually changing gears may not be an issue for you. If you have a tight space that requires lots of turns, backing up, and changing directions, an automatic mower may be more suitable. If you plan to race against your neighbor in a lawn mower race at the backyard party, either will be fun!


There are two main ways to steer a riding mower. One is the old school steering wheel. The other is with two levers that control one back tire each for a zero turn steering system. A steering wheel works fine, but can be hard on the muscles after a long day. Zero turn systems require much less effort to maneuver the machines

Deck Size

Homeowners choose the riding mower over the walk behind mower because of the expanse of lawn that needs to be cut. The job is made easier with riding mowers, due to the deck size typically ranging from 30″ to a commercial grade of up to 60″. (Yes, those bad boys can cut a path 5 feet wide!). Do you realize that by using a riding mower, you can cut your time in half of what it would take to do the same space using a walk behind mower?


Bigger is not always better, despite what the media tells you! What good will a gianormous machine do you, if you cannot maneuver it around the trees and shrubs in your yard? The secret to buying the right riding mower is to be realistic about the layout of your property and then balance that with your desire to have a top of the line commercial grade riding mower.

Storage Space

Do you have a nice outbuilding or extra bay area of your garage to store your riding mower in? You will need to keep your mower under cover and protected from rain and winter elements (if you live in a cold climate zone). Remember that the machine that looks small compared to your big lawn can suddenly seem rather large when trying to fit it into a crowded garden shed. That big mower with a 60″ deck that looks ‘perfect for you’ will require approximately a 6′ x 8′ space. Yes, available storage space is a consideration.


Riding mowers offer homeowners the option of being able to use the mower as a multi-purpose machine. Depending on which model you purchase, attachments can be made to the riding mower which will allow you to snow plow or snow blow, rototill, add a leaf blower or mulching machine, or a trailer hitch for your garden cart.

You’ve read about the various considerations you need to make when buying a riding lawn mower; such as deck size, horsepower, overall size of the machine, and desired accessories. Now you are ready to meet the TOP 5 Riding Mowers to use at your own yard. Go ahead and have a look!

Enjoy your mowing!

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