If you own a large property, or work in the landscaping industry, mowing grass is fundamental to your business. While a typical push-style lawn mower will work well for smaller patches of grass, they’re not designed for larger lawn care jobs.
A riding lawn mower reduces the time to mow a large lawn and keeps it looking impressive. Not only are commercial riding lawn mowers designed to make lawn maintenance less physically demanding and time consuming, they give you results that you can’t get with a walk-behind mower.
Using a commercial riding lawn mower will save you time and effort, while also keeping your property looking its best. However, there are plenty of commercial riding lawn mowers on the market today, which can make it difficult to know where to start.
You’re going to want an electric mower that’s durable, comfortable to use, and that produces impressive results. You’ll also have to consider the price of a commercial mower.
But finding one at an affordable price point with the perfect combination of power, comfort, and professional level performance doesn’t have to be an onerous task.
To make things easier for you, we’ve reviewed a wide range of commercial riding lawn mowers and compiled our list below.
We also explain the difference between the three types of commercial riding lawn mowers, which will help you find the suitable machine for your particular needs.
Types of Commercial Riding Lawn Mowers
Before we go over the best commercial riding lawn mowers, we’ll explain the three types of riding mowers you can choose from.
Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mowers
Rear engine riding lawn mowers are considered the entry point for riding mowers. They’re the smallest and least powerful type of riding lawn mower, which also means they tend to be the most affordable option.
When it comes to choosing a category of riding lawn mower, you’ll want to focus on the types of jobs you’ll be using it for. Rear-engine riding mowers work well for smaller properties, or for those that lack indoor storage space.
Due to the smaller size of the machine and its blades, a rear engine mower will allow you to maneuver through narrow spaces. If your property has gardens, decks, pathways, a pool, or any other features to navigate around, a smaller rear engine mower might be ideal for the task.
However, rear engine riding mowers are rather slow, so you should probably consider one of the larger types if you have a property that exceeds 3 to 4 acres.
Lawn and Garden Tractor Mowers
Lawn and garden tractor mowers are ideal for those wanting their mower to do more than just cut grass. These tractors have powerful engines, which allow them to haul heavy loads around your property.
Many lawn and garden tractor owners will purchase attachments, such as wagons and trailers, so they can haul brush and other loads around their property.
You can even purchase front scoops and snow thrower attachments, so you can use your mower during the winter months.
These are relatively large and rather heavy, which means they tend to be a little on the slow side. If you have a massive property and aim to finish the task as quickly as possible, you might opt for a faster mower.
Zero Turn Radius Lawn Mowers
Zero turn lawn mowers are designed for speed and efficiency. These mowers are all about performance, which explains why they’re the number one choice among professionals.
These lawn mowers can navigate around a property at nearly 10 miles per hour and like the name suggests, they can turn on a dime. You can easily and quickly turn the mower 360 degrees.
Whereas rear engine mowers are an upgrade from a push mower, and tractor mowers are really property maintenance workhorses, the zero turn radius lawn mower is designed for one purpose: cutting grass as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The speed and maneuverability of these mowers will allow you to get the job done as quickly as possible, while still leaving you with professional level results.
The Best Commercial Riding Lawn Mowers
While there are some reasonable rear engine riding mowers on the market, these lack the power to truly be considered high-end mowers.
Simply put, if you have the space, you’ll want to choose one of the powerful varieties of riding lawn mower, such as a lawn tractor or a zero turn radius mower.
Below we review one of the top zero turn radius mowers, along with an outstanding tractor mower.
The Best Tractor Mower
Craftsman T225 46 Inch Gas Powered Riding Lawn Mower
Craftsman is a trusted brand and the T225 tractor mower is an example of how they’ve earned their reputation. If you’re looking for a tractor-style riding mower, look no further than this powerful machine.
We’ll highlight some of its essential features and help you understand why we selected it as one of the best tractor mowers out there.
Engine and Start
The T225 uses a 19-horsepower Briggs and Stratton Gold gas engine, which provides it with enough power for just about any yard task you’d expect a mower to come up against. You can easily mow large lawns, without having to worry that the mower will struggle with longer grass, or with mowing uphill.
One of the things we liked most about this tractor was its straightforward and efficient start. Some mowing tractors require you to prime the engine, or use a choke, whereas the T225 simply requires users to turn the key. Craftsman’s Ready Start technology couldn’t be easier to use.
Another great feature of this Craftsman mower is its impressive 46-inch cutting deck, which provides a perfect balance between clipping coverage and precision trims. You can mow your property quickly, but still cut along fences and garden boundaries with accuracy.
The blades and cutting deck also make use of Craftsman’s patented deck wash, which saves you time during underside cleaning. Regularly cleaning the underside of any mower will ensure it continues to work well, even after significant use.
Comfort During Use
Craftsman put some serious thought into user comfort when they were designing this mower. The mower uses an ergonomically designed cushioned high-back seat to make sure the driver enjoys a smooth and comfortable ride.
The supportive seating is backed up with adjustable hydrostatic foot pedals.
Essentially, you won’t experience nearly as much discomfort during lengthy mowing sessions as you would with some of the other tractor mowers on the market.
One of the most impressive features of Craftsman’s T225 mower is its ability to mow while in reverse. The T225 will continue to mow and trim, even while the mower is moving backwards.
Few tractor mowers have this feature, which makes them much more frustrating to use when you are weaving in and out of difficult spots in the yard.
Mowing while in reverse allows the user to quickly back up to touch up a missed patch of grass, or to ensure that tight spaces have been completely mowed. Not having to circle back if you missed a spot saves time and energy.
Another useful feature is Craftsman’s unique turf-saving wheels. The 15-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear wheels are durable enough to support the mower, but won’t damage your grass in the way some of the wheels on other mowers would.
They provide enough traction to keep your mower from getting stuck, but won’t skid or otherwise damage your grass.
The larger wheels also provide plenty of clearance, so you can maneuver easily around your property without worrying that your mower will get stuck on uneven patches of ground.
The fact that the mower is built in the USA is a nice touch, especially given how many mowers suffer from manufacturing defects.
It’s also ready to go immediately after purchase. Basically, you just need to gas the mower up and you’re ready to go.
Why We Like this Mower
- Engine: 19 horsepower Briggs and Stratton Gold
- Ideal Use: Large rural properties, large backyards
- Cutting Width: 46 inches
- Warranty: 2 year limited warranty
The Best Zero Turn Radius Lawn Mower
Husqvarna MZ61 61 Inch Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
The Husqvarna MZ61 is designed for speed and efficiency. If you struggle to mow your property due to its size, you can really benefit from the speed and power of the MZ61.
It’s a popular choice among professionals, which tells you everything you need to know about this classic zero turn mower. As with the Craftsman T225, we’ll go over some of the many features that led us to select the MZ61 as the best mower in its category.
Engine and Startup
The MZ61 uses an impressively powerful 24 horsepower Kawasaki engine, which provides the mower with fast ground speeds and a reliable startup.
The engine has a smooth power output, which riders will notice gives it a surprisingly quiet operating volume. The engine itself is durable and straightforward to maintain, which is one of the many reasons why it’s favored among professionals.
It uses a full-pressure lubrication system and simple to change spin-on oil filters.
The MZ61 uses a fabricated 11-gauge steel cutting deck that offers an impressive 61 inch cut. The heavy duty welded steel features three blades and greaseable spindles.
You also get an impact resistant discharge shield, two reinforced anti-scalp rollers and a nose roller. The ergonomically designed deck lifting system can be adjusted quickly and easily from the driving seat, so there’s no need to shut off the engine if you need to make adjustments as you mow.
You have 12 deck positions to choose from, so it’s no surprise that finding the perfect grass length for your needs is really simple. The deck lift system is manually operated with the user’s foot.
Comfort During Use
The mower features a high-back seat with built-in armrests. The hand controls feature gripped foam handle pads, which help dampen and reduce vibration during use. As you would expect with a high-end zero turn mower, the MZ61 was designed to be used over extended periods.
We found the arm rests really helpful during long periods of use. The fact that it’s also a fairly smooth ride makes it that much easier to use the mower during large scale jobs.
Pneumatic wheels reduce some of the vibration users will experience and help give the mower enough traction to quickly maneuver across large patches of grass.
Given that this is a commercial-grade riding mower it’s designed to cut grass quickly and efficiently. Where the mower really shines is in its incredible degree of durability.
Husqvarna chose to use extremely durable cast iron for the front axle, which is a big upgrade over some of the cheaper zero turn mowers on the market.
Clippings can simply be discharged behind the mower, mulched, or bagged using the attachable 9 bushel triple bag collection system.
The entire MZ series of zero turn mowers are designed to give professional level mowing capabilities to property owners.
Why We Like this Mower
- Engine: 24 horsepower Kawasaki engine
- Ideal Use: Small parks, commercial properties, rural properties and small farms
- Cutting Width: 61 inches
- Weight: 770 pounds
- Warranty: 4 years or 400 hours
Whether you choose a tractor style mower, a zero turn mower, or even a less powerful rear engine mower, you’ll find the job to be far less time consuming and stressful with a riding mower.
Push mowers can work in certain situations, but you should stop wasting your time if you own a larger property, or no longer feel physically up to the task of using a push mower.