John Deere Riding Mowers vs. John Deere Zero-Turn Mowers

posted on Monday, June 6, 2022 in Ag-Pro Companies News

A lawn mower is an important investment for any property owner. Whether you’re mowing at home, on the farm or keeping the grounds of a business well-manicured, choosing the right mower is key to a job well done. 

John Deere manufactures many types of mowers for various jobs. One question we often hear is, “What’s the difference between a riding mower and a John Deere zero-turn (ZTrak™) mower?” 

Keep reading to discover the key differences between John Deere riding mowers and John Deere zero-turn mowers. 

Riding Mower Highlights 

Riding lawn mowers are popular for a reason. These versatile machines provide a crisp, clean cut, thanks in part to their overall lower driving speed of 4-7mph. Their front-wheel drive makes them great for lawns with sloping hills or uneven terrain, but stick with a push mower or trimmer for steep inclines. Due to their wider turning radius, riding mowers are better suited to wide, open spaces vs. lawns with lots of curves. 

The familiar steering wheel and gas pedal setup on a John Deere riding mower makes this option more intuitive for most drivers. If you’re looking to hop on your mower and get rolling asap after your purchase is made, a riding mower may be more appropriate for you. 

Riding mowers also offer versatility in that they can be used to haul carts, sprayers, etc., as part of your lawn chores. Both types of mowers for sale will be an investment to the buyer, but riding mowers are more budget-friendly overall. 

Man mows the grass using a John Deere S170 lawn mower.

Pictured here is a John Deere S170 lawn mower. 

Zero-Turn Mower Highlights 

One major difference between riding mowers and ZTrak™ mowers is steering controls. A zero-turn mower features dual-hydrostatic transmissions controlled by two levers, which allow users to make quicker, tighter turns than a traditional riding mower. This makes a zero-turn mower a better solution for users who have obstacles, like trees, to maneuver around. Because of this, zero-turn mowers leave behind far fewer patches of missed grass with each pass or around curves. 

ZTrak™ mowers move more quickly than riding lawn mowers, with speeds ranging from 5-10mph. Opting for a John Deere zero-turn mower will allow you to do more work in less time, hopefully saving you from spending your whole weekend on a mower. This can come in especially handy when you have a large piece of property to mow. 

This being said, it’s wise to keep in mind that cut quality will go down the faster you mow; this is true for zero-turn mowers and riding mowers alike. Top speeds should be reserved for times when the mower is being used to travel to another part of the yard vs. actually mowing. 

Man mows the grass using a John Deere Z530R Zero-Turn mower.

Pictured above is a John Deere Z530R zero-turn mower. 

Whether you’re mowing the grass in your own front yard or are in need of a fleet of mowers for a commercial lawn care operation, Ag-Pro has you covered. We’re proud to be the largest John Deere dealer in North America. Find the Ag-Pro location nearest you to discover which John Deere mower is best for your project.