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If you have a large piece of property or do not have the physical ability or time to cut the grass with a standard lawn mower, a riding mower can be a huge help. Years ago, the riding mower was very expensive but with advancements, today you can buy one at a reasonable price. The riding mower can turn a hated chore into an enjoyable event.

You will find that riding mowers are available in a number of different horsepower ratings as well as the size of the blade. A good rule of thumb would be the following:
  • 1/2 to 1 acre � Choose a 42-inch cutting path and a minimum of 14 1/2 HP

  • 1 to 2 acres � A deck of 42 to 46 inches would work best with the horsepower from 14 to 16

  • 3 acres or more � Choose a riding mower with a cutting deck of 46 to 54 inches and in the horsepower range of 18 to 24
There is a difference between a riding mower and a garden mower. With the riding mower, you would use it only to cut grass whereas a garden mower also cuts the grass but is designed to haul other pieces of equipment such as a tiller, plow, and so on. The frame of a garden mower is much heavier and it has a more powerful transmission and larger, rear wheels.

For the riding mower, you will be able to choose from an automatic or gear driven. If you will be mowing an area with curves and turns, the automatic option would work best and, you will have an endless number of speeds. For the gear driven mower, you would choose this option if you need to mow around various obstacles. Additionally, this option provides a steady speed, making it the best choice for areas that are primarily straight.

Another consideration is whether you want a riding mower that can bag the grass clippings or mulch them. Many of the mowers on the market today do both but some of the mowers with large decks are not designed to do either. Therefore, you will need to decide how important these features are to you when looking at the various deck sizes.

The engine also comes in two types. The first is a single cylinder, which is great for smaller lawns while still being powerful enough to do the job. The second is the twin cylinder, which would fall within the 16 HP or higher range. This type of riding mower offers a smoother, more balanced ride, has more power, and because it runs cooler, the life of the engine will last longer.

Once you have purchased your riding mower, you will never go back to the standard type. These truly are helpful in saving you time and effort. If you have had to hire someone to mow your property because you could not push a mower, now with the riding mower, you can do your own lawn and enjoy the process at the same time.
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