June 9

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Best Riding Lawn Mower For Rough Terrain

By Anton Schwarz

The Lawn Care Guy

June 9, 2020


If you are searching for the Best riding mower for a rough terrain, you are on the right place. Riding lawn mowers are powerful enough to minimise the energy and work you need to mow a large lawn, and they are pretty easy to operate. The best riding lawn mowers are great for larger properties and people who do not want to hustle of pushing heavier gas mowers across the whole field.

Riding lawn mowers include both lawn tractors and zero turn mowers. They are perfect for lawns that cover around 40thousand square feet. Most riding mowers can cut as well as push shovels and scoops, and pull plows, spreads, aerators and trailers.

Finding the right riding lawn mowers can be very difficult and confusing. Purchasing a yard tool is a process that can be compared to buying a new vehicle. Despite that, they are the perfect alternative to walk behind mowers; they allow you to drive around rough terrains and move like an automobile. Riding lawn mowers do not require any push, making them the perfect option for people operating on really large pieces of land.

They have a vast variety of specs, designs and features, which increases the process needed to find the right one. Not to mention, there is a large number of reputable brands coming out with their own versions of the Best riding lawn mower than can be used on rough terrain. Lucky for you, the research and legworks had already been done for you. This review of the Best riding mower for a rough terrain will help you find the perfect mower through analysing the performance, features, design, brand, specs and more.

Purchasing this machine is a huge investment, which is why we created this composition of the Best riding mower for a rough terrain.

A complete review of each riding lawn mower

Husqvarna Z248F Zero Turn Lawn Mower – The Fast Machine 

Husqvarna Z248F 48 in. 21.5 HP Kawasaki Hydrostatic Zero Turn Riding Mower
  • 21.5 HP Kawasaki engine provides reliable startups and a max speed of...
  • Hydrostatic, no-maintenance transmission is worry free, allowing the...
  • ClearCut deck offers a best-in-class 48 in. cut and better bagging...
  • Clippings can be discharged, mulched or bagged (mulching kit and...
  • Comfortable seat, ergonomic control panel and anti-slip foot area make...

Over the years Husqvarna is known to build some of the best high quality lawn mowers. The Z248F is one of their best inventions. This model is an improvement of the Z200s series and hands down earns the one of the top spots on this list. It is designed to deliver high power and performance.

Specs

  • Engine Horsepower - 21.5 HP
  • Cutting Width - 54 inches
  • Fuel Capacity - 3.5 Gal

Designs features and performance

The sleek and cutting age design of the Z248F takes cutting grass to a whole new level. It is created to cut grass as well as obstacles around any lawn. One of the most notable features is the 21.5 HP engine. The Husqvarna Z248F is very fast and durable. You can work on this machine mowing 2.8 acres in one hour at a very fast speed of 6.5miles.

This Kohler Hydrostatic Riding Mower is quiet, which makes it neighbourhood friendly especially if you are mowing for a long time. The manufacture poured focus on to the hydrostatic transmission. You will not need a hydraulic hose for this mower plus there are zero issues with any leaks.

Each drive wheel is equipped with a fan cooled 10cc pump and wheel motor. They ensure a smooth mowing acceleration. The bags of torque make mowing on uneven terrain and hills very easy. To avoid messing your turf on an uneven terrain, this mower has 4 anti scalp wheels. The 54 inch mower deck can be set at 6 different positions. Its 12 gauge stamped steel blades are very easy to clean through the wash out port.

The chassis is made of welded steel meant to reduce the vibration as you work. It keeps all the wheels on the ground even when the terrain is uneven.

Pros

  • Offers a great mowing experience even in an uneven terrain
  • The hydrostatic transmission protects it from leakage issues
  • Zero radius turn feature for easy manoeuvring

Cons

  • Tough to remove from the crate

Verdict

The Husqvarna Z248F is one of the most impressive mowers. It delivers exceptional results and it sturdy and reliable. The powerful 18hp motor and smooth hydrostatic transmission makes driving a breeze.

Troy-Bilt 30 inch neighbourhood 382cc Riding Lawn Mower – Best Residential lawn mower

Troy-Bilt 382cc 30-Inch Premium Neighborhood Riding Lawn Mower
  • Powered by a 382cc Auto Choke OHV engine with top forward speeds of...
  • The 30-Inch cutting deck featuring 5 adjustable settings couples the...
  • Designed with an 18-Inch turning radius with 13x5-inch front wheels...
  • Manual power take-off for fast and easy blade engagement
  • This neighborhood mower is ideal for standard land owners with a...

The troy us a world class machine popular in most parts of the world. The ratings on this lawn mower are very high not to mention its reasonable price range. The performance is unmatched as this lawn mower has very unique features.

Specifications

  • Engine Horsepower - 12 HP
  • Cutting Width - 30 inches
  • Fuel Capacity - 1.3 Gal

Design features and performance

While this machine is small in size with a compact shape, it is perfect for domestic chores. The features are pretty different making it unique and popular among garden enthusiast. The ultra powerful Auto choke OHV engine makes it capable of achieving an unmatched performance and consistent cutting capacity.

The 6 variable speed transmission works to produce a medium to high speed of 4.25 miles per hour. The 30 inch cutting deck has 5 adjustable settings designed to give you the perfect uniform cuts. This lawn mower is designed with an 18 inch turning radius. The 16 by 6.5 inch rare wheels and 13 by 5 inch front wheels are perfect for a clear terrain.

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Affordable
  • Ultra-high powerful engine

Cons

  • Not very good on rough surfaces

Verdict

The troy is perfect if you are looking for an affordable lawn mower. It takes on medium sized law with minimal effort. While it lacks a wide cutting deck when compared to the more expensive lawn mowers, it gets the job done. It delivers great performance, is easy to operate and store.

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Swisher ZTR2454BS-CA Response 24 HP 54" Zero Turn MowerEasiest to control

Swisher ZTR2454BS-CA Response Gen 2-24 HP/54 B&S ZTR Zero Turn Mower, 54", Black
  • Patented rapid response control system for improved comfort and...
  • Front debris shield improves air flow and grass discharge
  • 24 HP (724cc) Briggs & Stratton engine
  • 54" Cutting deck WITH 3 Gator mulching blades
  • Hydro Gear 2800 transmissions and Ogura clutch

This zero urn riding mower is perfect for really large yards with many trees or a landscaping. The impressive mower from swisher has an impressive cutting deck and one of the best rapid response systems when compared to other mowers

Specifications

  • 592 pounds
  • 24 HP Briggs and Stratton engine
  • 54-inch cutting deck
  • Hydro-gear 2800 transmission system

Design features and performance

The impressive 54 inch cutting deck is equipped with 3 gator mulching blades and has ability to run on a dime. This mower also has a 24 hp Briggs and Stratton engine plus a very powerful hydrostatic transmission system.

It is a ZTR mower which means there is no steering wheel. You have to control it with joysticks on each side of the seat. Once you navigate the learning curve, you fins that this machine is very responsive and can move with great nuance than the traditional tractors. You will be pleased to hear that the rapid response system is so great that Swisher patented it.

You can adjust the height of the mower from 1.4 to 1.5 inches. The feature is controlled by the foot deck lift. For speed, this machine has an electric assist starter. The mower also has a debris shield to prevent grass clippings from going to the mower and back to the operators.

Features like the cup holder, storage bin and full seatback make this machine even more pleasing. The 8 gallon gas tank ensures you complete the task or a major part of it before you have to refill. It has an impressive 8mph top speed for both reverse and forward motions.

Pros

  • Much larger than traditional tractors
  • Has multiple ergonomic features
  • Large cutting deck
  • Makes 360 degree turns

Cons

  • Requires regular maintenance

Verdict

The horsepower on this machine makes it highly reliable, especially when you are working on a medium to large piece of land or landscape. The broad cutting deck makes work easier and faster. This is definitely a mower you would want to work with on a rough terrain.

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Cadet XT1 Enduro Series Kohler Engine Riding Mower  - Affordable riding lawn mower

While there are plenty of mowers in the market, this is one of those that stand out of the crowed. It is perfect with all the necessary tools and height for an effective grass cutting chore. The Cadet X1 is not heavy, making it easy to manoeuvre around the garden. It does a perfect job of cutting the grass clean.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Engine Horsepower - 18 HP
  • Cutting Width - 42 inches
  • Fuel Capacity - 3.0 Gal

Design, features and performance

The compact and attractive design of the cadet XTI is an addition to its effective performance. This mower has varying tools that make lawn maintenance easy for you. This machine is not only affordable, it also give you a smooth hydrostatic transmission that works to eliminate the shift gears action needed for other mowers.

The impressive 18HP Kohler OHV engine and 42 inch cutting deck make it one of the most impressive mowers. It cuts grass very easily with a precise result. The rear wheel driver on this machine offers a great handling and traction. The 16 inch turning radius allows you to get those hard to reach corners on your yard.

The fender mounted lever allows you to raise and lower the cutting deck easily for a convenient time. Instead of worrying about maintaining the perfect speed during mowing, you can focus on the steering with the push button cruise control

Pros

  • Powerful engine
  • Comfortable seating

Cons

  • Fewer color choices

Verdict

This 18 horsepower rear wheel drive is one of the greatest if you are looking to mow lawns with slightly uneven terrains. The performance from this machine is exceptionally impressive. It is one of the most affordable mowers on the list.

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Ryobi Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower – environmental friendly

Ryobi 38 inches 100 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine Riding Lawn Mower RY48111
  • Includes: (1) Ryobi 38 inches 100 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine...
  • 3 Brushless motors for superior power and performance
  • Up to 2.5 hours of runtime or 2.5 acres of mowing
  • Charges through standard 120-Volt outlet
  • .

The Ryobi has multiple distinctive features that make it unique. You can count on this machine to do one of the best possible jobs of mowing the lawn. The biggest difference between this mower and other competitors is the fuel source. The Ryobi 38 inch riding lawn mower is powered by electricity. It relies on electricity as its main and only source of power.

Specs

  • 100 Ah Battery Electric Rear Engine
  • 3 Brushless motors
  • 2.5 hours of runtime

Features and performance

This mower can run up two hours with just a single charge. You can actually mow close to 2 acres f land without pausing and recharging the battery. The top speed on the Ryobi is 8 miles per hour but it reduces to around 5 mile when you are on the job. While it is on reverse, the mower can go to as low as 3 miles per hour.

You have an option of choosing from 12 different cutting heights which range from 4.5 inches to 1.5 inches. The two precise cut blades with direct drive brushless blade motors make the action pretty easy. The grass cut is discharged on the side but you can purchase a bagging attachment.

While it may not be as powerful as larger petrol engines on other lawn mowers, it can still handle a 15 degree slopped hill without struggle. You can also move it on steeper inclines but you will need to use slower speed. Going downhill is easy, but you must be very careful.

Pros

  • It has up to 12 different cutting heights
  • It is electric with a long lasting charge
  • It has cruise control and headlights

Cons

  • The machine is very heavy
  • The mower is bumpy in nature

Verdict

This is great for environmentalist because it means that there is no carbon emission which is perfect for creating a healthy environment. When it comes to a multifunction, the Ryobi mower takes the win. You can cut mulch and bag the grass all on one go.

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Best riding mower for a rough terrain buying guide

This is everything you need to know if you want to purchase the right riding lawn mower

Not all yards are equal; this applies to the mowers too

The wrong riding lawn mower has the ability to ruin a good day n the yard. Getting the right mower will make yard work a pleasure. If you have had the same lawn mower for several years now, you definitely need to get a new lawn mower. The problem is, getting the right mower for the right job and with the right features will prove to be difficult. This guide will help you find the right machine and make lawn mowing enjoyable for you.

If you own more than ¼ acres of lands then you want to go straight to the riding lawn mowers. Even with smaller yards you can find a riding. No one with more than ¼ inch acre would want to cut the grass with a stand behind lawn mower. Rear engine riding mowers, residential zero turn mowers and light duty lawn tractors are comfortable for medium to large lawn mowers, especially ones with rough terrains.

Selecting the right features

There are two main factors you need to consider when you are selecting the features of your next lawn mowers; they are comfort and your budget. The more expensive a mower is the more likely it is versatile, durable, and probably quicker at getting the job done. If your yard is small and simple, this will not make much of a difference. The larger the lawn the more complex the yard, which is why you should spend more time to find a mower with the right features.

The drive

There are two kinds of mowers, a front when drive and rear wheel driver. The main difference is that you have to push one mower and the other one can push itself. The self propelled mower makes it easier for people looking to mow a hilly landscape or foe people who want to bag while mowing. Pushing a fully loaded mower uphill is tiring and will make you appreciate the invention of the self propelled mower.

A front wheel drive is great for a level ground that has multiple obstacles. It allows you to push the handle down and reduce the traction on the front wheels. Front wheel machines are very expensive. If you are looking for simple uncluttered mower, this type would be a great choice. Most front wheel mowers are reliable with easy to understand features and an OHV engine with great performance.

The rear wheel drive works well for side hill and uphill mowing. This is because it works better when you push down on the handle; the front tires do not lose any traction.

All wheel drive mowers are built for homeowners who do side hill, steep up and down hill and across washboard surfaces. These mowers make things much easier, especially if you are mowing on a really rough terrain.

The functions

You have to consider what the machine does in the field and how it handles the grass. Some mowers can mulch the clippings and bag them or discharge them to the rear or side. A two function mower is one that mulches and bags the residue. Mulching is great for most lawn because it returns the nitrogen rich grass clippings back to the ground. Keep in mind that this will not work well with some type of tall grass especially in the early summer, spring and early falls. Most push mowers have these two functions.

The three function mower mulches, bags and side discharge the grass. The side discharge is useful when you are mowing the taller weeds and non turf grasses. It is very helpful when you need to mow the lawn in stages and set the mower deck in different heights. The cutting width of the mowers has more impact if it is wider. Some mowers have a low 30 inch width while some can go as high as 60 inch. Larger lawns require wide cutting widths to make the work faster and easier.

Common features

The following are the main features you need to look at when buying a riding lawn mower for the rough terrain

The deck levers

Most up to date riding lawn mowers have deck levers in groups of four, two or one. One lever is convenient but comes with linkage that adds weight to the mower. You will also have to lubricate it regularly for a clean cut. Two levers a great in-between. Mowers with two levers have a better linkage which makes it easier to get a precise height when cutting the grass. Four levers are a standard design on these types of mowers.

The ground speed control

The only way you will get a feel and opinion of the ground speed control of a riding lawn mower is if you get the mower itself. The controls are integral with the handle. Using more pressure on the forward on the drive control will automatically increase the speed to the maximum.

Transmission

The self propelled mowers have three main types of transmissions. The hydrostatic transmission is the smoothest when it comes to operating and obviously the most expensive. It works by driving hydraulic fluid past the impeller which spins an output shaft and this controls the ground speed. A typical front and rear drive walk mower uses belt and pulley to direct the power from the engine’s shaft to the gear box on the front and rear axle. There are multiple variations of the same design but they all pay the same role.

The engine and size of the gas engine

The engine sized run from 190cc to 14 cc. large engines are less likely to handle tall grass during some season but they help drive the self propelled mowers. Expensive engines provide reduced noise, durability and less oil consumption.

The engine horsepower that provides more power can make work easier. The power is distributed between different tasks like moving the mower through up and down hills. Mowers with engines that have an output of 20HP and more will deliver great results on a rough terrain.

The fuel capacity correlates with the size of your mower. You do not want to go with a mower that does not have enough capacity to tackle the turf. The last thing you need is to stop and refuel in the middle of mowing.

Final word

Riding lawn mowers may be more expensive than the average mower, but they have a specific purpose. The main difference is that you can use some models in very rough terrains. This means that no matter how rough your piece of land is, you will get a clear cut just by using the riding lawn mowers. When you buy a mower, consider the features rather than the attractiveness of the machine. Your end goal is to maintain your lawn or back yard as best as you can.

Anton Schwarz

About the author

Lawn care advocate for over 10 years helping brands such as Toro, Craftsman, Tru Green, and more by helping them with their marketing. I've been in the lawn care industry all my life.

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