Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills

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Ride-on mowers are the best option when it comes to mowing large lawns. They tend to reduce your workload significantly while giving you an enjoyable experience.

These can come in the form of lawn tractors or zero-turn mowers. They tend to be popular as they are way superior compared to walk-along mowers, but they come with a high price tag.

So, we’ve searched for the best riding mowers in the market that would offer great value for your money.


7 Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills Reviews

Here is the list of the Best Riding Lawn Mowers for Hills as per our recommendations.

  1. Simplicity 2691418 Prestige Mower | Editor’s Pick
  2. Husqvarna YTH24V48 Riding Lawn Mower
  3. Swisher Z-MAX XTR ZT2454 Zero-turn mower
  4. Husqvarna Z254 Zero-Turn Mower
  5. Troy-Bilt Mustang FIT 34 Zero-Turn Mower
  6. Snapper 560Z Model 5901557 Zero-turn mower
  7. Simplicity 5901744 Contender XT Zero Turn Mower

1. Simplicity Prestige Mower |


  • Power: 27HP 810CC Briggs & Stratton
  • Cutting deck width: 52″ fabricated
  • Cutting heights: 1″ to 4″
  • Fuel tank capacity: 3.6 gallons
  • Warranty: 3-year consumer, 90-day commercial
  • Weight: 930 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Power-steering for easy manoeuvring
  • Superior traction via continuous power to rear tires
  • Speed; cuts a lot of grass very quickly
  • Hydraulic lift lever for tractor attachments
  • Suspensions and mesh seat for increased comfort
Things to Consider!
  • Too expensive to buy
  • Generally used for commercial purposes, but the warranty is too low

Overview

This is a premium lawn tractor made for professionals who work on fields for hours every day. The build quality is exceptional, and the performance & control is pretty impressive.

It comes with a 27HP Briggs & Stratton Commercial Series engine that has a displacement of 810cc. It has high-quality oil & air filters and offers a fuel capacity of 3.6 gallons.

You can start the engine easily using a push start button. The engine features an Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system, where it allows for smooth engine running and saves fuel costs in the process. Also, its built-in advanced sensors give a consistent power supply to the mower.

The mower is equipped with a 52″ cutting deck, which makes it suitable for cutting large fields. It is made from 10-gauge fabricated steel and has a height adjustment range between 1″ to 4″. The deck is covered by a lifetime warranty period offered by the manufacturer.

The 2691418 also has a power steering that makes it super easy to make turns on rough terrain. The transmission used in this vehicle is Tuff-Torq K72 that gives more control and better torque, and it’s a hydrostatic drive with differential lock. This mower can go up to 8.7 mph forward and up to 3 mph on the reverse.

Some other notable features that this lawnmower has includes a high-back seat for added comfort, LED lights for enhancing visibility at dawn and dusk, and a digital fuel gauge that is fixed on the panel. It also has an hour meter on the dash that gives you an idea of when to take the tractor out for servicing.

The manufacturer has offered a 3-year consumer warranty on the product and a lifetime warranty on the cutting deck. For commercial customers, the warranty is 90 days.


2. Husqvarna Riding Lawn Mower for Hills | Best Garden Tractor


  • Power: 24HP Briggs & Stratton engine
  • Cutting deck width: 48″ stamped
  • Cutting heights: 1″ to 4.5″
  • Fuel tank capacity: 2.5 gallons
  • Warranty: 3-year consumer
  • Weight: 590 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Ergonomic design and steering wheel
  • Superior cutting strength
  • Electronically controlled blade engagement
  • Competitively priced
Things to Consider!
  • Cutting thick grass can be difficult
  • No fuel gauge

Overview

This is a great lawn tractor made by Husqvarna which is priced near the $2,000 mark. It comes with a 24HP Briggs & Stratton Intek V-Twin engine that is designed for heavy performance. The tractor has a fuel capacity of 2.5 gallons and you can use the ReadyStart feature to start the engine quickly and easily.

The mower is equipped with a 48″ cutting deck, which makes it suitable for cutting large fields. It is made from 14-gauge fabricated steel and has a height adjustment range between 1″ to 4.5″. The cutting blades are engaged with a simple switch via the Electric Blade Engagement feature that this machine offers.

The YTH24V48 features a Hydrostatic Pedal Transmission that allows you to go at variable speeds and shift smoothly. You would feel that it doesn’t jerk much during the ride and has the stability you’re looking for. It can reach a maximum forward speed of 7.75 mph and a reverse speed of 3 mph.

With Cruise Control, your tractor could operate at constant speeds even in rough terrain. It does this by sensing the power requirement and then pulling it from the engine.

The size is pretty compact, making it convenient to maneuver at tight spots, and it doesn’t take much space when parked. It has an ergonomic steering wheel for increased efficiency and comfort. Plus, the adjustable seat is padded and well-designed that adds to the comfort.

The manufacturer has offered a 3-year consumer warranty on the product, which covers any fault in its parts. Other terms and conditions can be found in the warranty document.


3. Swisher Z-MAX XTR ZT2454 Zero-turn mower

SWISHER Z-MAX XTR ZT2454 ZERO-TURN MOWER

  • Power: 24 HP Briggs & Stratton LS V-Twin OHV engines
  • Cutting deck width: 50″ fabricated
  • Cutting heights: 1.5″ to 5″
  • Warranty: 3-year transmission, 2-year engine, and 1-year commercial
  • Weight: 815 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Dual gas tanks
  • Assembly is quick and easy
  • Comfortable and smooth ride
  • High traction tyres
Things to Consider!
  • Can reach speeds of up to a maximum of 6 mph
  • Difficulty in upgrading accessories with limited options offered by the manufacturer

Overview

This mower can easily turn a full 360 degrees and offers great manoeuvrability, even on uneven surfaces. It is equipped with a 24hp Briggs & Stratton LS V-Twin OHV engine with an oil filter that can be easily accessed. The dual Eaton transmission enables the mower to run at a speed of 6 mph forward and 6 mph in reverse.

The 11-gauge fabricated cutting deck is pretty wide (50″) that serves great for completing large jobs on the field quickly, and the superior steel plate makes it even more durable. You can select your desired cutting height with the height adjustment lever ranging from 1.5″ to 5″.

With traction tires and a pivoting axle, you can drive with much more control and flexibility. The 3 cutting blades cut the grass even finer than ordinary ones, making it beneficial to add it to the compost heap.

The mower also features an electric turn-key start and a pull-push button for quick starts. There is a removable compartment for storage purposes to keep your snacks and keys conveniently during the ride.

They have also added a slide adjustment for the comfortable padded seat along with armrests so that you feel fatigue-free during your ride.

The manufacturer has given a warranty period of 3 years for the transmission, 2 years for the engine, and a 1-year commercial warranty.


4. Husqvarna Z254 Zero-Turn Mower


  • Power: 26HP Kohler engine
  • Cutting deck width: 54″ stamped
  • Cutting heights: 1.5″ to 4″
  • Fuel tank capacity: 3.5 gallons
  • Warranty: 3-year homeowner warranty
  • Weight: 549 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Maintenance free zero turn transmission
  • Not much heavy
  • Has a rear engine guard to protect against impact
Things to Consider!
  • A small fuel tank capacity

Overview

This product features a 54-inch stamped cutting deck that is made from steel with 11-gauge thickness. You can adjust the cutting heights using a lever from 6 different height positions that range from 1.5″ to 4″.

The engine used for this mower is a 26HP Kohler engine that belongs to the 7000 series and is equipped with an oil filter and an air filter (auto-type paper). To the side, you would find the fuel tank that has a decent capacity of 3.5 gallons, which is relatively small when compared to other mowers we’ve discussed here.

The Husqvarna Z254 has a 15″ high back seat made from vinyl, and it also has comfortable armrests and a cup-holder on the side. The manufacturer has mentioned the estimated productivity of 2.8 acres per hour from using this machine.

The mower also features rubber bellows to restrict moisture and dirt from reaching the control system. It has an anti-slip foot area to ensure safety and an ergonomic control panel for accessing all functions at your fingertips.

You can achieve speeds up to 6.5 mph and park instantly due to the automatic park brake system activated when the levers are moved outwards. This relieves the operator from this task and further adds to the convenience of using this product.


5. Troy-Bilt Mustang FIT 34 Zero-Turn Mower


  • Power: 452cc Troy-Bilt Engine
  • Cutting deck width: 34″ fabricated
  • Cutting heights: 1.5″ to 4″
  • Fuel tank capacity: 2 gallons
  • Warranty: 2-year consumer warranty only
  • Weight: 530 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Combination of both a traditional and a zero turn mower
  • The mower is less bulky as compared to others
  • Heavy duty front axle and reinforced frame
  • Front caster wheels are long lasting
Things to Consider!
  • Low fuel capacity
  • Length of the cutting deck is narrow in comparison to some

Overview

The mower has a powerful 452cc Troy-Bilt engine that is ideal for small to medium-sized lawns. Since the manufacturer hasn’t specified the exact horsepower for this product, we have estimated its capability on the basis of its engine displacement.

The design combines a traditional lawnmower and a zero-turn mower in a compact and super slim way. This allows you to have better control over inclined spots and uneven surfaces while achieving the accuracy and precision you want.

You can comfortably sit in this vehicle with its padded seat with dual suspension springs and a high back (15″). It also has durable rear wheels that won’t wear out easily when working on rough terrain.

The cutting system has 2 blades that can be adjusted at 8 different positions and is operated manually. If we talk about its chassis, it has a heavy-duty frame and a front axle that is highly durable.

The drive system features a Twin hydro – Dual EZT transmission that allows you to drive the mower at a top speed of 7 mph and reverse at a maximum of 2.5 mph.

So, this is a smart pick for those who wish to buy a zero turn mower but want that traditional touch to it as well.


6. Snapper 560Z Model 5901557 Zero-turn mower


  • Power: 25HP Briggs and Stratton engine
  • Cutting deck width: 52″ fabricated
  • Cutting heights: 1.5″ to 4.5″
  • Fuel tank capacity: 5.5 gallons
  • Warranty: 3-year consumer, 90-days commercial
  • Weight: 1164 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • Comfortable and easy to run
  • High performance transaxles
  • The gasoline can be filled easily as the tank opening is rather big
  • Accurate and precision cutting
Things to Consider!
  • No armrest installed
  • Heavy

Overview

This zero-turn mower has a Briggs & Stratton V-Twin OHV engine with a displacement of 724cc and is part of the commercial series of the company. It has 2 cylinders and 25HP gross horsepower which is the normal standard for operating such mowers. The engine has an advanced debris management system that optimizes performance and extends its life.

The seat is 18 inches tall and can be adjusted back and forth. So, it won’t matter if the operator is tall or short; you can slide the seat at your desired position. The mower can travel at speeds up to 9 mph and drives back up to 4 mph.

The 51″ wide fabricated mower deck is made from 10-gauge steel that allows for fast mowing. You won’t have to worry if the deck gets damaged as it is protected by a lifetime warranty offered by the manufacturer.

The controls are fairly easy to use, and it has 3 cutting blades that can be operated at 12 different positions according to a height that ranges between 1.5″ and 4.5″. The warranty period offered by the manufacturer is 3 years for consumers and 90 days for commercial customers.


7. Simplicity 5901744 Contender XT Zero Turn Mower


  • Power: 25HP Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Engine
  • Cutting deck width: 61″ stamped
  • Cutting heights: 2″ to 4.5″
  • Fuel tank capacity: 5.5 gallons
  • Warranty: 3-year consumer warranty, 90-days commercial warranty
  • Weight: 975 pounds

See at Amazon!

What we Like!
  • The build is extremely durable
  • Front and rear coil-over shocks
  • Durable Hydro-Gear transaxles
  • Provides a comfortable experience when mowing large lawns
Things to Consider!
  • Costly
  • Rather bulky

Overview

This is a zero-turn mower that features a 25hp Briggs & Stratton V-Twin Engine which has been part of the commercial series for the company. It is capable for performing under harsh and demanding conditions, while also protecting against dust and debris to give an extended engine life.

The fabricated mower deck has been made from 10-gauge steel with a reinforced leading edge. The cutting system is equipped with three blades, with 10 different positions to choose from and a cutting height ranging between 2 inches to 4.5 inches. It also has a lifetime warranty period offered by the manufacturer.

The fuel tank has a capacity of 5.5 gallons and is started with a key ignition switch located on the mower’s right side. It also has a fuel gauge located on the left side and is pretty visible and accurate.

The transmission type used in this mower is Hydro-Gear ZT-3200, a commercial-style wheel and pump motor with an axle shaft for handling great loads. This mower can go up to 9 mph forward and up to 4 mph on the reverse.

To increase comfort and provide a smooth ride, front, and rear coil-over shock absorbers can adjust as per your requirements. It also has an external oil filter that makes it easier for maintenance purposes.


Buying Guide for Riding Mowers

These are proper vehicles that do some heavy-duty lawn mowing at a rapid pace. They also have expensive machinery installed inside them for delivering such exceptional performance.

Because of this, they are heavily priced, so it’s always better to know some important points before making such an investment decision.

Motor Power

The horsepower of the motor serves a great deal in getting the task done quickly. Motors with a power of less than 20hp are not great for your lawns in general. They are only designed to be used for short periods as they burn out quickly.

It would help if you went for a motor that offers at least 23hp of power for use in large lawns or on a big estate. You would finish your work faster and get an extended service life with it as well.

To give you an idea, an entry-level mower typically has a motor ranging from 11hp to 24.5hp. The mid-grade and professional series offer 16 – 27hp of power, while the commercial ones have a motor that can deliver 22hp to as high as 31hp of power.

So, choose accordingly as this is one of the most important factors of your investment decision.

Cutting Width

The larger the width of the deck, the less time it would take to mow a lawn. So, a cutting deck is a steel area where the blades are placed. They normally range between 42″ and 61″ and is either made from fabricated steel or pressed steel.

You would see that the commercial series of some of the brands have a wider deck, which is made primarily for large lawns. This reduces the time you would invest in cutting such a big area.

So, if you have a small estate (e.g., less than 3 acres), you can go for the 42-inch deck. For lawns that are 4-5 acres big, it is better to go for at least a 52-inch deck, and if it’s larger than 5 acres, it is highly advisable to purchase a mower with a 61-inch deck.

Transmission

Generally, riding mowers use a hydrostatic transmission that uses hydraulic fluids to shift gears. So, there are 3 types of transmissions used in zero-turn mowers that you can choose from:

  • Hydrostatic Hydro-Gear EZT 2200 | You would see this transmission used in entry-level and mid-range mowers that most residential users with small estates use.
  • Hydrostatic Hydro-Gear ZT-2800 | This one is much better and operates on uneven surfaces or slopes. Great for operating on residential and for some commercial purposes as well.
  • Hydrostatic Hydro-Gear ZT-3100 | It combines all the features of the ZT-2800 but adds a bit more power and durability for it to be used commercially.

Fuel Tank Capacity

Having a large fuel tank is beneficial for use when working for longer periods. This would mean that there is less downtime in refueling it, and so this creates efficiency.

You would see that most mowers have offer 5 gallons of fuel capacity on average, which is quite sufficient. But if you’re planning to work on large lawns, an 8-gallon fuel tank capacity or more is highly recommended.

One more aspect to consider is the risk of fire in having too much fuel in your tank. Also, the quality of fuel somewhat gets bad when it’s left in the tank for weeks. You might also have difficulty starting the engine.

Weight

This factor is essential if you’re planning to work on steep slopes and uneven surfaces with a not so powerful motor. The more the mower’s weight, the more power it would draw from the engine to climb those hilly spots.

You would also need a car jack to access the underneath area for servicing unless the model offers an easy access point, like lifting the seat upwards.

Comfort options

A comfortable seat with comfy armrests on the side makes the ride free from fatigue and stress. Almost all the riding mowers offer a padded seat but go for those with armrests if you plan to work on big lawns.

Many mowers also have a sliding mechanism for seats that can be adjusted 6 inches forward or backward. Also, look for quality suspensions on the front and back, parking brakes, a less vibrating engine, step bars, and durable handrails. All these comfort factors play a vital role later on and maybe the deciding factor for you.

Tires

The tires are filled with air, similar to those you find on a kart. The normal tires do offer traction against grassy surfaces but sometimes slide when the grass is wet. To prevent that from happening, look for tires that have trodden on them.

Mowing Speed

The speed varies with the terrain surface and the type of lawn that you’re mowing. If the surface is flat, it obviously will take less time as there would be less maneuvering required. When the lawn is dry, your job would be finished quickly, but if it’s wet, it may require more time than usual.

  • 4 to 6mph speed | for entry-level mowers
  • 6 to 8mph speed | for mid-range
  • 8 to 13mph speed | larger lawn and commercial mowing
  • 13 to 15mph speed | heavy-duty commercial purposes

Cutting Blade Speed

When you dig further into the machine’s specs, you can get the RPM to cut grass. The RPM tells you the rate at which the blade spins so that a higher rate will provide clean-cut and better results.

You would normally find speeds from 1,600 RPM to 2,000 RPM offered by most mowers, while some great ones will go beyond the 2,000 RPM mark.

Price

Based on the cutting deck size, the motor installed, the build quality, the transmission used, and other factors, the price varies between $2,700 and $9000. So try to go for the product that offers you the best value for your money.

Area to Cover

You need to know about how much area you need to cover like;

  • best riding lawn mower for 1 acre
  • best riding lawn mower for 2 acres
  • best riding lawn mower for 3 acres
  • best riding lawn mower for 5 acres

& so one.

Warranty

As we’ve seen above, many of the mowers offer a separate warranty for use in residential terrain and a separate one for commercial purposes.

Generally, the commercial warranty is 3 months but may even go to a full year. The consumer warranty is 2 to 3 years on average, with some manufacturers giving a lifetime warranty on the cutting deck.

Other Features

It would help if you also looked for some extra features like mulching and bagging, where the grass is cut more finely, and the waste is collected in a bag to be used later as compost.

Having a battery-powered electric ignition saves valuable time and fuel, so you should look for that feature as well.

Some models also have a triple-blade cutting system that offers a clean-cut and make it easier to decompose.

Safety Tips to Consider

Read the following tips to avoid any injuries or accidents while using the mower.

  • Shut the engine off when you’re not using it, turn the blades off, and park the mower in a place away from inflammable stuff.
  • This is a single-person ride, so avoid letting on passengers, especially kids, as there is a risk of them falling over.
  • When the mower is spinning, avoid changing or replacing any part of the mower, even if you think it’s not linked to the cutting system. It is better to turn off the engine and then work.
  • Be sure to look out for traffic when using a mower on crossing roadways.
  • For increased safety, we advise you to wear eye and ear protection equipment before mowing.
  • Take extreme caution when working on uneven and rough terrain.

Final Verdict

These lawnmowers are extremely powerful, quick, and accurate when it comes to precision cutting. They have heavy-duty transmissions and powerful engines to deliver that performance. But you would have to pay a huge amount to get them on board.

Going through customer reviews and reading product specifications of riding mowers available online, I’ve tried to get this list together to help you buy the one that meets your requirements. I hope that with this review, your decision is made easier.


FAQ’s about Riding Lawn Mower

What is the best riding lawn mower in 2020?

Here is a list of riding lawn mowers as per our recommendations;

  • Simplicity 2691418 Prestige Mower | Editor’s Pick
  • Husqvarna YTH24V48 Riding Lawn Mower
  • Swisher Z-MAX XTR ZT2454 Zero-turn mower
  • Husqvarna Z254 Zero-Turn Mower
  • Troy-Bilt Mustang FIT 34 Zero-Turn Mower
  • Snapper 560Z Model 5901557 Zero-turn mower
  • Simplicity 5901744 Contender XT Zero Turn Mower

Should I buy a lawn tractor?

Lawn tractors are designed for heavy-duty usage. They can cut grass quickly with the side discharge, and they typically have 3 blades that allow grass to be cut finely. These tractors are equipped with greater horsepower engines and high-quality transmissions.

What is a zero turn mower?

It is a mower with a turning radius of zero, which controls each wheel’s hydraulic speed. The cutting deck is located on the front as compared to the traditional one that has it underneath.

Are fabricated steel cutting decks better than stamped steel ones?

Well, it depends. The fabricated steel plate is durable and can survive collisions and bumps much better. It even tends to remain rust-resistant when used in wet areas. The stamped deck is considered to be better overall in cutting grass.

Do these mowers have a brake system?

Some versions have a pedal brake installed, while some do not. Those that don’t have a system of positioning levers in a neutral position to stop the mower. The mowers will stop moving if you pull or push the levers into that position, as the speed is based on these levers’ placement.

David Houghton
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