its been a few years seance i had to mow my parents yard...they had one. but when looking for a new one make sure the front casters are beefy...eyeball different brands and u will see small bearings and pressed metal. those will fail early. the casters take a beating Look for large bearings and thick forged steal
I have been up and down and all around about buying a zero turn versus a rider and what not.
I have a very thick lush 1 1/2 acre lawn, which I have worked my a$$ off for, and I am a large proponent for mulching, and cutting often. Water, cutting often with sharp blades and mulching will get you to a golf course type lawn with little fertilizer or weed killer.
In order to stay on that regimen and not have clumps, no rider will do it well and as often as I need it done as fast. I bought a Craftsmen Garden Tractor 24 horsepower, 48" deck, 3700 RPM blades. Made for Mulching deck, and even going slow and not tall or wet grass, she was not handling the material well at all. I was very disappointed as I had researched the heck out of this, and was let down by the performance.
Zero turns blades are spinning at over 6000 rpms, and higher. They can mince the material better. Zero turn maneuverability is far superior. Ect ect.
Well, in the summer I work a lot. And this summer I thought I'd be down and home more due to the slow economy her and I was just about to buy a zero turn, but we got so busy at work, more busy than in past years, Go Figure.
So, I just hired it out. 45 bucks a mow. It takes these 3 guys to mow, which cuts it twice, they cut one way, then the next, (best cut for lawn health), weed whack and blow, in 30 minutes. No need to worry about getting behind on the grass, or rain or what ever.
I'd hire it out any day now.
People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
I do like Dow and use a lawn care company. They can worry about repairs and replacement of the mowers.
If you do buy one just remember to measure any gates you want to bring it through. The lawncare guys I use can't bring theirs through my side gate and have to use a lawn mower for the back yard. YOu can see the difference between the front and back as the zturn has a bigger deck so the swaths are less.
As to buying one are you near a lawncare equiptment distributer? Usually here in the spring they have a sale of the mowers that come off lease from the golf courses and city parks. They are in good shape but are two or three years old.