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Zero-turn vs garden tractor

4/25/2019 5:00:00 AM

By: Helen Dearing,

Undecided between a zero-turn or garden tractor? In the latest Ariens blog we compare the two.

Ride-on lawn mowers also called garden tractors have traditionally been the most popular lawn care products for homeowners because of strong brand name appeal and familiarity. With thinner steel, thin stamped decks and little to no comfort as well as efficiencies in grass cutting, homeowners are switching over to a new kind of ride-on lawn mower.


Unlike garden tractors, zero-turn mowers can be built with thick, more durable steel frames, stronger decks that result in a better cut quality and substantially reduced cutting times. As peoples’ lives get busier, time saving is more and more critical. The zero-turn lawn design offers greater cutting efficiencies, reducing cutting time by 50% over mowing with a lawn tractor.


How you ask?

Zero turn lawn mowers do exactly what they sound like they can do. It’s a lawn mower that has a zero-degree turning radius, meaning it can turn on a six-pence. These mowers can literally spin 360 degrees in one spot because of their superior technology. Rather than the conventional steering system found on a lawn tractor or out-front mower, these zero-turns are driven and steered by the rear wheels via an independent transmission. Two levers are all you need to drive, brake and steer. Spinning on the spot is achieved by either pushing the left hand or right hand forward eliminating the need for three point-turns at the end of the cutting pass.


Zero-turns are also faster! Typical speeds of garden tractors are 3-4mph, whilst zero-turns achieve 5-8mph. Faster speed coupled with no 3-point turns and going over already cut grass demonstrates how efficient this mower is. Cutting time is reduced, less trips are needed to remove and dispose of cut grass and less fuel is used.


The advantages of zero turn lawn mowers

Zero turn lawn mowers are built to be comfortable. For example, most Ariens zero turn lawn mowers come with a high-back, plush and adjustable seats. Some mowers in their lineup even include plush armrests. Additionally, the controls are all positioned in ergonomic and easily accessible locations so the operator can simply enjoy the ride.

Zero turn lawn mowers save time. The wide range of deck size options in a zero-turn lawn mower allow homeowners with both small and multi-acre gardens to cut their lawns much faster than they could with a lawn tractor. In the Ariens portfolio, homeowners can choose a deck as small as 34 inches or as large as 60 inches across.

The ability for a zero-turn lawn mower to turn on itself reduces the need for the extra manoeuvering. Get to the end of your cutting row, make a quick 180-degree turn, align the deck edge with the row just cut and keep going. With a lawn tractor, that requires a turn, backing and another turn. This is time lost, and that time adds up fast for each row of grass that needs to be cut.


Zero turn lawn mowers are more durable. This depends on the brand, but zero turn mowers are generally built with thicker steel than lawn tractors. On an Ariens zero-turn lawn mower, the frame is a fully welded tubular design and much stronger than the traditional C-channel frames of lawn tractors.


Zero turn lawn mowers have a better cut quality. With options for fully fabricated steel, deep decks, cutting decks are more durable and promote maximum airflow. Fabricated decks on Ariens zero turn models are aerodynamically designed so grass is pulled toward the blades and clippings are discharged evenly. The result is a superior cut quality without stragglers or clumps.


Take back your weekends with an Ariens zero-turn. Find an Ariens dealer near you with our Ariens dealer locator. If you’re not sure which zero turn lawn mower is right for you, visit our zero-turn product page to find which model matches your grass, cutting area, budget and more.


No steering wheel? No problem

4/11/2019 5:00:00 AM

By: Helen Dearing,


If you’re looking at a zero-turn mower to cut your grass but the absence of a steering wheel is making you nervous. Don’t be! Driving a zero-turn lawn mower is easier than most think and is a lot like driving a shopping trolley. Read our handy hints below.

How to drive a zero-turn

Each control lever operates the wheel on that side of the mower. For example, pushing the steering lever forward on the right side of the unit makes the right wheel move forward. Pushing the steering lever forward on the left side of the unit makes the left wheel move forward. Same rules apply to operating the mower in reverse.



To drive a zero-turn in a straight line while mowing, operators simply keep each steering lever aligned with each other while pushed forward. The further forward the levers, the faster the mower drives. As the steering levers are moved closer to the operator and the “neutral position,” the slower the mower drives. When returned to the neutral position, the mower stops moving.

How to turn a zero-turn

It's important to understand that the left and right wheels (controlled by their left and right steering levers) each have an independent motor. So, it’s possible to make the left wheel turn in reverse and the right wheel turn forward, or vice versa. That’s how a zero-turn mower makes its turn. One wheel moving at a different rate, or in the opposite direction, of the other wheel makes a zero-turn lawn mower turn.


Making both gentle and aggressive turns with a zero-turn mower is easy. To make a gentle curve, simply push one steering lever slightly further forward than the other while driving forward. For example, to make a gentle turn to the right, keep the left steering lever further forward than the right lever. To turn left, keep the right steering lever further forward than the left lever. The further apart the steering levers are from each other, the sharper the turn.

To make a 180-degree turn with a zero-turn lawn mower, pull one steering lever back while pushing the other steering lever forward. So, to turn on a six-pence to the left, pull the left steering lever back and push the right steering lever forward. To turn on a six- pence to the right, pull the right steering lever back and push the left steering lever forward. The greater the distance between the two steering levers, the faster the mower will make that turn.

Zero-turns cut grass quicker than garden tractors due to their ability to turn on themselves eliminating the need to make multiple point turns and going over cut grass. Practice makes perfect and you’ll be owning the lawn in no time.


      To go forward: Push the handles forward.
      To reverse: Pull the handles back.
      Turn right: Push the left handle forward.
      Turn left: Push the right handle forward.
      Stop: Bring the handles back to neutral

Watch our short video!

Find an Ariens dealer near you with our Ariens dealer locator. If you’re not sure which zero turn lawn mower is right for you, visit our zero-turn product page to find which model matches your grass, cutting area, budget and more.

Turn to the Zenith for Performance

4/3/2019 5:00:00 AM

By: Helen Dearing,

Introducing the Zenith 60 zero turn from Ariens


Ariens has a reputation founded on engineering excellence—a tradition this eighty-year-old family brand has built into its latest offering, the Zenith 60 zero-turn mower. This is the largest zero-turn in the Ariens range and is packed with commercial features, combining performance, durability and strength with comfort and safety throughout the working day. It offers total manoeuvrability and turns through 360º on its own axis.


The Zenith is a professional's zero-turn mower, with its large 152cm (60”) cutter deck and fast ground speed for cutting grass quicker. It travels up to 8.5mph going forwards, and 4mph in reverse where needed which, combined with the ability to turn on the spot, helps to significantly improve productivity. Power comes from a reliable, premium grade Kawasaki FX730 V-Twin 726cc engine. The durable 10-gauge deck is designed with 14cm depth providing the optimal airflow needed to tackle tough mowing conditions. The Constant Belt Tension System ensures the correct tension, while minimising wear and heat to provide enhanced belt life.


Operators familiar with zero-turn mowers know you won't find a conventional steering system on the Zenith. Two control levers are all that's needed to drive, brake, steer and spin on the spot. Negotiating around objects has never been easier. At the end of the mowing row the Zenith effortlessly turns 180º saving time and without going over already cut grass.

The chassis is fitted with a Rollover Protection System (ROPS) as standard to protect the operator, providing peace of mind and letting them get on with delivering first class results. The high backed, ergonomically designed, padded seat features armrests and integrated isolators to help absorb body impacts from uneven surfaces. The Zenith cutting system boasts fifteen cutting positions in 0.6cm (¼") increments, from 38.1mm to 127mm, which can be simply adjusted by using the foot-operated deck lift system and moving the pin into the desired cutting height position.

For the dealer selling the Zenith, this is a sturdy product right down to the last nut and bolt. It is clearly a machine that'​​s built to last and while it has massive commercial specification it also represents real value for money. The Zenith comes with a two-year commercial warranty. Ariens is a growing brand in the UK, extending the dealer network and the provision of full back-up for servicing and parts. For more information contact Ariens on 01844 278800 or find your nearest Ariens dealer.

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