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Why a Zero Turn Lawn Mower is the Right Choice – User Voice: Paul Smith

5/7/2019 5:00:00 AM


By: Paul Smith, self-employed gardner,

 

Paul Smith, self-employed gardener from the south of England discusses why he bought the Ariens Apex 52 over alternative mowing solutions in the latest issue of the Arien​s blog.

"The Ariens zero-turn is a different kettle of fish to what I'm used to as there's no steering wheel. This is the first zero-turn I've used and even sat on, don’t let the absence of a steering wheel eliminate this as a new mowing contender. I've had it for three weeks and it just comes so naturally to me now. There was a lot of concentration required in the beginning but now there's no stopping me!

 

One of my clients has a very large estate with an awful lot of grass. There's lots of different scenarios going on: Fields, formal lawns, utility lawns, croquet lawn, walled garden, a big orchard and small fields with lots of trees and shrubs to go around so finding a machine that was capable of mowing in many of these areas was critical. There's seven acres of lawns in total so lots of mowing!

We have a large tractor, a massive diesel thing to do the two fields but it's very old and we had a ride-on tractor to do the smaller lawns and cut around the edges, trees and shrubs. We chose the Ariens Apex to replace the ride-on as it's a lot wider and a lot faster and it can do the same job as the big tractor so we know that we have one mower that can do everything. We like the fact that the Apex can mow most of this estate. We have the tow bar fitted so we can tow a scarifier behind it to scarify the lawns and we use it to tow small amounts in the trailer.

 

There is a lot of garden maintenance required as it's so big and varied. I have been looking after this client's grounds for over 15 years and we've gone through all sorts of machines and the Ariens Apex is certainly the best we've had yet. It's wider, faster and a lot more maneuverable than a front deck steering wheel type ride-on. I think it's also more practical in a lot of ways as there's not so much involved mechanically. The last ride-on we had, had a drive shaft, steering columns and the like where with a zero turn you have an engine and two motors right there underneath the seat without anything too complicated to go wrong. I really like the simplicity of it and how robust it is—it's very well built. I couldn't even stand on the deck on my ride-on as it just tipped over, whereas the Apex is built like the brick proverbial and it looks like it too with its steel frame, large deck and tyres.

 

The last machine we had was about the same price as the Apex 52 but it was a much lesser machine, lesser engine, lesser grade steel. Ariens just beats it in so many ways. Because the deck is wider and it's faster, it's twice as effective. With time management, I can get twice as much done which for a self-employed gardener like myself is spot-on. The fact that the zero-turn does what it says it does and turns on itself does mean that I'm cutting grass in half the time and not going over already cut grass or doing multiple point-turns. There's so much to do on this client's property and we only have on​e day there so you can imagine how busy we get. My colleague and I start early and discuss the priorities for the day, two of us for seven hours and in midsummer we spend 3.5 hours between us cutting grass. The quicker we can get it done the better and my new Apex will reduce this cutting time by half!

It's a really, really good machine!

Zero-turn vs garden tractor

4/25/2019 5:00:00 AM


By: Helen Dearing, Content & Digital Marketing Manager,

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 mode​l matches your grass, cutting area, budget and more.

 

No steering wheel? No problem

4/11/2019 5:00:00 AM


By: Helen Dearing, Content & Digital Marketing Manager,

 

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.

Remember:

      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.

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