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The best commercial lawn mowers deliver a blend of productivity, operator comfort and high quality of cut.
Professional lawn care operators demand reliable equipment rugged enough to stand up to the rigors of daily use. Control-ability and ease of use ensure the operator is able to perform safely and at their best...all day long.
When purchasing a new mower, price, quality of cut and durability are the biggest factors that I consider. I want a dependable machine that will hold up to the wear and tear of daily use without costing a fortune. The finish cut is very important since quality of cut is the product I'm selling to my customers.
I prefer mowers that are light weight and easy to maneuver. While test driving a machine, I want to know if it is comfortable to operate. How much damage does it do to the grass when making tight turns? Will it handle hills and tight spaces? Will it mow wet or tall grass without excessive clumping or bogging down? I will not purchase a big-ticket item unless a demo unit is available to test for a few days.
Other factors to consider are dealer support and how easy is it to get replacement parts. I look for features that make routine maintenance and repairs easy. Since I prefer to mulch clippings I look for mulching decks with a grass collecting option.
The most common types of grass cutters used by lawn mowing contractors are wide area cutters, stand on mowers and zero-turn mowers
Walk-behind mowers - Productivity, hillside stability and ability to fit into tight spots. These mowers allow access to the most difficult cutting areas. They're highly appreciated for the ease with which they can be operated and the speed for getting the job done.
Called wide area cutters to differentiate from common 21" walker-behinds. These are generally lower cost than the ride on mowers.
The higher-end machines are equipped with hydrostatic drives that are smoother than belt and gear driven mowers. Cutting decks range from 32" to 54".
Zero-Turn Riders - Built for large areas and long operating hours. These machines will flat-out mow some acreage...and leave it looking groomed.
They are more comfortable and maneuverable than the traditional lawn tractors. Zero-turn mowers are at their best on large flat lawns.
Available in front-mount or mid-mount decks with 48 to 72" cutting widths.
Stand-on mowers - These sleek, compact machines combine the speed and comfort of a rider with the handling of a walk-behind mower.
They're more efficient than a walk-behind and smaller and less expensive than zero turn riders.
When it comes to hilly terrain with trees and landscape beds, the stand-on mowers will out-perform zero-turn riders. The short, overall length of these mowers takes up less trailer space...leaving room for other tools.
Most are available in 36" to 61" cutting decks.