Mowers are pieces of equipment that use rapidly rotating blades to cut grass and other ground-level plantlife. Mowers, which are typically used to cut, bag, and/or mulch grass, have a wide range of designs. Push mowers are simple walk-behind models which are propelled by pushing force exerted by an operator. The simplicity and affordability of push mowers is the best option for cost-sensitive owners working in smaller, relatively flat residential yards. Self-propelled mowers are also navigated by walking behind the machine and turning it in the desired direction; however self-propelled mowers use energy from the motor to propel the wheels forward, making its operation an easier task for the user. This makes self-propelled mowers ideal for cutting grass in moderately sized spaces (about half an acre), and can be used on small slopes. For bigger areas in need of mowing, riding mowers may be the preferred choice.
Riding mowers place the operator on a seat atop the machine, and are most easily classified between rear engine mowers, tractor mowers, and zero turn mowers. Rear engine mowers are smaller and cheaper than the more popular tractor mowers, but have slower speeds and a lower quality of cut. Tractor mowers cut grass at a rate that is 2 to 3 times faster than push mowers, with solid traction and a level cut, making them perfect for spaces bigger than half an acre. Tractor mowers can be further divided between lawn tractors, which primarily serve lawn-care purposes, and garden tractors, which can be equipped with attachments like front snow plow blades or rear hitches for trailer hauling. Zero turn mowers are not as powerful as tractor mowers, but offer a significantly higher degree of speed and maneuverability, using right and left levers to determine direction and make 360° turns.
New and used mowers for sale on Equipment Trader are manufactured by companies including Bobcat, Cub Cadet, Exmark, Gravely, John Deere, Kubota, Land Pride, and Toro. When buying a mower, consider the work you want to accomplish. Tougher cutting conditions, like tall, wet grass, may require the use of a larger engine, indicating a tractor may be a smarter choice. Similarly, while the average tractor utilizes front wheel drive, rougher terrain or steeper slopes may require back wheel or all wheel drive. When operating a mower, exercise caution by wearing appropriate clothing, footwear, hearing protection, and safety glasses; clearing the area of other people and objects; only starting and operating the machine from the seat; being extremely careful on slopes; stopping the blades when passing over gravel to prevent dangerous projectiles; and halting operation to investigate any abnormal vibrations and sounds. To maintain your mower, regularly check and change the air filters and the oil, keep the blades sharp, and clean the undercarriage. If you want to keep your fingers, always remove the spark plug when performing maintenance or repairs near the blades.