Let’s face it – not all terrains are made equal. Some are smooth and flat, while others are rough and sloped. And in the case of the latter, maintenance work can be time-consuming and physically demanding.
Fortunately, modern technology has a solution for our rough terrain woes. Experts came up with riding lawn mowers to make the task less demanding physically. The best ones in the market provide you with adequate control so you can mow your lawn according to what you have in mind and achieve your desired results.
If you’re completely new to the concept of riding lawn mowers, we understand that these machines can be pretty intimidating. But there’s nothing to worry about.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the factors that you have to look into when you’re looking for the best riding lawn mower for rough terrain. We also included an honest and comprehensive review of our top picks to help you narrow down your options.
Best 5 Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain Reviews
Before going into all the details of our top choices, you can look at this product comparison table to give you an idea of what each machine has to offer.
- Husqvarna YTA24V48 Tractor Mower
- Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower
- Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding
- Poulan Pro 960420170 PP20VA46 Briggs 20 HP V-Twin Riding Mower
- Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic 46-Inch Riding Lawnmower
Husqvarna YTA24V48 Tractor Mower
The Husqvarna YTA24V48 Tractor Mower is one promising riding lawn mower with impressive features, and this is the reason why it’s on our list of the best riding lawnmowers.
This mower boasts a 48-inch deck to make sure that it covers a lot of ground while cutting. It boasts being made with state-of-the-art Air Induction Mowing Technology that drastically improves the air circulation from inside the deck. As a result, it can deliver consistent cuts and leave you with a neat turf even when the terrain’s rough.
Another notable feature of the Husqvarna YTA24V48 Tractor Mower is its FAST auto transmission which requires less maintenance work on your part. This is paired with a spring-assisted deck lever. This makes it easy to operate, so even beginners can handle this machine with ease.
And while we’re on the subject of easy operation, you’d be pleased to know that this riding lawn mower has a chokeless start feature. This means that you can start the engine by simply turning the key. No more need for complicated inspection and maintenance work before operating it.
The Husqvarna YTA24V48 Tractor Mower runs on a 24-horsepower engine that’s paired with a 3-gallon fuel tank. This allows it to mow through a large lawn without the need for refueling.
We also love that this lawnmower is designed for comfort. It comes with a vinyl seat for superior cushioning and a high seat back height. This allows you to sit comfortably while allowing your back to relax.
Overall, the Husqvarna YTA24V48 Tractor Mower is the best entry-level riding lawn mower in the market with its powerful engine and comfortable seat. The fact that it’s easy to operate is a bonus.
- It has an impressive deck width of 48 inches.
- It uses Air Induction Mowing Technology to guarantee equal cuts despite the roughness or unevenness of the terrain.
- It is easy to operate.
- The seat is comfortable.
- It is not very durable.
- It is not recommended for use in hilly areas.
Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower
Another impressive riding lawnmower is the Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower. It features a Kawasaki FR691 engine that’s known for being powerful yet efficient.
This riding lawn mower has an impressive cutting width of 52 inches. This makes it capable of clearing up a large turf in the shortest time possible. You can also choose to adjust the cutting heights between 1.5 and 4.5 inches. This guarantees even grass heights throughout your vast lawn.
It has a simple interface, even allowing you to dial in the cutting height of your choice. Thus, you could say that it is quite user-friendly.
The Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower is made with a sturdy tubular steel frame, so you know that it’s built to last for a long time. Its blade is also made of 11-gauge steel, so you don’t have to replace it for a long time.
To guarantee our comfort, this riding lawn mower comes with a high-back padded seat with armrests. This allows you to work comfortably on your lawn – no more worrying about nasty backaches.
Also noteworthy is that it has a ground speed of 7 miles per hour when you’re going forward, and a speed of 3 miles per hour when you’re in reverse. This is a pretty decent speed that allows you to cover around an acre within an hour – and that’s very impressive.
Overall, the Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower is the best riding lawn mower for rough terrain if you’re looking for a powerful machine for your outdoor space whether you have a large lawn or using it for your business, you can expect this lawnmower to do the job right.
- It offers great value for the money.
- It has an impressive 52-inch deck width.
- The cutting heights are adjustable to anywhere between 1.5 to 4.5 inches.
- It has an interface that’s easy to operate.
- It has a comfortable padded high-seat chair with armrests.
- It works well on flat and uphill terrains.
- As of the time of writing, there are no negative reviews of this item.
Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding Lawnmower
If you want a lawnmower that you can ride in style, then look no further than the Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding Lawnmower.
This lawnmower has a stylish red and black color scheme that’s both sleek and easy on the eyes. But aside from its aesthetics, this lawnmower can sure pack up a punch.
It has a decent 46-inch deck that’s perfect for mowing a golf course or acres of properly. It has a cutting height between 1.5 and 4 inches, allowing you to choose your preferred grass height conveniently. This machine is also powerful enough to cut through different grass types, so you know your turf will look neat and well-maintained regardless of what’s growing on it.
Also noteworthy is that the fabricated deck on this machine is not just capable of cutting grass. It can also vacuum, mulch, and discharge – and that can save you the time from having to do all these tasks.
We also love that the Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding Lawnmower comes with a removable deck. When you remove it, it can serve as an all-terrain vehicle that can go as fast as 17 miles per hour. When the deck is attached, it functions as a powerful lawnmower that can go as fast as 6 miles per hour.
Another notable feature is that this riding lawn mower has a 14-inch turning radius. This makes it maneuverable enough to make sure that you cover the entire area of your yard.
For your comfort, it has a high-seat padded chair that cushions your back and bottom to keep you comfortable even as you work.
The Raven MPV7100 Hybrid Riding Lawnmower is the perfect lawn maintenance companion for those who are always on the go. We love that it has a removable deck, but we were even more amazed by its vacuuming, mulching, and discharging functionalities.
- It is very stylish.
- It has a removable deck that’s 46 inches wide.
- It can also be used as an all-terrain vehicle or a power generator.
- It has mulching, vacuuming, and discharging functions to make it more convenient for you.
- It has a padded seat for optimal comfort.
- It has a 550-pound towing capacity which comes in handy if your work area is far away.
- It is not very durable.
Poulan Pro 960420170 PP20VA46 Briggs 20 HP V-Twin Riding Mower
Another stylish lawn mower is the Poulan Pro 960420170 PP20VA46 Briggs V-Twin Riding Mower. We love its compact design because it makes it easy to store when it’s not in use.
This 20-horsepower riding lawn mower is built with a ready start engine. This means that you don’t have to struggle to make it work. This also saves you the time in having to perform maintenance work before turning the engine on.
Thanks to its 46-inch deck, the Poulan Pro 960420170 PP20VA46 Briggs V-Twin Riding Mower is capable of covering about 1.5 acres in an hour. That means that it works fast and efficiently. You can also adjust it between 6 cutting height adjustments to make sure that you will end up with the ideal lawn you envisioned.
Thanks to its pedal control fast auto drive transmission, this riding lawn mower is relatively easy to operate. We also love that it has a turning radius of 16 inches, making maneuvers easy. This allows you to avoid trees and other similar obstructions as you’re mowing your lawn.
The Poulan Pro 960420170 PP20VA46 Briggs V-Twin Riding Mower has 20-inch rear tires coupled with 15-inch rear tires with deep lugs to guarantee excellent traction. This allows you to power through different terrain to make sure that you get to do the job properly.
For your comfort, it comes with a 13-inch mid-back seat to keep your lower back well-rested. It is also built with headlights to allow you to work efficiently even when it’s already dark outside.
Overall, the Poulan Pro 960420170 PP20VA46 Briggs V-Twin Riding Mower is a powerful all-terrain lawn mower that allows you to work even at night. And thanks to its compact design, keeping it in your garage won’t be a problem.
- It has a powerful engine that allows it to start easily.
- It has a 46-inch deck width coupled with six cutting height positions.
- It has sturdy tires that allow you to work on all terrains – even on uphill areas.
- It has an impressive 16-inch turning radius.
- It comes with pedal control auto transmission for easier operation.
- Its compact design is convenient for those with smaller storage spaces.
- Its maintenance is expensive.
- It is not very durable.
Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic 46-Inch Riding Lawnmower
Completing our list for the five best riding lawn mowers for rough terrain is the reliable Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic 46-Inch Riding Lawnmower.
This powerful lawnmower uses a 19-horsepower motor that’s paired with a foot pedal automatic transmission. This makes it easy to operate while making sure that your turf is fully covered. This combination makes it perfect for large areas of around half an acre or more.
The Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic 46-Inch Riding Lawnmower is equipped with a 46-inch deck that covers a large area in one go. It also has a mow-in-reverse feature which is convenient if you missed a spot. We also love that this mower has a side discharge, making it easier to gather and clean up later.
For our convenience, this lawn mower comes with a soft touch steering feature that helps with the machine’s maneuverability. It has a speed of up to 5.2 miles per hour, which is pretty decent for a riding lawnmower. This allows you to finish the job fast while making sure that the entire area is fully covered.
To guarantee that you can work on any terrain, the Troy-Bilt 540cc Briggs & Stratton Intek Automatic 46-Inch Riding Lawnmower comes with sturdy wheels with deep lugs. This promises excellent traction while conveniently carrying this heavy-duty machine.
And finally, it has padded seats with mid-back support to make sure that you’re comfortable as you mow the lawn.
- It comes with soft-touch steering that’s easy to operate and maneuver.
- It has a deck width of 46 inches.
- It has a comfortable padded seat.
- It can go as fast as 5.2 miles per hour.
- It comes with two pairs of sturdy wheels.
- It uses foot pedal automatic transmission.
- It supports mowing in reverse.
- It is easy to assemble and operate.
- Some users note that the belt creates a noise.
- It tends to jam when you’re using it to cut grass that’s already too long.
How to Choose a Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain
Since riding lawn mowers are more expensive than your average residential lawn mowers, we want to give you more information as to these machines. This will help you assess what you need to look for in a lawnmower so you will end up buying one that works best for you.
One of the first things that we look into when buying lawnmowers – regardless of their type – is the cutting width or deck width. This helps you determine how wide the machine can cut in one go.
Ideally, the longer the cutting width, the faster you can get the job done and work on other tasks. However, this may still depend on the actual speed of your mower.
For medium-sized and large lawns, a cutting width of 46 inches is already quite decent. There are, nevertheless, some lawn mowers that offer up to 52 inches of deck width – and that’s pretty impressive.
A larger cutting width may come at a price, though. Thus, if you do not need that extra width, then you’d be fine with one that has 46 inches. This is especially true if you have a medium-sized lawn, or if you’re on a tight budget.
Working hand in hand with the cutting width is the cutting height. This refers to how long or short the lawnmower can cut the grass.
The average cutting height among lawnmowers is 1.5 to 3.5 inches, while some models offer up to 4.5 inches. This allows you to choose the preferred length you want your grass to have.
But aside from the cutting height itself, you should also consider its positions. This helps you determine how fully adjustable the lawnmower is.
The speed of a riding lawn mower tells you how fast it can do the job. Bear in mind that lawnmowers aren’t necessarily built for speed since its main purpose is to trim the grass evenly. You can’t do that with a mower that runs for about 70 miles per hour.
On average, lawnmowers have speeds ranging from 5 to 8 miles per hour. This is a pretty decent rate, considering that it can nicely clean off the top of the grass. Take this into consideration when you’re buying a riding lawnmower.
Another important factor that you shouldn’t take lightly is the maneuverability of the machine. This helps you make your way across your vast lawn with ease. This will also help you avoid trees or shrubs as you are making your way through the field.
With that said, the maneuverability guarantees that you’d be able to cover the entire size of your lawn. A turning radius of about 14 to 16 inches is ideal, especially for beginners.
The transmission type determines how you will be able to control the speed of the riding lawnmower. For manual transmission, you control the speed by switching gears through the clutch. In the case of an automatic transmission, the control is through the foot pedal.
An automatic transmission is easier to operate since you do not have to think about the clutch and which gear to use. Thus, we recommend this transition type for beginners.
And finally, your comfort while riding the lawnmower is of the utmost importance. You would have to sit there and work on your lawn for hours, depending on how vast the area is. And with that in mind, you don’t want to sit on something that’s rock-hard and doesn’t offer any support for your back.
Thus, we strongly recommend getting those lawnmowers with padded seats. Preferably, something that has a high or mid-back seat would be nice, since it also offers protection and support to your lower back area.
FAQ – Best Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain
Is a riding lawn mower easy to use?
While older versions of riding lawn mowers are trickier to use, today’s newer models are relatively easier to operate. Most of today’s riding lawn mowers have automatic transmission with a user interface that allows you to control the functions with ease. And these are very convenient features – especially if you’re new to using riding lawn mowers. You may read more about the uses of a lawn mower.
Is it better to use manual or automatic transmission for a riding lawn mower?
This would depend on how you want to control the speed of the machine. Manual transmission allows you to control the speeds using a clutch. On the other hand, the automatic transmission allows you to control it using the pedals. The choice would depend on how you want to control the speed, but an automatic transmission is recommended for beginners.
How much are riding lawn mowers?
On average, riding lawn mowers are sold for about 2000 dollars. But since the market is very competitive, you can find decent ones for around 1500 dollars. That being said, riding lawn mowers with extra features and functionality can go as high as 3000 dollars. But even with these steep price tags, the comfort and convenience you get are well worth the investment.
Looking for a great riding lawn mower can take a lot of your time. Bear in mind that you may have to use it while navigating through slopes and avoiding obstructions such as trees or shrubs. Thus, to cut it short, the best riding lawn mower for rough terrain has to be reliable, powerful, maneuverable, and easy to use.
Considering that these lawnmowers come with expensive price tags, there’s all the more reason that we have to take our time and look into each specific feature before splurging on a unit.
Fortunately, we have laid down everything you need to know in this article – our detailed buying guide has you completely covered. But if you’re still stuck between two or more choices, then don’t hesitate to consult our top 5 picks. You might find the perfect one for you on that list.