My dad treated himself to a ride on a lawnmower – here’s what happened

Since retiring and moving to a new property, my parents’ biggest hobby has been gardening. Of prune hydrangeasat get rid of dandelions, their backyard is an ongoing project that they are very proud of. However, my dad ran into a problem when he realized that his new house had a large lawn. The result – hours spent pushing a traditional electric lawnmower by hand, probably doing all sorts of lawn care mistakes In the process.

As a result, my dad struggled with the effort required to cut the grass and ended up feeling all kinds of aches and pains. He had to think of an alternative approach. Although he had the opportunity to hire help, my father likes to maintain his garden himself, so he did not want to give the workload. He decided to treat himself to something he always wanted instead – a riding lawn mower.

Why buy a riding mower?

My dad had always wanted a riding lawn mower, but he never really had a big enough yard or the right layout for it before. Instead, he used a manual electric lawnmower that he pushed back and forth with cables strewn across the grass. It was a nightmare in his words because you had to dodge the cables while mowing and you were also limited by the length of the cable.

Even though the lawn was smaller in the previous property, it still took an hour to mow the grass. The previous yard was also not an ideal shape for a riding mower due to tight areas and restricted access in places.

The Mountfield 1330M riding mower

(Image credit: future)

My parents’ new property had an open, wrap-around garden, which provided the perfect conditions for a riding mower. So my dad took the plunge and said goodbye to cables. He opted for a gas-powered mower, but battery-powered mowers that you can charge between runs are growing in popularity. My dad bought the Mountfield 1330M (opens in a new tab)which is currently available in the UK, but not in the US. However, you can find many models in most department stores and on Amazon. (opens in a new tab).

The advantages of a riding mower

First off, my dad really likes the speed and efficiency of his new lawnmower. Previously, it took about an hour and 30 minutes to cut the grass with a push mower, while the riding mower completed the chore in about 30 minutes. Not only do you save that time, but you save the effort of pushing the lawn mower; with some weighing up to 60 pounds, that’s a big difference to the manual labor involved.

Part of the process is faster because the riding mower is wider with a longer blade than traditional mowers, so you cut more grass with each pass. It also shifts at a faster pace than my dad could reach, with five forward gears and one reverse. It picks up and deals with anything that gets in the way, whether it’s dandelions or leaves. This is great for cleaning up the lawn in the process, but you have to be careful that nothing is left on the grass that shouldn’t be.

My dad also thinks the riding lawn mower is fun to drive – more like a tractor than a car. It makes the process of mowing the lawn much more enjoyable and it looks forward to the task now. With seven length settings for cutting grass, it also has more control than it ever had before, and it was able to find the best settings to align the edges with most of the lawn. .

A man using the Mountfield 1330M ride-on mower to mow the grass

(Image credit: future)

There’s no real difference in noise compared to a traditional mower, and my dad also finds it comfortable to sit in the driver’s seat for long periods of time. Ride-on lawn mowers can additionally come in versatile designs – on my dad’s model, you can even buy attachments to fit on the back if you want, like a trailer.

It’s also a breeze to empty compared to a traditional mower; once the canister is full of clippings, it can be emptied quickly and cleanly onto the ground, then scooped up to go into the compost heap. It also lasts much longer between oil changes thanks to a much larger canister.

The disadvantages of a riding mower

My dad found a few flaws with his new mower, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t non-existent. Its main problem is that it is not good for complex or narrow parts of the lawn. Since riding lawn mowers are larger and bulkier than push mowers, they are generally not as maneuverable. This means that a riding lawn mower would probably not be suitable for those with difficult layouts and tight spaces in their lawn.

Due to the sheer size, my dad also noticed that to get to areas under shrubs, he basically had to drive there. You can’t store the mower under bushes like you can with a traditional design. It’s easy to forget that you’re essentially part of the lawnmower when you’re also driving it. My dad finds that his face regularly catches hanging branches so has to wear safety glasses accordingly.

The Mountfield 1330M riding mower stored in a garage

(Image credit: future)

Due to its size, you also need a lot more space to store it. A riding mower is basically the size of a motorcycle and you can’t really store it outside. Luckily, my dad has plenty of room in his garage, so that wasn’t a problem.

Depending on the type of mower you choose, keep in mind that you may also need to store excess gas or find a place to recharge the battery. My dad invests in gas preservatives to help extend the life of the fuel he stores. If you opt for a gas-powered mower, it also needs to be serviced once a year, which is an ongoing cost.

The verdict

My dad really likes his latest toy, but he would only recommend it to those who have a big enough lawn and space to store it. You also need to consider the layout of your land – riding lawn mowers can handle hills, but tight areas can be a problem. Plus, if you can’t drive it from your yard to your front, you might be restricted to a section of your lawn. It’s not a cheap investment either, with most models costing upwards of $2,000, so you need to make sure it’s right for you before you buy.

That said, he revolutionized the way my dad cuts the grass, and the neighbors look green with envy every time they see him outside. He now loves drudgery more than ever, so it’s a win-win situation.

For more outdoor tips, tricks and how-to’s, check out our guides on how to plant sunflower seeds. (opens in a new tab) and when to do it, how to plant potatoes and how to grow tomatoes in pots. You will also want to read how to plant grass seeds and how to make your lawn greener.

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