89 Riding Mower Brands, 38 U.S. Mower Manufactures, | The Complete List Of Who Makes What Riding Mower, Lawn Tractor, Garden Tractor, Zero Turns
This article lists most of the riding mower, lawn tractor, garden tractor and zero turn mower brands sold here in the United States and to the best of my ability lists who owns them for the 2013 model year.
Many of the old independent names that have been around for years have now been bought and merged into huge corporations. There are even a couple of “American” names that are used solely by Chinese manufactures. Of the 89 brands I can find, many are owned by the same few companies, but some of those names have moved from one manufacture to the next making it hard to sort it all out. I know this list is not complete so feel free to leave a comment at the end of this article with the ones I missed.
Bookmark this page! I will update it as I get new info.
The “landscape” is constantly changing and I expect a few of these companies to disappear this year, a few new names to emerge, and a few to get sold to someone else.
The riding mower brands in this list include the manufactures for riding mowers, lawn tractors, yard tractors, garden tractors, estate tractors, zero-turns, and commercial mowers. It does not include the hundreds of manufactures of pull-behind and mounted agricultural equipment. If you are reading this list and make riding mowers and attachments aimed at the residential and/or commercial lawn care market feel free to add a comment about your product in the comments section.
I’ve included the smaller companies because many of these market locally at trade shows and county fairs. Just about all of them are high quality machines and they may be right for you. I also included the commercial mowers (mainly zero-turns) because some of you may be tempted to purchase a used “commercial” machine and it would be nice to know if you can still get parts. Commercial mowers can greatly reduce your mowing time, (as much as 80%) but you need to be aware that they are considerably more expensive to repair.
2011 Riding Mowers Sold in the United States By Manufacture:
Note: I have verified these relationships by researching the latest information on the Internet and talking directly to some of the manufactures. It is accurate to the best of my knowledge.
B&H Manufacturing: http://www.bhmfg.com/ Yard Shark: Yard Shark is now the Jazzer Terra Pro http://www.bhmfg.com/products/jazzer-lawn-mower/. This is a fairly unique mower and I like it. If you have a “problem” lawn and a good local dealer, take a look at this zero-turn. It has huge tires and will be good for sandy, wet or hilly properties. It is labeled “commercial” but is cheap enough for many residential owners.
Walker: Walkermowers.com Walker mowers are commercial mowers that have a specific purpose. They are designed to bag and bag well. These mowers will give you the best looking lawn in the county. If you have trees, trees, and more trees, berms, and many landscape beds to go around take a close look at this great brand.
Schweiss: Schweiss mowers It looks like the Schweiss is gone. The name is being used by B&H Manufacturing for a 3 point hitch snow blower. http://www.bhmfg.com/
Scag: Scag.com For many areas of the country when you see a small landscape contractor, he or she will have a Scag or three on the trailer. Scag makes a great line of high production mowers. Some models will mow well at 16 mph!
Ventrac: Ventrac.com If you own an acreage and want to do more than mow lawn with your equipment this may be the tractor for you. One of the unique benefits of this brand is the maneuverability.
Rich Convertible: Convertible mower.com Currently marketed by DR Power Equipment DRPower.com as the VERSA-PRO Z-Mower. If you have a large lawn with a lot of slopes and ditches take a look at this unique machine.
Lastec Articulators: Lastec.com No, you can’t afford one but it is one of the most unique mowers on the market.
Kut Kwick: Kutkwick.com/superslopemaster These are special purpose commercial hillside mowers. You will see these mowers out on the highways and parks mowing places you can barely walk on. These are big machines that weigh more than your 3/4 ton pickup! I owned a Super Slope Master to mow berms and hills that couldn’t be mowed any other way. Every once in a while you will see one of these show up on the used market. As a homeowner be aware that a repair to one of these machines will usually cost more than two brand new Craftsman Garden Tractors!
Kubota: Kubota.com When most people think of Kubota they think of the compact tractor series. But did you know they also make a great line of homeowner riders? The FZ2100 was one of my favorite mowers.
Sears Holdings Corporation: searsholdings.com/ Sears is the largest retailer that sells not only their own brand of mowers but also sells many other brands as well. I specifically am going to look at the Craftsman brand here.
Craftsman: Sears Riding Mowers & Tractors Craftsman sells a riding lawn mower for every homeowner lawn in the U.S. Everything from a 28 inch rider to a 30 hp estate tractor. They have the largest nationwide service network and you can easily get parts for their machines going back 10, 15, 20 years old and more. But, they have never manufactured their own products and have always “spec’d” their mowers to the unique wants and needs of the Sears shopper. Because they are built to “Sears Specifications” they need to be included in the list. Some of the current specs that are unique to Craftsman for the 2012 model year are: Unique decks that are rated as some of the best cutting decks by Consumer Reports, Turn Tight Steering (6 inch) on the YT and GT models, Greasable spindles on the YT and better models, 7.5 mph on the GT and up to 30 hp in the Premium line.
Here are the manufactures for the 2012 year:
Craftsman LT: MTD
Craftsman YT: Husqvarna
Craftsman GT: Husqvarna
Craftsman Rider: MTD
Craftsman Zero Turns: MTD
Craftsman Premium: Briggs & Stratton, This line is discontinued for 2013 but you will find a few clearance models available.
Craftsman Professional: MTD, Briggs & Stratton, Schiller, This line is discontinued for 2012. MTD, Briggs & Stratton, Schiller
Textron/Jacobson/Ransomes: Jacobsen.com merged Jacobsen and Ransomes with the Jacobson name used here in the U.S. and Ransomes used in Europe. They primarily market to golf courses and large area mowing but you will find a large number of their out-front mowers on the used market. Don’t buy the 3 wheeled version. The rest are good machines, but expensive to repair.
Husqvarna: Husqvarna.com An all encompassing name that includes the following:
Husqvarna Residential: Husqvarna Residential Like John Deere, Husqvarna has a “big box” line and a “dealer” line. The dealer line usually features heavier (welded) decks and the new Husqvarna Rider.
Husqvarna Landowner: Seriously look at the landowner line of you have slopes or hills. These machine have heavy duty transmissions and the weight needed to work on hills. Read my review of the MZ5424S (see the menu to your right)
Husqvarna Commercial: Husqvarna Commercial. This is a new line of well designed heavy duty machines. If you have a large lawn seriously take a look at the 61 inch. Like The Yard Shark it has huge tires and a light footprint making it an ideal residential mower.
Dixon: Dixon Arguably the best “homeowner” zero-turn. The Husqvarna residential and landowner series came from this great line.
Yazoo/Kees: Husqvarna officially discontinued this line Oct. 2011.
Husqvarna, MTD, Ariens and Briggs & Stratton make most of the brands sold by retailers here in the U.S. John Deere still makes their own.
Acrease Kunzeng.com/ Gary Kunz and his son Matt have a great line of high quality, heavy duty finish and rough cut mowers. These mowers are designed to pull behind or along-side of your existing mower and reduce your mowing time and trimming considerably. For example, I used two or their 60 inch commercial wing mowers with a 60 inch Exmark Laser and could mow up to 17 acres an hour. I used one with a Great Dane Chariot and could mow about eight acres and hour. They are more expensive than the Swisher, Agri-Fab and Stanley wing mowers, but worth every penny in increased productivity and strength.
Zipper: Zippermowers.co Zipper Mowers’ design philosophy is to build high quality products that are focused on the needs and requirements of professional users where quality and function are more important than looks and price. They believe that by not trying to be all things to all people we are able to actually build an innovative, no compromise machine. Machines that large companies designing product to a price point, for every market segment, and by committee just can’t. Their use of domestically produced components is about being able to monitor and control quality, deliver products in a timely manner, and sustain our US manufacturing to enable building high quality products. Not about purchasing the cheapest part to better margins at the expense of their customer’s experience.
John Deere: John Deere.com. As far as I can tell John Deere currently does not use any other brand names to market their mowers (used Sabre in the past) I do want to point out that they have a specific line (100 series) that are marketed by the big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot. The 100 series sold at the Dealer Stores IS THE SAME TRACTOR AS SOLD AT THE BIG BOX STORES!
John Deere is a worldwide organization and many of their parts and products are made outside of the U.S. They currently use Briggs, Kohler, Kawasaki and have their owned line of branded engines in the residential mowers.
The 100 series Deere’s are made in the U.S. by John Deere.
The independent John Deere Dealers also market the “standard” Deere that includes residential, and commercial mowers. There are also Golf and Commercial Divisions that cater to those customers.
Toro: http://www.toro.com Toro is also another huge, worldwide corporation like John Deere, but they mainly market lawn care products. They have Homeowner, Commercial, Golf, Irrigation and Sports Field Divisions. It looks like the homeowner models are made by MTD.
Toro also owns ExMark: http://www.exmark.com/, and Hayter: http://www.hayter.co.uk/ (British) ExMark is the mower of choice for independent landscapers and mowing contractors. Hayter is one of the oldest names in Britain and prides itself in “makers of the finest mowers”
The Toro Grandstand and ExMark Vantage are my favorite mowers. If you currently own a Craftsman, Cub Cadet or John Deere Garden Tractor and it is taking you say, 6 hours to mow and trim your yard, you can easily cut that mowing/trimming time in half with one of these mowers.
It looks like the Toro Tractors are being made for them by MTD. As far as I can tell the rest of their products are made by Toro.
DEK, Beast, and Stanley: www.gxioutdoorpower.com GXi Outdoor Power is a US based company who manufactures their products in China and completes final assembly in the US. They manufacture zero-turns, walk-behinds and wing mowers under the names DEK, Beast, and Stanley. The Stanley logo looks identical to the old U.S. name that has been around for years.
MTD: http://www.mtdproducts.com. MTD has always had a mixed reputation among homeowners because they make a complete line of residential mowers from the cheapest sold to some of the best quality available. For every homeowner MTD makes a mower in a quality/price range that you will be comfortable with. I’ll leave all of the opinions for the tractor/mower forums. MTD makes and sells mowers under the following brand names. They also make spec mowers for Toro, Craftsman, Lesco and other retailers.
Bolens: http://www.bolens.com Primarily sold in Canada.
Cub Cadet: http://www.cubcadet.com At one time – one of the best lines of homeowner mowers here in the U.S. My uncle was part of the design team for the first model produced by International Harvestor. MTD purchased Cub Cadet in 1981.
Cub Cadet Commercial: http://www.cubcadet.com The Tank is very popular for homeowners with large lawns and “two guys and a truck” mowing contractors. I like the application equipment for fertilizing and weed control.
Troy-Bilt: http://www.troybilt.com The tractors are mainly sold through Lowes. The rest of the line (tillers) are sold everywhere.
White Outdoor: http://www.whiteoutdoor.com It looks like the White brand name is being phased out here in the U.S. There is still a website up, but no products are listed. You may still see some of these riders at dealers.
Yard-Man: http://www.yardman.com Yard-Man is MTD’s economy line. The focus of these products in on price. Most homeowners get many years out of these products.
Yard Machines: http://www.yardmachines.com is another economy line manufactured by MTD. I would not be suprised to learn that there are more 38 inch Yard Machine tractors produced than any other.
Arnold: This is MTD’s parts division. These are the factory/OEM parts you need for MTD made products.
GardenWay: The GardenWay corp originally made Troy-Bilt and MTD bought all of the company years ago. You will find a few products under that name in smaller retailers and garden centers.
MTD Pro: This name seems to be targeted to the “two guys and a truck” lawn care businesses. These little guys don’t have enough lawns to warrant a large commercial mower but need something a little better than a residential lawn tractor. The products tend to have less features and more value than MTD’s residential lines.
MTD Gold: In my opinion this brand is just a different name so MTD can sell at both of your local hardware stores.
Huskee: Primarily sold at Tractor Supply Stores. The current models are made for them by MTD
Schiller Grounds Care: http://www.schillergc.com/ Schiller is a diversified lawn maintenance manufacture that produces some of the best quality products on the market. Mantis and Steiner are two names that you know and trust. Their BobCat division made the Craftsman Professional Zero-Turn.
They make products for the commercial and residential markets under the names: Ryan Turf, Steiner, Bunton, BobCat, Brouwer, Mantis, Little Wonder, and Classen
Honda Honda has not made a tractor since 1997 for the U.S. Parts are getting hard to find for the ones still running. John Deere has discontinued their walk-behind mowers and snow blowers and will be selling Honda products starting in 2012.
Wright: http://www.wrightmfg.com/ I would recommend any of the mowers Wright sells. The Stander X is my third choice for the best mower on the market today. The Stander ZK is one of the fastest, high production single deck mowers on the market. I also like the Sentar series. If you have a large lawn, with a lot of slopes seriously look at this brand.
Howard Price: http://www.howardpriceturf.com The website has not been updated for a while and only looks to be up for historic reasons only. These mowers are big, slow, but mow well. Beware, they are very expensive to repair.
Heckendorn: I can no longer find a website for this brand. They were the mower of choice for cemeteries in the 60′s but never got into the zero-turn market well.
Ariens: http://www.ariens.com The “other” big brand that makes a complete line of mowers. They are one of the oldest names in the mower market and make a great line of mowers under various names.
Ariens Tractors at Home Depot: The 2011-2012 models appear to be old Craftsman units made by Husqvarna for Craftsman back in 2008 and 2009. It looks like they just changed the paint and name on the hood.
Ariens: http://www.ariens.com Homeowner Products.
Gravely: http://www.gravely.com A Great name and Ariens has maintained the quality this name has always been know for. They currently have a line of homeowner, commercial, golf and large area mowers. If you have a local dealer, take a good look at these brands.
EverRide: http://www.everride.com as of 2011 the Everride name is being discontinued and the products merged into the Gravely Name.
Great Dane: http://www.greatdanemowers.com/ This name is also going away. The Great Dane Surfer and Wright Stander’s were the first stand-on mowers available. I was influencial in designing the Super Surfer back in the late 1990′s http://standons.com/?page_id=2
National: http://www.nationalmower.com/ National mowers are designed for mowing golf courses. They mow too low for most homeowners.
Locke: http://www.locketurf.com/ This is the mower they use to get the stripes at Yankee Stadium.
Stens: http://www.stens.com/ The parts division of Ariens. Trust this name for parts for all your mowers.
ByNorm: http://www.bynorm.com.au/ Arien’s owns this great Australian company.
Countax: http://www.countax.com/ Sold in England but the “go anywhere, mow anywhere” mowers are a product we could use here in the U.S. Hopefully they will bring over the high grass cutting decks.
Hustler: http://www.hustlerturf.com/products.html Hustler focuses on Zero Turn mowers and have the only working electric right now. They have a line of great quality residential mowers.
Encore: http://seriousred.com/ Encore has been struggling for a while now and it looks like they have been bought out by Worldlawn Power Equipment Inc, a Chinese Company. UpDate: http://www.worldlawnpowerequipment.com/ It looks like worldlawn has kept the factory in Beatrice and is promoting the line under the World Lawn name. Encore always had a good mower, just a poor dealer network, so don’t be afraid to look at this mower.
Dixie Chopper: http://www.dixiechopper.com/ Known as the “world’s fastest mower” Great line, high quality zero-turn mowers.
Deweze: http://www.deweze.com/mowers.html Dedicated hillside mowers. As a homeowner you probably can’t afford one of these. Be careful buying a used one. Most of the used ones I have seen need a lot of work (and expense) to get them back into great shape.
Bush Hog: http://www.bushhog.com/product-line/zero-turn-mowers.html and Woods: http://www.woodsequipment.com Ag companies that also sell lines of zero-turn mowers. You will see a lot of these in rural areas.
Briggs & Stratton: http://www.basco.com/Our%20Brands.aspx The other big mower manufacture. Go to this page to see all of the companies they own. They also make spec mowers for Craftsman and other brands including Massey Ferguson.
Murray: http://www.murray.com/na/en/index.cfm The website currently shows no products but you can get parts through any Briggs & Stratton Dealer.
Snapper: http://www.snapper.com/ Brett Farve’s favorite mower. The RER is one of the longest lasting mowers on the market.
Snapper Pro: http://www.snapperpro.com/ Snapper’s commercial line.
Simplicity: http://www.simplicitymfg.com/ Conquest series, great lawn tractors. Prestige series, REAL Garden Tractors. Legacy series, I would buy one of these just because it has an available bucket loader.
Derby: Now part of Simplicity
Ferris: http://www.ferrisindustries.com/ A unique line of commercial zero-turns.
Beeline: http://www.beelinemowers.com/ A work in progress.
Bad Boy: http://www.badboymowers.com/ Look at the MZ series. Great mower at a competitive price.
Country Clipper: http://www.countryclipper.com/index.html This is another of my favorite zero-turn mowers. I like the single joystick steering.
Recharge Mower: http://www.rechargemower.com/ Recharge is an American Company that makes an electric riding lawn mower. The mower is made in China. They got a lot of press in 2010 because it is an all-electric machine. Watch this company in 2012.
PowerTrac: http://www.power-trac.com/ A heavy duty line of commercial multi-purpose machines.
Grasshopper: http://www.grasshoppermower.com/ Like Dixon, these mowers have always been very popular in the rural areas. Good, heavy duty mowers that will last you many years.
Swisher: http://www.swisherinc.com/ Make a great, high quality residential zero-turn. If you are looking for a wing mower please take a look at the Acrease mentioned earlier before you by Swisher’s Trailmower.
The rest of these listings do not have riding mowers but you will find their accessory products at every dealer and retailer.
Kawasaki engines: http://www.kawpowr.com/ American made!
Kohler engines: http://www.kohlerengines.com/home.htm American Made!
Briggs & Stratton: http://www.briggsandstratton.com/ American Made!
Ohio Steel:http://www.ohiosteel.com/lawntest.html A complete line of Lawn & Garden products for you lawn tractor and garden tractor.
Agri-Fab: http://www.agri-fab.com/ Tools and Attachments. The snowblower or utility blade on the front of your tractor was probably made by this company.
Smithco: http://smithco.com/ I only list this company because I am looking for an old Smithco Bandit. Also was named PUG Badlands. Any Condition. This is the articulated version I am looking for. I would like to buy one cheap and rebuild it. Email me if you find one laying around at a golf course, university, or other commercial building.
Smithco Bandit/Pug Badlands