Here is a list of the 2016 Estate, Semi-Pro Zero Turn Mowers (L-ZTR). There are over 425 lawn tractors, residential, estate, and semi-pro zero-turns available for you to pick from this year so I’ve broken them down into four lists.
Please note: This list is obsolete., If you don’t know what size and type of zero-turn is best for you please start here:
Please go to the 2017 list here: Best Zero Turn Mowers 2017 – Heavy- Duty Mid-Price Residential Models
How To Size Your Mower Deck.
You need two measurements determine how large of a cutting deck you’ll need. The size of your property and the distance between obstructions.
Deck size refers to the width of the cut. The wider the cutting deck, the quicker you will be able to mow your lawn. But remember, bigger is not always better. A 46 inch economy deck will always cut more evenly than a 54 inch economy deck. Look at the distance between your trees, landscaping, swing set and above all the size of door to your storage shed. You need an opening 4 inches more than the width of the deck (with the discharge chute up.)
30″-34″ Decks. Please consider a deck less than 42 inches only when you have narrow gates and a perfectly flat lawn to mow. These small zero-turn mowers take a lot of practice to use because they don’t have good traction in the rear and are notorious for tearing up your lawn. They are also very top-heavy compared to the larger zero-turns and in my opinion are not safe to operate on any type of slope. You can actually tip one over going around the roots of an old tree.
42”-46″ Decks. 42 and 46 inch decks work very well for most people. If you have an acre or so to mow these will quickly get the job done for you. The 46 inch decks stick out from under the mower a little more so they are easier to use when trimming around landscaping and under bushes. A 42 or 46 inch deck will fit in the back of a full-size pickup.
48″-50” Decks. A 48 inch deck will mow your lawn about 20% faster than a 42 inch so they are a good choice for one to three acres. With the discharge chute down a 48 inch deck needs about 54 inches to go between an obstruction. The wheelbase is typically wider than a 42 inch ZTR so it can handle slight to moderate slopes better.
52″-54″ Decks. If you have the room between your obstructions or have large open areas to mow a 50-54 inch deck will save you 30-40% time over a 42 inch. Economy models tend to “flop” around so the cut will not be as even as a smaller deck. The estate and semi-pro models will cut well.
60″-61″ decks. This size is a very common size for landscape professionals. The brands all engineer these decks to cut well and fast. With a 25 HP or larger Pro or commercial grade engine these decks will cut up to 5 acres an hour.
72″ decks. I don’t recommend 72 inch decks unless you have 5 acres or more of flat, smooth lawn. These are best suited for large scale commercial properties where the quality of cut is not as important as the quantity