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 2017 model year. It does not include many of the hundreds of manufactures of pull-behind and mounted agricultural equipment. 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.
Latest update 3/18/2017: As I get time this year, I’ll finish updating this list. A few brands have disappeared, a few have been sold and there are at least two new brands.
In summary: Husqvarna, MTD, and Briggs & Stratton make most of the riding mower and lawn tractor brands sold by retailers here in the United States. John Deere still makes all of their lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers. There are around 40 additional manufacturers of zero-turns and specialty mowers. The Zero-Turn market is huge so there is always a new manufacture or three trying to make their mark.
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’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 the right mower 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.
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2017 Riding Mowers Sold in the United States By Manufacturer:
Note: I have verified these relationships by researching the latest information on the Internet and talking directly to some of the manufactures. This list is accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Ariens: Homeowner Products. Gravely: A great name for over 100 years and Ariens has maintained the quality this name has always been know for. Gravely has a complete line of zero-turn mowers, walk-behinds and convertible units for the commercial operator. They also have a line of homeowner mowers. If you have a local dealer, take a good look at Gravely!
- Locke: Owned by Ariens This is the mower they use to get the stripes at Yankee Stadium.
Countax: Owned by Ariens. 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.
- Murray: Murray is Briggs & Stratton’s “affordable” economy line. You’ll find these at your local WalMart and other price competitive retailers.
- Briggs & Stratton Mowers.B&S doesn’t make mowers under that name but they do make snow blowers and many other products.
Snapper: Brett Farve’s favorite mower. The RER is one of the longest lasting mowers on the market. Snapper Pro: Snapper’s commercial line. Simplicity: 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. Ferris: Ferris is B&S’s commercial line. But the Simplicity and Snapper lines are incorporating more and more of Ferris’s unigue suspension into the lines. In other words the lines are starting to blur together. A unique line of commercial zero-turns.
As you know by now Craftsman was sold to Stanley-Black & Decker. Although there is a lot of talk about the tool lines – not much is being said about the Lawn & Garden side. Craftsman Lawn & Garden does make up a SIGNIFICANT portion of Craftsman’s sales so I extremely confident that Craftsman L&G will only get stronger over the next 10 years. That said, Craftsman sells a riding lawn mower for every homeowner lawn in the U.S. Everything from a 30 inch rider to a 60 in heavy-duty zero-turn. They have the largest nationwide service network and you can easily get parts for their machines going back 10, 15, 20 years 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 separately in this list. Some of the current specs that are unique to Craftsman for the 2017 model year are: Unique decks that are rated as some of the best cutting decks by Consumer Reports, Turn Tight Steering (5 or 6 inch) on the YT, GT and Craftsman Pro models. Greasable spindles on the large decks, 7.5 mph on the T3000 series and G5500 Garden Tractor.
Craftsman L&G is primarily sold through Sears Stores, but select models are also sold through the independently owned Sears HomeTown and ACE Hardware stores.
Here are the Craftsman mowers, and who manufactures them for the 2017 year:
- Craftsman T1000 series: Manufactured by MTD. Red color
- Craftsman T2000, T3000, G5000 series: Manufactured by Husqvarna. Red color
- Craftsman 30 inch Rider: Manufactured by MTD. Red color
- Craftsman Zero Turns: Manufactured by MTD & Husqvarna. Red color
- Craftsman Pro: MTD Built. They are Black/Yellow in color.
NOTE: Sears.ca: Sears Canada is a separate company. They spec their own products under the Craftsman brand. I don’t know how the sale of the Craftsman brand will affect them.
- CRAFTSMAN™/MC. Sold by Sears.ca. Both MTD and Husqvarna make these mowers. Red or Black color
- CRAFTSMAN PROFESSIONAL™/MC. Sold by Sears.ca Usually Husqvarna. Black/Yellow in color.
Dixie Chopper: Known as the “world’s fastest mower” Great line, high quality zero-turn mowers. Dixie Chopper is now owned by Jacobsen/Textron and many of the Dixie’s positive features are starting to carry over to the Jacobson lines. Jacobson is another of those huge companies that most of us know by their golf course and large area mowers. Jacobson ZTRs. Textron/Jacobson/Ransomes: Textron 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 very, very expensive to repair.
Excel Industries: Big Dog Mowers, Hustler: Excel Industries used to make some of the coolest industrial large area mowers and been making large area mowers since the beginning of zero-turns. But that is a tough market and they have moved their focus to zero-turns using the Hustler brand. I’m not sure why they also paint them red and call them Big Dog though.
Grasshopper: Like the old Dixon ztr, these mowers have always been very popular in the rural areas. Good, heavy duty mowers that will last you many years.
GXi Outdoor Power: DEK, Beast, and Stanley. GXi Outdoor Power is a US based company who has products manufactured in China and imports into the US. They sell zero-turns, walk-behinds and wing mowers under the names DEK, Z-Beast, Beast, and Stanley. The Stanley logo looks identical to the old U.S. name that has been around for years.
Husqvarna: Husqvarna Outdoor Products. 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.
- Poulan Pro: Husqvarna’s other name. Primarily used for retail and online sales. Still good products but not as large of a selection as the Husqvarna line.
- McCulloch: In 1999 McCulloch sold its European division to Husqvarna AB. Nine years later, Husqvarna also acquired the rights to the McCulloch brand on the North American market. Since then, McCulloch is a brand within the Husqvarna Group.
- Weedeater: Weed Eater is an old name but today it’s mainly used for economy retail items.
- Flymo: The first hover mower. A concept that never really caught on but the name still lives.
- 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 Kentucky. The 300, 500 and 700 Series are made in Wisconsin
- There are also Golf and Commercial Divisions that cater to those customers.
Kubota: 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.
Lastec Articulators: No, you can’t afford one but it is one of the most unique mowers on the market.
MTD makes and sells mowers under the following brand names. They also make spec mowers for Toro, Craftsman, Lesco and other retailers.
- Bolens: Primarily sold in Canada.
- Cub Cadet: Cub Cadet was one of the original lawn tractors. My uncle was part of the design team for the first model produced by International Harvestor. MTD purchased the Cub Cadet brand in 1981 and has been making a complete line of homeowner products since then. In recent years they have expanded the Cub Cadet brand to a commercial mower line and today have a complete line from a 30 inch riding mower all the way to the Commercial 35 HP Pro Z 900 Series. Cub Cadet also has the largest offering of steering wheel zero turns. Cub Cadet also offers one of the few “true” garden tractors left on the market – The Cub Cadet X3 series.
- Columbia: Columbia is MTD’s Canadian brand but they are starting to use it as a dealer only brand in the U.S. It is an all-encompassing brand that carries Mowers, Tractors, Riders and Zero-Turns
- Troy-Bilt: The tractors, mowers and snow blowers are mainly sold through Troy-Bilt, Lowes and Amazon.com. The brand is primarily aimed at the residential market and they have a complete line from the least expensive to good homeowner units. They actually have arguably the best cordless handheld products on the market – Troy-Bilt CORE.
- Yard-Man: 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: 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.
- 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 and I believe the brand is owned by TSC. The current models are made for them by MTD
Here is a fairly complete list of names MTD has sold under over the years (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTD_Products)
Bolens, Columbia, Cub Cadet, Cub Cadet Commercial, Cub Cadet Yanmar (joint with Yanmar), Farm King, GardenWay, Gold Series, Gutbrod, Gutbrod-Kehrer, Lawnflite, Mastercut, Mow Master, Mow Master Mastercut, MTD, MTD Black Edition, MTD Silver Edition, MTD Gold, MTD Mowmaster, MTD Platinum Pro, MTD Platinum SD, MTD Pro, MTD Super, MTD Taral, MTD Tradesman, MTD Turbomax, MTD 2000 Elite, Novotrac, Ranch King, Rasentrac, Remington, Ryobi (sold to TTI), Troy-Bilt, Ventzki, Ventzki MTD, White Outdoor], Yard Machines, Yard-Man, Yard-Man Elite, Yard-Man Select, YardWorks
PowerTrac: A heavy duty line of commercial multi-purpose machines. I haven’t seen them at any shows for a while so I’m not sure what’s up.
- Toro also owns ExMark: , and Hayter: (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”
- No One will give you actual numbers but it’s a pretty good guess that Toro and ExMark ZTR’s sell about half of the commercial mower is the U.S.
Worldlawn Power Equipment Inc: Encore has been struggling for a long time and it looks like they have been bought out by a Chinese Company. It looks like Worldlawn has kept the factory in Beatrice and is promoting the line under the WorldLawn and Encore names. Encore always had a good mower, just a poor dealer network, so don’t be afraid to look at this mower.
Briggs & Stratton: American made vertical shaft lawn tractor and zero-turn engines!
Kawasaki engines: American made!
Kohler engines: American Made!
Toro – ExMark engines: Loncin. The Toro and ExMark branded engines are developing a great reputation.
LCT: At this time they mainly sell snow blowers engines. Just the best reputation. Found on Ariens, Poulan Pro and Husqvarna snow blowers.
MTD: PowerMore – Zongshen. Usually labeled the same as the brand. i.e., Craftsman, Cub Cadet, Troy-Bilt. They have the first single and twin cylinder EFI engines for residential use.
Generac: Generac primarily makes engines for generators but a few have found their way to zero-turn mowers. Great Reputation, great engines
Attachment & Accessory Manufactures:
Agri-Fab: Tools and Attachments. The snowblower or utility blade on the front of your tractor was probably made by this company.
Berco: Snow Blower attachments mad in Canada.
Ohio Steel: A complete line of Lawn & Garden products for your zero-turn, lawn tractor and garden tractor.
Gone Away, But Not Forgotten
- Denver Global Raven MPV-7100 MOWER. This mower has been discontinued. You may still find a few on Amazon and eBay.
- Beeline: A work in progress. It’s worth going to their site and watching the 6 minute video to get a better understanding of how the best mid-mount ZTR’s work.
- Derby: Now part of Simplicity/Briggs & Stratton
- Dixon: Dixon The name has been discontinued and I’m not sure why the website is still operational. The Husqvarna residential and landowner series came from this great line.
- 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 influential in designing the Super Surfer back in the late 1990’s. Gravely took this brand and made it one of the best stand-on products in the industry
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 gear driven zero-turns and the mower of choice for cemeteries in the 60’s but never got into the hydro zero-turn market well.
- National: http://www.nationalmower.com/ National mowers are designed for mowing golf courses. They mow too low for most homeowners. Ariens has absorbed the brand
- Recharge Mower: http://www.rechargemower.com/ Recharge is an American Company that made 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. The company no longer maintains a website.
- Yazoo/Kees: Husqvarna officially discontinued this line Oct. 2011.
- Schweiss: Schweiss mowers It looks like the Schweiss is gone.
- Wheel Horse and about 200 other brands of Garden Tractors.