Whether you’re looking for some end-of-season deals, or you’re planning to upgrade your lawn equipment, there’s a lot to consider when buying a mower. While you probably know if you want a ZTR, there’s one main choice to make beyond engines and decks: standing or sitting? Here’s why you may or may not want to add a stand-on mower to your lawn care fleet.
The Advantages of Stand-on Mowers
They’re More Maneuverable
By having the operator stand behind the engine, a stander mower can be significantly shorter than an equivalent riding mower. This lets standers maneuver in tight spaces with ease, saving time trimming.
It’s Easy to Get On and Off
With a stander, the operator can easily step off the footplate. This cuts the time needed to move branches and other obstacles out of the way.
By standing on the footplate, the operator has a clear view of the deck and its surroundings. This makes it easier to make tricky maneuvers without running into obstacles.
Standers take up less space, so you can fit more equipment on your trailer.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but using a stander mower is less fatiguing than a riding mower. Having an upright body position is more natural, and constant shifting around on the platform reduces muscle fatigue. The body is able to absorb shocks better when standing, while sitting directs impacts towards the spine. That said, these mowers aren’t a panacea for comfort issues: users do report fatigue of their back, legs, and feet.
Sitting for hours at a time can cause problems with hip flexors and calves, and can result in lower back pain.
The Disadvantages of Stand-on Mowers
With a ZTR, there’s plenty of space to mount bags to hold clippings. Bagging designs for stand-on mowers either need to be built to fit the side of the mower, or use a shorter rack so that the operator can still step on and off of the footplate. Even the best bagging designs will be a third smaller than their ZTR equivalents.
There are few if any attachments available for stand-on mowers. Standers also can’t be used to pull trailers. ZTRs and lawn tractors can also be used for other lawn care tasks like spraying chemicals, dethatching and transporting mulch.
Lower Ground Speeds
Standers don’t move as fast as ZTRs, and have significantly slower transport speeds. The effect of this will depend on your mowing conditions. On open terrain, a ZTR can handily outrun a stander. In areas that have obstacles and require frequent turns, both ZTRs and standers have to move slower.
Smaller Fuel Tanks
Even with the efficiency of EFI, a stander won’t be able to mow as long as a riding mower due to a smaller fuel tank.
Which One Do I Need?
Most landscapers end up with both types of mowers because they fit different kinds of jobs.
Standers are ideal for a half-acre and smaller lawns. Their small size and maneuverability make them easy to use in areas filled with trees, landscape features, and other obstacles. Loading is also easier, so you can keep moving from job to job as you work your way through neighborhoods.
The higher speed, larger fuel tank and increases bagging capacity of a riding mower makes it the best choice for big lawns and wide-open areas. These are great for lawn care on large properties.
Used together, you can play toward each mower’s advantages. The ZTR can cover open areas, while the stand-on mower can cut close to property lines and around trees. This saves time covering turf and reduces the need for trimming.
Stander, ZTR, or Tractor, Shank’s Has It
Shank’s Lawn Equipment is a dealer for a wide range of stand-on and regular ZTR brands including Toro, Wright, and Exmark. We can help you find the right mower to fit your needs, whether you’re a homeowner, landscaper or groundskeeper. We also provide parts and service for everything we sell. Visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.
Need something for your mower? We ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada. To order, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.