How many hours on a riding lawnmower is a lot?


Modern riding lawnmowers come in a variety of designs, qualities, and sizes. They vary greatly in functionality and specifications. Some of those functions can help you, some of them seem to be more marketing talk. The life expectancy of a riding lawnmower depends greatly on the brand and type. You can expect at least 10 to 15 years. Maintenance is also a big factor. Well-maintained mowers will last considerably longer than ones that lack proper maintenance. The number of hours is a better way to estimate the life of a lawnmower. This article looks into more detail describes what you can expect, how many hours are enough, and what are the deciding factors.

How many hours on a riding lawnmower is a lot?

Riding lawnmowers build to last many years. Our research shows that you can expect a life greater than 10 years. In hours this will be around 500 to 1000 hours. With proper care and maintenance, many can last even 15 to 20 years. Most manufacturers prescribe a life of just 10 years, similar to push mowers. This refers to the engine’s life and most other components. If you own a more popular brand, it will be easier to find spare parts for older mowers.

Buying a riding lawn mower is not something you do yearly. They are quite costly. You expect that such machines will last for a considerable amount of time. Though the manufacturer’s warranty offers only a few years of safety, proper care and maintenance can help the lawnmower last for a long period. Similar to cars.

● 1: Average life expectancy

A well-maintained average-sized riding lawnmower from an esteemed company can last up to 10-15 years of service life. If uncared, it will last a lot less than that. Depending on the size and manufacturer, lawnmowers vary in load-carrying capacity. The number of hours they last also varies. Some common brands with their life expectancies are:

  • Briggs and Stratton: They manufacture mainly small-sized riding lawnmowers for normal-level workloads. The company gives a book life of about 500 hours. With proper care and maintenance, you can double that easily to 1000 hours and even more.
  • John Deere: These are much sturdier machines. The smaller ones easily last 500-1000 hours. The large ones that have a 2 or 4-cylinder engine may even last 1500-2000 hours. The intensity of usage defines the number of hours. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for 15 plus years.
  • Husqvarna: They produce lawnmowers for small-sized yards. They operate well in a low workload scenario and are good for 400-800 hours, depending on their use.
  • Cub Cadet: Cub cadet lawnmowers are much similar to Husqvarna in functions and life expectancy. So 500 to 1000 hours. Proper care and maintenance can extend this, like all mowers.

According to our research, a small-sized riding mower from a good company can last up to 500 hours without much problem. If it is looked after properly, it can double this amount or last even longer.

● 2: Dependency on the size of the engine

Gas-powered riding lawnmowers are fundamentally as powerful as the engine capacity, the number of cylinders, or fuel type. They can vary from a small-sized single-cylinder piston engine to a comparatively larger double-cylinder or four-cylinder piston engine. A single-cylinder riding lawnmower engine can last 500-750 hours due to the greater workload from that single-piston. A larger engine will last longer, up to 1000-1500 hours, if given good care. Those two cylinders have less work to do than just one. You should know that the hour rating for a lawnmower is related to engine life. But in the case of riding lawnmowers, many other parts define the final life expectancy.

● 3: life depends upon the lawnmower build quality and usage

The life span of a lawnmower depends upon how you are using it. Riding lawnmowers are quite costly and need proper care and maintenance. Oil needs to be checked and changed regularly, and filters need regular cleaning as well.

There are many factors into how many hours on a riding lawn mower is a Lot. When you use your mower in a lawn with thick, long grass and twigs, a small lawnmower may get its engine shelf life reduced to just 200-350 hours instead of 400-500 hours’ expectancy. It is because your lawnmower works harder due to extra load than with more average usage. In contrast, a powerful riding lawn mower will not face such a massive difference in the same case. The engine has more than enough power to deal with it, and the other parts are also accustomed to more power. This will only lead to a small difference of around 40-50 hours difference.

Similarly, a lawnmower that suits domestic use and put in a commercial environment may not last even as long as the estimated life. The yard size will affect the shelf life of a lawnmower combined with the time the machine is used in an environment that exceeds its design.

Different parts of the riding lawnmower may have their own life:

  • Blades: They need to be sharpened after every 30-40 hours. You can sharpen them a maximum of 5-6 times before they need to be replaced.
  • Engine and gas tank: They are built sturdy, so they should last the estimated life with ease. This is, of course, with proper care and maintenance. If you leave your engine to work with too little oil, it can damage the engine really quickly.
  • Carburetor and other components: They have rust as their basic enemy. You can expect to see this after 5 years. Again, if you leave your lawnmower outside in the rain, you can see this much quicker. Expect to do some work on the carburetor during the lawnmower life.

● 4: How to increase the number of hours that a lawnmower will last

As we have mentioned, proper care and good maintenance can increase life expectancy well above the expected life. Here are some factors that can influence this:

  • Check and change the oil regularly: After 50 hours of usage or annually, ensure that oil is changed. In between, you should check the level and quality of the oil by looking at the color.
  • Clean the air filter regularly: The air filter should be checked periodically, at least a couple of times per season. Expect to replace it appropriately each time the oil is changed. When you take out the lawnmower after a closed season, do a thorough cleaning.
  • Regular usage: Like all machinery, regular usage of the lawnmower keeps its cylinders, fluids running. It also ensures that the gas in the carburetor is not getting old. This is necessary for a better and rust-free life.
  • Sharpen the blades: Check the blades before each mowing session. Sharpen the blades after every 30-40 hours of mowing and at least once per season.
  • Maintain the belts: Ensure that the belts are tight and properly greased after regular periods to keep the engine smooth. Check them for wear and tear and damage. Replace when needed.
  • Efficient spark plug: A defective spark plug can cost you a lot in the form of unburned fuel, damage to cylinders, and engine life reduction. Check it regularly, and replace it when needed.
  • Proper battery maintenance: Maintaining the battery helps to keep the lawnmower in good shape. Remove it during the winter, and use a battery charger with maintaining mode to keep it in good condition during the winter. Check the water level after every 10 hours of use if you have a battery where this is possible.

Frequently asked questions:

1. What is the best riding lawn mower on the market?

Nowadays, the best riding mower is the one that fits your budget and use case. There are not a lot of really bad types on the market. Brands like Husqvarna, John Deere, Toro, and Craftsman riding lawnmowers, have an average life expectancy that is really high. With proper care and maintenance, this can be up to 20 years. Depending on your work environment, choose the right brand. John Deere produces good commercial-scale mowers. Husqvarna and Craftsman are more into domestic use.

2. What can happen if I over-load my mower?

It would be best if you use your lawnmower in an environment that suits its working specifications. If you over-load a lawnmower with high and tough grass, you can expect to stain the engine and other parts more. This will lead that its working life gets reduced. If this over-load happens more often, the engine and other components can get severely strained and can require costly fixes to keep your mower working. Always try to match your lawnmower to the type of jobs you intend to do with it.

3. Should I go for a new lawnmower or buy a second-hand one?

This is a difficult one. You can buy a perfectly used lawnmower that can still last a long time. Particularly if it is from a good quality brand. It will save you money compared with a brand new riding lawnmower. It helps if you know how the previous owner took care of his machine. Buying a used mower will make it possible to find a slightly more powerful one than you would get if you buy a new one. If you have a more powerful one, there will be less strain on the lawnmower when you use it. With good care, this helps to extend the lifetime. Before getting one, analyze the condition of crucial parts like the blades, engine, carburetor, and mower’s deck. If they feel well looked after, and the price is right, it can be a great option.

Final remarks:

With proper care and maintenance, you can expect a lawnmower to be working well for many years. An average riding mower can last for ten to fifteen years, or in hours 1000 to 1500. Not well maintained, you can expect half of that. There is no set rule to define how many hours are enough on a riding lawnmower. As explained in the article, they may last much longer even after their shelf life suggests if they are properly used. You can stretch their life by taking basic care of them. We hope this article gave you a better understanding of how long a riding mower should last.

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