What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Riding Lawn Mower
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What is the average lifespan of a riding lawn mower? This article looks at how long a lawnmower should last and when it is ready to replace.
How Long Should a Lawnmower Last?
Lawnmowers are not a cheap investment, and if you are serious about taking care of your garden, you will want to buy the right mower for the job. Ultimately, this means a mower that will last you a long time and not require frequent and expensive repairs. However, the average life of a lawnmower can differ depending on several factors.
These determining factors include:
- - The manufacturer of the lawnmower, given that some are more reliable than other
- - The size of your mower
- - The size of your garden.
- - How often do you plan to use your lawnmower?
Naturally, most lawnmower manufacturers will provide a standard warranty for their products, covering any repairs or damages over the average life expectancy of the mower. However, if you are thoroughly careful about maintaining and regularly servicing it, your lawnmower may well last beyond the initial warranty.
A typical lawnmower lasts up to 10 years when correctly looked after. But if you are more reckless and are not interested in keeping your lawnmower well maintained, it might only last half as long before it needs repairing or replacing. Most manufacturers measure their expectancies in hours of use rather than years of service, so it mostly depends on how much you use your lawnmower.
For instance, many cheaper models of lawnmower are typically made to last around 200 hours of use. These are the standard models of mower that might be better suited to those who only trim their garden once in a while. However, if you are a keen gardener or a professional, the more expensive models, with lifespans of up to 500 hours of use, might be the better choice.
What affects the life expectancy of a riding lawnmower?
Suppose you look after your riding lawnmower properly, servicing it at least once a year and maintaining it after every use. In that case, you can expect a good model from a reputable manufacturer to last up to ten years with proper maintenance and care. Naturally, if you do not care for your riding mower at all, it will last a lot less than ten years.
The size of the lawnmower and its manufacturer have the biggest impact on its service life, given that they vary in load capacity, with more robust mowers lasting far longer than weaker or smaller ones. Here is a selection of petrol-powered riding lawn mower manufacturers and the typical lifespans of their products:
- Briggs and Stratton: These mowers are designed specifically for domestic use rather than the John Deeres above. That being said, Briggs and Stratton have put a warranty of at least 500 hours on their mowers, which can easily be doubled with good care.
- Cub Cadet: Like the previous entry, these Cub Cadet mowers are more used in smaller gardens or basic riding mowers. Don't expect anything too powerful, but they'll get the job done. With around 500 hours of use being the average, this again can be doubled with regular maintenance.
- John Deere: These tough little machines can last well beyond 500 hours for the smaller models. On the other hand, the larger models can reach lifespans of up to 2000 hours of use. Their larger four-cylinder engines make them one of the most robust and hardy riding lawn mowers out there. With regular servicing and maintenance, these mowers can last up to 15 years.
- Husqvarna: Another manufacturer catering to small, domestic-sized average lawnmowers, Husqvarna is a cheaper but cost-effective alternative to those who are weekend mowers. Typically reaching around 400-800 hours of use, depending on how frequently you mow your garden.
As an average rule, your smaller domestic riding mowers will last roughly up to 500 hours of typical use in your garden. But, again, we reiterate that through regular, annual servicing and constant maintenance, whenever you use them, you can easily double this life span up to 1000 hours of use. Therefore, if you are careful, smaller ride-on mowers might just be the most cost-effective option for you.
Size of the engine
Alongside the manufacturer being a determining factor in the lifespan of your riding mower, the size of its engine will also affect how many hours of use you can get out of it. As a rule, smaller single-cylinder riding lawn mower engines will not last as long as larger two or four-cylinder models.
Given there is only one piston to carry out all of the work in a single-cylinder riding lawnmower, this will put added strain on the engine. This strain means that these smaller-engined mowers will typically last up to 500 hours of use, pushing to 750 hours with proper care and maintenance.
Larger riding lawnmowers, such as those with four-cylinder engines, last far longer. Usually, these larger mowers may last 1500 hours of use when cared for properly. Given that there are more pistons to share the workload, it is easy to see why larger riding lawn mowers last longer.
Lawnmower build quality
Not only is the engine a major consideration in how long a lawnmower will last, its build quality and how you use your mower will also affect its lifespan. For example, a basic lawnmower with roughly 500 hours of use in it will quickly be cut down if used in a garden with overgrown grass and hard roots or twigs. Giving a weaker mower extra work to do is a sure-fire way of wearing it out quicker.
On the other hand, more robust riding lawnmowers will not be troubled by hard work and can handle almost anything you throw at them. Multiple-cylindered mowers will have enough power to cut grass in any tricky environment. However, the increased durability entirely depends on how much work you give your lawnmower.
For example, a standard domestic lawnmower is perfectly fine, cutting small gardens or patches of grass through the summer months. But if you put it in a commercial gardening setting, where it will be used almost every day in different environments, it will quickly wear out.
Additionally, different components of the mower will wear out more quickly than others:
- Engine and fuel tank: These are usually the most sturdy element of a riding mower and should easily see out the machine's lifespan. Naturally, this depends on your taking good care of the lawnmower, as running the engine with too little oil will damage it.
- Blades: Your lawn mower blades will need sharpening every 30 to 40 hours. Although they will need replacing at some point - you can't just resharpen them forever. Usually, after 5 or 6 sharpenings, you will need to replace your lawnmower blades.
- Other components: Rust is the number one enemy of the riding lawnmower. Given that they operate in wet conditions a lot of the time, it is easy to accumulate a lot of rust on your mower's components. Therefore, roughly every five years is a good timescale for replacing any damaged or rusted parts. Naturally, through regular maintenance, you will see if any parts need changing sooner.
How to increase the life of a lawnmower?
A common thread through this article is that with proper care and maintenance, you can make your riding mower's lifespan stretch a lot further. Here are a few more tips to help guide you in the right direction and help you keep a well-maintained lawnmower:
- Bright spark: A faulty spark plug can cause some serious damage to your riding mower's engine. Unburnt fuel, damaged cylinders and general wear and tear to the engine will ultimately lead to more expensive repairs. Therefore, simply replacing any worn or faulty spark plugs may save you money.
- Air filter cleaning: Each time you take the mower out for a spin around the garden, you should check the air filters are clear when you're done. You will need to replace your mower's air filter roughly every time you change the oil.
- Keep things ticking: As with any piece of machinery, the worst thing you can do is let it sit quietly for too long. Regularly running your riding mower around will help keep the cylinders clear and the oils loose.
- Oil check and change: Once you have used your riding lawnmower for around 50 hours, you should change the oil in the engine.
- Belt and braces: Ensuring all drive belts are tight and lubricated is the best way to ensure your riding lawnmower runs properly. Replacing these belts when they wear out is also a necessity.
- Power:Ensuring that your mower's battery is well looked after is another way to keep things running smoothly. Taking the battery indoors during the winter and keeping it charged on a maintenance mode is the best thing to do.
- Blade sharpening: Before you begin any mowing session, you should always check the blades. After 30 to 40 hours of usage, you will need to sharpen the blades again to keep them cutting properly.
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