Can You Tow With a Zero Turn Mower

Zero-turn mowers are now turning into a large lawn owner’s essential machine in keeping a well-trimmed and lusciously green yard. But they aren’t just limited to mowing your lawn or helping you with your landscaping and gardening tasks, it can offer a variety of other tasks to simplify your work around your turf. 

Can you tow with a zero turn mower?

Many larger zero turn mowers have a built-in hitch where you can attach equipment that you can tow. Most tow hitches are added on larger ZTRs since they have a stronger engine that has the capacity to carry or hold the extra weight. However, any zero turn mower can tow, as long as it falls within its weight capacity.

How much weight can a mower tow?

As a rule of thumb, a ZTR can smoothly tow a piece of equipment that is ideally no more than 50% (60% at most) of its weight.  However, when considering the weight of the extensions you’re going to tow, you also have to include the rider’s weight in its capacity to carry and move weight efficiently. But depending on your mower, the weight it can carry may be more or less than its required load capacity. 

For example, a 50-inch Toro Timecutter weighs 621 pounds, if the mower has a 60% load capacity then it can carry about 370 pounds. Given that you weigh about 200 pounds, then the maximum weight your zero turn mower can tow is 170.

Though this is a general rule, it doesn’t apply to all zero-turn mowers. The towing capacity of your mower is always indicated on the ZTR manual. However, if you’ve bought a secondhand mower, always know that residential mowers can tow only up to half of its weight. A commercial mower can tow up to twice its weight, given that it’s designed to pull heavy loads beyond its weight. See "How Much Does a Zero Turn Mower Weigh" to learn more about the weight of light and heavy-duty z-turns.

Why can’t a zero turn mower tow heavier weight?

A z-turn mower is not equipped to carry a load over 60% of its weight mostly since it will put a heavier strain on the engine. Your engine powers your mower to trim your lawn at a certain speed and the more powerful the engine, the more tasks it can handle which includes towing gardening accessories. However, with a smaller engine design to make your mower run, it doesn’t have enough capacity to tow extremely heavy accessories.

Craftsman and Dixie z-turns are designed to also carry heavier weight. They are able to tow about 700-1000 pounds and up to 2000 pounds respectively.

What can a z-turn mower tow?

As long as your mower has a hitch, it can pull various accessories to improve your efficiency in working around your garden or lawn. Your z-turn can mow various gardening accessories such as:

  • pull-behind sprayers
  • fertilizer, or seed spreaders
  • lawn carts or utility trailers
  • aerator
  • lawn sweeper
  • lawn roller

How to install a hitch kit to your zero turn mower?

Towing is essential for gardeners in hauling seedlings, fertilizers, and other materials that a large garden needs for up-keep where a ZTR can fulfill the function of a tractor and tow them across your property. However, most medium- to small-sized zero-turn mowers do not have an installed tow hitch but you can easily buy a hitch and install it on your mower.

  • Materials Required:

  1. Tow hitch kit
  2. Drill
  3. Measuring tape
  • Instructions 

  1. Bring your mower to a secure space on a hard and even surface like your garage or your driveway.
  2. Once you’re in a safer area,  turn your engine off.
  3. Measure the rear support of your mower and mark the spot where you’re going to drill at the exact center of the bumper.

NOTE: Although almost all ZTRs have rear metal support, some are made with a rear fender or cover, do not install your tow hitch on any non-metal material on your mower. 

  1. Drill holes on the metal support to fit the bolts or screws for your hitch.
  2. Position your hitch and add the bolts. After which, secure your hitch with the bolt nut.
  • Types of tow hitches

There are three common types of tow hitches used on zero turn mowers: a simple hitch, towing ball, and a hitch pin. Though there are other types, these three, by far, offer security and the best support for whatever accessory you’re going to tow.

Simple Hitch

A simple hitch or a hitch plate is a small metal plate shaped like a wide L-bracket. The plate comes with a large hole in the middle where you can attach your chain or hook to secure your accessory on your mower.

Towing Ball

The towing ball is literally a small ball where you can loop your chain around or attach your hook. The towing ball is usually attached to a hitch plate.

Hitch Pin

The hitch pin is a large pinhead that you secure on your mower. Some of these pins are magnetized to add an extra hold of your hook, loop, or chain to prevent it from getting undone as you pull your equipment across your lawn.

Zero-turn mowers are versatile machines that drastically improves your efficiency around your lawn. From quick clean mowing to towing massive gardening equipment around your large property, your machine easily becomes your all-around help.

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