Zero-turn mowers remain unrivaled in terms of speed, maneuverability, and efficiency. They can quickly plow around obstacles, are faster, and will produce a manicured-looking lawn. What’s more, these mowers can accommodate a wide range of attachments, including bag clippings, rollers, sprayers, and more.
Can Zero Turn Mowers Plow Snow?
Zero-turn mowers can plow snow. You’ll only need to attach a snowplow or a snowblower attachment and enjoy the value of having a two-in-one machine. However, using a zero-turn mower to plow snow has its shortcomings, which we shall look at later below.
What is a Zero Turn Mower?
A zero-turn mower has a zero-turning radius, which means that it can turn a complete circle, 180 degrees on each side, on its own footprint.
And unlike mower tractors, these don’t have a steering wheel. Instead, a zero-turn mower has two steering handles. Their mowing deck is usually in front of the machine, while that of conventional lawn tractors is found underneath. See “Zero Turn vs Riding Mowers” for more information and an in-depth comparison.
The Benefits of a Zero-Turn Mower
Zero-turn mowers are quickly overtaking the mower marketplace and for all the right reasons. Below are some of the advantages of using high-quality ZTR.
- Better maneuverability
Thanks to its zero-turning radius, a zero-turn mower can maneuver through tight areas with ease. Their steering handles also allow quicker and flawless forward and reverse movements. Simply push the handles forward to propel the machine and pull it backward for reverse movements.
One of the most notable differences of using a zero-turn lawn mower compared to traditional options is its speed. They are twice as fast as typical mowers, with an average speed of 5-8 mph. Most other lawn tractors have a speed of just 3-4mph.
- Achieve attractively and uniformly cut lawns
With a lawn tractor, you’ll need to make a wide rotation after reaching the end of a mowing row. As a result, wide strips of uncut grass are left out. To mow these patches, you’ll need to make back-and-forth movements, which often create uneven cutting length.
A zero-turn mower takes away all this hassle. Thanks to its 180-degree right and left rotations, you’ll mow all grass in a single pass. This creates a uniform mowing pattern and reduces the overall mowing time by half. Learn more on how to mow with a z-turn mower.
- Easy to drive
For first-timers, driving a zero-turn lawn mower may seem complicated, but once you get the hang of it, everything is flawless.
That’s because instead of the traditional pedal brake and steering wheel, these have two operator handles. Each steering wheel is connected to one of the rear wheels. Pushing the handles causes the mower to move forward while pulling results in reverse movement.
To propel the mower forward in a straight line, push both levers simultaneously, being keen to keep them even. If you want to rotate your mower to the right side, then you’ll need to move the right-hand handle further forward than the right-hand handle. Reverse this action when curving to the left side.
Can You Put a Snowblower on a Zero-Turn Mower?
Despite the numerous benefits of these mowers, we often store them away during winter, awaiting the next mowing season. But did you know that you can use your zero-turn mower to plow snow?
Attaching a snow blower to a zero-turn mower is an affordable and easy way of adding value to your z-turn, making it useful all year round. Unlike standard snow blowers that are extremely slow, the plowing speed when using a snow blower on a zero-turn mower will be up to three times faster.
That’s because a typical snow blower relies on your physical strength, making the process too time-consuming. What’s more, because you already own the mower, you’ll only need to purchase a snowblower attachment, which may be cheaper than buying a conventional snowblower tool.
How do you install a Snow Plow on a Zero-turn Mower?
Different plows are available for different mower models. However, the process of installing a snowplow on your mower is straightforward.
You’ll begin by disconnecting the battery or removing the spark plug of your machine. Ensure your zero-turn mower is on a flat surface to prevent it from rolling over. Now remove the deck and lower the mower deck. The next step involves installing tire chains. Finally, attach the plow blade, and you’re now all set.
Zero-turn Mower Snow Plow vs. Snowblowers
Zero-turn Mower Snowplow
A snowplow comprises a metal or steel blade attached to the front of a zero-turn mower or any other vehicle. The metal blade has a curved design to scoop and displace snow as directed by the operator.
These are easier to use than snowblowers. That’s because most zero-turn mowers are self-propelling and don’t require a lot of physical effort to function. You’ll only need to guide them as needed. Snowplows are also quicker and more efficient. They can plow large quantities of snow within a short time compared to snowblowers.
Advantages of a snowplow attachment on a zero-turn mower:
- Comfortable and easy to use
The operator in a zero-turn mower is usually seated and will only need to use a little effort to control the mower using the easy-to-use steering handles.
- Ideal for plowing heavy snow
When using a standard snowblower, the operator is prone to fatigue since the snowblower largely depends on their physical effort. However, with a snowplow attachment on a z-turn mower, you can handle heavy snow on more extensive walkways and driveways.
A z-turn mower will move up to three times faster than a snowblower. This saves you a lot of time that you would have spent outside freezing in the cold.
Disadvantages of using a snowplow attachment on a Zero turn mower:
- You are limited on where to put the snow.
- There is poor visibility at the end of the pathways and driveways.
- Because you are adding an extra attachment, your z-turn mower will occupy a larger space making it a little challenging to maneuver in the snow.
- In case of heavy snow, you’ll need to have piles of snow cleared to make room for more plowing, which is, of course, expensive.
A snowblower, on the other hand, is a free-standing unit specially made to disperse snow. It contains a rotating blade that collects snow and channels it outside. However, a snowblower relies on the user, who guides it from behind.
Standard snowblowers are usually compact, making them easy to store. They will also maneuver more easily in smaller spaces. What’s more, they come with all the necessary safety features for a flawless experience because they have been specially made for handling snow. If you are clearing small walkways and driveways, the snowblower will suffice.
Advantages of using a snowblower:
- Great visibility.
- Compact and easier to store away.
- Maneuver more easily in small spaces.
- Great for clearing small areas.
Disadvantages of using a snowblower:
- Tiring to push around when clearing heavy snow.
Are Snowblower Attachments on a z-turn Mower Any Good?
You see, a z-turn mower doesn’t operate well on wet turf. That’s because the wheels tend to spin easier due to the two-lever steering. Here are five reasons why you should probably think twice before buying a snowblower for your ZTR mower:
A snowplow attachment shortens your mower’s life.
Unless your z-turn mower is well-suited for heavy use, pushing a snowblower attachment or snowplow against heavy snow will significantly shorten its life.
They are challenging to Maneuver in Heavy Snow.
Adding a snowblower attachment to your z-turn mower adds at least two extra feet in front of your machine. As a result, you’ll have low visibility, and maneuvering in the snow can be quite challenging. You’ll also need to manually scope away all the snow at the end of your pathways and driveways.
Installing the Snowblower attachment or plow is time-consuming.
To install any snowblower or plow attachment, you need to remove the deck, which you will again have to reinstall during mowing.
Requires larger Storage Space.
Remember adding any attachment to your z-turn mower adds about two extra feet in front of the machine. Thus, you’ll need a bigger storage space than you’d need with a standard snowblower.
The cost of buying a snowblower attachment may be equal to that of a free-standing snowblower.
The price of a snowblower attachment can go as high as $1400, while that of a decent free-standing snowblower is about $1000. Snowplow attachments, on the other hand, cost between $300 to $800.
Thus, when plowing light snow in small spaces, buying a standard snowblower may be the most economical option.
Zero-turn mowers are quicker, easy to use, comfortable, and clear large areas of heavy snow. On the flip side, they are not as easy to maneuver as with a snowblower. Using them significantly shortens the mower’s life. And they’ll need larger storage space.
But whether a snowblower or a snowplow attachment on a zero-turn mower is the best choice solely depends on your preferences and the amount of snow you are mowing.
I hope this resource was useful. Please feel free to share your experiences using zero-turn mowers to plow snow.