If you’re about to slap down a significant amount of money for a lawn tractor, the weight of the machine is easily one of the aspects you should consider. How heavy or light they present to be will affect your mowing experience and the overall performance of the lawn tractor in general. For instance, heavier riding mowers will be much slower to swerve around on the lawn, and wouldn’t fare that well on slopes and slippery terrain, but the majority of them would lay the cut nicer because of the stability of the machine.
On the other hand, the lighter they get the easier it is to run up hills and maneuver around obstacles. However, they will be less stable and thus potentially produce uneven cuts. So how much weight exactly is considered heavy or light for a lawn tractor?
The average weight for lawn tractors is 500lbs (226.796kg) which is approximately 5 ½ bags of cement. 150lbs less than that indicates your lawn tractor is light, and 150lbs more means your mower is on the heavier side. Lawn tractors can weigh anything from 300 – 2000 pounds depending on the model and the purpose of the machine. That is, whether it is a commercial or residential grade mower.
Certain aspects collectively increase or decrease the weight of a riding mower in either significant or small amounts. So, I’ll be breaking the parts down so that you can compare and deeply understand the weight of a lawn tractor. Let’s ride!
A Concise Break-Down Of A Lawn Tractor’s Weight
The engines of lawn tractors carry about 15 to 18 percent of the entire machine’s weight. They can be either the Kawasaki, Kohler, or Briggs and Stratton and will also differ by the amount of horsepower that can be delivered. The more horsepower an engine possesses, the likelier for it to weigh more.
The brand of the engine also determines how heavy your mower will be. This is because all the trademarks manufacture their motors uniquely, and although they carry out the same purpose, they are engineered with different materials that differ in weight.
You’ll find that the heaviest of the lawn tractor engines is the Kawasaki carrying an average of 137 pounds, followed by the Kohler with an average of 118 pounds, and the Briggs & Stratton engines appearing as the lightest with only 94 pounds respectively.
Considering the average number we’ve set aside for a lawn tractor which is 500lbs, the engine could easily be a quarter of the entire machine leaving 3 quarters for other categories.
The transmission system for lawn tractors has evolved drastically over the years. Earlier on, the gear transmission system was the go-to tranny unit for lawn tractors, and they were as heavy as a horse! So heavy that you couldn’t mow through the same path twice or thrice lest a pathway will be formed under the weight of your mower. They were also very difficult to use; changing speeds would require you to stop the machine to effect the purpose, just so that you can gallop around the lawn like in a rodeo. All being said, we are gratified to have evolved.
Nowadays, hydrostatic transmission leads the race. They are much lighter as they weigh fairly 27 to 30 pounds of the whole tractor and require less work to run around with. The downside to weighing less is that, unlike the gear transmission, pulling heavy loads will be a little more challenging as it could fry and weaken the axles if overworked.
The deck of a lawn tractor will vary in size and in the material used to manufacture the unit. Cutting decks weigh anything from 75 to 300 pounds which is easily half of the machine. The deck comprises everything from the shell of the deck, the pulleys, blades, and belt including the caster wheels to function as a unit.
The material also hugely affects the overall weight; some brands use parts and bits of plastic and others would rely entirely on steel. Decks can also come fabricated, stamped, and in categories of 7-11 gauge in density that stir the overall value of the machine’s weight.
In retrospect, the 11-gauge fabricated iron decks are the heaviest of them all. They are also much more durable and long lasting in comparison to the other categories. This gives you a yardstick for measuring what kind of deck you prefer for your lawn tractor.
The batteries for lawn tractors don’t weigh that much at all, but they do add to the overall weight of the machine which is why I see the need to include them. They easily weigh from 7 to 10 lbs depending on the brand you choose. Lead acid batteries are heavier than Lithium Ion cells in general by 1-2 lbs. However, they do go unnoticed because of the vast difference in weight they have in comparison to the other parts of the machine.
Fuel Tank & Gas
The gas tank for lawn tractors varies from 1 – 5 gallons and will hold a capacity of 1-40 lbs in weight if filled to the brim. Still, this isn’t entirely considered the complete weight of a lawn tractor since it constantly fluctuates. It’s preferable to include the weight of gas to the concise weight of the lawn tractor so that if your tractor weighs 450 pounds, adding the fuel to it will become 475 or so.
The tires for lawn tractors weigh about 12 – 15 pounds each fastened to the wheel which weighs about 60-70 pounds depending on the size of the mower. It is assumed that wider tires groove and scalp the lawn in comparison to smaller-sized tires, and this is absolutely wrong. Whether or not your mower will scalp the lawn has little to nothing to do with the weight, and everything to do with the width of the tires. Bigger tires distribute the weight better thus reducing the chances of scrapes and scalps in tight corners.
The frame of the law tractor is the skeleton of the machine and is often considered to be the heaviest part. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t weigh that much. This is because they include more plastic parts in comparison to the other components of the machine. Regardless, some brands do have more plastic than metal which will depend on the model sought to buy. Commercial mowers will have more metal than residential models due to the heavier tasks they require to complete. In general, the frame alone will weigh about 40 – 50 pounds.
Lawn tractor seats can weigh anything from 5 – 25 pounds. There are different types of seats with many features that differ by the materials used to build them. Suspension seats are the heaviest kind because they are infused with extra parts of metal that allow the seats to be installed onto the mower. The plushier and more luxurious the seat is, the heavier it will be.
Should My Lawn Tractor Be Heavy Or Light-Weight?
This highly depends on the terrain or situation you rely on your lawn tractor to tackle. The heavier your mower is, the more durable it is because of the materials used to manufacture it. If you consider tackling professional duties, rough terrain, or aggressive turf, the lawn tractor you’d be needing for that kind of job will weigh above 500 lbs because of the equipment it will be built with. On the other hand, simple residential duties that wouldn’t prove too difficult to tackle will do better with a moderately equipped mower which will be about the adequate weight or even less.
The benefit of lighter lawn tractors is the ability to tackle hills and slopes much better, however heavier lawn tractors will tow much better and thus be more productive. Simply put; the weight of your mower will determine your personal mowing experience.
In many cases, the lawn tractor’s weight is not always considered. Nonetheless, it’s important to fully recognize all aspects of your machine to help you fully monitor its overall cutting performance. A great tip to use when purchasing a lawn tractor is to critically consider the features of your lawn and the requirements you’d prefer your mower to reach. The weight of the mower falls after you have considered these aspects and will suit the responsibilities properly. Good luck!