Do Riding Lawn Mowers Have Power Steering?

If you are thinking of giving up your push mower for the ease and convenience of a riding lawn mower, you might be wondering if riding lawn mowers have power steering. Some riding lawn mowers do, and some don’t.

Some riding lawn mowers have power steering. There are two types of riding lawn mowers, lawn and garden tractors and zero-turn mowers. Select new model lawn and garden tractors have power steering, while zero-turn mowers operate with two moving levers for turning. 

A riding lawn mower is a significant investment, so you want to make the best choice for your lawn care needs. Keep reading to learn the advantages of a standard lawn and garden tractor versus a zero-turn mower with power steering. 

Regular vs Premium Gas for Lawn Mowers

Certain Lawn Riding Lawn Mowers Have Power Steering

When you have an expansive lawn, mowing can take a lot of time. One of the benefits of mowing with a riding lawn mower is the ability to get the job done faster and more efficiently. One of the primary benefits of cutting grass with a riding lawn mower is the ease of power steering. 

Pros of Power Steering in Riding Lawn Mowers

Power steering allows for mowing intricate landscapes and tricky terrain that would otherwise need to be cut with a push mower. Some of the benefits of power steering combined with other features create an enhanced mowing experience. 

  • Improved traction with field and track grade tires combines power steering to allow you to mow hills and other difficult terrains. This YouTube video helps you see the difference this tire type adds to cutting ease. 
  • Along with the power steering comes an easy-to-read display panel. You can see the hydraulic power steering engage for mowing.
  • Power steering in a riding lawn mower makes turning the steering wheel easier to rotate. The power applied to the front tires allows for turning and returning to the original steering position with less effort. 
  • The power steering minimizes the effects of bumps when mowing. Since the steering suspension connects directly to the wheels, the power steering reduces the impact of bumps in the mowing process. 
  • The addition of power steering gives you faster response times. Power steering allows you to adjust in turns and tight places quicker than manual steering. 

This diagram of a power steering unit will help you see how the steering connects to the mower movement. 


Benefits of Riding Lawn Mowers With Manual Steering

Many riding lawn mowers have manual steering. While challenging to turn at times, this makes mowing the grass a speedier process. Riding lawn mowers have clear advantages over push-behind mowers. Here are some more critical advantages of using a riding lawn mower.

  • Riding lawn mowers have larger gas tanks. If your yard is big, you likely won’t need to stop and refill the tank in a riding mower like you would a push-behind model.  
  • The riding lawn mower covers more distance in a shorter time frame. Walking behind a lawn mower is a slower process than mowing with a riding lawn mower. 
  • Starting a riding lawn mower typically involves a push button. You must pull the crank rope of a push-behind mower repeated to start the machine. 
  • The riding mower is ideal for more than one acre of mowing. Smaller lawns are fine for a push-behind mower, but a riding lawn mower cuts a large, grassy expanse in a fraction of the time. 

What Is a Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower?

A zero-turn riding lawn mower is a mower that can make an almost complete turn to go back over the same swath of grass. This differs from a standard riding lawnmower (even with power steering), which can make a more limited turn. A more accurate name might be the 180-degree turn mower. 

You can choose a zero-turn mower with a steering wheel, but most common zero-turn mowers have two steering levers for turning and going back and forward. Zero-turn mowers have commercial lawn care applications, but more and more homeowners are purchasing a zero-turn mower for speed and efficiency. Here are the benefits of a zero-turn mower. 

  • Unlike a traditional riding mower, the zero-turn mower can go backward and forward at the movement of the levers. You must shift the conventional mower to reverse and return it to forward when you end up in a tight space. 
  • The lower center of gravity makes zero-turn mowers safer. Most of the weight of a traditional mower sits higher off the ground, while the zero-turn mower has a low center of gravity. This makes them safer to operate at faster speeds. 
  • They cut the grass twice as fast as a riding lawn mower. The traditional riding lawn mower cuts grass at a four-horsepower speed, while the zero-turn mower will cut grass at eight-horsepower. This makes mowing the grass a speedy task. 
  • The zero-turn has increased comfort for the person in the mowing seat. The zero-turn mower seat has more cushioning and a deeper seat base, making the mowing more comfortable.
  • The zero-turn mower is much easier to steer. Its two sticks for turning, backing, and going forward are different from traditional and power steering mowers because they require no wrangling to turn around on a dime. 
  • The tight turn radius lets you get closer to trees and landscape beds. When you can mow close to trees and other landscape features, you can reduce the time you spend weed-eating and trimming. 

Things To Know About Zero-Turn Mowers With Steering Wheels

Some lawn and garden riding mower companies have made a zero-turn mower with a standard steering wheel instead of two turn bars. There are pros and cons for this type of zero-turn mower that will affect your decision to purchase one. Here are some key characteristics to consider. 

Pros of Zero-Turn Mowers with steering wheels include the following: 

  • The ability to operate the riding mower with foot pedals and a standard steering wheel like a traditional riding mower. 
  • The similarity to a traditional riding mower makes learning how to use this mower easier. 
  • The steering wheel mechanism gives you more traction on hills than a standard zero-turn mower. 

The cons of the zero-turn mower with a steering wheel include the following: 

  • The residential zero-turn mower is not as forgiving as a traditional riding mower. Backing into a tree can cause more damage to the zero-turn than a lawn riding mower. 
  • The residential zero-turn mower has a more rugged ride than the traditional riding mower. 
  • A zero-turn mower will tear up your turf if you are not cautious while executing turns. 
  • The residential zero-turn mowers will not pull accessories like a yard cart. 

When To Buy a Traditional Riding Lawn Mower With Power Steering

As with purchasing any machine, you should first decide what you want your lawn mower to do in your landscape. The traditional riding mower with power steering will do the job when you want a machine that accommodates attachments like lawn carts, baggers, fertilizer spreaders, and more.

A standard riding lawn mower will mow the grass well but takes longer than a zero-turn mower, especially when you have a large yard. Choose a riding lawn mower when you have less than an acre of grass to mow; you don’t want to push your mower past its capability regularly, which will diminish the life of the machine.

When To Buy Zero-Turn Riding Lawn Mower With Steering

The zero-turn riding mower is an excellent choice for a lawn over an acre. It is ideal for mowing close to trees, landscape beds, and retaining walls. When you want to cut your yard quickly and with a professional finish, the zero-turn will accomplish this task. 

The wider cutting deck makes fast work of mowing the grass, and the steering wheel on the residential model allows for a relatively short learning curve. While the zero-turn lawn mower finishes the job quickly, it is not forgiving of bumping a curb or tree trunk. In addition, the fast turns can tear up the lawn if you are not careful.


Power steering on your riding lawn mower makes cutting the grass and navigating tight turns easier since you won’t have to manhandle the steering wheel to get it to turn. Some considerations for selecting a standard riding lawn mower or a zero-turn riding mower include:

  • Your personal budget.
  • The size and type of terrain you will be mowing.
  • Whether you plan to use accessories like a garden cart or fertilizer spreader. 


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