Choose Between Stand-On Mowers and Ride-On Mowers

An overview of the pros and cons of stand-on versus ride-on mowers.

Due, in part, to their maneuverability, stand-on mowers have gained popularity in recent years.
Due, in part, to their maneuverability, stand-on mowers have gained popularity in recent years.
John Deere

Do you stand strong for stand-on mowers? Or are you a ride-or-die fan of ride-on mowers?

The faceoff between ride-on and stand-on machines is nothing new. In a recent Monthly Musings article, Green Industry Pros surveyed readers about which type of mower they prefer, and the results varied. 

To help landscape pros decide which is better for their operation, mower manufacturers provide their insight about which mower is better for each application.

Stand-on mowers work well for hillside stability.Stand-on mowers work well for hillside stability.Kubota Tractor Corp.

Stand-On Mowers

For a stand-on mower, the operator mounts the machine via a platform and stands while operating the mower.


  • Hillsides: Stand-on machines provide greater hillside stability. 
  • Softer surfaces: The smaller weight and footprint of stand-on machines allow them to more easily access wet, muddy or sandier surfaces.
  • Small yards: The smaller width and versatility of stand-ons allow them to more easily move around residential properties, especially those that require a lot of trimming and detail work.


  • Good sightlines: Operators can easily see the corners of the machine and the edges of the deck while cutting around obstacles
  • Smaller size: The smaller size of the stand-on mower means it can fit easily into 36-inch residential gates, and landscape professionals can fit more machines on their trailers as the operator platform folds up.
  • Smaller weight: The lighter nature of the machine allows for less of a footprint and less turf disturbance. Therefore, landscape pros can service a property sooner after a rainstorm without the fear of the machine mucking up the turf.
  • Maneuverability: Stand-on mowers are nimble, allowing operators to execute tight turns and maneuver around obstacles easily.
  • Comfort: Many operators find it more comfortable to stand on the machine rather than sit down. Bumps in the terrain are better absorbed over the operator’s full body instead of only through the lower back.
  • Easy on/off: Because operators are standing rather than sitting, they can easily get on and off the machine to pick up debris or move obstacles.
  • Obstacle avoidance: When encountering low-hanging objects such as tree limbs, stand-on operators can easily duck to avoid them.
  • Less expensive: Stand-on mowers are typically less expensive compared to traditional sit-down zero-turns.

Many ride-on mowers include comfort features for the operator, including cushioned seats and ergonomic controls.Many ride-on mowers include comfort features for the operator, including cushioned seats and ergonomic controls.John Deere

Ride-On Mowers

For a ride-on mower, operators have a seat they occupy to operate the machine.


  • Properties that include mowing straight lines back and forth for extended periods of time.
  • Larger suburban and rural properties,
  • Properties that are not broken up by landscape beds, paths, medians, etc.


  • Large deck size: The wider deck of ride-on mowers allows operators to complete a property in fewer passes.
  • Large fuel tank: Larger ride-on mowers can typically accommodate a larger fuel tank, meaning operators don’t need to refill as often.
  • Efficiency: These machines cover more ground in less time, leading to increased efficiency and allowing landscaping professionals to expand their portfolio to take on larger projects without sacrificing quality.
  • Serviceability: The larger machines mean maintenance teams have easier access to service items.
  • Availability: Ride-ons can be more readily available with different specification packages, allowing operators to find the right fit for their needs.
  • Workhorse machine: Ride-ons feature a powerful engine and large size to help landscape pros complete properties quickly and efficiently, without sacrificing quality of cut.


  • Ergonomic features. These machines are often equipped with premium adjustable components that suit operator physique and preference, easy-to-use controls and other features that enhance the commercial mowing experience.
  • Fit for commercial use. Both types of mowers are utilized by professional landscape contractors to generate revenue and maintain grounds professionally.

In the end, it comes down to what landscape pros are trying to accomplish and how each machine would best fit those needs.

In fact, a well-balanced fleet may include sit-down zero-turn, stand-on and walk-behind mowers so that landscaping professionals can tackle a wide variety of applications with peak efficiency, operational flexibility, a reduction in downtime and heightened operator satisfaction.

Sources: Jon Matson, vice president of North American sales, Briggs & Stratton; Steven Benedict, product line manager, turf care, Kioti Tractor; Justin Noland, turf product manager for Kubota Tractor Corp.; Chase Tew, product systems and business unit manager, John Deere; Jared Nuessen, senior marketing manager at Toro Co.