There are a wide and varied range of attachments available for zero turn mowers. These attachments can really boost usefulness of a mower beyond grass cutting. Attachments can help boost the number of services which commercial users can offer to their customers. It also crucially means that one machine can be deployed to do a variety of tasks, rather than requiring the need for a whole host of separate machines. This can save a lot of money, save on transportation costs and means maintenance can be a lot more focussed and is often simpler.
The most popular zero turn mower attachment is a bagger, but other implements can really help you get the most out of your investment. Take, for example, front mounted snow blowers and snow blades (plows) which can extend the usefulness of a ZTR mower into the winter months, long beyond the end of the grass cutting season. Similarly brushes and more specialised leaf pushers can be front mounted and can help with clearing up debris in the fall.
Both mid and front mount ztr mowers can accept attachments but usually the front cut type, with its power take off (PTO) capability, can accept a wider variety of accessories. Certain attachments really favour front-cut models. These attachments can (relatively simply) be attached in place of the front mower deck and will not change the size, balance or performance of the mower. Importantly they will also not affect the manoeuvrability of the mower. Snow blowers and debris blowers for example, struggle without the traction and PTO capability offered by front cut ZTR mowers. Many attachments will also throw a mid-mount mower out of balance, leading to a whole host of problems.
In the general landscape maintenance and improvement realm spreaders and sprayers are available for many zero turn lawn mowers. A spreader is ideal to spread such varied materials as granular fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide and even seeds. Similarly sprayers are available to handle tasks such as flower and tree watering, pest control, weed control and turf maintenance.
Some zero turn mowers come with a hitch (usually needed for all attachments) as standard. In cases where no hitch exists the user will have to fit one (or have one fitted) before using rear attachments. In the case of front attachments an adapter or weight kit may need to be fitted. It is increasingly common for manufacturers to fit a quick hitching mechanism to their mower, which makes fitting, unfitting or changing rear attachments much easier. This is especially important to the user who needs to quickly change a variety of attachments, say for example a professional ground care specialist.
It is just not the manufacturers themselves supplying these attachments - there are many specialist companies producing a varied range of aftermarket attachments to suit every need. TurfEx is a great example of a company producing a wide range of innovative cost effective tools to extend the uses of and boost the productivity of zero turn radius machines.
Operator comfort is also not ignored. Many manufacturers offer a soft canopy option to protect the operator during winter work, or a zero turn mower sun canopy to shield the user from the blazing sun.
It is perhaps worth checking with your mower manufacturer (perhaps through the medium of your local dealer) before buying an aftermarket attachment to seek advice an avoid potential warranty issues.
Most people will be happy to install ZTR attachments themselves, although for peace of mind many choose to have their attachments installed by a professional equipment dealer. For such a professional installing attachments is a breeze and can save the end-user a lot of time and potential frustration!
Attachments are an ideal way to maximize the productivity of zero-turn mowers, and get them working at times of the year when they wouldn't traditionally be used. They also help the user to think of their mower as more than just a grass cutting machine. Grass cutting may be it's primary role, but it can also spare the owner from a wide variety of back breaking labor. Not many people would mourn the demise of snow shovelling!