There are, of course, a great many terms and phrases that apply to both walk behind lawn mowers and ride-on lawn mowers and tractors. For the purpose of this guide we will only be dealing with those that are specific to ride-ons. There is glossary of generic lawn mowing terms available in the lawn mower section.
Automatic: One of the drive systems commonly found in ride-ons. This is a standard variable speed drive where you reach a speed using the pedal and when you take your foot off you cruise at that speed until you alter it.
Cupholder: Exactly as it sounds, but worth including as people do not always appreciate how useful and important it can be to be able to have somewhere to put a cold drink in hot weather, (or a hot drink in cold weather) when you are spending a long time on a ride-on. Some models also come with similar indentations/spaces for keys, mobile 'phones etc
Control Panel: This is the same as dashboard in a car, the place where the main controls for your ride-on are situated. (See image below)
Footplate: The area on which you place your foot when sitting on the ride-on. These can be designed for comfort with cushioning on more advanced models and the control pedals will be situated in this area.
High-Back Seat: Pretty much as it sounds, this is an extra high seat, which gives enhanced back support and is usually more comfortable than a standard sea
Hi-back seat Standard seat
Hydrostatic Drive: An advanced drive system for ride-on mowers and tractors, usually found on high-end models. The hydrostatic drive uses liquid to transfer power (hydraulics). With this easy-to-use system the acceleration pedal is totally responsive and responsible for all speed changes, with smooth acceleration and infinite control. If you take your foot off the pedal you stop, if you press harder you go faster. This means cornering and obstacle negotiation are easier and more manageable and you generally have more control and mobility around the lawn.
Manual: As it sounds, this is a standard type gear based drive system for a ride-on.
PTO: This stand for 'Power Take-Off' and is the means by which the ride-on transmits power to the mowing deck or other implement, in addition to powering the wheels.
Step-Through: Like a step through bike, some ride-on mowers and tractors are designed so you can step on and off with no obstacles from one side of the driving position to the other, so the steering wheel, pedals etc are not obstructing you when you are mounting or dismounting.
Transmatic Drive: A ‘shift-on-the-go’ drive system. You press down on a clutch and pick a speed setting and release the clutch. You don’t have to accelerate through your gears like manual drives, you just pick a speed and drive at that speed.
Twin-Cut: As it sounds, a twin cut ride-on mower has two contra-rotating blades fitted in the cutting deck for a wider, cleaner cut. (See image below).
Turning Circle: This is basically the same as the turning circle of a car. This means the area within the circle is not touched in the circle and therefore will not be cut. Some manufacturers use the term turning radius and some use turning diameter. Obviously the radius of a circle is half the diameter, so be aware of this when looking at specifications.
Zero-Turn: A very advanced feature found in some ride-on mowers. This eliminates the problem with the turning circle (see above) as virtually all the grass is cut as you turn on the spot.