Self Propelled Lawn Mowers
Self Propelled lawn mowers look very similar to standard push mowers however, they do have one key difference. Self Propelled mowers also have an additional handle bar which you must squeeze for the drive wheels to engage. This push assistance is really great when you are cutting long paths of grass or pushing uphill. Some mowers also have a speed setting to set the speed of the drive wheels.
For most home owners a 6.5 HP lawn mower is best if you are adding the Self Propelled option. Anything smaller will most likely bog down in normal height grass. This is almost twice the power needed if you wanted the same power in an un-propelled lawn mower. So figure whatever hp mower you are happy with and add 3hp to drive the wheels.
So is there a benefit to self propelled mowers? Yes indeed. If you have a half acre or more of lawn to cut you can expect to save about 30% of your time and as an added benefit you won’t be exhausted after you are done from pushing it all over the place.
Self Propelled Mowers don’t need a lot of extra maintenance however you should make sure to clean the drive wheel gears after each use. If possible you should also pick a model that uses all metal drive parts. Some models use plastic wheels with molded in gears and a metal drive gear. Over a period of time maybe 1 to 2 years you may wear down the plastic gears by holding back the mower or pulling it against its direction of rotation. At that point you will need to replace the gears or the wheels.