9 Best Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain 2023

Mowing a rugged lawn is not the most thrilling activity. But, with the excellent riding lawn mower, it could become something that you can enjoy. 

  • Riding lawn mowers come in varied sizes, and for different rough terrains – hilly or bushy.

Below, we give you seven of the best, giving areas where you can use them. Related: Best zero turn mower for rough terrain

Mowers: 9 Best Riding Lawn Mower for Rough Terrain 2023

1. Simplicity 2691477 Courier Zero Turn Mower

Rather than a steering wheel, the Courier Zero Turn Mower has instead, two joysticks sticking out to the sides of the vehicle for navigation.

Simplicity 2691477 Courier Zero Turn Mower Check Price on Amazon

This riding lawn mower has excellent suspension, with a front axle that has shock absorber dampeners as well as a swing arm rear suspension.

  • This feature makes it perfect for rough terrain.

It comes readily assembles, meaning that once you have it delivered, you’re ready to begin. 


  • It is built for durability as it is compact with the thick-walled and sturdy body.
  • They are suitable for large lawns – the smallest one has a 42-inch cutting deck.
  • It allows you to remain comfortable in your seat with adjustable cutting height.
  • It has excellent suspensions and shock absorbers.


  • The joysticks may be uncomfortable for those used to a steering wheel.

2. Ryobi Electric Riding Lawn Mower

The Ryobi riding lawn mower is a battery-operated lawn mower that is elegantly built and looks pleasant to the eye.

Ryobi Electric Riding Lawn Mower Check Price on Amazon

Because of the battery-operated system, this is an excellent environment-friendly lawnmower.

  • It has three brushless motors, which will provide you with the power that you need when you are clearing a large lawn.

It is electric; therefore, there are little added expenses, as you’ll not need to replace belts and or filters or buy fuel. With a two-hour battery run time, you’ll find great use of this riding lawnmower. 


  • It is environmentally friendly.
  • It is cheaper to maintain.
  • It has excellent speed, which would allow you to remain efficient as it comes with a small cutting deck of just 38 inches.
  • It operates quietly, thus, reducing the level of noise pollution.


  • It has no suspensions, which makes a move through the rough terrain a jarring event.
  • For use only in small lawns as it has a battery life of only two hours.

Related: Best Cordless Hedge Trimmer

3. Troy-Bilt 540cc Engine Riding Lawn Mower

Troy-Bilt has a reputation for building high-quality lawn care machinery and equipment. Their lawn mowers stand out, and this model of their riding lawn mower is no different.

Troy-Bilt 540cc Engine Riding Lawn Mower Check Price on Amazon

This Troy-Bilt 540 machine is a lawnmower that they built like a small tractor. It has a front-mounted engine.

This lawnmower comes with a 46-inch cutting deck, thus, an efficient mower for large tracts of land.

  • It is an automatic foot-pedal transmission, making it easy to work with and enjoy the process of mowing the lawn.

It is perfect for the rough terrain, as its design is comfortable, with the steering wheel very responsive and padded. It also would work well mowing in reverse. 


  • High suspensions, so very comfortable for use at length.
  • The steering wheel is well padded and comfortable.
  • The deck rises and lowers with ease, thus improving efficiency as you adjust the height you cut. This feature makes it great for going over hilly areas.
  • Delivery is well thought out, with the company taking care to deliver the product intact.


  • Because of its high seat, you’ll have a hard time using it if you are short.
  • It has low speeds. Thus, you’ll crawl on the lawn with it.
  • It has problems when you need to lawn very tall and thick grasses.

4. Husqvarna YTA18542 Mower

This mower immediately stands out because of its bright orange color. But that is just aesthetics. This Husqvarna is well-built and robust, with speed adjustable to match the blade and how you want it.

Husqvarna YTA18542 Mower Check Price on Amazon

With an engine that powers up to 18.5 HP, this is a machine that will cut your lawn and work well on the hilly terrain.

  • It is an auto transmission, and this will be easier to operate in the field, needing very little input.

With a 42-inch cutting deck, it’s possible to use a medium-sized to a large lawn; it has quite a high speed, meaning that you maximize efficiency. 


  • It has excellent suspension so that you’ll use it for long periods on rough terrain comfortably.
  • Efficient because of the high transmission speed. You can use it on a large lawn while spending less time.
  • It comes completely assembled and ready to use.
  • Strong and sturdy, it is a machine that is built to be durable.


  • While you can use it for hilly lawns, the slope should not be more than 15 degrees slanted.
  • It is more expensive since it is an automatic transmission.

5. Ariens 915223 IKON – X 52 inch Zero Turn Mower

The Ariens is a massive lawnmower that you can mistake for a small land mover.

Ariens 915223 IKON - X 52 inch Zero Turn Mower Check Price on Amazon

It packs a powerful 23 HP Kawasaki engine, which drives it with high torque even when the speed is low, on top of being quiet when in operation.

  • This power means that it will roll over tall grasses and hills with little problem.
  • It has a cutting deck of 52 inches, so you’ll make fewer passes if your lawn is large.

It is built to last, with a robust, sturdy exterior. It also comes with a three-year warranty on all Ariens dealers, a testament to the confidence the manufacturer has in the product. 


  • The sturdy build means it is durable.
  • High engine power even at low speeds.
  • Free shipping.
  • It has a comfortable seat with armrests.


  • You operate it will joysticks on the sides, which may be uncomfortable if you are used to a steering wheel.
  • Its suspensions are not very useful, with the machine getting a little jarring.

Related: Best Lawn Mower with Mulcher

6. Craftsman Z560 54 inch Mower

Craftsman has been in the farm machinery business for years, with quality lawn mowers and snowplows, among other machinery.

So, it is only natural that they will have a high-quality mower in the Z560.

Craftsman Z560 54 inch Mower Check Price on Amazon

The Z560 comes with a massive 54-inch cutting deck for cutting, trimming, and clipping in one take, and a powerful 24 HP engine. The two combine to make this a monster in large lawn operations.

With a comfortable high seat and two levers that meet in front of the chair for control, this lawnmower will be comfortable throughout the activity.

You can also mow it on reverse without pausing. You’ll also cover a wide area fast as it also has impressive speeds. 


  • The broad cutting deck with different functions makes this an efficient machine.
  • Its powerful engine will take it over hilly areas with ease.
  • Its comfortable seat will ensure that you mow for long periods without needing a break.
  • 360-degree turning radius, which makes maneuvering easier.


  • It has no traditional braking system.
  • The broad cutting deck may not be useful in a lawn full of trees.

7. Husqvarna MZ 61

The MZ61 is another massive lawnmower with high power and a broad cutting deck.

Husqvarna MZ 61 Check Price on Amazon

With a deck clocking at 61 inches and an engine with a power of up to 27 HP, this riding lawn mower is one that you’ll use to its maximum on large lawns.

  • Despite the wide cutting deck, the lawnmower is surprisingly slimmer, with only the blade extending beneath the machine.
  • Weighing at over 300 pounds, this is one product that is packed with features to make mowing more comfortable.

It has a high backrest seat and padded hand grips for comfort. It also has suspensions that help reduce vibrations with the mulching kit coming separately. 


  • The wide cutting deck and high engine power increase efficiency.
  • It is strong and durable.
  • It has a deck height pedal for when you want to get over small obstacles.
  • It is shipped well packaged and fully assembled.


  • High maintenance due to the high engine speed and power, which increases gas usage.

Related: Best Riding Lawn Mower for Tall Grass

Considerations for Best Riding Lawn Mower in Rough Terrain 

You’ll need to find a mower that is durable and well-built, one which will not loosen up and jam when it comes across little obstacles.

These machines do not come cheap, so finding the one that will last you for a long while also maintaining low costs of operations is critical.

1. Easy To Use

You’ll ride this equipment in a rugged landscape so you’ll need one that is easy to steer, allowing you to avoid, or go over obstacles with ease.

  • The steering wheel or navigating gear should be well padded to protect your hand from all the vibrations going on.
  • You’ll also need one with comfortable seats, which will include full suspension seats or seats with extra padding.

There are those with high seatbacks or mid-back. A high backrest provides more stability and is more comfortable. If you find one with armrest, it will even be better.

2. Cutting Deck

The width of the cutting deck determines how long you’ll take to mow your lawn. If you have a large yard, then you’ll need a mower with a broad cutting deck.

  • You might also consider one with shorter cutting decks if your lawn is full of obstacles such as trees or large rocks to navigate small spaces between them with ease.

For better usage, use riding lawn mowers that have no less than 38 inches cutting width.

3. Transmission

The type of transmission that you’ll use will depend on your preference and ability to spend.

A manual transmission will come at a lower price and will last you longer, while an automatic transmission will be costlier but will take a burden off your shoulder when in operation.

  • Hydrostatic transmissions are smooth as they do not use belts and, thus, last longer. However, they have a very high price tag.
  • A CVT transmission uses two pulleys of different widths, with one connecting to the wheels, and the other to the engine.

With the pulleys working off each other through changing in their diameters, they offer a smooth and steady transition.

No transmission system is perfect. Each comes with advantages and disadvantages. Knowing how your lawn operates to work your way through which transmission will work best for you.

4. Warranty

A warranty is a guarantee that the manufacturer has confidence in his product. When you go for a riding lawn mower, go for a manufacturer that gives a long-term warranty for their product. A few of the above riding lawn mowers come with a minimum of two years’ warranty.

Getting a product on warranty will also save you potential costs that you would have incurred without the guarantee. Manufacturers’ defects will always happen.

A warranty is there to safeguard you as a consumer, as well as build the reputation of the manufacturer. A manufacturer will not issue a warranty on a riding lawn mower that is faulty, as it will cost them.


Maintenance is the crucial link between you and a well-working riding lawnmower.

  • So, sharpen the blades at least twice a year and ensure that you do not use them on wet grass to avoid the grass clamping the edges.

With the best riding lawn mowers at your disposal, you’ll achieve a beautiful, welcoming lawn in your home, no matter how rugged the terrain is.

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