Gold standard on green acres

by Andy Bryenton

Americans take their ride-on mowers seriously. The stereotype of cartoon Texan Hank Hill and his love of a perfect lawn is more than just animated comedy; it’s life for a yard-proud nation. So when one of the top tools and machinery consumer review websites, Best Of Machinery, publishes its yearly list of top mowers, people pay attention.

Judges had some tough decisions to make for 2019, but in the end, they were of one mind. The unbiased panel tested and inspected scores of machines before compiling a top 10, which contains not one but four mowers by Husqvarna.

The Scandinavian power equipment giant will be well pleased; they scored not only the top award for best premium mower, with the Z254 Zero-Turn but also the coveted top of the list gold award.

It went to a machine sold in the US as the YTH18542 (thanks to its 18 horsepower output and 42-inch cutting deck), but you can get hold of in New Zealand under the code TS242, packing mirrored credentials.

Nomenclature aside (we talk kilowatts and centimetres, of course), the machine impresses both sides of the pond, with judges in the US praising its ease of operation, effortless start thanks to a precise auto-choke, and supreme comfort and cut out in the field.

The panel concluded: “This is a powerful, user-friendly workhorse that allows you to tackle large landscapes as simply as if you were driving a car.

“With tons of features and a sturdy build, it’s one of the most impressive options available.” Two other Husqvarna models made the top 10, meaning that the orange brand snagged nearly 50 per cent of possible trophies in the cabinet this year, more than any other make of ride-on. It’s a big accolade in one of the world’s biggest markets for outdoor power equipment, and one which is sure to see spring lawn care customers carefully weighing up their choices. The US may be far away, but a well-groomed lawn is something to aspire to in any language, or with any accent. See the list at