Riding lawnmowers can save a lot of work when the grass is growing, but transporting them can be a serious challenge. Even if you take the mower deck off, they’re wide at the tires.
For a small engine tool, they’re fairly tall. Finally, they’re quite heavy.
If you need to transport a riding lawnmower to another location, you may be curious if it will fit inside a minivan.
This article will answer that question along with other important information.
Will A Ride On Lawn Mower Fit In A Minivan?
As a general rule, riding lawnmowers will not fit in a minivan. Curiously, the problem is not the weight; minivans can carry more than 1,500 pounds and most riding mowers top out at 500 pounds. The real trouble when trying to put a riding more into a minivan is the height of the mower. A standard minivan door is 42 inches or shorter. Riding lawnmowers are generally 48 inches tall.
Without disassembling the mower, there’s really no way to take 6 inches off the height of your riding mower without letting all the air out of the tires.
However, at this point, it will not be safe to drive. Putting the weight of your mower on a flat tire can break the bead that holds in the air.
You may also suffer “squelch”, or the folding of the track of the tire on itself. This puts incredible pressure on the integrity of the tire and may lead to failure in the future.
If you absolutely need to put a riding mower into a minivan, it can be done by taking apart certain parts of the mower.
The engine cover, seat, steering wheel, and deck will all have to be removed. If you have the tools and some patience, removing these items can be done.
Keep in mind that even though you decided to disassemble the mower, you can easily damage the inside of the minivan by the time you get everything inside.
The following video shows exactly how you can remove certain parts of the mower and place it inside a minivan.
What About A Cargo Van?
A cargo van can easily carry your riding lawn mower. Unless you are transporting a brand-new mower, you will also bypass the risk of messing up the family vehicle with the lawn mower.
Most cargo vans have either a bare metal floor or rubber matting that will allow you to easily clean up anything dripped by your riding mower.
Do take care to fully secure the mower and make sure it’s locked down. If you have to make a hard stop, the weight of a riding mower bouncing around in the back will make your cargo van very hard to handle.
Center the weight of the mower over the back tires and strap or tie it if at all possible.
What About A Pickup?
Almost any pickup should easily handle the weight of a riding lawn mower. As it’s loading, pay very careful attention to the wheel wells, especially if the mower deck is attached.
Once the mower is in the truck bed, it is likely stable. However, in the event of a wreck, the mower deck can do a lot of damage to the wheel wells from the inside.
It really doesn’t take long to strap down a lawn mower. If you don’t have ratchet straps, your new mower gives you a reason to buy some. Once you own them, you’ll find even more uses for them.
It may seem silly to tie down something so heavy, but even a boxed mower can slide if you have to make a hard stop.
An out-of-control mower can cost you a back pickup window or break the latch on your tailgate.
What About an SUV?
Sadly, modern SUVs also top out at about 42 inches of door clearance. Many SUVs have a door clearance of 32-33 inches like my 2017 Nissan Rogue.
Even if you fold down all the seats and forklift the mower into a large SUV, it won’t fit.
Should you find an SUV with doors your mower can clear, take a hard look at the floor.
Your SUV may have terrific hauling and towing power, but the fold-down panels that allow you to store the seats are plastic.
If you get the mower in there, make absolutely sure that your mower is centered over the metal floor panels of your vehicle and not resting on those plastic panels.
Dropping 500 pounds of lawn mower through a plastic panel on a folded seat will likely damage the frame of the seat. It will certainly make getting the lawn mower back out quite a challenge.
That being said, some SUVs can make your lawn mower transport a bit easier because an SUV can tow a much heavier trailer than a minivan can.
Why Get a Trailer?
Your riding lawn mower is going to need to be maintained on a regular basis. Unless you are well-versed in small engine repair, you’re going to need to get it to a mechanic for a tune-up in the spring and a clean-up in the fall.
The attachments will also need to be maintained on a regular basis. Owning a trailer will make this transport process much easier.
Additionally, trailers are much lower to the ground than minivans, cargo vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs. Driving a riding lawn mower up a ramp into the bed of a truck will take some courage.
Backing it off the bed of the truck will take even more. Invest in a trailer with a drop-down gate that can serve as your ramp and the transport will be much simpler.
It will also save you from storing ramps and running the risk of lining them up incorrectly.
Riding lawnmowers can flip if your ramp fails. If you are thrown off, you could be seriously hurt in the landing.
If you’re not thrown off, you become an airbag to 500 pounds of lawnmower.
Get a trailer designed with a sturdy folding ramp.
In most cases, a riding mower will not fit in a minivan as is. It will need to be taken apart as the mower will be too big to fit through the minivan’s rear hatch.
If you have an older minivan and don’t mind the possible dirt and damage from the mower, you can take some time to disassemble it and place it inside. Providing you have a few strong people with you to help.
The better way to transport the riding mower is with a utility trailer or cargo van. This will prevent stress and save time along with damage to the mower and the vehicle.