Some of the riding lawn mowers we reviewed can cost up to $2,800. The Troy-Bilt TB30 R Neighborhood Rider is less than half that price, usually about $1,000. But it delivers a lot for that price. It is a gas-powered, has a decent engine, a 30-inch cutting deck and includes a mulching kit. This is a great budget choice for most suburban homes.
This riding lawn mower is equipped with a serviceable 10.5-horsepower, 344cc Briggs & Stratton engine. It’s not nearly as powerful as our top pick or even some other mowers we reviewed, but for the price, it’s hard to beat. The rear-mount engine placement limits the riding mower to a maximum ground speed of 4.25 mph, but the 30-inch cutting blade is a nice compromise between cutting width and maneuverability.
The Neighborhood Rider uses the FastAttach accessory system. These accessories, sold separately, attach to this riding lawn mower quickly and with no tools required. Optional time-savers such as mulch kits or baggers are available. Some mowers include these accessories, but since the price is so low, it should come as no surprise that this model doesn’t come with all the additions.
The mower uses standard-duty 14-gauge steel for its deck construction. A steel front axle adds durability under the deck, yet this riding mower only weighs 340 pounds for easy loading onto trucks for transport.
The 1.3-gallon gas tank provides all the fuel you need for your lawn, and the fuel gauge is in easy view so that you always know how much it has left. However, this is the smallest fuel tank of all the riding lawn mowers we evaluated—another tradeoff for the price point. If you have a larger yard, you may want to keep a gas can handy.
A six-speed, shift-on-the-go transmission allows you to shift gears quickly without the need to stop and adjust the clutch. The rider comes with what Troy-Bilt calls the operator-controlled reverse system. This system adds convenience because the riding mower cuts while it drives in reverse. The blade height adjusts to one of five different positions.
This riding mower has a wide turning radius of 18 inches. This is tight enough to navigate around bushes and other obstacles. But other products we saw can as turn as tight as 14 inches, and models with zero-turn technology completely eliminate the challenge of navigating potential hazards.
This rider lawn mower works best on smaller projects. It has a medium-back seat for your comfort, but it doesn't include a sunshade, a cup holder or special padding on the steering wheel, so it's best used for short mowing jobs.
The warranty period for this riding lawn mower is two years. This is an acceptable length, but when we researched other models, we found some have three- or even five-year warranty periods.
While it falls short in several key areas compared to the best of the best models we reviewed, the Troy-Bilt TB30 R is an excellent budget pick. It will get the job done quickly and easily and is competitively priced. If you’re in a residential area with small- to medium-size lawns, there may be no need to get a mower that costs more than this.
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