Instructions For Correctly Operating Zero Turn Ride On Mowers
The latest trend in grass cutting is the zero turn ride on mower, which is fast and agile and can easily outmaneuver models that rely on a steering wheel in order to turn. This is because the drive wheels turn independently and are powered by hydraulic motors, one on each axle – one side can turn in reverse whilst the other turns forward, causing the mower to turn around on the spot! If you have recently invested in one of these models, here are some operational instructions:
1. Choose a model that is appropriate for your needs
For medium to large lawns, you will be looking at a machine with 15 to 18 horsepower. For very large lawns (over an acre), you will be looking at a machine with 22 to 25 horsepower. Make sure you speak with a salesperson if you are having trouble deciding.
2. Read the owner’s manual for your particular model
Every mower will come with an owner’s manual that has been written by the manufacturer. It is essential that you read this before attempting to operate your machine, as it will outline important safety information and user tips that you will need to keep in mind.
3. Familiarise yourself with each of the controls
There are a number of main controls that you will need to familiarise yourself with, including: the ignition switch, park brake, mower clutch (to engage the blades), deck height adjustment, and steering arms. You will need to check your machine over before starting.
4. Find a spot on your property to practice driving
Because the steering, acceleration and general feel of driving a zero turn model will be a new experience for most people, it is recommend that you find an open area on your property to practice in first. An open space will ensure that you don’t accidentally crash!
5. Sit down on the mower and take the steering arms
Before starting the engine, you will need to adjust the steering arms so that they’re in a comfortable position. Usually, they will tilt in and out (left and right) from the centre of the machine. Many models also have an option for adjusting the neutral position.
6. Start up the mower and get a feel for the motion
When the engine cranks, push the choke knob in and pull the throttle back to a fast idle. When you’re ready to go, release the park brake. Push the steering arms forward to move forward, pull them backwards to reverse, and push the right one forward to turn left.
7. Practice making sharp turns and learn the deck
To turn on the spot, reverse the steering arm on the side that you wish to turn on and advance the opposite arm. This will also give you a chance to learn how wide the deck is and how it maneuvers when you are doing sharp turns (to avoid jamming).
Once you are comfortable and familiar with your zero turn ride on mower, you will be ready to begin mowing your lawn! Make sure that you take it slow the first few times, as this will help to avoid making a mistake or accidentally crashing the machine. It is also important to take care on steep hills (as they can cause you to roll over) and near obstacles (as they can cause damage), as well as to watch out for any bystanders.
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.