Time to mow your lawn. The ride on mower you have dreamed of for so long as finally arrived and your desperate to jump on and get started. Before you do, take some time to go over your ide on mower and get accustomed to it. Understand how your ride on mower works and get used to instructions to make sure your experience is safe and productive. This is a procedure you can follow to make sure your first mow is a great one.
Ride on mowers are moving vehicles. What’s more, their cutting decks hide multiple sharp blades, creating a huge safety risk. Because of this, a routine systemic approach is needed to ensure safety and a good performance. Just like learning to drive a car, it’s very important you learn how to drive and properly control your ride on mower.
Despite being fun to drive, safety is a huge factor when handling a ride on mower, So educate yourself on how to drive them, how to maintain them and what to do if something goes wrong.
Here’s a system for you to follow that will make certain you experience safe operation, good performance and help in keeping your ride on mower nicely maintained.
1. Start off by sitting down and reading your user manual from cover to cover. This will give you a run down of the particulars that make your machine unique, the safety features and any restrictions it has.
2. Secondly protect yourself by wearing the right clothes. These include closed-toed shoes and protective eye. Consider additional protection against sun burn and wind factor.
3. Get into a habit of checking fuel and oil levels.
4. Mount the mower. Engage the parking brake. This should be engaged anyway as the ride on mower is in a parked position, and many mowers won’t start unless this is engaged. Your manual will detail this for you.
5. This step depends on the steering system your ride on mower has. For over the lap control levers, push the left and right steering levers outward. The mower won’t start unless the levers are in the outer position. For twin lever steer levers located between your legs, the levers need to be in the pushed back (towards the front) position. For traditional wheel steer ride on mowers, just make sure the wheels are straight.
6. Ensure that the blade engage button or lever is turned off.
7. Engage the choke lever. And push the throttle to it’s max position.
8. Now it’s time to start your mower. Turn your ignition key to the on position. Once on, you can reduce the choke and the amount of throttle.
9. Release the parking brake. Ease the ride on mower forward by pushing the steering lever, or levers, forward slowly. If your mower has a steering wheel, then it will be equipped with a gas pedal, gently put pressure on it until the mower moves forward. Guide the mower to the part of the yard where you’ll begin mowing.
10. Stop the mower when you’ve reached your starting point, and engage the blades using the blade button or lever. This engages the blades, so be certain there are no people or animals in your path. Once again, gently accelerate until you’ve reached a comfortable operating speed.
11. Make long, sweeping passes over the lawn. Avoid sharp turns. Unless your mower is designed for mowing on slopes, avoid traversing on the side on a hill. Instead mow up and down a hill, moving from one side to the other. Most ride on mowers are tested on 11 degree slopes. There are some available that are testing up to 17 degrees on the side mowing and 33 degrees when mowing up and down.
12. Keep your eye out for things that could be classed as hazards. We’ve already discussed rocks and stumps and toys. Even if it looks organic, it’s best not to try and mow over it. The time to stop the mower and move it will be less of a hassel than repair any breaks from a collision. Impact damage can blunt your blades and potentially damage your drive shaft. If you find that you have areas you cannot reach with your ride on mower then you’ll need to finish these off with a trimmer mower, line trimmer or a hand mower. Areas such as this can include the underside of bushes, fence lines, and right alongside walls and tanks.
13. Once you have finished mowing turn off your blades during transportation.
14. Clean your ride on mower. Equipment only lasts as long as you look after it. Clean the underside of the mowing deck with a hose to remove built up grass. Clean the grass ans dust off the air filters and engine covers with an air compressor. Never use water on this area. Top up your fuel and check your oil again.
15. With your dealer organise a maintenance plan. The blades will need sharpening from time to time. It’s good to do this in the off peak season to save time. And you will also need to follow guidelines for maintaining your engine with regular oil changes.