Every piece of lawn equipment requires some safety precautions, as every type of equipment has certain dangers that go along with it. Riding mower especially need safety measures in place, as they are large, heavy machines with plenty of moving parts that can catch a person unaware. Zero-turn riding mowers are relatively new to the residential market, and come with some of their own peculiar problems. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind if you have a zero-turn riding mower.
Read the Safety Manual
As with any piece of equipment, thoroughly read your safety manual before getting on the mower. This manual will familiarize you with any specific safety needs for the mower. This is particularly important if your mower comes with safety measures that are technologically advanced or model-specific.
One of the unique issues with zero-turn mower is the fact that the majority of the weight is located over the rear wheels, instead of evenly distributed as it is on regular mowers. This factor needs to be taken into consideration when making turns and mowing near drop-offs.
All lawn mowers need special considerations on slopes, but zero-turn mowers need even more attention. As the front end is merely where the mowing deck is and the back end is what does the turning and braking, turning on a slope can create major difficulties. If you try and turn a zero-turn mower while heading down a slope, you may find it difficult, or even impossible on a steep slope, making the possibility of an accident high. If you have to mow slopes with a zero-turn mower, always mow straight up and down the slope. If you will have to turn around an obstacle, do it when you are heading up the hill, not down the hill.
Zero-turn mowers have a tight turning radius, which makes them popular but unsteady at times. Twitchy, jerky turning motions or attempting to turn sharply at high speeds will result in rollovers.
Getting in Tight
One of the biggest advantages of the zero-turn mower is the ability to cut close to objects. Don’t cut too close though, as an inadvertent twitch could cause the mower to bump into something or spin the deck over and area you don’t want to mow. You’ll still need a push mower to do the edges. The same goes for drop-offs and culverts – it’s tempting to get in close thanks to the capabilities of the zero-turn mower, but you should stay well back, as the weight and width of the mower can lead to getting stuck or going over the edge.
By paying attention to some of these specific issues that come with a zero-turn mower, you can make use of these new, efficient mowers properly, saving time while staying safe.