Starting a Riding Lawn Mower
When looking for the best piece of equipment to keep your lawn up to snuff, many people would suggest a Gas lawn mower for its ease of use and the job that they do at cutting. This is a good alternative if your garden is fairly small and you enjoy doing the odd spot here and there.
But if your garden is large, or you need to cut a commercial sized field, then a riding mower would be a better-suited alternative. With a much wider cutting deck available to use, riding lawn mowers are designed for bigger spaces because the cutting deck is normally 25-32 inches. This size can increase, but if you were to go higher you’d be left with a tractor.
Reasons to Choose a Riding Mower
Even though riding lawn mowers may significantly more expensive than push mowers, they come with a number of advantages. Needless to say, when you make use of a riding lawn mower, you will have to put in less physical effort. At the same time, these mowers often tend to cut faster and have fewer stall outs. As an added bonus, you are also likely to find that a riding lawn mower will last much longer than a push mower.
If you give it some thought, you may be surprised to find that a riding mower’s cost about the same price as a push mower in the long run. While some mowers may last as long as 10 years, most end up being useless within 3 years. On the other hand, when you buy a riding mower, it may last as long as 15 years with a minimal amount of maintenance. Since these machines are far more durable, you are also likely to find that you will not need to change as many parts.
Individuals that have large lawns to take care of usually find that a riding mower will meet their needs better than a push mower. While your initial investment may be a bit higher, at least you can look forward to years of reliable service, and an opportunity to cut the time spent on yard work by a good amount. At the very least, if you are planning on buying a new mower this year, you should not automatically take riding mowers off your list.
Operating a Riding Mower
Before you learn how to start a riding lawn mower, it’s necessary that you understand that some important safe measures.
Here are some tips when using a riding mower that you should follow:
1. Safety goggles are highly recommended. Not only can dust and grass clippings irritate the eyes but also small stones and other debris may be flung from the blades, and if you’re unfortunate enough to get one in the eye it will cause serious damage and even blinding.
2. Stones can be thrown out of the machine at high speeds, so wear appropriate clothing. Wearing shorts, for example, is not recommended, even if you have to cut the lawn in the summer sun – a flying stone can cause serious cuts.
3. Ear Muffs for some riding mowers are recommended. Although modern mowers are designed specifically to reduce as much noise as possible if you are going to be using your mower for a sustained period of time it might pay to invest in them – your lawn isn’t worth damaging your hearing over!
4. Most injuries could easily be prevented if riding mower operator’s wore sensible shoes. Never operate a machine in bare feet, or even sandals. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it ?!?
5. Long hair and loose items could be tucked away or tied back. Not only can the hair distract you from your job but more to the point it could get stuck in the mechanics of the machine and cause a rather nasty injury.
6. If you have sweaty palms or you are using the machine in wet conditions it’s advisable to wear gloves as this will help you grip the steering wheel and maintain better control at all times.
7. If you are going to be using the mower for a long time in the summer (better than using it in the winter!) then pop a hat on your head and some sunscreen on your arms.
8. Make sure that the adjustable sitting position is correct for you. Ensure you are comfortable and can easily reach all the controls.
9. If you are lucky enough to have a drink holder on your mower use it and stay hydrated!
10. Always wear the seat belt – the last thing you want to do is fall out of a moving riding mower.
How to Start the Mower
Now that you have learned the above safety basics, you should know how to start this kind of mower. The following are the steps to follow.
1. Sit comfortably on the seat. Using your left foot, press the clutch lever on the left side of the mower. After this, slide the parking brake to the right side of your mower.
2. The next step is to move the gear shift lever into neutral position and ensure that the blade control lever is disengaged.
3. Slide the throttle lever of the mower between the fast and slow position.
4. Start the ignition switch using the ignition key. This is done by turning the key to the right. After starting the ignition, ensure that the engine is cracked for 15 seconds. The engine should start right away after this time.
5. After the engine starts, push back the choke knob of the machine and slide the throttle to the faster position. Allow the engine to warm up before you begin enjoying your ride as you mow the grass.
As you have read, riding mowers are very efficient especially for a large lawn. They are easy to use and usually cut the grass faster compared to Front Wheel Self Propelled Lawn Mowers. Just like any other mower, a riding mower will need regular repairs if it breaks down. You can fix some of the repairs yourself but if they’re complicated, don’t hesitate to take to a mechanic.