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How to Use a Riding Lawn Mower

How to use a riding lawn mower featured image.

A riding lawn mower can be a lifesaver for homeowners with limited mobility or a large yard. They are very handy tools, but precautions must be taken to ensure everyone’s safety. Although there can be a lot of variety between different models of riding mowers, this article will outline the basics of using one properly.

How to Use a Riding Mower

1. Prepare the Mower

Before even getting on the mower, it is important to make sure there is an adequate amount of gas and oil in it. If necessary, add these fluids now. You should also visually inspect the belts and other moving parts to make sure they look like they are in good working order.

2. Start the Mower

Your riding lawn mower will likely have a key to start, similar to a car. Insert the key while keeping your feet on both the brake and clutch pedals.

On many models, the brake and clutch are actually controlled by the same pedal. Next, turn the key. If everything is working as it should, this will start your riding lawn mower.

3. Adjust the Blade Height

You will find the lever to adjust the cutting height of your blade near your seat. If it is not there, consult your manual to see where your model has one. You may want to experiment with different heights on your riding lawn mower before finding the perfect one for your lawn.

4. Shift

You will use the gear shifter to get into a low gear. You will need to release the clutch and the brake. Now, it is time to drive the mower onto your lawn. It is ideal to keep your mower in a low gear while you are cutting your grass.

Most riding lawn mowers have five or six gears. Each gear will have a different top speed. Gear one will have the lowest and gear five or six will have the highest. You can fine-tune your speed to suit your needs by using the throttle lever.

5. Drive onto the Lawn

Before going from the concrete to your grass, you will need to hit the blade engagement button. Your riding lawn mower may have a switch instead of a button. It is ideal to stop your mower before turning on your blades by pressing the brake and the clutch to stop it. Once you are ready to start cutting simply release those pedals and drive onto the lawn.

6. Cut the Grass

You are now ready to tackle your lawn. Most people are thrilled at how quickly they can cut their grass and how much fun they have while doing so. Many models of riding lawn mowers have steering wheels that are very similar to a car. Others have levers in place of a steering wheel. Your manual will have specific information on the best way to operate your mower.

7. Put the Mower Away

Before driving your riding lawn mower off of the grass and back onto the cement, it is important to turn off the blades. You will need to simply press the blade engagement button or flip the switch again. Clean off any grass before storing your mower.

Safety Tips

Below we’ve listed a few actionable tips you can put in place to ensure that you stay safe while mowing the yard.

  • Be sure that you have read your owner’s manual from cover to cover and understand all of the safety features.
  • It is important to know how to stop quickly in the event of an emergency.
  • Dress appropriately for mowing. You should wear heavy shoes or boots as well as long pants. Do not wear any loose fitting clothing.
  • Clear the area before mowing. Remove any debris and make sure there are no children or animals in the area.
  • Only fill the gasoline tank when the engine is cold. If you end up needing to refuel during the job, you must let the engine cool off before doing so. Never smoke near gasoline.
  • Always start the mower while sitting in the driver’s seat. You should never attempt to start it while standing next to it.
  • Only one person can sit on a riding lawn mower at a time. You should not have any passengers, especially children.
  • Always slow down before going down hills.
  • Never attempt to get off the riding lawn mower while it is still one. Stop it properly before dismounting.

Final Thoughts

Learning to use a riding mower isn’t as simple as hopping on and hoping for the best. You need to make sure you take a precautious approach, whilst ensuring you follow appropriate safety guidelines. We hope this post has given you the tips and confidence to help you become great on a riding mower.

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