How to Use a Zero Turn Lawn Mower


Zero turn lawn mowers operate unlike any other lawn mower type. They are larger and heavier than lawn tractors, and the mower decks are available in larger sizes. The wheels on the left side of the machine work independently from the right side of the machine. It will take a little while to get used to running a zero turn lawn mower. But because you can turn such a large lawn machine around on a dime, you will get your yard work done in a shorter period of time compared to using a lawn tractor.

  • Check the fluid levels, including engine oil, transaxle oil and fuel, the air filter, and the muffler.

  • Mount the mower by stepping onto the foot plate on the front end of the machine. Turn around and sit on the seat. Adjust the forward or rearward position of the seat using the pull lever.

  • Place the motion control bars in the start/shutdown position. (This position may vary depending on the zero-turn lawn mower model.) Turn the mower engine on using the ignition key.

  • Move the mower forward by pushing both of the motion control bars forward slowly. The transaxle allows the left and the right side wheels to move independently of each other. Pushing the motion control bars forward different amounts will cause the machine to turn in one direction or the other.

  • Turn to the left by pushing the right motion control bar forward. Turn to the right by pushing the left motion control bar forward.

  • Reverse the machine straight by pulling both motion control bars backwards at the same time.

  • Reverse and turn to the left by pulling the left motion control bar backwards.

  • Reverse and turn to the right by pulling the right motion control bar backwards.

  • Complete a 180-degree turn by pushing the left motion control bar forward and the right motion control bar backward. To turn the opposite direction, reverse the directions of the motion control bars.

  • Engage the mowing deck by adjusting the deck to the correct cutting height using the deck height adjustment lever. Engage the mower blades by either pushing or pulling the engaging switch on the control panel.

  • Move the mower manually (without the engine running) by disengaging the transmission. This is done by pulling out a bypass valve lever on each side of the rear end of the machine. These levers are typically level with each rear axle.

  • Clean the mower deck by attaching a garden hose to the cleaning port on the deck. Turn the water on and start the mower engine. Engage the mower blades and turn the throttle up to full power. Run the engine at full power for one minute. Then decrease the throttle, turn the engine off, turn the water off, and unhook the garden hose.

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