How to Disable the Seat Safety Device on a Garden Tractor

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Safe operation of a lawn tractor requires that you remain seated while the vehicle is running.
Safe operation of a lawn tractor requires that you remain seated while the vehicle is running. (Image: tondre le gazon image by fotogisèle from Fotolia.com)

Garden tractors can be dangerous tools if not used properly. Manufacturers of garden tractors and riding lawn mowers install different safety devices that prevent the vehicle from continuing to operate when a driver is not present. The most common safety device on a garden tractor or lawn mower is the seat safety switch. The switch disengages the motor when the rider stands up from the seat. Disengaging the safety switch creates a potential hazard. Use extreme caution when operating a machine without the proper safety devices functioning.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire cutters
  • Plastic wire connectors
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire trimmer

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Raise the seat and locate the safety switch. The switch will have a plunger assembly that either is mounted on the seat or directly beneath the seat, that is pressed in when you sit down.

Cut the wires going to the switch with wire cutters. You will have two wires going into the switch. Cut them both approximately 3 to 4 inches from the switch.

Start the garden tractor. Cutting the wires opens the circuit, which is how most of the switches operate. Proceed to Step 5 if the tractor starts and runs without issue. Some seat switches require the circuit to be closed when the vehicle is in operation. Proceed to Step 4 if your safety switch needs the circuit to be closed.

Trim a quarter inch of the rubber casing off of the end of each wire with some wire trimmers. You need to expose a small amount of wire. Twist the exposed wires together and twist on a plastic wire connector. Start the tractor to verify that the engine will continue running at this point. Your tractor will run with either the wires spliced or not spliced, depending upon the switch. Should your vehicle not start at all after disconnecting the seat switch, you have a complex safety mechanism that requires the attention of a professional to disengage.

Wrap the ends of the wires with electrical tape. Wrap the spliced wire with electrical tape around the wire connector. Make sure there are no exposed wires.

Tips & Warnings

  • Leaving 3 to 4 inches of wire connected to the seat switch enables you to splice the wires back onto the switch at a later date if desired.

References

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