Learning to Drive a Zero- Turn Mower

A zero turn mower is capable of mowing nearly twice as fast as a conventional lawn tractor, so it is well suited to mowing large lawns. Zero-turn mowers achieve their speedy efficiency, however, by employing a non-traditional steering and propulsion system that can befuddle untrained operators.

Practice is the key to learning how to operate a zero-turn mower effectively and safely.

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Most zero-turn mowers are controlled with two control levers. Moving both levers forward makes the mower go in a straight line forward, and moving both levers backward makes the mower move in reverse. Moving just one lever makes the wheels on that side of the mower move either forward or backward, so you accomplish a turn by moving the levers independently of one another. Zero-turn mowers are, of course, able to make a 180-degree turn without moving forward or backward. Doing so, however, can make an ugly gouge in the turf when the mower pivots around the non-moving wheels on the inside of the turn. A three-point turn will solve this problem.

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