Here are tips to consider when operating a zero-turn mower.
Zero-turn mowers offer operators the efficiency, maneuverability and productivity to get the job done – and in a lot less time. However, like all lawn mowers, ZRTs require careful operation to prevent accidents when mowing around water, drop-offs, retaining walls, culverts, steep inclines and in wet environments. Any of these conditions can cause a loss of mower control, increasing the risk of a rollover or other accident.
In combination with seat belts, rollover protection systems (ROPS) can be highly effective in preventing serious injuries or deaths if the equipment overturns. The protection system is an important safety feature, but should be used properly and in conjunction with safe operation.
Toro offers the following ZRT mowing safety tips:
SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND MAINTENANCE
Read your operating manual carefully and make sure that all safety equipment (deflector shield, ROPS, safety interlocks) is operational and used with each and every start. Perform regular equipment inspections and replace all parts with original equipment and accessories. Maintain your mower per the instructions in the operating manual.
To maximize safety, performance, and the proper function of your ZRT, you should not only read the contents of the operating manual, but also understand them. Safe operation is essential. Injuries may result without complete and thorough knowledge of product operation instructions.
MOVEMENTS SLOW AND STEADY
Zero-turn mowers operate very differently than traditional riding mowers, turning “on a dime” so to speak. Speed control and “smooth even pressure” in operation help execute the jobs properly, along with keeping operators and bystanders safe.
MANEUVERING HILLS, RETAINING WALLS AND OTHER DROP-OFFS
Depending on the surroundings, you may feel more comfortable mowing side to side or up and down a hill, but do not mow on slopes greater than 15 degrees, and keep the ZRT at least a couple mower widths away from drop-offs, rivers, culverts and the like. Make deliberate movements that are slow in speed and direction. When in doubt, hand trim hard-to-reach areas with a walk-behind mower and/or string trimmer.
YOUR ROPS AND SAFETY
If your ZRT mower is equipped with ROPS, keep the roll bar in the fully raised and locked position, and use your seat belt. An operator is not protected by a ROPS bar that is not fully raised. Operators of professional Toro ZRT models not equipped with ROPS should ask their local equipment dealer to install one. Toro dealers will install a two-post ROPS for free on any Toro Z Master model manufactured in 2004 or prior. Installation can be arranged by calling 888-865-5675 (in U.S. and Canada). For additional zero-turn mower safety information, please visit the product safety information page on www.toro.com.