How to Operate a Commercial Zero Turn Mower

You may have seen a commercial zero turn mower used by city or county employees when maintaining parks. Or, with commercial landscape companies that must mow large areas. If you have a lot of lands to cover or are starting a lawn mowing business that includes commercial properties, then a zero-turn mower is a good choice. In this post, I have discussed how to operate a zero turn mower like a pro.

The main difference between a commercial zero turn mower and conventional mowers is the steering process. The system is quite different compared to driving your vehicle and will take a little training or simple experience to better understand how this system works. Discover the best commercial zero turn riding lawn mowers for landscapers and large property owners.

What is a Zero-Turn Mower?

Instead of a conventional steering wheel, the mower uses two levers to steer. One lever operates one side of wheels while the other lever operates the opposite side. This allows the mower to turn in place, thus the name zero-turn.

The steering system is more than a century old and is commonly used to drive tanks or other tracked vehicles. The levers operate in this manner.

  • Push Both Levers Forward – Mower moves in straight line forward
  • Pull Both Levers Backward – Mower moves in straight line backward
  • Pull Back on Left Lever, Push Forward on Right Lever – Mower turns left
  • Pull Back on Right Lever, Push Forward on Left Lever – Mower turns right
  • Both Levers in Neutral Position – Mower stops moving

Basically, the levers take the place of the steering wheel, brake, and accelerator. All three functions are operated by the position of the levers themselves. The advantages of a commercial zero turn mower are considerable and include the following.

  • Fewer Parts to Break Down
  • Zero-Turn Capacity
  • Greater Durability
  • Faster Speeds for Mowing

Once you learn how to drive this type of mower, you can mow your lawn faster as a result. The ability to do tight turns means you do not have to go over areas repeatedly to get all the grass. Plus, the fewer number of parts means that less maintenance is required and the mower itself should last longer under normal use conditions.

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How to Drive a Commercial Zero Turn Mower?

It does take some training and experience to properly drive a commercial zero-turn mower. The most important step is learning that all the steering, acceleration, and braking functions are based on the position of the levers themselves. You should take the time to learn how to drive it before making your purchase.

This means that your feet are only used to help keep you balanced while sitting in the mower. While accelerating forwards, backwards, and turning is rather intuitive, braking by pulling both levers to the upright or neutral position takes the most effort to learn as it is rather counterintuitive. Pulling back on both levers will put the mower into reverse.

Another aspect is that zero-turn mowers are not well suited to inclines of more than 15 degrees. This is because the narrow width tends to make the mower turn over under such conditions.

A commercial zero turn mower is a must for landscaping companies that must mow large acres of land. Once you learn how to drive the mower, it becomes an invaluable tool for taking care of large properties.