The lawn mower is probably the most frequently-used outdoor power equipment in a homeowner's garage. With proper care and maintenance, your lawn mower can serve you for a long time. This will save you money in costly repairs, equipment inefficiencies and premature failures among other problems. Below are frequently asked questions about mower-handling.
What safety precautions should I bear in mind when handling the mower?
Like other machinery, lawn mowers must be carefully handled to prevent damage to parts and injury to persons and pets. The following are some best practices for handling mowers:
- Before beginning to mow, walk through the area to be mowed and remove all visible sticks, rocks, toys or pipes. Ensure that children and pets are far away from the mowing perimeter.
- Regularly inspect the blades for damage, dullness or bending. These can be rectified by a qualified professional provided they are not too advanced. If you notice irregular cutting, it's time to sharpen the blades
- Ensure there are no tears in the trail shield, and that it works properly
- Do not move the deflectors away from the positions set by the manufacturer
- Pay attention to passers-by as you mow, so they are not struck by flying debris
Is there a difference between mulching and high-lift blades?
High lift blades are also called standard or two-in-one blades, and they are the most commonly used in riding or pushing lawn mowers. This design provides greater airflow for faster and neater grass cutting and discharge of clippings. However, one must follow-up to rake the clippings once done with mowing, unless you have a model that throws clippings into a bag.
Mulching blades are also called all-purpose or three-in-one blades, and these are made to mulch clippings, i.e. cut up the clippings into very fine pieces that don't need to be raked afterwards. These clippings can then decompose faster and nourish the growing grass with the nutrients thereof.
I stored my mower in the garage during winter, and now it won't start. What could be the problem?
Before storing away your mower for the winter, it is advisable that you 'winterize' the equipment in preparation for the long period of disuse. The most common cause of start-up failure after a long period of disuse is thickening of the stored fuel and clogging of fuel ports in the carburettor. Before storing the mower, you should clean and degrease the parts and add fuel stabilizer to the fuel left in the mower. This prevents clogging and/or separation of the fuel while the mower rests.
What should I do if my lawn mower tipped to the side and won't start?
Lawn mowers may need to be tipped to the side for various reasons e.g. to move blades for sharpening or replacement or to clean the underside of the mower. If this happens, allow the mower to sit still for a short while. Inspect the fuel and oil levels to ensure that there was no spillage. If these are alright, try to start the machine again. If it doesn't work you may have to take it in for professional troubleshooting and repair.
Can I fit my mower with a universal blade?
For safety and efficiency, you must only use the blades recommended in your user manual by your manufacturer. For instance, Husqvarna lawn mowers must be fitted with approved Husqvarna blades. Also confirm size specifications which differ according to the model. Contact a company like Yarra Valley Ag for more information.