Proper preparation of your zero-turn lawn mower before, during and after the mowing season can help to reduce downtime, increase productivity and ensure a good quality of cut. All of these will lead to increased customer satisfaction, which is a winning combination for everyone.
Start with training. “Prior to using your zero-turn this season, be sure to follow the operator’s manual,” says Jeff Shearin, service manager at Clay’s Power Equipment in Raleigh, NC (claysequipment.com). “If you’re a contractor with employees who operate your equipment, be sure to train all new hires on the safe and proper operation of a zero-turn. Also, make sure even your experienced operators receive refresher training.”
Pre-season maintenance. Shearin then offers the following pre-season maintenance tips to ensure that your mower runs efficiently with a greatly reduced risk of problems later in the year.
- Charge the battery completely and reconnect.
- Check all tire pressures for proper inflation.
- Grease all fittings and make sure all moving parts are free.
- Check all belt tensions.
- Change the oil and oil filter.
- Change the fuel filter.
- Check the air filters and replace or clean as needed. Do not clean secondary filters; only replace them as required.
- Check to ensure that the deck is level, all spindles and pulleys move freely, and that the blades are sharp and balanced.
- Check all fluids on the machine.
- Check spark plugs. Do not clean dirty plugs; replace them with new ones.
- Adjust the parking brake per operator’s manual.
- Add fresh fuel (old fuel should actually be drained at the end of the season)
- Start the engine and check that it is running properly and at the correct rpm.