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12/2/2008 12:00:00 AM
Compiled by FacilitiesNet Staff
Preparing lawn-mowing equipment for the rigorous spring schedule can help ensure an efficient, successful mowing season.
First and foremost, grounds managers should follow the lawn mower
maintenance program outlined in each owner’s manual. Makes and models
of mowers vary, so managers should use the owner’s manual for each
piece of equipment as the minimum maintenance standards. If mechanics
and operators fail to follow the program outlined in the manual, the
equipment warranty might not remain effective.
Prior to filling the fuel tank and mowing for the first time, mechanics
should thoroughly inspect all equipment, and a mechanic or qualified
staff member should complete annual lawn mower maintenance procedures.
Operators must be sure to inspect all safety features to ensure they
are in working order. Do not allow operators to override or modify
safety devices; safety should never be compromised for efficiency. One
accident can quickly negate all the benefits of saving a few minutes
Attention and commitment to routine lawn mower maintenance goes a long
way to ensuring operator safety. Worn belts and brakes, loose bolts,
faulty wiring, improper tire pressure and even broken seat belts can
contribute to injury.
Manufacturers continually improve safety features on mowing equipment
and tractors. Automatic shutoffs, ergonomic hand controls, vibration
and noise reduction, roll bars, and seat belts are among the safety
features included in today’s mowing equipment.
Deflectors and guards are also more common on mower decks and should
remain in place when mowing near streets, parking lots and other places
where flying objects thrown by the mower might damage property or
Some manufactures have equipped new riding mowers with back-over
protection devices, which prevent the blade from turning while the
mower is in reverse. These back-over protection devices also might
include a sensor that stops the engine or the blades or the wheels when
it detects a bystander behind the machine.
Managers should set up routine equipment lawn mower maintenance
schedules before operations hit full stride. Mechanics should document
their daily, weekly and monthly maintenance activities and communicate
them to the operators.
Ease of service must remain a top priority when specifying mowers. If a
mower is easy to maintain, it is more likely to receive the care
necessary to keep it in good working condition for its expected life.
Mower maintainability and durability have been greatly enhanced. New
features include built-in jacks for raising decks when changing blades,
easier-to-read temperature gauges, and decks with blade spindles
without grease fittings on the bearings.