If you are looking for a new lawn mower you are likely to come across models that have a Self Propelled option.
For the most part Self Propelled lawn mowers look very similar to standard push mowers however a few things you might notice is that the handle bar where you push the mower will have an extra bar you must squeeze closed for the drive wheels to engage and you are likely to have different sized wheels front to back.
Some mowers also have a speed setting to set the speed of the drive wheels. You should set the speed of the drive wheels slow enough that you feel comfortable and so the mower has enough time to mulch the grass as it cuts. If you notice clumping of grass try reducing the drive wheel speed or raising the height of the lawn mower deck by adjusting the wheel heights.
The Self Propelled power assist is really great when you are cutting long paths of grass. Walking from one side to the other of your property start by engaging the drive wheels. When you get to the other side disengage the drive wheels and turn the mower manually.
When working under and around bushes you will need to push and pull the mower so you can either do all of the work manually or if you have a front drive system lift the front wheels slightly about an inch off the ground so you can pull the mower backwards. Never fight the direction of the drive wheels by pulling in the opposite direction while they are engaged or you may strip the gears.
What size mower should you get?
For most home owners a 6.5 HP lawn mower is best if you are adding the Self Propelled option. Anything smaller will most likely bog down in even normal height grass. This is almost twice the power needed if you wanted the same power un-propelled lawn mower. So figure whatever hp mower you are happy with add 3hp just to drive the wheels.
So, are self propelled mowers really that much easier to operate? Yes they really are. If you have a half acre or more of lawn area to cut you can expect to save about 30% of your time once you get use to your new mower and as an added benefit you won’t be exhausted after you are done but you will still get some good exercise.
How much more can you expect to spend? Well on the lower cost models you can add about $50 to $80 for the Self Propelled option. Remember that Self Propelled lawn mowers need a larger engine so expect to pay a little more.
Self Propelled Mowers don’t need a lot of extra maintenance however you should make sure to clean the drive wheel gears after each use. If possible you should also pick a model that uses all metal drive parts. Some models use plastic wheels with molded in gears and a metal drive gear. Over a period of time maybe 1 to 2 years you may wear down the plastic gears by holding back the mower or pulling it against its direction of rotation. At that point you will need to replace the gears or the wheels.
Proper use will extend the life of plastic gears. Never hold back the mower while the drive is engaged and release the drive before you come to a stop or make turns.
You may also need to replace or adjust a drive belt. Not all models use a drive belt many use a gear setup. Check your manual for proper ordering and maintenance information.
Never allow children or animals to be in the yard when you are cutting your lawn. Even if they are across the property hitting an object with the mower could shoot the projectile at them causing serious harm.
If more then one person uses the Lawn Mower then make sure they understand all of the safety features and procedures.
Never operate a lawn mower on wet grass or on a hill where it may turn over.
Always size the mower to your ability to control it. Larger is not always better and not only is it unsafe it may cause you more trouble when operating it and result in longer and a generally unhappy experience.
The YouRepair Store sells a full line of power lawn mowers and self propelled units at very good discounts. Check the models in the store then buy from us for the best price.
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