Ride-on's and how to avoid problems

  • Thread starter Peace perfect peace
  • Start date

Peace perfect peace

Greetings "again" for today,
Ive not done any gardening in my own garden as i was asked to help a friend out with his ride-on as he really needed to cut the Lawn and the belt had come off "again"
So ive spent all day sorting his mower out and because of all the hick-ups he's caused himself due to not (a) reading his makers manual & (b) just not doing anything since putting the mower at the back of the garage at the end of the last year cut.

And so i thought it might be well worth while for the newer to gardening people to give a write up on what to do and in fact what to look for when buying a ride-on
So here we go.
Buying a ride -on
Now you'll find yourself in a possition we're you now have a garden large enough to warrant you having such a (big boys toy) But it's not a toy and all the differen makes you'll see and prices to go with so many makes it really can be a brain jerker as to what one you should buy.

My very first advice is to buy a make thats well serviced with agents for that make, a make that you can buy spare parts for easily and over the counter,
such parts as "Belts" do wear out and depending on how offten the mower is used and for how long will depend on how long the belts last and need i tell you the belt with break when its a bank holiday or a weekend and your dealership is closed (get a spare belt the same day you buy the mower)
Without a belt the machine is of little use (except if you use it as a pulling device for a small garden trailer)

Now again give a lot and i mean a lot of thought how your mowers belt is replaced ( ie is the belt's pullies on the top of the machines platform so you can see the belts going round when the cutting selection is engaged ? Or is the belt fitted under the platform and to replace the belt you have to have a device to lift the complete front of the machine so you can lay on your back (risking being squashed) when you try to refit a new belt ??????? NOTE NOTE NOTE Make sure you understand the way your belt fits around what wheels on your mower (hand book )

Also a very good point to note is to buy a machine that has a hose-pipe fitting on the top of the platform so that the underside of this platform can be flushed with water from your water supply tap after every time the mowers used and while the grass bits that you'll soon find stick very near to the blades are fresh and not allowed to set like concrete:cautious: this build up causes the belt problems .
If you decide to use a collection basket (box) again empty it pre ending the mowers use for that days cutting,
Important Note
Your mower is designed to cut dry grass and not wet grass, the chute will block if you insist on trying to cut wet grass
(ive never seen a ride-on called HMS LAWN-MOWER)

Risk of fire
Dry grass and dry grass dust landing on the verious area's around we're all the turning wheels that your belt fits on & around can get to a stage that they can light if not blown away from this area and again its very worth while blowing these dried grass/build up of dust off the platform pre parking the machine away after use.
Again its part of the machine and its made for a use and needs the terminals to be checked to see they are a tight fit, greased, and the battery is secured in its housing and the battery itself is charged regulary and the fluid level checked, when the mower is in winter storage "remove" the battery and have it on a trickle charge until needed for full summers cutting.
If fitted know were your fuses are located!!!!!!!?

Checks pre every use
Now if your serious about your machine and wanting to get the best from it you "MUST" check the oil level (dip stick) it'll have two level marks on the dip stick
lower and higher the best mark to see when the engine is cold and the machines on a level ground surface is just slightly under the top level mark
NOTE never over fill with oil as this can cause the engine gaskets to burst;
Make sure your using the correct oil for your engine (read the hand book for grades)

Again this is very important to know the correct pressure your mowers tyres are to be, if you have the tyre's underinflated ie to soft it'll effect the grass cutting and every time you turn the mower to go in a different direction both your own body weight and the mower leaning over with cause the blades when in cutting mode to scalp the grass and white marks appear on your lawn plus it wont do your blades any good and will strain the belt as instead of the belt doing what its made to do "cut grass" its now being asked to "cut the soil in slices"
Remember these tyre's are made of a hard plastic and not rubber. They do like your car's tyre's deflate with standing in the garage and or bumbing across rough un-even ground.
Most of todays mowers are the normal unleaded fuel system but check what fuel your mower runs on and at the end of the season's use
empty the tank,
petrol can loose its strength and cause the machine to have starting problems for long term lack of use.

Servicing the engine / steering
If your not into servicing engines/ steering / Greasing etc then book your mower in for this work tobe done during the off season time,
ie december etc when you know you wont need to use the mower and the service shop will not be over booked as it will be from easter onwards.
Have the blade looked at the same time as its serviced .

DIY service
The hand book is for your use to tell you of all the oils/ air & oil filters needed/sparking plug size and gap spacing
The location of the oil drain plug/filler cap,
Location of the location of the Air filter size etc
And the grease points and how to apply the grease to the nipples,
care of the platform and how to take of the mowers main body (great for a really good clean and polish)
care of the body and if fitted Lights ie bulb size and location on the mower.

Who said gardening cant be done when the snows falling, The above along with a host of garden tool both machine and the verious non machine tools all
need to be looked after, Above will save you money teach why you should drive your mower the correct way and always have it working.
And a good reason not to lend it out,
I have a John Deer myself and the only better grass cutter ive ever seen was a sheep.

Hope this little lot will really help those new to gardening.;)

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