One of the most prominent features of a zero turn mower is its steering. Known for smooth steering and easy maneuverability, a z-turn mower is a machine that many property owners love having when it comes to keeping a manicured lawn. However, many find it troublesome to make steering adjustments when the mower is moving off-course. Here is an easy and general guide on how to adjust steering on zero turn mower.
When should you make steering adjustments on your mower?
- Reduced Speed
This could be caused by multiple reasons but steering is one of the main issues that can affect the speed of your mower especially if you’re the type who loves hitting the maximum speed of your mower.
- Veering towards one side
Your mower’s ideal path is moving on a straight line. When your cutting path is moving askew even when your steering controls are leveled, you know that you need to calibrate your steering.
- Jerky movements
It’s not just about veering off to one side, some mowers tend to jerk to one side and get back on track and off again. This can result in patches of unmowed grass, which I know is not something you’d want.
How to adjust steering on zero turn mower?
Before you adjust your steering make sure that your mower is off and there are no moving parts. Park your steering in a hard level surface rather than out on the lawn where the ground may be uneven.
- Tire Repair
Your tire may be one of the reasons why your mower is turning to one side, your tires need to have the same amount of pressure. To correct this issue:
- Inspect your front and rear tires:
- Check if all of your tires have the same amount of pressure.
- See if the tires have any holes or any signs of advanced wear or tear.
- Since your mower have two sets of wheels, each pair need to have the same amount of pressure, if not, then use a tire inflator and pump air into the slightly deflated tire
TIP: Make sure you never hit the maximum pressure in your zero-turn’s tires, don’t try to add air to all of the wheels, especially if others have proper air pressure. Simply pump air into the problematic tire and you’re good to go.
- Adjust Wheel Tracking
Another reason why you’re mower isn’t going straight is due to one drive wheel turning slower than the other.
This can be caused by a jam on the wheels or that you need to adjust the sluggish wheel by speeding it up or slowing the other wheel down.
- Inspect the tire where your mower is veering towards and see if there are any obstructions on the tire. Remove any of the obstructions and check your steering levers or lap bars.
- Push the lap bars outwards and look for a bolt and nut fastened at the foot of your lever. If the nut is loose, retighten it.
- If retightening doesn’t do anything, try adjusting the nut:
- Decrease the steering lever travel by turning the bolt clockwise
- Increase the steering lever travel by turning the bolt counter-clockwise
- Steering Lever Adjustments
Making adjustments to your steering levers can also directly affects your steering. Misalignment of your levers can lead to steering issues causing you to mow askew.
Adjust lever height
- At the side of your levers are the bolts attaching your levers (there will be two bolts on each side), remove the bolts.
- Align the height of your levers according to your comfort level.
- Reattach and tighten the bolts.
Adjust lever width
- On the lower control arm of your lap bars, loosen the mounting hardware.
- Find the spacer to adjust the width of the lever and loosen the bolt.
- Fix the lever to your desired position and adjust it using the bolt on the spacer.
- Put the mounting hardware back and tighten it.
Adjust lever reach
- Locate the mounting hardware on the upper steering arm.
- Simply loosen the bolts securing the mounting hardware and adjust the steering forward away from you or back towards you depending on your comfort level.
- Tighten the bolts on the mount to secure your steering.
Making adjustments to your steering is an easy fix. You don’t need complicated tools but a wrench to help you deal with nuts and bolts. Steering adjustments can be done mainly based on your comfort level with the steering or when you start noticing that your mower is starting to have issues with its proper mowing path. Nonetheless, this quick and easy guide is a definite help to your needs.