When your seasoned Gravely zero turn mower stops working in the middle of a mowing job, it becomes a troublesome problem to deal with. One of the primary features of a zero turn mower is security, once it stops moving, the hydrostatic engine locks the wheels preventing it from moving. This is great for everyone’s safety but not so for maintenance. I know how frustrating it must be to stop in the middle of mowing and figure out what caused it to stop. However, you need to move your mower someplace secure first before you start inspecting it. So, I offer you a simple and easy guide on how to manually push a Gravely Zero Turn Mower.
How to Properly Mow Your Lawn with a Gravely Zero Turn Mower
No one wants a zero turn mower to stop working while mowing the lawn. There can be many reasons why your z-turn will abruptly stop mostly due to long-term usage. To prolong the life of your Gravely z-turn mower, you should follow these tips:
Mow your grass dry
Wet grass can cause multiple problems, grass clipping will easily stick to your mowing deck and clump together. Plus it locks in moisture in your mowing deck and under your machine making your metal mowing monster prone to rusting.
Keep your blades sharp
Regular maintenance of the blades will help you keep your zero-turn mower's blades in pristine condition. Proper maintenance will not just offer great quality cut lawns but also prolongs the lifespan of your mower. Dull blades don’t cut grass properly but struggle to pull the grass and tears it instead. This causes a lot of tension and doubles the amount of work your engine is putting. It wears your engine out much faster and eventually your entire mower.
Inspect the property for large rocks or stones
Most mowers can handle small pebbles, but larger stones can really cause a problem to your mower/ it can get lodged in your mowing deck, bend your blades, get into parts of your machine, and cause serious damage. Doing a primary inspection of your property especially for a smaller piece of land will really help your mower.
Don’t cut your grass too low
Most of us prefer to cut our grass low since we want longer periods of time between each mowing. But cutting our grass so low can also wear your machine even more. With a low cutting height, your mowing deck is practically facing the ground closer to rocks, roots, and tough weeds that can potentially wear and damage your machine.
Set discharge at the mowed path
Always make sure that when you’re mowing, you discharge your clipping on the mowed path. This can save your mower from a lot of future problems. Mainly because discharging clippings on the path you’re about to mow will lessen the number of clippings it will gather back into your mowing deck.
How to Manually Push Your Gravely Zero Turn Mower
The tips I mentioned are simple ways you can prevent major issues with your mower causing it to stall. However, there are times when your mower simply stops in the midst of your mowing session. When this happens, you have to manually push your Gravely z-turn.
Is it easy to manually push a Gravely z-turn mower?
Yes, it is. Compared to other mowers, the process is quite simple. The Gravely has transaxles bypass levers that prevent your mower to manually move after it stops or stalls.
How to push a stalled Gravely mower?
- Try starting your engine again, if you only hear clicks every time you turn it one, you don’t have any power to start up the machine. Put a wedge or a tire stopper to prevent your mower from moving if you’re on uneven ground.
- You need to stop the engine by putting both your lap bars in neutral and pushing them outwards.
- Engage your parking brake and turn off your PTO (Power Take Off) knob to prevent your mowing deck from operating.
- Then, set your throttle to the lowest speed possible.
- Turn off your ignition and let your mower cool down.
NOTE: Always make sure that you let your mower cool down. Once you’ve been mowing for quite a while your engine gets extremely hot and can be a possible danger to you as you push your mower manually. Giving your machine a few minutes to cool, it also allows all moving parts of your mower to completely stop.
- Once your engine cools down, go behind your engine and look for your transaxles bypass levers. There will be two levers, one on each hydrostatic engine.
- To bypass your hydrostatic engine, simply pull these levers outwards. Pulling it outwards will release the pressure on your rear wheels allowing it to move freely.
- Disengage your brakes and remove the wedge or wheel stopper.
- Push your engine to your desired position.
TIP: It’s better to push your engine from behind. Pulling can be dangerous. Since the bulk of the weight of your mower is at the back, you don’t have full control over the mower causing it to slide or speed up towards you. You need to push from behind to support the weight and reduce possible dangers like being run over when pulling your mower. See "Are zero-turn mowers dangerous" for more information.
Compared to most zero-turn mowers, a Gravely ZTR offers a more simplified task of moving your ZTR mower manually. Devoid of the complicated steps in manually moving your mower, simply pulling out your engine with a bypass lever can really make a difference. Don’t forget the tips I told you, these simple steps will surely prevent your engine from suffering and then stalling.