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Your lawn mower is a lot like your lawn; it requires maintenance, repair, and care. When it comes to mowing, though, you might be making several mistakes without knowing it. Check out a few things you should do to kick some grass this summer with your conventional or riding mower, like how to avoid a rollover and other mistakes. 

What mistakes do owners make with their lawn mowers?

Veteran operators and lawn mower novices should mind these simple mistakes to be safe and get the most out of their mowers. 

  • Don’t run your mower at half speed
  • Avoid rushing your process
  • Don’t skimp on maintenance
  • Avoid cutting wet lawns
  • Mowing on challenging terrain could lead to rollovers
A young boy rolls over a lawn mower and repairs it.
A boy repairs a lawn mower | Saul via Fox Photos via Getty Images

Running your mower at half throttle or rushing through your yard won’t typically result in bodily injury. However, rollovers kill riding mower owners every year. Paying particular attention to terrain and speed could save your life. 

Should you mow at half-throttle?

Many lawn mower manufacturers designed their mowers to operate at full throttle. As a result, running your mower at half-speed may result in lengthier cutting times and a poorer cut, per Bob Vila. For more information about your riding mower’s optimal speed, consult your owner’s manual. 

Don’t rush your mowing process

When you allot time to mow your lawn, don’t underestimate your task, and don’t rush yourself. Rushing through your lawn maintenance could result in poor, uneven cuts. Take your time, stay hydrated, and pay attention to your surroundings.  

Riding mowers show off their wide frame and rollover-prone footprint.
John Deere riding mowers | Daniel Acker via Bloomberg via Getty Images

What maintenance should you do on a lawn mower?

In terms of routine maintenance, owners should clean the underside of their mowers. Bob Vila says grass clumps can block airflow, store moisture, and cause premature corrosion. Beyond cleaning out clumps, owners should perform regular maintenance and repairs per their owner’s manual

For instance, changing your mower’s filters as frequently as service intervals dictate could prolong the lifespan of your lawn mower, prevent unprecedented repair costs, and ensure peak performance. 

How do I know if my grass is too wet to mow?

If your lawn has experienced fresh rain or watering, it’s best to wait. Lawn Love says you should wait a few hours– at least two or three– before attempting to mow. Furthermore, mowing wet grass can clog your mower’s cutting surfaces and provide a dangerously slick surface for operators. 

What are the main causes of death by lawn mowers?

Rollover incidents caused by the unsafe operation of a riding lawn mower are one of the main causes of death for mowers. A rollover incident can occur when an operator mows on slopes with dramatic incline angles or tries to negotiate challenging terrain features like ditches or retaining walls.

According to OSHA, operators should avoid mowing on slopes with a greater angle than 15 degrees. Moreover, your owner’s manual should have safety information about slopes.


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