Rider Safety Series, Part 3: Lawn & Garden
While extreme care should be observed while operating most, if not all, vehicles associated with lawn & garden work, we have chosen to focus on riding lawnmowers – specifically zero turn radius mowers – in this blog. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that lawnmower accidents cause on average 35,000 emergency room worthy injuries and 90 fatalities every year. The most common incidents that result in death or serious injury are those in which the lawnmower is tipped over, a victim is thrown off a lawnmower, or a victim is ran over by a lawnmower. In order to hopefully lower these statistics, the CPSC has released the following riding lawnmower guidelines (which can also be found here).
- Read, understand, and follow all instructions on the machine and in the manual(s) before starting.
- Do not put hands or feet near rotating parts or under the machine. Keep clear of the discharge opening at all times.
- Only allow responsible adults, who are familiar with the instructions, to operate this machine.
- Clear the area of objects such as rocks, wire, toys, etc., which could be thrown by the blade(s).
- Be sure the area is clear of bystanders before operating. Stop the machine if anyone enters the area.
- Never carry passengers.
- Do not mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary. Always look down and behind before and while backing.
- Never direct discharged material toward anyone. Avoid discharging material against a wall or obstruction. Material may ricochet back toward the operator.
- Stop the blades(s) when crossing gravel surfaces.
- Do not operate machine without the entire grass catcher, discharge guard, or other safety devices in place and working.
- Slow down before turning.
- Never leave a running machine unattended. Always turn off the blade(s), set the parking brake, stop the engine, and remove the key before dismounting.
- Disengage blade(s) when not mowing. Shut off engine and wait for all parts to come to a complete stop before cleaning the machine, removing the grass catcher, or unclogging the discharge guard.
- Operate machine only in daylight or good artificial light.
- Do not operate the machine while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Watch for traffic when operating near or crossing roadways.
- Use extra care when loading or unloading the machine into a trailer or truck.
- Always wear eye protection when operating machine.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for wheel weights or counterweights.
For your Lawn & Garden needs, check out the following tires we offer here at OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc.:
- Grassmaster – The Grassmaster features a high traction tread and a long wear rubber compound making it perfect for lawn and garden applications. It is also available with a 2- or 4-ply rating for most of the sizes it is available in. Visit the product page for more info on size configurations! Buy a set today!
- Zero-T – The Zero-T is designed to offer better grip when mowing on the sides of hills, better maneuverability at slower speeds, and the ability to make fast tight turns without worry about damaging the turf. Featuring a sleek design which can increase speed by up to 1 MPH without any extra fuel consumption and enhanced rubber technology intended to reduce shock and lower vibration during operation, the Zero-T is the perfect replacement tire for any Zero-Turn lawnmower. Pick up a set today!
- Lawn Trac – Designed for deep-traction, the Lawn Trac is equipped with a large contact area to provide the best traction whether the surface is wet or dry. Featuring an open lug design to allow for maximum self-cleaning and side hill slip resistance, the Lawn Trac tire is a great choice for heavier lawn and garden tasks! Buy a set today!
- Garden Master – Perfect for small equipment, the Garden Master tire is a high quality R4 directional tire. It features a herringbone tread design that provides great traction for a variety of operating conditions, as well as tire lugs that grip effectively in soft pack, sand, and hard pack conditions. Pick up a set today!
- Chevron II – The Chevron II is a turf friendly tire that is designed to optimize grip while only causing minimal wear. It’s high quality construction ensures it’s long term durability and wear resistance. It is an excellent choice for many different lawn and garden small equipment needs! Pick up a set today!
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration is also a great resource for information on how to safely operate a lawn mower yourself and how to properly train others.
Popular Mechanics put out an article, entitled How to Use Zero-Turn Mowers Safely and Effectively, which details a few different safety related suggestions and considerations. Check it out on their website!