Anyone who owns a ride-on mower will tell you they take hours off of what was once a chore. And if you own one yourself, you’ll know that the task is now simple and enjoyable. But just like any mower, or even your car, you’ll get the most life from yours when you take care of it and service it correctly. It’s easy to perform a few checks of your own at home, otherwise your local dealer will be able to take care of more complex servicing. And this is especially important if you store your mower in the garage over winter, as there are a couple of extra things to bear in mind.
But before we get started, you should always take care of yourself when you’re servicing your mower. Removing the spark plug and/or the battery will ensure there’s zero chance of it starting while you’re working on it. And by parking it on a drop sheet and a level surface there won’t be any chance of it rolling away or spilling oil either.
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Keep it clean
This goes without saying, but think about your mower a little like your rugby boots – they’ll work best and last the longest when you clean them after every game. By hosing down your mower and paying attention to the blades and the underside of the deck, your job will be a lot easier the next time you take it outside. Using an air compressor, you can blow away any leaves or debris that’s gotten under the hood as well. Otherwise, a brush works just fine.
Keep on top of servicing
Most manufacturers recommend an oil change every 50 hours or so of runtime, and oil changes should always be accompanied by a filter change. For most ride-on mowers, accessing the filter and emptying oil should be simple and straightforward but you should always recycle oil correctly and replace it with the correct grade and filter. Using the wrong oil can be fatal to an engine, which is likely the most expensive component of your mower.
You should also keep an eye on your mower’s belts, because if they snap things can become a) very unsafe and b) your lawns will only look half finished (or worse). Some models, such as our BOB-CAT range of ride-on mowers are renowned for their serviceability at home and we offer free demonstrations at your convenience.
Sharp blades = healthy lawns
You can check when you clean your mower, but your blades should be kept sharp to ensure your mower remains fuel efficient and that it isn’t harming your lawn. Dull blades can tear and rip grass instead of cutting it cleanly, and the result is a lawn full of brown tops that is more susceptible to disease. It is possible to sharpen your blades at home, but here at OMC our technicians have the right tools and expertise to get them looking good as new.
Winter your machine correctly
If you live somewhere that gets too wet or snowy or cold during winter then wintering your machine correctly is essential. Gasoline can separate after a few weeks sitting in the tank and your battery loses hours of life in the cold with no charge. So by running the tank empty, emptying the oil and removing the battery you can rest-assured that your mower will be set to take care of your property when spring comes around.
If you have any questions about your ride-on mower, feel free to contact us online or see us in-store at 100 Gasson Street, Christchurch.