Experts’ Tips: Stand-on mowers

February 20, 2019 -  By

Stand-on mowers

Bob-Cat Co.

Ron Scheffler
Senior product manager

When working with stand-on mowers, make sure to plan for fuel fill-ups. Whether you have a reserve tank or a fuel gauge on your mower, always make fuel checks part of your daily routine. This includes having an emergency gas can on your trailer. When you stand on the machine, be sure to lean forward to align your center of gravity with the mower. This will help you handle slopes better and be more comfortable. Finally, if you’re new to stand-on mowers, one thing you’ll notice is the different controls. For example, the point of reference (POR) bar in front of the handles helps you rest your hands and gives you more control of the machine. Some people don’t know that you can adjust the stability bar. You can also use the POR bar to temper the speed for newer operators.

Exmark

Lloyd von Scheliha
Product manager

To maximize the productivity of crews using stand-on mowers, it’s important to survey each property quickly prior to mowing and come up with a plan of attack. Pick up any toys, trash or other objects that could stop you while mowing. Also, note any new plantings, low-hanging branches or landscaping feature changes that have come up since your last visit. Then, decide on the safest, most efficient way to cut the lawn. While it’s true that it’s easier to mount and dismount a stand-on mower to pick up debris than it is a zero-turn rider, the best option from a productivity standpoint is to eliminate the need to stop before you start mowing.

Ferris

Dan Roche
Director of marketing, commercial products

If cutting grass was all about mowing straight lines all day, stand-on mowers wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. But it’s not. Real mowing is about going around obstacles, avoiding debris, ducking under branches and negotiating tight corners. Stand-on mowers increase efficiency because getting on and off the machines to remove debris is much quicker and easier. Look for a stand-on mower where the power takeoff automatically disengages without turning the engine off when the operator leaves the platform; this makes entry and exit faster. Stand-on mowers also help add maneuverability as they’re typically better at negotiating tight obstacles because the units have shorter wheelbases and no overhang. Additionally, the operator’s line of sight is improved. Also, evaluate how comfortable the mower is. Is the operator platform equipped with suspension and is the mower adjustable to fit the operator?

Husqvarna

George Reister
Regional product manager, U.S. wheeled

It’s important to use stand-on mowers that are built for a full day’s work and that prevent fatigue. Visibility is a vital factor. Stand-on mowers offer line of sight at all four corners, which can be a nice time saver and allow for closer cutting to obstacles and minimize extra time spent trimming. Serviceability is another important factor. Use a mower with balanced weight distribution — mowers with the engine and transmission lowered and mounted evenly on the frame provide a lower center of gravity, creating safer maneuverability and easier serviceability. Look for a solution that makes it easy to access the pumps, engine bay and fuse box — preferably requiring a minimum amount of tools. The most important factor is safety. Take a close look at where the major user functions are located, including deck lifts, emergency buttons, levers, etc. Knowing where those are helps avoid excess stress on joints and injury.

John Deere

Carl Agee
Product marketing manager

Stand-on mowers are growing in popularity, offering unique benefits to professional landscapers. To improve uptime and ensure their mowers are ready to go daily, operators should inspect machines before and after using. At the start of the day, check oil levels, tire air pressure, brakes and belts to make sure nothing is low or damaged. Walk around the machine, looking for leaks and loose or missing parts. This will help to reduce potential downtime while on the job. After each use, thoroughly clean debris and lubricate the machine. Additionally, check the mower blades and deck drive belt for wear. Finally, add fuel as needed to the machine to ensure it’s ready to go in the morning.

Kubota

Tom Vachal
Senior turf product manager

Stand-on mowers are becoming the Swiss Army knife in commercial landscapers’ toolboxes. They are compact, requiring less space on trailers; they allow landscape pros to mow under low-height obstructions; they offer the ability to quickly get off and on to pick up debris; and perhaps most important, stand-on mowers reduce operator fatigue. The flexibility of stand-on mowers makes them one of the most valuable assets on a landscaper’s trailer. They allow the operator to mow in tight and wide-open spaces. The improved operator visibility allows the operator to tackle jobs quicker, saving time and improving productivity. Most stand-on mowers also allow the operator to quickly and easily complete routine maintenance on the unit, reducing the amount of time the machine needs to spend at the dealership and saving the contractor time and money.

Wright Manufacturing

Ed Wright
Vice president of engineering

Looking at mowing as a time study, you will find that a significant amount of time is spent turning and maneuvering the mower. On smaller properties, the time spent mowing can be as low as 50 percent of the engine runtime. Because stand-on mowers are compact and agile, they can help you cut down your mow times. It’s essential that the operator master the ideal two-step turnaround technique: As the operator approaches the end of a stripe, he should make a slight turn toward the next stripe as he slows to a stop. Then, looking
backward in the direction of the turn, he should begin gently moving backward while gently pivoting the machine to the next stripe. Performed well, this technique is fast, gentle on the turf and easy on the mower.

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's associate editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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