Posts Tagged ‘safe mowing’

How To Maintain Safe Operation When Mowing Hills

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

If you own a property with steep hills, you know the challenges mowing and lawn care present. And when you add in walls, planters and other landscaping, and kids’ equipment such as trampolines, all of the sudden, mowing becomes akin to navigating an obstacle course. Which mower you choose for hills is an important factor in mowing your lawn safely and sustainably over time. In addition, taking the time to learn about all of the important safety features on your machine and how to safely navigate your mower on slopes and around obstacles is critical in helping prevent accidents.

Choose the Right Mower for Hilly Terrain

Exmark Lazer Z zero-turn riding mowers are the #1 choice of landscape professionals because of their unmatched ability to quickly and safely maintain a wide variety of properties. That said, zero-turn riding mowers should not be used on slopes of greater than 15 degrees, or a 26.8 percent grade. (Learn more about calculating slope and grade at Maintain hills or surfaces with slopes of more than 15 degrees with a walk-behind mower or hand trimmer.

Mower safety -- mowing at the water's edge

A walk-behind mower is a better choice than any riding mower for cutting grass near drop-offs or retaining walls, or at the edge of ponds.

While it may be tempting to mow close to the edge of water or retaining walls with your zero-turn mower, doing so can result in significant injury or death if the machine were to roll over. It’s better to keep a safe distance from these hazards, and come back with a walk-behind mower to trim near the edge.

Please take a moment to watch these “Driving in the Safety Zone” videos, which Exmark produced to help you identify safety hazards and how to safely operate your Lazer Z in hilly or uneven terrain, or around walls, water and other lawn hazards:

Exmark Lazer Z Introduction and General Safety

Exmark Lazer Z Safe Mowing of Slopes and Rollover Protection

Exmark Lazer Z Controls and Operation:

View more safety and operator training videos on the Exmark YouTube channel.

Other Considerations

  • Use Protection: the rollover protection system (ROPS) on commercial mowing equipment should always be deployed in the full upright position during operation — along with the lap belt securely fastened low and tight around the operator’s waist. Failure to do either of these steps increases the risk of injury or death to the operator in a rollover situation.
  • Proper rollover protection use

    Always deploy the rollover protection system (ROPS) in the full-up position during operation (as shown). Never operate the mower with the ROPS down or partially-deployed.

    Moisture: avoid mowing hilly terrain when grass is wet from rain or dew. Not only is mowing wet grass sub-optimal for the turf itself, the reduced traction on wet grass increases the chances of your mower sliding on uneven terrain. Instead, wait until later in the day when the sun has burned the moisture off.

  • Unstable ground: survey the property and identify any ponds, drop-offs (pay particular attention to fence lines) and retaining walls to ensure the stability of the ground being mowed.

By taking a little time to understand the slope and terrain of your property, you can choose the right mower to maintain every inch of your lawn safely.

Learn more about safe mowing at

Keeping the Rays at Bay

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Ahhhhh, mowing – being outdoors, surrounded by the scent of freshly-mowed grass, no walls or fluorescent lights or cubicles standing between you and nature, the feeling of instant gratification that comes with turning a plain lawn into a masterpiece – there’s nothing like it.

The only catch is, spending all that time outside during the prime summer months, when the sun is at its most relentless, can be bad news for your skin. The rays are at their worst between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Aside from painful sunburn, you’ll increase your chances of skin cancer. Fortunately you can protect yourself with a few easy steps.

It’s all in the timing.

When you apply your sunscreen is just as important as actually applying sunscreen. So slather it on 30 minutes before you head out to maximize its effectiveness. And don’t forget to reapply every few hours to keep your skin protected.

Choose the right amount.

Most people think a little squirt of sunscreen will do the job. Those people usually end up burned. What you need is at least a shot-glass full to cover your entire body.

The right outfit.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but what you wear can make a difference in protecting your skin. The color, thickness of material and tightness of the fabric’s weave all contribute to a piece of clothing’s SPF rating.  Clothing’s SPF can range from less than 10 for a plain white T-shirt to more than 50 for sun-protective clothes.

If you get burned.

If you do end up with a sunburn, there are several things you can do to treat it.  The first is to take an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen to help reduce swelling.  The second is to use a sunburn spray or gel and apply it directly to the burn. Skip the heavy lotions though; they can actually prevent the skin from cooling down.

Do you have any tricks for protecting yourself from the sun? Post a comment and tell us all about it.