6 Danger of Zero Turn Mowers: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

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Zero-turn mowers are the beasts of lawn mowing, and they are all great, except for the fact that they aren’t the easiest to use. Especially one wrong move, and it can toss you off of it.

Also, there’s no doubt that you can trust zero-turn mowers for the largest yards and save time, but their speed is also something that many can’t handle at first, which can be hazardous. These are some of the major dangers of using a zero-turn mower, but there are some others that we have discussed in today’s article.

So keep reading as we discuss them all and tell you more about zero-turn mowers to avoid any mistakes that can put you in danger!

What is a Zero Turn Mower?

What is a Zero Turn Mower
Image Source: rover.com.au

Zero-turn mowers are the type of lawnmowers that are larger in size and somewhat resemble a mowing tractor. However, they have a slight difference in that zero-turn mowers; they have a mowing deck attached in front of them instead of underneath like a tractor.

Zero-turn mowers are great for people who have a huge yard to maintain but aren’t professional landscapers. Compared to mowing tractors, they are easier to use and are smaller in size with fewer complications.

Zero-turn mowers come in three different varieties:

Most of them have four wheels, the front two are swiveling wheels, and the rare two are larger drive wheels. And the operator can handle each of the wheels individually, which is something that takes a little practice to master since we all at first get a little overwhelmed with its function.

The tip to turn it correctly around those corners is to stop one wheel and keep moving the other three. In that way, the stopped one acts as a pivot, and the mowers easily take a sharp turn.

If you aren’t a professional landscaper, we recommend picking zero-turn mowers over mowing tractors any day since they are still easier to maneuver and operate. But be aware because zero-turn mowers are notoriously fast, and you might lose control of it.

6 Dangers of Zero Turn Mowers

Apart from becoming too fast and too quick, here are some other dangers of zero-turn mowers that you should be aware of so that you can be careful and not repeat them.

1. Flipping Over

Flipping Over

Since zero-turn mowers can be easily turned on a dime, they are more prone to losing their center of gravity and flipping over. If you are using a walk-behind one, it is still manageable. But if you have a riding or standing on one, it can be very risky. So avoid taking sharp turns too quickly.

2. Not Being Slope Friendly at All

Zero-turn mowers aren’t made for slopes; in fact, if your yard has a lot of slopes and dips, you should invest in special mowers that are made for mowing hills and slopes.

So, ensure you are not using a zero-turn mower on land that is slanting more than 10 degrees.

3. Throwing Things at You

Throwing Things at You

It is very common with powerful mowers like zero-turn ones to shoot dirt, debris, and grass cuttings from the blade area. And no matter how tiny the thing is, the mower throws them at such a high speed that it might hurt you. So always wear your safety gear while mowing.

4. Injuries From Sudden Stops

The zero-turn mower’s ability to stop or start suddenly can make you lose control, potentially leading to injury. So never push the brakes too quickly or shut down the machine.

5. Burns And Cuts

Burns And Cuts

The engine and exhaust system of a zero-turn mower can become very hot, posing a risk of burns if touched. Besides, like any other mower, it has a sharp set of blades, so if you aren’t careful enough, you will definitely get hurt by those high-speed sharp blades.

6. Loss of Hearing

Sadly, big mowers like these are very loud. So being exposed to loud noises for too long can cause hearing impairment or loss of hearing. So make sure to use those noise-canceling earplugs!

Safety Measures and Guidelines for Operating Zero Turn Mowers

Now that you know the dangers associated with handling a zero-turn mower incorrectly, let us tell you about the preventive measures you can take to avoid them from happening to you.

1. Know Your Machine

If this is your first time using a zero-turn mower or maybe the first time using a particular model, gather enough information about it. For that, you can take help from the internet or, best, the user manual that comes with the machine.

Make sure you understand how it works and what you need to do if something goes wrong. And don’t forget to learn about the safety features, as most zero-turn mowers have them, and you should always use them as a beginner.

2. Wear Proper Clothes And Accessories

Wear proper clothes and accessories

Mowing is a serious business, so you can’t be mowing in flowy clothes and slippers. So please put on fitted clothes that don’t have a chance of getting stuck between the blades and sturdy shoes (preferably metal-toe ones) to keep your feet safe.

For the hands, eyes, and ears, use gloves, glasses, and earplugs, respectively.

3. Check The Mower Before Using

It is better to be careful than repent to make sure you check the mower each time before using it. Inspect the mower for any loose parts, leaks, or other potential issues. Also, don’t forget to check the tire pressure and make sure the blades are sharp and properly balanced.

4. Inspect The Lawn For Holes And Dips

Look around the yard carefully for any potholes or dips. If there are areas like that, don’t run the mower over them, as it can cause disbalance and make your mower flip.

Also, walk around the area you plan to mow and remove any objects like rocks, sticks, toys, or other debris that the mower blades could throw.

5. Don’t Rush

Don't Rush

We understand that you are using a mower to get things done quickly, but it’s better to avoid using it at top speed as it’ll have a high chance of you losing control over it. So, always operate the mower at a speed where you feel in control.

Importance of Reading The Manufacturer’s Manual

If you are buying a first-hand mower, you will get a manufacturer’s manual that explains every important detail you need to know about the machine. Here are some solid reasons why reading the manual is a good idea:

  • You will understand the machine better, so there is less room for incorrect operation
  • The manual has safety instructions specific to the machine, so you will have a clear idea of exactly what NOT to do
  • The manuals also give maintenance guidance, which is crucial to keep your machine functioning well in the long run
  • There are often troubleshooting FAQs in the manuals that can come in handy if you are a beginner
  • The manuals also contain tips and tricks for using the mower to its optimal potential

Preventing Rollover Accidents

Mower flips are the scariest yet are the most common rookie mistakes. So to prevent your mower from rolling over, try to implement these tips:

  • Do not run it on slopes, as it can not handle an inclination of more than 10 degrees
  • If you must mow on a slope, mow up and down instead of going across. That way, you will spend the least time on the slope, and your machine will have a lesser chance of tipping off
  • Don’t speed while taking sharp turns
  • Never try to make a swift movement with a mower; it is not a car!
  • Be careful while working on the edge of a ditch or embankment, as it can collapse due to the weight of the mower

Additional Safety Considerations

Additional Safety Considerations

Here are some additional safety considerations that will ensure that there are zero chances of danger.

  • Use the safety feature of your mower, like a seat switch that shuts the mower off if you get off the seat
  • Maintain your mower regularly. If you are using it for the first time after the off seasons, give it a good check first
  • Never refuel your mower while the engine is running or hot. Always refuel outside, not in a garage or shed, to allow fumes to disperse
  • Keep children and pets inside while mowing to prevent them from getting injured by flying debris. Never carry passengers on the mower


What is the difference between a regular mower and zero turn mower?

Regular lawnmowers use the front-wheel drive, while zero-turn mowers have functional rear wheels like cars. Besides, unlike other mowers, you can use many attachments with them, and they are hard to control on slopes.

Why is it called a zero-turn mower?

The name came from the maturity of this mower, which is its hallmark. With a zero-turn mower, you can get a zero turning radius, meaning the machine can twirl on its axis, hence the zero turn.

What are the disadvantages of zero-turn mowers?

The biggest disadvantage is it takes a lot of practice to master, they are quite expensive, and they can’t be used on steep slopes at all.


While riding a zero-turn mower, always be very focused and keep your head clear. While the machines build to give you the best mowing experience, you also need to master the beast first. Remember, safety should always be your first priority when operating any kind of power equipment.

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