Top 5 Mower Maintenance Tips

Extend the Life of Your Commercial Mower

Regular commercial mower maintenance can go a long way toward preserving your equipment and budget, especially with the rigorous conditions landscapers face and long days mowing in the field. While teaching landscape crew members to “respect the machine” plays a large part in making mowers last, so do simple things like reading the operator’s manual, greasing parts, changing oil and keeping the mower clean and dry. 

Here are five top lawn mower maintenance tips to keep your zero turn mower running long and strong through the season and beyond.

Quick Tips to Keep Commercial Mowers in Peak Shape

Ferris Mower Deck

1. Fuel your mower correctly. 

Michael Iles, a Briggs & Stratton customer service representative, recommends fuelling mowers with clean, fresh, unleaded fuel that has an ethanol content of no more than 10 percent (E10), and to use a fuel stabiliser to prevent water and fuel from separating. “Most stabilisers will last from six to 12 months, and this helps fuel stay in good condition for when you start running the machine next season,” Iles says.  

Without fuel stabiliser, when the mower is started up it will suck up water first instead of fuel, which can cause corrosion and damage internal engine parts, Iles says.  

2. Properly store your mower. Leaving mowers outdoors even overnight can cause premature wear, namely corrosion that can cause linkages to rust. “Wherever water can build up, it eventually will dry out and cause corrosion,” Iles explains. Always dry machines to remove excess water before storing them. 

The investment in covered trailers for hauling and storing equipment will preserve machines. Keeping mowers stored in a garage, or any dry shelter will give equipment a longer shelf life, and save on maintenance over time.  

3. Watch the tyre pressure. Whenever a mower isn’t cutting evenly, the first thing to check is a mower’s tyre pressure, an uneven tyre pressure will affect the geometry of the mower, as well as the cutting height. Maintaining tyre pressure is also important for prolonging the life of your equipment and its parts.

Ferris Mower Deck

4. Clean the mower deck. When grass clipping and mulched leaves build up under the deck, the residue can form a layer of hard “gunk” that practically has to be chiseled out. Regularly cleaning underneath the mower deck will prevent this problem. Not cleaning out the bottom of the deck can cause premature corrosion, especially as grass clippings built up can also contain fertilizer and chlorine residue.

5. Remember basic mower maintenance. Most commercial lawn mowers have 10 to 20 grease fittings that need to be greased to prevent metal parts from rubbing together. Read the operator’s manual carefully, which will outline all basic maintenance activities landscapers should tend to in order to keep a mower in prime condition. 

Iles adds, “Many common problems can be avoided by simply reading the operator’s manual to learn what you should and should not do.” 

Before storing a mower for winter, Iles suggests giving it a full service, including changing oil and filters. “That way, you are not waiting in line come spring when everyone is ready to service their mowers,” he says. 

Regular maintenance checks, including oil and filter changes as specified by the operator’s manual, will keep a mower running strong during the growing season, when landscapers might be running equipment for up to 12 hours per day.