Mowing the grass in your plain yard is completely different from those on the uneven landscape on the hills. Operating the lawnmower on a plain surface is a very easy and hassle-free job. However, when it comes to mowing on the hills, there are quite a few risks and challenges.
Lawnmower related accidents are quite a bit of concern. According to the research conducted by the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, over 37000 Americans are injured by power mower every year.
If you are a beginner or have not used the mower on the steep hills before, it is extremely important to know and understand the potential risks and necessary safety measures to follow while mowing.
Herein is a comprehensive guide about the essential safety measures you should take when mowing the hills to get rid of unwanted weeds while protecting yourself from accidents or injuries.
Safety Measures to Follow When Mowing the Hills
Before you even start, take note of these precautions and measures to mow safely on the slopes:
Inspect and Prepare Your Landscape for Mowing
It can be risky to move on with the mower straightaway without preparing the land. During the inspection, you will find rocky slopes, holes, bricks, ruts, sticks, wires, ropes, and others scattered everywhere.
Running the mower over uneven and rough surfaces can result in tipping and you may end up in a serious injury. Moreover, wires and ropes can tangle the mower blade making it difficult to move.
Clean your hilly premises completely to get rid of all such elements. This ensures good mobility without the risk of tipping or problems of releasing the stuck edges.
Never Mow on the Wet Grass
You may have several problems when mowing on the wet grass. The moisture on the herbs can make the hilly landscape slippery. There is a high risk of slips and falls on such surfaces.
Furthermore, wet grass tends to stick to the blades and may also come up with clogs of mud. The soil becomes loose when it is wet and comes up easily as the mower blades move or pull the grass during the cutting process.
The sharp blades with clogged grass and mud are difficult to clean and restore to functioning. It may cause fatal injury if you do not have the expertise of handling these issues. Hence, plan the mowing schedule when the grass and the land are completely dry.
Adjust the Mower Height
Depending on the size of the grass, you need to fix the mower height right before you begin the job. If the blade height is too low, it will end up scalping the clogs of mud and leaving your blades jammed. On the other hand, if the mower is too high, it will not be able to trim the herbs as per requirement. You will have to repeat the task.
Move the Mower Slowly at a Uniform Speed
When mowing on the hills, you will move across steep surfaces, bumps, holes, etc. Moving the mowing equipment at a higher speed over these surfaces can be risky. Besides, the mower can lose tire traction on acute dry grounds. Running the mower at a consistent medium speed can help to complete the job effortlessly.
Move the Riding Mower in Vertical Directions
Always run the riding mower upwards or downwards the hill. Moving the mower side by side can cause the equipment to flip and you can end up in hazardous consequences. Even moving against gravity can result in slipping. Therefore, you need to choose a model particularly designed for mowing on the hills.
Move the Self-Propelled Mower Side by Side
Moving upward in the vertical direction with the walk-behind mower can lead it to roll back on the user. This can be very serious and even result in life-threatening accidents. Similarly, when you move it downwards, you may lose control over its speed and it can run down the slope. It will not injure you but may end up in collision damage.
Pushing the mower sideways will give you greater control over the machine reducing the chances of topping over.
Mow Your Hills in Bright Sunlight
This has more to do with visibility and less with the mower functionality. On a shady day, you can move through some dark areas where it may be quite difficult to identify the obstacles. In the bright sunlight, you can get a clear view of the entire area and proceed with the cutting process with ease.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Your mower may require some maintenance periodically. If you have been using it for some time, make sure to schedule checking and maintenance work with a professional.
Never Pull the Running Mower to Yourself
As the name suggests, you must always push the self-propelled mower. Pulling the mower means it can run over you causing serious cuts and injuries. Keep pushing the mower on the grass as walk forward.
Be Careful about the Speed
You need to very cautious about the mower speed. Don’t start or stop the machine when it is on the slop. Sudden change in speed can cause the equipment to tip over. Turn your mower slowly on the hills. Turning the mower hastily can lead to tipping. Do not use zero-turn mower on the hills.
Note: Mowers are extremely risky to operate in the presence of children. According to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should be at least 12 years old for using manual or walk behind mower and at least 16 years old for operating a riding lawnmower.
Knowing how to operate the mower, or previous experience of using it is not enough to guarantee your safety when using the same equipment on the hills. You must be fully aware of the possible risks of running a mower on the hills. Read the manufacturer’s guide and instructions very carefully.
If you are a novice user it is not recommended to use a riding mower. However, there are several high-grade mowers specially designed for mowing on the hills. Choose a model that is uniquely designed for hills.
But before you do spend a high price for riding hill mower, it is convenient to get handy with a self-propelled walk-behind mower to cut the grass in your hilly landscape.
I hope these safety tips will help you stay alert and complete the work effortlessly while taking the necessary precautions.