Can I Mow at Less than Full Throttle?

AdamE

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Hi all. I just got my first zero turn delivered today. It's an Exmark Radius-E and I'm kinda surprised at how sensitive the steering is. Going slowly at first is the key I guess.

Anyway, is it okay to mow at less than full throttle - at least until I get the hang of it? I know my tractor and other stuff says to only engage the PTO at full. I looked over the manual pretty good and didn't see anything about it.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 

Scrubcadet10

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if it's an air cooled engine, it is cooled the best at full throttle, running it at less puts a heavier load on the engine, making it work harder and getting hotter and it will not cool as well, since the flywheel has a plastic plate with fins on it that blow air over the cylinder heads. I wouldn't recommend it.
 

bertsmobile1

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This is what I suggest o my customers who have bought their first ZTR
Steer with only one hand, your dominant one which for most is the right.
Use your other to regulate the speed
SO when you want to go left, just push the right a little foreward and leave the left where it is
Same story for turning right, pull back the right only .

If the ends of lap bars are very close then you can hold both bars in one hand then twist your wrist to make turns
 

7394

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Running at much lower RPM's is also hard on the hydros.. They rely on the pressure of high flow.

Toro has different speed ranges, by a shift lever. Low, Tow & Go
 

Born2Mow

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Using only half throttle is what I did, but I see now that is incorrect. Better to use a much higher throttle setting and only push the control bars slightly forward.

• RELAX ! The "death grip" you may be using on the controls will keep you from making the very small adjustments that are needed.
• Going in a straight line was the hardest thing for me. As suggested above, leave one control bar fixed in position and only adjust the opposite bar.
• To keep a constant speed in a turn, pull back on the control bar on the inside of the turn.
 

Darryl G

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I run my machine at about half throttle when training people to operate a ZTR for the first time for the first few minutes only, then it's full throttle with the blades off, working up to to engaging the blades once they can run it somewhat confidently.

Edit - I also tell them to make off they're pushing a shopping cart - the way you steer a shopping cart and a zero-turn riding mower are the same.
 
Last edited:

Rivets

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I teach new operators to have their thumbs touching when learning how to use a Z-turn. That way they can watch what they are doing and they know what their hands are doing by feel. Using this makes the learning curve move faster.
 

tom3

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Good tips. Maybe there's hope for me after all?
 

Born2Mow

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The "death grip" on the control bars was the hardest thing for me to overcome. Tense arms kept me from making tiny adjustments that would have kept me out of the trouble I was afraid of getting into !!
 
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