Lawn Care Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please take a look at this and see what you think. I did a search and didn't find much on this subject. Please add to what you see as lacking and correct what you don't agree with.

Thanks

Zero Turn Rider Training

Table of Contents
Equipment Overview
Safety
Starting Equipment
Operating Equipment
Refueling

Equipment Overview

• Use only unmixed gas from the unmarked cans

Show the following on all zero turns:
Show where the:
• Throttle is
• Choke is
• Starter / shut off switch is
• Brake is
• Deck height adjustment
• Oil pressure / warning light is
• Horn button is
• Chute blocker is

Table of Contents
Safety

• Steel toed boots
• Safety glasses with side protection
• Hearing protection
• Proper lifting
• Soreness, aches and pains – listen to your body to prevent injuries
• Heat stroke
o Sit in shade if dizzy
o Drink lots of water
• NEVER GET OFF any MOWER WITH THE BLADES TURNING
• Always make sure you have the operator’s attention before walking up to a mower/weed eater
• If you are uncomfortable about doing something let me know before you do it


Table of Contents
Starting Equipment

Show how to start the equipment
• If cold pull out the choke until the mower starts
• Position the throttle at about the ½ open position
• When cold let mower warm up at less than half throttle for at least 20 to 30 seconds

Reasons mower will not start:
• Brake off
• Blade switch on
• Control handle not out in neutral position

Practice emergency shut down
• Blades
• Engine

Getting off the mower quickly

Table of Contents
Operating Equipment

Driving the mower (Initially do with blades off)

Initial operation (done only after the equipment overview, starting/stopping and safety sections are understood)

• With mower off explain how the controls are used to go forward, backwards and to stop the mower
• Starting in an open field show by example the kind of things you want them to practice
o General driving around
o Stopping
o Backing up

Let them do this until they have it mastered

Three point turns:
• Explain and give examples of
• Give an example of what happens when zero turning on soft grass (make a divot)
• Practice on the driveway
• Practice on the lawn making sure they keep an eye on any damage that might be happening

Turning on blades
• Position throttle slightly above ½ open
• It is best to have the deck up when engaging the blades
• Don’t turn on blades until at the mowing start point

Turning off blades
• In an emergency just push the switch in as fast as you can
• Under normal conditions move the throttle all the way to slow and wait for the engine to slow down to idle before pushing in the switch
• Turn off the blades as soon as mowing is done before leaving the property and especially before loading on the trailer

Raising and lowering the deck and setting blade height

Mowing overlap:
• Explain and show overlap points on the deck

Making a straight line
• Explain about focusing on where you want to end up until get there

Practicing the above (three point turns, straight line, overlap) with blades on
• Start by making a straight line
• Turn around doing three point turns
• Pay attention to overlap and keeping the lines straight as well as damage on the turns

Chute blocker
• Explain and show how to operate the chute blocker

Breaking up clumps
• Raise the deck and go over heavy clippings and clumps
Mowing around trees, mulch beds, houses etc…
• Explain how it is done
• Show with the mower how it is done
• Let them practice
Notes:
o Where possible blow clippings away, if not use the chute blocker
o Be careful not to run the deck into anything

Mowing uneven ground
• Explain how it is done
• Show with the mower how it is done
• Let them practice

Mowing on hills
• If it looks unsafe don’t do it
• Explain how Zs tend to run away down a hill when running parallel on it
• Explain how a Z will go over backwards on too steep a hill when driving straight up it.
• Emphasize always thinking about how to react if either of the above occurs

Once finished don’t drive across the stripes when returning to the truck

Mapping a property

Have a property on paper with house buildings, flower beds, trees etc…
• Talk about:
o Direction
o Starting point
o Ending point
o Once property is mapped do it the same way each time

Table of Contents
Refueling

• Watch for muffler when hot
• unmixed gas only from unmarked cans
• Don’t forget the cap
• Show where fire extinguisher is
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,300 Posts
You could also include a quick inspection of the machine at the beginning of the day for any issues that could arise. Those things could be loose bolts broken parts air in tires.

Better to find and fix an issue with a machine at the shop than out in the field.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
6,366 Posts
Everything looks really good. But I would add a few more things.

1. Make sure to add a section on maintenance. You will want to make sure your new employees are able to check oil level and add any if needed, clean/inspect air filters, greasing, checking/changine blades. Even if these tasks may not be part of their duties, make sure they know how.

2. Under the safety part, you mentioned "heat stroke"...I would change that to discuss "heat emergencies". Heat stroke is very serious, if your employee got to that stage he would need someone to call 911 for him. Under that section, I would stress the importance of staying hydrated and staying cool. You actually are more referring to heat exhaustion.

3. You also had hit on the topic of mowing accidents in one part. I would add something in there about what to do in that event. Who to call, what to do, first aid, etc. In the event that there is an accident involving one of your guys and a mower, the other employee on the property should know what to do. That event will be very stressful/crazy for your employee, so they should go over something that tells that what to do in the event that an accident happens.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,649 Posts
I would add something about keeping screens (radiator and or air cooled) clean.
How about blowing off machine before loading onto trailer.
Avoid wet areas.
Careful of low hanging branches.
Dont mow over stones/rock.
Careful of stumps, roots or protrusions in turf.

Never let anyone approach until blades have stopped spinning. Dont know how many times customers have come up wanting a chat and the blades are still going. Had a few close "shaves!" (pardon the pun) If it does occur and telling the person to stop with a hand gesture doesn't work or its to late, tell them to spin the machine around so operator is between deck and person. Something like that anyway!

You have "pull choke until mower starts". Im thinking they will pull the choke and wait like its magic!
Just need rewording, something like....

To start cold engine...
Pull choke up (Close choke.)
Throttle in 1/2 position. (*or where ever YOU like)
Turn ignition until starts.
Push coke down. (Open choke.)
Let warm up for 30 sec to a minute.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
391 Posts
Theres a lot of things that could be added to this list but one big thing I stress to the crew is that if they damage any property I need to know about it. They'll be in more trouble if they hide something that if they just come clean right away.

Scott
 

· Premium Member
Ford
Joined
·
3,770 Posts
You can never be to safe!
Good motto to live by when doing this kind of work "saftey first!"
always good to practice safety too! Just like having a fire drill, if you never practice, then when the time comes, what do you do?
One thing I was thought was intresting In the contents was the emergency dismount??
But for saftey, I personally Carry 3 first aid kits in my truck, and one fire extingusher, one of the kits is a outdoor first aid kit with pain killers, antiseptics, burn creame, etc… ones a pocket kit for And the other one is stays strictley in the truck. No exceptions.
Also I wear saftey glassesand this year Iam going to start wearing a baseball cap. Also a few extra water bottles are great to have too!
But I always wonder if you have an employee that was seriously injured, do you call an ambulance or drive him to the hospital?
Also I took one of those first aid CPR courses last year, that can come In handy too...
Posted via Mobile Device
 

· Premium Member
Ford
Joined
·
3,770 Posts
When I first started in this business I thought just like this guy but I learned quickly. We were beside a major highway about 100 yards from the highway in an open areas that had to be 5 acres. I figured any dummy could get that far away from the highway on a 5 acre lot and not be in any danger. I put this guy that had been using a trimmer for me for two weeks on the mower. I first showed him how the mower worked. He got on the mower it was pointed toward the highway and he took off, wide open no luckily there was a fence that separated the property from the highway. As he drove away wide open and got closer and closer to the fence he didnt slow down and ran right straight into one of those small wooden fence post without slowing down on bit. When he hit it all I remember seeing was the back of the mower lifting off the ground about 3 feet and he went flying into the handle bars. Now I know this is extreme, but for some reason he went blank on how to stop it...that was in 1995 and that old post is still there with the mark on it where it was hit. We still maintain this property and every time I see that scar on that fence post it reminds me to be more careful, not to take anything for granted because anything can happen...;
how seriosly was he injured, did he get fired, who peed there pants first? How bad was the mower dammaged, has he gotten on the mower since? Probal better he post than the wire.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

· Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Nah, I used him on a trimmer the rest of the week and let him go. I knew after that there was no hope for him to ever learn what I needed him too. Thing is, this guy wasn't stupid or dumb. It's kind of like one of those stories you hear about people that go on a shooting rage or something. Sometimes you hear their coworkers and family say he was a normal guy, didn't seem to have any problems. That's the way this guys was, I actually enjoyed riding from job to job with him you know just talking. I dont know what happened to him.
No he didnt get hurt, the handle bars knocked the wind out of him, he acted like he had pulled out in front of a 18 wheeler or something, scared him to death....It was like when he took off he was on a bull and and had no control...I've never seen anything like it before or since. Didn't hurt the mower either, except one of the antiscalp wheels...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,438 Posts
That looks like its made for little kids!!! Whats the purpose of this anyway..for employees? Most people looking for a job in this industry will already know how to use a commercial ZTR, and if they need to read this manual in order to operate a mower, I wouldnt hire them anyway! You have to respect that the employees are adults, this "manual" is worded as if you are trying to teach young children! Whos idea was this anyway?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
The man's just trying to run an efficient business, trying to protect himself from trouble, lawsuits and all that bad stuff that hides out and waits to pounce on ya...If someone got hurt on one of his jobs no one could blame him for not giving adequate instruction.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Yes we all know that people looking for work in this field are ALL nuclear engineers, just looking to make $8.00 to $15.00 an hour. I had heard that everyone in America knows how to operate a ZTR. I would rather have a guy who knows to be on time, dress right and have a good attitude, then someone who knows how to operate a ZTR but has worked for 15 different people because he's not dependable. I can at least teach someone to operate a ZTR, it's much harder to teach someone a work ethic.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
I would add something about checking oil. Mowers will use the oil when they get older.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,438 Posts
The man's just trying to run an efficient business, trying to protect himself from trouble, lawsuits and all that bad stuff that hides out and waits to pounce on ya...If someone got hurt on one of his jobs no one could blame him for not giving adequate instruction.
Yes, I understand that, but cmon! Is there a written test at the end too? ZTRs are so easy to operate, and for first timers, you just let them get on it and drive around a bit, in a wide open area, and just let them figure everything out, its not like trying to learn to operate a fighter jet. Theres not that much to a ZTR anyway, drive bars go forward and reverse, this little yellow button turns the blades on and off, this is the brake, this is how you raise and lower the deck, You dont need a manual for that, just a short hands on demonstration! And employees are NOT going to check the engines oil and the condition of the air filter, they are going to get on it and mow, thats it, It is up to the owner to make sure it is in good running order before they go out for the day, and for a piece of equipment that expensive, I would feel better doing all the engine checks myself.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top