Image via Shmoomeema on flickr.
Most people know that lawn mowers can be dangerous tools. They are aware that the blades that cut thin, pliant grass can also cut thin skin, and even damage thick bones. Care is needed when operating these machines. Common sense dictates that care should be used when transporting these machines, as well. Here are a few commonly overlooked tips to safely transporting your riding lawn mower.
Use ramps to load and unload the mower from a truck bed. Never load or unload a riding lawn mower directly from or to the ground, even if it is a hillside that is practically even with the truck tailgate. Loading or unloading in this manner may allow the riding mower to slip. If the wheels are moving, the blades will generally turn, even if not at full power. If the mower slips and the blades begin moving, this can cause blood loss, loss of a limb, or even possibly the loss of a life. If transporting on a trailer, make sure to use the ramps built onto the trailer, for the same reason.
Never push or pull the lawn mower in order to get it loaded or unloaded. One simple misstep could cause a dangerous chain of events that can lead to loss of blood, limb or life. Always load and unload the riding lawn mower by guiding it up or down the ramps. The best way in terms of safety to guide a lawn mower up ramps is to use a simple come-along winch or a pulley system.
Never use ramps that have a steep angle. The optimal angle of the ramps to the ground is approximately fifteen degrees. This may make the ramps longer, but it makes it easier to guide the mower up a smaller incline than a larger one. This can save back and leg aches, and even complete back failure.
Since most mowers have a different central location for front and back tires, it is always best to use a wider ramp to make sure both sets of wheels will be able to stay on the ramp. This will prevent a lawn mower tip over. This can save a person from getting crushed by the mower, or having the blades strike skin of the person loading the mower.
Never leave a riding lawn mower loose in the back of the truck or on the trailer. One wrong bump in the road and the riding mower can end up in the middle of traffic, or off the side of the road. This can cause the driver of the transporting vehicle to become distracted. This can create a bad traffic accident. This can also cause traffic behind the transporting vehicle to make an abrupt stop or maneuver a sharp swerve. Both of these defensive driving techniques can also cause a bad traffic accident. In order to keep the lawn mower from becoming mobile in the transport vehicle, it is important to always chain it down or use tie down straps to secure the mower.
Most of these tips appear to be common sense but are often overlooked until it is too late.