Everyone wants a picture-perfect lawn. And a zero-turn mower is the tool that allows you to achieve that.
However, zero turn mowers are expensive tools. So, once you purchase one, you'll want to make sure it lasts a long time. And to keep your mower in good shape, you'll frequently need to jack it up.
Yes, from repairing the deck to changing the blades, every maintenance work requires raising the mower. Therefore, you need to have proper knowledge about how to jack up a zero turn mower.
Do you own a zero turn mower too? Wondering how to properly and safely jack it up? Then you are in the right place.
We've explained the process of jacking up your zero turn mower in a step-by-step method to clear all your doubts. That's not all, you'll also get to know necessary factors you need to keep in mind and additional safety tips.
So let's dive in.
What Is A Zero Turn Mower?
Zero turn mowers are essentially lawn mowers that can perform a 180-degree turn on their footprint. This means the turning radius of this mower is zero.
You get two front swiveling and two back-driving wheels with this mower. The drive wheels are controlled by the operators’ handles. And when you engage one wheel while stopping the other, you can turn the mower within zero radius.
Another beneficial feature of this is the front mowing deck. This along with the zero radius turning capability provides you excellent speed and maneuverability.
Types of Jack For Lawn Mower
You need a jack that is suitable for the weight of your machine and your needs. Otherwise, accidents may occur that can cause damage both to your equipment and yourself.
There are mainly four types of lifting jack available in the market. Choose one based on your mower's specifications and your budget.
1. Scissor Action Jack
This is the simplest and cheapest jack available. It can be operated by a hand lever.
If you own a lightweight mower and you are on a tight budget, go for this one. However, you'll need to put some physical effort to jack up your mower using this.
2. Drill Turned Jack
If your mower is moderately heavy and you own a power drill, this jack can be a good option for you. You can lift the mower using the power drill. In case your power drill is not nearby, this can be used with a hand lever too.
3. Pneumatic Jack
This lifting tool employs an air compressor to lift the weight of the mower. It's highly effective for lifting heavy mowers smoothly and safely. However, it is more expensive than the other ones.
4. Hydraulic Jack
If you don't have hundreds to spend yet want a smooth operation, then choose the hydraulic jack. This lifts up the mower with a foot pedal. And the pedal utilizes a hydraulic mechanism. It is great for lifting heavy zero turn mowers smoothly and safely.
Things To Keep In Mind While Selecting The Lawn Mower Jack
You need to consider several factors while buying a jack for your zero turn mower. If the jack stand is not compatible with your mower, you'll end up causing damage to the mower.
So, read on to find out the important factors you need to keep in mind.
1. Load Capacity Of The Jack
The most crucial thing to consider is the load capacity of the jack. If the jack can't handle the weight of your zero turn mower, it can break down and injure you.
So, get a jack stand that can hold up the weight properly. Most residential zero turn mowers can be lifted by jacks that have 300 to 500 lbs load capacity. But if you own a heavy-duty commercial mower, you should get a jack with over 500lbs capacity.
One thing to remember is that the jack will only need to support half of the weight of your mower. So, if your mower weighs 800lbs, a jack with 400 lbs will be enough for you.
2. Wheel Span
The distance between the front swivel wheels is called the wheel span. Zero turn mowers can have a wheel span of 17 to 64 inches.
Choosing a jack that can accommodate the wheel span of your mower accurately is extremely important. If the wheels are not centered when you jack up the mower, they can slide or roll off the stand.
If you are not sure which jack will fit your mower's wheel span accurately, look for one that has an adjustable wheel span. This feature will allow you to personalize the jack stand to the mower's wheel span. Moreover, you'll be able to use the jack for raising other vehicles too.
4. Wheel Pads
If you don't want to scratch your precious zero turn mower, get a jack that includes wheel pads. These rubber wheel pads will protect the mower from scratches while it is being lifted.
5. Lift Height
For doing the maintenance work properly, you'll need to raise the mower to certain heights. This height depends on your mower's model. So, check the user manual and get a jack that can raise the mower to the required height.
Most lifting jacks can lift the mower 22 to 28 inches off the ground. Generally, you'll need a jack that can raise the mower at least 2 feet high from the surface.
6. Lift Lock
The lift lock is used to lock the arm of the jack. This ensures enhanced security while the mower is lifted. If the arm is not locked, it can slip off at any moment and cause accidents.
How to Jack Up a Zero Turn Mower
Step 1: Collect The Tools
For jacking up your zero turn mower, the first thing you'll need is a floor jack. Next, you'll need two jack stands. Other than these two, you can get wheel chocks for securing the wheels while you work.
Step 2: Park The Mower
- Now that you have all the tools, park your zero turn mower somewhere with an even surface. The surface should also be hard enough to balance the weight of the mower.
- Then turn off the engine and take out the ignition keys.
Step 3: Obstruct The Tires
- Place wheel chocks or wooden blocks at the front and rear of the tires. This will prevent the tires from rolling when you are jacking the mower up.
Step 4: Use The Lift Lever
- Then you have to lift the mower deck as high as it will go.
- Pull back the deck lift lever entirely to set the deck to the highest position.
Step 5: Slide In The Jack
- When the deck is set to a high position, slide in the jack.
- Make sure it's situated in the middle of the mower.
Step 6: Raise The Jack
- If you are using a hydraulic valve, twist the jack handle to engage the hydraulic valve. For other types of jacks, use the required lifting method to raise the jack.
- Then use the lever to raise the jack until the mower is at least 2 feet above the ground.
Step 7: Insert Jack Stands
- Now slide the jack stands under both sides of the deck.
- Pull up the stands to their highest position.
- Lock the stand using the lock handle.
- Make sure everything is locked in place and nothing is moving.
And with that, your zero turn mower is perfectly jacked up. Now you are ready to perform any maintenance work that needs to be done.
Safety Tips And Cautions When Jacking Up A Zero Turn Mower
Zero turn mowers are heavy. And lifting them up to work underneath them is a risky task. So, you need to follow some safety precautions while jacking it up and performing maintenance work.
To make sure you stay safe, we've listed some tips for you. Follow these to safely jack up your zero turn mower.
- Disconnect the spark plug to avoid accidental engine start-up of the mower.
- Make sure the fuel tank is not leaking and the battery is sealed right.
- Try to get all the maintenance work done at one time. You can damage the mower by jacking it up frequently.
- Do not attempt to lift your zero turn mower with car jacks. You can end up breaking the jack and damaging the mower.
- Use proper locking systems to lock the mower with the jack. This is crucial to prevent slide-off accidents.
- Lastly, be careful while changing the oil, fixing the deck, or other parts. The sharp mower blades can cut you if you are not paying attention.
Why Do I Need A Jack for Zero Turn Mower?
Wondering why you need to get a jack for your zero turn mower? Read on to learn about its importance.
- To increase the longevity of your zero turn mower, you need to service it regularly. Almost all of the maintenance work requires you to jack it up.
- If you want to change the tires, you need to raise the mower. Moreover, regular use will make the blades blunt. Changing the blades requires jacking up the mower. That’s not all, for changing oil and fixing the mowing deck, the mower has to be lifted too.
- Jack is the tool that’ll raise the mower safely and securely. If you don’t use a proper jack, you can damage the mower. What’s more, you can get injured by the heavy zero turn mower.
Hence, a proper jack and jack stand are extremely necessary for jacking up zero turn mower. And it’s also important for sustaining and increasing the durability and longevity of your expensive lawnmower.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I Need A Jack For My Mower?
Answer: Yes, you'll need a jack to lift the mower off the ground. And this is necessary for doing any kind of service, like fixing the deck, changing the blades, or oil. Essentially to keep your zero turn mower in a good shape you need to have a jack.
2. Can I Push The Zero Turn Mower Manually?
Answer: Hydraulic fluid pressure is used to roll the zero turn mower wheels. As this pressure is really high, you cannot manually push the mower.
3. Can I Use My Car Jack To Lift The Zero Turn Mower?
Answer: You can use a car jack for lifting the front of the zero turn mower. However, this is not advised as car jacks are not the proper tool for lifting zero turn mowers.
4. How Long Would My Zero Turn Mower Last Without Repairs?
Answer: You will get about 2000 hours of mowing time from the good quality zero turn mowers. After this time, you may need to put in small repairs.
5. What Weight Capacity Is Required By The Jack To Lift Zero Turn Mowers?
Answer: For residential zero turn lawn mowers, a jack with 250 to 500lbs weight capacity is required. But more heavy-duty mowers will need jacks that can handle over 500lbs weight.
6. Are Zero Turn Mowers Dangerous?
Answer: If you are driving the mower on an uneven surface, you'll face the risk of the mower tipping or rolling over. These accidents can be highly dangerous.
Wrapping It Up
Having a zero turn mower can take your landscaping game to the next level. To enjoy the benefits of this expensive equipment, you need to keep it under regular maintenance.
As most repairing tasks require you to raise the mower off the ground, knowing the right way to jack it up is necessary. Also, if you are not careful while jacking up the mower, you can end up breaking the jack, damaging the mower, and injuring yourself.
That is why we’ve explained the details of jacking up a zero turn mower in this article. So, go through our step-by-step guide and follow the safety tips carefully.
If you follow the steps properly, you'll be able to perform maintenance tasks safely. As a result, your zero turn mower will stay in good shape for a long time.