Can you Pull a Self Propelled Lawn Mower Backwards?

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Sharaj

Self-propelled mowers are popular among lawn owners and it’s because of the ease they provide. This grass cutter virtually pushes itself. And by so doing, it saves you the stress of doing the pushing yourself.

No matter what yours look like, all self-propelled models have one crucial similarity—they all use power from the engine to turn their wheels. Now, if you have a large yard or have a sloppy lawn, this feature can be a lifesaver.

This is not to say, however, that self-propelled mowers don’t come with their troubles. For example, can you pull a lawnmower backwards? If you too would like to know the answer to this, then you’ll get your answer as you follow this posting.

Can You Go Backwards With a Self Propelled Mower?

Unfortunately, it can’t. Almost all self-propelled mowers can’t go backwards by themselves. Why? It’s because they’ve been designed to have only a single forward speed under propulsion. However, you can move it backwards using your hands and strength.

To make a self-propelled lawnmower go backwards, you have to first disengage the drive engine and the blade. You can also bend the mower upwards before manoeuvring it toward the direction you desire it to go. This process is the same for all-wheel-drive types, whether front-wheel drive self-propelled mower or back-wheel drive ones.

Note that most self-propelled mowing machines come with a lever that engages the wheels and makes the machine push itself. As long as this lever remains in the neutral position, it will be possible to move the machine rearwards on all of its four wheels. However, without a lever, you must first lift whichever set of wheels are propelled to shift your lawnmower rearwards.

Front-Wheel Drive Vs Rear Wheel Drive Self Propelled

When you finally decide that the best kind of mower for your yard is a self-propelled one, it doesn’t end there. There’s a whole other slew of details to consider. For example, there are rear-wheel self-propelled mowers and front-wheel ones. Which will you choose? Deciding can be a little bit difficult because each of these wheel drives has its advantages and disadvantages.

However, a rear-wheel-drive self-propelled lawnmower often provides better traction. Plus, it works very well on hilly slopes. This wheel drive mainly moves with its back wheels. You’ll enjoy this drive the most when you use a bagger with it because when the bag flips up, the front end will rise.

Meanwhile, operating the front-wheel-drive models is easy. If you want to turn them, all you have to do is tip their front wheels and raise them off the ground. Unlike the back drives self-propelled, these perform better on flat plain yards.

Can You Make a Self-Propelled Lawnmower go Backward?

Of course, you can. And it’s easy. By simply pulling the mower’s engagement lever and disengaging the Self-propelled drive and blade, you make it possible to either push the machine sideways or backwards or even forward. In this state, your lawnmower will go any direction you want it to go.

Furthermore, when you let go of the Self-propelled drive handle, you can go Backwards by moving your lawn mower two inches towards the front before pulling it back again. Whenever you let go of the drive handle and try to pull the machine backward without first going two inches to the front, your mower will not move rearwards.

Every wheel on your self-driven lawnmower comes with a ratchet. Why do these mowers need a rachet? The reason is for the wheel to move freely when the mower is going rearwards. There is a wood-ruff key inside your mower’s ratchet assembly that catches its perpendicular slope whenever you drive your lawnmower.

As such, anytime you attempt to draw your lawnmower rearward, the bent slope of the ratchet pushes the woodruff key back inside the key seat of the shaft so that it can wheel freely. Just make sure you examine your yard before mowing. If there are any obstacles, remove them immediately. Also, grease parts like the drive bar, mower’s belt, springs and others before you start cutting.

Should You Mow Backward?

You shouldn’t mow grass backwards as it is not safe. While many people know this, most of them still wish for backward movement in their Self-propelled mower. You, however, should understand that Self-driven lawnmowers often discharge debris with such high power and velocity.

Besides, the blades of this mower can easily injure you if you’re not careful enough. Thankfully, newer models are designed to stop the blade once the machine detects that the user has released the handle.

More than 12,000 people get involved in a lawnmower accident every year in the United States. If these victims had worn their protective gear, they wouldn’t have experienced the accident. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, children that are not up to twelve years old should not be allowed to operate a self-driven lawnmower.

Do Manufacturers Create Self-Propelled Lawnmowers That go Backwards?

With more and more people buying self-propelled mowers, there has been a demand for the most famous wall-behind mower manufacturers to make self-propelled lawn mowers with reverse. However, with the amount of accident recorded by day—at least one child gets injured by a self-driven mower going backwards every day—it is unreasonable to create a walk-behind mower with a rearward feature.

Seeing that most people throw caution to the wind and demand this backward feature despite the risks involved, we must explain why it’s a bad idea to use Self-propelled mowers that go backwards.
Mowing your lawn backwards means you can’t see the direction you’re going.

Meanwhile, you could run into an obstacle or fall into a ditch. You could even hit your pet or child. However, there are self-propelled lawnmowers that come with protective flaps which prevents injury to the user’s foot. If you own one of these, ensure your mower’s flaps are in a perfect state. Plus, avoid wearing baggy clothes as they can get caught in the mower blade as you mow.

Mowing on Slopes

The risk of an accident increases when your yard is hilly or sloppy, especially when you try to mow rearwards on this kind of land. The chances of you losing balance practically double and you could find yourself falling with your mower rolling over you as well. This could lead to severe injuries. So, can you pull a self-propelled mower backwards on the sloppy ground? No.

Besides, many self-drive mowers do a bad job when you use them to mow backwards. The cut can be unbalanced, uneven, or irregular. In the same way, the clipped grass may not come out from under the deck, and some grass may not even get cut at all. In the end, your yard will look haggard.

Can a Self-Propelled Mower be Pushed?

Yes, you can push your self-propelled lawn mower backwards and forward too. While it will be quite difficult to push this machine, rest assured that it won’t affect the mower’s transmission. Self-propelled mowers are heavy so self-propelled lawnmower is hard to pull backwards and forwards.

To get the mower moving, you must press its drive clutch lever forward and release its drive clutch lever to halt your lawnmower from moving forward movement. If you want your mower to propel itself, push the button at the top of your mower’s blade control lever, then push the blade control lever forward complete. Next, press the drive clutch lever forward. You can use the drive clutch lever to hold the blade control lever against its handlebar.

As you press the clutch lever to the front, your lawnmower will gradually move faster. By pushing its lever forward to its handlebar, you’ll find your mower moving at the speed determined by the setting of its shift lever.

Whenever you want to move while using the drive clutch lever to change the speed of your self-propelled, you have to fully hold its blade control lever against its handlebar. This will prevent the blade control mechanism from getting damaged. You must use the maximum speed using its shift lever. This way, you can hold the drive clutch lever comfortably against the handlebar as you mow.

Never use the throttle lever to change your forward speed. This is because the shift lever’s position often determines the highest ground speed when the drive clutch lever is completely engaged. Also, if you want to get the best mowing performance, use the lower speed range to mow always. The higher speed range is meant for transporting.

In a nutshell

So, to answer the question, is it bad to pull a lawnmower backwards? The answer is yes. Self-propelled mowers are better off moving forward and not backward. The risk of moving it back is just too great and it’s therefore not advisable that you do this. Plus, the mower can’t go rearward when it is under power. This means you have to do it manually.

When trying to get your mower to move on its own, remember to let go of the drive clutch lever before you start the engine. With the drive clutch activated, your mower will move forward when you shift the lever. Also, remember to wear protective gear and be very careful as you use your Self-propelled lawnmower.

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