How do Riding Lawn Mowers Work?


A riding lawn mower resembles a very small tractor and is used to keep larger areas of grass short and neat. Much like a tractor, the rider or driver sits on top of the mowing machines deck. From this standpoint, the driver can control the mower in more or less the same fashion as a car. Riding mowers have foot pedals which are used for breaking and accelerating while being steered with a steering wheel. The rider is also able to adjust the blades’ height without having to climb down from the machine deck.

Should the Choke be Open or Closed on Riding Lawn Mowers?

Any machine that has an engine needs to work with the throttle in a full open position. Cold starts will require the use of full throttle and full choke to get the engine going. Once you are confident that the engine is running smoothly, turn off the choke and back the throttle down to half. This will allow any oil to flow freely and the engine to warm up. Once the engine has warmed up and is running smoothly without cutting out, then you can close the choke and start to mow.

You should never run the choke for than a minute and if you find that you need to, and then you should have the engine looked at or book a professional diagnosis at a reputable repair shop. If you find that the engine sputters and dies after closing the choke then you will need to check or clean the carburettor.

The carburettor needs to be taken apart and cleaned regularly because of dust and sand sticking to any of the lubricated parts of the engine. This sandy build up can cause friction and sticking between the components. A quick service and oil change will generally sort out any choke problems you might be experiencing.

What does Hydrostatic Riding Lawn Mowers Mean?

A hydrostatic transmission is made up of a displacement bi-directional axial piston pump and a fixed displacement bi-directional axial piston hydraulic motor. The piston pump is powered by an external power source such as a v-belt from a gasoline engine. Basically, a hydrostatic transmission combines a hydraulic pump with a hydraulic motor to power the machine or in this case, a riding lawn mower. Riding Lawn Mowers with hydrostatic transmissions allow you to mow through a wide range of speeds instead of using preset gear speeds.

The hydrostatic pump uses pressurized oil to move the pistons in a hydrostatic drive system. This piston movement powers the hydrostatic motors which then engage the drive wheels of your riding lawn mower. This type of lawn mower generally offers more power and greater acceleration combined into a smaller sized mower. A hydrostatic riding lawn mower is generally smaller in size and much easier to manoeuvre and have a quicker response time than gear or belt driven mowers.

This allows the driver to change direction quickly and easily. A great feature on most hydrostatic riding lawn mowers is the cruise control function which allows you to pick the speed you are comfortable with when mowing your lawn. Maintaining a hydrostatic transmission is already a costly job thanks to its complicated systems and additional components. Riding lawn mowers with a hydrostatic transmission are generally more expensive than gear or belt driven motors.

What does Automatic Transmission mean on Riding Lawn Mowers?

Like with an automatic car, the driver does not need to change gears with an automatic transmission. An automatic transmission on riding lawn mowers makes it a user friendly experience, especially for people with little to now experience around riding lawn mowers. There is no need to fiddle with gears and stay on the right path while mowing with an automatic transmission.

Just as with a hydrostatic transmission, automatic mowers can be put on cruise control to allow the driver to choose a comfortable mowing speed. Cruise control is handy for anyone who wants to maintain a constant speed for long stretches of mowing. Automatic riding lawn mowers switch between speeds much easier because it is not necessary to shift gears. Automatic riding lawn mowers are generally much faster and less time consuming than manual transmission riding mowers.


If you have a giant piece of lawn that needs mowing, then you need to invest in a riding lawn mower. These mowers allow the user to be seated on top of the machine and actually drive the mower like you would a car. This is much less strenuous than having to push and pull your mower all around the show.