Are you struggling to keep your zero-turn mower straight? This problem is faced by most of the zero-turn mower owners at some point. The mower cannot follow a straight path and tries to move left or right while moving. You may also be experiencing jerks while turning your mower, and it does not smoothly reverse. If you are also facing these issues, then clearly, your steering wheel needs adjustment. Here are few methods by which you can adjust the steering of a top zero turn mower.
Don’t worry about the model of your zero turn mower, as almost every adjustment of the steering can be applied to all common models available in the market. The most important thing that you should keep in your mind while making steering adjustments is you should always first focus on basics and then move to any major adjustment. So let’s begin with the guide:
Tire Pressure Should Be Correct
Tire pressure is an important factor that affects the tracking of a zero-turn mower, so it should be maintained at the recommended level. You can always check the standard level for tire pressure with the instruction manual provided with your zero-turn mower.
Make sure you add or reduce the air to achieve the standard PSI units mentioned in the manual. If your zero-turn mower cannot follow a straight path, you should try increasing the pressure on the drive wheel but the side where your mower tends to move.
While making these adjustments, make sure that you do not exceed the maximum tire pressure in script on the sides of tires. If the pressure level is higher than standard, it becomes difficult for the operator to coordinate with the machine, especially on wet surfaces.
If even after correcting your tire pressure, your lawnmower is not still adjusted, then you can move on to the below-listed adjustment. You will not need any major tools to make these adjustments; just a wrench would be enough!
Adjust Drive Wheel Speeds
Another reason that can make your mower not move in a straight line can be the different speeds of the drive wheels. If the speed of either of the two wheels is higher as compared to the other one, the mower could veer towards one direction.
You need to check the speeds of both wheels and slow down the wheel, which is moving faster, or just speed up the wheel is moving slower. Don’t worry. This is not as complex as it may sound. Here are the steps:
- Determine the direction your mower is turning(right/left)
- Loosen the nut placed on the adjustment bolt of the unit.
- Now, you can adjust the speed by either turning the bolt clockwise that will decrease the travel of the steering lever, or adjust the bolt anticlockwise. This will increase the travel of the steering lever.
- Now, you just need to retighten the nut. If the steering lever travel is controlled by following the above steps, the mower should not deflect from its path to right or left when both the steering levers are pushed forward.
Steering Levers Alignment
Steering lever misalignment can also be a cause of your problem. The alignment of the steering lever involves losing the two steering arms and alignment of them to an ideal position. Here are the steps that you need to follow:
Adjust Steering Lever Height
Firstly, you need to remove the hardware securing the handlebar to the control arm. Then move the handlebar in such a direction (up/down) that mounting holes are aligned with adjusting holes. Lastly, retighten the hardware.
Adjust the Width of The Steering Lever
Loosen the hardware located at the base of the lower control arm. Then find the eccentric spacer and then loosen the nut on the hex bolt which supports this spacer. Rotate the spacer to adjust it for both arms and finally tighten the hardware.
Adjust the Reach of The Steering Lever
You first need to loosen the hardware that secures the steering control to the upper control arm. Next, you should rotate the steering lever according to your comfort in either the forward or backward direction. Finally, tighten all the nuts starting from the upper bolt.
Now, you must be aware of general steps to adjust the zero-turn mower steering. Instruction may vary a little according to design models. Do not worry, and the instruction manual is likely to have adjustment procedures related to your model. If nothing of the above solutions works, then you should go to a dealer for a professional inspection.