How to Use Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers


Self-propelled lawn mowers look and act like regular push mowers, and perform in much the same way. The major difference is that their motors are connected to some type of power take-off mechanism, like a transmission or a drive belt, that turns either the front or rear wheels. This generally makes the mower heavier than its push-mower counterpart, but because it is self propelled and moves under its own power, the extra weight of the mower becomes negligible when cutting your lawn.

Step 1

Grasp the engine brake lever, push the throttle lever to "choke" and start your mower per your mower's normal starting sequence. Once running, pull the throttle out of the "choke" mode and allow it to idle.

Step 2

Hold the handle firmly and pull back on the self-propelled engagement lever. This lever is found above the handle and is hinged on both sides. Pull back on the lever to activate the self-propelled power drive to the wheels; the mower will begin to move forward.

Step 3

Increase the speed of the mower by advancing the throttle. The faster the engine runs, the faster the mower will move on its own. Set the speed of the mower with the throttle to maintain a comfortable walking pace.

Step 4

Guide the mower along as you go. When it is time to turn, pivot the mower on its back wheels and turn it in the direction you wish to proceed.

Step 5

Walk behind the mower and guide it along, turning when you need to turn, and let the mower do the work. When the job is finished, guide the mower to where it needs to be parked or stored and release the self propelled lever to disengage the power drive.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always wear ear plugs or ear muffs when operating any lawn mower, including self-propelled models.


  • You Tube: Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Demo
  • You Tube: Self-Propelled Mower on Autopilot
  • Consumer Search: Self Propelled Lawn Mower Reviews
  • All About Lawns: What Mower Should I Use?
Keywords: self propelled mower, lawn mower operation, operating push mowers

About this Author

Dale Y the Maintenance Guy, has been involved with do-it-yourself projects, household and auto maintenance, property management and worked as a consultant with home and industries, while running a successful home repair business for more than 25 years. His written work has appeared in the "Lacrosse Tribune," "Women's Day," "New Home Journal," and on many DIY websites across the Internet.