Is a Lawn Tractor Possible to Push by Hand?

In spite of the many contexts in which it is necessary to push a lawn tractor, this fact doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Either the mower broke down in the middle of a ride or you need to shift it around in the shed and can’t turn it on. You’ll soon learn that if you need to move the lawn tractor to get it to the repairman or anywhere else, you’ll have to manually push it.

Lawn tractors are built to be pushed by hand and may be operated in this fashion. If you follow the correct procedures, disengaging the hydrostatic drive shouldn’t be too difficult of a task.

In this piece, I’ll go through the best practices for pushing your mower without risking injury to yourself or others. Let’s jump right in!

Reasons Your Lawnmower Won’t Go Forward When Pulled

You may be perplexed as to why your riding mower won’t budge when you push it or why the wheels have such a firm grasp on the ground when the engine is turned off. The hydraulic pressure is responsible for this; the lawn tractor’s driving wheels rely on a pumping action of hydraulic fluids to turn.

No pumping motion and, by extension, no spinning of the drive wheels would occur unless the mower was turned on. For your lawn tractor to move at will, you must thus disable its gearbox.

Lawn Tractor
Lawn Tractor

How to Push a Lawn Tractor: 4 Simple Steps

Once you’ve found the bypass lever, which is generally the most difficult part of the procedure, pushing your lawn tractor is incredibly simple. If you want to push your lawn tractor by hand, here are four simple procedures to follow:

1. Identify the Bypass Lever’s Location

The bypass lever can be hard to find if you aren’t familiar with your specific lawn tractor, since they can be located in a variety of unexpected places and have a variety of distinct looks. Find your lawn tractor’s lever by following these directions:

  • The Machine’s Back End

The bypass lever on most lawn tractors with rear-wheel drive is located at the far back of the machine, behind the collector. They might be on the front, the rear, the sides, the top, the bottom, or even the tires themselves. This may appear difficult, but it’s actually rather simple to identify.

If you look carefully, you’ll see the pin protruding awkwardly from the back of the frame. John Deere and Honda are two manufacturers of lawn tractors that place the bypass lever in the back of the tractor.

  • In The Fore and Aft Parts of the Vehicle

Due of the necessity to release pressure from all four corners of the mower, all-wheel drive lawn tractors have bypass levers on both ends of the machine. The majority of these knobs may be found on the axles, and can be easily located in the same way as the rear-wheel drives.

Husqvarna and Stiga four-wheel drive lawn tractors also have this bypass setting. Simply put, if your lawn tractor has four-wheel drive, you’ll need to adjust not just one, but two bypass lever locations.

  • The Area Beneath the Saddle

In certain models of lawn tractors, the bypass lever is tucked behind between the seats of the collector, out of sight. This is typical of earlier models of lawn tractors like the Countax and the Westward, in which the saddles sit right atop the axle of the rear wheels.

2. Stop the Hydrostatic Engine

You may either push it, pull it, or swivel it after you find the bypass lever. The processes vary depending on the manufacturer and even the specific type of lawn tractor. Even if your mower and your neighbor’s are both rear-wheel drives and the same model, the bypass levers may be different. As long as you try to push, pull, or wiggle it until it locks in place, you should be set to go.

3. Unbuckle the Emergency Brake

To free your lawn tractor from its security lock, you must first use the parking brake and then bypass the hydrostatic drive. Under pressure, the wheels should now be able to roll.

4. Continue Pushing Your Lawn Tractor

As soon as you disconnect the hydro drives, you should be able to push the mower without any resistance. If your lawn tractor has a rear-wheel drive, you should safeguard the gearbox by moving it forward more often than backward. With all-wheel drive, you’re free to move in any direction by applying force to the steering wheel.

Two Possible Explanations for Why You Can’t Disable the Hydrostatic Drive on Your Lawn Tractor

Problems persisting after the drive train has been disconnected suggest a more serious issue that has to be addressed. Since the gearbox is a delicate item that might be expensive to replace, it is advised to avoid additional manipulation of the drivetrain in these situations.

Problems with the Brake Disc

There is a good probability the brake disc will have trouble if the wheels swerve erratically or if only one wheel moves while the other slides.

Defective Bypass Lever

It’s possible that the lever broke off in transit or while putting the mower away. Because of this, the lever is probably jammed and won’t budge no matter how hard you try to pull or push it, or you simply couldn’t discover it in the first place.


There is no reason why a lawn tractor couldn’t be driven by hand if the instructions are followed to the letter. If you’re still having trouble locating the bypass lever after our conversation, I recommend consulting the owner’s handbook or getting in touch with customer care. Maybe you’re having trouble with a lawn tractor that’s a bit of an oddity, and you’d want to talk to someone face to face about it.

If not, I will assume that you are an adept at pulling your lawn tractor against the hydraulic pressure. Have fun!

More about: Lawn Tractor