Putting In Work: Pushing A Toro Zero-Turn Mower By Hand

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Because many essential components work together to authorize the movement of the machine, your Toro z-turn can fail at any unlucky time, and that’s a bummer if you’re in the middle of mowing. The zero-turn mower can be pushed by hand to a service area in the event of a variety of breakdowns, including a broken drive belt, a lack of gas, or even a dead battery.

The wiring of your Toro zero-turn mower will make it so that the wheels won’t move when the engine is turned off, making it impossible to transport it.
Because of this, I’ll go over the best strategy for safely returning your Toro z-turn to its storage area or loading it onto a trailer via manual propulsion.

Why Doesn’t Manually Pushing Work with My Toro Zero-Turn Mower?

You have probably pushed a car out of a jam before, or at least seen someone else do so, and you may be perplexed as to why your Toro z-turn won’t allow you to do the same. The thing does move because it has wheels. As a result, why wouldn’t it shift?

The hydraulic pressure is the primary cause. The wheels of your zero-turn mower are turned by hydraulic pressure. The mower’s motors are responsible for this motion, and they can only do their job if the engine is on. The hydraulic pumps will be severely damaged if you try to force your z-turn to move.

Therefore, this is your final warning to refrain from pulling or scraping your zero-turn to make minor parking gestures without actually turning the machine on. Unless, of course, you take pleasure in the challenge of fixing pricey items.

Making Ready To Push Your Toro Zero-Turn Mower

Here are some precautions you can take to make sure you, your mower, and anyone else nearby stay safe:

Put on some Gloves

Because you will be jamming your hands into tight spaces within the machine, which may contain sharp edges, gloves should be worn at all times.

Make a Zero-Turn by Wedging the Tires

If the mower is on uneven ground, this will prevent it from rolling away. To prevent the mower from wandering off in free mode, secure the rear tires using a block of wood, brick, branch, or anything else you can find that is the right size and shape.

A sturdy wedge for the tires to press on while you push your Toro z-turn out of a ditch is essential if the mower becomes stuck.

Set The Throttle To Go As Slowly As Possible.

Toro’s zero-turn mowers are equipped with Smart Speed technology, which lets you adjust the mower’s speed while it’s in motion. To avoid losing control of your machine while pushing, set the throttle to tow mode, the slowest speed.

Toro ZTRs are surprisingly quick machines, and when the resistance is taken out of the drive wheels, they can be pushed with surprisingly little effort.

Set The Deck To The Highest Cutting Position Possible.

In order to avoid any potential mishaps while manually pushing your Toro ZTR, you should set the deck to its highest cutting position. In addition to reducing the likelihood of scalping your lawn, this is especially useful if your terrain is uneven or bumpy.

Clear The Path

Remove anything that could get in the way of your machine’s movement. Since you’d be pushing the mower yourself, you might need to use wooden planks to cover up any holes or scalps. In the long run, it would simplify things considerably for you.

By Hand-Pulling Your Toro ZTR

There’s no point in waiting any longer; you might as well start pushing now that you’ve taken all the necessary precautions. How to disengage the Toro transmission to allow the zero-turn mower to move freely:

1. Position the Steering Wheel in the Center of the Vehicle.

Extending the side levers on your Toro zero-turn mower causes it to stop automatically (like extending your arms). Activating the mower is as simple as turning the key in the ignition to the right. The levers can be pressed into their resting position in this way. Soon after that, you can switch it off again.

2. Pull the Emergency Brake Handle to Release Parking Brake

In order to complete a z-turn with your Toro, you need to release the parking brake. To unlock it and move on to the next stage, simply pull it down.

3. Find the Pins That Disengage the Transmission.

Toro ZTR transmission release pins are conveniently placed and easy to find, especially in comparison to competing brands. If you look under the seats when you get a look at the machine’s rear, you’ll see a sticker with symbols on it that tell you how to disable the transmission. Pins for each drive wheel motor can be found toward the bottom of the page.

4. Take the Pressure Off the Hydraulic System

To engage free drive, simply insert the motors’ pins into their corresponding keyholes. Pushing can begin as soon as this is completed. You’ll need to do the opposite—pull out the pins—to start the transmission.

Pushing Down Hills
Pushing Down Hills

Putting Your Toro Zero-Turn Mower Down A Slope By Hand

There may be new rules to follow when a slope is in play, depending on how steep it is. Assuming you’ve wedged your machine correctly and taken all necessary precautions, here are two pointers for sloping terrain:

Request For Assistance

As I was saying before, Toro zero-turns are fast machines that are almost entirely dependent on the hydraulic pumps to be wedged in place. If you’re not sure how to safely navigate the machine down a hill, you’re taking a big risk by driving it up it in the first place. In order to safely lower the mower down the slope, you should enlist the aid of a reliable person.

Use The Brake Feature On The Steering Wheel Lever

You or your helper can then sit in the machine and use the steering levers to control the speed. To activate the electric safety mechanism, you must first turn on the mower (not the engine) rather than manually cranking it. With this feature, you can immediately stop the mower if the situation becomes dangerous, protecting yourself, your helper, and the mower.


Disengaging the transmission of your Toro zero-turn mower will allow it to move freely. You can then gently push the mower onto a truck or into storage.

If you want to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your mower, avoid pushing it in reverse as much as possible as you move it around. The odds are in your favor, and I hope the best for you.