How to Manually Push a Zero Turn Mower: Do’s and Don’ts

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One of the best things we love about zero-turn mowers is their ease and efficiency. From moving gardens with multiple obstacles to mowing acres after acres of grass, it’s just a powerful machine that can seem to do it all. Until it gets stuck. Zero turn mowers have hydrostatic engines that put pressure on your wheels, and even when the engine is off, the pressure is still there. This makes it hard to move your mower when it gets stuck in the middle of your lawn. Here’s a simple guide on how to manually push a zero-turn mower.

Why did my zero-turn mower stop moving?

There are many reasons why your zero-turn stopped moving. Here are common reasons why your mower stopped:

  • Something jammed your wheels
  • Your belt is probably broken or detached
  • Your mower has a problem with its pulley system
  • Your spring or tension has an issue
  • You’re stuck on mud, muck, or mulch

Step by Step Guide on How to Manually Push a Zero Turn Mower

  • Step 1: Identify the type of brake you have
  1. Manual brake. Smaller zero-turn mowers and older models use a manual brake.
  2. Electronic brake. Most z-turn mowers have an electronic brake and rely on the power from the engine for it to work.
  3. Locking brake. Some mowers automatically hit the brake when you get off your seat even when the engine is still running.
  • Step 2: Release the brakes

Manual Brake

  1. When your mower stops moving, turn off the engine.
  2. Then, disengage the brakes.
  3. Typically, you will be able to push your mower.
  4. Some manual brakes still won’t move even after disengaging the brakes, if this happens, go to your rear wheels and find the hydraulic pins.
  5. Push the pins to release the pressure from your wheels.

Electronic brake

  1. Some electronic brakes are activated by the lap bars, when you push the steering levers outwards this engages the brakes. Others have pedals or brake buttons, make sure the brakes are disengaged.
  2. Turn off the engine.
  3. Find your hydraulic pins behind your mower near your rear wheels, and push these pins in to release the pressure from your wheels.

Locking brake

  1. Even after you push your hydraulic pins, your mower still won’t move. Go to your controls and put your mower on ‘RUN or DRIVE’.
  2. Adjust your front wheels and push your mower.

REMEMBER: You don’t need to turn your engine on, you only need to toggle your mower to run.

Golden rules to remember when manually pushing your mower


  • Always clear the path for your mower to move.
  • It’s best to clear your cargo bed to reduce the weight of your mower.
  • Have someone assist you especially in guiding you when pushing your mower manually.
  • Always turn your engine off before pushing your mower.


  • Don’t forcibly push your zero-turn mower without disengaging the brakes. You will end up damaging your brake and hydraulic system. 
  • For safety reasons, don’t try to tow your mower especially if you try to tow it backward. ZTRs are meant to be driven forward hence towing them backward may cause expensive or even permanent damage.
  • Never run your mower on idle.

Additional Tips

tips to manually push zero turn mowers
  • If your mower stops moving on a slope or on uneven ground, get a tire wedge stopper, or anything you can use as a stopper to prevent your mower from stopping.
  • Raise your mowing deck higher if it is on the lowest cutting height to prevent anything from getting caught as you push your mower.
  • If you have a gravely zero turn, then read this article to learn how to manually push a gravely zero turn mower.

ZTR mowers don’t easily budge when it stops working. Unlike a car you can push or tow aside, a mower has multiple safety features preventing it from being moved manually. This easy guide is a quick fix to help you put your mower aside and find out why it stopped.