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OT: Defeating safety switches on newer lawn tractors (seat, reverse, blade, etc)

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Mad Scientist View Post
    All of the safety devices, switches, etc. in the world cannot and will not protect the idiot who has no common sense or refuses to use it. These machines can be and are dangerous if misused, but they are no different then a table saw, lathe, etc. After all is said and done it is up to the individual to recognize the machine and his limitations. No government rule can do that for you.

    Thank you Mad---

    I am a 73 yr old intelligent man who has operated machinery/equipment far more dangerous - and scary -than riding a grass cutter across my yard, and feel confident that if the machines motor doesnt die when I leave the seat to hold a limb out of the way, or put it in reverse to back up, I can get along with cutting my grass much more comfortably and less aggravation.

    This topic is like many others, those fer and those agin - (ie: pvc pipe to plumb a compressor....)
    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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    • #47
      First of all let me say I'm a firm believer in the safety switches installed on todays lawn & garden tractors. They've been put there over the years in response to injuries and fatalities in an attempt to minimize them in the future.

      Most tractors today have a feature that lets you mow in reverse. All you have to do on my JD445 is lift the mower engage switch before you step on the pedal to go in reverse. It continues to mow as long as you continue in reverse or change directions and go forward. The mower will stop however if you go in reverse, let off on the pedal to stop then attempt to go in reverse again without first lifting the mower engage switch.

      Also the seat switch is disabled when you engage the parking brake. Then you can get on and off at will without the engine stopping. I can't tell you how many tractors I've seen over the years that have been put on their side trying to mow a steep bank. I'm sure everyone of the operators was glad the mower stopped and the engine shut off when they were trying to get away from a couple thousand pounds of falling machinery.

      Just last summer a neighbor was attempting to load a tractor in his pickup truck when a ramp slipped. The front wheels were already in the truck when the ramp came out from under a rear wheel. The thing was almost vertical before he fell off the seat. Luckily it stopped in its tracks when the engine quit. Had he bypassed the seat switch I'm sure the outcome wouldn't have been just a near miss.

      About 10 years ago a fellow who worked for the same company I did was mowing his lawn when his wife and 3 year old son came home. His back was to the drive and he didn't see the boy run over to see him. He backed over his son. A soon as he realized it he jumped off the tractor. Unfortunately it didn't have a seat switch or a mower kill switch. His son was severly injured when his foot went under the mower.

      As for the push and/or self propelled mowers we have 2 Toros with a blade clutch. When you let go of the handle the blade stops but the engine keeps running. All you have to do to rengage the blade is cycle the blade start lever. By the way I still have several scars on my left arm, each about a foot long. When we were kids I was walking by one of the neighbors houses while he was mowing the lawn. The mower picked up a couple pieces of wire hidden in the grass and threw them at me. If the mower had a discharge chute like todays mowers I wouldn't have needed a trip to the hospital and several dozen stitches.
      Last edited by projectnut; 01-27-2013, 04:19 PM.

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      • #48
        Simply put, many people are idiots.

        It seems that every year you hear about at least one little boy/girl who got a hand or foot chopped off because Grandpa/Dad was mowing with the kid on his lap and he/she fell off and was run over. I had a neighbor with a commercial-sized John Deere mower who would mow with an infant on her lap.
        Those are the people this kind of "safety" feature are intended for.

        As I said earlier, my mower has an ignition switch position that will defeat this feature. You have to turn the key to the "Run" position, then back towards "Start" to allow the blades to run when the transmission is in reverse so it can't be selected accidentally. I use it for exactly the reason you mention. My kids aren't even allowed on the same side of the house that I'm mowing.


        Originally posted by John Stevenson View Post
        Simple question, not ever having owned or used a ride on mower.

        In the UK we have window boxes for lawns.

        Why do they not want you to mow when reversing ? Surely there are some area's you can only get to in reverse without a lot of faffing about ?
        Last edited by lwalker; 01-27-2013, 07:16 PM. Reason: clarification

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        • #49
          On my "assembled in the USA" Husquana zero turn mower I can and do mow in reverse when needed - its was the same on my previous USA-made Simplicity and Toro mowers.

          If the mower skirt is fitted and is say its normal 1 1/2"or so off the ground (with side ejection) it is highly unlikely that any child that gets in the way in any direction will get past the skirt to the spinnining blade/s.

          If being in reverse is the concern I'd be more concerned about the differential and its belt and pulley hitting the child.

          My mower has no differential or front end linkakes (which can make a mess of a child too) nor does it have a steering wheel.

          Each hydraulically-driven rear wheel is indendent of the other and each can go from full-ahead to full astern with no worries and because the front end is on castors the mower can turn in its own length - no gear changes and backing and filling - and no "clutch" or gear-box either.

          It can cut around a 15" tree/circle in one go.

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          • #50
            My 12 year old grandson wanted to use my John Deere mower. I let him try, but he was not heavy enough to trip the seat switch, so I would not let him do it on safety grounds.

            Later that summer he was up and I see him riding the mower. He came up and said he was heavy enough now, so I let him mow.

            I later discovered a big flat rock he had found and loaded onto the seat.

            I think he got away with that for 2 or 3 visits before I found the rock.
            ron ginger
            http://plsntcov.8m.com

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            • #51
              Smart KID!!!!

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              • #52
                I drove a lawn mower into the pond when I was a kid. It was nice and clean when they pulled it out!
                Andy

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by RonGinger View Post
                  My 12 year old grandson wanted to use my John Deere mower. I let him try, but he was not heavy enough to trip the seat switch, so I would not let him do it on safety grounds.

                  Later that summer he was up and I see him riding the mower. He came up and said he was heavy enough now, so I let him mow.

                  I later discovered a big flat rock he had found and loaded onto the seat.

                  I think he got away with that for 2 or 3 visits before I found the rock.

                  Smart Kid, Reminds me of the folded napkins I used to stuff into my shoes to get on carnival rides.

                  All the safety switches are gone on my mower. It would be a very frustrating time if the blades, or motor stopped every time I got out of the seat or put it in reverse.

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                  • #54
                    Well Bill I'm sure you must have gotten your problem solved by now but in the event you haven't the easiest thing to do for the seat safety switch is to buy and new one P/N 925-04040/ or 725-04040 about $11 + shipping on ebay), disconnect the connector from the seat switch and connect it to the new one then put a tye wrap (or something) to keep the plunger depressed. I just purchased a nice 2006 LTX1050 with less than 200 hrs. and that's how I solved the problem and here is why.
                    The connector has 2 green ground wires, 1 yellow wire that goes to the RMC module and 1 yellow with white trace wire that goes to the brake switch. When the seat is not occupied the contact on the yellow closes providing a ground path to the RMC module which de-activates the module. Also, the contact for the yellow with white trace closes providing a ground path in series with the brake switch which shots out the primary winding of the magneto.
                    Now, that being said you would think that all you would need to do is unplug the connector BUT au contraire, the connector also has contacts such that when the connector is unplugged a tiny jumper inside the connector shorts out all of the connects and acts as if the seat is empty. If you try to put jumpers in the connector you risk the chance of damaging the tiny jumpers inside. Also by using another connector you can always put the connector back on the seat switch.

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                    • #55
                      You ask this question on the John Deere forum and people refuse to answer it. My dads GT 235, you have to hold a switch to keep the mower going while moving in reverse. My 285 will quit unless I set the parking brake, my 140 only has a safety on the Forward / Reverse lever. Safeties are annoying

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                      • #56
                        My Toro GT2300 has a button built into the ignition switch to bypass the reverse cut out. I use it for mowing and snow blowing. I don't mess with the seat cut out though. Stu

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Jaakko Fagerlund View Post
                          They are just simple microswitches most probably, the easiest solution is to rewire around them.

                          BUT: Why? Why on earth one would disable them, as the idea is to provide safety and what I've used those lawn mower tractors, they are not of nuisance. Sure I need to restart after I get up, but so what? Takes all of 3 seconds to do so.
                          Why because their a big pain in the ass, that's why. I don't need the government making things that are supposed to be safer for me to operate. In my yard I have to back up a lot when I cut the grass, I can't imagine the blades shutting off every time I back up.

                          JL........

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                          • #58
                            JoeLee is would be good to remember that most consumers have no common sense. So the manufacturers have to protect themselves. I have a commercial golf course mower that has so many safety switches on it that it cuts into my efficiency big time. If I raise the 5 decks the blades turn off so when I back up to turn and I raise the decks to reduce wear on the rollers behind each deck the blades turn off and I have to wait for them to come up to speed to resume mowing. If I would get off the seat to pick up something in my way it would kill the engine. That is not good for the engine because it has a turbo on it and should be idled for minimum of two minutes before shutting of the engine. Two minutes minimum is a long time to sit and wait for me.

                            I installed my own wiring harness and just lets say now you should have some common sense if you use my mower. The only kills on it now are for temp. and oil, both motor and hydraulic oil temp and low oil.
                            Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                            How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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                            • #59
                              When I had my Cub Cadet 1512 diesel tractor, I was frustrated by the reverse blade interlock, and I asked on "MyTractorForum" how to disable it. They said that members were prohibited from providing any such information or risk being banned from the forum. I didn't keep the tractor very long, as it was too big for my purposes. I've gotten by without a working tractor for a long time, and I still plan to make a small electric tractor, as well as a 24" dual motor string trimmer.

                              I have never seen or heard of a tractor (or even power push mower) using string trimmer heads, but I think they would be adequate for most residential grass mowing purposes. It would also be much safer.
                              http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                              Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                              USA Maryland 21030

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                              • #60
                                Uzing stri g trimmer heads to mow gras is not going to give you a nice clean cut. I had a push string trimmer with a 5hp briggs & stratton engine. We used it to trim fence lines. It used individual pieces of string clamped in the head. If you use string heads to mow you will have a lawn that looks like a goat was grazing. I have more pride in how my place looks to use such a device.
                                Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                                How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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