Can You Push a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower?

Well, we have already answered that question many times in our other blogs. But for the sake of your curiosity we will talk about it again.

Usually, you can push a self-propelled lawn mower without any trouble.

You can turn off the propeller of your self-propelled lawn mower and push it around. The blade will still be spinning because you didn’t turn off the engine. This is actually an efficient way of using a self-propelled lawn mower as it will save power.

Even you didn’t, it still wouldn’t cause you any problem. It wouldn’t damage your transmission.

However, pushing your self-propelled lawn mower will take a bit of effort. Self-propelled lawn mowers are heavy especially the rear wheel drive ones. They have a very strong center traction which makes them harder to push.

Hope this clarifies your answer. Now, keep on reading to learn more about self-propelled lawn mowers.

Can a self-propelled lawn mower go backward?

A self-propelled lawn mower can go backward. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to disengage the blade and the drive wheel.

The drive wheel is the main thing you need to worry about.

There are different dive wheel versions of a self-propelled lawn mower. Let’s talk about how you will disengage each drive-wheel lawn mower.

Front-wheel drive

If you have a front wheel drive self-propelled lawn mower, you can just tip it off on its rear wheels. You see, front wheel drive lawn mowers are completely reliant on their front wheels for speed and movements.

To move them backwards:

To pull them backwards, you will have to take them off the ground tipping them on their rear wheels. This will help you easily turn the lawn mower and go backwards. Front wheel lawn mowers have less traction as well, so overall it will be easy to move the front wheel drive lawn mower in any direction.

Rear-wheel drive

Now, rear wheel drives are a bit of a challenge.

Front wheel drives had less traction that is why they were only good on flat plain lawns. They are faster to turn on flat yards.

Rear wheel drives are on the opposite side of the spectrum. The rear wheel drives have strong traction which allows them to stick to the ground. That’s what makes them good for hilly terrains.

But this same feature makes them hard to turn or move backwards. They become even more difficult when the bag behind the mower fills up with grass and becomes heavy.

To move them backward:

To move the rear wheel drive lawn mowers you will have to turn off the engine and disengage the blade. This will let the rear wheels move backward. Just like the EGO Power+ 20-inch 56V Brushless Self Propelled Lawn Mower.

Front wheel drives, rear wheel drives or four wheel drives all require the same technique when you want to move them backwards. You can check out a blog we wrote on front wheel drive vs. rear wheel drive to understand even better about these two drive systems.

Some self-propelled lawn mowers have a lever that allows you to disengage them off the ground easily to move them around.

Remember, the key step here is disengagement. If you got that straight, you should be able to move any lawn mower in any direction.

Should you mow backward with a self-propelled lawn mower?

No, you shouldn’t.

Even though there is a high demand for mowing backward with a self-propelled lawn mower, it is not safe.

The main reason behind this not being safe is the speed of the blade. You see lawn mower especially self-propelled lawn mowers spin their blade really fast. When debris or other solid objects get hit by the spinning blade, the blade hits and projects the object at an incredible speed.

If anyone gets hit by those projectiles, they will be seriously injured, especially children or pets. The only way to prevent this accident from occurring is by wearing protective footwear. And by looking where you are going.

This is the main reason why mowing in the opposite direction is so dangerous. You can’t see where you are going and if you turn back and pull then you can’t keep your eye on the blade.

Another problem is that most self-propelled lawn mower does not have a mulching system for backward mowing. This could make a lot of mess.

The lawn mower manufacturers are trying to come up with a design that allows backward mowing safely. However, at this point, it is safe to not practice this move if not absolutely necessary.

Remember to keep your eyes on the blade motor always.

Can you mow on slopes?

Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t if you are mowing backward.

Rear-wheel drive lawn mowers are great for slopes. Their high traction makes them stick to the ground. This is why they don’t slide down the slope while you mow down.

The Troy-Bilt 21-inch Self Propelled Lawn Mower has high traction as well.

This is when you are mowing down the slope. What if you are mowing backward from a slope?

Well, the simple answer is you don’t. Do not mow backwards down a slope. There is a good chance that you might lose your grip while going backwards. If that happens the lawn mower will fall on you, which could seriously injure you or even be life threatening.

So we highly recommend that you don’t mow backwards on a slope.

Other than that, you can slope downhill with a rear drive wheel normally.


Why is my self-propelled lawn mower hard to push?

The reason your self-propelled lawn mower is hard to push is because the wheels are stuck. The possible reason behind this could be that your belt drive or your pulley is damaged or worn out.

Can you pull a self-propelled lawn mower backwards?

If your self-propelled lawn mower is a front wheel drive, all you have to do is tip it up on its rear wheels and disengage the blade and wheels. This will allow you to move backwards. If your lawn mower is rear wheel drive, just turn off the self-propelling.

Can you adjust the speed on a self-propelled lawn mower?

Yes, you can do that by shifting the throttle lever on the handle after you have started the engine.


To conclude this post, we will say that you can push your self-propelled lawn mower.

It will not damage the transmission or any other parts of the machine. It will even save power if you decide to stop self-propelling. However, it is hard to push a self-propelled lawn mower as they are heavy. Rear-wheel drive self-propelled lawn mowers especially are harder to push because of their strong center traction.

You can mow them backward if your self-propelling is turned off. And yes backward mowing is helpful in delivering the last touch.

So, we hope you’ve found this post helpful. Leave us your feedback or ask us another question in the comments.