Whilst we’re sure that you’ve heard the term ‘ergonomics’ applied to your office furniture, have you ever heard it applied to ride on mowers for sale? Basically, it’s about choosing a mower that fits you comfortably, safely and that causes minimal confusion. Ergonomics actually covers two key areas – physical (making things fit the human body, taking into account strength, safe working position, etc) and psychological (making things fit the mind, taking into account stress, pleasure, memory, human error, etc).
This practice has actually become so important that many manufacturers are actually employing ergonomics departments, which are dedicated to ensuring that their products are optimised from a “human factors” point of view. At the same time, however, plenty of manufacturers are neglecting the importance of optimising their products for humans. This leads to the creation of products that are poorly designed from a usability standpoint.
The key ergonomic issues that a good ride on mower will have addressed are:
- Making the mower straightforward to use physically. This includes using the various controls, being able to safely keep control, being designed for easy storage, and ease of maintainability. The design will have failed if the controls aren’t easy to identify or if you have to pull the whole thing apart just to fill the tank with fuel.
- Making the mower straightforward to use mentally. Even if the controls are easy to grab, for example, if they aren’t intuitive (such as having levers that move in the direction opposite to what you expect) the design of the machine has still effectively failed. This is notably because they feel awkward to operate and could cause accidents.
Ask yourself the following questions when assessing lawn mowers from an ergonomics standpoint:
- Has the machine been designed so that I can easily start, control and maneouvre it?
- Does the machine feature levels of adjustment so that it will fit different user needs and preferences? An adjustable steering wheel or operator seat is an example of this in action.
- Has the machine been integrated with features that make the task of mowing the lawn as enjoyable and painless as possible?
- Does the machine have features that make maintenance as simple as possible? Easily accessible covers for commonly replaced parts (such as batteries or filters) is an example of this in action.
- Do the controls look comfortable or intuitive to use? Padded seats or shaded operator seats are an example of this in action.
After reading this article, we hope that you now see the importance of ergonomics when looking at ride on mowers for sale. Whilst how powerful the engine is and how shiny the paint job is are certainly important considerations when making your selection, it is important that they don’t come at the detriment of the usability of the machine. You’ll find that your mower offers a much more enjoyable experience if it has been tailored to fit the body and mind of the person using it – in other words, you.