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Safety Alert for Buyers of Used Commercial Zero Turn Mowers
Date:3/26/2009

cently purchased a used commercial zero-turn mower formerly owned by a landscape company is glad he made the move to get a ROPS installed at his Toro dealer, Greenberg Implement in Nowthen, Minn. "In the name of safety -- that's why I did it," said Lent.

"While commercial landscape maintenance employees are trained to safely handle these quick, powerful machines, homeowners need to be educated on their safe operation, as well," says Steel, senior research associate, Agricultural Safety and Health, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Penn State.

Steel says homeowners need to realize that using the mower two to three hours per week is much different from professionals who are operating them five to seven hours per day.

"For a homeowner, there's a learning curve each time the unit is used," Steel explains, pointing out that a ROPS used with a seat belt is an effective measure of protection a homeowner needs on hills or around obstacles.

"Even when you have a ROPS, a seat belt is a must. Pick up debris, hoses or toys before you start the mower, then stay on the unit and buckle up," says Steel. "And buckle up every single time," he says, "to prevent serious injuries or death in the event of equipment rollovers."

While ROPS are now standard equipment on all Toro and many other brands of commercial mowers, some older models are resold without the device. That's where manufacturer retrofit programs come in. For example, through their dealers, both Toro and Exmark offer free ROPS installation on commercial Z mowers missing the manufacturer-installed ROPS.

"Ensuring our customers' safety is our primary concern," explains Randy Harris, senior marketing manager for Toro's Landscape Contractor Equipment
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