Popular Mechanics (South Africa)



There are two ways to propel a mower:

You push, or the mower itself does. And if you opt for one that moves forward under its own power via a drivetrain, you have to choose between rear-wheel, front-wheel, and all-wheel drive. Here’s how each works.


Pull the mower’s handle to apply tension to the drive cable and a spring attached to the transmissi­on.

The transmissi­on pivots; the pulley at its top moves away from the engine.

This tenses the drive belt coming from the engine output shaft, spinning the transmissi­on pulley.

That rotates gears at the rear axle, turning the wheels.


The process here is much the same as with rear-wheel drive, except the configurat­ion is flipped.

As you pull back on the drive handle and tension moves through the cable, spring, transmissi­on, pulleys, and drive belts, the gears at the front axle turn the wheels.

This leads to better manoeuvrab­ility but less traction going uphill.


Once again, pull the mower’s drive handle to tense the drive cable and the spring.

The transmissi­on pivots; the two pulleys move away from the engine.

That tenses two drive belts, spinning the transmissi­on pulleys.

Gears at both the front and rear axles turn all four wheels for better traction, but at greater cost and maintenanc­e as there are more parts to wear out.

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