All About Riding Lawn Mower Racing And Rallys

Before entering a riding lawn mower race, you will need to understand the general rules and regulations of the sport.

Lawn mower racing is a fairly new, competitive sports where racers make adjustments to everyday riding lawn mowers to make them faster and more maneuverable. Rules state that every driver must be a member of the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association (USLMRA). Drivers must be at least 18 years old, or as young as 16 with parental permission and all must sign a form releasing the USLMRA from any obligation for damage or injury to person or machine. The events are usually open to all motorized lawn mowers, as long as they pass technical inspections. The mower must have been originally designed to mow lawns and must remain suitable for such. During competitions, cutting blades must be removed and non-stock mowers have to be equipped with an automatic throttle-closing mechanism. All mowers must also have an engine kill switch. Brakes must be functional on at least two of the wheels. Fuel must be regular or unleaded gasoline only, and the only additive allowed is a particular fuel stabilizer.

Classifications of the various mowers are stock class, which is a mower that hasn't been modified, IMOW Class which is a front engine mower, usually used for weed removal, prepared class is where mowers have been modified, particularly the engine and drive train, FX class is where major modifications have been performed. Your mower must fall into one of these categories before registering for an upcoming race. When it comes to safety equipment, all drivers must wear a motorcycle helmet, long pants, a long sleeve shirt, gloves and shoes. It is also mandatory that racers wear a neck support which has been approved for racing purposes.

There are rallies held all over the world and you can find out about these through the USLMRA website or newsletter and through other publications and announcements in your area. The contests vary, depending upon the particular race set-up, sometimes involving bales of hay to maneuver around during the competition. Other races are based on who can cross a finish line first, or who can travel the fastest while in reverse. Still other competitions include racing while steering only with the knees or racing in teams of two or more. Speeds range from 6 mph in stock mowers, to 60 mph in the souped-up categories.

To enter a rally, you usually have to enter or register a few days before the competition, but some races allow participation at the last minute, as long as there is enough time to pass technical inspections. These might include a look at the chassis, the engine, the tires and a peek to assure the blades have been removed. After registration and inspections, each racer is given a number to wear on his shirt or place on the mower. The competition begins at the starting line and may take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours to finish the race, depending on how long the track is and how many laps are required. Each driver is responsible for the safety of others and will be immediately ejected if any interruption of another driver takes place, accidentally or intentionally. Each driver is also responsible for any damage acquired during the race. And, hitting a hay bale might not necessarily dismiss you from the race. Some competitions allow you to re-join the ranks, so long as your mower continues to function properly.

Racing riding lawn mowers is meant to be a fun sport and can become very competitive, but safety is the number one factor when participating in this sport. High speeds make it easier to turn the mower over if the driver is not experienced with this type of competition, so practice around your own yard or an abandoned field before entering any lawn mower race.

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