Deck Shields

Written by Jared Vincenti
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The deck shield is perhaps the most important piece of safety equipment on a lawn mower, along with the "dead-man's switch." A dead-man's switch is a handle on many push mowers that must be held down in order for the mower to operate. If it is released, the engine cuts off--thus, if anything bad happens to the operator, he can no longer be hurt by his machine.

The deck shield on a mower is a much simpler safety device, and protects the operator from initial harm from his mower. A deck shield is the part of a mower deck that encases the blades and blocks access to them from above or the sides. This means that the operator can't accidentally stick his foot in the blades, or drop anything into the deck machinery.

Your First Line of Safety

A deck shield is really no more than a piece of metal that is strong enough to withstand the damage that a mower blade could inflict. Aside from sparing the hassle of grass clippings blowing any which way, the deck shield keeps other debris from flying out and hitting the operator. Since mower blades spin incredibly fast, and hard object they hit will be cut and launched.

If you ever hear a clanging sound from inside your mower, you should stop immediately and see what you hit. Usually, a loud, unexpected rattling is a rock or other hard object being batted around inside the deck shield by your blades. While this spares you the danger of getting hit, it can damage your blades. Just stop your mower and move it away from the spot you were at and see what made the noise.

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