Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
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The ease of pulling it backwards will get better with time. They can be a little tight when new but with a few uses it will become easier to pull backwards.
The two drive levers are so that if your one hand gets tired of squeezing the handle you can use the other. You do not have to hold both for the propel system to function. You can use one or the other for convenience and to help keep your one hand from getting cramps or issues because you have to hold it in order to keep the propel operating.
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If this issue of hard backwards pulling does not work itself out within a few uses then I would suggest taking it to an authorized service center for warranty repair and let them know that it has been an issue from the very beginning. Depending on where you purchased it you may consider returning it to the place of purchase for a possible exchange.