Dixie Chopper - Bent Casters

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Don G, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Don G

    Don G LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    We are running a new 3300 extreme machine. In 70 hours I have had to replace 3 front casters, because of bending. I believe the bent forks are coming from abuse or carelessness. We are on a tough site, a power plant with lots of ditches and rough terrain. Other than the forks the machine is flawless.
    We poly/foamed the front wheels to prevent flats, some say this is causing the bent forks.
    I appreciate any feedback. Thanks this site is great!
     
  2. mowingmachine

    mowingmachine LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    I have seen similar situations from foam filling. My experience was on a pull behind rough cut mower though. The foam filling would cause the fork to bend on rough ground. When the tire was replaced with the standard air tires the problem went away. The foam doesn't allow any give like an air tire.
     
  3. mowingmachine

    mowingmachine LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    I forgot to mention that there is a lightweight foam filler out there that acts very similar to an air tire. I don't recall the name though. I believe it is 75% lighter.
     
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    There are talks on other forums about the casters bending.

    Ever since they went with the more upright caster, there have been problems.

    When the tire is sideways, and you want to go forward, if it doesn't spin and go straight, your going to bend them. Foam filling or not.
     
  5. hickslawns

    hickslawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    We have had the same thing with the newer forks. Haven't replaced one yet. Heat them up and bend them back, or take them off and a good frame shop should be able to straighten them. Seems like it should be a warranty issue, but they refuse. I have found if you turn the mowers sideways on the trailer and it is not a wide enough trailer the guys force the mower in there and it bends them. Solution for me (and a necessity anyway) was to buy an 18' trailer and not turn them sideways. Another place I have seen them get bent is mowing on a slope and hitting them at an angle when going up the slope. This puts all the weight and momentum on the one caster that hits the uphill slope first.
     
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    It's absolutely a waranty item. Get them to replace them. I think they're reinforcing the new ones.

    I've seen a few SCAG's, a few newer DC's, and a lot of older Toro's and eXmarks with bent caster forks. For the most part though today, most manufacturers have gone with 1/2" thick caster forks. You don't bend these simply mowing grass!
     
  7. hickslawns

    hickslawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 131

    Is this speaking from experience? Have you gotten a Dixie Chopper dealer to warranty yours? Ours says he can't get reimbursed for them and they are not a warranty item. He says it is from abuse. I think I am being abused.
     
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I have almost 500 on my upright forks and they haven't bent so your guys must be hitting some wicked bumps going pretty fast. My vacant lot (2.6 acres) has some really bad ruts and I slow down when I go through them.

    That said, get a set of the Flex-Forks.
     
  9. REALSLOW

    REALSLOW LawnSite Senior Member
    from FLORIDA
    Posts: 668

    Or better yett just buy a whole Hustler.
     
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Hustler sells the same kind of forks....
     

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