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Deck Cleaning my ZTR?

jkearnan

LawnSite Member
Location
Visalia, CA
Greetings!

I have now owned my new/used Gravely Promaster 44Z for a week or so and put it through it's paces last weekend. WOW, I didn't't know what I was missing. I am spoiled now and could not imagine going back to my old 22 hp garden tractor.

Question: How do you effectively clean the decks on these ZTR's? I noticed some of the new models have actual hose access points on the deck tops for wash out. On this Gravely model I don't see that type of access. I assume it is suggested that I clean out/hose out the deck bottom after each use? This was my normal approach with my garden tractor/48 inch deck so that I could start with a nice clean deck each mowing. Is this a standard practice with ZTR mowers like my Gravely or will the deck basically keep itself clean enough? I just hate to let grass get built up under there and potentially start rust, etc...

After my first use this past weekend I tried to shoot water from my hose into whatever open bolt hole I could find on the top of that deck (while it was running). I certainly got some waste, etc.. out from under the deck by doing that. But 1) the holes are not very big at all and 2) I almost need a 2nd person to sit on my tractor and let my deck run while I hose it out. Or is this frowned on?

Thanks for any direction on this topic...I want to keep the new unit functioning in top condition.
 

Sport42

LawnSite Member
Location
Illinois
Personally, I wouldn't use the hose every time. That will bring rust faster than grass build up. You don't see any of the hose clean out ports on decks, of the top ZTR munufacturers. Seems like a residential/homeowner gimmick.

I have just had my ZTR for a little less than one season, and last season I really didn't do anything. This year, I plan on coating the underside of the deck with Fluid Film, and I have a jack now to clean the deck periodically by hand.
 

topsites

LawnSite Fanatic
I don't know what exactly the holes are for but I am pretty sure those are not your garden hose variety access holes,
even if they're called hose access holes they would more than likely refer to air tool access, not water.

That having been said, I always lift the deck covers and what have you out of the way, then I use my backpack blower,
sometimes I use my air compressor's blow nozzle, and a decent hand held blower would likely work as well.

You want to clean it frequently, especially with a lower power blower but regardless because that dirt gets to going into
a nasty build up and you'll end up having to figure out how to squeeze a crowbar in there to try and get it clean...

Probably best to clean it after every mow.

But yeah, I would recommend using air, not water.
 
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Mickhippy

LawnSite Platinum Member
Just give the underside of the deck a scrape to clean off any large chunks and if really keen use compressed air to get into corners etc. (I would only worry about it if you've cut wet grass and its sticking).
Just spray some cheap WD40 type lube under there if your concerned about rust. I had a pressure bottle with a bendable tip and filled it from a 5 litre bottle of WD40. I didnt use the spray cans. Made it very easy to do.
Best to leave water out of the equation as it can get into spindles.

Get yourself an air compressor (if you dont already) and a nozzle. There great for cleaning out the entire machine. I couldnt live without one now. Then you could also get an impact wrench for blades.
 

shotgunshane

LawnSite Member
Occasional washing is ok, just be sure and run the deck for a few minutes after to get any standing water off the spindles. I like the air compressor idea. I'm in the market for one and a nail gun. Now I'll have another use!
 
OP
J

jkearnan

LawnSite Member
Location
Visalia, CA
Thanks for the feedback.

I have a shop with an air compressor already set up. I have a good 50+ feet of hose on my wall mounted roller and so pulling it outside the shop to the mower would be no problem. Air does make much more sense than the water, so thanks for that heads up.

In the summer here in CA things are very dry and I doubt I will have any issues. Cutting now things are a bit moist and due to overcast/fog don't really dry out much by late afternoon...hence the mowing is wet and sticky, not my preferred approach but necessary to get it done during our "winter" here in CA.

Now I just need to get comfortable with those arms instead of a steering wheel and no brakes! ha ha!

Thanks again.
 

Mickhippy

LawnSite Platinum Member
No problem mate! Once its all set up you'll be laughing.
I blow down everything, deck, around engine, screens, under seat etc etc every day before heading out. Very easy and quick to do and you can get into all the little corners!

Washing the machine has its place, I just dont think it should be done all the time!
I wash mine maybe once/twice a season or so! It looks dirty but NO RUST! lol
 

Sport42

LawnSite Member
Location
Illinois
I blow mine off after each use. And you can avoid almost ever having to fully wash by just doing a quick wipe-down with a damp rag/towel. My mower is cleaner than the day they delivered it :)
 
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