Deck Maintenance

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kpc007, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. kpc007

    kpc007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Hi everyone. My first post but a long time reader. I'm not in the commercial lawn mower business but I might as well be since I mow my 13 acres at least every 10 days.

    I'm using a JD 48" lawn tractor with my Kubota tractor and a bush hog (got some rough slopes with lots of bumpy ground.) I'm rapidly destoying the JD which is now 3 years old and limping out of the barn. I think I hear it moaning as I drive it out.

    I'm seriously looking at the Grasshopper 928D so I can clean the clippings and change the blades in a standing position. I like to replace my blades at least monthly. This 60 year old body wants to go in the sleep mode when I lay on my

    The question .............I would like to know what the pro's do to maintain the deck and blades on the other ZTR's that don't have the Grasshopper lift capability? If there is an easy solution in order to allow me to stand for deck maintenance then my ZTR machine choices are many. I'm willing to go as high as $14,000 since my CFO says I'm worth it.......:)

    Thanks for all the knowledge y'all have shared with us amateurs.
  2. bigbone

    bigbone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    Buy a hydraulic lift like the ones automotive repair shops use so you can stand underneath your mower. Other option is to set up a ramp to drive the mower onto and work underneath. Final option is to set up a pulley system to pull up the front of the mower until the deck is vertical.
  3. The 928D is an excellent choice. That front mounted deck in addition to easier maintenance gives better trimming capability over a mid mounted deck. Better ride too.
    Another choice in that catagory is the Exmark front mount with hydraulic deck lift. It also comes with the Kubota diesel engine option.

    All of my mowers have front mounted decks. More for the trimming ability than anything else. The easier service is just a plus. But I appreciate that 'cause I'm 60 also.
  4. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    I got a Scag Wildcat last year. I found I can change blades in less than ten minutes. I use a small hydraulic (sp) floor jack under front edge of deck, raiser, hit spindle bolt nuts on top with impact wrench remove blades, then reverse process.

    I'm 61 and can do this job sitting down, kneeling without any trouble.

    The grease fittings for spindles are under the drive pulleys and location is indicated by a slight indention in the deck top so you can line up the grease gun tip and hit them blind.

    I too needed something to be easier to maintain than the JD lawn tractor and I have found it.
  5. kpc007

    kpc007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks. I'll look into the Exmark. Would you compare the Hopper and Exmark similiar in performance?
  6. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    I am a Grasshopper dealer, so, you know which direction I would go. However, remember this. Grasshopper has about 37 years experience in building front-deck mowers. Exmark has 2 years experience.
    Really though, if possible, get a demo of a front deck machine from each of these manufacturers. See which one has the features and handling that you like best.


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