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I’ve noticed that I frequently get a “scalloped” cut in certain areas of my lawn. I’m guessing the front of the deck is bouncing up and down, I’m curious if any of you have had this happen and what you did to fix it?

Plant Tire Water resources Automotive tire Hood


Ive tried changing the front tire inflation from the lowest to highest recommended inflation pressures and then right in the middle. Didn’t seem to make a difference.

Im not flying around the lawn, but slowing to a crawl helps. I’m not mowing at a crawl for the rest of the time I have this thing.

I’m curious if something could be worn or need adjustment? The deck was leveled earlier this summer. It’s just the middle blade that does this.

The pic isn’t great but hopefully is good enough to show what’s happening.
 

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Just a a wild guess, I'd say deck is flexing where middle spindle mounts. Deck can bounce, yes, but only upward and then it comes down to solid, metal to metal. Also, if deck was bouncing, shoulkd see some affect of out spindles.
Not uncommon for decks to rust and if this is around the center spindle, deck may flex due to pressure from pto/drive belt and push front of blade down. push on center pulley or pull on belt and see if spindle moves. Bob
 

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How much height difference are you seeing in those "scallops" between high and low spots? Pics usually don't show depth or hills very well. Although they are clearly seen in your pic, it is hard to tell if its a quarter inch or an inch or two.

Is there wear in the holes where the front bale mounts to the frame? Does it move side to side at all?
Does it do this on flat areas with no bumps in the lawn?
Does this area have bumps or depressions that cause the mower to bounce up and down?

Maybe something has loosened up in the deck mount to allow this flexing to occur?

Guessing here, hopefully, someone has had similar and can report a fix for it.
 

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Looks like the deck is bouncing or rocking side to side when the tractor goes over bumps because the 62C is so wide and so heavy. It's only attached to the tractor in the middle essentially. I hate to say it but it could just be the ground so if there's nothing wrong with the tractor, the only solutions are lawn roller or get a 48/54 deck.


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To me, it appears only the center spindle is dropping down in front. Resetting scalping wheels would affect entire deck movement, true, but problem appears only with venter spindle. Bob
 

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Looks like you are centering on a crown. Try mowing so deck edge is along the ridge then next pass should do the same with opposite edge. This should keep the front roller from "riding" on the ground.
 

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As others have said a bouncing/rocking/flexing deck. Also is one of the blades somehow loose and wobbling? Seems like gyroscopic force would hold it steadier than that if so.
I have a deck that I swear twists because of belt tension. It’s a bad design, underengineered, and just plain rusted out so bad that it’s been weakened. It doesn’t scallop the cut like you’re showing, but the blades go out of level when belt tension is applied and back to level when the tension is removed.
 

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steddy, If your deck is rusted around the spindle housing(s), reinforcing rings may be available depending on deck Model. Existing bolts holding housings are removed, rings are best welded to deck, and longer bolts used to hold spindle housings. $10-$30 depending on deck and where you buy them. Bob
 

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Ariens, Wheels are supposed to be 1/2"+ off of the ground. These come into play when tires go into low spots. Pic doesn't seem to show about 2 dozen low spots in a row! Bob
 

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John Deere X485 John Deere GT235
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I’ve noticed that I frequently get a “scalloped” cut in certain areas of my lawn. I’m guessing the front of the deck is bouncing up and down, I’m curious if any of you have had this happen and what you did to fix it?
I magnified the picture and it looks like the cut is really angled down in the front.

Take a leveling gauge and check all three blades heights when turned front to rear.

All three blades should be the same height in the front equally and back equally.

Check your manual for front to rear preferred slope. Mine is 1/4 inch lower in the front, for all three.

Looks like a center blade problem where maybe one side of the center blade is bent? Maybe?

Check the center spindle and pulley as the center spindle may not be spinning at the same RPM as the outside blades.

If your belt is worn it may not be getting the same friction onto the center pulley.

Check your belt tension as center pulleys can get less tension from a loose or worn belt.

I have some pretty bumpy areas that I cut and even there it doesn't look like that.

If that was my cut I'd be like...WTF..! Hahahahaha
 

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1. adjust scalping wheels
2. don't ride the center of a ridge
2. front to rear may be too much of an angle. the deck should be set so that a blade pointing front to rear, is lower at the front by no more than 1/8" to 1/4" than the rear of the blade

what's in the photo is an image of a higher speed pass, with the deck bouncing up and down, or the blade set at too much of an angle pointing down at the front.
 

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My thought is the wheel ruts from mowing the same path for a few years has the center front roller bouncing along the ground on the high spot. The only way I can think of to fix that is to spend the next few years staggering your mowing path by half a deck.
 

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yea - you shouldn't straddle a ridge... do 2 passes, one on either side.
but that effect will still be there if your gauge wheels are set to anything more than 1/4" above the lowest setting.
When I set up my deck, I set my gauge wheels to the lowest setting for a given deck height, just shy of "full weight on wheels". In some cases, the gauge wheel makes continuous contact, but is "unweighted"... that's the best setting - as far as I am concerned.
 

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John Deere X485 John Deere GT235
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My thought is the wheel ruts from mowing the same path for a few years has the center front roller bouncing along the ground on the high spot. The only way I can think of to fix that is to spend the next few years staggering your mowing path by half a deck.
That is a great suggestion as after years of mowing I had done just that.
You can create your own peaks and valleys.
Especially if you are mowing when the ground is softer.
I have been offset staggering and creating new mow paths and patterns to avoid it.
 

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John Deere X485 John Deere GT235
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yea - you shouldn't straddle a ridge... do 2 passes, one on either side.
but that effect will still be there if your gauge wheels are set to anything more than 1/4" above the lowest setting.
When I set up my deck, I set my gauge wheels to the lowest setting for a given deck height, just shy of "full weight on wheels". In some cases, the gauge wheel makes continuous contact, but is "unweighted"... that's the best setting - as far as I am concerned.
I have always had my gauge wheels a bit higher than that to create more of a floating deck.
I wanted my gauge wheels to engage on higher bumps and if I do overlap a ridge.
I normally raise my wheels at least 1/2" - 3/4" where the wheels only hit the ground if it's elevated at least that amount.

The way you are setting them is what John Deere recommends.
We are in the growing season here in MI so I get plenty of mow time and I am going to switch to your (and JD) recommendations.

How do you find the life of your gauge wheels being affected..? They aren't cheap, that's for sure.
 

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with 2-3 greasings per season - and my son cuts 6-7 lawns a week - i find the following:
1. outer surfaces - the wheels hardly wear at all
2. the bolts do break from time to time... I find I have to fix maybe 1 to 2 bolts per season. I just use 3/8 regular bolts and nuts.. not the deere-special bolts that thread directly into the post
3. the metal bushings do wear, as does the inside plastic barrel in the wheel. I've replaced several metal bushings and wheels due to this wear - but i would say I get 8-9 years of life out of them, with the use I described above - which is way more use than a typical homeowner.

To be honest - I do consider them as "wear parts"... just like the blades... and I dont feel bad having to replace them... but if I had to replace them every other season - I wouldn't be happy... fortunately thats not the case.

cheers!
 
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