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Cleaning tractor mower deck

Old 10-27-2010, 10:08 AM
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Default Cleaning tractor mower deck

Loaning out tractor thread reminded me...

My least favorite seasonal chore by far is cleaning out grass crap from under my tractor deck (52" Deere). Remove the deck, prop it up against the shed, scrape, sharpen blades, etc. I religiously avoid wet grass and don't cut too short.

Anyone have any advice for making the job easier or ways to reduce the build-up in between?

Last edited by kone; 10-27-2010 at 12:05 PM.
Old 10-27-2010, 10:30 AM
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powerwasher.
Old 10-27-2010, 10:32 AM
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What is the equipment?
Old 10-27-2010, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by kone View Post
Loaning out tractor thread reminded me...

My least favorite seasonal chore by far is cleaning out grass crap from under my tractor deck (52" Deere). Remove the deck, prop it up against the shed, scrape. I religiously avoid wet grass and don't cut too short.

Anyone have any advice for making the job easier or ways to reduce the build-up in between?

I use my air compressor to clean mine btw cuts helps cutting out the build up.
Old 10-27-2010, 10:36 AM
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One of my machines had a garden hose hookup on the deck. That was okay.

My Snapper rear-engine rider is the best mower for cleaning afterwards.

Close the vent on the gas cap, grab onto the foot rest and stand the machine up vertical onto the rear end.

It is then a "snap" to clean the whole thing.

It looks like new after lots of years of usage.
Old 10-27-2010, 10:45 AM
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If it is a lawn mower, or any deck mower for that fact, buy a $6 donut sprinkler, let it run underneath it for awhile and the mess will drip off.

Run it while the water is running is better if you can do it and not do any harm. Know what you are doing if you go that route.
Old 10-27-2010, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by My Gal View Post
What is the equipment?
Deere GT235 18hp garden tractor, 52" deck w/ 3 blades

Last edited by kone; 10-27-2010 at 12:03 PM.
Old 10-27-2010, 10:52 AM
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I use compressed air.

If you are going to use water, make sure that the deck is cool. If you do it immediately after mowing, the metal deforms when it rapidly cools, and eventually this can lead to bearing failure on the pulleys.


Big Al
Old 10-27-2010, 10:53 AM
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Not sure what condition your mower deck is in, but a smooth coat of shiny oil based enamel over or epoxy paint will reduce ability of grass to stick to steel.
then raise deck up as high as it will go and spray water under it from hose (running and blades spinning at idle is more effective than when shut off) after each mowing session. Keep toes, fingers and pets from under there when running.
Old 10-27-2010, 11:01 AM
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1. remove mower blades after disconnecting spark plug wire.

2. leave old oil in there til next season

3. use a painter scraper and knock off just the chunks.

4 leave the rest of the crap under the deck for protection.

5. run mower til out of fuel or add stablizer.

6. dont ever buy another John Deer again.

7. happy holidays
Old 10-27-2010, 11:15 AM
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My father's Toro Timecutter has the garden hose connection. First summer with it and the underside is perfectly clean. He hooks it up after every use and only the discharge spout could need a little cleaning. I would prop it up a bit and get a powerwasher under there, that should remove most of it easy. You could also remove the deck and scrape it clean but that would be to much work for me!!
Old 10-27-2010, 11:39 AM
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When I had a like 3 hp. push mower and tried to mulch it would get clogged up, but never had that problem with a 20+ hp riding mower. (its only a 42 inch cut with 2 blades)

Other than when I changed the blades - I don't think I have ever cleaned the deck. What is the point? - its just gonna get more crap in it -does it not cut good or slow the motor or something? Maybe you guys have real high/thick grass and mow in the rain? ;? What am I missing?
Old 10-27-2010, 11:49 AM
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I wash the entire mower after mowing 3 properties, maybe 5 acres. The underside never needs that much cleaning even if the grass was somewhat wet. I replaced the original blades with Oregon Blades like these http://cgi.ebay.com/Oregon-Mulch-Bla...efaultDomain_0 . The deck stays clean, the blades have lasted 3X longer than what I was buying locally and it seems that I'm using less gas.

When I wash the mower, I back it up the ramps on my trailer. I stop with just the rear wheels on the trailer and the front wheels on the ramp. This gives me a clear view of the underside of the mower and the deck.
Old 10-27-2010, 11:55 AM
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Regarding water and the deck:

The deck does not get "hot" and is not subject to warp from cold water.

The spindle assembly that houses the bearings is above the deck and is not subject to thermal shock.

There are no issues there other than the mess.
Old 10-27-2010, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by LI Sound Grunt View Post
Other than when I changed the blades - I don't think I have ever cleaned the deck. What is the point? - its just gonna get more crap in it -does it not cut good or slow the motor or something? Maybe you guys have real high/thick grass and mow in the rain? ;? What am I missing?
I was thinking the same thing. Between the farm and the camp, it will probably be torn up long before it rust out it it is that flimsy.

One of the big bat wing bush hogs is from the seventies and only gets cleaned when we repair it though it is serviced before every use.
Old 10-27-2010, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Semper Fi-sh View Post
1
6. dont ever buy another John Deer again.

7. happy holidays
I'd buy another tomorrow (crossing fingers) it's been a great machine.
Old 10-27-2010, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LI Sound Grunt View Post
What is the point? - its just gonna get more crap in it -does it not cut good or slow the motor or something? Maybe you guys have real high/thick grass and mow in the rain? ;? What am I missing?
I have 2 acres of lawn. If I don't get after the deck each spring and fall when the grass is really green and thick it will clog, not cut right nor will it discharge very well. Trust me I gotta clean it out - if I didn't, I wouldn't.
Old 10-27-2010, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kone View Post
I'd buy another tomorrow (crossing fingers) it's been a great machine.
I was being somewhat sarcastic... but dont give all the credit to the machine because 95% of it is the owner and operator of any machine that really gives it its value.

I'm in the green industry and find oil changes, air filter cleaning and sharp mowing blades add significant life to all mowers...mostly commercial but usually any machine..
Old 10-27-2010, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LI Sound Grunt View Post
When I had a like 3 hp. push mower and tried to mulch it would get clogged up, but never had that problem with a 20+ hp riding mower. (its only a 42 inch cut with 2 blades)

Other than when I changed the blades - I don't think I have ever cleaned the deck. What is the point? - its just gonna get more crap in it -does it not cut good or slow the motor or something? Maybe you guys have real high/thick grass and mow in the rain? ;? What am I missing?

The material will hold moisture and rust your deck out before it's time.
Old 10-27-2010, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by My Gal View Post
The material will hold moisture and rust your deck out before it's time.
That's the argument I always heard, but I never kept a mower for more than 15 years. I remove the grass when sharpening the blades, and haven't had one rust out on me yet. I don't flush my outboard and wash & wax it after every use. I don't flush my mower deck. I don't even clean my guns after every time I shoot them. The horror!!

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