Is it important to raise/lower the small wheels on mower deck?

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southern-ct-4
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Is it important to raise/lower the small wheels on mower deck?

Post by southern-ct-4 » June 15th, 2022, 2:57 pm

Aside from potentially stopping scalping of high spots, do I need to worry about raising/lowering the wheels of the deck if I move high vs. low?

a) I can never quite figure out where to put them based on the level I'm mowing at (even following the manual it never really feels right)
b) I might mow my lawn at different heights every few days and/or even in the middle of a mow I might raise/lower it here and there, and yeah, I'm too lazy to move the wheels

So aside from not scalping a few high parts (by not having the protection of the little wheels) does it really matter?

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turf_toes
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Re: Is it important to raise/lower the small wheels on mower deck?

Post by turf_toes » June 15th, 2022, 3:53 pm

Have you tried any of the above?

southern-ct-4
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Re: Is it important to raise/lower the small wheels on mower deck?

Post by southern-ct-4 » June 15th, 2022, 5:09 pm

turf_toes wrote:
June 15th, 2022, 3:53 pm
Have you tried any of the above?
Sorry, I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

My old tractor didn't even have them, so it wasn't an issue/option. My (new to me a few years ago) JD tractor does have them, but I rarely adjust them (and haven't noticed any difference if I do adjust them, other than added lines if the hit the grass). I'm just wondering if there's something I'm missing (or damaging, aside from a little scalping here and there) if I don't use them. I certainly don't want to damage my tractor by not doing something that I should be doing.

edslawn
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Re: Is it important to raise/lower the small wheels on mower deck?

Post by edslawn » June 15th, 2022, 6:34 pm

ok, I think you mean the scalping wheels on your deck, and I have a process to set and maintain them. I have a cub cadet garden tractor and my 2 acres are hilly and uneven, so I worry about this a lot. Here are a few things to consider based on my experience (generally screwing these things up first:))

- Check tire inflation frequently - like before each mowing. I run my tires at about 70% of max
- Level your deck each season with a bubble level - I often neglected this
- Set your scalping wheels low for uneven terrain
- Look at getting nice scalp wheels with brass bushings - mine run on the ground a lot during and it is hard on the wheels
- Grease your deck zerks regularly

here is a view of my deck
Image

Here is a side view
Image

Here are my scalp wheel settings (low)
Image

Continued...

edslawn
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Re: Is it important to raise/lower the small wheels on mower deck?

Post by edslawn » June 15th, 2022, 6:37 pm

Part 2...

This is your front scalp protection
Image

Here is where I level my deck (front of the tractor)
Image

Here are the nice brass scalp wheels that I bought. Not cheap but they work great (keep 'em greased): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088Y ... UTF8&psc=1

I hope this helps!


southern-ct-4
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Re: Is it important to raise/lower the small wheels on mower deck?

Post by southern-ct-4 » June 16th, 2022, 1:39 pm

Thanks so much for the info/pics.

Aside from scalping the lawn a bit though, and I guess possible damaging/dulling blades, any other major damage that might occur to tractor if I keep the scalp wheels too high?

edslawn
Posts: 388
Joined: July 2nd, 2019, 9:22 pm
Location: South Central PA
Grass Type: Northern Mix
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Re: Is it important to raise/lower the small wheels on mower deck?

Post by edslawn » June 16th, 2022, 6:19 pm

southern-ct-4 wrote:
June 16th, 2022, 1:39 pm
Thanks so much for the info/pics.

Aside from scalping the lawn a bit though, and I guess possible damaging/dulling blades, any other major damage that might occur to tractor if I keep the scalp wheels too high?
You sort of answered your question... scalp wheels are for scalping protection :). If you run them high, they will last a really long time and you might get some scalping. I know lots of people on my tractor forum who could care less about grass quality but hate paying for new scalp wheels. They run 'em high... Also, if your lawn is pretty level, they don't do much work. For me, the issue is a highly irregular lawn that will scalp so these wheels regularly save my bacon. YMMV.

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