Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:47 am
I have been happily mowing with Merlin and a woods 59 mower for over a year now. It really does a great job and the tractor handles it well.
The only issue I have been seeing lately is that since I mow on a slight slope (very safe slope), the mower tends to be uneven because the "high side" will tilt down to almost level. This makes my passes almost scalp on the uphill side and leaves the field a little long on the downhill side.
Any ideas how to reduce that issue? The linkage to the rear brackets do seem a little wallowed out, but I don't think it is too bad. Is this just the nature of this beast?
Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:07 am
Mow up and down the slope?
Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:27 am
My 59 Danco does about the same thing....I've stabilized it with angle iron (old bed frame) pieces on the deck and it has helped somewhat and definitely toughened the whole unit up....Seems like the larger mowers tend to flex more than the C2 41inch I've got understandably....Have a good day...Dave
Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:41 am
It isn't that the mower itself is flexing...mine is pretty stout. I'll take pics of what it looks like on a slope.
I have tried the up and down mowing, but the long cut is across the slope.... If it is just the nature of the beast, I can deal....no problem. It's fun!
Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:48 am
Do you have the skids and gage wheels installed?
Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:07 am
Skids are installed. This mower did not have wheels, I do not believe. I'll take pics this afternoon.
Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:08 am
Hi Mike, Does it matter which way you're going or is it always the high side that scalps? Do you let the deck ride on the front casters/wheels or suspend it from the chains? ...or a bit of both? I take it that this is a new development. From my own experience I know that if a caster support bracket is bent (to the left or right) that the deck will drop or rise on that side when turning, as the castor swivels it changes the attitude of the deck. This is just a guess but I think the deck will try to remain level because of the way the chains support it, somewhat centered on the deck, and tend to "swing" to the low side of the tractor causing it to be lower on the high side.
Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:39 am
Smokeycub wrote:Hi Mike, Does it matter which way you're going or is it always the high side that scalps? Do you let the deck ride on the front casters/wheels or suspend it from the chains? ...or a bit of both? I take it that this is a new development. From my own experience I know that if a caster support bracket is bent (to the left or right) that the deck will drop or rise on that side when turning, as the castor swivels it changes the attitude of the deck. This is just a guess but I think the deck will try to remain level because of the way the chains support it, somewhat centered on the deck, and tend to "swing" to the low side of the tractor causing it to be lower on the high side.
It does not matter which way I am mowing. The "high" side is the side that scalps because the mower tries to level itself off. It is a 'new' development since I have started mowing at my new place. At my old place, the ground was fairly level and the mower thus hung pretty level.
Just so I am clear, I believe that the skids are not suppose to ride on the ground during mowing, but rather help the mower to pop up over uneven ground if there is a swell. Is that correct?
Thanks all for your suggestions!
Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:31 am
I think you'll find people on both sides of this question. I think technically you are right about the skids/casters, if you are calling the wheels/casters skids. To me the skids are the steel runners on the sides of the deck and sort of the last line of defense from the blades hitting the dirt. Anyway, I use the gauge wheels when I mow, letting the weight of the deck rest on them. If you prefer not to do that all the time I think it would stop or at least minimize the scalping on the hill side.
On another unrelated note, what gear do you use to mow? I use second most of the time with the Woods 59. When I use first gear it rarely engages the governor, in second it does regularly.
Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:51 am
I always mow in second. Wide open throttle. The "skids" I have are on the sides by the discharge. I don't believe that this mower ever had guide/gauge wheels on it, but I may be wrong. I don't see any place that they could be installed. The wheels would definitely help keep it level if it would rest on them, however...
Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:04 am
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The brackets bolt onto the support rail. You probably already have the holes for the bolts.
Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:10 am
Thanks for the pic, ray. I think that I am going to need to find me some of those. That would fix the problem!
Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:23 am
I also mow a lot of hillside with my 184. Had the same scenerio. Since my 3160A mower deck only has an anti-scalp guage wheel on one side and a skid on the other, the skid side would end up skalping on the hill. I have since added a wheel on the skid side of the deck that swivels. On flat cement, the wheel is about 1/4" off the floor.
HamiltonBobsCubs.com had a variety of the wheels and bracketry.
This did the trick for me. No more scalping. My yard no longer gets "high and low" streaks in the lawn due to the rocking of the tractor or hill angle variance.
Note: the fixed, straight wheel supplied with the 3160A deck still cuts into the lawn occasionally during cornering. Someday, that will get upgraded to a swivel wheel as well.
Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:58 am
I don't think you will be able to solve the problem without the caster wheels. When the tractor is on a slope like that, the deck naturally wants to level out, and there is enough play in the support brackets, even BSN ones, to allow the deck to shift.
The skids should not be touching the ground, they are a backup to the wheels. However, if the surface is otherwise smooth, you could use them as a surrogate to the casters as a last resort. Just set them so they hold the deck at the proper angle, then mow with the height adjusted so they are just above the surface while mowing the level ground. Then, when you mow the slope, the skid will ride on the ground and hold the uphill side and prevent the deck from shifting. I do not recommend this as a long term solution, but it would help until you can source the casters. They should be available from Woods (still were as of a couple years ago), but they are not cheap.
Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:11 pm
I let my wheels and skids run about an inch off the ground and mow my ditch banks with it (close to 45 degree angle, ride brake on uphill side to stay up there!)---follows the contour without uneven look! thanks; sonny
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