As we all get geared up for 4th of July celebrations and cookouts, I’m sure that everyone will be wanting to make sure their lawns are well manicured before the guests arrive. Even though our temperatures have been higher than normal for June, we have also had more than average rainfall. This means that your yard is going to be lush and green which is good for appearances but maybe not so good for your lawn mower. Mid-summer grass is going to be older and tougher than spring grass which means more wear and tear on your blades and deck. If you have a good mower, such as a Kubota ZG-421 Zero Turn, you should have no problems. However, you do need to ensure that your mower is in good running condition to avoid any problems down the road. Below I have listed a few tips to help you make sure that your mower is performing at its best throughout the rest of the mowing season!
One of the most common mistakes that people make is not checking the air filter regularly. Keeping your air filter cleaned and changing it when necessary can extend the life of your engine considerably. If it’s dirty, replace it as soon as possible. If it’s not dirty enough to replace, remember to check it often. On the diesel-powered mowers, be sure to check and clean, if necessary, the radiator pre-screen before you mow.
Cleaning out the grass build up under the deck will have positive effect on the airflow under the deck. As grass builds up, the airflow is disrupted, which means the grass will not pull up for a proper cut. Grass build up also retains moisture which, in time, will cause the deck to rust. It only takes a few minutes with the use of a scraper to remove the grass build up from the bottom of the deck.
While you are cleaning your deck, check the lift wings on the ends of your blades for damage and/or cracks. The lift wings create the updraft that pulls the grass up so the blades will cut it off evenly. Damaged wings will not only result in a bad cut, but there is also a threat of personal injury if a piece breaks off while the blades are engaged.
Most people inspect their blades at the beginning of the mowing season then forget about them until the beginning of the next season. Blades should be inspected regularly throughout the mowing season. Dull and/or damaged blades can result in additional stress on your belt, spindles and engine. If you are seeing white streaks on the lawn after mowing, this a good indication that your blades are breaking rather than cutting the grass. This is not healthy for your grass or your lawn.
Check your belts to make sure they aren’t fraying or cracked. A simple visual inspection before you mow can save you lots of time and inconvenience in the future.
Inspect your spindles to verify that they are all still straight. Your spindles should be straight unless you have hit something while mowing. Straight spindles can add life to your belt and quality to your cut. If you have grease fittings on your deck, grease them after you have checked your spindles.
Tire pressure can affect your mowing in several ways but is one of the easiest problems to correct. Low tire pressure can cause your deck to mow crooked or unlevel. Low pressure can also be the cause of a tire coming off the rim. With a tire pressure gauge, you can quickly check for proper inflation and avoid any problems caused by low tire pressure.
If you have a gas engine mower, your initial oil change should be at 25 hours. After the initial oil change, change your oil and filter every 100 hours. If you own a mower powered by a diesel engine, your initial oil change should be at 50 hours. After the initial oil and filter change, you should change every 100 hours. Your owner’s manual should have a maintenance schedule included but the above information is a good rule of thumb. If you’re not sure when your next service is due, contact us with the machine’s current hours and we will check the maintenance schedule for your specific mower. (Kubota, Bobcat and Cub Cadet mowers only.)
The control levers on a zero turn can need adjustment. If the levers aren’t responding evenly when pushed forward, contact us for an appointment and we will adjust them for you.
Notice if there is any oil underneath where your mower has been stored or parked when not in use. If you see any oil, obviously, you have an oil leak. You will need to bring the mower in and let us take a look at it.
I hope these tips will help you keep your mower running at peak performance throughout the mowing season. If you would like for us to service your mower or your mower has any mechanical issues, contact us to make an appointment today!