Should The Lawn Mower Deck Be Level?

Blog/ July 16, 2019

You want to mow your grass and make your lawn look amazing – and that is a good thing. However, for you to create the perfect lawn, there are certain things you must keep in mind and specific conditions you need to fulfill.

Part of these conditions involves the adjustment levels of the deck area of your lawnmower. If you are new to mowing and mowers in general, this is the area if the machine that contains the blades and covers them up, and it attaches to the frame so that the blades do not injure you. This means that its alignment is very important to the quality of cuts you get from your mower – if it is too low or too high, certain issues will occur.

For instance, you might notice ridges of areas on your lawn where the mower cut too low, or areas where it seems it did not cut any grass. The good news is that rectifying the issue is very easy, and takes a short time. Note that you will need to level the deck on each side, including the rear and front parts. In addition, you will need to consult your owner’s manual to make sure you adjust the deck correctly according to the specifications.

What are some of the potential issues?

The deck must always be correctly aligned for you to cut your grass efficiently and neatly. When you mow grass incorrectly, a number of issues will result from that, which includes:

  • Areas where the grass looks dead or dying, or looks shorter than normal
  • There are significant clumps of grass that remain even after the mowing process
  • Eventual damage to the blades or mower itself, due to them hitting the ground

What should you do when the deck is uneven?

Check the tire inflation

Before you start working on the deck itself, it will be helpful to check the tires and their inflation state – since this also plays a role in the unevenness. You do this through a tire gauge, and if they do not have sufficient inflation, pump them with air.

Note that when you want to check the state of the tires, always switch off the mower, and park it on a level, flat surface.

Pitching

This will determine how low the mower will cut, so it is also very important to check. If you are unsure, then the operation manual will be of great help. As a general rule, always stick with variations of between 1/8 and ½ inch between the rear and front of the deck. You can use a tape measure to confirm, but ensure the mower is on a hard, flat surface before doing so.

Adjusting the mower

If the tires and the pitch alignments are fine, it is time to turn attention to the deck itself. You can do it through these steps:

Raise the mower and identify the position that you will use to level the deck, and this will reveal the knob that controls the cutting height. Lower the mower height, and check to see if the mower wheels are touching the ground surface (during the alignment process, they should not). If necessary, raise the height.

Under the mower, place an Exact Adjust gauge. It should be on the point of adjustment (this is in the left rear). The mower should come into contact with the gauge – if it is not doing so, then adjust the deck appropriately.

If you will need to make adjustments, start turning the lift link nut (this is in the left side rear wheel area). For every full revolution of this nut, the height of the left side of the mower will change by approximately 3/16 inches. To raise the mower, turn the nut clockwise, and anticlockwise to lower the height.

You can then measure the distance of the ground to the blade on both sides. The end result should be within 1/8 inches.

Move to the blades. Rotate them to ensure their direction is front to back, then measure the distance from the ground to the blade tips (use the blade that is closest to the deck as reference). Change the blade alignment if it is over 1/8 to ½ inches.

To change it, you use the wrench to loosen the nut, and repeat the step 4, measure the distance and tighten the nut if it is okay.

Final thoughts

Adjusting the mower height is not a difficult process, but it is necessary to ensure you cut your lawn evenly. Always check for these alignments before starting the process, and correct them when necessary.