How To Lift Riding Mower To Change The Blades
Owning a riding mower comes with many perks, but it can also require routine care and maintenance. One of the most common steps to take care of on your riding mower is to regularly change the blades. However, since the machine can be quite heavy, this process is not always simple.
To lift a riding mower to change the blades, you can utilize a few different techniques. First, you can use a hydraulic jack to raise the chassis. Second, a jungle jack allows you to lift the mower from one side. If you don’t want to use a jack, you can simply ride the mower onto wooden blocks to get underneath.
In this article, we’re going to outline each of these tactics so that you can find the right one to fit your needs. Since having new blades can make your lawnmower work more efficiently, it’s crucial to know how to lift the mower effectively. Here’s what you need to know.
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Different Methods for Lifting Your Mower
Method One: A Hydraulic Jack
If you have ever changed the tires on a car, you should have a hydraulic jack already. This method is one of the simplest since these devices are so easy to use. Before raising the mower, be sure to lift the cutting deck as high as it will go. Doing this will give you some extra room to change the blades.
For the best results, we recommend placing the hydraulic jack underneath the front of the mower. You should be able to get it up to about two feet. If it gets too high, you run the risk of damaging the mower or the jack or having the jack slip out.
Since there will be a lot of pressure on the bottom of the hydraulic jack, you should work on a paved surface. A garage or driveway is perfect. If you do it on dirt, for example, it could sink in and cause the mower to fall back down.
Method Two: A Jungle Jack
One of the issues with a hydraulic jack is that it doesn’t cover much surface area, so the risk of slipping off and falling is relatively high, particularly if you knock it by accident. By comparison, a jungle jack is much more reliable, thanks to its wider wheels and lifting hook.
Although these jacks are not sufficient for raising a car, they work perfectly for riding lawnmowers. Typically, the maximum weight is 800 pounds, and most mower models are 600 pounds or less.
All you have to do for this method is to move the jack underneath the front of the mower. Then, make sure that the grabbing hook is positioned underneath the chassis. Then, there is a push pedal that lifts the front arm.
Once it’s fully erect, you should have about a foot and a half clearance underneath the mower. Jungle jacks use cotter pins to ensure that the arm doesn’t come loose by accident.
Method Three: MoJack Mower Lift
Since this jack is made for tractors and mowers, it is one of the most secure options available. Rather than lifting your riding lawnmower by the chassis, this jack has two wheel wells. This product’s design makes it much safer to work underneath the mower since there is little chance of it slipping out.
To use a MoJack, you simply place the wheel wells around the tires. Then, you secure the wheels with the rear locking arm. The placement of this arm is adjustable, meaning that it will work for virtually all lawnmowers and tractors.
There is a strap on the arm that hooks to the front of the wheel well. Once both tires are secured, you can lift the mower. This jack uses a screwing mechanism, which makes it similar to a hydraulic jack.
Also, you should be able to lift the machine by as much as two feet, which gives you plenty of space underneath. Again, since both wheels are locked in place, you don’t have to worry about accidental slippage.
Method Four: Wood Blocks or Ramps
Finally, if you don’t have any of these jacks and don’t want to purchase one, an alternative method is to drive your riding mower on wood blocks or ramps. If you do choose this method, we recommend using a single piece, rather than trying to stack wood. This way, you don’t have to worry about pieces slipping out and the mower dropping on top of you.
Also, make sure that the ramps are extra wide so that it’s easier to drive your mower onto them.
Safety Tips for Lifting Your Mower
Before trying to change your blades, we want to be sure that you’ll be safe during this procedure. Here are our top tips to avoid any potential disasters while working.
- Don’t Lift Too High – As a general rule, you don’t want to reach any device’s max capacity. For example, if you don’t need two feet of space to work underneath your mower, there’s no reason to lift it all the way up. This way, you can reduce the amount of wear and tear that occurs on the jack and the mower itself.
- Use a Backup System – No matter which method you choose, we recommend placing wood blocks or bricks along the sides of the mower, just in case. Thus, if something does happen and the mower falls, you have something there to brace it.
- Know What You’re Doing – Before raising your lawnmower to change the blades, be sure that you know how to change them first. Read through the manual so that you can work quickly and efficiently. Otherwise, you could wind up wasting time or getting the steps wrong.
- Wear Eye Protection – Since dirt and grass are likely stuck in various places underneath your mower, you don’t want debris falling into your eyes while you work.
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How often should my mower blades be changed?
There is no universal answer to this because there are many different variables at play. However, most blade manufacturers rate their products for up to 100 hours, with some brands lasting up to 200.If you purchased your lawnmower brand-new, then you should be able to go that long before changing the blades. If you bought a used model, though, you should inspect them regularly to tell when they’re getting dull.
Can I just sharpen the blades on my riding mower?
If you’re not interested in buying new blades, you could sharpen the ones on your cutting deck instead. However, doing this requires a metal grinder, and you have to make sure that they are properly balanced afterward.So, if you have a metal grinder already and a decent workshop, you can save time and money by sharpening the blades. That being said, you can only do this so many times. Eventually, they will need to be changed no matter what.
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