Every year, twice a year, Matt and I get up close and personal with our little tractor, Wiley. Attaching the mower deck in the spring and detaching it in the fall are pretty intimate operations.
Just a refresher, Wiley is a Kioti CS2410. His mower deck is a Kioti SM2410. It’s a belly mower, meaning it rides under Wiley’s middle (as opposed to the mowers that are towed behind a tractor).
I thought this year that I’d finally properly document the process. I’ve tried to do this for the past few years, but attaching and detaching is always a bit stressful. See how concerned Baxter is when we did this two years ago?
I usually feel like it’s better for my marriage if I don’t try to prep a blog post at the same time as we’re installing or removing the deck.
That’s not to say this is an overly complicated undertaking. It’s just an undertaking that is a bit tricky in spots.
Here are the steps to remove the mower deck from the tractor:
1. This whole operation will be dramatically aided by level ground (which does not exist at the farm). So, step 1: park the tractor on level ground… or at least the levelest ground you can find.
2. Start with the mower raised but set at the shortest cutting setting.
3. Turn the wheels that support the deck so that they’re perpendicular (90 degrees) to the tractor’s wheels. Pop out the pins and rotate the wheels.
Repin them in the highest position–meaning the mower is as high off the ground as you can get it, i.e. the pins are in the bottom hole on the sleeve.
4. Disconnect the PTO. Push the shiny gold collar towards the mower deck (forwards), and pull it off the shaft. The person with the longest arms should do this (i.e. Matt), as the PTO is right in the middle under the tractor, and you have to reach over the deck and around the back wheel to reach it.
5. Lower the deck–use the three-point lever, not the cutting height lever. Give the deck a good shake to make sure it’s all the way down. You do not want this thing falling on you. It will crush you. (Not quite the same, but I have this line in my head now and I can’t resist. Plus, it’s one of Matt’s favourite movies.)
6. Pull the pins that attach the deck to the tractor. There are three on each side. The quick connect pins at the front and back are on springs. Just pull them out and turn them out of the way. The other pins at the very front have split rings that you have to remove first.
The pins are when things get stressful for us. The deck is super heavy. And if you’re not on level ground, there’s invariably some weight still resting on the pins. So sometimes they just don’t want to come out, no matter how hard we yank on them.
There are two techniques we’ve found to help: one, slide some blocks under the deck to help support the weight. Use trial and error to find out where you need them–front or back, starboard or port.
The second solution is tried and true: the hammer. Tap (as gently as you can given your current frustration levels and your limited maneuverability under the tractor).
It’s a wonderful feeling when the pins pop free. You will end up with two metal arms that hold the deck to the front of the tractor. Those arms should stay with the deck. Don’t lose them. You’ll need them if you ever want to cut grass again. (And just a note for when it comes time to reattach them, the springs point in).
7. Raise the mower using the three-point lever to fully detach the deck. At this point the deck should not be connected to the tractor, but still sitting under the tractor. Use the front end loader to lift the tractor up a little bit–just enough to give you clearance to slide out the deck. (Put the parking brake on–safety first!)
8. Push, push, push and pull, pull, pull the deck out from under the tractor, and you’re good!
Well, you’ll probably want to tip up the deck, scrape the dried up crusty grass from the underside, hit it with the hose, inspect the blades and grease all of the fittings.
Just to be safe, we also tuck the PTO into a plastic bag to keep dirt out of it.
But do all that, and you’re done. And you don’t have to cut grass for another few months. (Don’t mention attaching the snowblower).
Time for a victory dance! (Wow, Bax was skinny that first year).
What type of mower do you use at your house? Have you tucked your mower away for the season yet? Do you have any jobs that put your relationship to the test? Do you have a sidekick who helps (and celebrates) the tough jobs?
Hahaha! I love Baxter’s dance!
We have a John Deere zero turn mower, we have to remove the deck to clean and sharpen blades. It looks like ours is maybe a little easier than Wiley because it does not have a PTO shaft (but it does have belts to untangle) and I am guesssing ours doesn’t weigh quite as much.
I am guessing we will mow at least one more time depending on if it rains and if we get a few more warm days, so we have not put it away.
We will be putting the snow blade on our four-wheeler soon. We have a project that we think we could use the blade for, then it will also be ready for snow!!!
Steve and I work well together on projects, but our style and color choices are different. We compromise quite often! 🙂
We considered a zero turn. I like the idea of them, but we felt like we’d have to buy a mower and a tractor in that scenario. Wiley has a pretty tight turning radius, so we’re not missing out on too much.
We use our landlord’s mower since ours stopped working last year. I considered his a beast, cranky and heavy, until reading this – I think Wiley wins! We don’t have to do anything for winter except wheel it up to the garage for our upstairs neighbour to put away (she has dibs on the garage.) It’s one of the upsides of renting, which I will accept since the downsides are fairly considerable.
Baxter’s dance is great! Our most curious sidekick is actually one of our cats. Bear will keep us company, but isn’t that interested. Ziggy, however, is right in there as soon as we do anything either A) out of the ordinary, or B) at ground level. 🙂
Way to look on the bright side. Not having to do too much to manage your equipment sounds like a definite bright side.
Thank You! I have the same tractor and removing was actually not as hard as trying to put this back on. LOL! Do the make a lift that could slide just under this deck and hydraulic it up and down? Need to invent one.
I agree. Getting it on is often harder for us too. That’s where the unlevel ground of the farm is extra challenging. As far as I know there’s no lift. Just shifting things around to get them lined up. And when all else fails, the hammer.
Hi Julia and Matt, thanks for posting this, explained it much better than the manual and I was able to get my deck off in no time. I have a CS2510, same thing, just a little newer. Seemed to be a few things different, first, all 3 sets of my pins are spring loaded which was nice, 2nd, it didn’t appear the shafts the gauge wheels are mounted on were drilled to rotate the wheels at 90* for sliding it out, I’ll have to check closer in the spring. I ended up leaving them as is and slid it out fine, but I was on blacktop.
Finally, to anyone reading this in the future, make sure you remember to start it back up and use the FEL to raise up the tractor before sliding the deck out. I forgot that step and was lucky I was drawing it out slow, as the hydraulic filter is blocking it from coming out if you don’t angle it just so. Knocking that off would be very bad.
Glad you found the tutorial helpful, Jon. You’re right, there are a few tricks that make things easier. Thanks for sharing your experience with the 2510. Very helpful.