Thursday, May 4, 2017

Fine Rough

We received our new rough mowers this week, and I have been busy with prepping them for their first use this coming Monday. We decided on the Toro 4700 for a couple of reasons; first, there are seven 27" decks on each machine, which makes for a 150" width of cut. I know that some of you are doing the math and thinking 7 X 27 = 189, but the Toro design provides for over 7" of overlap between decks, which means no "mohawks" of uncut grass on slopes or in turns. We looked at the new John Deere 9009A, but it only has five decks, and the decks aren't designed to allow for fine adjustment. We also had several occurrences of mohawks when cutting on slopes. I had the Toro 4500s and 4700s at PGA National and we had very good results with them.

We are after the optimum after-cut appearance with these units, so I pulled the decks off and put them up on our Stronghand welding table to fine tune them.

Using the welding table gives us a reasonably flat (within .010" or so), repeatable surface to work with, and we can measure up through the slots to the blade tips to measure height of cut. The brackets which secure the red mower deck to the black carrier frame each have a stack of shims which can be used to dial in the blade position. They were all within 1/8" out of the box, but I was able to adjust them all to within 1/32".

It's a tough shot to get with an iPhone, but this shows a blade tip measuring 1-1/2" on-the-money.

When I first measured our old Pro Flex decks in this manner I found a total variance of 5/8" from the highest to lowest deck and had to resort to some drastic measures to get them all within 1/8". I just love it when we can make a change in the shop which makes an improvement by an order of magnitude...

I was asked to show more of the shop, specifically our chain hoists, so here you go:

The electric hoist on the left is on a swinging boom and has a 500 lb. capacity. We use it primarily for mower decks and fixed head walk mowers. The manual hoist on the right can travel down the beam to cover two bays, and comes in very handy for breaking tractors for clutch replacements, etc.


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