Assuming you own a lawn tractor or mower, you know that its maintenance is necessary to keep it functional and durable. One of the pieces of maintenance equipment you will need to have in your garage is the hydraulic jack.
Occasionally, lawn tractors need to be levered up for servicing the tires or replacing old oil and other routine maintenance. Having the jack around is necessary since it saves you the trouble of lifting your lawn tractor or mower during maintenance.
In addition to the jack, you want to have the jack stands, which help hold the mower in position to prevent it from shifting or crashing down.
Below, we outline steps you should take to jack up a lawn tractor or mower properly.
How To Jack Up A Riding Lawn Mower?
Here is a step-by-step illustrative guide on how to jack up your riding mower. Equipment to have around include:
- Hydraulic jack
- Jack stands
Drive and park your machine on a leveled hard surface such as a driveway or garage. Ensure to engage the riding mower park brake.
Before you engage the jack, slide wood blocks at the front and at the back of the tires to prevent them from rolling.
If raising the front tires, place the woodblocks around the rear tires and vice versa.
Though not entirely necessary, you can slide ¼-inch plywood underneath the mower, positioning it at the center.
This helps provide a solid base for the jack and the jack stands. Ensure the plywood covers the entire area underneath the mower from the front to the rear axle and stretches sideways.
You now want to position the floor jack under the mower depending on which side you want to be raised. If raising the front of the mower, position the jack at the front axle center.
Repeat a similar action if raising the rear of the mower by placing the mower at the center of the drawbar frame.
Some lawn tractors lack the drawbar frame. Should this be the case, place the floor jack at the transaxle center.
Everything being in position, twist the jack handle clockwise and start pumping up and down to lift the lawn tractor to the desired height.
At this point, the tire should be spinning freely.
However, avoid lifting the lawn tractor too high to prevent frame damage. You could use woodblocks or jack stands to support the tractor and prevent it from falling.
After lifting the lawn tractor to the required height, turn the floor jack handle counterclockwise to allow the tires to rest on the woodblocks or jack stands.
Safety Precautions To Consider
We just outlined steps you should take to jack up a lawn tractor. However, the steps won’t be complete without mentioning the precautionary measures to ensure your safety.
Here are the safety tips to follow when operating a jack.
- The weight lifting capacity of the jack should be more than three-fourths the curb weight of your lawnmower. A lower-rated jack can slip and damage your machine.
- When lifting the front side, check for the following: Check the fuel tank and carburetor to ensure they are well sealed to avoid fuel leaks during lifting; check the battery to ensure it’s locked; disconnect the spark plug wires if changing the mower blade.
- Ensure that your jack has a broad base. This ensures stability while lifting and prevents slip-ups.
- The jack must be made of high-grade steel and have a good saddle surface area to better support the lawn tractor or mower.
- Avoid using other available jacks such as carjacks. They lack the lifting capacity of hydraulic jacks meant for lawn tractors.
Given their high cost of purchase, you want to ensure that you properly jack up your lawnmowers or tractors for maintenance to allow them to serve you better.
In addition, your safety is equally important. We have outlined the precautionary measures you should follow to ensure your safety and that of your lawn tractor.