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Double Deck Deere Cuts An 80-In. Swath
An Indiana farmer who grew tired of the 3 1/2 hours it took him to mow his 1 1/2 acre lawn widened the deck on his Deere 318 riding mower by cutting apart an identical 48-in. deck to make 16-in. "wings" that increase the mower's total cutting width from 48 to 80 in.
"It's a relatively easy way to make a 5-bladed mower out of a 3-bladed one. It cuts almost twice as fast as the original mower yet it cost less than $150 to make the modification," says Sam Moss, Logansport, Ind. "I think the idea would work on many other makes and models."
The original 48-in. deck had three 16-in. long belt-driven blades with a large pulley at the center and smaller pulleys on each side. Moss bought an identical but slightly damaged deck for $50 and used a metal saw to cut out the middle part of the deck. He discarded the center blade, then bolted the two wings onto the original desk. The two outside blades on the original deck were set back 3 in. from the center blade to keep them from overlapping, so Moss set the blades on the wings 3 in. back from the outside blades. He welded a second pulley onto the top of each small Single pulley and added an idler pulley on each side. He also made new safety shields to cover the belts.
"It works perfect and looks like it was factory-built," says Moss, who built the 80-in. wide mower last winter. "It was easier to do than I expected and the benefits have been unbelievable. Not only is the 80-in. cut a real time saver, but the extra 16 inches on each side makes it easier than before to trim under shrubs and bushes. The biggest ad-vantage of the extra width comes when I'm mowing around trees. I can mow around trees in one continuous motion rather than having to stop and back up like I did before. The extra width also makes it much easier to turn at the end of the lawn because I don't have to turn as sharp.
"The new blades operate at the same speed, direction, and height as the old ones. The 18 hp Onan twin-cylinder engine handles the extra demand with no problems, and, with hydrostatic steering, I don't even notice any difference in how the mower handles. We had a lot of rain last spring so the grass got high before I could cut it, but it mowed right through it. I thought that scalping might be a problem when cutting 80 in. at a time, but it hasn't been because I kept the original rollers on the wings."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Sam Moss, 2424 Royal Center Pike, Logansport, Ind. 46947 (ph 219 753-7134).

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #4