Just wanted to mention the need to make sure your tractor is fully and safely supported when working under it if it is jacked up/wheels off,etc. ( this goes for anything you're working on but I'll keep it to tractors). Recently, when I had to jack up my Craftsman GT6000 high enough to get the steering shaft out the bottom, I was reminded of this in a way that literally will leave a lasting impression on you. I thought it was supported in a decent way. Had the front tires on the flat of my car ramps and the back was supported by two heavy duty jack stands that I actually welded to the tractor frame. Where I went wrong was with not making sure it was totally immobilized not only from downward movement, but fore and aft as well. Fortunately, there was something in my gut that kept making me leary of it all so I proceeded with caution and stayed extremely vigilant when I got under it to put the steering shaft back in. I kept watching the tractor for any signs of movement, just in case. Sure enough, I pushed hard enough in the wrong direction and caught it starting to drift forward and scrambled out from under it as fast as I could move. I made it out with only a few cuts and bruises, mostly due to the stuff I had put in place to hold it up acting as a partial support and also slowing its movement. Now I have been working under stuff all my life and am very careful when supporting vehicles I am getting under. In fact, I spend a lot of time under forklifts every day I am at work. The reason I mention this is that even a careful, experienced person like myself is capable of getting it wrong if you miss a critical point in the act of planning your supporting points and structures. My nearly thirty years of experience in doing similar things, did not fully prepare me for the nuances of supporting a garden tractor properly.
during my "debrief" of the situation I came to realize a few key differences.
1), Garden tractors have few places to place supports that aren't in your way when working.
2) GT's are heavy enough to hurt or possibly kill you, but some are light enough that they do not impose enough down force on supports like jack stands, etc. to where you can't move them by your brute force when pushing or pulling on things. To the contrary, you can and will be able to knock them off the jack stands if enough force is applied.
3) If you have one end of the tractor supported by resting on its wheels, make sure the wheels cannot role in either direction, no matter what is pushed or pulled.
What happened in my case was this. I did not put the tires in an immoveable state, relied only on the well of the flat of my car ramp under the front tires. Two, the weld I made when welding the jack stands to the tractor frame were not great, due to the maximum capacity of my welder being exceeded. The weld joint at the frame was good with decent penetration, but the top of the jack stand was so thick and flat that there was little penetration at all, causing both of those joints to break when the force of the tractor tipped the stands forward as it started to role forward down the ramps, tilting the stands and placing a stressor on the weld joints they were never intended to support.
My fix to the problem was to construct two heavy duty front tire cradles made out of 2x4's and to place an 8' 4x4PT timber across the two jack stands, at the rear, placed approx 6' apart, and bolting the tractor trailer hitch hole to the 4x4 with a 1/4x3" lag bolt and then using a ratchet strap to cinch the tractor and jack stands together so the entire rear support structure was inseparable under any foreseeable force being applied in any direction. This set up gave me all the lift height and stability I needed and greatly improved my safety and peice of mind. It would have taken an Earth quake to knock this thing down at this point. That is how I plan to approach all such things in the future.
Edited by backyardtinker, August 10, 2015 - 09:41 PM.