Using a farm jack to lift a riding mower
Posted July 08, 2011 - 10:29 AM
Harbor Freight has a $46. "farm jack" (item 6530) that I was thinking of trying. I'm thinking of buying one and using it on the front end of the tractor---maybe attach a 4x4 across both wheels.
I know about the MoJack but they are too expensive for me.
Posted July 08, 2011 - 10:32 AM
Posted July 08, 2011 - 02:53 PM
Posted July 08, 2011 - 03:01 PM
Another idea I had was to build two short concrete block walls, about 3' or 4' high and have their width match the width of the tractor wheels. I could then put some ramps against them and drive or push the tractor up onto this short wall and I'd have space below to crawl under. But, I don't want to go to the trouble of building concrete block walls that match only these Craftsman tractors as the next one I get may have different widths between the wheels.
In the meantime, I'm stuck with two tractors now that I've been tinkering with for months and finally have ready to go but I can't figure out how to get under them to change the old, rusty blades and bad steering gear.
Posted July 08, 2011 - 03:24 PM
I bought a Highlift Jack ($59 at the farmstore) a weekago Wednesday. I had the JD 318 stuck in a mudhole(found a spring in a sidehill I was mowing) and my other GT was broke down. It was too wet to get the pickup close enough to pull it out(2 WD). I took the highlift jack, some concrete cap blocks and two planks down. Sidenote: packing all that stuff on a 90 degree day bout killed this old guy off at least I could get the pickup within 50 yds?
Jacked it up and put the planks under the wheels and backed it out of the hole. I have lots of jobs on my place that I can use the jack for, so I think it was money well spent.
BTW would not the cost of a mower lift be equal to or close to the cost of block walls? I think Harbor Freight has them too.
As far as taking the mower blades off, I find it easiest to remove the mower and give it a good cleaning while off.
Edited by JD DANNELS, July 08, 2011 - 03:32 PM.
Posted July 08, 2011 - 03:32 PM
Posted July 08, 2011 - 03:50 PM
120V AC Electric Winch w/ Remote Control
If you have a garage with an open ceiling, then you can construct a wood beam out of three or four Douglas Fir 2 X 10's bolted together with staggered carriage bolts on 12" centres that will span the garage and sit on top of the garage walls. Add some 2 x 4 wall studs directly under the spots where the beam ends rest and you will have a very strong spot to anchor that winch. You can then lift the front of the tractor off the ground until it is nearly vertical. Set up some sort of safety-chain system that will support the tractor should the cable break or the winch fails. You may have to drain the fuel and the engine oil to carry out this process but look at the advantage of being able to access the bottom of your tractor without having to lay on your back or risk life and limb. And the other good part is that it takes up no space in your garage and it will lift any LT or GT you buy.
Posted July 08, 2011 - 03:53 PM
You're probably right JD that the concrete wall idea is at least as expensive as those mojack gadgets.
What do you guys do to work under your riding mowers? Taking the deck off seems awfully complicated and even then, I'm not sure it would be that easy to work on the steering gear.
Posted July 08, 2011 - 03:53 PM
Posted July 08, 2011 - 04:14 PM
Posted July 08, 2011 - 04:25 PM
Even with the winch, which is a good idea you should have jack stands so your not relying on that cable to save your hide and eliminate wobble.
Posted July 08, 2011 - 04:28 PM
Posted July 08, 2011 - 04:37 PM
High Position Motorcycle Lift
Posted July 08, 2011 - 05:05 PM
A winch sounds like a good idea hydriv. Doesn't the tractor wobble around though since its basically supported in just one place with one cable? I'd think when I push hard on a wrench, the entire tractor would swing.
You could position the winch so that the tractor ends up against one wall once it is fully raised. It would NOT be difficult to put a couple of tie rings into that wall on either side of the tractor and just rope the tractor against the wall to keep it from moving while you are working on it. Electric impact guns are not an expensive item at Harbor Freight and there are also cordless impact drivers that will cut down on the need for open end/ box end wrenches.
Platform style Motorcycle lifts take up valuable real estate in your garage and while they get the tractor off the floor, access to the deck for cleaning or changing blades is still a problem. They also cost more than the winch does. If you are looking at this one.....
High Position Motorcycle Lift
then you will have to weld up a new set of lift arms to go under the tractor or you won't have access to the deck. And isn't deck access a good part of the reasoning behind this thread?
Most garden tractors do not exceed 1000 LBS in total weight and most lawn tractors weigh in at less than half that figure. When you lift the front of any of these tractors off the ground, you are slowly transferring the horizontal weight that is on the front wheels to the back wheels. By the time you have the tractor vertical, the winch is only lifting about ten pounds. I would not worry about the cable breaking since it has a rating of 3000 LBS minimum. And if you read my post again, you will see that I suggested installing a safety chain or two just because it's the right thing to do. Since the tractor is standing vertical, you are never truly "under" it. With the winch cable holding it vertical plus one or two vertical safety chains along with it being roped against a wall, I think that you have met all the necessary safety requirements.
Even safety stands have been known to fail. Block walls can crumble, steel beams can bend. It's all about risk assessment. Either the risk is high, medium or low. Working under a car supported by a bumper jack is high risk. Using Jack Stands would be low risk but it isn't "no risk".
Edited by hydriv, July 08, 2011 - 05:13 PM.
Posted July 08, 2011 - 06:25 PM
- JDBrian said thank you