How To Measure Lawn Mower Deck Size? Find Out Here

Written By James
Updated May 9, 2022 by James

How To Measure Lawn Mower Deck Size? Find Out Here

Lawn mowers are readily available in all manner of variety. From traditional push mowers to cutting edge (pun intended) self-propelled mowers, lawn maintenance has never been easier than in the modern day and age. Still, as they develop, lawn mowers can become increasingly complicated, and you may need to measure certain parts for replacement. 

How to measure lawn mower deck size? Using a tape measure and potentially a jack to lift your mower off the ground, you can measure the length, width, and height of your deck. Be mindful of any potential obstructions on the mower, as these can complicate the measuring process greatly.

There are many reasons why you might need to measure your lawn mower's deck size, with the repair, cleaning, and replacement of parts becoming much easier to do yourself at home. It doesn't matter which styles of lawn mower or types of lawn mower you ultimately prefer, so be sure to keep reading as these measuring skills will prove handy in a pinch.

What is a Lawn Mower Deck?

Simply put, a lawn mower deck is the protective section of a lawn mower. It is a barrier between the blades cutting the grass, and you. It also prtects the engine, preventing more complicated blockages with excess grass blades getting caught up in the carburetor. 

Debris in the engine can lead to all sorts of problems, so a deck that is appropriately sized is a useful way of reducing your time spent on maintenance. With a variety of deck sizes available, and parts becoming increasingly interchangeable, perhaps you should start considering an upgrade to your deck size. 

Why Should I measure my Deck?

For the more basic lawns, without ornamental decorations or non-grass areas, a deck size is largely for storage concerns. Considering a riding mower is a powerful tool for garden maintenance, especially for a larger yard size, being able to get the mower into a storage shed and out of potential bad weather is crucial. The last thing you want is to dish out thousands for a new one.

Even just fitting a mower between a gate or fence posts is a life saver for those wanting to mow both a front and back yard. There is no such thing as a crrect deck size, so as long as you find yourself able to cut a straight path that satisfies you then you shouldn't need to bust out the measuring tape just yet.

For the more elaborate garden designs, or just gardens with significant obstacles, a proper cutting deck for your mount mower is a necessity for a garden wide cut. You may need to fit between particular trees, around a certain vegetable patch, or even just get decently close to a fence so you can save yourself the hassle of wire strimming. 

When considering deck size, it is important to factor in further equipment such as a discharge chute if you aim to mower between obstacles. In rarer cases, even the lawn mower tires can pose a small logistical problem. Regardless of whether you're using a push mower or a more powerful mower like a lawn tractor, deck size is integral to a quality lawn trim.

Therefore deck size is the main factor when you're looking to store your belly mower or similar lawn trimmer. Storage and yard obstacle reasons also come into play. Larger yards with a greater area require a mower powerful enough to deal with grass tall enough to pose problems for conventional mowers, not to mention riding mowers save on a lot of sweat.

For yards with steep hills, a large yard size, and grass tall enough to tickle your knees, a lawn tractor is reccomended. Of course a lawn tractor takes up serious space, so make sure to measure your deck size and tractor tires. Be sure to research standard mower deck sizes when organising your garden, and one type of mower deck may suit you more than another.

How to Measure a Deck Size?

The simplest way to find the size of your deck would be a tape measure. Measuring tape should be more than enough for a traditional push mower, and you're unlikely to need a more powerful tool than that. You won't have to worry about getting out your toolbox and fishing for a box end wrench, when a tape measure can do it all for you.

For a garden tractor, belly mount mower, or a zero-turn mower (ZTR), you may need additional equipment. This style of tractor can come with obstructions to your tape measurer, which can prevent an accurate measurement from being read. This can depend on the style of tractor, but most common lawn mower brands in the self-propelled category of mowers face this issue.

You may need a jack, as a front elevated mower is easier to measure than a horizontal mower level with the ground. This only applies for the front end of equipment. Common mower deck sizes also don't factor in the discharge chute. While lawn mower manufacturers typicall have a way to raise the chute to mower between obstacles, they aren't included in the actual mower deck size. 

Raising the chute will also be necessary to find the actual mower deck widths, and you should examine the deck for belts that may also block the measuring tape. If you can't find a straight path for your tape measure, then do your best to work around them.

How to Adjust Deck Size?

Some deck sizes are adjustable, although this is very uncommon. Especially for mount mowers, which are usually a fixed size. While parts can be replaced and repaired, it is rare that they can be adjusted to a smaller or greater size than the size when purchased.

The Yardman Riding Mower comes with an adjustable deck, with sides that can move up and down for an even cut on your lawn. This is uncommon for the more typical deck sizes you may see from other brands. Usually, neither a 38 inch to 42 inch cut mower nor a 48 inch to 54 inch cut mower will adjust in this way. 

You will need to set the brake and remove the ignition key, and you will then need to park your riding lawnmower on level ground or a even surface to adjust. You can rotate the blades by lifting the deck to its highest point (via a lift lever) and then rotating them by hand. Point them towards yourself, towards the mower's sides. Both sides of the cutting deck should be moved.

On each side of the tractor, measure from the floor up to the blade's edge with a measuring tape. These measurements should be consistent within an eighth-inch. A Yardman lawn mower's adjustable lift link is usually on the left hand side of the deck. This should be a fitting bracket that fits from the front of the lawnmower deck and has a changeable nut hidden behind a bracket sleeve.

With a wrench, turn the nut clockwise to elevate the deck on the left side, or in the other manner to drop its deck upon that left side. Remeasure each side to make any necessary modifications to ensure you don't make a mistake.

Different styles of lawn mower and different types of lawn mower are all the same in this regard, that being a rarity for deck adjustment. While even lawn mower blades can be replaced for a greter cutting size, the deck is effectively a hard shell designed with safety in mind.

Push and Ridden Mowers

Although both come with pros and cons, the fact of the matter is that a mount mower with a larger mower deck is more powerful than a push mower. Even push mowers that are powered by gasoline, or electricity. The cheapest reel mower does not compare to the likes of a John Deere Mower Deck, an iconic piece of lawn equipment.

Whether you are using a fabricated mower deck or a John Deere mower, proper maintenance of equipment is necessary if you want to properly maintain your yard. This unfortunately means the boring task of regular cleaning in most cases. 

An air hose is a must have for most cleaning kits when it comes to keeping your mower clean. On top of your measuring tape (and perhaps the odd box end wrench if you have an adjustable mower), this will be all you need to make a variety of deck sizes remain functioning. You can even use it on tractor tires and other areas that may get blocked. 

Ridden mowers need a straight path forward to function, which is largely where push mowers take the cake. It is far easier to circle a tree with an electric push mower, than to reverse and worry about your discharge chute on a ridden fabricated mower deck. Although electric mowers do come with the added concern of a wire and needing a plug. 

Interchangeable Parts

Lawn mower manufacturers have enabled the replacing of parts to be easier than ever nowadays. Whether that be the lawn mower blades, or the deck, most major lawn mower functions can be replaced or repaired as necessary. 

Blades are perhaps the best of these, as dull mower blades can seriously affect the quality of your mowing. Although extra precaution is always advised when placing your hands and other appendages near mower blades, for reasons that should be obvious. While a poorly cut lawn after some gardening effort is a pain, losing a limb is far, far worse. 

Mower blades affect quality of CutBlade tip speed, but there are also other factors when it comes to cutting size. Mower deck cutting widths, blade tip speed as previously mentioned, and even your grass height settings. As mowers both push and self-propelled become more advanced, having the right setting can seriously save your lawn. 

Mowers haven't just advanced for lawn quality, but also riding quality as well. Consider how long you are likely to spend riding a lawn tractor, and the allure of cup holders and padded seats become enticing. Variable speed settings can also help cut down time on those long stretches of unobstructed lawn you may find yourself tending. 

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My father, and his father before him, and his father; for the past 3 generations, my family have always been into gardening. The green fingers is a gift passed down to me and I thoroughly enjoy it! I also have worked in the manufacturing department for Bosch and DeWalt so I like to think I know a thing or two about tools and such!
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