Leveling a riding mower deck is a maintenance task you may have to perform at some point during the season, perhaps because you’ve inadvertently hit an object, such as a curb or tree root, during mowing; doing so could push the blade into an unlevel position.
If you’ve checked and sharpened your mower blades, but your riding mower is cutting uneven, then it may be that the mower deck requires leveling. This process helps ensure the mower blade is at the correct distance from the ground on both sides of the mower and the blade is positioned correctly from front to back.
You can check these blade positions using a measuring tool to indicate how far the lawn mower blade height is from the
ground on both sides of the deck. This measurement should be the same on both sides, with a variance of within 1/16 inch when comparing one side to the other.
If you find that the measurements are off, then the first thing to check is tire pressures, following the riding lawn mower tire pressure instructions in your operator’s manual. Make sure the front tire pressures are equal and the front tires are inflated to the correct pressure. When inflating tires, check the sidewall of the tires for the maximum inflation level, and do not exceed it. Perform these same steps on the rear tires.
Next, you may need to level the deck from side to side and also ensure the deck is adjusted to the correct pitch forward, which allows for maximum vacuuming into the deck.
The following instructions detail those steps, helping you level the deck on a Troy-Bilt riding lawn mower. Depending on your model, the instructions may vary slightly. Always be sure to check your operator’s manual for detailed instructions on how to set the mower deck height. You can also watch a recent Ask Troy Live video on mower maintenance for deck leveling tips and instructions.
How to Level the Deck on a Troy-Bilt Riding Lawn Mower
1. Be sure the mower is on a flat, level surface. Turn off the engine and make sure it is cool. Remove the ignition key. Disconnect the spark plug ignition wire and engage the parking brake.
2. To level the deck from the front to the rear, place the deck lift lever in the middle position.
3. Wearing gloves, rotate the blade closest to the discharge chute parallel to the lawn mower.
4. Measure the height of the front blade tip to the ground. Next, measure the height of the rear blade tip to the ground. Refer to your operator’s manual for how high your mower deck should be, and the differences between front and rear.
5. To raise the front of the deck, tighten the hex nut. If the front of the deck needs to be lowered, then loosen the hex nut.
6. Wearing gloves for protection, level the deck from side to side by rotating the blades perpendicular to the lawn mower.
7. Measure the heights of the lawn mower blade tips on each side of the deck from the ground.
8. For Troy-Bilt riders with deck adjustment gear, adjust the deck by loosening the hex bolt on the left hangar bracket. Then, raise or lower the deck by turning the adjustment gear. For Super Bronco™ models without deck adjustment gear, side-to-side adjustments are made using the lift adjustment rods located under the rear fenders inside the wheel area on each side of the deck. Minor side-to-side adjustments should be made using primarily the left adjustment rod. Refer to your operator’s manual for detailed instructions.
9. When the heights of both mower blade tips have the same measurement from the ground, tighten the hex bolt.
10. Reconnect the spark plug ignition wire.