In this blog post, I will discuss fourteen different safe methods to lift your lawnmower for the maintenance and replacement of its blades, belt, tires, oil, and other parts beneath the deck. All of these methods must be carried out with great care and attention. Riding lawnmowers are bulky and very huge, so it is impossible to manually push them and turn them over on the side to get access to the parts underneath.
There are several methods to lift your lawnmower safely:
- A compressed Air-powered System
- A Drill-turned Mechanism
- A scissor-action Mechanism
- Air Bearings
- Hand Truck Dolly
- Lifting Straps or moving harness
- Lift Buddy
- Roller Skids
- Chain Hoist
A few safety precautions that must always be observed are the disconnection of your lawnmower’s spark plug, the use of a pair of gloves and safety shoes. If you ignore these safety precautions you will probably damage your lawnmower or hurt yourself. It is necessary to seek the assistance of an expert, or a professional mechanic to lift your lawnmower for its maintenance.
Scroll on to read the details of each of the fourteen methods.
1. A compressed Air-powered System:
You can make use of the pressurized air or gas to lift your lawnmower to a desirable height. This system uses compressed air or compressed inert gases. An electrically powered and centrally located compressor operates the air motors, cylinders and pneumatic devices.
This system is very cost-effective, more flexible and really safe. It is controlled through automatic or manual solenoid valves. It is connected to the workshop’s compressed air system.
A compressed air-powered system in a mechanic’s workshop uses a sustainable supply of atmospheric air. Moisture is removed from the air and some oil is added. Oil helps in lubrication and prevention of corrosion.
The compressed air is completely harmless, but if nitrogen is used, it might present an asphyxiation hazard. Compressed oxygen is a fire hazard, more costly and offers no better performance than air. When carbon dioxide is used, the phase change between gas and liquid makes it possible to obtain a larger volume of compressed gas from a smaller container than compressed air requires, but it is a freezing hazard.
This system is simply designed using the standard cylinders and is easy to use. It is simple to control via a simple on/off button. It is very durable and long-lasting.
Your system will run for a while even if the electric connection is lost as compressed gas can be stored. These machines are mostly overload-safe to a specific limit. There is a minimum chance of fire.
2. A Drill-turned Mechanism:
You can use a hand-operated hoist around a drilling rig to lift your lawnmower safely for maintenance. A cordless drill driven, hand crank hoist is useful in the areas that lack electric power supply. It will help you lift your lawnmower even if you need to maintain it when mowing a far-flung remote rural farm without access to the electric grid.
This system works by connecting a drill directly to the drive mechanism or by connecting the power to the flexible drive shaft. You will have to use the hand crank directly with the drive mechanism. You can also connect the hand crank handle to the flexible drive shaft.
A standard device is attached to a power shaft, a bit and a handle.
3. A scissor-action Mechanism:
A scissor-action mechanism uses foldable, linked supports in an “X” pattern. Your lawnmower is lifted through an extension which is achieved by applying some pressure to the outside of a set of supports located at one end of the mechanism, elongating the criss-cross pattern. To lift your lawnmower using this mechanism you can use hydraulic, muscular, mechanical or pneumatic means.
This type of machine can move only vertically, upwards and downwards, which allows you to pump a lever with one hand. Depending on the power system employed on this lift, it may need no power to enter descent mode but simply the release of pneumatic or hydraulic pressure. These methods are used to lift your lawnmower because they allow a fail-safe option of returning the lift to the ground by a simple release of a manual valve.
It is necessary to observe certain safety precautions while using a scissors-action lift to raise your lawnmower for maintenance. A license and/or insurance is needed to operate the scissors-action lift. Most protocols advocate training every mechanic or technician, whether mandated or not.
Most expert professionals also prescribe a session of pre-use checks of the unit. This mechanism comes equipped with different tilt sensors. The most commonly used sensor is the overweight sensor, which prevents the lifting of your lawnmower if the maximum operating weight limit is exceeded.
The sensors within the scissors-action lift detect that the weight of your lawnmower is off-balance to risk a possible tip-over if it is lifted. Another sensor will refuse to lift up if your lawnmower is on a significant incline. Some latest models of scissors-action lift have an additional feature of counterweight.
Most scissors-action lifts are fitted with an emergency stop button which is used in the event of the danger or malfunction. Some other safety features include; automatic self-checking and a voltmeter which detects if your scissors-action lift has insufficient power to lift up your lawnmower. The voltmeter will prevent operation if the power voltage is insufficient.
Some latest models also have a manual lowering lever at the base of the scissors-action lift, allowing the user to lower the lift back to the ground level in case of control or power failure.
4. Air Bearings:
For your lawnmower, with weight in the tons, lifts and movers often enlist the help of air bearings. An air compressor is used to inflate bearing elements that are attached to a platform, which is placed under your lawnmower. Due to the continuous airflow, your lawnmower is lifted and floats across the ground.
Air bearings are also called aerostatic bearings or aerodynamic bearings. This system is ideal for lawnmowers with uneven weight distribution. This system uses a thin film of pressurized gas, where the two surfaces do not touch each other to avoid friction, lubricant handling, particulates, and wear.
A forklift is also called a forklift truck, fork truck, fork hoist, jitney or truck lift. Its main purpose is to relocate over a short distance or lift up your lawnmower to be loaded into a truck. It is one of the most cost-effective methods to maintain your lawnmower.
There are twenty-five different types of forklifts including, hand pallet truck, walkie low lift truck, rider low lift truck, towing tractor, walkie stacker, rider stacker, reach truck, electric counterbalanced truck, internal combustion engine-powered counterbalanced forklift, battery electric forklifts, fuel cell forklifts, side loaders, telescopic handler, walkie order picking truck, rider order picking truck, articulated very narrow aisle counterbalanced truck, guided very narrow aisle truck, guided very narrow aisle order picking truck, truck-mounted forklift, sod loader, omnidirectional truck, UL 558 safety rated truck, UL 583 safety rated truck, “EX rated” explosion-proof truck and automated forklift trucks.
6. Hand Truck Dolly:
It is also called a bag barrow, box cart, cart, sack truck, trundler, stack truck or two-wheeler. It is an L-shaped tool with handles at one end and wheels at the base. It has a small ledge to carry your lawnmower flat against the floor.
When you need to move your lawnmower, it is tilted forward and the ledge is inserted underneath it, then the lawnmower is allowed to tilt back and rest on its ledge. The dolly and your lawnmower are tilted backward until the mass is well-balanced over its wheels. This first-class lever makes lifting and moving the heavy lawnmowers much easier.
7. Lifting Straps or moving harness:
Your lawnmower can be lifted up and moved by just two people when you use lifting straps or moving harness. This simple tool has many different designs but mostly there are two straps with adjustable loops at both ends. These loops are worn over the forearms or shoulders to place the strap underneath your lawnmower.
The benefit of lifting straps or moving harness is even weight distribution and better stability. It takes the pressure off your back.
It is also called a screw jack, jackscrew, car jack, floor jack, garage jack or toe jack. It is a mechanical device used to lift up heavy loads like lawnmowers. The mechanical jack employs a screw thread for lifting up your lawnmower so that important maintenance can be performed.
Jacks are used for lifting the corners of your lawnmower so that the roller skids or skates can be placed beneath it. A jack is more heavy-duty than other tools and it works a little differently. Instead of crowbarring the tool up, a hydraulic lever is used for lifting up your lawnmower.
A jack and a jack stand must be the part of your lawnmower repair kit especially if you own a riding lawnmower. You must never depend upon a jack alone to hold a riding lawnmower safely. Sometimes its hydraulic locking valve may fail, hurting you or damaging your riding lawnmower.
Jacks stands are designed to capture your riding lawnmower safely if used correctly. It will prevent the riding lawnmower from slipping, shifting or moving from its proper place and height while you are repairing it.
Some latest models have a swivel feature which allows you to position the tool more precisely. It is ideal for lifting lawnmowers with both low clearance and high clearance. There are nine types of jacks:
- Scissor jack
- House jack
- Hydraulic jack
- Trolley jack
- Bottle jack or whiskey jack
- Air hydraulic jack
- Inflatable jack, lifting bag or a pneumatic lifting bag
- Strand jack
- Farm jack
9. Lift Buddy:
Lift buddy will help you lift the corner of your lawnmower. It works similarly to a jack. It will allow you to lift your lawnmower with one hand.
10. Roller Skids:
A roller skid is a single-deck loading tool that lacks a bottom deck. It is a low profile mobile equipment which rests on the pedestals attached to its deck. Skids can be used as a permanent foundation for your lawnmower as they have the advantage of being portable.
Roller skids are similar to skates with only one difference. They are designed to be bolted to your heavy lawnmower. Once your lawnmower is lowered back down then the skids are affixed to it, so that it can be lifted up and moved where you can safely maintain it.
Wheels always make the movement of heavy lawnmowers much easier. Skates have a rectangular or square platform with wheels at every corner. Once skates are placed under your lawnmower you can easily glide and slide it across the ground instead of having to pick up and carry it for maintenance.
The steerable skates offer better and safer transportation. They have a detachable handle. They can be rotated at three hundred and sixty degrees angle.
The steering handle which is easily maneuverable controls the two trailing skates which have polyurethane wheels. The wheels will prevent any damage to your lawn. Caterpillar skates are constructed out of extremely durable and rustproof stainless steel.
12. Chain Hoist:
It is also called buck hoist, builder hoist, man lift, temporary elevator or winder. It is a simple tool used for lifting up and lowering down your lawnmower by means of a drum or a lift wheel with chains, fiber, synthetic strap, rope or wire rope. It can be operated electrically, pneumatically or manually.
Most modern chain hoists carry your lawnmower using a lifting hook. HMI (Hoist Manufacturers Institute) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) promote the safe use of chain hoists to lift up and lower down the heavy equipment.
A lawnmower lift has a weight capacity of up to three hundred and fifty pounds. It has a safety lock for safely supporting the load. Its rubber padded platform will prevent scratching and protect your lawnmower.
It has a non-slip hydraulic foot pedal operation that allows the effortless lifting of your lawnmower. The lift itself is easily maneuverable and adjustable for lawnmowers of different sizes. In three simple steps, you can safely lift it up for maintenance.
First of all, you will have to drive your riding lawnmower onto the wheel baskets of the lift. Make sure you position the tires of your lawnmower securely into the wheel baskets centering the load on the lift. Secondly, to raise the lift safely, you will turn the release valve clockwise until firm resistance is left.
Now carefully pump the jack until your lawnmower reaches your desired height. The final height will correspond with its locking teeth on the height locking lever. Now slowly turn the release valve counter-clockwise until the lift platform locking levers engages the height locking levers then close the release valve by turning it completely, clockwise until firm resistance is left.
Finally, to lower the lift down, you will have to put it in neutral and raise the lift platform slightly to disengage the height locking levers. You will have to pump the lift pedal several times to disengage the height locking levers. Turn the release valve counter-clockwise, no more than one turn from the closed position.
The lift provides twenty-three inches from the ground to the wheel saddle to give you maximum space. The lift is built with the welded solid stainless steel construction with the four steel wheels. It also features the positive dual locking safety latches.
A ramp is a flat supporting surface tilted at an angle, it’s one end is higher than the other. It is used as an aid to lift up and lower down your lawnmower. It is also used to move your lawnmower over the vertical obstacles, for example, a truck.
Moving your lawnmower up a ramp requires much less force than lifting it straight up, at the cost of an increase in the distance moved. A portable automotive pair of ramps is generally constructed with a rugged and structural design. The pair of ramps provide convenient and reliable access to the underside of your lawnmower as well as storage for maximum space.
A ramp has a non-skid base and tread pattern which helps reduce slippage. Its patented polymer internal support system and wide stance offer maximum strength and unbeatable weight distribution. It has an extra-wide tire width for the safest lifting of your lawnmower.
To conclude this blog post, I would say that lawnmower maintenance is really important. All the bolts and screws should be checked and tightened before mowing, otherwise, a wheel or the blade can come off while you are mowing. This is very dangerous.
You must check and make sure there is the right amount of oil in your lawnmower before each use. Always wait for the lawnmower to cool down before refueling it.