John Deere Maintenance Monday: Attaching the auto-connect deck
Make the task easier with these deck tips
Radio interview source: Kevin Branstetter, Product Manager, John Deere
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Kurt in Texas. He bought a new tractor with an auto-connect mower deck. The deck moves while he's trying to drive up onto it, which makes it very difficult to attach. Any tips?
Kevin Branstetter is a product manager with John Deere. He says the most important part of getting a mower deck to connect properly is being on a level surface.
"We have done it on concrete in shops, as well as on gravel, and on grass," he says. "Also one of the major key points you need to make sure you do is put that tractor in low range, and engage MFWD. That way it won't push the deck away from you, but the tractor will slowly climb up the deck."
Branstetter notes if you are connecting on fresh, loose gravel, the deck will push down into the ground a bit, making it a little more difficult to align everything.
He says on some tractor models, there's a guide bar that will help you place the wheels exactly where they need to go.
"I could put that left front tire right up against that guide bar just as close as I can get to it without driving up on it, make sure I have it in MFWD in low range," says Branstetter. "I have my hitch all the way down when I start over it, and once my tire touches the ground and I can look up front and see those front hangers are going to be lined up, I like to goose it a little bit with a little speed and it feels like it really helps it latch on a lot better."
Like a lot of things, it just takes practice. Branstetter says don't be afraid to ask for advice. If you're really having difficulty, contact your John Deere dealer, who can check to see if any mechanical adjustments are needed, and help you through the connection process.
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