I just bought a new Scag Turf Tiger mower. One of the things that the
dealer told me was not to wash it. He said to just blow it off with a
blower or air hose. He said that water will rust the bearings and it is
best never to wash it. I have never heard of this. I got the impression
that it wasn't just for Scag but is meant for all mowers. We live in a very
dusty environment and I have always washed the mower after mowing. Has
anyone heard of this? Comments?
I have heard of this and also never wash my mower a Honda 21 inch.
What I do do is have some nylon scrubbing brushes that I quickly go
over the mower with to get most of the grass and dust off it.
By the way what are your impressions on the SCAG? I was looking at
them and they look like a really good machine, and was thinking about
getting one, though perhaps not as large as yours. What engine size
did you go for? One final question is does it do well on slopes?
I've only had the Scag for about 2 weeks, but love it so far. It's a mowing
machine...mows our 3 acres in about a third of the time that our little
rider did. It does very well on slopes. The deck is so large and sits so
close to the ground, it takes the slopes extremely well. Ours has a 27
horse Kohler engine.
Here's something more that "I heard" but it applies to newer John
Deere riding mowers. My neighbor across the street from me AND another
friend of mine bought similar John Deere riding mowers (nice ones)
late last year. They both wash their mowers - not every time they use
them but when they get dirty enought to wash them. They both run them
afterwards to dry them out. BOTH of these mowers have been in the shop
SEVERAL times already having deck bearings replaced. Less than a year
IMHO, this isn't a problem with washing the mower - you should be able
to wash it without problems. The problem is poor design.
I used to think John Deere, Honda, and Lawnboy were good mowers, but
it just turns out that they are no better than others, just
overpriced. I'm having good luck with Toro mowers. And I have a
neighbor that has been using a Sears mower for over 12 years without
any needed repairs.
In the 21 years that my parents have lived in their house my father
has purchased 2 lawn tractors, The first was a toro that lasted 15 yrs
(being abused by a teenage son I might add) and the other was a
craftsman that him and my mother both love.
BTW as a 14 year old, after taking off the catcher and the blade the
toro was one heck of an ATV.
I went back to Toro mowers after trying a Honda and a Yardman. Both
were "ok" but the Toro is built like a tank, *always* starts on the
first pull and I don't even bother thinking of a tune up except every
5 or 6 years.
Strange. My oldest Honda (walkbehind) is a few years over 20 now.
Never had a tune-up...well, I did give it a new plug and fuel filter
about 10 years ago, wore the rubber off the drive wheels twice,
replaced the clutch cable once. Smokes like a lawn fogger at startup
now but that clears as soon as a load is applied.
As for "always starts first pull...." Toro does not build their
motors, they run the same motors as other makes.
Honda walk-behind did, but for 1/3 the price. I looked at the Honda, and the
deck was nicer, but not that much nicer. Still big and heavy with all those
silly-ass 'safety' features that make mowing take 3 times as long. The Honda
engine has stood up well to my abuse- change oil once a year, change air
filter when it gets plugged, always starts first pull. (My yard is a rough
mess, with lots of dirt showing, so it does get dusty in dry weather.)
Now if somebody would bring back the old lightweight LawnBoy staggered-wheel
magnesium deck, with a Honda engine, we would have a winner.
I HAVE heard that washing is unnecessary at least and potentially damaging at
I regularly washed at least one of the Toro mowers I have owned over the years
with no ill effect.
After hearing that washing can be A Bad Thing<tm>, I began using only
compressed air to clean my new mowers after each use.
Since you bought a Scag - a commercial mower - and probably paid dearly for
it, I would expect it to withstand regular washing with no ill effect.
A Scag is designed to operate in virtually ALL mowing conditions - including
rain. I don't think you'll hurt your new mower by washing it, but I would do
so only occasionally. Compressed air is a lot less messy than horsing-around
with hoses and water anyway.
This was the same advice I got with my Cub Cadet. Washing is OK for under
the deck but for everything else --blow it off. So everytime I get the leaf
blower out, I give the lawn tractor a blast of air. Occasionally, I will
wash it with car wash detergent. The blower does work better at removing the
dried leaves and grass on top of the deck than the hose does.
It's kinda' excessively anal advice for water in the bearings as the
reason against it for any quality mower -- cheap stuff w/ sleeves or
open rollers, sure, but w/ modern sealed bearings on spindles and even
on front axles of a mower of this size/quality, it just ain't a problem.
Where there is more of an issue in my mind is long term on the nooks and
crannies of the deck where water will collect and could _eventually_
cause some rust/corrosion from the inevitable paint chips and dust/dirt
that collects where it can't ever get completely removed in those crevices.
It isn't all that great to get belts wet repeatedly, either.
So, overall, I tend to agree washing is best left to infrequently and
restrained to the cosmetics and to use air to clean the debris/dirt of
the deck, etc., regularly.
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