Wheels up or down ?

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Jan 26, 2021
U.P. Michigan
Is there a way to level the deck so that it won't scalp the lawn????
Some brands scalp less than others, and as a general rule, a deck that hangs from 3 attachment points versus 4 will scalp less. For example, the new cub decks hang from a rear hanger on each side and a single rod at the front. A certain green manufacture use a similar design at the rear but uses or used, depending on model, they are slowly getting away from this design, a "horse shoe" shaped rod at the front that contacts the deck at 2 points about 6 inches apart. Having 2 points in the front creates a situation where the deck naturally doesn't want to tilt. Think of an atv design, 3 wheeler versus 4 wheeler, and imagine which would pivot better and tilt more to reduce scalping. However with that said, there isn't a way to completely avoid scalping certain areas, other than grab a shovel and flatten the hump. My post above describes how to set up your cutting deck.


Well-known member
Jul 14, 2008
Grove City, Pa.
Kevin Hill
I believe the reason that the mower deck is suspended and not riding on those hard plastic wheels is because if you suspend the deck it rides on the tractor frame and that rides on larger pneumatic tires that gives your deck a smoother ride... If you look at a zero turn they have front wheels on them too and the weight of the deck partially rides on them, but they are larger with low pressure pneumatic tires that help absorb the shock.. Those little plastic wheels on mower decks only transmit the shock.. It would be like going down the road in your truck.. would the ride be smoother with pneumatic tires or steel wheels?...


Active member
Feb 17, 2009
Rick Engasser
All the IH Cub Cadets were intended to have the mower be carried by the tractor and the gauge wheels and center roller act as anti-scalp. Some versions of 38" and 42" decks actually did not have gauge wheels on them as standard equipment. The narrow frame tractors had a height stop that was adjusted with a 3/4" wrench, the wide frame tractors had a cam with an adjusting knob to set the mowing height. A couple of adjusting issues that may be useful to know::

The early wide frame height adjusting cams would loosen up, the later ones had the cam reversed so it would stay tight.

44" and 50" decks where the blades are not even may have rust build up between the deck shell and reinforcement plate and the spindle will not be even with each other.

If the mower deck was carried on the wheels the fork on the mower linkage that goes over the tractor crossbar will have lots of wear on it and the mower will nose down to the point where you run out of adjustment on the front mounts. This was more prevalent on the older models that did not have the plates welded to the scissor linkage.

IH customer service actually had a form letter recommending that mower decks be carried by the tractor that we sent out when a customer had an issue with cut quality. It explained that the 4 large pneumatic tires on the tractor would get the lawn a smoother cut than carrying it on the gauge wheels.


Dec 8, 2019
Woodbury, Pennsylvania
Another thing I thought of is if the deck rides on wheels, you'd need casters or else the wheels would bind and dig into the dirt when making sharp turns.
Thought about that after contemplating putting wheels in place of skids on the snowthrower like shown in a different thread...🤔