How To Adjust Your Riding Mower Deck Height And Level

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    A common problem that riding mower owners have is the deck height adjustment not providing the correct height for their lawn or a deck that is cutting out of level. It is pretty apparent when you have this problem and you will find it happens more on uneven ground but it will show up at all times when you are cutting. If you simply have a little scalping when you are cutting on a small hill or incline it might be that the angle of cut is too high and you should consider that because if you cut your grass on a hill you could end up tipping over.

    To adjust your ride height on your riding mower you have a lever that normally locks into about 5 different settings. This allows you to cut grass that is really high with a first high pass and then come back and hit it again with a normal height pass. Unfortunately if the settings on the deck are off the deck just can’t be lifted high enough to give you a good grass height.


    To cure this problem you should find your manual and then look at the proper method for adjusting your ride height. On my lawn tractor I adjust the height by using an adjusting wheel that has a cotter pin. There are a number of holes in the wheel and it will give me some increased or decreased height on one side of the mower if I adjust them.

    Remember that setting the height on one side requires setting the height on both sides.

    Place the lawn tractor on a level surface such as your concrete garage floor.

    Lower the deck to its lowest setting and remove your bagger attachment if necessary to get easy access to the adjuster wheels

    Pull the cotter pin and rotate the adjustment wheel to the height you desire.

    Note the number on the wheel and then go to the other side of the mower and make the same setting.

    Raise and lower your deck with the lawn tractor engine off and measure the distance between the deck and the floor of your garage. It should be equal and level on all sides.

    Adjusting an uneven deck is the same process but you will need to adjust one side of the deck to make it even with the other side. Hopefully the numbers match and the problems isn’t due to a bent arm or other part.

    Test your riding mower after you have made the adjustments to make sure it it cutting well and that it is cutting the grass level.

    Final Note

    This is a pretty easy repair or adjustment to make. I would strongly suggest that you use a pair of locking vice grip pliers to pull the cotter pin as it can be difficult to access and slipping will probably mean jamming your knuckle against a steel part of the underside of your lawn tractor.

    Always follow the safety procedures and instructions that your manufacture provides and if any part is damaged you will likely need to replace it.

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