I’ve had lots of questions recently about the lift options for the 1-series mid mount mowers. This is understandable, as the choices ARE confusing. So, let’s discuss the different lift options, how they work, and why you might choose one option over another.
Mechanical Mower Lift
First, let’s remove one point of confusion. The “Mechanical Mower Lift” is not, well, mechanical! When I think of mechanical, I think of the old craftsman riding mower with the big lever sticking up in the way of your knee so that it rams into your leg upon every bump.
No, the Mechanical Mower Lift is fully hydraulic and requires no ‘muscle-power’ to lift.
I wonder how many hydraulic lifts are sold simply because of this mis-understanding? If my dealer hadn’t taken the time to fully explain this, I would have almost certainly ended up with one of the other options.
The mechanical lift is controlled by the 3 point hitch mechanism. There is a mechanical connection between the 3 point hitch ‘rock-shaft’ and the mower lift mechanism. This is where the name ‘mechanical’ comes from.
This lift option is the simplest of the three approaches. There are no hydraulic lines for the operator to deal with. The lift mechanism is out of sight and out of mind.
One advantage of this mechanism with the 1025R is that the operator can accurately control the height of the lawn mower while operating. For instance, let’s say you have a ridge in your yard which typically causes the mower to scalp. With the mechanical lift, you can raise the 3 point hitch lever slightly so that the mower will mow accurately over that ridge without scalping. You can use the numbers by the 3 point hitch lever to provide a consistent guide to the mower height. Of course, for normal mowing, you should lower the deck so that the height is controlled by the mower height control knob, but it is nice to know that you can adjust accurately to unique situations in your lawn.
This option is the least expensive, and can be upgraded to either of the other options at any time if the operator decides that the mechanical lift is insufficient.
The disadvantage of the mechanical lift is that the 3 point hitch and mower lift cannot be operated independently. While mowing, the 3 pt arms will be lowered.
You CAN lock the mower in its ‘up’ position and lower the 3 point arms without lowering the mower. So the limitation only exists while the mower is lowered (in-use).
So, ask yourself if you plan to use the 3 point hitch while operating the mower. I don’t know of a good reason to do so unless it would be a bagging attachment. Otherwise, I would recommend removing the mower deck before using any 3 point attachment.
You can see a good example of the 3 point positioning during mowing in this video
If you have the power beyond kit, it is slightly more complicated. Refer to this document for more details.
You can get these parts at GreenPartStore, and you’ll get a free shipping if you use coupon code “TTWT” at checkout.
Hydraulic Mower Lift
The two ‘hydraulic’ lift options use the loader SCV (Selective Control Valves) to control the lift rather than the 3 point hitch mechanism.
This option uses one of the SCV ports which are typically used by the loader, snow blower, broom, or blade. If attaching to one of these other implements, you will need to disconnect this hose, before proceeding to attach the other implement.
The net result is that this option provides independence from the 3 point hitch, but introduces a conflict between the mower and any front mounted attachment.
This option provides some control of the height of the deck, but it doesn’t provide the precision which the 3 point hitch lever can provide.
It also adds approximately $350 to the cost.
Overall, in my opinion, this is the least attractive of the 3 options.
To upgrade the hydraulic lift to the independent hydraulic lift, order:
Independent Hydraulic Mower Lift
For control of the mower deck fully independently from 3 point hitch attachments and front mounted SCV (Selective Control Valve) connected attachments, one needs to choose the Independent Hydraulic Lift.
The lift mechanism is the same as the hydraulic lift. This option adds the necessary plumbing and valves to allow independent control of the deck and front attachments at the same time. It also adds a new ‘rocker switch’ near the operator’s left knee for raising and lowering the deck. This rocker switch does not provide the precise control of the mechanical option, nor does provide the hydraulic feel of the SCV loader control used in the hydraulic mower lift.
This option just shy of $900 (if starting from ‘mechanical lift’).
After I understood that the mechanical lift was not actually mechanical, it was obvious to me that this was the option for me. It was the most simplistic approach, the most cost effective approach, and it provided the most control of the deck.
I’d be interested in hearing your opinion in the comments section.