Looking for a softer ride over a flat, but bumpy lawn, I dropped tire pressures to 10 psi front and rear. Clearly it improved my ride, but I starting seeing a lot more random scalping. More posts from others recently explained that low tire pressures allowed the tractor to lean more in turns and traversing hills causing uneven cuts. Yesterday, I aired my tires up to 20 psi and spent a good two hours leveling the deck within 1/8" side to side and 1/4" lower in the front than the rear. It took a lot of back and forth adjustments since my front drag link must be bent requiring a difference in adjustment on each side of of 1/4". In a perfect world, the drag link setting would be identical on each side. My 2012 1026R rules out that perfect world. Once I got the leveling as close as I could, I set the desired mower height, then put the gage wheels 1" above the garage slab. Recommendations I've read are 1/4-1/2", but that would put my gage wheels set at the last pin on the top, so I dropped to one pin setting lower. As it is at 1", the wheels are making pretty solid contact with the ground during mowing. This is all a far cry from most recommendations, but mowing 3 acres afterward produced the best cut possible. No scalping, no gage wheels lines, nothing but a flat, smooth continuous carpet of mowed lawn. Needless to say the tires will stay at 20 psi.
The only issue now is ease of disconnecting the deck from the tractor. Hookup is flawless, but on disconnect, it looks like the drag link pulls the deck too far forward preventing the rear hookup of the deck from being all the way forward in the rear slots to allow the spring loaded lock rod from being dropped. Could the drag link be pulling the deck too far forward to get a clean release in the rear? I even thought about grinding off the front edges of the rear lock cams to give them more clearance for release, but have doubts about doing that for fear the deck could fall off in the back during mowing. I'm doing deck release and hookup in my lawn at the most level location. Gage wheels are unpinned and fully up and out of the way with the entire deck resting solidly on the ground and height adjuster in install position. I can get the rod to snap down and release by using a pry bar to get adequate clearance for the locking cams, but not without the pry bar. Thoughts anyone?