Mower Deck Digging Into Ground: What Causes It And How To Solve It?


The mower deck digging into ground can be a frustrating problem for those who pride themselves on maintaining a manicured lawn. This issue can lead to uneven cutting, weeding, and possibly damage to the floor and blade. 

Thus, knowing the cause and how to solve it is vital for a smooth and efficient cutting. So let’s dive in and discover! 

The Reasons Behind The Mower Deck Digging Into Ground

The Reasons Behind

Many people think pine cones can make the mower deck dig into the ground, but that’s not true. There are other more direct causes.

Let’s see what causes your lawn mower to dig into the ground!

Cutting Height

Setting the cutting height too low will result in locating the mower deck blades close to the ground, increasing the chance of them digging in. 

This unfortunate result can give rise to many problems during the operation of the machine. For example, uneven mowing heights can create unsightly patches on the lawn’s surface. 

Furthermore, having the blades close to the ground can cause the grass to peel or tear instead of cutting cleanly and accurately. 

Also, this digging action can damage the sides of the mower deck, leading to maintenance and repair concerns.

Uneven Terrain

When traveling through uneven terrain, such as hills or steep areas, the mower’s weight distribution can change, causing the deck to tilt forward or backward. 

The blades can then scratch or dig into the soil, resulting in uneven cuts, weeding, and possible damage to the deck and blades.

Excessive Speed

Excessive Speed

The sudden increase in speed reduces your control over the mower, increasing the risk of the deck digging into the ground.

In this case, bumps, subsidence, or low points on the ground can cause the deck to dig suddenly while the blades keep rotating at high speed.

Besides, it can exacerbate the impact when encountering obstacles such as rocks, stumps, or debris. 

Accordingly, the force of the collision can cause the deck to dig into the ground as it tries to overcome an obstacle, potentially causing significant damage.

Dull Blades

Finally, a dull blade can contribute to the mower deck digging into the ground during mowing. Specifically, it struggles to cut the grass, causing more force on the deck when not sharp. 

Hence, this increased force can cause the deck to push into the ground, resulting in uneven mowing and sloughing of the grass.

Besides, when the blades are blunt, they will tear or shred the grass instead of creating a clean, sharp cut. This problem can lead to uneven growth patterns and less aesthetically pleasing lawns. 

Also, torn grass may not stay upright, increasing the likelihood that the mower deck is in contact with the ground.

Furthermore, the blunt blades require the mower to move more slowly to achieve the desired cutting result. 

If you maintain the same speed as you do with the sharp ones, the increased drag from the blunt blades can make it easier for the deck to dig into the ground.

How To Fix The Mower Deck Digging Into the Ground?

Fix The Mower Deck Digging Into the Ground

You already know the causes of this problem. Now is the time to find a solution! 

Adjust Cutting Height

We recommend you consult your mower manual to determine the range of cutting heights for the grass type you are mowing. Then follow these steps:

Step 1: Locate the adjustment lever or mechanism

Find the adjustment lever or the mechanism that controls the cutting height. It is usually on or near the mower wheels or floor.

Step 2: Raise the cutting height

Next, adjust the lever or mechanism to raise the cutting height. Then gradually increase it until the propellers maintain a safe distance from the ground. But avoid setting it too high, as this can cause the grass to be uneven.

Step 3: Inspection and observation

Start the machine and observe its operation. In this step, ensure that the deck is no longer digging into the ground as you mow the lawn. If needed, make further adjustments until the desired cutting height is achieved.

Remember to adjust the cutting height based on the condition of your lawn and recommendations for your particular mower model. 

Also, regularly checking and adjusting the cutting height will help prevent the mower deck from digging into the ground and ensure a more even and well-maintained lawn.

Mow At A Slower Speed

Mow At A Slower Speed

While operating the machine, intentionally reduce the speed while you are mowing. Reducing the forward rate provides better control and maneuverability.

Besides, aim to achieve consistent and stable speed while cutting. Also, avoid sudden acceleration or deceleration, as these can increase the likelihood of the deck digging into the ground.

In addition, stay alert and watch the terrain as you mow. Also, remember to adjust your speed accordingly when encountering uneven areas, depressions, or obstacles to navigate them smoothly.

When turning, avoid jerking or sudden changes of direction. Gradually maneuver the mower around the corners to maintain stability.

Sharpen Or Replace Blades

First, inspect the blades for signs of dullness, damage, or wear. You must replace them if they are severely worn, warped, or have large cracks. If not, proceed with grinding.

During this process, we recommend using a file, a bench grinder, or a professional blade sharpener to sharpen the cutting edges of the blade. 

Also, ensure following the manufacturer’s instructions and maintain the proper blade angle.

After sharpening, check the balance of the blades by hanging them on a nail or leveling tool. If they lean to one side, take a small amount of material from the heavier side until balanced.

Regular blade maintenance can prevent the deck from digging into the ground. Sharpening or replacing the blades ensures a clean and precise cut, reducing the impact force on the deck and minimizing the risk of digging in.

Remember, however, that before working with the blades, ensure your machine is off; and the spark plug is disconnected. It is to avoid accidental starting.

Tips On Mower Under Deck Treatment 

Tips On Mower Under Deck Treatment

Follow these tips to keep your deck mower in good condition, prevent rust and damage, and ensure optimum performance and longevity.

  • Cleaning: Clean the underside of the mower deck regularly to remove grass clippings, dirt, and debris.
  • Rust prevention: We recommend applying a layer of anti-rust paint or coating to the underside of the mower deck. It helps prevent rust and corrosion caused by exposure to moisture and other environmental factors.
  • Lubrication: Lubricate moving parts, such as pulleys, pivots, and belts, under the deck. Be sure to use a suitable lubricant recommended by the manufacturer to reduce friction, improve performance, and extend the life of these parts.
  • Check for damage: Regularly inspect the mower floor for any signs of cracks, dents, or bent metal. Then, repair or replace them on time to ensure deck structural integrity and optimum performance.
  • Control weeding: Consider using a weed catcher or mulch kit to minimize the amount of weed under the deck. This tip helps prevent clogging and promotes better airflow for more efficient mowing.


Should Mower Deck Wheels Touch The Ground?

No. Mower Deck Wheels are typically positioned slightly above the ground to support and prevent the deck from digging into the ground.

How High Should A Mower Deck Be?

It can vary depending on the specific mower and cutting conditions. Generally, a good starting point is to set the deck around 2-3 inches off the ground. 

But we recommend consulting the mower’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended cutting height range.

Why Does Grass Buildup Under The Mower Deck?

It is due to clippings not being discharged or mulched. This issue can happen if the grass is too wet or the mower’s discharge chute or mulching blades are clogged. 


By examining the causes of the mower deck digging into ground, you can take proactive steps to address each factor.

Remember, a properly adjusted and maintained mower floor will provide a smooth and even cutting experience. Hence, you have a beautifully manicured lawn. Let us know in the comments if you have gardening questions!

Thank you for reading!

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