Golf Course Management

DEC 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 37 of 101

34 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 12.18 e fabric covers on a new V-belt were being ripped off an hour after installation on a belly-mount rotary mower deck. e grass being mowed was extra tall because of abnor - mally heavy rains that delayed mowing … but this was ridiculous. e new belt was from the original equip - ment maker, so we assumed it was good qual- ity and properly built. e operator had kept the ground speed low while mowing the tall, juicy grass. He didn't remember hitting anything solid that might have jammed the blades — just a lot of slow going through tall, damp grass. e technician who installed the belt said he had left the mower deck mounted on the tractor to save time. e old belt had thinned and developed cracks and looked ready to break. He reported that he needed a lot of force to get the new belt installed around the blade pulleys, but more rain was threatening, and the mowing really needed to get done. Rushing and shortcutting ended up cost - ing more time and money. A second new belt was needed, along with a new idler pulley, since the bearings in the deck's idler pulley were growling. Chances are, the pulley would have locked or come apart in the near future, destroying yet another new belt. As the rain came down, the mower deck was dismounted and analyzed. e underside of the deck had accumu - lated considerable cut-grass clumping, but the blades could rotate freely. e quill assembly bearings didn't rumble when the blades were spun. When a shot of grease was injected, some excess immediately came out from the bearing chamber under the top drive pulleys, as is normal. is showed there was adequate grease in the bearings. e blades were not excessively dull and didn't show any nicks or bare-metal scrapes to indicate contact with rocks that might have jammed the blades. e deck returned to normal function after we found corrosion had jammed the ability of the spring-loaded belt idler system to respond quickly to changes in load. e deck had been cleaned routinely with high-pressure water after mowing, which led to rust jamming the pivot of the idler pulley arm and contributed to an early death for the idler pulley's bearings and the purchase of a new idler. We're not familiar with any turf equipment that provides for that pivot and idler pulley to be greased, yet the movement of that arm and smooth rotation of the pulley are critical to maintaining the ability of the spring-loaded idler system to respond instantly, protecting the belt from shock load damage. Frayed belt solution (shop) Scott R. Nesbitt After cleaning the rust off the idler arm pivot, we added shim washers to limit the up- down motion of the arm (to keep gunk out of the pivot) and lubricated with synthetic brake and caliper grease. While expensive, that grease seems to resist wash-off and to work well in dusty conditions. Now we clean the deck, along with our other equipment, with high-pressure air in - stead of water. And after 140 hours of service, the idler system is still flexing and protecting the belt. Scott R. Nesbitt is a freelance writer and former GCSAA staff member. He lives in Cleveland, Ga. Matched with a new belt, the original belt (left) was developing cracks and had lost about 20 percent of its width. The fabric cover of a new mower deck drive belt (top right) started coming off after one hour of service. Synthetic grease was used to lubricate this idler arm pivot (bottom right) after cleaning off rust that had blocked the idler system's instant shock-protecting action. Photos by Scott Nesbitt INSIDE THE SHOP at The 2019 Golf Industry Show is building a replica maintenance shop on the show floor. This space will feature education opportunities, networking, contests and hands-on demonstrations that will offer the golf course maintenance team tips, tricks and new ideas on how to enhance its existing shop practices, regardless of budgetary or space constraints. The content delivered within this area will focus on creating a more efficient, cost-effective and safer work environment for equipment shops of all shapes and sizes. We hope that you will join us "Inside the Shop" at the Golf Industry Show.

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