Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Kubota Mower Repair

We had another complicated repair to make recently on the Kubota front mower used to mow slopes and uneven terrain with a flexible Lastec deck. It is an important machine as our other mowers with flat decks scalp the turf around the greens, tees, and bunkers. The machine was leaking fluid from a gasket on the hydrostatic transmission (HST). Normally, gasket changes are not that difficult, but on this machine the bolts needed to remove the transmission housing are located inside the tractor. The only way to access them is to separate the tractor completely and remove the transmission.

Here are some interesting pictures from the process:

Kubota F3060 after separating engine frame from front axle

Hydrostatic transmission rear view

After more cleaning and disassembly

Inside of the tractor after removing transmission - amazingly clean for a 16 year old machine.

Inside of hydrostatic transmission

HST cylinder block - This little thing is what makes the mower move!

Reassembled with new gasket, o-rings, and seals
 The mower is now back together and working. Older machines are always an adventure. When I was researching this repair, I did not find much on the internet related to it. Luckily, I did have the workshop manual for this piece of equipment which was a pretty good guide. I share these photos because, first, they are pretty neat to look at (if you like machines), and, second, they might help another grounds crew or mechanic needing to do a similar repair.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Parking lot patching

Yesterday was a busy day. We winterized the irrigation system with a large compressor which is used to blow the water out of the pipes and sprinklers with air. This is crucial to ensure freezing temperatures do not damage the system over the winter. For the past several years, we have used a 825 cfm compressor which does an excellent job in around 4 hours. It used to take all day with a 375 cfm model. Getting the job done quickly was especially helpful yesterday because we are still open for golf and we were able to finish before most golfers came out to play.

At the same time, we also had a contractor patching the most worn area of the parking lot. One area in particular of the roughly 40-year-old asphalt needed to be replaced as it had been worn away by flowing water and plowing. The result is a great improvement, although the parking lot has other areas of concern and some underlying base and drainage issues that will need to be corrected in the future. This partial and relatively inexpensive repair makes an immediate improvement for winter banquets and next year's golf season.

Step 1. Grinding the worn asphalt

Step 2. Removal and prepping the base

Step 3. Asphalt installed in 1.5 inch layers

Step 4. Final compaction
The area will also be re-striped to match the existing parking bays.

For comparison, below is the area before the patching. Over the past several years, the spent, old surface layer of asphalt was gradually washed away by water or plowed away with snow removal. The Midwest is particularly hard on asphalt due to our weather -- frequent freezing and thawing and often frequent winter precipitation that requires removal. Once an area is compromised, it usually deteriorates quickly.

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