Introduction: Safely Work Underneath a Large Heavy Mower

The wheels of my mower are too close together to straddle the auto repair grease pit built into the floor of my garage, so I bridged the gap. Standing down in the pit I can easily access the underside of a mower that is otherwise too low to crawl under and too heavy to lift. To see my related Instructables, click on "unclesam" just below the title above or in the INFO box to the right, then on the new page that appears repeatedly click "NEXT" to see all of them.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

automotive repair grease pit
pair metal curved ramps
stout timber, size and length to suit width and weight of mower, at least a two by four

Step 2: Build a Bridge

Place the timber across the side rails of the pit, then lay the ramps from the floor to the timber. Adjust the distance between the ramps to match the mower's wheelbase. The curve of the ramps bridges the short angled rails. The second photo is a view from the floor end of the ramps.

Step 3: Timber

The timber rests across the raised metal side rails of the pit. It is essential that the timber be long enough that its ends extend past the outside edges of the two ramps. Strips of wood are added to the ends of the timber to make it easy to space the ramps at that end and ensure that the ramps cannot wiggle off  the timber ends. Two strips added to the bottom of the timber make it easy to center the timber between the raised rims of the pit. The photo with the wood strips shows The Great Yellow Beast parked and how the three sturdy lift-off doors are in place over the pit whenever it is not in use.

Step 4: Mower Backed Over Pit

Backing the mower partway onto the ramps allows easy access to the drive machinery. Driving the mower in forword provides access to the mower deck for changing or sharpening the blades. It is safer to keep part of the mower's weight on the ends of the ramps that rest on the floor, rather than drive it completely onto the ramps.