The front shaft support bearing on my front deck lawnmower keeps burning out its seal.
Typical scenario: PTO coupling catches long strands of grass which wraps around the PTO coupling, and also around the splined shaft between the coupling and the bearing. Friction heats up the plastic seal, it falls out, then the back up metal retainer falls out. Soon after the bearing is history.
The bearings are cheap, but it takes about 2 hours of awkward work to replace them. (I'm considering using a split pillow block to make the replacement easier.)
Only recently figured out the connection between long grass and bearing failure. On this particular occasion, the failure was about 2 hours after the long grass.
Q1: What do I ask for to get a bearing with a seal that withstands more abuse?
Q2: Are there other ways to protect the bearing seal?
Edit: As per request: Grasshopper 1995 721D
Rear bearing never winds grass.
Mower is NOT used for a lawn, but to maintain aisles in a tree farm. Some of this is done with a John Deere MX-6 rotary disk mower (6 foot wide; run by a 55 HP Deutz Tractor. The grasshopper is in effect being used as a 'trim' mower, and is used for certain classes of weed control once a year, as well as mowing trails in the woods. (Snowberry, currants, raspberries, hazelnuts, baneberry, elderberry It also mows lots of gopher hills. Part of it's task too is to mow the oil lease access road twice a year -- another mess of clover, alfalfa, thistles, and grasses of types that embarrass creeping red fescue as being a weakling come lately.
I am not trying for a manicured lawn. I'm trying for a 'trimmed pasture'