PDA

View Full Version : Stringers???? What the heck..


sildoc
06-03-2005, 09:29 PM
Ok I am going nuts. Rain Rain and More rain. fine double cutting. Now it has finally dried some and I am starting to see stringers and still double cutting. I have checked the blades all new no rouded edges on tips and such. Checked air pressure. All correct.
Mower is a Toro fixed deck 36". Have had it 1.5 years and cut great up untill recently.
Any one have any ideas? I need to figure something out as I need the extra time from double cutting to catch up on shrubs and other work.

Envy Lawn Service
06-03-2005, 09:59 PM
Tougher stems maybe?
Is it the fescue "straws"?

dvmcmrhp52
06-03-2005, 10:02 PM
Maybe a dumb question but, when's the last time you cleaned the deck?

sildoc
06-03-2005, 10:45 PM
Maybe a dumb question but, when's the last time you cleaned the deck?
Cleaned weekly if not daily. That is part of the problem when wet. I can deal with that. However dry is a problem.

sildoc
06-03-2005, 10:46 PM
Tougher stems maybe?
Is it the fescue "straws"?
I dont mind when I have a shoot here and there from a tough weed or so but to leave a line down the middle is unacceptable.

South Florida Lawns
06-03-2005, 11:36 PM
but only on certin conditions and grases. It'll leave a line of uncut grass which results in cutting it 3 times. I think one of the spindles is bent cuz its bean beat bad on a few tree stumps.

TLS
06-03-2005, 11:48 PM
How old are your blades?

Measure from blade TIP to blade TIP daigonally. If it varies from a new blade, throw it out.

Rounded off blade tips cause a LOT of cut quality issues.

MOW ED
06-04-2005, 07:13 AM
Stringers. This is what I found happens to me. If I am cutting wet grass the leading caster wheel is the first thing that encounters the grass I am supposed to cut. That wheel flattens the wet grass down. Some of it will be picked up by the vacuum of the deck but not all of it. It is just pasted down and still as long as it was when I ran over it. When things dry out the stringers head for the sun again and I have a rotten looking lawn. I have found that cutting slower and lower will help somewhat as well as double cutting on a different angle on the second pass. Not always a good thing to lower in the wet but short of not mowing its sort of a fix.
Sounds like you covered all the other bases with the blades and air pressure, check out your front wheels next time you cut in the rain, I think you will see that is the problem.

sildoc
06-04-2005, 10:53 AM
Stringers. This is what I found happens to me. If I am cutting wet grass the leading caster wheel is the first thing that encounters the grass I am supposed to cut. That wheel flattens the wet grass down. Some of it will be picked up by the vacuum of the deck but not all of it. It is just pasted down and still as long as it was when I ran over it. When things dry out the stringers head for the sun again and I have a rotten looking lawn. I have found that cutting slower and lower will help somewhat as well as double cutting on a different angle on the second pass. Not always a good thing to lower in the wet but short of not mowing its sort of a fix.
Sounds like you covered all the other bases with the blades and air pressure, check out your front wheels next time you cut in the rain, I think you will see that is the problem.

In the wet grass I am not worried about stringers but this is still happening in dry also. I had the spindle bearings replaced a month ago and maybe they messed something up???? Not sure. Spindle thing just poped backin in my head I think I am taking her to the dealer since she is still under waranty.

dishboy
06-04-2005, 11:03 AM
To much deck rake may cause this. What blades are you running? My cleanest cut for bagging/discharging comes from a solid foil blade.

sildoc
06-04-2005, 11:08 AM
To much deck rake may cause this. What blades are you running? My cleanest cut for bagging/discharging comes from a solid foil blade.
I have been switching to see if it was the blade problems. I started out with gator mags and went through high lifts, medium lifts and almost no lift. I am mulching right now. The low lifts are the best but still not good enough. I am contemplating to going doubles again to see if that helps.

packerbacker
06-04-2005, 11:12 AM
I have been switching to see if it was the blade problems. I started out with gator mags and went through high lifts, medium lifts and almost no lift. I am mulching right now. The low lifts are the best but still not good enough. I am contemplating to going doubles again to see if that helps.






Ive been getting them also but it was more prevelant a few weeks ago when I took my gators off for a couple weeks and went back to the normal blades. Now that I have them back on im starting to see less of them.

Mark McC
06-04-2005, 11:50 AM
I have one job that is conspicuous for stringers, but the guy fertilizes all heck out of the grass, which is fescue, mostly fine. I didn't double-cut this past week, but I ordinarily have to if I want a clean cut. I've used blades I bought last year and blades I bought this year: same outcome.

This lawn typically grows about three to four inches between cuts, so that's kind of the deal. Once the dry weather hits in July and August, stringers will not be a problem. I'd be more concerned if a lot of my jobs were showing stringers, but since it's only this one, I'm not worried. If only I could get him to go for fert with some slow-release nitrogen, but he can't get it and he won't let me do the fertilizing. Oh, well.

TLS
06-04-2005, 12:38 PM
I am mulching right now.

Ding, Ding, Ding.....we have a winner.

Mulching......If it's up on the board.... :cool2: :p

People expect miracles with mulching.

1) Try side discharge.

2) Buy some new OEM Toro High Lifts (not aftermarket) and try them. If your leaving stringers, you don't want to be using low lift blades.

3)Measure your deck pitch (1/8" to no more than 1/4" front pitch)

4) Make sure your free load engine RPM's are at least 3750. Engine RPM's cause most cut quality issues. Engines loose RPM with age, and most don't even come set properly from new.

Do ALL 4 and report back.

dishboy
06-04-2005, 03:20 PM
Ding, Ding, Ding.....we have a winner.

Mulching......If it's up on the board.... :cool2: :p

People expect miracles with mulching.

1) Try side discharge.

2) Buy some new OEM Toro High Lifts (not aftermarket) and try them. If your leaving stringers, you don't want to be using low lift blades.

3)Measure your deck pitch (1/8" to no more than 1/4" front pitch)

4) Make sure your free load engine RPM's are at least 3750. Engine RPM's cause most cut quality issues. Engines loose RPM with age, and most don't even come set properly from new.

Do ALL 4 and report back.

I mulch 100% of the time and I don't have his problem. Your barking up the wrong tree. If the deck is set up right he can mulch without stringers. I personally prefer zero rake for mulching with 1/8 inch max with a 18 inch blade.

Mark McC
06-04-2005, 06:03 PM
4) Make sure your free load engine RPM's are at least 3750.

Most of the engines on my mowers run at 3,600 rpm, so make sure the engine manual's specs are followed. However, the rpm point is a good one.

sildoc
06-04-2005, 08:11 PM
Ding, Ding, Ding.....we have a winner.

Mulching......If it's up on the board.... :cool2: :p

People expect miracles with mulching.

1) Try side discharge.

2) Buy some new OEM Toro High Lifts (not aftermarket) and try them. If your leaving stringers, you don't want to be using low lift blades.

3)Measure your deck pitch (1/8" to no more than 1/4" front pitch)

4) Make sure your free load engine RPM's are at least 3750. Engine RPM's cause most cut quality issues. Engines loose RPM with age, and most don't even come set properly from new.

Do ALL 4 and report back.

Deck rake to the front is 1/8",
Rpm is 3689 per some device my stihl dealer had when I was there buying a new saw a month ago.
Tried toros high lift from dealer. Never again will I pay that much for a blade when I matched them up with so aftermarkets and are almost exactly the same.

I have had the mower set up the same from when I bought it to now and never had an issue untill a month or so ago. Hence when we were talking RPMs at the stihl dealer he went out and checked It really quick.
Side discharge is out of the question. No way I can do it with out blowing all day. Too small of properties and too large of properties to be taking off the mulch kit all of the time.
Any one else have a clue. I think the darn machine is possesed at this point.
Tommarrow is scheduled maintenance and plan to really scrape and wash the deck and repaint. could a messed up or slightly loose berring have anything to do with it? I just had the spindle berings changed and that was soon after it started.

shortgut
06-04-2005, 08:15 PM
IF it is then about the only thing you can do is have sharp blades and slowdown or get a SCAG

dishboy
06-04-2005, 08:21 PM
Deck rake to the front is 1/8",
Rpm is 3689 per some device my stihl dealer had when I was there buying a new saw a month ago.
Tried toros high lift from dealer. Never again will I pay that much for a blade when I matched them up with so aftermarkets and are almost exactly the same.

I have had the mower set up the same from when I bought it to now and never had an issue untill a month or so ago. Hence when we were talking RPMs at the stihl dealer he went out and checked It really quick.
Side discharge is out of the question. No way I can do it with out blowing all day. Too small of properties and too large of properties to be taking off the mulch kit all of the time.
Any one else have a clue. I think the darn machine is possesed at this point.
Tommarrow is scheduled maintenance and plan to really scrape and wash the deck and repaint. could a messed up or slightly loose berring have anything to do with it? I just had the spindle berings changed and that was soon after it started.


If you had the spindles out of the machine I would loosen the bolts that hold the spindles to the deck and see if you can slide the spindles closer. My 96 exmark had enough play here that moving the spindles closer together eliminated my trail between blades in tall grass. I did not catch this until I replaced a spindle on one hub, who would think?

Envy Lawn Service
06-04-2005, 09:12 PM
If you had the spindles out of the machine I would loosen the bolts that hold the spindles to the deck and see if you can slide the spindles closer. My 96 exmark had enough play here that moving the spindles closer together eliminated my trail between blades in tall grass. I did not catch this until I replaced a spindle on one hub, who would think?

Yes, that I would check.

Nathan 281
06-04-2005, 09:25 PM
Deck rake to the front is 1/8"
The front is lower than the rear? Is this how it should be?

Envy Lawn Service
06-04-2005, 10:05 PM
The front is lower than the rear? Is this how it should be?
Yes, that's right.

sildoc
06-04-2005, 10:23 PM
Yes, that's right.
Yes front lower than rear.


As for the spindles I didn't mess with them. Still under waranty. I will have my dealer check. I vowed to my self that I would never mess with anything in waranty unless it is dire need. Stems back aways and is a long story.

TLS
06-05-2005, 12:13 AM
Deck rake to the front is 1/8",
Rpm is 3689 per some device my stihl dealer had when I was there buying a new saw a month ago.
Tried toros high lift from dealer. Never again will I pay that much for a blade when I matched them up with so aftermarkets and are almost exactly the same.

I have had the mower set up the same from when I bought it to now and never had an issue untill a month or so ago. Hence when we were talking RPMs at the stihl dealer he went out and checked It really quick.
Side discharge is out of the question. No way I can do it with out blowing all day. Too small of properties and too large of properties to be taking off the mulch kit all of the time.
Any one else have a clue. I think the darn machine is possesed at this point.
Tommarrow is scheduled maintenance and plan to really scrape and wash the deck and repaint. could a messed up or slightly loose berring have anything to do with it? I just had the spindle berings changed and that was soon after it started.

Must mulch....hmmm. What is your cut height? Much over 3" and you'll really loose cut quality.

What exact blades are your using and how old are they? Are they old or sharpened more than a few times (or sharpened incorrectly)? I don't know what TORO uses for mulch blades, so I cant help you there. They MUST be tip to tip the same length. Aftermarket blades are NOT the same. And "almost exactly the same" isn't what you want.

3689 is not 3750. Not many tach's read to that degree of accuracy. Most are in steps of 10 rpm. What brand type engine are we talking about?

I'm assuming that you already checked belt tensioners and idlers and that they are maintaining proper belt tension. This is most important in a mulching mower.

I'm trying to help you figure this dilema out.

sildoc
06-05-2005, 02:09 AM
Must mulch....hmmm. What is your cut height? Much over 3" and you'll really loose cut quality.

What exact blades are your using and how old are they? Are they old or sharpened more than a few times (or sharpened incorrectly)? I don't know what TORO uses for mulch blades, so I cant help you there. They MUST be tip to tip the same length. Aftermarket blades are NOT the same. And "almost exactly the same" isn't what you want.

3689 is not 3750. Not many tach's read to that degree of accuracy. Most are in steps of 10 rpm. What brand type engine are we talking about?

I'm assuming that you already checked belt tensioners and idlers and that they are maintaining proper belt tension. This is most important in a mulching mower.

I'm trying to help you figure this dilema out.

Have not checked the belt yet. How ever I think I found the culprit????? The bolts that go through the spindles are slightly warped. spinning at 18000 rpms that could be the slight vibration I am feeling and the reason that the strip is being left. I will get some new ones and see if that helps some. I will post more on monday but please if you have any ideas let me know as I do not want to wait till tuesday to find the bolts are still within specs.

Likestomow
06-05-2005, 08:46 AM
The reason you are leaving uncut grass is because you either don't have enough suction to raise the grass properly, or the grass is too thick. When processing (cutting) thick grass under the deck, the sheer volumn of cut grass can sometimes force the uncut grass to lay down.

Try using doubles again, but this time use a FLAT blade for the second one.

TLS
06-05-2005, 09:23 AM
Bent spindles and blade bolts will not have an effect on the cut. It won't help any, but alone won't cause your problem.

If you have bent spindles and bolts, you must have hit something. With Toro's thinner deck material, did you check that you didn't warp the deck where the spindles mount?

Have you checked blade height in the full arc of the blade?

What engine? HP?