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View Full Version : 2005 Dixie Chopper has poor cut quality


dougslawn
08-22-2005, 11:14 AM
I have a 2005 Dixie Chopper Flatlander. It has their new for '05 deck with an extra fixed baffle at the discharge to "speed up" the clippings as they leave the deck. This mower has never really cut right since new. The deck is leaving two streaks of uncut (or unevenly cut) grass which line up with where the blades should be overlapping. It is especially noticeable when mowing around a curve. I have tried high-lift blades, the x-blade setup to get more lift, the front baffle up and down, and have tried different deck pitches. Right now the deck pitch set to where the front is 1/4" lower than the back--saw this on another post. Is there anything else that has worked for someone else? Thanks in advance.

FrankenScagMachines
08-22-2005, 12:20 PM
Have you taken it to have the dealer look at it? If no, why not?
If yes, and they can't fix it, then tell them to give you your money back, then go buy an Exmark like you should have done the first time.

Next option, take the mower to the factory at Greencastle, IN and I personally guarantee they will look at it for you and fix it there. They are top notch people. The main reason I am not using one right now myself is because of dealers. I prefer the Exmark Lazer and have always loved my TTHP walk behind, but I could run a Dixie if they ever get their decks figured out... seems like they have always had deck issues and are CONSTANTLY tweaking the decks and have never had one style deck very long. As far as I know, Exmark has had the same deck since new and always had perfect cut and discharge.....

But anyway good luck and I know if your dealer is no good you might should think about switching brands, but the people at the factory are top notch and I would recommend them anyday for service... they just need to get their decks and their dealers figured out then they will be pretty good.

BTW, I'm not too far away in Columbus, IN. Let me know if you ever need anything. Also I have a friend in Beech Grove that runs 6 or 7 Dixies, he can set you up with a good dealer in the Indy area if you need.

2manymowers
08-22-2005, 12:39 PM
My 2005 XT3200-72 was streaking occationally, so here's what I did. Raised the front skirt all the way up. I had lowered it to reduce blowout, but I'd rather have blowout than streaking. Also, I adjusted the deck pitch on a flat cement floor to about 1/4" reverse pitch. Thats the rear of the deck is about 1/4" lower than the front. 3rd, I also added a couple flat washers to each spindle to lower the blades a little more. I should get some of the blade spacers, but the DC dealers around here don't stock them. After changing these 3 things, my chopper doesn't streak much at all, unless of course I try to run it too fast for the grass conditions.

dougslawn
08-23-2005, 11:33 AM
Thanks for the advice. My mower is at the dealer today-- it always just a pain to get the mower to my dealer. He is about an hour away. There is a closer dealer, but I won't go to him anymore as he has not always been honest. The dealer I have now is very good--but will also not be selling new Dixies anymore.

Probably should have bought the 27horse exmark for the same price. I have just really grown accustomed to the drive system of the Dixies. Thanks everyone for the advice.

Mr.Mow-It-All
08-23-2005, 12:01 PM
Well good luck.

I bought a new xt3200-72 at the begining of the year and had problems since day one with the streaking problem. All the times it was at the dealer to "be fixed" They gave me loaners that were 60" and did the exact same thing. They finaly put one of theese new decks on, that was new for 05 and supposed to have fixed the problem. They told me it now was actualy a 71" cut because they brought the front blade up a little and the outside blades in a little. Sounds like that ought to fix it right. WRONG!!!! It was worse than the old deck. AFter 130 hours of dealing with this problem they (dixie chopper) just gave me my money back. All the loaners I used did the same thing(5 different ones), not as bad, but I still would not have been happy with them either.
What I can't belive is that all these dixie owners just put up with the problem. It drove me crazy and looked like crap.
So I ended up buying a ferris is 4500 and love it. Cut is ten times better than the 6 different dixies I used!

Richard Martin
08-23-2005, 02:35 PM
Streaking is a very real issue although the factory tried to deny that it even existed for a long time. I have a 2003 XT-2800-60 that I bought used with 29 hours for $4500 last fall. Although I haven't had any problems with streaking I did have trouble with clumping in heavy grass. I followed the factory recommendations and went to work on the discharge with my 4-1/2" cut off wheel and fixed it.

2manymowers
08-23-2005, 06:08 PM
What I have not figured out is why some people, like me, had streaking part of the time, some people have streaking all the time, and some people never have streaking, all with the same models of Dixie Choppers.

Mr. Mow-It-All, did your dealer come out to see your mower streaking? What did your dealer do to the mower to try to "fix" the streaking problem?

Lawnworks
08-23-2005, 08:41 PM
I think the front baffles on the mower have alot to do w/ the streaking problem. I left my leaf baffles on from winter and had a streaking problem. I took them off and put on the stock one and did not have any more problems.

bmurrell
08-23-2005, 08:58 PM
I think it is the guy on the mower not the dc ! bmurrell

Lawnworks
08-23-2005, 09:09 PM
I think it is the guy on the mower not the dc ! bmurrell

wtf are you talking about? I am pretty sure it is not operator error.

bmurrell
08-23-2005, 09:19 PM
just joking around man i am a dc fan ! :)

Mr.Mow-It-All
08-23-2005, 09:45 PM
Mr. Mow-It-All, did your dealer come out to see your mower streaking? What did your dealer do to the mower to try to "fix" the streaking problem?

No, because they are 45 min from me. toward the end I did take some pictures after they put the new deck on (when it was the worst) and e-mailed them to a supervisor with dixie chopper. I tried everything you hear on this site to fix the streaking, as did the dealer and some things worked ok but not fixing the problem. I told the dixie rep when the problem started on a scale of 1-10 it was an 8 as far as how bad it was (like the pain scale lol) By trying all the little tricks you hear here and from the dealer got it down to about a 4. after the new deck was put on the problem was a 12. That was the last draw, I lost a lot of money and time over the course of 4 months trying to fix the problem. I e-mailed the pics to the supervisor, two days later he called me and said to go to my dealer and they would give me my full money back. So I don't know what they have done with it now. Oh yeh the day I was bringing it back, I was mowing with it and the left hydro went out, glad it was not mine anymore.

mowingmachine
08-24-2005, 12:47 AM
What type of grass conditions are you guys having trouble in? I know that many decks have trouble in areas with alot of bare spots. Also when the lawns get dry and the weeds shoot up they are also very hard to cut. Is this a problem in lush green grass? If so that is a serious problem and I bet it is related to a combination of the front baffle and the blades being used.

mowingmachine

Mr.Mow-It-All
08-24-2005, 02:19 AM
What type of grass conditions are you guys having trouble in? I know that many decks have trouble in areas with alot of bare spots. Also when the lawns get dry and the weeds shoot up they are also very hard to cut. Is this a problem in lush green grass? If so that is a serious problem and I bet it is related to a combination of the front baffle and the blades being used.

mowingmachine

Yes thick, green, watered well kept grass.

And I doubt it (the blades) like I said tried everything, double blades, x blades, single, high lift, low lift, and the 3" thick blades. The 3" blades helped the best and gave the best cut, but still a 4 on the scale. It was not a constant thing but 90 % of the time it did it, which is what was weird.

dougslawn
08-24-2005, 11:45 AM
Mr. Mow-It-All, which supervisor did you email the pictures of the mower streaking? I have been talking to a guy named Scott at the DC Factory service department who really doesn't seem to have any other suggestion than letting my dealer look at the mower. He has no concept of customer service, either. I have been experiencing the same troubles as you this year trying to get my mower to cut well. Thanks for any help. I appreciate all the posts from everyone.

chimmygew
08-24-2005, 02:11 PM
That is why I sold mine. I tried to get my money back to no avail. Mine was a 2003 XT-3000. In the 2 years I had it, it was in the shop for about 6 months total. The factory even came and took it and tried to fix it. It was worse when I got it back. Tried everything, yet nothing worked with the streaking. Engine blew at 130 hours. Went through 4 carbs, 3 coils, 4 starters, new spindles, numerous belts and brake cables, and several pulleys. I won't own one again.

Evan528
08-24-2005, 05:38 PM
My Dc does it also. I have tried every recomendation I come come across and nothign has helped. My dealer has also tried some modifications that DC suggested...nothing has worked. I wound up just buying a lazer and use that on my thick lush lawns and keep the DC for the weeded or unatractive lawns.

2manymowers
08-24-2005, 06:19 PM
My Dc does it also. I have tried every recomendation I come come across and nothign has helped. My dealer has also tried some modifications that DC suggested...nothing has worked. I wound up just buying a lazer and use that on my thick lush lawns and keep the DC for the weeded or unatractive lawns.

Evan528,
What all did you try to stop the streaking? What modifications did your dealer try. Also, does your forward speed make any difference on the streaking?

mowingmachine
08-25-2005, 12:29 AM
So this even happens in lush green grass. How fast are you mowing? Do you notice a difference from when the deck is completely clean to when it might have some build up? Does the deck fill up fast? I will have to take a look at the Dixie decks. It seems odd that they would be that much different than the other deck designs.

mowingmachine

mowingmachine
08-25-2005, 12:32 AM
One more questions. Do these streaks line up with a deck roller or a front tire. If the grass is severely packed by such a thing it may not have time to stand back up.

mowingmachine

yamadooski
08-25-2005, 07:08 AM
Maybe if Dixie didnt spend $500K on a stupid motorcycle and spent it on R&D for a better deck they wouldnt have this problem.
I have boght 7 Dixies in the past 14 years.
I have known all along that the Exmark cuts better but the ground speed was to slow for me go from one house to the other.(I do multiple houses on one street everywhere I go)
Finally Exmark came out with this new one. All I can say is, I bought it and it brings the joy back of cutting grass again.
Good luck I hope you get your problem fixed.

Richard Martin
08-25-2005, 12:01 PM
Maybe if Dixie didnt spend $500K on a stupid motorcycle and spent it on R&D for a better deck they wouldnt have this problem.


The $500,000 they gave the Discovery Channel netted them in excess of $20,000,000 worth of exposure. One of the smartest moves a mower company has ever made. You don't think Hustler made a deal with Petty Enterprises because they like Richard Petty or because Kyle Petty is such a good driver do you?

TMlawncare
08-26-2005, 01:19 AM
Dixie has had this problem for some time now and still no fix. I have a 2002 72" diesel and have the same streaking problem since the first year I have owned it. Tried all the modification and none work as Evan stated. On the positive side the mower has more suction and brute force out of the discharge then any mower I have ever seen but yet it clumps in heavy grass. The reason the deck blows the clipping really low to the ground. This makes it the best mower for doing quick debris cleanups on sidewalks and streets. The cut and striping is really better then Exmarks if they could improve the discharge and get rid of the one strip of uncut grass. Otherwise if you look at the cut it is very impressive. It cuts the clippings much finer then any mower I have seen and its truly remarkable in leaf cleanups. My Exmarks blow in a high arc pattern which discharges great in all conditions. Got to watch windows and decks however because the clipping blow so high. If dixie could design a new deck with all the positives of the old one with no streaking they would gain a whole lot of former customers that have since lost faith.

jason_2005lawnman
08-28-2005, 10:04 PM
you guys act like there are only one or two kinds of mowers out there; i run my own lawn service with about sixty accounts and i have recentyl switched to the cub tank M60 wide track; now i have been impressed with these mowers and there is no streaks or clumps; i can almost mow in the rain guys; and mow tons of crab grass; this mower i think is one we will be seeing more of as we go; cub commercial has put a lot of thought into this new M60 wide track; i use it six days a week rain or shine so i do know what im talking about ; here in southeast missouri we mow about every kind of grass there is; and a lot of it is in one yard alone; i to like exmark dont get me wrong guys but did like the features of the cub tank better;

Envy Lawn Service
08-28-2005, 11:04 PM
you guys act like there are only one or two kinds of mowers out there; i run my own lawn service with about sixty accounts and i have recentyl switched to the cub tank M60 wide track; now i have been impressed with these mowers and there is no streaks or clumps; i can almost mow in the rain guys; and mow tons of crab grass; this mower i think is one we will be seeing more of as we go; cub commercial has put a lot of thought into this new M60 wide track; i use it six days a week rain or shine so i do know what im talking about ; here in southeast missouri we mow about every kind of grass there is; and a lot of it is in one yard alone; i to like exmark dont get me wrong guys but did like the features of the cub tank better;

I agree... I have the Lesco version of the Tank. I just wish I hadn't been told the wrong thing. I was told the WideTrack Lesco did not exist. So I bought the standard one not knowing.

But anyways, these mowers cut and discharge great. I can literally cut in the rain or right after a rain. It's not selective about 'what' it cuts well either. It cuts everything clean and smooth. There are no streaks of uncut anything either. The 60" has three 21" blades under it. That's 63" so there is 1.5" of blade overlap.

The only thing I have found any problem with at all is that sappy old crabgrass. The mower will clump in that stuff. But so do all the others. But with this mower, I think I might even be able to figure out how to eliminate that too. I say that because it discharges great and the deck stays really clean.

So what happens is an 'either' of two things, depending on level of infestation. On your normal heavy infestation, what I get is that it builds up on the kicker at the rear of the discharge opening. Then eventually, the clump gets big enough to catch enough air to get pushed off and out. So what I get is a rather large cow pie. If infestation is really heavy, it does the stick-and-slide routine on the top of the deck. So it looks like it's giving birth when that comes out.

Anyways, if I take that kicker out, clippings bridge themselves across the rear lip of the discharge opening and do about the same thing. Jason, do you ever experience this? What blades do you usually use?

iluvscag
08-28-2005, 11:10 PM
Scag makes a good machine too!!! :waving:

Envy Lawn Service
08-28-2005, 11:32 PM
Now, I think you Dixie guys need to diagnose your own problems because it is evident 'they' are not going to do it for you...

I myself have experienced this with another brand of mower. So I can tell you from personal experience that you need to check your own decks. The first thing to look at is spindle spacers. I don't know if dixies have one or any between the blade and spindle. But if they do, they are suspect....

Spacers must be totally precision machined beyond what you can see with the naked eye. If not, the most tiny imperfection will be multipled across the length of the blade. I've seen blades hang as much as 3/16 out of whack from imperfections you cannot see. When I say that, I mean the tips of that blade would be off 3/16 from tip to tip... and with it being the spacer, this imperfection is carried around the radius of the blade.

In addition, I have also seen this from a deck coming off the assembly line and not being "true". Likewise, I've seen blades hang as much as 3/16 out of whack from imperfections I could not see.

The difference being... imperfections in the deck that affect the blades do NOT carry around the blade radius. The amount that the blade is off varies depending on position and reaches it's maximum at one stationary spot.

In either event, this is usually easy to figure out. You will need...
*A clean deck
*A stiff stick ruler with 1/16" markings, such as a folding wood ruler
*A very flat concrete surface just in case

Once you clean the deck really well, go ahead and take the stick ruler to it while you still have it jacked up. First, measure the center to center distance between the spindles to rule out spindle placement. Then begin taking measurements from the deck top down to the blade tip. Measure one side, then the other, then spin it 180 and check again.

Write all this down and repeat on all three blades. If this yeilds no imperfection, then take the mower to a flat surface and repeat. But this time, measure from surface up to blade tip, but otherwise as above.

Imperfections in the way the blade hangs and rotates in the deck can cause violent turbulance. It can also impede flow and affect the other blades ability to cut.

Lawnworks
08-28-2005, 11:37 PM
I am sorry but Cub Cadet, Gravely and Lesco are not in the same playing field as Dixie and Exmark. Just the cold hard facts.

Envy Lawn Service
08-29-2005, 01:18 AM
I am sorry but Cub Cadet, Gravely and Lesco are not in the same playing field as Dixie and Exmark. Just the cold hard facts.

You need to check my avatar picture...
And then get a grip!

Exmark and Dixie both make nice machines that each have their own unique strong points... but come on now... you can't pull the wool over my eyes... I know better than that statement...

Lesco/Cub and Gravely both make some machines that are superior to their same-class Exmark and Dixie competition... SORRY.

Envy Lawn Service
08-29-2005, 01:30 AM
Scag makes a good machine too!!! :waving:

I've never tried Scag... but that's a statement I don't doubt for a second.
I've looked at them and Scag's are BUILT... no question about it. Plus I have had the opportunity to try some other Dane Scag inspired designs.

Scag uses the heavy duty tapered roller bearing spindles and the tri-plate spindle reinforcement like Lesco/Cub does.

SOMM
08-29-2005, 01:47 AM
We run a Dixie because it flippin' kikz azz. period, paragraph.
If we didnt run a Dixie, we'd be outta business taking time away from our
historic property rehabs.

We will streak anybody's Z given the right moisture content and choice of warm season grasss upon their turf - however we WILL absolutely deliver the flattest most sculpted cut again and again QUICKLY, on our Dixie Chopper even during strong local showers while we're backed-up from all-week rain between these three rivers!

If your flatlander is a lemon, u talked to Dixie about replacing it before you involve your state's attorney general ?

Lawnworks
08-29-2005, 09:30 AM
You need to check my avatar picture...
And then get a grip!

Exmark and Dixie both make nice machines that each have their own unique strong points... but come on now... you can't pull the wool over my eyes... I know better than that statement...

Lesco/Cub and Gravely both make some machines that are superior to their same-class Exmark and Dixie competition... SORRY.

Oh they definately do not make a machine that is superior to Exmark or Dixie. Give my crew a month w/ one of those inferior mowers... something will be broken. Cub Cadet is an insult to a commerical mower.

MOOSE
08-29-2005, 06:18 PM
Some of the Dixie's do have problems. I have an '05 and no problems. Some people like the exmark for some reason or another, some hate it like me. Some like the dixie for many reasons like me or hate it. Some like Scag and some don't like it. Your gonna come across a mower that you like but gives you a problem or two. So, you dont buy another but buy another manufacter and love that machine but its too slow.

So what I'm getting at is your gonna find likes and dislikes about every machine out there!

I have a Lesco walk behind and love it, Scag hydro walkbehind and its ok, Dixie and love it,Bunton hydro walkbehind and its a good machine. Worst thing I bought was the 2 wheel sulky from lesco.

Envy Lawn Service
08-30-2005, 01:08 AM
Oh they definately do not make a machine that is superior to Exmark or Dixie. Give my crew a month w/ one of those inferior mowers... something will be broken. Cub Cadet is an insult to a commerical mower.

Frankly, I considered Dixie Chopper twice. To be honest, I thought their best offering was the Silver Eagle series, which is a home owner machine. So at the same time, it lacked some of the nice Dixie Chopper features, such as the fancy bypass filtration, ect. But other than that stuff, I was not at all impressed with the Dixie Chopper commercial series. In fact, I could not even find anything else I even liked or felt would hold up long term.

Plus, I am very familiar with all their shortcomings, problems, failures, ect...
It's hard to miss them. They are on every commercial lawn forum on the web. In addition, a good friend of mine is a Dixie Chopper certified tech. So I know what their quality rating is, what their good and bad points are, and their crappy track record for reliability is.

But in the end, I don't really care what you choose to run. That's your business. But just don't come here trying to run down every other brand out there. Dixie has their own forum where such behavior might be more socially acceptable.

So before you come here running down Lesco/Cub I suggest you study their track record. Their older machines used to catch some flack... but the fact is, they have made many improvements to their machines while other MFG's have just been standing still for years. So the complaints about their new-age machines is pretty much non-existant...