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View Full Version : Mulching with John Deer Z Trac


kandplawns
10-28-2006, 12:57 PM
Hey I got a Z trac John Deer with the roll bar, thing throws a lot more clippings in comparison to a Toro of the same size cut, it is real comfortabile and heavy duty though, just throws a lot of clippings, even with the blades sharp; Anyone use one of these and if so any mulching kit used? I am trying to get away from residential next year anyway if possible, to much hastle for to little money....

Envy Lawn Service
10-28-2006, 09:07 PM
What you are trying do say is that it throws a lot more visible clippings?

That was my opinion too.
Seems like it spits them out relatively the same length as they were cut off.
Like there was little to no re-chopping of the clipings before exit.

Roger
10-28-2006, 09:17 PM
Seems like it spits them out relatively the same length as they were cut off.
Like there was little to no re-chopping of the clipings before exit.

My JD Z-trak does a great job in discharging clippings. And, I believe it is as you say, little recutting. That is just fine with me. I would much rather have full-length clippings evenly distributed, than having recut clippings in rows or spread unevenly. There is nothing wrong with full-length clippings.

I do not have a mulching kit for my JD, and don't intend to get one. I did try a make-shift chute blocker for leaves, but the standard blades make the setup unworkable. The blowout is unacceptable. I don't want to keep changing blades as I move from job to job, so I've learned selective mulching with repeated passes, including reverse direction.

A chute blocker with my Exmark Viking w/b (36" deck) works well with regular Gator blades. It does not work quite as well with hi-lift Gators, and will not work at all with standard hi-lift, notched air-foil blades. The blowout is unacceptable. My conclusion is that the Z-trak might work with a chute blocker and blades, or other mulching blades. But, I am not going to bother trying because I want to use discharge too often, and don't want to make repeated blade changes. I can use my Exmark with chute blocker, or in discharge mode, with standard Gator blades, but no bagging.

DLCS
10-28-2006, 09:41 PM
The new mulch kits work well on the 7 iron II decks, even on cool season grasses. But I never could get the old style mulch kits to work on the 7 iron decks and leave a good cut. If you buy a mulch kit make sure its the newer style that completely closes each chamber.

DLCS
10-28-2006, 09:43 PM
What you are trying do say is that it throws a lot more visible clippings?

That was my opinion too.
Seems like it spits them out relatively the same length as they were cut off.
Like there was little to no re-chopping of the clipings before exit.


Why do you feel the need to respond to every JD thread like you have so much seat time on the JD Z traks? I don't respond to every thread about Lesco/MTD mowers even though I have demoed them.

stumper1620
10-28-2006, 09:53 PM
My JD Z-trak does a great job in discharging clippings. And, I believe it is as you say, little recutting. That is just fine with me. I would much rather have full-length clippings evenly distributed, than having recut clippings in rows or spread unevenly. There is nothing wrong with full-length clippings.

I do not have a mulching kit for my JD, and don't intend to get one. I did try a make-shift chute blocker for leaves, but the standard blades make the setup unworkable. The blowout is unacceptable. I don't want to keep changing blades as I move from job to job, so I've learned selective mulching with repeated passes, including reverse direction.

A chute blocker with my Exmark Viking w/b (36" deck) works well with regular Gator blades. It does not work quite as well with hi-lift Gators, and will not work at all with standard hi-lift, notched air-foil blades. The blowout is unacceptable. My conclusion is that the Z-trak might work with a chute blocker and blades, or other mulching blades. But, I am not going to bother trying because I want to use discharge too often, and don't want to make repeated blade changes. I can use my Exmark with chute blocker, or in discharge mode, with standard Gator blades, but no bagging.
JD has what they call a "Leaf Anti blowout kit" 185 bucks last I checked, I didn't bother getting it, I was too POed that they kept that little gem a secret until after I had paid my 285 for the mulch kit and 1800 for the bagger, when leaf season came around I found out just how badly it needed it. thats when I learned it even existed. Thats when I decided I was not giving them the satisfaction of sucking another 200 out of me and I made my own. but since you haven't bought a mulch kit, check into the blow out kit, I'm sure it would reduce your blow out.

Envy Lawn Service
10-28-2006, 09:54 PM
Why do you feel the need to respond to every JD thread like you have so much seat time on the JD Z traks? I don't respond to every thread about Lesco/MTD mowers even though I have demoed them.

Well, I try to look at new threads when they come up...
And well... this guy had posted about 8 hours ago...

Nobody said a thing or posted a thing.
I post and.... we got activity...

Oh, and I have more John Deere seat time than you might think.
When I do a demo, it's not a "have'r back by 5" demo.

Envy Lawn Service
10-28-2006, 10:05 PM
My JD Z-trak does a great job in discharging clippings. And, I believe it is as you say, little recutting. That is just fine with me. I would much rather have full-length clippings evenly distributed, than having recut clippings in rows or spread unevenly. There is nothing wrong with full-length clippings.

I understand and respect that this IS the case for some people in some areas.

I was just trying to 'clarify' what the guy was talking about because I had a pretty darn good hunch that was the case, based on my experiences with the 7 Iron deck.

I realize that works out better for some folks in some areas because the grass gets out of the deck FAST with less design inovation being needed to combat issues with recirculating and re-chopping clippings. It also greatly reduces strain on the engine.

But if you were to relocate to another area where the grass is much thicker and has a much faster weekly growth rate.... well then, this would not be "just fine" with you anymore. The reason being is that the un-recut clippings flying out are (let's say) 7" long, and with the thicker grasses, they WILL NOT fall down in the turf and hide themselves. The result is that your finished cuts will have that "hay field" look to them when you are done. And after a day of trying you'll have even the least particular customers calling raising cain wanting you to come back and rake that mess up.

DLCS
10-28-2006, 10:47 PM
Oh, and I have more John Deere seat time than you might think.
When I do a demo, it's not a "have'r back by 5" demo.


So, what was your point in replying to his thread, when you can't answer his question. He wanted to know about the mulch kit on the 7 Iron. BTW I have almost 4,000 hrs of seat time with the 7 Iron much more expirience than just a demo.

1MajorTom
10-28-2006, 10:55 PM
But if you were to relocate to another area where the grass is much thicker and has a much faster weekly growth rate....
Just curious but what kind of grass are you cutting? Roger and I are in the same general area within an 1 hour distance, and the grass is thick and grows fast. In fact, Matt and I have some lawns that need cut every 5 days.
How much faster growth rate are you experiencing?

Envy Lawn Service
10-28-2006, 11:00 PM
So, what was your point in replying to his thread, when you can't answer his question. He wanted to know about the mulch kit on the 7 Iron. BTW I have almost 4,000 hrs of seat time with the 7 Iron much more expirience than just a demo.

Well, no one is arguing that you have more seat time than me. That's a given because I took them back and said no thanks.

I didn't say I had mulch kit experience either, although I did say here that after returning the 757 a second time after trying a second set of blades, that I was not interested in the mower, and would not be interested in the mower or take it out again, unless I the dealer was willing to put a mulch kit on it for me to try, because it could not meet my standards in side discharge mode.

I also came on here and questioned about the mulch kit several times too. After a while I finally got some info.

Anyways, my whole point was to give the new guy's thread a 'BUMP' since the question had been up 8 hours with no response... and knowing personally how hard it was for me to get any info on the mulch kit.

Seems I have suceeded in helping him... and seems like he should be looking to try the re-designed mulch kit. No?

Have a good one....

DLCS
10-28-2006, 11:00 PM
Just curious but what kind of grass are you cutting? Roger and I are in the same general area within an 1 hour distance, and the grass is thick and grows fast. In fact, Matt and I have some lawns that need cut every 5 days.
How much faster growth rate are you experiencing?



I have several lawns that I cut every 3 days in the Spring. If i don't I have seen the grass as high as the top of my front caster tires. Normal rainfall and temps in the spring will easily yield several inches of growth in a few days.

Envy Lawn Service
10-28-2006, 11:07 PM
Just curious but what kind of grass are you cutting? Roger and I are in the same general area within an 1 hour distance, and the grass is thick and grows fast. In fact, Matt and I have some lawns that need cut every 5 days.
How much faster growth rate are you experiencing?

Hey Jodi...

Don't know if you are asking him or me or both of us. But I made the assumption that was the issue he was experiencing and was trying to clarify that. Sounds like that might be the case from your wording from your location within an hour of him.

Myself, I cut almost every type of warm and cool season grass.... and every grassy weed known to man too. Sometimes I'll have 2 or more growing together in the same lawn.

The reason for this is that I work in the transition zone and the elevation varies I think between 1,000 ft and 6,000 ft within my service area.

So the grass here can be very thick and fast growing, not to mention varying from soft to extremely coarse in texture. And here, very few people will pay for having their grass cut more than once every 7 days. With that said, they expect you to be able to handle whatever is in your path from week to week without a mess being left behind.

MMLawn
10-28-2006, 11:12 PM
ENVY.....if I didn't know better I'd think you were the resident LS Deere hater.... :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Envy Lawn Service
10-28-2006, 11:54 PM
ENVY.....if I didn't know better I'd think you were the resident LS Deere hater.... :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Oh... cut me a break now... :laugh:

I thought 'trying' 3 times was the charm... no?

If not have a buddy who is a John Deere tech...

So even though my 'old business buddy' dealer dropped the line, I could still try again.

Should I give the 7 Iron II a whirl?

Or is it not "that" improved? :laugh:

Seriously, now... you guys know I really wanted nothing more than a uniform trailer load of all John Deere stuff. That speeding black truck pulling that load of stuff pictured in the old literature was geared straight at me... LOL. Man, what uniform business-like curb appeal... John Deere curb appeal no less (hey wasn't that a thread title here once?).

Crap, now they have the X700 series coming out in '07 with the commercial 7-Iron deck too. Sure would be right up my alley.

Oh well, guess I'll get back to work this winter on moving everything back to a uniform color scheme again. I got stuff to paint... LOL.

stumper1620
10-28-2006, 11:59 PM
Hey I got a Z trac John Deer with the roll bar, thing throws a lot more clippings in comparison to a Toro of the same size cut, it is real comfortabile and heavy duty though, just throws a lot of clippings, even with the blades sharp; Anyone use one of these and if so any mulching kit used? I am trying to get away from residential next year anyway if possible, to much hastle for to little money....
Where is New Boston Mi.?

kandplawns
10-29-2006, 11:51 AM
Hey,

Thanks for the info. fellas. I am in Michigan so it is probably similar to you guys in Penn. I have the same problems you guys have, if I get a heavy rain week and try to use the Z trac on lawns after good growth, it leaves the hay field effect, I burnt out two cheap blowers this year, trying to spread the clippings out. If the lawns are already short that John Deer leaves a beautiful cut, but wow it really works horrible on longer yards, I do these cemetries where it is kind of a sandy, clay like ground about 20 minutes south of where I am usually at and they cut real nice. When I cut around my house I do these 1 acre lots where they kind of sit low, hold water and grow real fast and I end up raising the blades until finally I have a mess, I watch these guys on these Scags in the same location have no wheres near the problems I am having. Your quote was right on the money, people forget about how good of a package they have once they get left with a lot of clippings. Other than the poor mulch job the z-trac is a A+ machine. I think maybe if I will try that mulch kit, I will have to see what kind of accounts I end up with next year before I got with the anti-blow out kit, but that might be good to. I just need a little help with clippings and all should be good.

kandplawns
10-29-2006, 11:55 AM
Also, maybe you guys have tried using one of those lawn stripers before. What do you think about those things, there is also competetion in my area that pulls them line stripers behind their mowers, and it does a better job than one would think, kind of makes themselves look like much more of a premium service, I had thought about copying, I dont know had you would pull it behind a z-trac "which is my work horse mower", I have a small toro zero turn and a red hawk walk behind I could use them on I guess, thats what I use on my smaller sub lots so I dont leave marks when I turn.

kandplawns
10-29-2006, 11:58 AM
I am by Detroit Metro Airport (DTW). North of Monroe, South of Detroit.

kandplawns
10-29-2006, 12:02 PM
I looked at your website, I got called back into the Marines in 2003 for "Operation Enduring Freedom". I did not have to leave the country though, so believe it or not it was a nice break from work. Wish everyone could have had the same luck as me, kind of became a family joke I was in the Marines during "Operation Enduring Freedom" and never left North Carolina, my uncle was in the Marines during "WWII" and never left North Carolina as well.