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JohnDeere757
07-16-2007, 09:59 PM
I've been running an Exmark Turf Tracer HP, and a John Deere Z-Trak 727A and I was wondering why it doesn't leave stripes very often? Sometimes on certain properties it will stripe, but it won't on other properties. Do they make a striping kit for a John Deere Z-Trak 727A with the 54" deck? Thanks in advance. :)

Grass Happens
07-16-2007, 11:56 PM
Having worked in a lawn mower shop, and also mowing lawns, with the added (not) bonus of living in deere country, i will say this to you:
I have never, ever seen a deere that can cut grass. mutilate? Yes. I think a drunken monkey with a spoon can cut better then a deere. Now, before I get lots of hate mail, i will say deere makes a fine tractor, and they support the crap out of there stuff. They just never figured out how to cut turf grass.

POPO4995
07-17-2007, 12:15 AM
Yes, John Deere makes a Striping Kit for the 7 IRON decks. They're about $350.00 or so but they definetaly worth it.

JohnDeere757
07-17-2007, 04:07 PM
Having worked in a lawn mower shop, and also mowing lawns, with the added (not) bonus of living in deere country, i will say this to you:
I have never, ever seen a deere that can cut grass. mutilate? Yes. I think a drunken monkey with a spoon can cut better then a deere. Now, before I get lots of hate mail, i will say deere makes a fine tractor, and they support the crap out of there stuff. They just never figured out how to cut turf grass.

I disagree with that post in a lot of ways. All the John Deere mowers that I've used have cut better than the Exmarks, especially when its wet. They also leave less clippings in my experience. I only have problems with the striping. :/

TNT LawnCare Inc.
07-17-2007, 07:20 PM
Have you tried a different Mfg.'s blades ? At what hgt are you cutting ? Taller grass stripes better, i'am sure you already know this thou ?

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
07-17-2007, 07:26 PM
Well you need a striping kit exmark and scag does good without a kit but we run em on our scags and the properties look dam good when we are done.

americanlawn
07-18-2007, 05:39 PM
I disagree with that post in a lot of ways. All the John Deere mowers that I've used have cut better than the Exmarks, especially when its wet. They also leave less clippings in my experience. I only have problems with the striping. :/

I completely agree with JohnDeere757. When grass is tall or if it's wet....nothing is better than a John Deere Z-trac -- nothing. Most cities around here sub out their parks. They prefer mowing every two weeks. More John Deeres mow these parks here than any other brand. I'm too cheap to buy a striping kit for my 727-A 54". Plus it creates nice patterns anyway. I think the mindset most pro's have is: John Deere is relatively new compared to Exmarks, etc. I demo'd three commercial zero-turn mowers before I bought one. Exmark was nice. So was Skag. But I was most impressed with the "cut" of the John Deere. Also, John Deere has many times more service centers compared to any other brand, so parts & service is very fast. Parts are in within 24 hours in case they are not available that day.

YardMedic
07-18-2007, 05:50 PM
More time and needless money spent on striping? :sleeping:

I'll be at the bank with the time & money NOT spent on this

MOWALLTHETIME
07-27-2007, 06:11 PM
I kinda agree with Kevin above I do not stripe unless if the customer asks or it or a very large property.Most of my customers want it bagged and are more concerned with overall appearance of their propertry i.e. shrubs, plants, and mulch. If they want it we charge because in the south bermuda does not hold a stripe for more than a few hours for the most part. We have to go over it 2-3 times to make it look reasonable. although we have several yards in fescue and hybrid bluegrasses that look nice when we stripe, but for the most part we are dealing with bermuda ( dwarf bermuda) which we have to cut at 2"-2 1/2", which is difficult to stipe. I am jealous of the northen guys with those stripes they are awesome.

tjaynes
09-10-2007, 02:19 PM
I work for a construction company cutting grass and trimming and blowing, I mow alot of grass. I have a Grasshopper midmount model 227 with a 61" Duramax deck. I was wondering if anybody makes a roller that will fit on that mower or does anyone have any ideas of what to do. It already stripes but I want a more defined stripe.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
09-10-2007, 05:24 PM
Simple take the rubber flap off the back of your deck,you will have to find a thicker flap,i have tried this it worx good we went to tractor supply.

tjaynes
09-10-2007, 05:33 PM
how much thicker? And does it need to be one that hangs down lower, will it mount on the same way the stock one does

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
09-10-2007, 06:00 PM
Yes i think 4 inches it all depends what you can get your hands on they used to sell thick rubber flaps.

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
09-10-2007, 06:02 PM
I have never tried this, you could get a stock piece of steel say 2 inches by the width and bolt it on.

tjaynes
09-17-2007, 07:43 PM
This may be a stupid question but what exactly do high lift blades do?

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
09-17-2007, 08:41 PM
High lift blades will give you better suction on your deck,it will stand your grass straight up and get the grass out of the deck faster we all cut at high speeds,+ keep them sharp every day you will see a difference in your turf.

DillonsLawnCare
09-17-2007, 10:27 PM
not all grass will stripe. fescue is easy to stripe. bermuda, zoisa, and other grasses dont stripe as well. some mowers just dont stripe either. JMO

PearsonExteriors
09-18-2007, 02:13 AM
I have a 737 60". I also have a scag, and have had an exmark. All the same size mowers. The Deere cuts much better than the others. It may not have as nice of a seat as the scag or exmark, but they do offer a better seat.

I would guess that your problem is that you are cutting too short, or it could be that the grass that you have in your area doesn't lay down. I would say that as long as you can step in the grass and leave a footprint then it should stripe.

I generally suggest to customers that we cut the lawn longer, but more often. Weekly mowing is for homeowners, real lawn care is much more involved. If you can get a customer that is willing to pay a premium, cut the lawn longer max 3.5 inch minimum 2.5. It will stripe well, and grow healthier. I generally start out the season at 2.25" and go up a 1/4 per week until 3-3.5 whatever looks best for the lawn and deals best with the water, and foot traffic conditions. As winter approaches I start dialing back a 1/4 inch per week until 2-2.5 to help guard the grass over the winter from snow mold.

I have one property that I cut 3 times a week...monday, wednesday, saturday morning. If the grass is healthy, less fertilizer is needed. They don't mind paying $120 a week for 1/3 acre lawn mowing because they have the best lawn in the neighborhood. And the neighbors ask me how I do it, I hand them a business card. And I see them try and try, eventually they hire me.

Really the best way to cut the grass to ensure striping, and health of grass is to follow a simple rule. If you pull up a blade of grass you will see that it is a little more complicated than just a blade. There are the roots, stalk, collar, blade and sheath node. I generally cut the grass so that I do not cut into the stalk, and try to maintain a ratio of 2/3 stalk, and 1/3 blade when cut. If you are cutting into the stalks on the grass plants it cannot grow as well, and grows slower and weaker...which means less money for you, more fertilizer, and a crappy looking lawn.

What really aggravates me is that they sell mowers for homeowners that can cut a maximum of 2.5-3" The lawn needs to be longer for most of the grass that I've seen. And as long as it is cut even, and regularly, it will grow thicker , greener, have less weeds, stripe well, and look good.

I would argue against a striping kit, my lawns all stripe well it just takes a little patience and practice. A striping kit will cost you a few hundred bucks that you will never see again, and I feel it puts extra stress on the lawn. You're already driving a 1500lb mower on it at 10mph around corners why drag a piece of metal or rubber around with you...it doesn't make sense to me.

Also never mow the same direction two cuts in a row, it doesn't seem that the grass likes it, gets rutted, flat, uneven. I cut once, mow perpendicular, mow at a 45 degree angle from that, and then mow perpendicular to that cut. So in 4 cuts, I never mow the same direction. Some lawns I mow at 8 different angles before repeating.
I spray my mower decks with PAM everyday to keep grass from collecting underneath and limiting airflow, I also sharpen blades everyday.
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it really only takes a couple minutes to reach under the mower, sharpen real quick with a file, and spray down the deck. If the blades don't get dull, then they are easy to sharpen.

I appreciate your post because I can tell that you really care about what you do. I'm glad to see that at least someone doesn't just want to cut and make a quick buck. If anyone knows any other tricks let me know. I love making lawns beautiful.

tjaynes
09-18-2007, 02:24 PM
I cut about 7 yards and I cut most of them at 3in to 3.5in depending on how thick it is. Also how do you guys fertilize? Do you use lime as well as fertilizer and do you use a walk behind spreader?