View Full Version : Grass keeps getting built up under mower
02-17-2002, 05:00 PM
I need some expert advice here.
We just moved in to our new home, and had to have the yard leveled out, and reseeded. Well we had Winter Rye and Fescue (not sure if spelled right or not) planted.
Well everytime I mow the yard, the grass seems like it is really wet and plugs up the chute, and stops shooting out the side. Well after awhile, the lawnmower will almost cut off then alot of grass will be dumped in piles below the lawnmower.
It doesn't matter how high the grass is, how dry, or how high I set the blade, it will always do this.
How can I stop the grass from doing this and to shot out the side like it is supposed to.
02-17-2002, 05:25 PM
What kind of mower are you using?
How much grass are you taking off at a time?
Is your blade sharp?
Do you clean your deck?
Let us know more so someone here can help you.
02-17-2002, 06:01 PM
I have a craftsman DLT 2000 20 HP 48 inch Deck
This is a new mower, so the blade should be sharp.
It just seems like the grass they planted is wet inside or something. The mower will get clogged up and when I go to clean it out, it is really wet. I only mow the yard when it is dry, and hasn't rained in awhile, so I know it isn't damp from rain, dew, or anything else.
Not sure what you mean about how much grass am I taking up at a time.
02-17-2002, 06:08 PM
Jodi had asked how much grass are you taking off at a time, in other words, how tall is the grass when you cut it, and how short are you cutting it?
With all the clumps you're talking about, sounds like it might be a bit tall by the time you cut.
You might want to try a deck spray to keep grass from sticking. I think it's still being sold in the LawnSite.com store.
02-17-2002, 06:09 PM
A craftsman mower does not have the best cut quality to begin with. What jodi means is how much Grass are you taking of the top at one point? If you are cutting thr grass weekly at about 3 inches in dry conditions you should not have a clogging problem. A blade needs to be sharpened every 7-8 hours of use to obtain the best quality of cut.
02-17-2002, 06:17 PM
Rye is a fairly sappy grass, so that's probably why it seems so wet to you. I have problems with it building up on my mower decks as I'm working, gotta get some mo-deck ;) .
The points Jodi made are good.
(1) Just because it's a new mower doesn't really mean that the blade is sharp. Blades are generally shipped a little dull and paint coated. If you take the blades off and sharpen them with a side grinder or a bench grinder, or take them to have them sharpened, you'll see a huge difference.
(2) You don't want to take off more than 1/3 of the grass blade at one time, optimally. Any more and it has a tendency to stunt the growth of your grass, which can lead to more problems later. Kind of like if you go outside in the winter with no shoes on, it only leads to trouble.
(3) If you clean your deck off after evey mowing, you'll have better discharging. Also, you may want to look into using a deck treatment coating, like the Mo-Deck (http://www.lawnsite.com/store.html#modeck) that I referenced.
(4) If you have a large area of grass to cut and you're planning to be there for a while, you may opt for a commercial grade mower instead of a homeowner unit. You'll get a cleaner cut, it will perform better, clog up less, and require less maintenance.
02-17-2002, 06:26 PM
Thanks for the tips everyone. I have about 1 1/2 acres to cut. I can't afford a commercial grade mower, so I am stuck with this one for now.
I will get the blades sharpened and try out the mo-deck that CSRA mentioned and see if that helps.
Thanks to everyone for the fast responses.
03-08-2002, 09:06 PM
I have a 2001 Craftsmen 20 hp 48 deck garden tractor which is very similiar as yours. When I used mine, it also did the same as you described.
1. On closer inspection, the blades were dull straight from the factory. Sharpen your blades.
2. I found the mower deck needed to be leveled from front to back and side to side.
3. I also have to have the discharge chute bungey corded up all the time.
03-25-2002, 02:11 AM
I just got rid of a similar mower (Craftsman 3000 series 25 Kohler Pro and 48 inch deck). I gave it back to Sears and took a 20% "usage fee" (only had 23 hours on it so I guess expected life of the mower is about 120 hours!). This mower had replaced a 23 Kohler with a 46 inch deck that was doing the exact same thing that you are having a problem with. The lawn/garden dept. manager admitted the 46 inch decks were prone to this, and after he gave me different blades (Hi-lift), he replaced it with the 48 inch mower when I still had the problem. My yard is a Fescue/Bermuda mix, by the way. It appears the problem is from the smallish chute opening and the bar at the bottom of the chute, that helps the grass collect until it clumps and blocks the chute completely. I have taken the plunge on a commercial ZTR and could not be happier, but since that is not an option for you, here is how I made my Craftsman usable. When the mower starts to bog and you see there is no discharge, stop the blades. Then use your feet to "rock" the deck back and forth (step on left side and then right). This will loosen some of the grass and when you engage the blades again it will shoot out a number of grass clumps (better to be moving forward when you turn them on, so the more grass will come out. I know this sounds stupid (and it is, hence me bending over at Sears on the return and buying commercial), but it works.
03-25-2002, 08:43 AM
I used to have the same problem with a similiar mower, I blame the deck-design. That bar welded across the bottom of the chute doesn't help matters a bit, whoever thought that up ought to be fired. It worked best for me to 'jam' the plastic flap up a bit by wedging something under the hinge. That would still keep debris from being flung everywhere but allow more grass to be ejected properly; you may want to experiment with the angle a bit.
I also have plenty trees on the properety, so instead of shutting everything down when the chute got plugged, I just grabbed me twig and worked the grassy plug loose with it. The result is a huge blob of wet grass laying at various locations all over the yard.
I'm sure happy I got rid of that piece of s**t !!
03-25-2002, 09:43 AM
Catcher is correct. I also would bungee the deflector up about half way sometimes to prevent some of the build up. If you pull it all the way up you will get covered in grass! I also forgot to note that the slower you go, the less likely the build up is to occur. I know that is probably common knowledge, but I thought I would mention it anyway. I, like Catcher, am a happy member of the CFOC. (Craftsman FORMER Owners Club!)
03-26-2002, 11:45 PM
The problem you are experiencing is only partially due to the mower you are using. The main culprit is the fescue type of grass. The blades of fescue hold a high level of water even after long dry periods and, therefore, sticks and builds up rather quickly under the deck. I know. I mow 3 1/2 acres of fescue. I used to have a Cub Cadet lawn tractor with 48" deck and it was a constant battle. Since last summer I have been using a commercial grade ZTR and, due to the higher blade speed and better deck design, it certainly lessens the problem but does not end it. All of the suggestions you have been given are good and, if you follow all of them religiously, will certainly help.
1. Blades - unless you really know what you are doing, get them professionally sharpened at least 3 to 4 times during the mowing season. Buy an extra set you can use while the other set is being sharpened.
2. Get rid of the deck chute!
3. Clean, clean, scrape, scrape. No matter how tired you are after mowing, throughly clean under the deck before putting mower away. Once it dries this stuff can get like concrete.
4. Mo-Deck - it helps a lot but it isn't cheap. I don't know what it costs thru the lawnsite store but I pay about $11.00 a can locally. And, to get the best results, it should be reapplied after each 2nd deck cleaning. I get 3 applications per can.
5. MOW OFTEN! In your area from now thru about October you should probably be mowing every 4 days ...... 5 at most.
every once an a while drop your engine speed down real low
this will allow the loose crap to fall out from under the mower.
a good bump with blades disengaged ,might help also.
04-10-2002, 09:51 AM
Either this is the worst lawn mower known to man, or the grass is.
Every time I mow my yard, I have to set the deck height all the way to 6, and it still clogs up. I just put on new blades and cleaned underneath. Getting very frustrating.
It doesn't build up as much if I have the deck chute lifted up, but on days like yesterday, that is near impossible with 15+ MPH winds.
What is the best way to clean underneath the deck? To change the blades, I pull it up on the ramps of my trailer, but it is a tight fit, and not much room to move around.
How can I get rid of this Fescue, and get a better grass? A drier grass and one that doesn't grow 2 inches a day..haha
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