View Full Version : Lots of Clippings

05-14-2010, 11:54 PM
Has anyone noticed certain brands of mowers leaving more clippings than others? I have a JD with the 7 Iron Deck, and it seems like I am always leaving clippings, having to double cut, even when the lawns have not grown that much. I have heard people say that JD's leave alot of clippings.

I have been mowing, leaving clippings everywhere, but watching the contractor mowing the property next door with a Toro or Exmark, same grass type/height and the lawn looks great with no visible clippings.

I have tried gator blades, they still leave clippings and don't leave a manicured cut. (even with the gator high lifts)

Any thoughts?

05-14-2010, 11:58 PM
What 7iron deck are you using?

05-15-2010, 12:01 AM
Yeah, but you can cut wet grass without any trouble. The Exmark keeps the grass in deck longer and mulches it up more. Not good for wet grass though.

05-15-2010, 12:13 AM
If you are running a JD with a 7 Iron, make sure you are getting at least 3,600 rpms no load. The 7 Iron decks will lake luster if the rpms fall slightly below 3600. I actually have my 757's set to run 3650 under load, even that makes a hell of a difference in how much the clippings get chopped up.

05-15-2010, 12:32 AM
Yes i have noticed this. My old jd left clippings and it drove me absolutly nuts! Now my new Wright ztr leaves very little visible clippings. I actually had them cut side by side and the Wright discharged clippings that were a third of the size the jd would release. This is because the Wright along with ExMarks will hold the clippings in the deck longer to mulch them up. Also in the comparison in clipping size you must know that the Wright was running a set of stock high lift blades. No gators. I have a set ordered so the clippings should look similar to dust :)

05-15-2010, 01:35 AM
I mowed a yard today that was at least 10" high and thick! I used the ferris 23/61" set on 3.5" I had to double cut it, but it left nothing behind and didnt even clog the deck!!! I was amazed, my exmarks would have clogged within 5 minutes and left lots of clippings behind too, The only reason I can think of is the ferris doesnt have the front deck baffle like the exmarks have? That is really the only difference between the ferris DD and my exmark TT???

05-15-2010, 02:00 AM
Maybe try the 3 wood lol

05-15-2010, 02:22 AM
Are you cutting with the chute still on?

05-15-2010, 07:21 AM
I have the 48" 7 iron II deck. I will check the engine RPMs.

I use a powerchute, and when its safe to do so, I mow with it all the way up to try to disperse clippings more.

I'm starting to think I need to look at new mowers.

Coastal Lawn Maintenance
05-15-2010, 08:57 AM
i have the same deck that you have and my rpm were low around 3200 after they increased them to 3600 it made a world of difference. but i cut through 6 inch wet grass on 3.5 and it throws it to were u don't see it. I'm running hi lifts

05-15-2010, 10:58 AM
The 7-ironII deck shouldn't have a problem like this. I've used a 60" 7ironII before and had great results with it on several types of accounts.

The 7iron decks are designed to get clippings out of the deck pretty quickly, which is why they work well in wet conditions. However, the clippings should still stay in the deck long enough to get chopped up so you don't have too long of discharged clippings.

I think that the 7iron decks are some of the best on the market today, but alot can depend on the area you work in. Like others have said, make sure RPM's are at the appropriate 3600 setting. Blades are another thing, I thought gators did quite well on this deck without sacrificing much cut quality if any, however, they don't work for everyone. But I do find that the standard high lifts from deere do the best with these decks.

I have never had this problem with a 7ironII or 7ironPRO deck, so that would lead me to believe that there is something with the machine that is causing this, most likely the RPM's. But there are some decks that just don't do well in certain areas of the country.

Has this mower always had this problem or did it just start?

05-15-2010, 10:05 PM
I have a 717A, 48", 7 Iron II deck. It does a great job for me in my mowing conditions.

For me, I'm much happier for a deck to "cut one time, out the chute." As mentioned above, this is the only way to mow when conditions are damp or wet. The last thing I want is for the deck to hold the clippings to "cut up finer," or whatever phrase you wish to use. The best situation is to get the grass clippings out from under the deck ASAP. During wet conditions, or even when dry, but with heavy Spring growth, the multiple cutting will merely make green mush. When the clippings reach that state, they will not discharge cleanly, nor will they disperse evenly.

"... cut once, out the chute ..." for me.

05-17-2010, 12:03 AM
we have also noticed the longer clippings...i would STRONGLY recomend the mulch kit. The clippings are pulverized to nothing and you can cut amazing amounts of grass if you have sharp mulching blades and enough power....even wet stuff. if you are keeping your lawns and have no overgrown places to cut the mulch kit is the answer to your problem and it is alot less than a new mower

06-07-2010, 09:06 PM
Sorry to come into this post so late, I just came across it. I have a JD 997 with the 60" Iron 7 deck. I had the same problem with a lot of clippings. I ended up going with a double blade set up and it's made a big difference. I used a set JD 650 blades that I had and tack welded them in the cross pattern. It helped a ton.

I've read that others that have tried double blading had a loss in power. I had no problem with this. The 650 blades are much lighter than the 997 blades and I could feel no difference at all. I put the 650 blades on the bottom but their cutting edges actually end up about 3/8 higher due to the 997 blades being arched.

I run with the chute up whenever possible and it really works well. Last year I had to mow every 5 days so the clippings would not look bad, now once a week works out fine.

The only downside is I think the deck hangs on to more clippings than it did before, especially if it's damp. Still, I'm pleased with the results.

Hope this helps. It worked for me.