PDA

View Full Version : Blades for this summer - Not Gator Mulching?


Tha5150
03-21-2012, 08:30 AM
Starting out and the mower I have is a Dixie Chopper 44" and I was at the shop to buy some Gator Mulching blades. I informed the guy I was only working on the weekends so far and want the best blades for me. He said stick with my High Lift's and get them nice and sharp and save my money. During this time of year for another month, Mulching blades would be best but then the High Lift's should be used for the rest of the season.

I immediately thanked him for his honesty and not just trying to sell me something to make some money. I have been going there for a few months and doubt I will go anywhere else due to their honesty and verbal support when I have newbie questions. Very patient with me.

((( by the way, this is Pro Lawn Equipment in Tampa )))

So, should I stick to the High Lifts I have now or what? I sharpened my blades yesterday for the first time, weren't too bad. I only have 5 accounts right now and no not have a bag and obviously can not even offer that service so I am thinking the mulching blades would be better but I dont know. He said the High Lifts would be better since they pull the grass up and will not leave behind uncut grass with the Gator Mulching Blades during the summer when the grass starts growning a lot more.

FYI, I only cut every 2 weeks so far on the accounts I currently have.

unkownfl
03-21-2012, 09:48 AM
What and how are you cutting(discharging)?

Tha5150
03-21-2012, 10:16 AM
I have the side discharge that i usually leave wide open, seen in the pic below. There is a make shift cable to allow this to be all the way open or angled down a lot, only maybe an inch open. When I use the lower one, I leave a trail of grass where it doesnt shoot out. I am sure you understand what I am talking about. Look at the cable and you will see a hook right below where it is now.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-NS1e-ukQzzc/TxccTnJ20tI/AAAAAAAAtFw/HbGMU7SS4hc/s720/image_4.jpeg

Ric
03-21-2012, 11:16 AM
.

Tha

The problem with Gator Blades IMHO is the steel they use. They are made by a big stamping machine and uses a Softer Steel that doesn't hold a sharp edge very long. The Hi Lift blades should give you a cleaner cut for a long period of time. They should also be easier to sharpen.

You might do a search here at Lawnsite for DOUBLE BLADES ON A DIXIE CHOPPER. The screen name to look for is Eric Elm. It was Eric Elm RIP who's knowledge and wiliness to share information that got Lawnsite off the Ground in 1999.


.

Tha5150
03-21-2012, 11:21 AM
If i were to put on some Gator Blades, could I close the side shoot and not leave the trail of grass?

unkownfl
03-21-2012, 02:23 PM
That isn't what gator blades are designed for. By closing the discharge chute you're trying to mulch those blades are made to mulch while discharging. Closing the chute will cause even a bigger mess as the clumps will get hung up on the teeth of the blades and leave clumps in the rows. I assume you're mowing mostly Bahia so I would stick with hi or medium lift blades depending on how sandy the conditions.

Tha5150
03-21-2012, 02:50 PM
I was confused then. Thanks for the clarification. I assumed I would/could close the chute with mulching blades installed.

So you guys are saying no matter what blades are installed, I need to have this chute open, huh?

dumb question and comparison but why do push mowers have no discharge and no bag and looks fine when if i was to basically do that with my Dixie, there would be a mess?

Florida Gardener
03-21-2012, 05:16 PM
I was confused then. Thanks for the clarification. I assumed I would/could close the chute with mulching blades installed.

So you guys are saying no matter what blades are installed, I need to have this chute open, huh?

dumb question and comparison but why do push mowers have no discharge and no bag and looks fine when if i was to basically do that with my Dixie, there would be a mess?

No, you dont need chute open, but if you run a full mulch kit-no gators. If you run just the plate, you can use gators. If you are cutting mainly bahia, I would get the g6 gators and side discharge. Don't mulch Bahia.
Posted via Mobile Device

Day off?
03-21-2012, 06:20 PM
What type of grass are you cutting and at what height?

Ric
03-21-2012, 06:56 PM
That isn't what gator blades are designed for. By closing the discharge chute you're trying to mulch those blades are made to mulch while discharging. Closing the chute will cause even a bigger mess as the clumps will get hung up on the teeth of the blades and leave clumps in the rows. I assume you're mowing mostly Bahia so I would stick with hi or medium lift blades depending on how sandy the conditions.

WRONG

Gator Blade were designed to mulch. I ran them on Walker mulching Decks and they mulched fine. They just didn't stay sharp very long. The Dixie Chopper DECK was designed to side Discharge. It doesn't matter what blade you use, it will wind row with OCDC closed.


.

Florida Gardener
03-21-2012, 07:11 PM
WRONG

Gator Blade were designed to mulch. I ran them on Walker mulching Decks and they mulched fine. They just didn't stay sharp very long. The Dixie Chopper DECK was designed to side Discharge. It doesn't matter what blade you use, it will wind row with OCDC closed.


.

Ric they don't work on toro and wright machines if they are full kit. Plate, yes. Gators are designed mainly for discharge.
Posted via Mobile Device

unkownfl
03-21-2012, 07:36 PM
Everything mulches on a walker when you're going 4mph.

Tha5150
03-22-2012, 07:15 AM
So basically guys, I am using High Lift and this is my best option and need to side discharge. With what I have on my mower, Gator blades will not do me much better on my weekend warrior schedule?

Ric
03-22-2012, 10:14 AM
Ric they don't work on toro and wright machines if they are full kit. Plate, yes. Gators are designed mainly for discharge.Posted via Mobile Device

Chris

I would argue with you, But Who cares? Gator Blades Suck.



.

Florida Gardener
03-22-2012, 11:55 AM
Chris

I would argue with you, But Who cares? Gator Blades Suck.



.

The OP. Just trying to point him in what I think is the right direction. I do agree though, for the price, they aren't great.
Posted via Mobile Device

Tha5150
03-22-2012, 11:57 AM
I know all blades aren't the same but in general if I get a "high lift" I should be fine? Or are there certain brands to stay away from?
Posted via Mobile Device

unkownfl
03-22-2012, 05:55 PM
I think you're way over thinking this man. If you're just mowing regular lawns I would just get some cheap heavy duty hi or medium lifts and call it a day. Sharpen them every week and be done.

Ric
03-22-2012, 06:23 PM
I think you're way over thinking this man. If you're just mowing regular lawns I would just get some cheap heavy duty hi or medium lifts and call it a day. Sharpen them every week and be done.

Unknown

I am sure Glad you are not cutting my grass with once a week blade sharping. When I cut Grass many years ago I changed sharp Blades twice a day. Every Morning and every Lunch time.

I sure hope you are not trying to mow Bahia with week old Blades. But then if you only have 10 accounts, Once a week sharpening is OK I guess.

In Edit

Look at the Grass Blade after you cut with Week Old Blades. Instead of Cut it is RIPPED and the Grass Blades with be all torn instead of a clean cut. This is why the Turf has a white haze to it.


.

unkownfl
03-22-2012, 07:41 PM
Unknown

I am sure Glad you are not cutting my grass with once a week blade sharping. When I cut Grass many years ago I changed sharp Blades twice a day. Every Morning and every Lunch time.

I sure hope you are not trying to mow Bahia with week old Blades. But then if you only have 10 accounts, Once a week sharpening is OK I guess.

In Edit

Look at the Grass Blade after you cut with Week Old Blades. Instead of Cut it is RIPPED and the Grass Blades with be all torn instead of a clean cut. This is why the Turf has a white haze to it.


.

He's a weekend warrior cutting grass in a town like Arcadia. You really think he needs to change his blades twice a day?

Landscape Poet
03-22-2012, 07:42 PM
I know all blades aren't the same but in general if I get a "high lift" I should be fine? Or are there certain brands to stay away from?
Posted via Mobile Device

5150 - I side discharge and use high lift blades on my Hustler with no issue. I am with Ric in that I personally think that Gator Blades are overrated. I tried using them for awhile and although there was a lot of hype about them...I really did not see the big deal.

I will also tell you one of the things that i think made the biggest difference to me. That was when I bought a dedicated blade sharpener. I did not go out and by one of the $800 machines that many talk about here. What I did was buy a cheap one I found on Ebay from a company called Bradley. This machine allows me to sharpen my blades quickly and effectively. I own enough blades that I sharpen them at the end of the week and just replace every morning. As Ric stated ...when you look down at the lawns I care for the blade at the top has a nice even cut like it has been cut with a pair of scissors. Believe it or not there are customers out there that actually know and care about this....and even more chemical companies who will notice that you blades are not damaging their hard work...this of course could lead to them referring you.

mtmower
03-22-2012, 08:10 PM
I haven't run the gators other than one set maybe 10 years ago and wasn't impressed. But if I understand correctly the new G series blades are a fusion blade which I've had pretty good luck with the quality of the blade and with how long they stay sharp. My hustlers oem blades are fusion. We have enough sandy type soil in our area that I'll have a blade eat clear through the back lift of the blade about the time my blades to worn to sharpen any longer.

Ric
03-22-2012, 09:16 PM
He's a weekend warrior cutting grass in a town like Arcadia. You really think he needs to change his blades twice a day?

Unknown

Well you sure are telling us what kind of lousy work you must do with Dull blades.

The OP is from Lakeland not Arcadia. Lakeland is a college town with Industry and BTW it is also the Center of the State where State Certification tests are given.

Don't Knock Cutting Grass in Arcadia. You might be very surprised at how much Z turncutter makes per hour Cutting Grass in Arcadia. BTW most turf there is Bahia which requires very sharp blades to get a good cut. Do you have any Idea how much money there is in Arcadia. You think you see a backward farm town. But Desoto Country has the most acres of citrus gloves per county in the state of Florida. It also is a large Cattle area plus other agriculture like melons etc. Don't forget all the retired Multi Billionaires and their exotic African animal ranches etc. Dr Hamilton who has Pain Management Offices in the Orlando area, has 400 areas surrounded by a 12 ft Fence to keep his Africa animals in. The fence alone cost a small fortune. His driveway is over a 1/4 mile long and Looks like a Nursery with all the Landscape.

PS My Market is on the Gulf Coast Water Front Homes on Canals. So people with Million Dollar homes want quality work. I changed Blade twice a day on 42 inch 4 MPH Walkers to give them that quality.



.

Florida Gardener
03-22-2012, 09:38 PM
Unknown

Well you sure are telling us what kind of lousy work you must do with Dull blades.

The OP is from Lakeland not Arcadia. Lakeland is a college town with Industry and BTW it is also the Center of the State where State Certification tests are given.

Don't Knock Cutting Grass in Arcadia. You might be very surprised at how much Z turncutter makes per hour Cutting Grass in Arcadia. BTW most turf there is Bahia which requires very sharp blades to get a good cut. Do you have any Idea how much money there is in Arcadia. You think you see a backward farm town. But Desoto Country has the most acres of citrus gloves per county in the state of Florida. It also is a large Cattle area plus other agriculture like melons etc. Don't forget all the retired Multi Billionaires and their exotic African animal ranches etc. Dr Hamilton who has Pain Management Offices in the Orlando area, has 400 areas surrounded by a 12 ft Fence to keep his Africa animals in. The fence alone cost a small fortune. His driveway is over a 1/4 mile long and Looks like a Nursery with all the Landscape.

PS My Market is on the Gulf Coast Water Front Homes on Canals. So people with Million Dollar homes want quality work. I changed Blade twice a day on 42 inch 4 MPH Walkers to give them that quality.



.
Ric did you solely run walkers, or did you have other brands and charge the customers more if you used your walker? I to this day have yet to see any company here use a walker. Now let's face it, your hack jobs won't bc they can't afford one, but even the established companies don't use them....
Posted via Mobile Device

Ric
03-22-2012, 11:48 PM
Ric did you solely run walkers, or did you have other brands and charge the customers more if you used your walker? I to this day have yet to see any company here use a walker. Now let's face it, your hack jobs won't bc they can't afford one, but even the established companies don't use them....
Posted via Mobile Device

Chris

I had one 60" Lesco Two Some for condos and other large areas. But I used a 42" 20 Hp Walker on the inside/outside Perimeters.

Most all of my residential accounts were under 5 K and the 42" Walkers are so maneuverable that it was faster than a bigger mower on those lawns. They also give the best cut of any Ride on.

The Ric-A-Green is on a Walker. IMHO the Walker is the best Machine for the Water Front Canal properties in my area. My Favorite Walker was my 1993 20 hp Walker with the engine turned backward from todays Models. It was just a little narrower and held the hills the best of any Walker I had. The Worst Walker was the 1997.

I never went with the 26 EFI model because of the Computer. I always ran 42" decks and the 20 Hp was plenty strong enough. However My first 16 Hp wasn't powerful enough.

Walker engines are low to the ground and collect dirt easy. They are also enclosed so they don't cool easy. Therefore around 1200 Hours they got tired. I kept New Engines in stock and could change one out in under an hour and be back in production.

After Hurricane Charlie I sold out to my Superintendent but Kept one Walker for a person mower and Ric-A-Green. I also drop all credentials at that time In Oct of 2007 I went back in business part time as a Fert & Squirt Guy only. I had to re sit for the Certification tests.

.

Tha5150
03-23-2012, 07:14 AM
You guys are hilarious, yet informative. I can not see any more sharpening that once a month with the bi weekly 5 accounts I have. Especially since they are duplex's and four-plex's. Once I start getting some actual residential accounts worth a damn, I will re acess.

As for the blades, I will take a picture and you guys tell me how worn they are. Currently they are doing the job just fine.

One thing I need to know is the easiest way to change them: IE- get the blades off. What I did the other day was use my floor jack on the front, chalk the back tires so they wouldn't move and get down on the garage floor with a socket wrench and breaker bar.

I am sure there are easier ways?

Ric
03-23-2012, 09:00 AM
You guys are hilarious, yet informative. I can not see any more sharpening that once a month with the bi weekly 5 accounts I have. Especially since they are duplex's and four-plex's. Once I start getting some actual residential accounts worth a damn, I will re acess.

As for the blades, I will take a picture and you guys tell me how worn they are. Currently they are doing the job just fine.

One thing I need to know is the easiest way to change them: IE- get the blades off. What I did the other day was use my floor jack on the front, chalk the back tires so they wouldn't move and get down on the garage floor with a socket wrench and breaker bar.

I am sure there are easier ways?

5150

Yes what you cut in a month a real yard guy cuts before breakfast. Once a month sharpening should be good for you.


.

Tha5150
03-23-2012, 09:01 AM
Ric, thanks for the kind words ;)

Also, I appreciate the info you have provided thus far. Good info for a guy like me.

fl-landscapes
03-23-2012, 09:03 AM
5150

Yes what you cut in a month a real yard guy cuts before breakfast. Once a month sharpening should be good for you.


.

Any Recommendations I have seen are to replace blades around the ten hour interval, depending on grass type and conditions

unkownfl
03-23-2012, 03:46 PM
Unknown

Well you sure are telling us what kind of lousy work you must do with Dull blades.

The OP is from Lakeland not Arcadia. Lakeland is a college town with Industry and BTW it is also the Center of the State where State Certification tests are given.

Don't Knock Cutting Grass in Arcadia. You might be very surprised at how much Z turncutter makes per hour Cutting Grass in Arcadia. BTW most turf there is Bahia which requires very sharp blades to get a good cut. Do you have any Idea how much money there is in Arcadia. You think you see a backward farm town. But Desoto Country has the most acres of citrus gloves per county in the state of Florida. It also is a large Cattle area plus other agriculture like melons etc. Don't forget all the retired Multi Billionaires and their exotic African animal ranches etc. Dr Hamilton who has Pain Management Offices in the Orlando area, has 400 areas surrounded by a 12 ft Fence to keep his Africa animals in. The fence alone cost a small fortune. His driveway is over a 1/4 mile long and Looks like a Nursery with all the Landscape.

PS My Market is on the Gulf Coast Water Front Homes on Canals. So people with Million Dollar homes want quality work. I changed Blade twice a day on 42 inch 4 MPH Walkers to give them that quality.



.
Ric I'm aware of what is around there as in money; however, you didn't read his very first post. He's cutting 5 lawns twice a month.... You really think he is mowing for busch gardens? I doubt someone on here asking about a certain blade or what one and stating he is new at this is landing jobs like you describe. Not to knock the OP just saying it's pretty obvious that he doesn't need to change blades every other lawn. Yeah your right I usually sharpen once a month, but the amount of blades I carry is a different story. I just drop them off and write it off. I only sharpen mine around 3-4 times and then just get a new set because they start to get a little shorter. I start to notice when I turn on corner lots and it leaves a few stranglers behind. For some reason Wright mowers are picky they must not have as much overlap as other makes or it's just the lack of vacuum.