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View Full Version : Exmark Leaf Mulching. Boy was I suprised!


KB
10-06-2000, 11:46 AM
I am a part timer and just started this year. I have about 14 residentials that I have cut all summer but yesterday was asked to cut someone's yard for the first time. The yard was very well kept but had one section about 100'x100' that was so leaf covered that you could not see the grass below. I started scattering the leaves a little with a rake(thinking that I needed to) but decided to see how my 48" Turf Tracer w/ Micro Mulch kit would do with the yard as is. The customer wanted the leaves bagged and was skeptical that I could mulch without any sign of leaves. I do not have time for bagging and thought that I would have to go over a few times to mulch enough to satisfy her. After my first pass I turned to see a 48" path that looked as though it had been bagged. The same after the second. I even checked the front on my deck to make sure I wasn't pushing leaves along. To make a long story short, I was able to cut at about the same speed as normal (about 3mph)leaving an area that was very heavily covered in leaves looking as though there was never any leaves around. THERE WAS NOT EVEN THE SMALLEST SIGN OF LEAF CLIPPINGS. I am using the standard mulching blades and have heard that the Gator blades are best. I have them and may try them a little later in the fall. I have never been so happy with the performance of my Exmark and the customer was so satisfied that she asked if I would do all of her yard work from now on!

Toroguy
10-06-2000, 03:46 PM
KB,
I use the gators along with the mulch kit on my 48" Metro. Leaves trickle out the right side of the deck which requires a few additional passes to completely pulverize the leaves. Last season I used a 21" lawn boy! After my LawnSitectomy I began to see the light and absorbed the knowledge of others.

Mr.Ziffel
10-06-2000, 05:13 PM
I just posted this question on the other Lazer thread, but want to make sure anyone who has experience sees this, so sorry for the repeat. How does it work on wet, heavy new growth? I need to mow wet much of the time.

KB
10-06-2000, 05:24 PM
I have not mowed a lot of wet grass, but the little bit I have mowed does stick underneath the deck and drop small clumps of clippings. This is, however, in relatively tall grass. The only time that I have cut wet was when the grass needed to be cut so bad that it could not wait. It was tall and very wet. I have never sprayed the deck with anything to avoid grass sticking to it and do not usually cut when wet because of this. I mulch all the time because all of my customers want this when compared to clippings from discharge. I do not like the result when grass is wet but cannot imagine any mower doing any different when cutting in these conditions. I can discharge when wet without a problem.

MJB
10-07-2000, 12:17 AM
Mr Ziffle,
I don't know of any mulching mower that will cut clean when wet without leaving clumps. The grass ends up sticking under the deck until it eventuallyhas to go somewhere then you have a mess to clean up..

I use the Lazer 60" and love it, but I only use the mulch kit when fairly dry. I live in eastern Wa and it works great this time of year. What I do when it is wet is side disharge with high lift and gator or Exmark mulchers doubled up. The wetter it is the high lift works the best for shooting the wet grass out far enough that it dissapears. Sometimes I raise the deck a 1/4 - 1/2 inch and criss cross the lawn and spread out any clumps that may show up.

Nathan
10-10-2000, 12:01 AM
I am very surprised by how many out there say they don't cut when it is anywhere near wet. I operate in rainy western Washington and do not have an option. I am wondering if everyone else has such light schedules to where they can skip rainy days. We mow in the pouring rain and have never mulched, the only time we don't bag is on very large commercial sites where no one really cares about the overall look. Maybe we area just stupid but I would like to hear from others who live and operate in like climates.

landscaper3
10-10-2000, 12:11 AM
We mow most everyday, not heavy rain days but will mow in rain to stay on schedule. We just use the discharge decks and on occasion have to go back over when dried but takes alot less time.

Mr.Ziffel
10-10-2000, 01:20 AM
I'm 40 miles north of you and know what you mean. This year was pretty dry, but if I always waited for it to be dry, I'd never get it mowed. What mower[s] and deck do you use? I'm looking for a machine I can bag with in the spring and mulch with later on. Any info is appreciated. Will

TGCummings
10-10-2000, 02:19 AM
I have always stopped mowing for rain, and just catch up when it dries. I push stuff through the weekend if I have to, and then just try to get things back on schedule when we get a dry break. Being in California, we don't have nearly the problems with the wet stuff that you guys in Washington do, but I've always wondered what you do. It seems you're always getting the storms that 'just miss' us.

I have tried getting out in the wet stuff, but more often than not I just end up with a mushy mess and regret having done it. Either that, or my customers tell me to go home and come back when the lawns are dry.

I guess it's just a different attitude down here. What do the rest of you Cal guys do?

-TGC

TOSLC
10-10-2000, 01:52 PM
I have a Exmark Turf Tracer with a mulching kit and LOVE it!!

I have a full time job and cut 27 lawns on the side. Along with doing landscaping. So I don't have time to wait on the rain. When it's raining I just slow down a little and pay close attention to where I disengage the deck. Normally what is trapped under the deck stays there untill you disengage the deck.

I live in Southern IN and the rain isn't normally too heavy (except for this year) so If it's raining I just go ahead and mow, if it leaves some on top of the ground it will straighten out next week. I think mine honestly mows as good in the rain as it does when it's dry.

lawnworker
10-10-2000, 03:34 PM
KB what is included in the mulching kit besides mulching blades?I have 2 older exmarks but have never used a mulching kit. Eric elm keep up the good work you and chuck are doing with this sight.a AWFUL LOT OF GOOD INFO HERE.

Nathan
10-11-2000, 08:54 PM
Mr. Ziffel, I am glad to see that not everyone out there goes in when it rains. I am currently running exmark 36 viking hydros(We figured out quick that belts are useless in Washington)with fixed decks as well as Ransomes 36 hydro with fixed decks. We always bag and have very good luck with aluminum Accelerator bags(if you don't use these I highly recommend it). As far as mulching during our brief dry season, we recently ran into some guys from one of the very large commercial outfits in our area and they were using Exmark 36's with the micro mulch system, I couldn't beleive how tall of grass they were cutting with excellent result, the only drawback was that they said it makes a big mess around the edges. Trading bagging and disposal for a little extra blowing seems like a bargain to me. I plan on trying the system on some of my days with less than picky customers to see what happens.Originally posted by Mr.Ziffel
I'm 40 miles north of you and know what you mean. This year was pretty dry, but if I always waited for it to be dry, I'd never get it mowed. What mower[s] and deck do you use? I'm looking for a machine I can bag with in the spring and mulch with later on. Any info is appreciated. Will

Chuck Sinclair
10-11-2000, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by TGCummings
the rest of you Cal guys do?

-TGC [/B]

I mow in the rain my hondas don't have any problems with wet grass put it in bag where it belongs.

Sacramento.

Toroguy
10-11-2000, 11:43 PM
lawnworker,
The kit is about four pieces that bolt on the underside of the deck, takes 30 minutes to assemble.