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View Full Version : Scag Long grass wraps around Driveshaft. Normal??


aussiegreg
12-15-2004, 03:52 AM
G'day Guys and Gals
I have recently bought a 2001 Scag Turf Tiger 25hp 52 inch deck.
In long grass of 1 foot or more that is thick and matted, the grass wraps around the driveshaft and then works its way into the seal of the cutter deck gearbox and breaks the seal and leaks oil. I have already replaced one gearbox because of this and then 3 hours later it started to leak again. I have only had the machine for 40 hours after buying 2nd hand.

Has anyone had a similiar problem of grass wrapping the driveshaft and then subsequently damaging the cutter deck gearbox seal.??

Is this a common problem with driveshaft driven machines.??

Any help appreciated.

jt5019
12-15-2004, 12:41 PM
I have never had that problem with my scags but i dont cut grass that long often so i cant reall offer you much advice.

rob1325
12-15-2004, 07:14 PM
I also never had that problem have two machines over 2,550Hrs each with no problems with it, though don't use it to cut down 12" + of grass regulary. I do it occasionally on open lots couple times a year and still no problems.

Green Care
12-15-2004, 07:44 PM
never had that problem maybe you should think of buying a bush hog for those jobs or renting 1.

YardPro
12-15-2004, 08:23 PM
i was thinking the same thing
with foot high grass i would think more along the lines of a busg hog, not a mower that was designed as a finish mower

ed2hess
12-15-2004, 08:32 PM
There is a guard that you can get to put on the gear boxes to help prevent the problem....talk to scag rep...it is a donut shaped device somewhat like a big washer with a flar on it. We installed them on SCAG cougar....after replacing the seal..luckly I caught oil drip before gear box went dry.

aussiegreg
12-16-2004, 07:52 AM
There is a guard that you can get to put on the gear boxes to help prevent the problem....talk to scag rep...it is a donut shaped device somewhat like a big washer with a flar on it. We installed them on SCAG cougar....after replacing the seal..luckly I caught oil drip before gear box went dry.
I have the guard on it but grass still got in after 30 minutes of mowing.

I saw the Scag Australian Importer on this troublesome site ( pictures attached) today as I have been demoing new machines and he gave no solutions, just that they are not designed for that type of work. The Toro and Hustler reps said that it was extreme conditions but that the mowers can handle it.

I finally worked out that if you only cut with half the deck the driveshaft is above the previously cut grass and will not get wrapped in grass. I have replaced one gearbox and now 2 seals because of this problem.

Wouldn't you think that the national rep would have these solutions ??? Thats why i am 99% sure that I will buy a Toro Z597 the 27hp diesel 60in deck. So much tourqe and power that I nearly flipped it (wheelstand) when I did a hard accelaration on flat ground ( I had to change me undies )

YardPro
12-16-2004, 09:06 AM
that is not what the unit was designed for.....

you should have a bush hog for that grass...

whatchewthinkin

Travis Followell
12-16-2004, 07:02 PM
We have a JD front mount z trac and it has a shaft driven deck and we mowed tall grass like that several times and have had no problem with grass wrapping around the shaft. Like said earlier that is probibly too much to be mowing with it. Good luck.

launboy
12-16-2004, 07:08 PM
ive cut huge lots/fields when the grass is that long maybe even longer. never ever has that happened to my tigers. (2000,2001,2002,2003 models).

pcnservices
12-16-2004, 08:25 PM
I have to agree with Yardpro - no lawnmower is designed for that type of grass that long. You need a shredder and a baler in that field (it's not a lawn IMO)
If nothing else - fence it and run a few sheep in there and have them grace it for a couple of days. You have lots of sheep down under right?

Eric 1
12-16-2004, 10:07 PM
Thats why i am 99% sure that I will buy a Toro Z597 the 27hp diesel 60in deck. So much tourqe and power that I nearly flipped it (wheelstand) when I did a hard accelaration on flat ground ( I had to change me undies )

Welcome to the world of real mowers. :D

coastallandscapesolutions
12-16-2004, 10:09 PM
I have the guard on it but grass still got in after 30 minutes of mowing.

I saw the Scag Australian Importer on this troublesome site ( pictures attached) today as I have been demoing new machines and he gave no solutions, just that they are not designed for that type of work. The Toro and Hustler reps said that it was extreme conditions but that the mowers can handle it.

I finally worked out that if you only cut with half the deck the driveshaft is above the previously cut grass and will not get wrapped in grass. I have replaced one gearbox and now 2 seals because of this problem.

Wouldn't you think that the national rep would have these solutions ??? Thats why i am 99% sure that I will buy a Toro Z597 the 27hp diesel 60in deck. So much tourqe and power that I nearly flipped it (wheelstand) when I did a hard accelaration on flat ground ( I had to change me undies )

Quick... someone call 911... the grass is eating the SCAG!

rob1325
12-17-2004, 02:23 AM
If you are gonna use that mower or any ZTR to cut grass like that all the time you are just gonna wear down the machine. They are not design for that and you are gonna stress any ZTR in those conditions and the machine will not last that long.

work_it
12-17-2004, 02:33 AM
I've never had that happen before, but I don't take my TT out to mow grazing fields. I did, on the other hand, have a small property this last year with grass that tall. The first pass is with the deck all the way up in transport position, and making half passes. The second pass I lowered the deck down to 4.5" and mowed half passes again to keep the motor from bogging.

aussiegreg
12-17-2004, 06:40 PM
ive cut huge lots/fields when the grass is that long maybe even longer. never ever has that happened to my tigers. (2000,2001,2002,2003 models).
thats encouraging to hear that as the Scag National Importer said that its not designed for that type of work and basically should not be on it. I demo'd hustler super z 28efi/60 and toro Z597 27diesel/60in and both reps said whilst it is long no problems.
Sometimes we get stuck with these "extrteme" lawns and we have to do it.
There is nothing specific in the scag manual regarding maximum cut height only:
"Cut grass when it is dry and not too tall. Do not cut grass too short ( cut off 1/3 or less of existing grass for best appearance). Mow frequently. "

So what is to bloody high ??? I was not after best appearance, the vacant block was settling its sale the next day and it had to be cut down so I cut it at travel height of 6 inches.
If manufacturers are going to say its too long then they have to state in feet and inches how long.

Now those who are saying that I should not be mowing it have you ever had a lawn of 2 acres that you mowed that was say the 1st time on it a bit overgrown of say 8-10inches
, now that is easy for a ZTR. What about if there was a patch of grass that was say 10 yards square or even 5 yards square that was as long as my bad block would you do it because you were on the ZTR anyway and it would only take 5 - 10 minutes anyway and its only a small strain on the ZTR and quicker than going back to the ute to get a brushcutter ??? I bet most people would mow it.
But remember witha Scag Driveshaft it only takes one strand of grass to wrap around the driveshaft and work its way into the seal and rupture it and then its a cost of $150 to fit new seal or $950 to fit new gearbox.
How often do you look down at the driveshaft??

Is this a major design fault ??? I think so !!

YardPro
12-17-2004, 06:51 PM
no design fualt
they are not bush hogs.
the quote you just gave says what is too tall. (only cut 1/3 or less of the existing leaf)
not 3 feet of the blade.

aussiegreg
12-17-2004, 07:00 PM
I've never had that happen before, but I don't take my TT out to mow grazing fields. I did, on the other hand, have a small property this last year with grass that tall. The first pass is with the deck all the way up in transport position, and making half passes. The second pass I lowered the deck down to 4.5" and mowed half passes again to keep the motor from bogging.
In the previous post one thing I forgot to mention is as is said on the above post about 1/2 passes.
As i said I had the Australian national rep/importer on this bad block demoing a new scag and he even had a go on my Scag TT 25/52 and he go no solutions other than walk away from the block. After he left and I had another go after clearing the driveshaft of the grass that he had got wrapped on it and tried 1/2 passes and that stopped the grass wrapping around the driveshaft as it was above the previously cut grass. I ask you why does he not know this to offer as a solution ??

I guess he is just a glorified salesman and what salesman admits that as a Scag importter he bought a new John Deere to use on his own property. A class act.

I have done first a gearbox (I had just bought the mower and we put it down to poor maintanance by previous owner) and then 2 seals because of this. After the 1st seal went I was told about the new addition to stop this a grass seal guard so I believed that it would cure the problem. In long grass I would at every break cut the grass off the driveshaft safe in the knowledge that this grass gusrd would protecxt the seal WRONG.

You only have to do one pass of 10 yards long and that one strand of grass or passpalum can work its way into the seal. You don't need to be doing acres of it. THe last seal lasted 30 minutes in it.

aussiegreg
12-17-2004, 07:14 PM
no design fualt
they are not bush hogs.
the quote you just gave says what is too tall. (only cut 1/3 or less of the existing leaf)
not 3 feet of the blade.

You missed something in your quote "for best appearance"
My quote was:
"( cut off 1/3 or less of existing grass for best appearance)"
AS I said I was not going for best appearance I was just cutting it down so that it did not look long.

BTW Australian conditions are diferent to American and our customers are different. THe customers are generally not that well off and only want you to mow when it is too long, if I only cut 1/3 off I would have very little work. As that wpuld mean mowing weekly in the summer and the money is not there. WE have very few manicured Acreages in Australia, USA is different your'e clients are more affluent you pay half the price for the same machine that we buy and a Ford F250 costs $80,000.
We can't afford to be driving around with a big F250 and 2 new ZTR's on the back and a multitude of brushcutters and trimmers and edgers etc. on board. you have to remember that Australia is a totally different economy to USA and we have differnt needs.
This block that I did is a rarity but they do come up occasionly

Just rembere that occasionly we have that 5 - 10 square yard bit of long grass to do. It only takes one strand of Grass

Mickhippy
12-17-2004, 08:06 PM
Obviously I agree with Greg in that we have to do blocks like that occasionally and I would think being a "Commercial" mower, it should be able to do properties like that occasionally. Hell, mines not "Commercial" and can do stuff simular (probably not as thick though) to what Gregs doing!

Heres one I did yesterday...

YardPro
12-17-2004, 08:59 PM
wow, guess it's tough to make a living there.

Mickhippy
12-18-2004, 12:02 AM
Yardpro...

To make decent money it can be! Its why we have to do that sort of stuff. Usually the first mow, like I pictured, is when its long etc and I expect it to be done every 2 wks after that to keep it under control etc. We have to do the hard stuff first to make it easier later and make the quicker easier money.
That property took about 2 hrs (theres another area not pictured) and I got $120au for it. It will be regular and I hope to get it down to just over an hour and get $80 or so. No trimming at all, just mow and go which is good!

Our main problem is customers dont seem to consider lawn mowing as a business and dont expect or are willing to pay what were worth. With the cost of a ZTR over $20000 and getting payed half as much as what you lot get over there, it becomes very frustrating. This is why we need and expect a $20000 commercial mower to do anything we throw at it! (within reason)

easycareacres
12-18-2004, 05:11 AM
Now this taken this morn and nearly as long as missues hairy back jethrul.

easycareacres
12-18-2004, 05:15 AM
:cool2: :alien: :blob3:

YardPro
12-18-2004, 08:59 AM
now that machine looks more suitable for the job

aussiegreg
12-18-2004, 09:52 AM
now that machine looks more suitable for the job


no design fualt
they are not bush hogs.
the quote you just gave says what is too tall. (only cut 1/3 or less of the existing leaf)
not 3 feet of the blade.


Hey Yard pro. Look at your quote up top and look at your quote in the middle.
What Easycareacres has done with a slasher or bush hog is what I have done easily with my Scag. The grass you see in easycareacres picture is freshly sown grass in a new estate and is sown in rows and while high is no problem for a ZTR as it is not thick. All is not what one see's by a picture or desciption. That tall thin grass is easy but shorter thicker grass is harder and that is what causes the problems.

As I have said Toro and Hustler reps have said no problems but it is extreme but the scag rep has said that I should not mow. Of course he is going to say don't mow as the scag has an achilles heel amd that is its driveshaft grass guard seal that does not guard against grass getting in the seal.

Look at the pictures the 3 foot high grass is no problem for a scag but the 1 1/2 foot is.

The mower can cut both grasses with ease its the driveshaft that is the problem

Mickhippy
12-18-2004, 10:39 AM
Heres a pic you might like Greg.

aussiegreg
12-18-2004, 10:45 AM
Now thats long grass and the hustler can handle it.
Where is the scag??
Lets follow the oil trail :D

CHAN
12-18-2004, 11:26 AM
If you are cutting the grass how is it getting wraped around the shaft. The problem is that you are backing up on uncut grass and then it will usally catch the grease fitting or ujoint and wrap. Once it gets started the grass on the shaft will then catch more. The grass only gets on when you are backing for there is no way it could get on going forward unless it is not cutting and standing back up after passing under deck. Just think about it. I have had this happen before also.

cutnedge
12-18-2004, 11:36 AM
Remember fellas....keep those blades sharp!

Tn Lawn Man
12-18-2004, 11:55 AM
The pics you posted should be no problem for your mower. Will it make it look like a golf course, no. But it should cut it down.

I cut grass just like that with a Toro ZTR. I had to cut 1/2 strips and make double passes as well as TAKING IT SLOW. But it cut it without any real trouble.

Blades sharp....belts not to tight to promote high tip speed....patience

easycareacres
12-18-2004, 05:57 PM
Gregg I have mowed so many acres like that with scags and no prob.
Odd ones I had problems with were the stringy types with wrap around issue as yourself.
I doubt Id try with a belt driven system as have belly'ed scags at times where on most other brands you stuff up belt and pulley in 10 mins. All depends on the terrain, but who knows when in the field.
You must have high lifts as diff machine for this type of grass.
Also as Tn lawn man stated which I forgot to say earlier, take half the width as helps alot.

aussiegreg
12-19-2004, 07:16 AM
If you are cutting the grass how is it getting wraped around the shaft. The problem is that you are backing up on uncut grass and then it will usally catch the grease fitting or ujoint and wrap. Once it gets started the grass on the shaft will then catch more. The grass only gets on when you are backing for there is no way it could get on going forward unless it is not cutting and standing back up after passing under deck. Just think about it. I have had this happen before also.

THanks Chan
After all these problems I purposely did not back up and only did half passes so that the driveshaft was "gliding" over the previously cut pass of grass. But still occasionally if you went that little bit too fast and did not fully cut the grass it may then wraop around the driveshaft and it did.

If you look art Esayvcareacres photo of a slasher (bush hog) and I think Yard pro said that is more the machine, was the slasher really designed for 4 foot high grass ???? probably not.

I had a problem and a new seal was fitted and I was told that the seal had a new grass guard fitted, so I would presume that it would keep the grass out.

Also it does not say in the manual what is the maximum length of grass that a scag can handle.

In the case of the grass guard and the non indication of maximum height of grass cut it is on scags part:

ALL CARE TAKEN NO RESPONSIBILITY

Precision
12-19-2004, 11:03 AM
The other main problem you are having is the type of "grass". That stuff the scag is stuck in isn't grass in the lawn type. The cellulose % in that is huge. Cutting something like st augustine that high is no big deal so long as you go slow and cut in 1/2 passes. St augustine pulps or chops. that kind of stuff is like trying to chew threw celery. You are going to get all kinds of strings and wrap.

Our commercial mowers are not designed for that.
Can you do it, sure, will your mower die an early death, YOU BET.

Mickhippy
12-20-2004, 01:28 AM
The other main problem you are having is the type of "grass". That stuff the scag is stuck in isn't grass in the lawn type. The cellulose % in that is huge. Cutting something like st augustine that high is no big deal so long as you go slow and cut in 1/2 passes. St augustine pulps or chops. that kind of stuff is like trying to chew threw celery. You are going to get all kinds of strings and wrap.

Our commercial mowers are not designed for that.
Can you do it, sure, will your mower die an early death, YOU BET.

Other than the wrap factor, I'm sure the Scag does well but... We pay $20000 for these mowers new, and should expect them to cut our grass types!
I wouldnt try to cut acre's worth of 3' plus (like easycares pic) grass cos that what a slasher is for. The stuff Gregs cutting is only 1 to 2 foot grass. Surely a commercial mower can cut that!

easycareacres
12-20-2004, 07:02 AM
On this subject I had prob long time back with a grass only 1 foot high. Think its called elephant grass. So tuff you must have sharp blades as my machines took ages to get throught it and it was not high.
Havent come across any areas since then with this stuborn grass since. :cool2:

aussiegreg
12-20-2004, 07:46 AM
Scag have wiped there hands of it and said its too high but how do us dumb lawn boys know how to operate the machinery I guess ya read the manual.
I read it and it does not give a maximum height to cut only this:
"Cut grass when it is dry and not too tall. Do not cut grass too short ( cut off 1/3 or less of existing grass for best appearance). Mow frequently. "

So where does it say max height to cut??

Scag Motto

All care no responsibility

easycareacres
12-20-2004, 08:01 AM
Well hope you learnt a lesson as I.
Never listen to a salesrep or car sales man heeee. They all full of it and want you to buy another.

bob
12-20-2004, 08:38 AM
I wouldn't touch that field. How do you know whats underneath the grass?

Precision
12-20-2004, 11:40 AM
maximum grass height depends on lots of conditions.

The main one is the cellulosity of the grass. Think of it as wire. If your are trying to cut through a bundle of 24 guage wire and one is aluminum, one is copper and the other one is steel, which would your wore cutter work easiest on. Also if your cutter is rated to a one inch bundle, which could you probably cut through a 1.5 inch cable and which would probably break the cutter at a mere .5 inch.

Same thing with the mowers.

I know if I was paying $20k for a mower I would not beat the snot out of it cutting that kind of stuff.

I think I would hire some cheap labor and a swing blade to knock it down the first time then come back and cut it with only a few inches needing to be removed OR try to get a lot of that work and buy the appropriate machine. Then I could do good lawns with my ztr and to clearing work with my bush hog.