Originally Posted by Razorblades
I guess I did get a little defensive,lol. Sorry about that. I respect and always like to read your posts on these topics.
I also know that the tunnel deck design is not the most desired deck design and it like most others, has its compromises. I realize the tunnel deck is not a mulching deck, one compromise. You can bag with them but they may not be as good as the std type decks for that.they are best suited for side discharging, albeit with longer clippings most of the time. Another possible compromise.
I figure that one of the most important reasons for the std (full depth) decks popularity it the versatility of being able to do all of the above and do them well. Some decks excelling at fine clipping discharge, with alot of vaccum (better at striping) but they might not do so well on tall,thick or wet grass, leaving clumps, and not cutting fast or clean in those conditions.
Other decks like the 7 Iron, Velocity plus and a few others, are very versatile in about all conditions. When matched with the right blade combo, will cut the clippings very fine also.
I still believe that the Pro Ride deck will hang right with the Velocity plus, & Iron and any of the other std, full depth decks when cutting tall, thick grass (at least Southern grasses, bahia, dallis grass etc) at a fast speed. It will leave longer clippings of course. I read alot about the EverRides 5-6 years ago and most of the owners and users of them all agreed that they could cut with any other brand in the tall, thick grasses, especially the southerm grasses. The EverRide Literature and Videos also mentioned alot about being designed to excel in those conditions. Not trying to be argumentative about this, it is just my opinion and a growing amount of experience with it.
I also agree that the MF decks need more BTS to be as effective as possible. They do look pretty heavy duty to me, the Iseki built ones, that is. There were some older thread on them, with some liking them pretty well and some saying that they didn't cut near as well as the Kubota's, which they were being compared to at the time.
It's all good my brother.
I like tunnel decks for general cutting purposes just fine, and have a ton of saddle time on top of quite a few different tunnel decks. I still have a couple of them. It has been my experience that they will stripe great in northern grasses, and bag darn good too. I just have to go a little
slower on them in thicker tall lush grass to keep from clumping. The pics below are of my 22 YO JD 240 w/14 HP Kawi, and 46" deck. The deck isn't particularly deep in the rear section, and about average for the time period in the tunnel area (approx 4 1/2" avaerage depth). I run a powerflo bagger on it for fall leaves and spring trash clean-up part of the time. I use it for rougher areas that are too tight to use my Z's, or are just too rough, with multiple dips/humps where scalping is a concern like a playground. It lays down as good a cut as can be had with sharp blades, and stripes very well. The last pic is cutting at 3", and taking off 6" of weedy stemy grass that was fairly thick. It did it in one pass, but I had to double cut to get rid of the longer clippings as you mentioned. I am sure your Z's are a far cry better at it than this old tractor is though, but I understand how you feel about them.