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  #1  
Old 11-22-2012, 07:38 PM
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puppypaws puppypaws is offline
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Hustler VX4 Deck Versus XR-7 Deck

I would not flip a coin between my new 72" VX4 and my old (2006) 66" XR-7 deck where cut quality is concerned, but in dry grass and leaves such as I am dealing with now, the XR-7 is hands down better. There is entirely too much blow-out from the VX4, meaning it will cover the deck and operator up in dry grass, leaves and dust.

The leaf dust because of being so dry is really bad this year, I dropped the cutting height down into the 2" range trying to see if it helped the problem but to no avail. The XR-7 deck does not cut the leaves into the smaller pieces the VX4 does, but it is a pleasure to know everything moving under the deck will either be left behind the mower; or moved out and away from the operator via the discharge.

There is so much difference in how these two decks handle this problem, I find myself always preferring to use my old mower versus the new one.

I hate to say I've got a new 2012, 11k dollar mower, and much prefer my older 2006 in this dry cutting scenario, but the truth, is the truth.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:08 PM
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Turf Dawg Turf Dawg is offline
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Do they have a air containment/anti blowout kit for the vx4 deck? I put one on my 08 66" xr7 deck and there is next to no blow out even with the discharge cover on.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:44 AM
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puppypaws puppypaws is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turf Dawg View Post
Do they have a air containment/anti blowout kit for the vx4 deck? I put one on my 08 66" xr7 deck and there is next to no blow out even with the discharge cover on.
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I honestly don't know, maybe someone else will answer this question.

The VX4 has an adjustable from inner wall which is supposedly used to create more or less suction, there is an "A-B-C" setting, the deck comes set from the factory in the "B" position. I've seen posted where people have dropped this inner wall into the "A" position, but their complaints stated they were hitting objects because of the inner wall now being below the front skirt of the deck itself, and this was causing the adjustable wall to be bent and banged up.

I am not going to the trouble of raising a mower the size of this Super Z into the air, then crawling underneath the deck to make this adjustment a couple times a year for a few leaves, I'll just jump on the old mower and take care of the problem.

When I say "old mower," I just replaced both hydraulic pumps and wheel motors, installed a new Kohler 28 efi engine, replaced the electric clutch, replaced all blade spindles, all idler pulleys, relays, hoses, and wiring. This work was done this month, so I guess you could really call it my "old/new" mower.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:43 PM
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Mickhippy Mickhippy is offline
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Next season, once the grass starts getting longer, you could try raising the deck and lowering the front skirt down a notch. Raise the deck high enough so that the "skirt" doesnt hit anything. Might only be half an inch in it!
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:19 PM
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puppypaws puppypaws is offline
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Originally Posted by Mickhippy View Post
Next season, once the grass starts getting longer, you could try raising the deck and lowering the front skirt down a notch. Raise the deck high enough so that the "skirt" doesnt hit anything. Might only be half an inch in it!
I want have the same problem once the grass greens up and gets into a normal cutting state, the problem is the extremely dry fall weather and dusty leaves I'm dealing with. I can outrun most of the problem, but if I'm forced to slow the least bit it covers me, and the mower.

The deck does great in normal green grass, but is terrible in dry dusty conditions. I honestly never realized how well the XR-7 handled these dry conditions until I came straight off the new mower and got directly on the old one to see the real difference. I would say the XR-7 (with me cutting at a lower 2.75") is eliminating 95% of the dust and debris that attempts to come from underneath the front skirt, whereas the VX4 is eliminating possibly 70%, and believe me the 25% difference can cover you up.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:56 PM
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Mickhippy Mickhippy is offline
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Dry grass causes less of a seal for the front edge. Lowering the front skirt will give a better seal (but may push the leaves now that I think of it.) But as youve read, cutting low with the skirt in the low posy has its own problems. Thats why I mentioned letting the grass grow longer (say .5") towards the end of the season so you can raise the deck .5" and set the skirt in the low posy without hitting anything.
You'd have to be careful the first mow though just to be sure but its a pretty quick n easy job to change the skirt height to try it.

Im really just thinking out loud here though so take it with a grain of salt!
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickhippy View Post
Dry grass causes less of a seal for the front edge. Lowering the front skirt will give a better seal (but may push the leaves now that I think of it.) But as youve read, cutting low with the skirt in the low posy has its own problems. Thats why I mentioned letting the grass grow longer (say .5") towards the end of the season so you can raise the deck .5" and set the skirt in the low posy without hitting anything.
You'd have to be careful the first mow though just to be sure but its a pretty quick n easy job to change the skirt height to try it.

Im really just thinking out loud here though so take it with a grain of salt!
No, I always value you're comments because you are one of the few that comes into LawnSite that has used several Super Z's in varied conditions.

Grass is not growing enough in my area to reach a decent cutting size, most of the grass I'm cutting where the leaves are a problem is Crabgrass. This type grass (which is actually a weed) is totally dormant, meaning between it being dead and the conditions being extremely dry, the junk breaks all to pieces and turns into such very fine particles it is very dusty. This junk thrown in with the leaf dust (which is full of mold) can really work on anyone; whether they have allergies or not. There are large numbers of people who get really sick from the mold in leaf dust.

I can understand how lowering the skirt would generate more suction, which in return would help the blowout. I honestly don't need the aggravation of moving the skirt, when all I do is crawl on the XR-7 and handle the problem with ease.

I started the big mower Saturday when the temperature required the choke, meaning I was forced to take my left hand, while my right hand was turning the key, raise the choke until it fired, then lower the choke to half position for a couple of seconds to get the engine running. Many people think, "well what's the big deal," but they don't understand I have not needed to use this procedure in six years. I then walked over to the fuel injected mower, turned the key, and it was immediately running perfectly. If I had my way there would never be another mower engine made that was not fuel injected. There is a tremendous difference, but I guess if a person has never experienced the ease of starting at all times, but especially in cold weather, the more powerful feel because of eliminating governor reaction lag time, and the much better fuel economy, they couldn't honestly know the difference. If a person does ever experience this, like myself, they will hate going back to a carburetor type engine, which I already have.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:21 PM
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Mickhippy Mickhippy is offline
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A blow out kit (dont even know if there is such a thing for the VX4 deck) may be an option. But then, you'd still have to fit it etc so not really something you'd be keen on.

I think you may just have to (pardon the pun) suck it up until you get some rain.
I raise my cut height through out the season. At the moment everything is around the 2" but by the end of season should be around the 3" or so. We're in drought here at the moment. Only had about 110mm (4.5") since July where I am. Thats not enough so understand the dust issue. Hate it! Im talking dust so thick I have to stop as cant see through it!

Maybe think about adjusting your grass height towards the end of next season knowing of these problems.

I have to choke my engine first start of the day. I dont see it as an issue since having the 31kawi before it. I do miss the 28efi though. If I run a tank dry, I need to choke again to get it re started on the new tank. Thats another thing I miss with the efi. It would cough and splutter before shutting down. Gave time to change tanks. These Kawis just shut off without notice. I was on a pretty good slope when it happened the other day! Not a good feeling!
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:45 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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puppy,
I've owned two JD 445's with LQ EFI Kawi's in them, and I too wish they were all EFI on any machine made now. I believe they are going to be the only option in the near future, but I also believe we are stuck with carb'd engines until the manu's use up all the parts they have in inventory that are/were made to build carbs and refurbish existing ones.
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I can also tell by looking back to see how they're hanging and often reach back and feel them to see how firm they are.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:58 AM
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greenology greenology is offline
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I have to choke my engine first start of the day. I dont see it as an issue since having the 31kawi before it. I do miss the 28efi though. If I run a tank dry, I need to choke again to get it re started on the new tank. Thats another thing I miss with the efi. It would cough and splutter before shutting down. Gave time to change tanks. These Kawis just shut off without notice. I was on a pretty good slope when it happened the other day! Not a good feeling![/QUOTE]

My old zero turns emptied fuel tanks evenly together, it seemed a little odd to me when buying a hustler the different setup. Is there any particular reason that you guys know of, for seperating the tanks?

The dust is one of the worst parts of this job! I usually havent bothered but this season I've been wearing a dust mask.
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