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  #251  
Old 07-20-2013, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridin' Green View Post
There are a couple crews that have come into my area this year that run SZ's. The places I see them mowing usually are neither high end, nor low end properties, just you average decent lawns. They leave a decent cut when dry, but leave clumps when there's any wetness at all, and that is when only taking off around 3-3.5". That makes no sense to me since the deck is so wide open, but it must have something to do with that rear discharge opening area that is causing Mick so much trouble. They are all 60" decks. They don't seem to stripe worth spit though for some reason, and almost any brand of Z will at least stripe a little bit on the turf around here. Not sure why that should be the way it is with the SZ's though. I've never had a chance to stop and talk with these guys yet, but I will if I ever get a chance.
A lot of clumping problems arise once wet grass has adhered to areas underneath the deck, and it does not need to cover the inside completely, but only a buildup in specific locations. I think Micks was building up at the rear corner of his discharge opening.

There are many decks that need to be thoroughly scraped every few hours in the conditions the southeast is dealing with. Once a deck loses its new paint, you can scrape the deck perfectly clean, make one pass in wet grass, especially crabgrass, and the buildup has begun once again, and it takes only a very short time until the deck is no longer performing as designed.

A great deal of the annoyance you see with any mower clumping is coming from buildup problems. This is one reason I was totally confused when I saw the 472 begin discharging clumps immediately with a brand new deck that had new slick paint and zero buildup. Then when I went behind it in the same grass with the VX4 and it did not discharge the first clump, but only a perfect fan pattern that had the same uniformity in every square foot, I immediately realized there was a problem. I think this is a problem that can definitely be helped, but completely alleviated in my cutting situation, I kind of doubt.

I started paying attention to the discharge velocity, and what GMLC was talking about when using high lift blades. The Gravely being set up the way it was would hardly blow grass off a drive, no uplift, and very little discharge velocity.

The 472 with the baffle (don't know about without) would not have cut the signal grass I cut yesterday that was knee high, it could not move the grass out the discharge and away from the mower, just entirely too much to deal with. This grass would have really taken its toll on a 40 hp tractor and 6' rotary cutter. The 35 hp Kawasaki with the deck at transport height did not like its cutting situation in the least, but it did cut it, which I can promise not many mowers would.

You folks deal with crabgrass which is probably your worst cutting grass in the north, signal grass is by far much worse. Signal grass grows twice as fast as any other grasses in our area, the grass that was knee high only had 16 days growth. Being around chicken houses where nitrogen is feeding this grass day and night, and all the moisture we've had is really pushing this growth.

This is something no one in the lawn maintenance business should ever find the need to deal with, but in large area cutting on a farm, this is something I am forced to deal with, not something I like, but cutting that must be done.

Most mowers would never move more than one mower length before the engine would stalled if trying to cut what I cut yesterday at transport height. I could have put the XR-7 into this grass at transport height, but had I taken more than 1' in the cut swath, it would have choked the engine immediately. This is basically like trying to cut hay (signal grass is forage grass) with a zero turn mower, not really something anyone should try. You can handle it fine if it is cut every 5 to 6 days, but with out weather that has been out of the question.

I've never dealt with any cutting that's had the difficulty of what I'm dealing with this year, and honestly hope I never deal with it again. I would say; that according to records kept and it being 75 yrs. (1938) since this much rain was seen in our area, that I probably will never deal with this again. To say I had rather die than be confronted with this problem, well no, but if it's 75 more years, 139 is not an age I can see me blowing the candles out on a cake.
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Last edited by puppypaws; 07-20-2013 at 11:02 AM.
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  #252  
Old 07-20-2013, 11:17 AM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Up here, many guys who think they are cutting crabgrass, are actually cutting goosegrass. Believe me, crabgrass sucks, but goosegrass is way worse to deal with. However, since they look so similar, that's what many guys think it is. Goosegrass stays loaded with moisture even during the drought times like last summer. You can literally see spray coming from under the deck when cutting a thick patch of that crap. It balls up like a wet cowpie com,ing out, and will load the underside of a deck quicker than anything I know of, north or south. Crabgrass is actually quite a bit easier to deal with IMO. The links below show the two, but in person, they look even more alike, but the goosegrass is lighter green in color and really stands out against a normal green lawn. If goose grass is allowed to get up over 4-5" tall, there's no reasonable amount of re-cutting that makes the wads/clumps disappear. It's the LCO's worst enemy IMO.

So, you're at last finally getting to cut some now? Did the dealer pick up that 472 or can you still use it?



http://msuturfweeds.net/details/_/smooth_crabgrass_49/

http://msuturfweeds.net/details/_/goosegrass_50/
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  #253  
Old 07-20-2013, 12:23 PM
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This deck was never given a fair chance because it was never adjusted for the wet conditions. Leaving the baffles in the upper position created several problems. It concentrates all the clippings to the front of the discharge(choking the deck). This also creates a build up above the baffles that just falls off when the deck still has fresh paint hitting the blades and clumping in wet conditions. If the baffles were lowered the deck would open up and fan the discharge. I would have taken the baffles off with tall wet grass. The results would have been completely opposite than this review. Low lift blades were also a factor and thats on Gravely...
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  #254  
Old 07-20-2013, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridin' Green View Post
Up here, many guys who think they are cutting crabgrass, are actually cutting goosegrass. Believe me, crabgrass sucks, but goosegrass is way worse to deal with. However, since they look so similar, that's what many guys think it is. Goosegrass stays loaded with moisture even during the drought times like last summer. You can literally see spray coming from under the deck when cutting a thick patch of that crap. It balls up like a wet cowpie com,ing out, and will load the underside of a deck quicker than anything I know of, north or south. Crabgrass is actually quite a bit easier to deal with IMO. The links below show the two, but in person, they look even more alike, but the goosegrass is lighter green in color and really stands out against a normal green lawn. If goose grass is allowed to get up over 4-5" tall, there's no reasonable amount of re-cutting that makes the wads/clumps disappear. It's the LCO's worst enemy IMO.

So, you're at last finally getting to cut some now? Did the dealer pick up that 472 or can you still use it?



http://msuturfweeds.net/details/_/smooth_crabgrass_49/

http://msuturfweeds.net/details/_/goosegrass_50/

They were going to leave it until Friday but I told him to pick it up Thursday. I also told him before he let anyone cut with the mower to make sure the deck was cleaned underneath very good, and I would advise him to remove the baffle based on what others that use the mower extensively said.

I said, if someone takes that mower and cuts 100' in heavy grass that has moisture they will make a very quick; but probably bad conclusion as to what the mower is capable of. The deck is caked, and this adds to the already baffle related clumping problem.

We have goose grass as well, but it gives me nowhere the problem of signal grass. The signal grass stays loaded with moisture even in drought situations, it's as if signal grass grows just as well without rain as with. The problem with signal grass is it grows upward and outward at an unbelievably fast pace, and becomes very thick quickly.

This resembles what I cut yesterday, but due to all the nitrogen and rainfall what I cut was much thicker, and knee high instead of crouch high as in this photo.

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  #255  
Old 07-20-2013, 12:41 PM
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If the dealers and reps are unaware of how these baffles work and not explaining them to potential customers it could be a problem. The adjustable baffles are in fact a feature and huge advatage in commercial mowing and need to be sold that way.
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  #256  
Old 07-20-2013, 01:29 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Originally Posted by puppypaws View Post
They were going to leave it until Friday but I told him to pick it up Thursday. I also told him before he let anyone cut with the mower to make sure the deck was cleaned underneath very good, and I would advise him to remove the baffle based on what others that use the mower extensively said.

I said, if someone takes that mower and cuts 100' in heavy grass that has moisture they will make a very quick; but probably bad conclusion as to what the mower is capable of. The deck is caked, and this adds to the already baffle related clumping problem.

We have goose grass as well, but it gives me nowhere the problem of signal grass. The signal grass stays loaded with moisture even in drought situations, it's as if signal grass grows just as well without rain as with. The problem with signal grass is it grows upward and outward at an unbelievably fast pace, and becomes very thick quickly.

This resembles what I cut yesterday, but due to all the nitrogen and rainfall what I cut was much thicker, and knee high instead of crouch high as in this photo.

Since you have all that rain and fast growth right now, any chance you can demo a new Scag TT with the 35 Vanguard and the V+ deck right now so that you'd be comparing the decks in the same conditions? The TT's top speed may not be as high, but going by your earlier post the conditions don't allow top speed anyway.

We've been in the 90's here with no rain for about a week (until the storm that blew through last night rather quickly). The goosgrass has been remaining wet with water still seeping from the leaves at the peak heat of the day from 2-8 pm here. The difference for most of us from you, is that we do this for a living and while there's no signal grass in anyones yard, there's a ton of properties where goosegrass is common and prevalent. Field cutting conditions here don't really come into play for very many and the surface conditions don't really matter much when they do, like they do for our resi clients who expect quality looking finish be left behind. Goosegrass is our number one enemy here.
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  #257  
Old 07-20-2013, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridin' Green View Post
Since you have all that rain and fast growth right now, any chance you can demo a new Scag TT with the 35 Vanguard and the V+ deck right now so that you'd be comparing the decks in the same conditions? The TT's top speed may not be as high, but going by your earlier post the conditions don't allow top speed anyway.

We've been in the 90's here with no rain for about a week (until the storm that blew through last night rather quickly). The goosgrass has been remaining wet with water still seeping from the leaves at the peak heat of the day from 2-8 pm here. The difference for most of us from you, is that we do this for a living and while there's no signal grass in anyones yard, there's a ton of properties where goosegrass is common and prevalent. Field cutting conditions here don't really come into play for very many and the surface conditions don't really matter much when they do, like they do for our resi clients who expect quality looking finish be left behind. Goosegrass is our number one enemy here.
I wish I could get one week with no rain, and I have never said that in my life because of corn needing rain this time of year so badly. I just walked in the door from mowing, and was tracking on the side of hills where I've never seen it wet before. I'm going back in a few minutes to continue, it's taking me about 3 times longer than normal due to the size of grass and wet ground I'm dealing with.

I talked with the area Scag rep, the one that worked so hard on trying to get my dealer to take on the Scag line, and he told me he would get a Scag TT for me to try. We went around in circles for a couple of months, and it appeared he was not a person good to his word, one excuse after another, so I quit fooling with him. I'm thinking him not standing behind his word also had something to do with my dealer turning him down over and over. My dealer will not say anything negative about anyone, but he did tell me he had known this rep a very long time. I filled in the blanks of which the words may be wrong, but they definitely seem to fit the person at the time.
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  #258  
Old 07-20-2013, 05:01 PM
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The velocity deck would shine in those conditions.

These blades are definitely leaving alot to be desired on our 272. Even with the baffles removed the clippings don't build up enough speed in the front channel and heavy grass piles up on the discharge side blade and sort of dumps out instead of flying out. We did some bushogging yesterday and used the 272 for some trim work and that's what I saw even at a crawling speed. Swapping over to the 60inch old xfactor deck (with a bent discharge baffle) for a minute to compare resulted in all material shooting out of the discharge in a nice fan with good velocity.

Scag/Exmark notched foil blades might be the ticket since there are no good options from gravely on the 72 inch deck. I wouldn't put it past Gravely Hockessin to cut down some Deere blades to size though as they seem to be pretty quick on the uptake with that kind of thing...
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  #259  
Old 07-20-2013, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mag360 View Post
The velocity deck would shine in those conditions.

These blades are definitely leaving alot to be desired on our 272. Even with the baffles removed the clippings don't build up enough speed in the front channel and heavy grass piles up on the discharge side blade and sort of dumps out instead of flying out. We did some bushogging yesterday and used the 272 for some trim work and that's what I saw even at a crawling speed. Swapping over to the 60inch old xfactor deck (with a bent discharge baffle) for a minute to compare resulted in all material shooting out of the discharge in a nice fan with good velocity.

Scag/Exmark notched foil blades might be the ticket since there are no good options from gravely on the 72 inch deck. I wouldn't put it past Gravely Hockessin to cut down some Deere blades to size though as they seem to be pretty quick on the uptake with that kind of thing...
This is what I saw as well with a brand new deck...with you seeing the same thing I saw with the baffle out is verifying it's not a baffle issue with the 72" deck, but I do believe the baffle being removed would surely help a little.

What other ideas is out there to be offered, GMLC seemed to think it would be a totally different cutting deck with the baffle out, but you've now proven that theory to be incorrect, at least with the 72.
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  #260  
Old 07-20-2013, 06:35 PM
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That would be cured with highlift blades. I put Stens lower lift blades on my XF1 and the clippings hardly made it out of the deck. I then put them on my velocity deck with the same results. Both my 452 thread and the XF1 cut quality thread go into detail on the problem with low lift blades.

My experience with my 52" tells me it would have helped to adjust or remove the baffles. But we will never know on the 72" in your conditions because you refused too....

Last edited by GMLC; 07-20-2013 at 06:43 PM.
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