Back to single blades after running doubles?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Eclipse, May 28, 2006.

  1. Eclipse

    Eclipse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,149

    I have been running double blades on my 60" Turf Tracers with 23HP Kohlers for the last 2-3 years and this last week I went back to running single blades.

    I went with doubles originally (.250 gator over a .200 low lift blade) to lessen the amount of double cutting I needed to do and it seemed to work quite well. However lately I noticed I was still double cutting a fair amount anyway so I figured I would try going back to single blades (tried .250 gators). Also with singles I need to sharpen three less baldes per mower :)

    My thoughts so far as there is way less drag on the engine. The motor does not bog down nearly as much cutting though the tall stuff. The clippings are not as finely cut so even after a double cut they do not disappear quite as well as with doubles, I guess this was to be expected.

    I never really liked cutting with single gators and I was reminded of that this week :) I'm thinking of trying single high-lifts next week. I am also considering going back to doubles but running both .200 low lift blades thickness blades to try and minimize the load on the engine.

    Does anybody have any comments about going back to singles after running doubles? I would appreciate any information. Thanks.
     
  2. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    I went back to running singles for the same reasons you did. Seems that the 23's don't have the power you need. Also the blade's would dig into the ground on a slant
     
  3. Eclipse

    Eclipse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,149

    Good point. I have noticed less scalping on rougher, bumpier lawns.
     
  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Use to run doubles (gator over standard lift blade) all the time on my 52" 17hp TTHP w/Proslide... With my Lazer I've always had great results using regular Excalibur high lifts singles (not doubles) and always worked great. Don't often have to double cut unless the growth is just really bad.. I tried gators over top of the regular blades and did not like them, cut and discharge was good, but like Charles said they scrape the turf on the edges of the deck too much particularly on uneven ground/slopes/ditches/etc. Since then I have lowered my deck wheels a notch and got the striping roller from Exmark so maybe it would do a lot better now with the rollers all working to keep the deck more even... May put the gators back on top to do my lawn today and report back how it went with the deck wheels adjusted down some... Also when you use doubles don't forget to raise your deck 1/4" to compensate for the extra blade thickness, otherwise it will seem like you're cutting off more (yes you do notice the 1/4" difference) and it will cut too close to the ground on uneven areas... I try not to run doubles too much because of the extra wear on the clutch and increased fuel, but i'm all about work results, so I'll do w/e it takes!
     
  5. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    I'm back to a single high-lift w/ side discharge.
    I was running doubles and a mulch baffle, it worked real well but was slower and it didnt lift as good as I wanted, especially the grass bent over by the front wheels.

    Then I went with doubles and an open chute. Got a good cut, but it pulled down a little bit in the thick stuff. It was also throwing clippings way too far.

    I built my chute blocker and went to single highlifts and now I'm getting a really good cut while keeping good speed.
     
  6. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,155

    I never understood why somebody would want to run doubles in the first place unless its to correct a poorly cutting mower. It adds stress to the engine, spindles, belts and electric blade clutches. If your mower doesnt cut cleanly on the first pass then their is something wrong with it.
     
  7. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    The problem with lowering your deck wheels is that they will wear out much faster and so will the rods inside them and they aint cheap as you well know.
     
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    I went back to singles years ago on my Toro WB after 2 clutches in 3 months. Guess what. I have not bought a new clutch since. I think I know what I will be doing from now on.
    MY Walker has a 52SD with factory doubles and they work great in all conditions. Very noticeable. The Walker is fired from a manual clutch also.

    Eric ELM was the pioneer master of doubles but also remember that his Dixies had a manual cluthc too.
     
  9. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    The wheels are $6 each. the rods don't wear out they only bend if you hit somethin... My wheels should have been lowered anyway they were sitting too tall. I don't care how fast they wear out, they do their job better when they're adjusted properly... replacing them is part of maintenance on the machine which is a cost of doing business I won't complain about that. Plus if it makes the lawn look better by less scalping/gouging then i'm all for it!!! Thats priceless!!


    Anyway my report on the doubles: Again I used Exmark Extreme Mulching blades, the ones that look like a Gator style blade, and have a cutting edge to the center hole, on top of Exmark Excalibur solid foil high lift blades, and I remembered a main reason I hate doubles. The blowout is ridiculous! Probably why I never noticed on my walk behind is I was so far back from the deck but on the rider it kills you!!!!!! and slows the motor down even a powerful machine... the slower engine speed and blade speed gives a poor cut and you have to go a bit slower to let it all keep up and produce a nice cut. So whats the benefit? I definately agree with ProStreetCamaro.... I mean unless you are letting your lawns get too tall between cuts there shouldn't be a need for doubles. My Lazer gives outstanding results with single Excalibur high lift solid foil blades I don't have need for anything else. In fact when using the UltraVac on leaves I don't even use the mulcher gator style blades, because they have more blowout than high lifts and less suction, because mulching blades tend to blow clippings down back into the turf, which blows it out the deck and doesn't suck clean, so the solid foil high lifts are all i'll use (notched ones are junk they bend during normal cutting without even hitting anything :dizzy: )


    Back to singles for me. The gators will collect more dust as they have been doing!
     
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,952

    Oh yes they do wear out. The rods get very thin and this makes the inside of the anti scalping wheels wear faster. They do not fit snuggley anymore. The bolts inside the rods don't wear out. The insides of the wheels will get bigger and the outside will flatten. The anti scalpers are not meant to constantly support the deck. I don't remember what I paid for the anti scalping wheels for my 60 inch. I think it was more than 6$. I haven't bought any this year.
    But whatever floats your boat:waving:
     

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