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Darn Blades!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by thesodfather, May 3, 2008.

  1. thesodfather

    thesodfather LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    First year of ops running about 22 accounts and im double or triple cutting almost every yard.. this is killing me running a one man operation with another job on top of it.. my blades are sharp and cut well and all my yards look great but im clumping and when i turn the blades off my mower takes a 'poop' in the yard lol.. all the build up just falls out right where i stop so i have to rake where it does that.. i have a bagger but anyone who knows Great Dane knows what a PITA they are!! i dont have a mulch kit but could it be the pitch of the deck? or if i get some kind of brand name blades am i going to see better results and faster cut times? and what are the advantages of these blades?

    any help is appreciated! thanks
  2. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,113

    raise the deck higher...in the Spring I cut the lawns that grow a ton high 4" or 4.25"...still double cutting can be expected in the Spring no matter what...it is still quicker than bagging.
  3. BanvilleLawnCare

    BanvilleLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    My mower (36'' mini-Z) usually leaves a very nice cut and disperses clippings nicely. The other week I did a one time lawn and was having the exact same problems; clumping, buildup under deck, wet clippings dumping onto the grass when I disengaged the blades. It was extremely frustrating and time-consuming but it happens because the grass is too long and very damp. So you may be stuck with what you are doing now until the summer months dry things up.:cry:

    J.A.G LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 931

    that is what mowing in AKRON is clump city....:cry::cry:
  5. FTGUprprtyMaint

    FTGUprprtyMaint LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    it might be the type of deck too bc i have a 52 encore that has a shallow deck that usually clumps on longer grass where my 60 gravely has the tough deck thats considerably deeper and has has loft to the clipping where it disperses the grass up and out a lot better
  6. KGR landscapeing

    KGR landscapeing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    ya it gets long and the rain set you back a day ur toast. my 32 is an open like box deck and u can cut alot of grass with that SOB but my 48 will clump up more not as open
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Isn't that weird how the mower "saves up" grass until you turn it off?

    Mine does that too. :laugh:
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I know many will not like to hear this, but the solution: bag the clippings. I have done away with all double cutting when the clipping count is high. Usually, in these situations, there is clipping debris in many places it is not wanted, such as beds, mulched tree circles, walks, driveways, etc. Not only was I spending so much time with the second cutting, then I had to spend even more time with the blower attempting to get the debris out from beds, tree circles, etc. I say "attempt" because the task is never completely successful. The buildup after a few mowings makes those places look horrible.

    I have properties where a single cutting, with debris cleanup takes more time than once over and bagging.

    I know, I know, ... all the griping and complaining about bagging in threads and posts for a long time. The extra time often quoted is way out of line, and those quotes are from those who say they don't bag any more. The key is to get yourself setup for bagging. If proper steps aren't taken to make the task quick and easy, then it can take much extra time.

    The other thing is that even with double and as stated in the initial post, triple cutting, the turf never looks good. For those of us mowing cool weather grasses that are growing very fast now, the clippings are often mushing and very sappy. The second mowing will merely make more green mush balls than the first time, and a third pass will even make more green mush. Usually, all those mushy clumps will turn brown after a couple of days, making it look even worse.

    Mulching with a mulch kit is out of the question in most of my properties. The debris will merely mush up under the deck, clogging the deck, tapping out all the power, and leaving rows and clumps. There is no such thing as "cutting the debris into finer pieces." The sappy Spring growth does not cut that way, it just wads up.
  9. totallawncare25

    totallawncare25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from TN
    Posts: 288

    You arent gonna want to hear this but my first mower was a great dane. Very well built mower but the blades are in the front part of the deck and the grass has a hard time recovering for the blades to cut. I dealt with the same issue as you and the only real fix honestly is to get a mower with the blades set back towards the back of the deck. I bought an exmark and cut my time in half with the same size deck as i had on the great dane and i made more money.. The danes are a great machine just lack alot of cutting quality that is one reason they are dying out..
  10. laxative

    laxative LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 147

    Same here. Mine's a Great Dane too. Clogging and clumping to the point of belts slipping or stalling the mower continually. Been dragging around my backup mower. The blades on it are shot, chunks out of 'em the size of a finger. But something about the deck makes it work better anyway. Just doesn't ever get all clogged up.

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