Disgusted!

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Lawn-Scapes, May 6, 2002.

  1. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Dear Exmark

    I don't know if I'm expecting too much but my Lazer does not cut grass well. It is 1 year old with 580 hours on it. It has never really met my expectations. It always seems to leave some grass uncut (not stragglers). It does not matter if the grass is thick, thin, wet, dry, cutting at 2 MPH or 9... or cutting at 3", 3.25" or 3.5. I always need to go over the entire lawn twice.

    I really don't think it should matter but I have tried gator blades, solid-foil-high-lift blades and U-notched-high-lift.

    I went to the dealer today and they checked the tire pressure (13 psi in all tires).. measured the distance from the blade tips to the underside of deck (front to back and side to side)... and checked the pitch. All was fine. I had him swap gator blades for U-notch-high-lifts just to see if it would make a difference.

    Wishful thinking!

    RPM's are set to 3750.. deck belt has 180 hours on it.

    What else is there?

    How would I go about getting a rep to come out to one of my jobs? Maybe.. just to tell me my expectations are too high :(

    I don't think I can go through another season with this aggrevation... ready to look elsewhere (Dixie?)

    Help
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    TSG,

    This is a little ironic. I had a nearly identical e-mail from a guy in the Baltimore area yesterday. In his case he had been running a couple of different after market blades with serrated airfoils. These could possibly be the worst blade you can use on an Exmark deck during the spring. They may work great on other machines but if you want to save yourself a couple of headaches put them on the shelf till things dry out.

    You said you checked engine rpm and it is set at 3750 which would indicate your running either a 26 EFI or a liquid cooled and probably a 60". I'm guessing a little bit because you didn't state what you’re running. You said you've checked the belts, rake etc.

    I placed a call to our distributor for your area and he had a couple of comments that made sense. First he has received a couple of similar calls on not only the Exmark units but others and it has to do with the current cutting conditions. From what they're seeing in the grass is cutting like it would normally in early April rather than early May. The northern grasses blue grass and fescue will tend to hold moisture in the spring. This is compounded if the rains begin late or if the grass is just coming out of a drought or extended dry season. The grass, like most plants will do what it needs to do to survive. In this case because of the late spring rains it appears that it is holding excessive moisture. How does this effect the "manicured" look of the lawn?

    I'll speak in generalities because again I'm not in your area right now and can only base this on the feedback we're receiving and past experience with your grass types. The quality of cut issue your seeing is most likely due to a lack of lift or decrease in vacuum from your deck. When this happens the higher you cut the more the loss of lift effects the cut. What is causing the loss of lift and vacuum? Most likely the deck is plugging excessively and quickly. As the deck fills with grass the air cavity above the blade gets smaller. The blade still wants to move as much air as it did before but it can't compress it into the smaller air chamber. This creates some turbulents that work against the lift. (that's not totally accurate but I don't know a better way to explain it) When this occurs some of the grass is not lifted and can even be pushed down a little bit. So now how do we deal with it?

    First scrape the deck. It's not fun but it is going to be necessary if the deck is plugging. Second, increase your ground speed a little. Garbage in garbage out. The more stuff you push in the more stuff pushes out the discharge chute preventing it from sticking to the roof and plugging the deck. Third, we've gotten some good comments about products like "Mow EZ". It's a spray on product that will help prevent the wet grass from sticking. It won't eliminate it and it won't last all day but from what we're told it will help for some of the a.m. jobs. Fourth, make sure the underside of the deck is clean, paint it or use Teflon based or graphite-based paint from an ag supply center. Again to help reduce the amount of grass that sticks to the deck. Last, you may need to play with the deck rake a little bit. Focus on rake angles of zero to 1/4" but never a negative rake or over 1/2". I would look at this one last because if I'm correct by the time you get done playing with it the conditions will change and you won't have a quality of cut problem. You can also try the solid airfoil blade. We’ve received several comments that in spring cutting conditions this blade may not discharge as well as the notched blade but it doesn’t pack the deck as quickly and when it does pack it can maintain the lift a little better. This one is from field reports from cutters only. This feedback is opposite what we saw in some testing a few years ago. Grass can be funny sometimes. If it works for you, keep doing it.

    The gators are probably the best indicator of the problem. If you saw the same cut quality after switching from the gator to the factory blade we can be fairly confident the problem is deck plugging. The other tell tale indicator was the cutting height. Most generally if you have a problem with uncut grass or "un-manicured cut" above 3" it's going to come down to a lack of lift and this time of year the most common cause is a packed deck.

    Let me know if this is what you’re seeing.

    Almost forgot. Please e-mail me at terry.eckert@exmark.com with your dealer information and model number as well as you telphone number and address. You never know we may have a factory rep or dist. rep in the area that can take a look at your machine.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    tsg ,i feel for u bud . mabe a lemon.
    just curious as to what u might take for it
    as it is.
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    TSG,

    I was looking at the lawn maintenance forum and saw your post on this same issue. From that thread appears from that post that you may have too much positive rake if your leaving a "strip" of uncut grass. The solid airfoils will help it but will NOT get rid of all of it if the rake is too great.

    E-mail me at terry.eckert@exmark.com. Better yet call me at 800-667-5296 so we can get this figured out.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  5. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Terry,

    Thanks for the response. I will try calling you tomorrow.

    To answer some of your comments...

    I have a 25 Kohler

    I understand this is spring.. I'm not a "newbie" ya know. :) I'm keeping the deck clean. Matter of fact it's hardly ever clogged up under there. Why??? Because I'm not cutting long-wet grass. ;)

    The deck is exactly 1/4" higher in the back than the front. We are measuring the deck.. right? Because if I measure the blades... front of blade is 1/2" lower to the ground than the back.

    Solid foil blades.. I'll have my dealer order me some as they don't stock 'em for some reason. Should I get regular solid foil or the "new "excalibur"? I want to make sure... 'cause these blades are not cheap!

    Thanks again..
     
  6. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Congratulations,

    It's quite possible you've just diagnosed the problem. If a deck has too much rake you can often see some really strange things in the cut. Things like strips of uncut grass, sometimes between blades, sometimes down the center of a blade (I know it sounds impossible) sometimes when making turns as well as a few other really goofy things.

    Here's what we've seen. The deck rake should be measured at the blade tips and not the deck. Point each blade straight forward nose to tail under the deck. On a flat level surface measure from the tip of the blade to the floor. The front tip should be zero to 1/8" lower than the back tip. In your case if you get in the 1/8" to the 1/4" you may be okay but I'd shoot for 1/8". If you’re at 1/2" at the tips things can get real goofy real fast.

    As far as excalibur vs. the standard solid airfoil in this particular case it won't matter. You may actually find the notched will do what you want once you get the deck set.

    Call me. I want to verify who your dealer is and make certain he knows what we would like done.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  7. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Terry,

    It was nice to speak with you today. Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of this...

    Thanks
     

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