Double blades and blowout?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Doogiegh, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 871

    I'm running a 32" Exmark Metro walk behind. I bought the Exmark mulching kit from Exmark and have been using that all summer. It has been working fine.

    I bought a pair of hi-lifts and gator magnums for the leaf season.

    I tried them this past weekend as a test, keeping the mulching kit baffles and side-discharge blocking plate ON.

    The leaves that I could get the mower to go over, were vaporized. But many leaves were left on top of the deck.

    In fact, one was a small tree branch maybe 1 foot long.. It had 5-6 leaves on this branch.. (more like a twig).. There was enough airflow in the front right corner that it lifted this entire twig, with all 5 leaves and plopped it up on the belt cover..

    I tried messing with the spacers. I had been running 3 spacers under the spindle so the blades are low in the deck, and I adjust the overall cut height using the wheel spacers.

    Adjusting the spacers didn't seem to make any difference at all.

    Would it do "much" better if I was using double blades and was side-discharging (remove all of the mulching kit hardware?)

    For all you guys who say you double cut (or even triple cut) leaves, and then bag what remains, are you side discharging?? I ASSUME you are, but hey, I need some help here..

    I didn't notice any major difference in the overall cut quality or the striping ability, but I'm using a pro-slide which makes great stripes anyway.. :)

    Any advice would be great, especially fellow Metro owners..

  2. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 443

    If you are trying to mulch with an Exmakrk, you do not need a great amount of air flow due to the design. With the combinationof high lift and Gator magnums (with are just thicker high lift Gators) you are probably creating too much air flow, thus causing the excessive blow out.
    Try taking off the high lift straight blades and just go with the Gator magnums, or try using the regular Exmark "bi-level" mulching blades.
    If you are just getting a few leaves now, keep the mulch kit on, when you are doing the "clean-ups, then put the highlift/Gator set up back on and take off the mulch kit ... run over the lawn once or twice open chuting it, then throw the catcher on ... you will probably reduce the amount you are having to take away by at least half.
  3. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 871

    Ok, so you are saying

    1) Keep the mulching blades and baffle assembly on for now.

    2) When the leaves get thick and heavy (and the grass stops to grow at about the same time, which I believe to be right around Nov 1st.. cause I remember in Central NJ as a kid, walking thru piles of leaves while trick-n-treating...)... I should take the mulching assembly off (and sideplate of course), run doubles with Gators on top, cut the lawn twice letting it fly, and then bag it one time (for the third cut) to pick up what ever is left... and that will leave 80% of the bulk leaves shredded to shrapnel sized pieces on the lawn, with only 20% going into my catcher to haul away or to bag and leave with the customer..

    Oh, and then the gators would stay on, then go to regular blades for a quality cut in the spring when the grass is thick, lush and wet (possibly bagging) and then I switch to 100% mulching with the Exmark mulching kit right around Memorial Day weekend.. Right? :)

    Any other ways of doing things?

  4. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 443

    Yes, try using jus the Gator magnums for now, with the mulch kit ... see how it does. The when you get a lot of leaves where that set up doesn't seem to be giving you good results, take off the mulch kit and put the doubles back on.
    In the spring, you can use the Exmark muching blades or reg baldes and then after the spring growth spurt, throw the mulch kit back on.
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Try RAPTERS From Any Stiens Dealer. You Can See Them Or Buy Them Here. I'm Testing some Now. Very happy so far.
  6. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    for my conditionsin this area,it just makes sense to drop the cut level.
    if the grass was thick enough u might not have to ,but as our fescue goes dormant ,theres nothin to hold the
    vacuum . drop some pieces of paper on carpet and try an vac it up with the vacuum set to high.
    same thing will happen.but u set it to the needed level and it will get it all.
    good luck.
  7. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Posts: 1,405

    I got some advice from people on here before about the same thing. Running doubles with the mulch increases the blow out. Run singles only with mulch kit. For leaves, singles gators will dust them. Blow out will always be a problem no matter what you do. I have the Metro 36, I have minimized my blowout by using 2 spacers on top and 2 on the bottom. Sometimes I use 1 spacer on bottom and 3 spacer on top. My axle is in the E position. I am cutting between 3 3/8 to 4" with this set up. I still have to chase down the leaves though:( I know I could reduce my blow out even more and also get a better mulch if I cut at a lower height but I cant do that right now with the grass still green.
  8. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Yes Sir!

    With the mulch kit you can't run doubles. It totally messes up the airflow. With leaves use the gators only. Turns everything into dust. I agree also with pulling the blades up farther in the deck. 2 spacers under the spindle is where you need to be for leaves.

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