Fixing the Mulching Mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by keerym, Mar 28, 2001.

  1. keerym

    keerym LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Posts: 23

    Alright, this is Mike again from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. I have moved to the next stage of my project for school, and its time for some more input from professionals. I have decided to work on improving the mulching mower. What I need to know are the problems that you have with mulching mowers, and under what conditions you encounter these problems. Again, I have several ideas of what goes wrong, but I want to hear from you, the professional. This is the problem stating stage of my project, and it can prove to be the most difficult, but also the most important. I welcome any and all input you have to share. Thanks,

    Mike
     
  2. LWNMWRMN

    LWNMWRMN Banned
    Posts: 72

    I think most of the problems are not in the mowers but in the conditions they are being used in. I don't think there is a fix to wet or tall grass. A mulching mower is not going to cut off 4" of wet grass and leave it looking like a carpet.
     
  3. keerym

    keerym LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Posts: 23

    My idea thoughts took a left turn this afternoon when I was riding to the Toro dealer to gather information. There are no formulas for building a mulching deck, nor any real evidence of what works and what doesn't work. For me I need something else I can solve with a new and innovative idea. My thinking was that you all need to change blades frequently, right? Would a device that acts as a quick change for blades be a good idea? I am pretty sure I could come up with a quick coupler, I would just have to over come some safty concerns and some concerns about debris build up. I know I could come up with something, but my question is would this be something you use?

    Mike
     
  4. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    Keerym,

    I'm in Central Florida where we mow pretty much year round. Almost everyone here uses dedicated mulching mowers now. I've been using one since 1994. The biggest problem I or anyone else has is in the summer, (say July), when it rains almost every afternoon and you can almost see the grass grow. Tall, extremely thick grass will sometimes (if you're mowing too fast) leave a streak of partially uncut grass that requires us to double cut. This happens unless you slow to almost a crawl. I've often thought that if my deck had an auxillary blade (say 10") to the rear and centered on the deck it would eliminate this streak.

    As for your idea of "quick change blades" I don't think it would be much of an improvement over a socket and ratchet like I use, and I'm sure it would present some sort of safety issue.

     
  5. mowingmachine

    mowingmachine LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    Your trying to do something the lawn and garden industry has been working on perfecting for years. The biggest complaints I have found with multching decks is they take too much horsepower, you have to mow more often because deep grass is a problem and they leave strips of discharge on the right side and between the blades. A lot of blade manufacturers have been trying to make a blade do the job but I think the answer is in the deck design. If you are talking to Toro you are probably, in my opinion, talking to the best multch deck designers so far. Hope this helps.
    Mowingmachine
     
  6. Daryl

    Daryl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10


    Mike.

    We have been using mulch mowers for the last several years. Personally I think the biggest problem with some of them is that the mowing chambers need more air flowing through them to mix with the grass. Would help when it's wetter and when it's thicker. The more air is exchanged the better it seems to cut.

    Daryl
     
  7. Jet boater

    Jet boater LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    I agree on the deck depth.

    I also wonder if counter-rotating blades would help any on the "streaking"?

     
  8. keerym

    keerym LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Posts: 23

    The counter-rotating blades are a good idea, and I have thought of that, however the idea has been taken. Bushhog has mulching mower decks out with counter-rotating blades. I like the idea of adding some air flow, and possibly creating a swirling effect inside the blade chamber. This is how modern engines work, the piston and head is designed in a way that swirls the intake air to mix the fuel with the air and disperse it better. If one could design a deck, or add a swirling type of air to the deck, maybe the clippings would tumble around and disperse better. Just a thought.

    Mike
     
  9. Jet boater

    Jet boater LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    There was an article in Machine Design within the last 6 months on using Fluid Dynamics to mathematically model and design a mower deck.

    I don't keep back issues but you may be able to find it on their website.

    May be helpful in your quest.
     
  10. Jet boater

    Jet boater LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

Share This Page