Grasshopper mower help please

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Turf Dawg, May 14, 2007.

  1. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,719

    I am having problems cutting tall wet junk. After a 2 year drought here in N Texas we are getting alot of rain. This has put us way behind and alot of the properties we cut are clover, black medic and any other weed u can think of. The high lift blades on the hoppers seem to just stick everything to the bottoms of the deck. The lowlift blades will not discharge the grass and just balls up and kills the mower. Does anybody know of a blade that actually works? Next question is about the blade clutch on my 223. When u first start it works fine. But after it runs awhile it does not want to kick back on. Is there some type of shims or adjustments on these? By the way, I got to demo a JD 757 today. I wish my hoppers would move the clippings as fast as this thing.
     
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Get your clutch attended to.

    Something is wrong.
    The hoppers normally handle the elements pretty well.

    A larger outfit here ran them exclusively a long time, and they were the only other guys able to be out with me on wet days and not make a mess. They have since added some Toro's and I can always tell which machines they are using before I see them round the building or whatever.
     
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Use high lifts, scrape the deck often till conditions improve. That's all your going to be able to do until conditions change. Grasshoppers don't handle the nasty sticky stuff too well. The fact you have been mowing a few years and are just now having a problem (it seems) tells me that the conditions have changed and this will be a problem on the short term only. They are a great mower but they process grass a lot more than the John Deere decks which do a great job in the wet stuff. My Grasshopper clogged a lot during our lush Spring growing season but it improved as conditons improved. Of course you could consider a Scag Velocity or a John Deere 7 Iron II deck next time if this is the type work you do but most have great luck with the Grasshoppers in TX and OK it seems.
     
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Really?

    Did you have the newer Duramax deck?

    I'm guessing no because I have seen that on the old ones.
    A sub of mine had that problem with his 52" outfront deck. (non duramax)
     
  5. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,666

    The reason the JD deck discharges well, is that it just cuts stuff off and spits it out. It does not actually "cut up" anything. The clippings left from any 7 Iron deck make the lawn look really bad in almost all conditions. Lots of long uncut grass clippings, not cut up fine at all.
    This is the first year there has been any kind of wet, lush growth in your part of Texas in maybe 5 or 6 years. Slow down and let the mower do its thing. Clean the deck on a daily basis. We have 3 Grasshoppers in service on mostly wet, overgrown properties. Never have any problems, even mow in the rain when nobody else is out. We have not missed cutting one single day this year, even cut the day after we got 6.5" of rain. Almost any mower deck will pack up with grass in the conditions we are having here now.
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yeah, go nice and slow, only answer.

    You have to charge extra for that, except with regulars, there just stay on top of the schedule and remember regulars take priority over anyone else, always. Never put a new customer in between regulars, so long you have work, this takes priority and then you should be on top of things, problem solved.

    Because I would be having a problem right now, this is the time of year all those with 2-3 foot tall grass call, hasn't been cut once yet... Some still got the leaves up in there as well, and they think if they tell me 'I am interested in weekly grass cutting service' that I'll trip and fall on my head and cut it the first time for the regular price.

    They get a little surprise, thou...
    At least double price for that stuff, at least.
    Half the time I just keep on driving when I set sight on it, just not worth the bother of estimating for nothing.
     
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    my grasshopper does not like wet grass either. clean out the deck, high lifts, go slow.
     
  8. FerrisDixie

    FerrisDixie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10


    Can the clutch cause the blade tip speed to slow down? My clutch has the same problem. Seems the cut quality went to hell about the same time the clutch didn't want to start after running a while. Any help?
     
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    If it is slipping I'd say so.

    A lot of mowers also have belt tension configurations that can allow for this.
    Shot tension springs, stretched belts, mis-routed belts, etc.

    When you hit the grass you can here the deck slow down, but not the engine.
     
  10. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,719

    I would like to thank every one for there answers. The reasons I went with grasshoppers is because I could get the cut that I wanted on the nice lawns. Now that I am the proud owner of a walker, this mower is used on the nice lawns. I was hoping someone might be using some type of blades that would help in the sticky junk with the hopper. I know the deer just throws the grass out, but after using it this morning this was just the ticket. I must have had some clippings that were 6" long coming out of the chute but was able to go about 3/4 sticks. I could have tripple cut faster than one pass with the grasshopper. Don't get me wrong, Grasshopper makes a great machine for good conditions. But since all of my large accounts are on contracts, I need something that will get it down faster so I can get on to my pay per cutting lawns.
     

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