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Gravely X Factor deck leaving stragglers?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dr. Cornwallis, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    Well duh...
    You need to move it 1/8th higher in front, not sure what would make you think the rear needs to come up, it's the front.
    Also you probably shouldn't be cutting really dry grass, or you won't have no grass to worry about.
  2. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    I've read on here that one should pitch the rear 1/8th inch higher than the front, it also says it in the manual. It wasn't super dry but it was dry, it's also an EOW account so, it had to get cut, it's Bahaia and it was about 8in tall.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,251

    Can you post some photos of the lawn?
  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 14,096

    Um, no.....duh.:hammerhead:
    The rear should be higher than the front by at least 1/8". 1/4" is better still, since once your weight is on the seat it changes the pitch by about 1/8" depending on the operator's size.
  5. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    However you folks want to do it, not going to argue with you, but all my mowers have always had front high rear down.
    1/8ths higher in front, yes 1/4 is even better but some won't benefit, either way you got little to lose when it's all trial and error.
    How do you think I learned most of what I know?
    Trial and error, try it one way...
    Then if that doesn't work try it the other, take notes, compare, and go with the solution that works best.
    Just how I've done things for a good number of years.

    You can't trust those manuals, how do you know what is right when they're written by folks who have never mowed with your mower?
    Or do you think every competitor giving answers here is acting in your best interest?
    Not saying I am, you have to make up your own mind...
    Now if rear up works best for you, that's your choice but tell me...
    Did you ever try it the other way?
    Why not, and why not compare?
    Are you afraid it might work better?
    What if it did?

    Just saying...
    And to each their own, ain't but one way to find out, and to each their own.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  6. southerntide

    southerntide LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Alabama
    Posts: 5,997

    Wrong deck pitch should be forward not reversed read the book again and should be set while your on it to be correct like ridin said when you sit on it, it changes.

    Never seen a mower specs call for deck back pitch, it scalps and is rougher on the motor and mower.

    Back pitch on Gravely cuts like crap mine was off, corrected cut excellent. 1/8" forward to spec
  7. Dr. Cornwallis

    Dr. Cornwallis LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 847

    I don't have any before/after pictures, unfortunately.

    I think I got the deck dialed in, though. I brought the rear of the deck up to 1/8th in higher in the rear and I dropped the baffles down to about half an inch below the blades. The mower is leaving behind almost no stragglers. The few it does leave behind I'm pretty sure are a result of how thick the grass is this time of year.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,251

    Dont really need before pics, just what it looks like after the cut. Just to see what the stragglers look like and the grass itself! Im glad its working better for you but would still be good to see the lawn!
  9. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 14,096

    JD has gone to great length to explain how to adjust deck pitch in some of their online data. You just have to know where to look for it. The blades should be cut at the front of the deck so they can be sent out the chute with minimal fuss. The longer clippings stay under a deck, the more stragglers you'll have since a lot of clippings in the cutting chamber(s) create a less than ideal situation where vacuum is concerned, not to mention slowing down BTS.

    Cutting at the rear of the deck causes the clippings to remain in the cutting chamber longer, even if only slightly. Even the smallest variation in time can create new problems.

    I have been cutting for a very long time, even if not full time for the entire time. I have played with about every conceivable set up you can imagine.

    This is copied directly from JD's FAQ's-
    "Finally, measure the pitch or rake of the mower deck. The deck is designed so it cuts best with the blades 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch lower in the front than in the rear. This is sometimes called pitch or rake and is measured at the tips of the blades with the blades pointed straight forward."

    Here it is again in another one of their FAQ's-
    "Be sure deck is leveled side-to-side and front-to-rear. For most mowers, the front should be 1/8" to 1/4" lower than rear. Level the deck at your most often used cut height."
    This is on Messick's site. read the very first paragraph-

    Here's one for Toro-
    Measure the distance from the front of the right cutting blade tip, or cutting edge, to the ground by using a tape measure. Measure the distance from the rear of the right cutting blade tip, or cutting edge, to the ground. The measurement taken from the front of the cutting blade should be 1/4 to 3/8 inch less than the measurement taken from the rear of the cutting blade. Adjustments are needed if the distance is greater or less than that range,which is the required measurement specification."

    Husqvarna. Go down to page 20 and read what they say for front to back adjustments-

    Other mainstream ZTR manuals available online say the same thing ( except the Scag manual as already noted). All you need to do is a quick google search.
  10. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,089

    Wow.....:confused: :)

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