How to set the deck and blades properly for stripes.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by Rll131, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. dathorpe

    dathorpe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 459

    I'm in Northern Virginia. I cut with the front tip of the blade at 3.75 inches and the back edge of the blade at 4.0 inches. That's our standard cut height. On certain lawns we cut lower... if the owner asks for it... but I try to dissuade them. I cut at that height because it keeps the lawn green throughout the season - no summer burn, it keeps the weeds out and the lawn healthy, it keeps the mowers running every week, and it keeps my bank account growing.
     
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  2. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,880

    Mulching blades never give the best looking stripe. Get a set of regular high lifts, cut at a minimum of 3" front of blade (higher is better for striping since there's more of the grass blade to bend in the direction of travel) and pitch the blades properly as GMLC said, for the best stripe affect.
     
  3. zo6

    zo6 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 417

    i cut no lower than 3 3/4 here in nj.. I cant imagine cutting that low, but it may be different there.. High lift blades and 3/8 pitch is how i run my bobcats..( if you like stripes, buy bobcats, no other mower compares, unless you put on a stripe kit, but then lawns look ridiculous..
     
  4. dathorpe

    dathorpe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 459

    Absolutely true. When I run the Scag marbain high lifts, I get an excellent stripe. Lately we've been running Gator G6 and Gator G5 mulch blades and the stripe isn't nearly as nice.
     
  5. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,880

    Good point. I was talking about the regular wavy mulching blades when I typed that, but you are right on about the G6/5 blades. They do what they are intended to do, but they stripe about half as well as std high lifts, and are the main reason I don't use them as much as I used to.
     
  6. Rll131

    Rll131 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Guess ill be investing in high lifts. Do any of you get complaints on the grass not being cut short enough? If so what do you say, I have a feeling one of my customers are going to ***** at 3 inch. Also are you mulching or side shooting your cuts
     
  7. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,849

    I don't go below 3 in ( I'm in VA) and I do have some complaints but I just tell them that is the lowest ill go. They are usually the cheap ones or they just don't know anything about turf management. I like 3.5 personally.
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  8. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,880

    I mainly side discharge, but I have a JD MOD deck, so I can go back and forth easily.

    If your customers complain tell them the benefits of cutting higher. It is to keep the grass healthier, and the soil temps a bit cooler, which helps the grass survive times of stress and drought much better.
     
  9. Rll131

    Rll131 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Going to give it a try with the gator blades I have on. Ill post pics later of the nicest yard ill do today. Setup 3inch front 3 1/8-1/4 rear of the blade.
     
  10. Rll131

    Rll131 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    Not sure if pic showed up but what a difference the setup makes. Thanks again.

    image.jpg
     

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