John Deere Z930R with MOD deck review

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by jrayb39667, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. jrayb39667

    jrayb39667 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    This review will be on going as I use this mower more over the season. First off I am moving up from a 54" Hustler FasTrak super duty. I will say that I was not unhappy with the hustler. I had to become more productive. Through tweaking the hustler I got it to lay down a beautiful cut so I will compare only the cut quality of the deere to the fastrak. I will say I have a lot of getting use to with the deere being around 440 lbs heavier. I got stuck twice today but we have had around 12" of rain in the last week. I took this mower from the dealer without them doing any adjusting. This part is with the chute still tied up and the deck discharging. It has a really nice cut quality with the exception of leaving a blade or two of uncut grass on every pass. (the hustler did not do this) I was cutting a mix of St Augustine & Centipede. It also has blow out on the front left side of the deck. the grass was about 6" tall and I was cutting it at 3-1/2" and still damp from all the rain. I could hardy find any clippings!! It chews them up and spreads them really nicely. (The hustler would leave large rows of grass that I had to go back over to spread out) When I did close the chute and use the MOD I was pleasantly surprised that the engine did not bog down nor did it leave any clippings to be seen. The ride was quite nice too with only having the factory seat. I plan on taking the mower back to my dealer tomorrow to have them.
    1) lower tire pressure to 12 PSI
    2) Remove rear baffles
    3) Set the pitch of the deck to 3/8" lower in the front
    4) Lower anti scalp wheels to the middle slot
    5) Set deck height to match dial. It's 1/2" higher than dial says it is.
    I also plan on trying a medium lift blade. The medium lift blade worked wonders on my hustlers so I am hoping they work wonders on the Deere's.

    I am open to any suggestions anyone may have. Ridin please please chime in and give me some advice if you see fit!!!
     
  2. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,847

    Nice review.
    So you are saying when you are in mulch mode you can run through several inches of wet grass and not see any clippings at all? Would that grass not wad the deck all up? I have a guy around here (my competitor) who runs the MOD and in thick grass he goes so slow hard to see how you would ever get anything done.
     
  3. jrayb39667

    jrayb39667 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    It wasn't wet grass but damp. I haven't looked under the deck to see if it packed any grass in there. We didn't get finished with our last yard until dark. I'll look tomorrow. I didn't see any clippings and I didn't have to slow down much. I only used the MOD while around flower beds. I didn't try to mulch the whole yard. I don't see the need to mulch with how well it dispersed the clippings while side discharging.
     
  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,888

    Please excuse me if I repeat some things to you here. I am also helping a guy on another forum who just bought a 960R with the MOD deck, and I forget who i've said what to.:eek:

    I don't trust any dealer to set things the way I like, because most have their own opinion on what it should be set up like, or go by what JD recommends, which rarely if ever is correct other than for FLA where they test these things.

    1- The deck is too tightly baffled as it comes, which is why you see the blowout. The medium lift blades off a 915B would help some, but the truth is, the OEM wavy mulchers are the best blades for combination cutting where you may be either mulching or side shooting on the same property. They cut fine for all but the tallest of grasses, and they really help with eliminating blowout. However, don't remove the two small adjustable baffles if you want to mulch much, and especially if you switch to the wavy mulchers. Your dealer may now exactly which blades they are, but most likely won't. You need to ask for the blades that they sell with the mulch kit for th std deck. the part # is- M168223 for the 60" decks (which is what you bought, correct?).


    2- they may squawk about the pitch, but 3/8" makes it right at 1/4" when your weight is on it.

    3- 12 PSI is right for the rears IME, and I believe what the manual even suggests.

    4- If you're cutting at 3.5", you will get some stragglers. This deck doesn't do as well above 3" as it does at 3" or below IME, but then I cut limp northern grass. Still, I cut everything at 3.5" with OEM high lifts and the two baffles removed, so it works out alright except for right now while the grass is stiff and seeding out.

    5- Set the center gauge wheels at the top setting, and the four corners in their lowest hole if you cut at 3.5". If you don't, you risk getting get some dips or scalps in the surface of the grass if you have uneven terrain at all, and most yards have at least some dips and/or humps in them. I have yet to scalp or leave a dip in the surface of a yard with mine set like that. Raising the center pair eliminates that ugly shadow stripe down the center of the stripe from them dragging the surface of the grass.

    If I can think of more stuff that might benefit you, I'll post that too.


    BTW- if you aren't getting a windrow alongside the chute blocker, count yourself lucky, because most of us with the MOD do. it's just the nature of the beast, but using the OEM wavy mulchers really helps with that too.

    Here is a picture of them under my deck along with the two homemade extended baffle plates that almost totally enclose each blade and really up the performance of the deck when mulching-

    100_1930.jpg

    100_1929.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
    DeerBoy likes this.
  5. jrayb39667

    jrayb39667 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    Thanks for the info Ridin. My dealer seems to be one of the few good ones. They pitched the deck on the mower that they didn't have ready yesterday and even marked the rods for me. I have them my list this morning and they were more than happy to do what I asked. I don't plan on mulching entire yards, just around things I don't want clippings to go in. I only cut 4 of my 38 yards above 3". Most are between 2.5" & 2.75". I have my largest pickiest customers yard today. I'll try to get some good pics when I'm done and post back this evening.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. jrayb39667

    jrayb39667 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    I didn't have time nor energy for pics today. With the deck pitch set at 3/8" and tire pressure at 12 PSI all uncut blades are now cut blades!! My customer was very impressed. She wasn't home when we cut, she called asking what we had done different. She also didn't know that I bought two new mowers. I was a little nervous at first but she calmed me down when she said her yard has never looked as good as it does today!! I am so far very impressed with my mowers!! On another note my dealer said my mowers don't have the rear baffles, I looked while removing my blades for sharpening and I didn't see any rear nor front baffles. I don't mean to sound like a noob but these are my first "real" commercial mowers. Anyone help me identify where and what my baffles look like?
     
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,888

    JD dealers really are idiots most of the time, and this just proves it once again. :hammerhead::hammerhead:


    Look at my two pics. The rear baffle(s) is that plate held on by the single bolt right above the cutting end of the blade. The front baffle is the piece that runs the entire length of the front of the deck and is what the swinging baffles are mounted to. the swinging baffles can also be seen in my second pic in the closed position.
     
  8. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,888

    Here, take a look at this video of the MOD deck working. You can see the entire front baffle just under what is the front skirt of the deck at the top. Look closely and you can see the two small rear baffle plates which are bolted to the small square green plates that are welded to the deck. The baffles are bare metal. Better yet, read your manual like you should :hammerhead::laugh::laugh:


    It shows them and how to adjust or remove them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gPUiZ5BX_0
     
  9. jrayb39667

    jrayb39667 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    I just got a manual for my mowers. I planned on reading that when I get caught up enough to do something besides work, eat and sleep LOL!! They owe me another manual and a spare key too. Thanks Ridin!!
     
  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,888

    Did you take a look at the video?

    I swear bro, I have had more problems with JD dealers being totally ignorant about their products than any other brand I have dealt with. They know all the sales pitches and other aspects related to getting your money, but nothing about the machines themselves. I can say that with some accuracy as my wife and I have been to, and dealt with almost (not quite, but very close all) every JD dealer in the southern half of the lower penn, from mid state to the southern border, and from lake Huron to lake Michigan over the last 15 years.

    Nine times out of ten, after the sales person and I have talked for 15 minutes or more, they start actually asking me questions about the machine we are looking at since they can tell I know much more about them than they do. My wife always laughs about it when we get back out to the truck.
     

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