Metro 36"

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by TennDawg, Jun 4, 2002.

  1. TennDawg

    TennDawg LawnSite Member
    from Memphis
    Posts: 1

    I'm a homeowner Exmark Metro 36" owner, and generally it is a terricfic machine that allows me to finish cutting and mulching my 1/2 acre very quickly about every five days. However, I have been getting a rather wavy cut on my front yard.

    I generally set my Metro as follows: Position D on the rear (manufacturers), three washers above the blades and one below, and two large washers and one small washer below the caster. I keep the tire pressure according to specs, but especially equal on each side.

    I have a device from my old John Deere days that will facilitate measuring the distance the blade tips are from a flat surface, side-to-side and front to back. I have not measured lately, but the last time I did it, the measurements were very close, with the front slightly lower.

    My front yard has a constant side slope, but it is not very steep. Because of the yard shape, I have to mow from side to side across the slope. After cutting it looks sorta wavy, near the tire tracks but also in the middle. It's not too bad, but wish it would cut smoother.

    I realize that I wil get some some compaction from constantly going over the same tire tracks, but I do my best to vary the tire tracks from week to week. I never cut when it is wet or the ground is soft from recent rain.

    The back yard seems to do much better, but it is relatively flat and larger so I can vary the cutting pattern weekly.

    Have you guys got any ideas as to what is causing the problem? TD
     
  2. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    wavy as in it was trying to turn/slide down the hill so you are constantly correcting it with the brakes? or as in one side is cutting lower than the other on the hill? i had this problem with mine on a customers hill and had to add a little pressure to one tire to prevent it. i think it was about a half pound low. i assume you are running a low pressure gauge for checking? what part of memphis are you in? bartlett here.
     
  3. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    TennDawg,

    If your talking about a wavy stripe instead of nice straight lines Mike is headed in the right direction. When cutting hills I've found that often as a machine gets a few hours on it the tires can bet a little spongy and the 14 psi recommendation might be a little low. Bumping the PSI up to around 16 or 18 may help but it may also make things a little bouncy.

    Generally you'll find this to be a bigger issue with larger models but it's possible with a 36" as well.

    I suspect however that this may not be the problem however. If the problem is a wavy/uneven or unclean cut across the cutting width of the deck I suspect it's your cutting height.

    I believe your cutting in about the 3" range, which is really not the best cutting height when mulching. The higher you cut with any mulching deck the less "clean" the cut will look. What happens when you raise your cutting height you loose much of the vacuum and recycling which allow some of the air under the deck to lay some grass blades over slightly. On some lawns the difference in cut quality can be dramatic just by lowering your deck 1/2". Lowering it to 2.5" will generally eliminate any cut issues when mulching on just about any lawn. In your case I thing you'll find place one or two more spacers below the spindle will make a big difference.

    Personally on my lawn I could never mulch grass to my satisfaction above 2.75". It mulched everything find but it just didn't have the "clean" cut I expect from all Exmark mowers. Much of this had to do with my lawn and little to do with the mower. The 32" Metro may be gone to Dad's now but it's legacy lives on. What a great mulcher!

    Don't mess with the axle height right now. Instead place either 2 or 3 spacers below the spindle. I always ran 2 but in your case you may want to try 3. General rule of thumb would be to have a minimum of 2 spacers below the spindle when mulching. It makes a world of difference on some lawns.

    The cutting issue youÂ’re seeing can be magnified when on hills for a couple of reasons. One, if your using the mower help maintain your balance you'll have a tendency to pull on the handles with can raise the front of the deck a little and sometimes it doesn't take much.

    Second is the slope itself and what it does to the grass. Water and thus nutrients don't tend to stay on a hill very well. Generally the slopes in a lawn are not nearly as health as the flat areas. This may not be evident in many conditions but can show up quickly when the lawn becomes stress such as in time of drought if the soil is lacking some nutrients.

    Thanks

    Terry
     

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