Mowing in wet/rainy conditions

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stang2244, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. stang2244

    stang2244 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 250

    Here in Colorado we are getting an unusual amount of rain which is obviously good for the grass but bad for staying on schedule. I've got a BOP quick mower which sucks in wet or even just damp conditions. I was wondering what you all do when it's wet out. Keep mowing/ wait it out/ depends how wet it is? Also, what mowers are least affected by wet conditions? I am getting pretty sick of double and triple cutting with my quick when it's even a tiny bit wet out, not to mention the numerous deck cleanings I do throughout the day. I'm looking at a stander or turf tracer in the 48-52" range but want to be sure they're ok in adverse conditions. Thanks!
     
  2. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    John Deere 7 Iron decks and Scag Velocity decks have the best reputation cutting wet. You can use a lower lift blade or lower the rpm's when its wet to keep grass from building up as bad on the deck and clumping. Usually an open deck design will do better wet.
     
  3. 12thKY

    12thKY LawnSite Member
    from ky
    Posts: 124

    You forgot Bad Boy
     
  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,867

    Stang - you are running a Quick...I will agree the deck clogging issue in tall wet grass is tough. But no way you should have to double cut lawns at all. I ran my Ninja 36 all spring in 6" grass and although there was some clogging, the quality of the cut was very good, nicely striped, with a single cut. I cut at 3" by the way - if you are cutting lower then raise your deck. Also, make sure you have sharp blades on.

    With respect to mowing when wet - good question. I do not mow in the rain period. I will mow damp morning grass (whether from the previous nights rainfall or dew) but not sopping wet conditions. You need to balance staying on schedule vs being customer conscious and prudent. Mowing resi lawns in the rain just looks plain bad.
     
  5. jameson

    jameson LawnSite Fanatic
    from PNW
    Posts: 7,027

    If you don't like the way the Quick deck handles wet conditions, you won't be overly impressed with the cutting platform offered on the Wright Stander, or those on the TT/TTHP, given the same conditions.

    Tacoma gave some good suggestions, you might also want to check out machines outfitted with Toro's Turbo Force deck.
     
  6. stang2244

    stang2244 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 250

    Thanks for the advice everyone. DA: were you discharging/bagging or mulching? I dont have many problems cutting from 6" down to 3"(that's what I usually cut at as well) as long as the conditions are dry. When wet it just seems to want to dump clippings and clump all over the place. This is when using side discharge or bagging. I havent had great results with mulching even in ideal conditions, so I figured it would be a terrible idea when wet.
     
  7. macaw

    macaw LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 415

    I use a Scag Tiger Cub with Velocity deck and Meg-Mow blades. No problems no matter how tall or wet the grass is.
     
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    This seems like common sense advice but it bears repeating. I know some of you will say that you have to mow no matter what and that may be the case occasionally. However you have to know your customer and most of mine will respect my opinion BUT mowing in the rain is not good business. Commercial jobs may be different and you may get away with it as long as the finished product doesn't look like a mud drag took place there.
    I just ran into this yesterday, we had about 2 inches of rain over the last few days and many of my properties were moist but drained well. You could mow and it looked good. 3 of them we walked on and had mud push thru and stain the blades. Now you and I know that its just stained but the customer would see it as tore up and ugly. We did not mow them and explained why to the customer. I know that my situation allows this as I am not booked solid like some guys might be but I will tell you that if I mowed, I definately would have had complaints and possibly could have lost accounts.

    I have a Toro Z master and a Toro WB and they are pretty decent with wet grass. I know there are better machines out there. The sharp blades are a must and at times I do have to double cut or even go back and blow it with the backpack blower.
    My advice is to keep the customer first if you want to keep the customer. When in doubt ask or else be ready to replace customers. The time to set your policies is at the start of the season. If you are planning to mow in the rain then they have to know that up front and preferably in writing. If you don't communicate with them they will defiantely let you know whats what.
     
  9. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    Really, my Scag was billowing out clumps while cutting wet grass. Clumps everywhere, left side of the deck clogging up and leaving a mohawk. I had to constantly stop and let it catch up with the discharge. Deck was getting packed up with clippings. It wasn't too good. I did notice as the grass dried out from the sun, it got better and better to the point it didn't clump or clog up anymore.
     
  10. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    I think you'll get this with ANY mower when the grass is wet.
     

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