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Mulching leaves with a Ferris

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by coolgreen, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. coolgreen

    coolgreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    The other day I started using my Ferris 36-inch walk-behind for mulching, and it's not working well at all.

    The deck is so close to the grass that it just seems to push leaves out of the way. I thought about getting a bagging system, but with this problem it won't bag leaves either.

    I tried putting two of the spacers below on the front wheels, but it does not raise the front of the deck very much. From what I'm reading in the owner's manual the front of the deck has to be about 1/8 inch lower than the rear for proper operation.

    It's mulching the grass fine, but I'm still left with tons of leaves on the lawn.

    The mower is set up properly - it's not on the low-cut setting.

    Does anyone else have this problem?

    KERRTURF LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    The (I think) obvious answer is probably not the easiest. What if you raised the deck on your Ferris to start mulching the leaves down, then run back over it at a lower setting. Maybe try Gator blades or something like them to really get at the dried leaves. I use Gators on my IS100Z this time of year, and they really chew up the leaves. Hope this helps.
  3. coolgreen

    coolgreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    Thanks for your reply. The problem is my Ferris has a fixed deck. There's really no way to lift the deck except the caster wheel spacers.

    I'm already runnning Gater blades, which do a great job of mulching the leaves. But like I said, the mower deck is so low to the ground that it plows a good portion of the leaves out of the way.

    I guess if I want to mulch with a walk-behind it has to have a floating deck that can be raised up to allow the leaves to travel underneath.

    I'll have to bag with my John Deere rear-engine rider instead. It's not the greatest machine, but it does make a good vacuum cleaner.
  4. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    I'm curious- if you say it is a fixed deck mower, how low in the deck are your blades? If they are at the bottom of the deck you probably cannot do much, but if they are higher up inside the deck, you can make them sit lower with your spacers and then raise the front wheel with it's spacers, so now you're still at the same height but your front edge of the deck is sitting higher. Of course, for best mulching and least blowout, it helps to have the blades higher inside the deck but if you can't get the leaves to go under, then you've got to work on that first.
  5. Fareway Lawncare

    Fareway Lawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    from Canada
    Posts: 2,222

    cut heavy leaf areas in reverse.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,232

    That sounds like a cure that I would like to practice until the machine wears out! Or I do.
  7. 2tall

    2tall LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    Going backwards over the leaves really does work. That is what I do with my Ferris. First I always go in cirlces around the yard and blow the leaves into rows. Hit the rows in reverse and it mulches very nicely.
  8. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    Then go over the rows of mulched leaves with the bagger and suck it all up. Dump into truck/at curb/vac off of curb or leave, and off you go payup
  9. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    but the problem still remains- he can't mow the leaves into rows if they won't go under the deck.

    Can you raise the deck any higher using the spacers on the front wheels? Put all of the spacers under the front wheel arm peice (spacers on bottom) with non on top and see if that helps any.
  10. AuburnGuy

    AuburnGuy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 279

    Last year on my 37 toro if i had really big piles of leaves, i would ride a wheelie through them until they were small enough to ride over normally.

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