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poor cut on my new 18/44

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by fastrackguy, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. fastrackguy

    fastrackguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Hi Guy's! I purchased a new fastrack 18/44 about 6 weeks ago and have noticed that it seems to miss a strip of grass. It seems to be between the center and right blades that gets missed. I have even slowed my speed down but it doesn't really help much. It pretty much did this from day one so I don't think it's from build up or anything. Any suggestions would be great!

    NEWTRACK1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I had the same problem ,I only had mine about 2 months So I called the dealer where I bought it and he told me that the blade tensioner may not be tight enough, he said to pull the chain about two links . You might try that. It helped mine alot but sometimes it still leaves a blade or two.:D
  3. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    There are many variables to check.
    Blade tip speed, belt tension, engine RPM's, deck level, deck pitch and more...
    If it has been doing this from day one, please call and let your dealer know.
    They can take care of it.
    If they have any questions they can call the factory and our CS department will help point them in the right direction.

  4. coolhand

    coolhand LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    I am having the same problem with my 18/44, see posts under Fastrak vs Mini Z/Super Mini Z BTS. I visually checked the belts and the tension and there didn't appear to be any slipping. At first I thought it was the front caster laying down the grass but the uncut strip seems to wide for that.

    PJ, what's your thought about the gators not being able to lift up the grass with the deck at 3.5 inches. Are they known for their ability to stand up the grass? This issue seems more pronounced on the higher blade settings. Could pulling the blade tension chain another link cause any issues?

  5. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    IMO, gators should be used for mulching leaves, or in combination with doubles. Other than that, they are poor at cutting grass, especially anything above 2.5". It seems many homeowners are getting the wrong information from their dealers about gators.
  6. Dagoose

    Dagoose LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 25

    I noticed the exact same thing the last time I mowed with my 18/44 with gators and deck setting of 3.5 inches. I thought maybe it was because the grass was a tad damp, but I definitely noticed the grass laying down. I redid a few strips but it didn't seem to make a difference. I'll take a look at the tension chain this weekend and see if it needs adjusting, perhaps the belt has stretched a bit. Otherwise I'll lower the deck or go back to my orignal blades.

    I'll let you know the results. I know I used to get a better cut a few weeks back.
    Thanks for the entries, it's good to see others in the same boat.
  7. Mike 142

    Mike 142 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I purchased a FasTrak 20/52 about six weeks ago. I had the mulching kit installed along with Gators. The first few weeks - I had the "golf course" cut I desired. Unfortunately, the cut has not been so good of late. The blade farthest away from the discharge opening (left from driver's perspective) consistently leaves a visible path of cut grass. Also, cut grass is blowing out in front of the machine from under the deck. When I make a tight left hand turn around the street light post, the ground is being damaged by the deck. Last, the cut of the three blades are not even and blades of grass are often missed. Up until reading this post, I attributed the problems to my being a fairly new zero-turn owner. I have cut at heights ranging from 2.75 to 3.75 inches. I have gone slow and fast. I have checked the air pressure of the tires. I have cleaned the underside of the deck. Right now, I'm disappointed w/ my FasTrak, however I can't say a word about this to my wife for obvious reasons. I will continue to monitor this post for tips and ideas and hope I don't need to take the unit back to the dealer (no, I don't have a problem w/ the dealer - I just don't have a way to get it there.)
  8. fastrackguy

    fastrackguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    I see that some other owners are also having problems with the cut. I am running stock blades and believe I'm set at around 3 1/4 height for the deck height. Strange thing is that my old Dixon 426 did the same thing and that was one big reason I went and bought this unit!
    I'll check with the dealer on Monday!

  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    If your cut was good and now it's not, something has obviously changed.
    Also, the deck should not be damaging the turf, since the anti-scalp wheel should be doing it's job.
  10. trucke

    trucke LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I have a 20/52 Fastrak and just recently it started missing blades of grass as many of you described. I knew I was overdue for sharpening the blades (about 18 hours since the last sharpening). Those dull blades were cutting grass like using my fingers for scissors. After sharpening, the problem went away. Depending on your workload, sharpening blades about every 8-12 hours will keep your Hustler cutting clean.
    Also, while those blades are off be sure to scrap the underside of that deck. It's been so wet here in the North Carolina mountains I've been scrapping after each mow, sometimes scrapping several times during the cut. I can tell by the sound when the deck is clogging. The pitch gets much higher.

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