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Stringers - mulch kit and deck pitch

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by BigDave, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. BigDave

    BigDave LawnSite Member
    Posts: 148

    I have a new LHP 23/52 that I had my dealer deliver with the mulch kit and the blowout baffle.

    I am impressed with the cut, especially the fact that the mulck kit truly delivers the vacuumed look. But, there is a surpising number of stringers, especially in areas that have more weeds or a bit less-thick grass or more bare spots than I'd like.

    I did some research on this forum, and saw that Terry suggested lowering the deck, decreasing the throttle, and changing the deck pitch.

    Today, I lowered the deck from 3" to 2.75". I am happy to say that I noticed a positive difference. But I don't want to lower the deck any more than that, because everyone on this site seems to suggest a deck height of 3" or higher for grass health.

    I forgot about trying lowering the throttle today - will try next time.

    Here is my main question: from what I can tell by eyeing it up, my deck is almost level; it is possibly angled down just a tad from rear to front. Should I try changing my deck pitch? More importantly, what is the theory behind changing the deck pitch to defeat stringers when mulching?

    If you don't mind lending your ear for a couple more minutes, I'll share a couple other things I'm bummed about - if anyone has any thoughts - though these have more to do with ZTRs in general, not Exmark. I'm convinced I bought the best ZTR for my situation.

    The thing is that my property is on a 15 degree slope. I am finding it true what they say that it's almost impossible to make a zero-turn (one wheel forward, one reverse) on a hill. So, that forces me into making lawn-tractor-type turns, and even those I can't make tightly, because it tears up the turf. There are times that I make the softests of turns on the hill, and I notice coming back around that I have a 5-foot tire track mark.

    Also, it seems like every time I go in reverse, my wheels slip more than they should. I understand that it is Spring, and the ground is softer than normal. What I don't like is when I go in reverse and the caster wheels come around - taking me off my intended path. Maybe the caster wheels needing to come around is *why* I get the slippage. Either way, a lawn tractor seems to have ZTRs beat when reversing.

    When I bought my ZTR, I was debating spending the extra money for a 4wd garden tractor or sub-compact instead. Perhaps that's what I should have done - so that 4 wheels would be providing traction on the hill instead of 2.

    But it's too late for that now - I made my decision, and I'm determined to make good on it. Plus, the ZTR certainly has its advantages over tractors notwithstanding the zero-turn aspect - the one that comes to mind first is the floating deck.

    Thank you very much for hearing me out.
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Big Dave,

    Is the mulching kit installed? Is the anti-blow out baffle installed? This will help me with your cutting height question.

    As far as the turns go on the hills are you swinging the nose of the machine downhill or uphill?


  3. BigDave

    BigDave LawnSite Member
    Posts: 148

    Sorry - yes, both were installed by the dealer.
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Big Dave,

    You can check the deck rake and you may want to increase the amount of rake. It really depends upon where it's set now.

    The real issue I believe is the lawn. The mulch kit is designed to lift the grass, cut it, cut it again and drive it down to the soil level. If the grass/lawn or weed bed isn't thick enough to hold the air that is driving the clippings down the air will be pushed out from under the deck. This not only creates excess dust but also forces some of the "stringy" stuff to lay down and not be cut.

    Lowering the cutting height is the best way to improve the cut in this situation. You'd be amazed at what a cutting at 2.5" looks like compared to 3" on the lawn you've described. You can also back the throttle off a 1/4" or so. Just enough so you hear a change in the tone of the engine.


  5. DieselDeere

    DieselDeere LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 411

    what about the revercing issue is this common
  6. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    also you can change the amount of spacers above the blade and above the pulley, at least on my metro, fred knows all about this. i imagine dustin and terry do to. might want to suggest that, helped me tremendously last year.
  7. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Diesel Deere,

    The issue of tire slippage is common on any hill exceeding the manufacturers recommended degree of slope. On any mid-mount such as the Lazer Z, HP, CT, XP and EPS they will tend to climb hills in forward better than they do in reverse. They can also be difficult to back up hills as well.

    An out front design on the other hand won't climb steep hills in forward but the will back up hills pretty well.

    A tractor type mower climbs hills okay and backs up hills okay but they are top heavy and more likely to "topple" on side hills.

    Each design has advantages and disadvantages. For the commercial contractor or the acreage owner who wants to get his/her lawn done quickly with a professional look quite often will go with the mid-mount design.



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