Unmowed grass with stamped deck

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by djwats, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. djwats

    djwats LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    :help: I have a Cub Cadet Commercial Z with a 48" stamped deck. It leaves an uneven cut where the front wheels have flattened the grass. I run with the throttle wide open, have tried running a slower ground speeds, have sharp blades, and a level deck. Two different Cub Cadet dealers have said that the deck isn't deep enough (about 3.5" deep) to get the lift needed to raise the grass back up to cut it evenly. One dealer offered to sell high lift blades but warned that I might get lots of grass blowing out places other than the normal discharge shoot. This is already happening with the stock blades. Grass blows up from the front of the deck, filling the area under the deck covers with grass.

    The following is from Cub Cadet's website. It is answer to a question about uneven or uncut grass:
    Overlapping may be insufficient. The tires push down grass during each pass. If you line up your tires with tire marks from the previous pass, the grass does not get a chance to stand back up during either pass. Overlap more than the width of your tires on subsequent passes. This will allow the blades to draw up the trampled grass from each previous pass and should produce a nicer looking cut.

    As far as I can tell, this means mow twice, cut once :cry: . Is this a normal expectation for any stamped deck? Stamped decks have been on homeowner mowers for years. My previous mower, a Case 220, was no better as far as a quality cut.

    Any comments or suggestions?
     
  2. Advance The Man

    Advance The Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 154

    Why would a stamped deck have anything to do with it. As far as I know the only drawback with a stamped deck is longevity, not quality of cut. I wonder if it's the blades or the blade speed?
     
  3. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Homeowner stamped decks are not that great, but the guys on here that own the commercial John Deere 7-IRON decks including myself, have been real happy. Im not sure about the commercial club cadet deck you have, but I dont think that the deck is the problem.

    You said you have had the deck leveled right? How did you check the level? If you took a tape measure from the bottom of the deck to the ground on both sides, you wont get the correct measurements. The proper way to do it is if you measure from the bottom of the blade to the pavement on all the blades. Make sure you have them all lined up the same. You also want to adjust the pitch of the deck too. This is from the front of the deck to the rear of the deck. The front should be a 1/4 of an inch lower than the back.

    If these are all correct, I would say the rpm's are not high enough on the mower thus not creating the vacuum you need to stand the grass up before its cut. If the rpms are correct, the pitch is correct, the deck is level, I would say try some high lifts for the mower. They will cause more blowout, but thats what they are supposed to do. The high wing on the blade creates a stronger vacuum and stands the grass up before it is cut. If you are side discharging, I wouldnt worry about grass blowing out in other places. This happens a lot with most mowers, especially walk behinds.
     
  4. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Do what everybody will tell you especially the deck pitch. If nothing works try a set of meg-mo blades. Tell roy i sent you and see if you can get a money back guarantee. I'm not sure if he will but i do know if they work you will be very happy.

    I have found the blowout will be very little and the suction will be great. please let us know how you did.
    John
     
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    OH!!!!!!!!!I forgot :sleeping: If you do have a shallow deck you might try mowing twice a week or more in the heavy growing season. Shallow decks DONT LIKE TALL GRASS.
    John
     
  6. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    I agree. That and you could adjust the cutting heigth to oh lets say 4" and mow the lawn. Then cut the grass again and adjust the cutting heigth to 3.5" the next time around. Either way you will probably want to cut it twice like john said if the grass is real long.
     
  7. djwats

    djwats LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    The 2 dealers I talked to both said the only solution was the deeper fabricated decks, that the stamped deck was too shallow to get enough vacuum. But, I'm sure they were eager to sell a new mower if they could convince me mine needed replaced.

    I'll check the pitch and level the deck again. The hour meter is also a tach and the rpms are what the owners manual calls for at full throttle. I checked out the meg-mo blades and will keep them in mind when I start mowing again. We had plenty of grass growing weather here last year but not much in the way of ideal cutting weather so I was usually cutting tall grass much of the time.

    I appreciate all of the suggestions and comments. I like the heavy duty build of the Tank frame, the Kohler engine runs fine,and the zero turn was great for the odd shaped yards I mow. If the mower just isn't going to "cut it", I thought I'd get rid of it now while it's still fairly new - and clean. The time saving of the zero turn was being wasted mowing everything twice. From your comments, there is hope that with some work, I can get a decent cut. Thanks again.
     
  8. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    You can try meg-mo blades like others have said, but they will probably cost you near $200 for the setup. A single high lift blade will probably cost you $8-10. I would give the high lifts a try before you buy meg-mo's. Check the things I mentioned before first.
     
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Good Luck and please let us know.
    John
     
  10. bobcat175

    bobcat175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 377

    Is the underneath of your deck clean??? This will cause a loss of vacuum. Also check for the proper tightness on the blade/deck belt.
     

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