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Walk-behind cut quality

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by chariot, May 18, 2003.

  1. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    I have a 54" 17HP walkbehind with about 30 hours on it. My cut quality seems to be getting worse. Should the deck pitch be the common 1/8 to 1/4 inch? Is there anything else I could check? Belts seem to be tight. Perhaps I am just getting more use to this machine and going faster without the power to cut at the faster speed. Any comments welcomed. Also, has anyone noticed cut quality differences in the new super walk-behind? Thanks
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    I hate to say this becuase i REALLY like the rest of the super wb i demoed...

    the only weak link i found with the hustler wb was the discharge patern. Frankly, i was very disapointed with how it threw and layed out the clippings. As i was discharging to the cut areas, it took the clipppings and just completely dumped that entire cuts clippings on the row two over and left huge masses of unscattered clipppings....to me that is unaccepable, especially coming from my exmark whcih did not experience this earlier in that day when it was even more damp. I supected the RPMs were low and the pitch was way too much, but i barely had time to finish my route with it that day before dusk, let alone set up the Hustler correctly.

    As i said, i hated to say this because i loved how the Hustler drove and virtually everything else about it.
  3. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 467

    We have the exact same machine and also a 60" Super Z. We believe the Walkbehind is the best cutting machine we've got. We have noticed trying to cut too fast at a higher speed with a 3.75-4.00 inch cutting height. Easy to do with the controls making the machine so managable. Seems like it just doesn't have the vaccum necessary to cut it cleanly in one pass with higher cutting heights. Reduce speed and you will see a difference.

    At 3.00-3.50 inches and good sharp blades we run the mowers flat out with an excellent cut. You might just need more time on the machine to figure out what works and what doesn't. Conditions will play a huge part in what works and what doesn't.

    If it were up to my guys, we wouldn't have any Z's and we'd have nothing but Hustler Walkbehinds. Superwalkbehinds, of course.
  4. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    I guess I could have specified about what I was cutting and the height. I am cutting primarily tall fescue. I am usually at 3.25 inches, it seems to be a little better at anything lower than 3. I have used it as high as 3.5 and had similar results as at 3.25. Anyone know about the deck pitch? Thanks
  5. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    I found the 54" needs doubles to get the grass out from under the deck, if you cut any large amount of grass. Also, it sees both the 48 and 54 don't seem to like cutting above 2.75" unless the grass is strong. The baffling is great, however, the chute size for the 54" is the size is the same as the 48", IOW, too small. If you starting cutting a lot of grass, you can actually see and here it clump under the deck and spit out the clumps.
    There seems to be trades off with every deck. The Hustler WB's will not get blowout from the front and bag like they have a spindle driven blower, but they don't like whimpy tall grass. My super WB 25hp/54" with high lift doubles will blow a driveway off better than a redmax 7001 backpack blower. It will throw the grass about 3 to 4 rows.........
    Hope this helps,
  6. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    Thanks, I guess I will look into getting another set of blades and running doubles.
  7. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    So, I guess Hustler is not going to chime in about the deck pitch. Does the new super walk behind have a better cut quality? Should I just go to another brand of mower? It has been about 10 days since original post and I thank you guys that have answered for doing so but I would like to hear from Hustler, that is why I posted in this froum and not just the commercial forum. Thanks
  8. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    the problem is the type of grass you are cutting, how sharp the blades are and the speed you are going. Deck pitch is not important. I've run from +1/4" to -1/4" and didn't any real difference.. If that answers your question.
    I've cut some lawns at 3" and 10 mph with great results, and then I've cut other lawns at 2.5" and 5 mph and still had stuff still standing. Funny, I always think the lazer Z's cut so well. Well, from the road they do, but once "on the lawn" they are no better than my Hustler WB's.
    If I wasn't overly happy with the cut on my Hustlers, "KNOWING ME" (G), I'd keep the H bar controls and mount an exmark or scag deck to the front. So, I hope this answers your question from a guy that is very particular and has "more than grass" inside his brain.
  9. mowerconsultant

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

    Sorry for not posting, I was thinking you were going to try another set of blades and get back to us here.
    Do you have the owners manual for your unit ? if so there is a very detailed procedure listed that will help level and pitch your deck.
    This involves adjusting the ball joint and spacers in the front casters.
    If I remember correctly you bought this unit used ?? Has the deck been cutting like this since you bought it ?, makes me wonder if the former owner had these issues, and if the deck was ever properly set up by the dealer.
    But to answer you question, yes there should be a pitch change, in the range of 1/8 to 5/16 depending on your cutting conditions.
    Please let me know if you have attempted to level and pitch the deck, or if you have the manual, if you dont have the manual I can e-mail it to you.
    E-mail me @ hustlerturfequipment@msn.com
    Let me know
  10. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    I do have a manual. This unit was bought from a dealer and was a demo, had about 5 hours as I remember, had no sign of ever even cutting any grass. It seems as though it was cutting fine when I got it. I thought that maybe I am getting more comfortable with it and going to fast. This is why I was wondering if I may like the super walk behind better since it would provide more power. I do plan to try other blades or double blades, I only have one dealer close by and do not deal with them so I am trying to get time to go to get blades elsewhere.
    Switchless, I don't know where your comment about the lazer Z came from but mine is cutting better than my walkbehind, that is why I have posted the question that I did. I know that I should not see the difference that I am seeing between these two machines. I have two great machines and know that they will each be superior in there own areas but I am just needing a little better cut from the Hustler right now. I hope to get the deck pitch checked when I get back in today and head out tomorrow with this correct and sharp blades. Wish me luck! Thanks for the help guys.

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