What makes a mower stripe well?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by delphied, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,300

    The little flaps on the rear of my JD 14SB and JE75 leave a decent stripe for no heavier than they are, so I would think the roller would really work well.
     
  2. ramcat

    ramcat LawnSite Member
    Posts: 212

    That's funny you ask because the middle two pictures were done with a John Deere Z950A and the first and the last are pictures of a house we did with a Z925 efi with the MOD deck. Neither had a stripe roller. To me it seems that the stripe all depends on the condition of the grass and deck design, as long as you have your deck pitched correctly. I have never tried a machine with a stripe kit though.
     
  3. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,300

    I've posted several pics here on LS of stripes I did with my Z950 MOD. No stripe kit, just decent stripes. Not too long ago though, I made a rubber flap that mounts off the rear gauge wheel bolts. The rubber hangs down from tire to tire (overlaps the inside edge of the tires by a couple inches on each side). It makes the stripes mor epronounced and solid looking, though not as much as a Big League striper would. But......I only have about a half hour of time and $15 invested in it.Thumbs Up
     
  4. delphied

    delphied LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,067

    According to my Exmark manual, proper pitch is 1/4 low at the front of the deck. When you guys say proper pitch, can you be more specific?
     
  5. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,300

    Generally we mean proper pitch on the blades, not the deck, and usually that number is 1/4" as your manual says, but again, taken on the blade tips when the two outer blades are pointing straight front to back on a dead flat smoth surface. Also, it's best to set the pitch with your own weight or the weight of the normal operator on the seat. It does make a difference in pitch, sometimes by as much as an 1/8" or more.
     
  6. That is the best explanation I have read yet.
     
  7. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 711

    I have always aviated setting blade pitch with operator in the seat and all tires soft (lower air pressure) as possible.

    Some decks are not made to strip. others strip with a light contrast and don't last very long. The better decks for striping have the higher blade tip speed. It is all about cutting the blade of grass then pushing it over slightly as you move forward. This will give the same effect of a striping roller. Like I said some decks just don't have the design to do this naturally. These decks are designed to primarily move grass out of the deck. And not worry about any downward air pressure.

    To the guys out there that have a wonderful mower but leaves a poor or limited strip, yes blade pitch and set up will help. Also you would try different ground speeds (basically slow down) and you might see a better strip. And some decks will strip better if you speed up. Also one can slightly changer the rpms and gain a better strip. The air turbulence under the deck is very fickle and when you run at full rpms and with the least amount of turbulence the better natural strip will accrue. This is all achieved in the decks original wind tunnel testing.
     
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    It can be similar to a roller but since a roller is almost pushing the grass to the ground, as opposed to pushing it over slightly, the effect is more pronounced.
     
  9. zo6

    zo6 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 417

    stripe kits are a waste!!!! Just buy a bobcat and be done with it...
     
  10. zo6

    zo6 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 417

    looks way better than if it had a stripe kit, stripe kits make it look fake, only thing i could say is make your stripes the same width, the darker ones are narrower, which means your cheating yourself a few inches in the one direction, very nice work though..
     

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