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Which ZTR mulches best

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ljcoop, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. ljcoop

    ljcoop LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I'm getting a ZTR soon but to justify it I need one that mulches real well so I can get rid of one dumpster.
    I'm thinking about a Scag, how are they at mulching?
  2. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,517

    Well first I think ya need to look at whats close in terms of dealer support. Second I would have to say a Dixie Chopper with Double gator blades will be hard to beat.
  3. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    OK, The Toro Turbo Force Deck, 28hp EFI model with their mulch kit is fantastic! I had the Z588E model, with kit, loved it!

    Unlike many mulch kits, the Toro one has deflectors built in, in other words you don't get clumping.

    only negative thing is to install it takes time, not something you want to do daily!

    Don't even think about comparing the Hustler with mulch kit against the Toro, I did....worlds of difference!
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I don't think the previous responder has the same understanding of mulching that you may be thinking of.

    I mulch the warm season (bermuda and zoysia) grasses here where bagging is usually expected on nicer lawns. I mulch some tall fescue also, but discharging gives a decent look on it too. Your results will depend on what you're mowing and the conditions. Dry low humidity conditions give better results. Forget it on a humid morning with dew dripping on tall grass.

    I have only mulched with two brands, Toro and Exmark. The Exmark Lazer HP's I have had mulch quite well and I haven't bagged grass or leaves since I got my first one in 1998 and switched to mulching in '99. It may require a 2nd pass now and then on heavy grass and leaves, but even then it is faster than bagging. I had an old Toro 37" that did not mulch too well. I have a 32" toro fixed deck (which is an Exmark deck) and it mulches ok but not quite as cleanly as the Lazer HP. My research into other brands I've considered has led me to believe that they either aren't used much for mulching where they're popular or aren't doing that great a job, since I don't hear nearly as many compliments on mulching from them. But that may just be a lack of feedback.

    Be sure to get as much power as possible if you plan on mulching a lot. I have 23hp on a Lazer 48" now and it does fine. I had an 18hp on a previous one and it was noticeably weaker in heavy stuff.

    Also be aware of limitations. You will not want to be mulching overly tall grass and wet grass w/o expecting to make one or two cleanup passes. I am going to buy a 2nd big mower to handle my weedy tall grass lawns and others where mulching isn't required. You can't mulch at 8mph.
  5. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    ?? Why do you say that?

    I understood the bloke asking about mulch kits that you install under the mower deck, i.e create a circular chamber around each blade so it recuts the clippings up very fine, often used instead of bagging clippings....

    nothing to do with my deere or side discharge, but converting the deck to be a dedicated mulcher....

    If I'm off base and that isn't what was asked, the same machine Toro Z588E with Turbo Force Deck which has the adjustable baffle is good as you can adjust the baffle to choke the deck to reduce clipping size, or open it so it is better in long grass....longer clippings.

    The turbo force deck is very versatile, and if you did want to fit the mulch kit for dedicated mulching then you can also.

    Sorry if I am missing the question....
  6. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    No one mentioned Gravely, so here it goes! My 44z mulches St. Augustine to the point where the clippings are next to a powder, can never see them. Have the mulching kit and altough it takes a long ass time to install, it performs above my expectations.
  7. docs

    docs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    dixie chopper with gator blades. outstanding cut!
  8. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    I can't believe you guys are even mentioning Dixie Chopper. I have owned them and unless something has changed recently they don't have mulching capabilities. I used double blades on them too. they cut nice, but they do not mulch.

    I have since switched to Hustler and they have a mulch kit that can be added. I put this on in the fall and I can keep cutting weekly one pass mulching and you would think the lawn was raked each week. I can not comment on how well the Hustler Mulches grass though. I only use it for leaves, but I can say that Dixie chopper can't even mulch leaves. I use to have to drive backward and go over leaves several times with OCDC closed to make them disappear.

    I did put a OCDC on the Hustlers first thing. I will give Dixie credit were credit is do, but don't be fooled into thinking a Dixie Chopper can mulch.
  9. wowlawncare

    wowlawncare LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 62

    Dixie Chopper has made proper deck mods that were MUCH needed. Talked to my local dealer and they are improving them more in 2006. I run double blades on my 05 extreme and when im in leaves they turn them into powder. You have to put down the slides on the front of the deck to reduce blowout of the front of the deck. But yes Dixies are getting better in thier cut. They allready have the body. I wish I could fashon a exmark deck on my dixie. Then it would be unstopable.
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    But do they sell a mulch kit for them? One that encloses each blade and disperses clipping downward?

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