are gator blades all they're cracked up to be?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jdmcat, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. jdmcat

    jdmcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 439

    i keep reading about gator blades. do they really cut the clippings so fine you cant see them? what about a few days later when they dry up and turn brown? just curious because nobody mulches around here. at least no lawn service does.
  2. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    I used to run gators and high lifts on my 48" w/b. they worked great unless it was wet out, then they would leave clumps everywhere. they did help out with clean-ups, chopped the leaves up pretty efficiently but we still bagged them after that. just made less leaves in the truck.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    You'll likely want to experiment for yourself, it varies from one machine to the next, and also from one Lco to another.

    I myself use high lifts exclusively, but it fits my style, others use all gators, some might blend a mix, all depends.

    You might buy a set, when you have 30-40 extra dollars, try them on see what you think, be ready to switch back or stick with them, whichever you think is better.
  4. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    couldn't be said better.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    I have cool weather grasses to mow, with heavy growth during April, May, and June (hopefully). I never use my Gator blades for grass any more, only leaves. Gator blades make mush of the clippings during those challenging times. The result is clumps, bad rows, etc. I would much rather have long clippings evenly distributed, than to have short clippings in clumps or rows.

    Also, the standard Gator blades I have do not have enough discharge force to put grass into a bagger. I bought another set at a later time, high-lift Gator, and they were better. At that time, I was doing some bagging, mostly discharging. I didn't want to make numerous blade changes, depending upon the property. That alone was enough to set the Gator blades aside for grass work.

    At one time, I tried double blades on my w/b, high lift on the bottom, Gator on top. It worked, but I found no advantage. The discharge force was greater, but all I want is even distribution of clippings, not discharging clippings further from the mower.

    For Fall leaf work, I found Gator blades to work well for initial breakdown of leaves. They do better than high-lift blades, and I don't need much discharge force.

    As said above, there are too many factors to make blanket statements. The kind of mower, the kind of turf, the weather conditions, the rate of growth and kind of growth (e.g. sappy), and the expected quality of cut -- all are important.

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