Best in the wet?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by GreenGrassman, May 23, 2013.

  1. GreenGrassman

    GreenGrassman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Hi I am looking to purchase a zero Turn mower. I do a lot of residential combined with many commercial the Pacific NorthWest where we get huge amounts of rain, mulching is not an option because it makes a mess. What is my best option? I have been looking at a Walker MC 20 with a 36 inch deck thinking on my residential I will be able to get it through more gates? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
  2. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    Whew! You'd be bagging a lot of wet grass! Or were you just going to leave the back open and let it disperse the clippings?

    What are you using now? Are you bagging it? Do other LCO's in Vancouver bag grass?

    Personally if I were in those conditions I'd get a heck of a good side discharge with an operator controlled discharge chute and a really big backpack blower to clean up afterwards.

    From my experience customers don't want to pay enough for me to have to deal with disposing of clippings They're the folks who want to let it get too tall before they have it mowed.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Most mowers handle wet clippings about the same, and that is not very well. The best thing you can do is to minimize the buildup of clippings inside of the deck.

    1: Cut at the lowest RPM that you can get away with. This works very well for me and always has on a multitude of different mowers from a Dixie Chopper with a 60" deck down to 36" walkbehinds of various manufacturers. The reason this helps is it doesn't force the clippings to slam into the sides of the deck at high speed. Most mowers have blade tip speeds at close to 200 MPH. My Dixie has a BTS of over 220 MPH when wound up to the factory RPM limit of 3750. When I lower the RPM the BTS can get down to around 150-160 MPH and the grass tends not to stick as much.

    2: Keep the deck as clean as possible and remove anything that grass may stick to if possible. Bolt heads, flanges and other protrusions are just places for grass to get hung up on. Once a little grass hangs to something. it's just like a magnet. It attracts other grass and before you know it, the deck is clogged up with clippings.

    3: Use a chemical deck coating. Whether it's Pam, silicon spray or one of the commercially available anti-stick sprays, use them liberally.

    4: Use low lift blades. This is the same principal as lowering the RPM. Low lift blades don't throw the grass clippings to the side of the deck nearly as hard as high lift blades.
  4. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    see if you can demo a Scag with a velocity deck. Make sure you do the demo in conditions you'd expect to be mowing in often. I've cut in the rain several times (due to my work schedule, I dont usually have a choice) and as long as that grass isn't super tall, it's usually fine with minimal clumping. I'd rather not have to mow in the rain, but the Scag does fine. Also, in the mornings here in PA, it's very wet until the sun dries up all the dew. The Velocity deck handles that perfectly with no clumping on my weekly accounts. I think the reason why is because the Velocity deck has a pretty large discharge chute and it's just an all around great design. Def use a low lift blade like the other guy said and be sure to scrap the deck as often as needed.
  5. GreenGrassman

    GreenGrassman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Most companies in our area do bag for the most part except for a few weeks in the summer. Unless you have I city contract they want you to bag but nobody does. Currently we are using honda 21commercial mowers for residential. For commercial we use your basic tractor with under mounted deck with side discharge. It is very frustrating when you are always cutting in wet conditions it increases your labour costs and slows down productivity.
  6. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    Good info to know Richard, thanks.

    To the OP, definitely take a look at Scag. They are know to have some of the best decks for damp/wet conditions. We run 3 of them and it takes some pretty severe conditions to get them to clump.
  7. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    I have owned, used, or demoed most major manufacturers. The best in wet conditions are Scag, JD, and Gravely. These decks cut very well in all conditions.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. GreenGrassman

    GreenGrassman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I will thank you!
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,745

    i cut with my john deere a few weeks ago on some yards that had standing water on half the yard. when i was done there were no clippings left on the lawn and the deck was perfectly clean underneath. i was using G6 blades. the john deere will cut as good in the wet conditions as it will in dry conditions.
  10. GreenGrassman

    GreenGrassman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Thanks everyone for all the info, I will get some demo's from the manufacturers you mentioned.

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