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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by scagman52, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. scagman52

    scagman52 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 402

    Hello All...I have learned a lot on this site and I'm sure I will learn much more. I am having a problem with my blades wearing out to fast. I cut Bahia & Floratam on the west coast of Florida. Out of 50 customers that I have, 10 have very sandy properties. I have a Scag Tiger Cub 48" with the Hurricane Mulching kit installed. I love the finish cut and have no problems with cloging(almost). I just can't seem to get a set of blades to last more than a month or so. I read in a past post that they us medium or low lift blades in sandy conditions. I use high lift Gator and Scag Mulching blades noe. I am including a few picks of the blades. The first is the Gator blade. Is there a special blade to use in those conditions or do you guys just change blades more often? I hope someone can help! Thanks..
  2. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,398

    I have found that the Gator blades wear out faster than the regular blades. I think that they use softer steel in the gator blades because of the extra cutting and bending that they have to do.

    Also, if you are happy with the cut and if you are cutting all your properties with one set of blades, my thoughts are that spending that extra few dollars each month is worth it.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    He is right they will not last as long as highlifts i buy em local pm if interested.
  4. scagman52

    scagman52 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 402

    I also want to know if you think these two blades are ready for the junk pile.
    Mow Pro..I can buy the Scag blade from my dealer but at a cost of $22.00 each and it gets expensive. I have used a Sten blade which is a mulcher but not high lift. It works ok but leaves small piles of clippings when I go to turn and start the next row.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    I run stens high lifts they are running sales this time of the year sent a order out last week.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No offense, but aside dealer recommendations, those blades are nowhere near worn.

    I usually run mine up to the beginning side (where blue arrows point) of the yellow line:
    (the yellow line being thick, to err on the side of caution).
    (the second pic is some of mine that are about 2/3'rds-3/4'ths or so worn)

    p.s.: Once they get to a point, do NOT run them on a new (high rpm) machine to prevent fly-apart, but they're perfect for bush hogging stuff.


  7. Rhinox29

    Rhinox29 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    I have several commercial areas that have sandy conditions. I use low lift blades for these. I have them scheduled on the same day so I swap out my high lifts to my lows the night before. I have 2 sets of highs and lows that I rotate when changing. sharpen once a week.
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Some blade stuff I learned:

    Fly apart is exactly that: It's what happens when a blade flies to pieces.
    This is extremely dangerous, as a piece of steel breaks off at high rpm.

    The crucial element that affects fly-apart is the thickness of the steel, meaning the blade is only as strong as the THINNEST point from front to back of blade (in addition, it is generally a wise idea to lower rpm's when approaching solid obstacles such as culverts, rocks, water meter covers, etc).
    That point would usually be found on the machined 'cuts...'
    Where the blue lines are, the yellow line is where I would consider it critically thin (roughly speaking, I just hand drew this).
    (in the case of gatorblades, the little wings can come off too, the blue / yellow circle is where I would consider a piece of metal to be near critical... dunno why it looks like that, but that flap looks to be getting awful thin on holding power)

  9. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    when I had my biz in FLA, my gator blades woudl wear out at the lift ends long before the blade was worn down. I hated my bahia lawns. The storgage yards I maintained were all bahia....They were always cut the day before new blades...or I cut them wet...justto keep the sand down.

    I toss that gator blade....not worth risking any damage....even with a mulch kit, you may get some flying debris.
  10. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    You have already gotten all the blade advice you'll need ....but by dear god find another purchase place ...$22 per blade is criminal

    I buy in bulk .....too get the free shipping ..... pay from $9-13 depending on hi lift or gator's ....all between from Walker, DC or Exmark mowers which I run

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