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Blowout with John Deere Tractor ("The Edge" 62") deck?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Steve1, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. Steve1

    Steve1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    I've got a Deere 485 tractor that has a new 62" "Edge" deck. It blows clippings out the front nearly as much as what comes out the chute. They blow up all over the deck, onto the operator's platform, all over my feet and legs and clog the outside/first pass radiator screens within a couple of hours.

    The deck is level with a slight tip down in the front (about 1/8"). It is new this season and has not gotten any better with drier grass - in fact, it has gotten worse in the drier grass. I clean the underside religiously (every second mowing) and in spite of that, the buildup under the deck is horrible from week to week. The clippings that blow out and up onto the top of the deck are an inch thick or more by the end of mowing just one time (about 2+ acres). They fill up the area beneath the pulley shrouds and I have to remove the shrouds after each mowing to clean under them - they're so thick that compressed air will not blow them out!

    What is wrong, here? Is this an inherent problem with the 'tractor style' mower decks? I had a JD 777 Z-Trac and it did not do this (wishing now I had it back). I would like to enjoy the benefits of a tractor (more utility around the site) but not for this hassle.

    I talked with my dealer and he suggested Predator blades (Gator). So, I'm installing them this evening but honestly, I do not think it will help and with even smaller clippings, it will probably make matters worse.

    Arghhhh!!! Help? Or, should I just trade out of this unit?
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Boy, I don't know. It's possible that it is a vacuum issue (too much), so perhaps gators will lessen the effect. You mentioned that the deck is a bit lower in the front - 1/8", but what about the blade tips themselves. Check those and let us know what you get.
  3. Steve1

    Steve1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    I should have been clearer about the 'lower in front' part. I measured the blade tips at the front and at the rear position and there was around an eighth of an inch difference with the front tip being the lower of the two positions.

    I changed the blades (and cleaned the underside - again) but didn't get to mow yet. I'll check it out tomorrow hopefully. However, it's been so dry around here the grass is not growing much at all. :(
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yazoo, Husqvarna and eXmark do the same thing.

    Big mess all above the deck and you look like you have been brush cutting after mowing.

    I'm thinking those predator blades are like the Stens Raptor blades. They have larger squared teeth directing to the inside? Where as gators have pointy teeth.

    If so, then those blades should help to some degree.
  5. Steve1

    Steve1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    Yes, that is what the 'teeth' look like. They are squared off and pretty hefty.

    I'm anxious to see if that helps move the debris from beneath the deck. I'll post back here when I find out.

    Thanks for the replies.
  6. Meg-Mo

    Meg-Mo Inactive
    Messages: 1,020

    The MEG MO blades will make the cleaning of the deck a thing of the pass.
  7. tarp5350

    tarp5350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    steve 1 what did you not like about the 777 that you got rid of? i am thinking about buying one and i am looking at a kubota zd25.
  8. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    Try the John Deere medium lift blades or the low lift blades. I think your problem is too much lift, gators or predator blades might help too.
  9. Cravens

    Cravens LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I just purchased a model John Deere Z465 with a edge 62' deck.
    It had a grass blow out problem also, what's with JD ?
    My 2004 Hustler Fast Trac does not have that problem, must be a
    design problem.
    I corrected this by installing a piece of flexible rubber on the front of the deck, keeping it 1" above the ground. Care must be taken so the rubber
    piece is not to long to interfere with the blades, I hope this helps some one
    with this problem.
  10. ramcat

    ramcat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 212

    We had a few of the Edge decks in the past and had the same problems and then some. If you hit something substantial the spindle pockets bend fairly easily and then you have a deck that cuts very poorly. There is a "blowout kit" for the edge deck to prevent the problem you are having but in my opinion the only way to fix the problem is to get the 7-iron deck or the High Capacity Edge deck which shares the same geometry as the 7-iron decks. The Edge deck is very similar to the decks you find on simplicity tractors which leads me to believe the engineer that designed simplicity's decks became a John Deere engineer. The Edge deck is John Deere's residential cutting option and there are many reasons why, blade tip speed is lower, much less vacuum, more buildup, poor grass discharge, thinner steel, etc.. The problem, which sounds similar to our complaints, is due to the geometry and mechanics of the deck as a whole and with that being said there is not much you can do about it. The High Capacity deck and 7-iron decks are not compatible with your X485 so you'd be looking at a new machine.

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