Cut Quality Puzzler

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by dfischer, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. dfischer

    dfischer LawnSite Member
    from Il
    Messages: 114

    Guys, I need to ask for HELP. I’m stumped, tried everything I can think of, and am coming to ya’ll hoping you will know the answer. Sorry for the long post, but I’m hoping to answer most questions up front. Not to mention I just hate Noob’s who won’t search first and didn’t want you to think I hadn’t tried…

    My problem is a crummy looking cut. It leaves lots of area’s that look hacked, uncut, and rough. Here’s where I’m at and what I’ve done so far:

    Deere Ztrak 757 with a 60” 7-iron deck. 56 hours on it.
    - Mulching with Deere mulch kit.
    - Spotless underneath, and deck painted with Ez-Slide graphite paint.
    - Using doubles in a plus, Gators and Deere Mulch blade. All are quite sharp, flawless, and on tight.
    - Spindles are not bent, turn freely and have no run-out or wobble.
    - All belts seem fine, but have a fresh coat of belt grip. Spring tensioners seem fine.
    - Engine seems fine, and I’ve used the kawi “two bolt move throttle assembly” trick for a few hundred extra RPM to be sure the deck is spinning fast speed.
    - The deck is perfectly adjusted left to right, and is 3/16” up in the back.
    - Air pressure in the tires is dead on.
    - I’m cutting a very healthy, thick lawn in Illinois, mostly Bluegrass and red Fescue.
    - I’m cutting grass weekly to 3.75, sometimes 4” cutting height.
    - The “Bad cut” area is not specific to behind front wheels or a spindle.

    And it all look like hell. And for grass in the kind of condition this stuff is in it just pisses me off. But:
    - My Honda push mower cuts it beautifully.
    - If I slow down to what I suppose is typical lawn tractor cutting speed it looks ok to good, and if I goto push mower speed maybe even real good.
    - A second pass generally cleans it up also.

    Any idea’s? I feel like I’ve thrown pretty much the kitchen sink at this.

    And if you’ve no ideas, tell me this:

    Do ya’ll really cut nearly full speed? If I cut above 70% speed my cut just goes to hell.

    Does anybody else cut this high? I kinda wonder if I’m loosing vacuum/lift. While I expected the dual hi-lift blades to create great lift, I kinda wonder if 5” of cutting height is letting too much air come in through the grass.

    Thanks for any suggestions,

  2. the angler

    the angler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    i would say first problem is its green ..and the second thing i thought is that maybe you are cutting to high and loosing your air flow even though you have high lift you could still loose alot of that out the sides of the deck.....

    also does the motor rev to full rpm;s ???? i would runn the blade where you could watch the belt if possible watch for slipping
  3. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,719

    I would say alot of your problem is speed. When you side discharge you can go fast because the grass is leaving the cutting chamber at a high rate of speed. When you mulch the grass does not get to leave the deck so the speed plays a larger role. The taller, thicker and wetter the grass the more you will have to slow down.
  4. JoeinJasper

    JoeinJasper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Try running only single stock mulching blades, the extra gator blades may be disturbing the air flow...Joe
  5. jkason

    jkason LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    On Z's and WB's, ground speed plays a factor.
    The faster you go = crappier cut. Always have the throttle on full speed and control your ground speed with the hand controls (hydro) or shifter (gear drive).

    50-60% of total ground speed is acceptable (usually) for a quality cut. Like the angler said, you may be losing too much air from "blow out" under the deck. Try cutting a little lower (2.75"-3" is usually the standard on these boards).

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