Deck suction question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ple_1969, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. ple_1969

    ple_1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    Question for the pros. I’m a homeowner who has a 2004 48” Turf Tracer HP that seems to have a suction/vacuum problem. Each time I mow I alternate my pattern. However over the past 3 weeks I’ve been noticing that the mowers suction is not standing up the grass made from the previous mowings wheel marks. Therefore, its not being cut. If you take a rake and stand the grass up you’ll see that it’s 1” – 2” longer then the rest of the lawn. I’m mowing at 3” the grass is mostly fescue and I only mow when its dry. I made sure the engine RPMs are correct, I switched to a soild foil blade, and the deck pitch is correct. I’m baffled by this. Is there a special blade that can correct this?

    Has anyone else ever come across this problem? Any thoughts to why this is happening? Any suggestions or comments would be helpful.

  2. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,180

    It is hard to imagine the grass being 1 or 2 inches longer since the deck cuts before the drive wheels run across it.
    But running doubles will lift the grass better and using a fertilizer with lower N and higher P&K will give a stonger or sturdier blade so it stands or resists laying down better. Fertilize lighter more frequently to prevend lush growth. Try gaters or a low lift blade on top.
  3. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    have you cleaned the deck of grass build up? that'll kill the suction worse than teeth ;)
  4. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,667

    Dishboy and DSB have hit the nail on the head. Definitely make sure your deck is clean. You will notice a dramatic decrease in performance if it is caked with grass.

    Run doubles. I use a hi-lift on bottom (which came with my mower) and a set of gators on top. It sounds like a helicoptor and there is no shortage of suction. This should cure your problem. Also, the fert recommendation is key. WIth all the rain we've had and hi N levels, your grass blades will be quite flimsy. I've switched my applications to a low N hi P&K and it has made a dramatic difference. Give it a shot and post the results.
  5. ple_1969

    ple_1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204

    Thanks for the responses. OK to answer some questions, yes the deck is clean. The reason that the grass is 1 or 2 inches longer is simple. Since the suction does not pull the grass into the deck it grows flattened. It will stay growing that way until you stand it up with a rake. This has been going on for about 3-4 week now.

    I'll be more careful in the amount of nitrogen I apply and I'll try the gator blade above the highlift.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  6. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    ple_1969--there are two things to mention that haven't been said before.

    one--with the narrow deck overhang in that unit and the width of those tires, it is easy to run in the same tracks that you made on the previous pass. and you don't want to do that.

    two--alternate your pattern weekly. very important. good luck.

  7. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    oops he said suction!
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    We're also getting to the point of the year where the grass is getting lazy. Although we have had some rain it hasn't been like last year. As the soil dries out and the temps get higher you will see some grass that just won't stand up and be cut especially where you make turns with the mower.

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