Dethatch rig - please advise

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,266


    Looking to pick up a little dethatch work this spring. I would like to purch. a 48" JRCO spring tine setup with the quick attach bar on my Toro Z400.
    My question is this: right now I do not have a bagger for the Toro, but rather a Grass Gobbler side catcher. Will I be able to do dethatching work reasonably efficient with this type of set up? Or, will I be dumping the catcher so often that my efficiency is out the window? Do I truly need a bagging unit?

    I want to know what I am getting myself into. If I am filling catchers every round on a lawn, and dumping dozens of, I'm not going there.
    Thus the reason for asking.

  2. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    In short yes you will need a high volume bagger. I like trac vacs (others don't), petros are made in mn and could save on shipping, and in your case toros bagger is an option. Anyone will be a investment of 2 to 3k. You can easily get this back in spring/fall clean ups if you market it right.

    On a typical suburban lawn (picture a newer house) I can pull 6 44 gal garabage cans (I use a 655 trac vac that has cans). This is a thick irrigated lawn mowed at least weekly by the owner. On a thin yard that gets mowed every other natural watering I might get a half can.

    It all depends on the yard on how much thatch you pull. Also if this is the first time in awhile for the lawns then you will pull out more. I dethatch the lawns with my spring clean ups every year. Just part of the service to get the snow matted debris/grass up.
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  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,266

    So, you use a JRCO?

    What if you don't set the tines so aggressive, more of a 'fluff' mode.
    I didn't think JRCO's were meant to dethatch anyway, more to clean up and 'fluff'.
  4. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    I own a 48 and 60 jrco. I set it up like this. Have the mower and thatcher on concrete floor. Put a half in plywood between the tines and floor and set the dethacher to that level. In theory it shouldn't hit the ground but it does due to bumps and uneven surface of the lawns. The 6 cans is on the high side of average but 3 to 4 is pretty usual. Personally I don't know how I could run a lawn service without a true bagging system. It is necessary, don't know anyone in the area that does not have one.
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  5. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,266

    Thanks for the advice on how to set the jrco tine height. Now, if I decide to get one....

    I have run 4 years without a bagger. I don't do many cleanups at all, nor do I really want to get into that. Too labor intensive and falls at the time when my landscape projects roll in and I would much rather be working on that. I generally just mulch fall leaves and if they are overly thick, will mulch then take another pass to bag with the Grass Gobbler.
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,266

    BUMP - looking for more opinions on running a JRCO on a Toro Z with a Grass Gobbler.
  7. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I'm not too familiar with grass gobbler, are you able to put extensions on it like the accelerators?

    I use a 46" JRCO and have been using it for the past several years. I, however, use it with the large bagging systems from the manufacturer. Right now, I've got the 14-bushel bagger from Deere. For a typical 5000-8000 sq. ft. neighborhood lawn, I will usually have to empty one or two times. Of course some of those lawns I end up taking off much more and have to empty 5 times or more. But typically I empty 1 or 2 times on those accounts.

    For me, I wouldn't want to use a side bagger all the time to do dethatching, but that's probably because I have been "spoiled" using a large collection system for years. I would image that you'll have to empty 5-6 times each account (assuming 5000-8000 sq ft or so).

    Dethatching is a very profitable service, I'd go for it and get the JRCO. Mine paid for itself in half a day.
  8. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,266

    Thats great info brad, thanks.
  9. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,844

    The Mibar dethatch rake is much better built than the JRCO.
  10. naughty62

    naughty62 LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 369

    WE mount a 48 inch tine rake to the front of Z. IT has a electric lift cylinder robbed off a front mount snow blower.(5ft tractor blower).The cylinder that raises the shoot deflector up and down .Two way electric ,spring loaded toggle and inline fuse .The z has a quick tach ,belt driven ,factory blower/collection systemwithrear mount factory bags .Notes front cylinder mount on center beam should be slotted and adjustable .leave a little play in the whole lift system.2 you might need a dump truck and helper or two .

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