Doubles on Fastrack?

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by sjz60, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. sjz60

    sjz60 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 43

    I have a 'new' Fastrack, 52/20, with about 35 hours on it. I still have the stock blades on it, and was planning on going to the gatorblade that I bought through my dealer. However, I am also curious if it is possible to run doubles on the fastrack. I have a really thick 1.5 acre lawn, and the stock blades left a lot of long clippings on the lawn, which get stuck all over your feet when its a bit wet outside, and it doesnt look to clean upon cutting.

    Any experience/advice? I am figuring that the gators will do the job, but doubles may be even better for what I am after (neighborhood competition, ya know?). I just want to be ready when spring hits.


  2. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Messages: 9,770

    I would try the Gators before you run the doubles.
    The reason for this is you only have 20hp, in tall heavy grass you may bog down with doubles, keep them super sharp and you wont have as much of a problem.
    You can run doubles on the spindle on the FasTrak, it is a commercial spindle.

  3. sjz60

    sjz60 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 43

    Ok, I purchased Gators through my dealer and installed them. I noticed that they did not seem super sharp, but I put them on anyway. I would say they generally are better than the stock blades on my lawn..clippings are noticably shorter after cutting. I still have noticed quite a bit of clippings laying on top..i actually wound up double cutting the last couple times to get rid of most of them. My lawn is booming right now, very thick fescue..I figure I should try (1) either sharpening or getting another set of gators AND (2) trying double blades. I am figuring on running the stock blade on the bottom and the gator on the top..anyone have any experience there?? If this doesnt work to my satisfaction, I am going to have to get a catcher, but I figure I will try this first, I really dont want to have to deal with grass clippings. Would doubles and the mulch kit help me? Dealer has seen my lawn and told me to steer clear of the mulch kit.

    I have the # for the gator blade..what is the hustler p/n for the stock blade? I have the 20/52 model.

    Also, I must say that even though I hate having to go over my lawn 2x to clean it looks GREAT when its done!! $$ spent on the Fastrack was money well spent.
  4. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Bag It In The spring And Run It Off The Rest Of the Time. See If You Can Get a set Of RAPTERS They are Made By steins. They work Very Well.
  5. Brieldo

    Brieldo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 192

    MOst of the time when you get a brand new blade, it isnt that sharp. I always sharpen even my brand new blades to get htem ready to go for mowing.
  6. sjz60

    sjz60 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 43

    Well I guess I will answer my own question, and offer some advice to anyone that runs into this..I was not thrilled with the performance of my fastrack this spring. I had installed gatorblades over the winter, and with all the rain and fast growth here this spring, I found that the gators were (1) leaving a lot of clippings on top of the lawn, forcing me to double cut and (2) I had excessive buildup of clippings under my deck, scraped about 20lbs out of there after about 10 cuts (1.5 acre/cut).

    I installed double blades. Went with a sharpened (stock) medium lift blade on top, with a new high lift on bottom. I just cut tonite after 4 days (my usual). Performance was EXCELLENT! No need to double cut, there was one area or two that I went back over with the deck pulled up, and it cleaned up really nice. The clippings I see on my driveway appear much shorter and shreded up more than with either stock singles or gators. Discharge FLIES out the shoot, I would say it was going approx. 12-16' and virtually disappearing into the lawn. Striping was enhanced.

    I convinced myself that until the growth rate of my lawn slows down, I will be using this combo (or maybe going with double high lifts, or high lift on bottom/gator on top). After researching the gator blade thing a bit more, I think they probably work better in drier conditions, or in the fall for cool season grasses. Thanks to PJ, and Switchless among others for tips via email and previous posts.

    Best bet would be to lengthen the bolts holding the blades on a bit. Also keep in mind that the actual cut length will not match the deck settings when you do this. Using the two hustler blades, I measured 3.25" with the deck set to cut at 4". Also have to use more care when engaging blades. I did not notice any loss in power, even when cutting full speed.

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