Engaging Blades

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bob, May 14, 2000.

  1. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,261

    I always engage the blades (pto switch) at full throttle. Yet some friends say they engage at half throttle and then power up to full.
  2. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Guest
    Messages: 0

    That's a good question. i have always engaged by blades at full throttle, but wasn't sure if your supposed to lower the throttle. According to the owner's manual on my mower (an eXmark 32'), it says to engage the blade at half throttle, then switch it up to full throttle. So I'll probably start doing that. I'm sure there is a good reason why your supposed to do this.
  3. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I have had electric clutches on some JD's and I always engaged them at an idle and then powered up. I always idled them down before disingaging the clutch too, because it acts as a brake. When you engage a clutch at full throttle, it puts a lot of strain on everything, like dropping a clutch on a car or truck at full throttle. It's not necessary to do this. I realize some machines won't have enough power to do this, so speed up the engine enough to engage the clutch without killing it, just like you would a vehicle with a clutch. <p>My DC's have a hand clutch, which I engage at about 1500 RPM's and just gradually tighten it up till the blades are running. I've seen some guys engage DC's at full throttle and they go through a lot of belts. There isn't enough hours in the day to keep up with this fast growing northern grass right now to be changing belts.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>
  4. mcambrose

    mcambrose LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Eric is correct. You will wear out electric clutches much faster if you engage a full throttle.
  5. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    interesting point;<br>I always engaged the manual type at operating RPM, but my Bobcat has elec.PTO. I was always told to engage at higher rpm's. I have tried it at half throttle, but it stalls the motor every time. Maybe it's a heavier clutch, or designed for diff. rpm engagement, I don't know. Any thoughts?<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
  6. yardsmith

    yardsmith LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 628

    Correction-<br>I tried it yesterday & it worked fine. Thanks for the tip!<p>----------<br>Smitty ô¿ô<br>
  7. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    For what it's worth, Bolens tractors had electric clutches for their decks. When I was looking at one once the dealer told me that they recommended engaging at full throttle. Supposedly the drive belt would slip enough to take up the shock and let the clutch grab at full force. On our JD 318 and the Lazer we engage at part throttle and power up from there. Interesting how much longer double blades take to spool up from idle.

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