Exmark mower cutting issues

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by premierlawncaremi, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. premierlawncaremi

    premierlawncaremi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    I have an eXmark 60" with Ultra Cut deck and an Ultra Vac system. I have been dealing with a "brown strip" issue all summer and I've done EVERYTHING possible to try and fix it and nothing seems to help. Here is a list of all the things I've tried:
    - Adjusted scalping wheels and didn't change anything.
    - Checked to make sure deck was not bent.
    - Check tire pressure and actually swapped both tires to see if that was an issue.
    - Both front tire bearings have been replaced, no slop at all.
    - Checked spindles and swapped two spindles to see if that would help and did not.
    - Iv'e leveled the deck probably 8 times. Both blade tips measure exactly the same height on both sides.

    I have a feeling it is getting "too much suction" if that is even possible thus cutting the outside stripe shorter because the grass is standing up higher? Is it something with my Ultra Vac? It still seems to do it when the bagger is off but not near as bad, if at all. The weird thing is if you get down and actually look at the grass closely it doesn't appear to be cut shorter in the spot where the strip is. Any ideas?? This one might take a pro!
    In the pictures look for a brown line on the left side of the pass (right side of deck)


  2. Exmark PR

    Exmark PR Sponsor
    Messages: 238

    We believe what you are seeing is thatch that's being drawn up to the top of the turf. A lower lift blade (such as the Extreme2) would resolve the issue.
  3. premierlawncaremi

    premierlawncaremi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    That is pretty interesting because i havent thought of that, you may be right but I have been using these blades for two years now and haven't had a problem so why now would they start doing this? I use Oregon high lift blades
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  4. Sharpcut 1

    Sharpcut 1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    Did you change rear tires lately?? Strip seems to be at inside edge of rear tire.
  5. premierlawncaremi

    premierlawncaremi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    No the tires haven't been changed for several years. I switched the two back tires to see if that would change anything and it didn't.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Nah, it's just an Exmark, that's how it cuts.
  7. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    I see your from MI also. We have had so much thatch build up this year its been insane. Start looking at the surrounding lawns and you will notice brown thatch everywhere. I have not had a week where I cut off less than 3 inches of growth on every lawn I mow. Some lawns its been closer to 5 inches.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. piston slapper

    piston slapper LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,337

    You guys sure are picky...
    One of the crews mowed my front yard this week...
    He busted a #50 masterlink on the deck ...and made a few laps before figgering it out..
    The grass is still growing 8 inches a week...itll look good then...


  9. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,807

    Seeing that the brown strip is only at the discharge side, I doubt it has anything to do with the blades really. I am guessing it has much more to do with your blower for your bagger. I have an old JD garden tractor that I use for certain applications, some of which are bagging up thatch raked up in springtime. The blower head rubs the grass surface on that side and leaves a similar mark to the stripes (which that old tractor does remarkably well, and I've posted the pics to prove it).
    I run a JD with a MOD deck for my main mower though, and when the chute is blocked off, I get a similar line. I know what causes it though- it is from all that air hitting the chute blocker and having nowhere to go but down, it actually blows a depression into the grass along the right side of my stripe.

    Since you are running a blower for your bagger, maybe you are experiencing something similar with either the unit dragging the grass surface, or the airflow being more than the blower head can take at one time. If that's true, then maybe switching to a medium lift blade will help.

    Good luck.
  10. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    Put more air in both tires on the blower side, the weight of the blower might be
    squishing the tires down more on 1 side, also causing the blower to be lower on that side. Old tires need more air when bagging.

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