Fall Blade Setup????

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BeautifulBlooms, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    I have some questions about fall blade setup. This is the first fall season for me in the lawn mowing side of things. I have an old set of gator blades given to me from another lawn operator. I do not have a mulch kit, but have considered it. How do I determine if using gator blades is too much for my mower? I have a ferris 1500 w/ 52" deck and 25hp kawasaki. Can I run gator blades and mulch kit or is that too much on my mower deck? Also does anyone run a mulch kit for the entire season to chop up the grass clippings more? I have been running with the side discharge open to disperse the clippings as much as possible. I typically spend about 5-10 minutes per place just spreading clumps of grass out ( more time spring adn wet weather, less time in summer). If the clippings are laying there I typically dont touch them, but if they are in clumps I will spread them out. I never double cut, I just simply spend more time spreading the clumps.

    Anyone have some advice for me on the typical blade setup???? for fall, and full season work. I am just not sure if buying the mulch kit is necessary, and i definitely do not want to buy the bagging system.
  2. captken

    captken LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,704

    I have ran Gator Blades on my Hustler Z for 4 years. They work great on dry leaves. I definitely have a bagging system, however, I run over the leaves to mulch them up before I bag them, reduced the volume of leaves by a factor of 4 or better.

    I am going to try mega-mow??spelling is probably wrong, on my ExMark this Fall, in addition to the Gator Blades on the Hustler Z.

    Horsepower is comparable on the Hustler Z and your mower/deck size.
  3. Leaf Jockey

    Leaf Jockey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    On one of our 72" Huskys I'm running double Gators and a hand controlled block off plate on the discharge. Blow the leaves into windrows, close the discharge and run over the windrows, no more leaves. The block off plate is nice for keeping clippings out of beds too.
    I made ours but I see there are a few companies offering them.

  4. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Hi BB from 1.5 hours north of you. You have many interesting questions here and I will give you my take from 12 years of playing this game commercially with similar conditions to you.
    I have a Toro WB and a Toro 62" Z as well as a Walker 26efi wGHS. Fall is a transition season and we still havent hit that time yet. The grass is growing quite well and has lots of moisture. A mulching kit or mulching (gator) blades are not a good idea now. In fact I own mulching kits (came with it when I bought) but only use them in the later fall when the moisture isn't an issue.
    I only use the mulch kit for leaf control and nothing more. The rest of the cutting season I use hi lift type blades which do a good job most of the time.
    I don't really know what you mean by "can the deck handle the blades" but I will say that you have plenty of HP for one set of gators. I am not familiar with your machine but I would not advocate using the double blade set up unless your mower has a manual clutch. Some may argue with me here but I blew 2 electric clutches in a season using doubles. The cut was awesome but the PITA of replacing clutches wasn't worth it. That was on a Toro WB 44" deck.
    There is no way I would consider a mulch kit for the entire season. I do get some days where I have extra clippings. I set the deck to top position and quickly run back over the thick spots. If things are really bad I will quickly use the BP blower and run thru the lawn. Most times I just cut higher until the growth slows. My home lawn was cut at 4.5" most of the season.
    My advice for your fall set up is a blocker (commercially available or fab your own) and some type of shredder blade (gator, meg mow) It gives you the versatility of being able to grind leaves whne needed but also to discharge if things get very thick without bogging. It also helps you to cut lawns that may not have many leaves to deal with. The rest of the year I would use a regular or a hi lift ( try both) and see what creates the best dispersion for you. Each deck is a little different in design and experimenting is key. Its still growing here so you still have a few weeks to get your stuff. Take care.
  5. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,572

    I run Meg-mos in the Fall.......they turn leaves to dust.......52" Stander with 23HP kawi....
  6. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    Did you have to have any special holes drilled for your mower? I saw some feedback on the megmo website where some guy had to have some special drilling done. Just wondering, thinking about having them put on my 36" wb.
  7. causalitist

    causalitist LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 610

    i live in kenosha, so we deal w/similar grass conditions. gators arent hard on a mower, so dont worry about that. for me it seems like when the grass is long and thick regular high lifts are better, and as far as clumps go, gators dont help at all, they almost seem to make it worse in thick wet grass. for the clumps what matters most is somehow getting the grass evenly dispersed on the lawn.. this may mean mowing 2-3times or going over it with a blower. the more grass your cutting at a time (speed/cut width), the more it clumps.

    i usually go over it once fast, then again either really slow, or using half the cut width. when you go over it the second time youll really notice if you go fast youll just be moving the clumps around, and if u go really slow they will disperse better.

    with a helper it usually faster to have them blow off the lawn as you go .... if its a huge lawn ... sorry for your loss lol

    mulch kits will never work with the grasses we mow in the months where there is alot of growth .. and the months where there is not, well, who cares since clumps and clippings arent a problem then anyway.

    i use gators in the fall for leaves as soon as they start falling ... but honestly i dont notice much of a difference.
  8. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,572

    I did not have to do any drilling....
  9. Down2EarthLawns

    Down2EarthLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    I run my mulching kits year round down here. I put the gators on in fall/winter. You have plenty of power for a mulching system with gators, if you choose to try it.

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