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Fastrak Leaf Mulching Experience


LawnSite Member
Middlefield, CT
I did get the correct mulch kit on the second try from the dealer...seems as though there is one for the old deck design and one for the new. Anything built in '05 needs the new one. I'm glad I checked this out back in the summer because otherwise I'd have been overwhelmed with leaves!

Installation of the kit seemingly was going smoothly as I drilled three larger holes in the 52" deck at the provided smaller pilot holes. Attached two baffles, but found the center baffle was extremely difficult to attach. The hole to attach the center baffle was located inside of a boxed in area at the top of the deck that is used to support the deck lift mechanism. Nearly impossible to hold the baffle in place from under the deck and at the same time attempt to place the washer and nut on from the top of the deck. Even with the deck at the lowest position one can't get their hand in to thread the nut on.

After getting it to thread on I lifted the deck to look at it and the baffle had shifted and was not in it's correct position. After three tries I did get it so I guess it is possible to do, just not quite as easy as I had hoped. However then as I was attempting to fit a socket and ratchet over to tighten I guess I had overtightened and the threaded bolt sheared off quite easily. There were no torque specifications provided and even if there were there is not room to fit a torque wrench there anyway. Yes, I am a residential user, but did not consider this a task I would not handle.

The mulch blades installed nicely.

Looking at the accumulating mountain of leaves to mulch I tried to mulch without the center baffle in place. It seems to do quite a good job, but I can't help but wonder would it work better with that third baffle in place?
Should I try to obtain another center baffle without having to get the entire mulch kit? The difficulty factor in attaching that baffle makes me want to just keep on using the two.

Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated. :help: Thanks in advance.


LawnSite Member
That middle baffle is a bear to install. I discovered that removing the bottom chain bolt at the front allows the deck to drop just enough to get your hand in there to start the washer/nut and then tighten with an extension socket. Then just jack the deck back up a little and re-attach the chain bolt.

I haven't touched a rake since it got my mulch kit last year. But I highly recommend wearing a dust mask when mulching leaves. Also, clean your pre-filter and tap the dust out of the air cleaner after each mulching job.


LawnSite Member
trucke said:
I highly recommend wearing a dust mask when mulching leaves.

With the deck set up at the 4" level, there will be plenty of vacuum to lift the whole leaves and large pieces into the blades, but not suck up as much dust, dirt, and small choppings!

I learned this trick this season as I had reseeded my lawn, but due to the drought, less than half the seed had germinated. A thick layer of leaves threatened to smother the new grass, but I didn't want to suck up and blow away the remaining seed and bare loose soil! So I set my non-mulch deck at 4", open chute, and 2/3 throttle. The deck lifted and chopped the leaves into a fine mulch that covered the undisturbed seed and bare earth, while uncovering the new seedlings! When we finally got some rain, those same fine choppings helped stop erosion, promoted germination of the remaining seed, and held moisture for the young seedlings. As a bonus I completed the job nearly dust free!!