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Gator Blade Problem

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by csj1, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. csj1

    csj1 LawnSite Member
    from ID
    Messages: 16

    I have replaced the blades on my 20hp 52 inch deck hustler with Gator mulching blades and they do not seem to be working anywhere near as well as the stock blades. I did notice the thickness of the gators is a bit greater and the cutting edge is not as sharp as the stock blades. Do I need to sharpen new gators or is the added weight slowing down the blade speed too much? The Gators just seem to leave some grass clippings on the lawn where the stock blades never had this problem. Any hints would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, CJ
  2. roadking35

    roadking35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    csj1... I have a Hustler Z with a 60 deck and have used both gators, stock blades and also the mulch kit with gators...
    I believe that the gators work good if mulching but when discharging the stock blades worked better for me....
    Now.... the best results for me? Gators on top stock on the bottom (high lifts) in a X and look out....... Doubles are by far the best I've tried.
    hope this helped
  3. csj1

    csj1 LawnSite Member
    from ID
    Messages: 16

    Both the gators and the stock blades are being used with the mulch kit. Do you think a 20hp motor is enough to run double blades?

  4. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Yes, sharpen the blades. A lot of times new blades are not as sharp as they can be, I think it may be for safety reasons.

    In general, gator blades have less "lift" than stock blades, so you may have to slow down or double cut.
    Also, if your "mulch kit" includes closing off the discharge opening, try not using the factoy blades, just the gators. You may also want to try using the gator blades without the mulch kit.

    You'll also find that the quality of cut may change with the condition of the grass, if it is wet or dry.

    Every mower seems to have its' own best combination of blade setup, you may have a bit of experimenting ahead of you. Hope this helps.

    "The Gators just seem to leave some grass clippings on the lawn where the stock blades never had this problem."

    Just curious, if the stock blades weren't leaving clippings, why are you trying the gator blades?
  5. csj1

    csj1 LawnSite Member
    from ID
    Messages: 16

    I dinged up the stock blades on a rawhide bone. The dealer only had the gadors in stock. I have the stock blades sharpened now so they are going back on the mower. No the stock blades did not leave clippings on the surface.

  6. vahaus

    vahaus LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 15

    Hey Roadking where did you get your Gator blades for your 60inch Hustler, I've been looking my dealer has been no help.

    Thanks in Advance:p
  7. sjz60

    sjz60 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 43

    I went through your same issue earlier this spring, with all the rain and heavy growth on my lawn..here is my solution/suggestion:

    1) Take off the gators..I tried them too..worked ok in dry cutting conditions. Did nothing but leave clippings and clog my deck when the grass was wetter than normal. This will probably always be an issue for me, since I have an irrigation system, and my lawn (tall fescue/rye) always is a bit on the wet side.

    2) Try running doubles..right now I have a high lift on the bottom, and the stock MEDIUM lift blade on top ( I am assuming you have a Fastrak 20/52). I have cut some really tall grass with this combo, and I notice minimal HP issues. You might want to get longer bolts to hold the blades on (by 1/4")..but mine has been working ok with the stock bolt, torqued on with an air impact gun.

    3) I would experiment with getting rid of the mulch kit setup. The discharge from the doubles shoots the clippings 12-16', so you will have to be careful around beds, house, cars, etc..but the clippings disappear into the lawn. It is amazing how much better this setup works for me. Lawn looks bagged afterwards. Worst case, if I let my grass go 5+ days before cutting, I may have to go over an area 2x (cut once to height, then pull the deck up a notch..gives great clippings disbursement).

    4) I got really crazy about it and I switched my deck pulleys to the ones used on the Mini-Z, to try to get some increased blade speed. This also seemed to help. Thanks to Hustler for the advise on this change..it was a piece of cake to do if you have an air impact wrench.

    5) I will be trying double high lifts very soon, will let you know how that works out.

    All in all, I will probably not go back to single blades, I am thrilled with the performance of the Fastrack with my current setup, since it allows me to cut high, thick grass..even wet..in one pass, and leaves the lawn looking great. I have the part #'s for the pulleys and blades if you need them.

    If you are using a Fastrack..use caution with the doubles..the deck is on the shallow side, and I have been forced to cut with the deck all the way up to avoid scalping..my lawn likes to be cut no shorter than 3.5". In the heat I like to cut more around 4".
  8. roadking35

    roadking35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    # 782557 and list for $14.30 each. Gator blades for the 60' Hustler
    Sorry that it took so much time
  9. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    Blades, any, should be razor sharp, CAUTION WHEN HANDLING!
    Gators should work fine for mulching, if conditions are too wet, you'll experience 'clumping', just double cut (mow over a second time) or wait for drier conditions.

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