• Online Events For Landscapers!
    With GIE+EXPO cancelled, virtual education and product launches are filling up the fall. Check out dates for Caterpillar, Exmark, NALP, and more. Click here to learn more.

Gator Mulching Blades

tc2

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisville
I have a 36" Exmark Metro Belt Drive, and until this year, I've been just double-cutting yards if a lot of grass clippings are left on top of the lawn. But now I have more customers and I'm considering getting gator mulching blades to help reduce some of my double-cutting. Also, when I double cut yards, they usually aren't super long, they're just thick lawns with enough debris on top to make them look somewhat bad. So, I had a few questions.

1. Should I purchase the Gator brand or are there alternative less expensive brands that can side discharge and leave a good cut?

2. With the Exmark Metro, will I have to cut very slowly? Currently I cut in 4th gear, so would that be too fast?

3. I hear any mulching blades are terrible in the rain. I have a belt drive so I don't cut much in the rain anyways. But how do the gators fair with wet grass?

4. Is there any difference between the high lift and standard mulching blades, besides the fact that the high lifts have more suction and shoot grass further?

5. Will the gator blades shoot grass as far as my current standard Exmark high lift blades?

Thanks for responses in advance. I know some of this is available through the search feature, but I'm really looking for an answer from people who have had experience with mulching blades and 36" mowers. Again, I really appreciate your responses.
 

NittanyLawncare

LawnSite Member
I have gator blades and they have worked pretty good for me thus far, but I have yet to cut in the rain with them so I cant speak from experience. I cut in forth gear all the time and they work the same as when I cut in 1-3, unless the grass is very high however, but then its not so much about the blades. I did just cut a lawn that was about 10 inches high, used third gear and they performed like a champ. I run in high grass (and most other grass for that matter) with the deck guard up, it sends the grass about 5-6 feet. My mowers a 44" Toro so its a bit different, but I hope that helps you.
 

mini14

LawnSite Member
Location
long island
gators suck. get yerself regular mulching blades, u know the ones that are wavey...they are by far the best for side discharging...u can findem for 7-8 a piece. years ago i used gators;clumps clumps clumps...0 clumps with wave blades.
 

Mark in MD

LawnSite Senior Member
Re #2, you might consider cutting fast, as in 5th gear. Then, go over the stripes again in 5th gear. I sometimes do up one row and down another, then repeat the up and down through the same rows. This is to keep the attractive striping.

Re #4, I've found that gators will tend to leave clumps near the discharch chute when the grass is thick. This is due, of course, to the minimal discharge exhaust. This problem can be solved with my answer above, or by running doubles.

Re #5, No. How could they?
 
OP
T

tc2

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisville
Thanks for the replies! So far from what you've said gators sound like the way to go. Although...

mini14,
I was curious as to the mulching blades you're reffering to. Would those just be the standard mulching blades I would purchase from my exmark dealer, or would those be in general any mulching blades with the wavy shape?
 

ChadsLawn

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Holiday,Florida
Gators suck in thick grass... They leave too many clumps.. I bought a set of eXmark mulchers (the wavey blades) and there the best set of blades I ahve ever owned.
 
OP
T

tc2

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisville
Chads Lawn,
Did you also purchase the mulching kit, which I guess consists of the steel plates (baffles?) that separate the blades? Also, how bout performance on wet grass?
 

ChadsLawn

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Holiday,Florida
No mulching kit.. I built my own OCDC (A door that closes over the chute on the deck)for it. The blades cut great in most conditions down here.
 

mcwlandscaping

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Nashua, NH
ive got gators on my eXmark metro, GREAT in normal growth, kinda lousy in tall wet stuff, not good baggers. I seldomly bag and keep on top of all my lawns so they are awesome for me!
 

Pioneer01

LawnSite Member
Location
Denver
Chads Lawn,
Did you also purchase the mulching kit, which I guess consists of the steel plates (baffles?) that separate the blades? Also, how bout performance on wet grass?

I have the mulching kit on my 60" and I can't stand it. It bogs down in 4" grass(mowing @ 3.5") which I think is caused by the chambers that the plates or baffles create. The grass has no place to go so it stays in the chamber and clogs up and than starts bogging dwon the motor and if its wet it leaves what looks like road apples. Does anybody know if they sell a kit to be able to run double mulching blades:confused:
 
Top