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More on double blades, leaf mulching, striping, N stuff

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    OK, I've used doubles a lot and I've posted some other info about some problems I was having on another thread. I just wanted to type all the info, get some thoughts ect...

    Well I decided to try the popular Gators and highlift combo for the leaves this season instead of factory wave style mulchers and Gators like I've been using. Reason being is it has been a popular thing and the heavy duty highlifts are a much more durable blade than the wave style mulchers.

    Everything was fine until the leaves really started falling good and the good big ones were on the ground to catch some air. I had a major blow-out/blow-away problem. Then I realized that it was because these blades were thicker and had a deeper gullwing design that caused them to actually be a hair below the front deck lip. (I will add some pics so you can understand what I mean by gullwing)

    So, I was stuck out with no extra blades. The Gators were in too ruff of a shape to be doing the main cutting. So, I removed the Gators and installed the highlifts. They were running under the deck now and most of the problem was solved. So I finished the day running just highlifts and did OK.

    Now I don't know if its the big change in weather and temps, but I sure seem to be getting great stripes out of the highlifts. So is there a big relation between blade lift and striping effect???

    So anyways, later I'm off to get some new blades. Something in a flatter highlift, something in a flatter mulching blade and some new Gators. I scored everything but the Gators! They're on backorder

    So here I sit with 5 different blade styles and some worn out Gators. What I really wanted to try 1st was the flat highlifts and the Gators. But, even though I'd be putting the highlifts on bottom, the Gators still dip down enough to make themselves the main cutting blade. Are these too far gone to salvage? I'd noramlly trash them.
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    gator edge.jpg
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Whole gullwing blade view

    gator side.jpg
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I think they are to far gone!

    gator top.jpg
  5. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Are you side discharging/catching or are you mulching with block-off plate?
    If you are just trying to mulch leaves and not really doing any (or as much) grass cutting, then one set of highlift Gators would be fine for discharge or pickup, but if you are using a mulch kit or cutoff plate over the discharge opening, then one set of regular lift gators would do just fine and greatly reduce your blow out problem.

    Also, to reduce the blowout and maintain the same cutting height, drop the front edge of the deck down a spacer and raise the blade up in the deck so it isn't as close to the bottom of the deck. By taking away from one and adding to the other, you basically maintain the same cutting height, the only thing that changes a little is the forward deck pitch.
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yes I'm running a mulch kit. I'm told that these Gators in the pics are not highlifts. I've never seen any made any different from these.

    I would try one set of Gators if I could get some!
  7. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Well, I know I have read a few of your posts Envy, but I don't recall what kind of machines you have ...
    Those look like offset Gators, the ones I usually buy are straight --- no bends except for the lift edge with the inward directed notches. There are other manufacturers that make similar designed blades, but those do look like Gators, just offset.
    If they are true Gators, then in the part number you should a three digit number. I use 18" blades on my machines, so the last two numbers will be (*18) in this example.

    918 - the original regular lift Gator
    718 - Gator Highlift MAGNUM
    418 - regular Highlift Gator

    note- the difference between the 718 and the 418 is the thickness of the blade overall.
    The Magnum is thicker, heavier, and twice as much of a b*tch to get an edge on when it is dull, plus they charge more for it, I do not recomend them, go with either the regular standard lift or regular Highlift Gator. Make sure they have a little pic of an alligator stamped into the blade, then you know it is the real deal.
    I also think that Gators are part of Silver Streak, so if you have a Silver Streak aftermarket parts dealer/distributor in your area, you should be able to get them.
  8. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    BTW, in the last pic, it appears that you still have another month or so on those blades, just keep a sharp set on every morning and keep a spare sharpened set in the truck just in case you bend or break a blade in the field. The more often you sharpen, the less time it will take to actually get a nice sharp edge and your lawns will love you for it.
    If you were to be cut in half ... would you rather it be with a razor edged sword or the flat side of a sledge hammer???
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yeah there Gators. I have seen pics of others like Gators in parts books. But Gators are all you'll find in stock in this style. Gators are not a popular blade here. I guess that's because they really don't mulch grass all that well unless there is a bad dry spell where everything gets nice and crispy!

    The only place I can get them is the John Deere dealer. I'll call the other one in the morning and see if they happen to have some in stock. I wish I could find a flat set like you're speaking of. That's exactly what I need. A set like I have and a flat set. All the edges would be above the deck skirt.

    I was thinking though....there is an advantage to having that gullwing design. A person could sharpen it to the center hole and have the effects of the Gator and a wave style mulching blade at the same time. Sorta like the Raptor blades by Sten.

    So you think they can be saved still even with the tip edges worn like they are? I'll atempt to sharpen them up real good. I've been running them on op of a set of doubles for a long time and haven't bothered to do anything to them since the lower blade does the finish cut anyway. That's why they are in such a shape!
  10. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Do Your self a favor and Get a set Of RAPTOR Blades. fined a steins dealer And order them. I've Been useing them the last part of the season and i love them so far. to see them Go to www.jsesc.com. scan down the front Page You will see the difference right away. I will Cut the grass first then I will bag the area It seems like i get half Of what i Normally would get.
    Good Luck

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