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mulching how much more wear and tear is there?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by fulano, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    I have mulch its on my 52" and 36" exmark walk behinds. How much more wear and tear is there on the machine? 5% 10% 15% 100% ?

    The lawns I cut look better than the other guys who do not mulch so I should be getting a few more jobs next year due to that and my lower prices.
  2. ChadsLawn

    ChadsLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    Well I dont have eXmarks, but i do have a set of there mulching blades on my Z. I had a mulch kit on and it would collect about 15lbs of grass built up. If you leave it there WOW talk about stink. So after replaceing my jack shaft, I took off the mulch kit, But left the mulching blades on..I can say 1 thing. It still mulches just as good. But I do have to open my OCDC to let out what LITTLE has built on the door. So I dont know if this will help you or not. But its how it worked for me on my Z.

    So in closing, Id say ummmm maybe 10-20% more wear do to added weight or added stress on the spindles.
  3. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    So, 15 lbs of weight on the deck translates to 10-20% wear on spindles? So, if I have weights up near the spindles for added weight does that mean I am wearing my spindles 20-40% faster than normal?

    So, if spindles cost $300 for the pair (?) and need to replaced every 300 hours of mulching I guess that translates into $1 per hour mowing regular w/o a mulch kit. If the wear due to mulching is 10%- 20% more with w/o the mulch kit that is about $.10 to $.20 per hour extra. Or am I wrong on those figures?

    If that is right why do people charge extra to mulch?
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Bartender, I'll have what hes having!

    HUH??? adding weight to the top of the deck to keep from popping wheelies is NOT wearing on your blade spindles. Interesting math though...

    To the original question, I'd say it adds a good bit (not sure of figures) of wear and tear on a machine to mulch. Grinding up loads of grass, you can HEAR what it's doing, usually you can feel the whole machine shaking if it's too much. If you hit a bad spot and it kills the engine suddenly.
    It would be interesting to see if guys that mulch 100% are broke down more often due to belts breaking, spindles going out, and engine failures. I bag all the time or discharge a few. I rarely lug the engine. Iv'e never had a machanical failure from an engine. Spindle problems were always due to either imbalanced blades or spun bearings and belts just wear out with time and hours.
  5. K.Carothers

    K.Carothers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Heck, just take a dump before you start your day to make up for the extra weight.

  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,450

    I think it depends on the brand of mower whether mulching causes significant wear. For example Scag spindles, belts and clutch are pretty heavy duty and will take a lot of stress. We also run Snappers and they have held up well. We probably replace a few more belts and an occasional clutch and engine but I think it is insignificant. We mulch with plate over the outlets for many years with little problem.
  7. traman

    traman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    i dont know what the real numbers are for wear and tear , but i can tell you this,i took off my mulch kit on my 52 inch and on a normal week i use 3 gals of gas LESS than when it was on
  8. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    KC,after we take our dump:)...........turf clumps everywhere...:)
    Don't mean to hijack this thread but you guys were talking about spindels,do you really wear them out? The last time we replaced spindel bearings was about 1990,6 bucks for the bearings and a twelve pack for the guy to press them in. Since then we have never replaced a spindel. We run our w/b's between 3500 and 4000 hr's before we get rid of them and spindels are not even something I think of. Engine to blade belts are the biggest cost for us.
    Spindels are not an issue at least in our case...and they are abused at times.
  9. ChadsLawn

    ChadsLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    Guess I should have re-worded that. You ever mulch and the grass sticks to the deck. Then you hit a bump and that big chunk falls down? You'll hear the engine come down in rpms for a second. Also that big wack on the blades im sure puts a second of hurt on the spindle/spindles. Added weight? YES Every xtra pound is putting that much more weight on the front wheel bearings. True?
    What about your truck and trailer. Every pound added, is that much more your truck and trailer ha to lug around. Which is that much more stress it has to handle.

    Think about it.............

    Hmmmmmm maybe I need to email MythBusters.....
  10. fulano

    fulano LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    He didn't say blade spindles. I have looked under my machine and have not seen any extra grass laying on top of the blades. So does that mean if I cut grass when it isn't wet and do not lug the engine that there is only 10% more wear?

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