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Mulching with John Deer Z Trac

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kandplawns, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. kandplawns

    kandplawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey I got a Z trac John Deer with the roll bar, thing throws a lot more clippings in comparison to a Toro of the same size cut, it is real comfortabile and heavy duty though, just throws a lot of clippings, even with the blades sharp; Anyone use one of these and if so any mulching kit used? I am trying to get away from residential next year anyway if possible, to much hastle for to little money....
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    What you are trying do say is that it throws a lot more visible clippings?

    That was my opinion too.
    Seems like it spits them out relatively the same length as they were cut off.
    Like there was little to no re-chopping of the clipings before exit.
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    My JD Z-trak does a great job in discharging clippings. And, I believe it is as you say, little recutting. That is just fine with me. I would much rather have full-length clippings evenly distributed, than having recut clippings in rows or spread unevenly. There is nothing wrong with full-length clippings.

    I do not have a mulching kit for my JD, and don't intend to get one. I did try a make-shift chute blocker for leaves, but the standard blades make the setup unworkable. The blowout is unacceptable. I don't want to keep changing blades as I move from job to job, so I've learned selective mulching with repeated passes, including reverse direction.

    A chute blocker with my Exmark Viking w/b (36" deck) works well with regular Gator blades. It does not work quite as well with hi-lift Gators, and will not work at all with standard hi-lift, notched air-foil blades. The blowout is unacceptable. My conclusion is that the Z-trak might work with a chute blocker and blades, or other mulching blades. But, I am not going to bother trying because I want to use discharge too often, and don't want to make repeated blade changes. I can use my Exmark with chute blocker, or in discharge mode, with standard Gator blades, but no bagging.
  4. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    The new mulch kits work well on the 7 iron II decks, even on cool season grasses. But I never could get the old style mulch kits to work on the 7 iron decks and leave a good cut. If you buy a mulch kit make sure its the newer style that completely closes each chamber.
  5. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    Why do you feel the need to respond to every JD thread like you have so much seat time on the JD Z traks? I don't respond to every thread about Lesco/MTD mowers even though I have demoed them.
  6. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    JD has what they call a "Leaf Anti blowout kit" 185 bucks last I checked, I didn't bother getting it, I was too POed that they kept that little gem a secret until after I had paid my 285 for the mulch kit and 1800 for the bagger, when leaf season came around I found out just how badly it needed it. thats when I learned it even existed. Thats when I decided I was not giving them the satisfaction of sucking another 200 out of me and I made my own. but since you haven't bought a mulch kit, check into the blow out kit, I'm sure it would reduce your blow out.
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well, I try to look at new threads when they come up...
    And well... this guy had posted about 8 hours ago...

    Nobody said a thing or posted a thing.
    I post and.... we got activity...

    Oh, and I have more John Deere seat time than you might think.
    When I do a demo, it's not a "have'r back by 5" demo.
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I understand and respect that this IS the case for some people in some areas.

    I was just trying to 'clarify' what the guy was talking about because I had a pretty darn good hunch that was the case, based on my experiences with the 7 Iron deck.

    I realize that works out better for some folks in some areas because the grass gets out of the deck FAST with less design inovation being needed to combat issues with recirculating and re-chopping clippings. It also greatly reduces strain on the engine.

    But if you were to relocate to another area where the grass is much thicker and has a much faster weekly growth rate.... well then, this would not be "just fine" with you anymore. The reason being is that the un-recut clippings flying out are (let's say) 7" long, and with the thicker grasses, they WILL NOT fall down in the turf and hide themselves. The result is that your finished cuts will have that "hay field" look to them when you are done. And after a day of trying you'll have even the least particular customers calling raising cain wanting you to come back and rake that mess up.
  9. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,386

    So, what was your point in replying to his thread, when you can't answer his question. He wanted to know about the mulch kit on the 7 Iron. BTW I have almost 4,000 hrs of seat time with the 7 Iron much more expirience than just a demo.
  10. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Just curious but what kind of grass are you cutting? Roger and I are in the same general area within an 1 hour distance, and the grass is thick and grows fast. In fact, Matt and I have some lawns that need cut every 5 days.
    How much faster growth rate are you experiencing?

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