My Mulch on Demand Deck II

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Some of you know I designed a mulch on demand deck several years ago.

    Anyways, this particular design of mine I culled in field testing.
    This happened BEFORE I worked out all of the mechanical linkages.

    I was grateful that I found out the deck was such a compromise on both ends before investing all the time and effort into the linkages and stuff.

    But I've been messing with this concept again for some time now, and I have arrived back at the same point a second time. Testing is going better this time though.

    The issue is that I am in that stage again... and it's not "on demand" yet.
    I've been working on this part of the system trying to devise what to do.

    Today I did a little testing in mulch mode and found that my design still generates enough discharge force to cause me some issues.

    The issue is..... the part of the system that closes off the discharge opening... the main plate... I fabricated it out heavy 1/8" steel.... and formed it from a sheet roughly 10" x 16".

    So 10" x 16" and 1/8" thick.

    Without the system completed, I'm getting enough discharge force to open this heavy plate.
    I am rather surprised to say the least!

    Even with the blade setup that causes the least issue, it still opens it up.
    It opens far enough to discharge straight up in the air and straight backwards.
    I was laughing HARD!


    So as I finalize things for the on-demand mechanisms....
    What do you guys think I should do????????

    My design is not vented with holes like you see on OCDC's and stuff.
    It's vented a different way, which I 'THINK' is ample. but maybe not.

    Should I.....

    1) Scrap the whole design at the chute in favor of an OCDC style cover with holes?

    2) Should I try re-working my ventilation design to allow more air escape?

    3) Should I stay with what I have and design something additional to mechanically force it to stay closed?

    If you were looking at such a mower on a showroom floor, what would you want to see if you were considering the mower?
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    So like 70 people viewed this thread, and not even one had an opinion?

    This is lawnsite right?.... LOL
  3. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    I would say something to lock it closed with the "on demand" feature. One lever to do all. 2 or more levers would be a pita!
    Maybe an electric actuator to keep it closed and raise. You could put the switch on the "on demand" lever or something.
    Vents would get blocked up anyway, dont they? They would here thats for sure!
  4. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    well, the JD guys say their new mulch-on-demand deck is really a mulching deck that will side discharge, and not vice-versa. Maybe that thought process will help you???

    good luck.
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    To be honest with you, that design is one that does neither well.
    Jack of all, master of none.

    The design compromises both modes of operation.
    I should know... I did it first.

    What I'm working with now is MUCH different.
    And so far it seems to be much better.

    But only time and a lot more testing will tell...

    But the key thing is, regardless... my new design doesn't trap you.

    Like if if doesn't mulch as perfectly as a dedicated unit 5% of the time...
    1 minute, 2 bolts and 3 nuts converts it from "on demand" to a dedicated mulcher.

    Likewise, if you are set up in "on demand" and it's raining or you're bushogging...
    2 minutes and 6 nuts converts it from "on demand to a full-out side discharge unit.

    With this design, you have the following options....

    *Dedicated mulching

    *Mulching on demand
    *Side discharging on demand
    *Bagging on demand

    *Normal side discharge
    *Normal side discharge w/OCDC
    *Normal side discharge bagging
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    It's a one-lever setup.

    People say the OCDC style holes do block up.

    My current venting design doesn't get blocked up!
    It's now questionable as to rather or not it serves it's full intended purpose though!

    I had hoped my venting design would promote airflow, reduce any "trailing" and allow enough air force to escape to allow the size and weight of the place to do the job of keeping things closed off.

    Looks like I under-estimated things!

    Myself.... I'm not sure changing the ventilation is the answer.
    I think there is a fine line there between functional and problematic.

    I have been leaning towards a simple mechanical device that will keep it in place despite the force.

    I just wanted to get some feedback of what someone else might want, look for, or assume is best...

    I had atleast figured someone might chime in more in favor of redoing the venting or OCDC style holes... instead of more moving parts... as a lot of people do seem to have a big fear of moving parts.
  7. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    I would think that the OCDC would have to be held in place because of clippings trying to escape, which would force it open otherwise. Id say clippings are always looking for a way out and will find the easiest.

    I forget the brand but theres an OCDC with a lever that locks it shut. You would have to modify even that to make it sort of rounder inside the deck to make it more mulch than flat plate.
    Wish I know better ways of explaining stuff like that!
    Basically, use the mulch discharge cover as the ocdc. I wouldnt worry about vents, just make it lock shut.

    I would of thought an actuator could hold it shut. Im sure theres a brand ocdc that uses them.
    Im now thinking a separate switch or lever for the ocdc and a different lever for the "on demand" mulch.
    Personally, I like the actuator idea because it un clutters the operator area. Just a simple foot switch or even something on the steering lever so you dont have to reach or take hands off the levers. Be fairly easy to set up I reckon as separate from the "on demand" stuff so less moving parts!

    As far as moving parts, well, theres gonna be moving parts! But its not like suspension for example thats continuously being stressed. Thats another reason I like the actuator, its just push/pull where as a lever is push, lock (by friction I think) pull. A mate here uses them and they wear out pretty quick from what he was saying. His crew are rough though. Cant remember the brand but may of been the cheaper one.

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