SW15/FW15 thread

OP
Hurryupelectric

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
This thread just confirms why I joined. That SW-15 looks like a money-maker in the soggy stuff.

May have to consider another investment.
I probably mentioned that I actually gained two clients because they saw my yards maintained throughout the rainy month without tearing up the turf. And I agree that this forum will supercharge ones business.
 
OP
Hurryupelectric

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
Been steadily raining on and off since 8 am. Got the FW/SW15's out in between rainfalls on properties in newer subdivisions and on yards that don't have a ton of leaves on them yet. Three quarters of FW/SW15's still have the mulching kits on them with the standard Briggs mulching blades. These mowers are doing a fine job in the wet. Some yards mulching great enough to pass our standards in one pass. Little heavier leaf accumulation may need a second pass(full speed and deck up one notch). Remember these are freshly rained on yards. The machines tires and front tweels-ish tires may be caked from all the mulching and grass debris but the underside of the decks look spectacular.(they are ceramic coated heavily) A tiny build up if even at all in wet gunk.

A trick which works well is when you finish a property, drop the deck as low as it can go and do an up and down 50 foot pass in the street before we load them up and the decks clean up like magic. Love it!
Do I have your blessing on getting a full mulch kit? I’m thinking about just getting some mulch blades and running the chute closed. I don’t mind zipping through the yard to blow the windrows but I’m imagining that the full kit will pulverize the leaves much better. Can I expect to be able to mow grass well enough for a passing grade?
 

sagesove

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
on this rock
It is very important to know the difference between a lightly littered leaf yard and a heavily littered leaf yard. If you want to use the mulching blades for leaves and grind them up, you better still be able to see alot of grass showing. If the yard is not to heavy but the grass is almost completely covered with leaves, it is going to be much more difficult to grind them down to particles that disappear in the yard. Sure you can go over them in different directions more than once but it starts to become defeating real quick on a time consumption basis.

These SW/FW 15's really need gator style mulching blades really badly. The Briggs stock mulchers for these machines are just not up to the task for efficient heavy mulching. Sadly Briggs kinda of made the stock mulchers in my opinion, as a hybrid blade. Sort of like most homeowner mower brand blades today. One blade can cut grass or mulch, aka hybrid blade. Commercial outfits need dedicated mulching blades, hands down, for their machines.

Can you mulch without the OEM mulching baffle installed? Yes. Would I reccomend it? Not in our area with our grasses and differing tree leaves we have. The mulching baffle does close/tighten up the deck around the blades. Remember we only use these machines in backyards that can only fit this 32 inch deck through the gates.

I would grab a set of the mulchers from online or your dealer and try them quickly on your properties without the mulching kit. See what happens. If you need the baffle, then get the mulching kit and it comes with 2 mulching blades as well.

Keep those mulching blades sharp as heck. On an average day of between 28-32 yards mulching with the SW/FW 15's, we change the blades out 4 to 5 times. Overkill? Maybe. But we want sharp blades. And you can tell the difference very quickly when they start to dull.
 

sagesove

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
on this rock
I have a pro-bono yard today I will mulch the entire yard(>8900 sq ft.). I'll use the FW15 with the full mulch kit and show you how it goes.

A good friends very old mother shattered her hip 2 and a half weeks ago. I told him I'd help his mother out. I got the grass down to 2.5 inches last Thursday over the last 2 weeks. Been mulching the leaves as is.

I am pretty sure when I show up today the entire front yard will be completely covered. Probably a third or more of the backyard. Hugggge Silver Maple trees in her yard. Seems all her neighbors leaves also migrate and end up in her yard as well. Terrible turf. Lumpy and bumpy and rock hard. Fescue and weeds and slight bluegrass. The leaves and ground will be fairly damp. We have been having freezes in the mornings for over a week.

Always look at the bright side and just "GET ER DONE!!!".
 

sagesove

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
on this rock
For what it is worth. FW15 full mulch kit. OEM mulching blades. Tuned up Honda engine. Slick ceramic deck.
Also remember this is a horrific yard.

1st pic when I showed up. 2nd pic after I backpacked some leaves out of the rock hedge and from the house edges and the 2 monster maples in her front yard. 2.5 inches height first mulching pass is in the 3rd and 4th pictures.

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Kind of unacceptable in my book for a single mulching pass with the standard FW15 mulching setup.

Next 2 pics are a second pass at 3 inches height. Acceptable mulch but not pulverized dust like we can get with gator and high lift mulchers with the Ferris Z2 stand ons.

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Again to reiterate this yard and its turf are really really bad.
Almost all of our paid clients have great yards with wonderful turf and superb grass. The FW15's can get away with a first mulch pass generally because even at 2.5 inches of cut height, thick and dense actual grass yards, the mulched leaves like the amount show here would wiggle and disappear into the good grass stand.
 

sagesove

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
on this rock
Or you could just bag them them with 1 pass.


Sure could. This instance is a special one off freebie yard for a friends mother. It just happened to be a perfect example to use a specific machine, the Ferris/Snapper FW/SW15,(which this entire thread is based on) to show its mulching ability. Variable conditions, variable turf, variable leaf debris.
 
OP
Hurryupelectric

Hurryupelectric

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Charleston
Or you could just bag them them with 1 pass.
My Turfmaster, which the snapper replaced, is my bagging mower now. Both bagging options on the sw15 aren’t appealing to me and the turfmaster is setup like a standard push with rear bag, and I already have it. I just put gator high lifts on the 30” and the vacuum is impressive as well as how it packs the bag.
 

sagesove

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
on this rock
I actually prefer the ease of use with the OEM bagger on the SW/FW 15's. Slide the bag out of its grooves(about 2.5 feet higher up to grab the bag over the Toro) literally right under the control bar. Dump it and slide it back into the grooves. Easy peasy. The bag does get packed quite well even using a mulcher blade on the trim side and the highlift on the exhaust side. With the transparent tube from the deck almost all the way into the bag it is a breeze to know when the bag is full. We also utilize the largest sized trash/recycle bins to dump the leaves into. A couple are strategically placed around the backyard so you never have to walk more than 15-30 feet generally to dump into them. Then roll the bins out when you are done. Works like a total charm!

Yes the Accelerator baggers work well but you have to get really good at being quick and efficient getting the bagger off and the gate opened to dump, and the gate latched back on the bagger and plopped back onto the mower.

Like I stated before, we have zero plugging issues with the OEM bagging tubes. In dry grass or leaves without the ceramic coated inside tube plus inlet and exhaust steel parts and plastic, it never clogged. With everything ceramic coated inside and out, we can suck up soaked and bogged and muddy leaves and grass and still do not get clogs.

Figuring out how to best utilize the acssesories is half the battle.
 

sagesove

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
on this rock
Forgot I had a few snaps from the back yard of that horrible lawn. Roughly twice as many leaves as the front yard but closer to the Maple trees side of the lawn. Double pass(criss crossed) and half inch higher on second pass) and it is acceptable.

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