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Clogging & bagging: 2 blade vs 3 blade; fab vs stamped

1915 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Mikaman
I'm about to purchase a ZTR, residential use, 1.5 acres, mostly flat but have a sloped detention pond mostly 10-15 degrees but one spot is 20 deg slope. I definitely want the steering wheel control, so looking at the various MTD models (Cub Cadet, Toro, Craftsman brands). I have lots of trees hence lots of shade, so I sometimes have to mow when grass is damp especially in spring. I do NOT bag when mowing and do NOT mulch.

1. Is a twin-blade model (42" or smaller deck) less likely to clog than a wider, triple-blade model (48" and up)?
2. Is a stamped deck less likely to clog than a fabricated deck?

(I currently use a 10-yr old Husqvarna lawn tractor, YTH2448, 48" triple-blade stamped deck ... it clogs more than I'd like, when grass is slightly damp)

Also, I use the mower for leaf pickup in the fall. That time of year, everything is dry, so I have no problem with the deck clogging when sucking up leaves. Any preference/advice for number of blades and deck type for sucking up leaves?
1. Would a twin-blade model do a cleaner job of moving the leaves into the bagger?
2. Would a stamped deck be better than fabbed, for leaf removal?
3. Best type of blade for leaf pickup? High-lift (to blow them into the bagger)? or mulching (to shred them before they get blown into bagger)?

Any advice/experience appreciated.
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I don't know the answer to your question. However, I have found out that the bagging system on my JD 445 3 blade 54" deck is better when I use the high lift blades. You might want to get a set to have.
Thanks TractorBeam. I decided to go ahead and purchase the 50" model with fabricated deck (triple blade). It came with high-lift blades installed from the factory. I mowed the lawn the day the mower was delivered (yeah, kind of excited) and it worked very well (side discharge), but it wasn't much of a test: grass was totally dry, and not very long. But I will say that this mower discharges the grass much more forcefully than my old lawn tractor, it really blows it out the chute. So that may be some indication that it might be less likely to clog, and may do very well in bagging my leaves. We'll see!

P.S. to hijack my own thread ... I'm pretty impressed with this Cub Cadet RZT-S50, for my lawn. The 7 MPH ground speed feels really fast, much faster than my old lawn tractor. I have to get used to the zero-turn aspect, sort of have to re-learn how to maneuver and what's the best route to take for my lawn. The steering wheel control is good, works well on my slopes (as advertised) but it's a little twitchy at full speed. Ride is bouncy at full speed, too. But overall, this mower does exactly what I had hoped, mows much faster than my old lawn tractor. Once I get used to it, I think it will cut my time almost in half -- will probably do my 1-1/2 acres in an hour or less, versus my old tractor which took 1:45 to 2 hours.
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