My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a used 2009 Prestige 27/54 that had the turbo and triple Bagger on it. I took the those off and have been running it side discharge for now. Figured I'd save the vaccum and bagger for fall leaves.

Sometimes the side discharge can get clumpy and I'd rather be mulching, its better for the lawn anyway.

Found some old posts here on the subject. I get the impression that the combination of the mulching kit and Gator G3 blades give the best mulching results.

I am about to order these:
1 - Gator G3 16" Blade 96-397
2 - Gator G3 20 9/16" Blades - 96-398
1 - Mulching Kit - 1694508SM

Before I did wanted to get some feedback from others.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
My experience is to leave the ramps off, but use the blowout baffle and the chute cover naturally. Also, and this is the most important aspect and most overlooked thing when mulching. To get the best results, when mulching you should be mowing at HALF the speed you mow when using discharge.

I use the Gators (many claim they're overpriced, don't work, no difference, yada, yada, yada) with the Simplicity mulch kit installed minus ramps as per the suggestion of someone on these boards...Randy?? Can't remember without doing a search. I can tell you the Naysayers have likely never used these blades, much less on this deck. I'm here to tell you they work! Provided you mow at proper speed, it turns the cut grass into a very fine mulch spread out evenly. If you mow too fast or it's wet, or tall...or worse both...it will clump. I can also make two passes over thick leaves and they basically vanish to extremely small mulch.
 

·
Not so junior poster
Joined
·
262 Posts
My gator blades work great!
Just mow a bit slower, and look at the grass clippings.
Smaller/shorter blades are left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input, it is very helpful and is much appreciated. I'll get the parts ordered and report back after I've set them up and tried them out.
 

·
Not so junior poster
Joined
·
262 Posts
Hey Zipstar, how are the Gators working?
 
Joined
·
2,796 Posts
I mulched my leaves today and it took 6 hours for a half acre. I mulched back and forth a hundred times with gator blades where as all I have is piles and piles of brown dust. I think I may have killed the grass. I had to suck it up in a bagger and dump out in 8 trash cans. Some places I had to use a rake and a wide shovel to shovel up the dust. It looks like 8 trash cans of brown dust. Last week it was 6 cans. I'm thinking next week it be 6 to 8 cans of brown dust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
I mulched my leaves today and it took 6 hours for a half acre. I mulched back and forth a hundred times with gator blades where as all I have is piles and piles of brown dust. I think I may have killed the grass. I had to suck it up in a bagger and dump out in 8 trash cans. Some places I had to use a rake and a wide shovel to shovel up the dust. It looks like 8 trash cans of brown dust. Last week it was 6 cans. I'm thinking next week it be 6 to 8 cans of brown dust.
Don,

What are you mulching with, scissors? I can reduce a half acre of thick leaves to nothing in 2 passes...I suppose if they were a close to a foot deep it might take 3 passes...and in a WHOLE lot less time than you describe! I actually was mulching an area where the wind piled the leaves up to over a foot and I caught the leaves on fires from the exhaust...had to back up several times as it was taking enough weight off the front end to lose steering...definitely not typical...LOL! At any rate, when I backed up I noticed a small section had actually caught fire...oops! I quickly mulched the fire right out, but the result was amazing....freakishly so!
 
Joined
·
2,796 Posts
Don,

What are you mulching with, scissors? I can reduce a half acre of thick leaves to nothing in 2 passes...I suppose if they were a close to a foot deep it might take 3 passes...and in a WHOLE lot less time than you describe! I actually was mulching an area where the wind piled the leaves up to over a foot and I caught the leaves on fires from the exhaust...had to back up several times as it was taking enough weight off the front end to lose steering...definitely not typical...LOL! At any rate, when I backed up I noticed a small section had actually caught fire...oops! I quickly mulched the fire right out, but the result was amazing....freakishly so!
In the back yard I have tall oak trees and I first blow the leaves with a blower away from the house out into the yard. I blow out the mulch areas out into the yard and any other obstructions like trees and the shed. Once that is done I have a pile that is really thick. Maybe a foot high. I mulch using the tractor real slow because it will bog down, letting it shoot out the side. Staying in the same place. Leaves do catch fire from the muffler. I just back up. and go over them. But yes, when I'm done I have thick piles of brown dust almost like dirt that I have to pick up.

In the front yard, It's easier, I blow everything away from the house and trees where as I can blow the leaves to one direction using the tractor towards the street to out in the street. At that point they are dust blowing down the street.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I have run Gator blades on my deck for years. On my deck the gators moved too much air out the front of the deck laying the grass down in front of the blades. Yard looked like crap unless i mowed twice. My deck is closed for mulching full time. Grass and leaves. I started removing the back blades from the gator blades one on each blade at a time. As I removed each back blade it mowed better. I wound up removing all of the back blades and it mows great. Turns my leaves into powder if they are dry. I mow the leaves in the yard first, then blow out the leaves around the house and flower beds. Then mow again. It does not overwhelm the deck that way on mine. 46" deck 21hp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,390 Posts
For leaves I windrow into the center with the JD 2305, (no baffle). The leaves greatly reduce in bulk then pick up with the Simplicity Conquest with turbo bagger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hey Zipstar, how are the Gators working?
I don't know yet. Sorry for taking so long to reply.

After I'd made my original post I tried to order the 1694508SM mulch kit from 3 different websites. They each had it listed for around $275.00 but my order was cancelled by each of them and I received an email that the price on the website was incorrect and the correct price was around $345.00. I got kinda frustrated by that and things got busy at work and with other projects at home. Getting the mulching kit kinda fell by the wayside as it came time to focus on buying a snowblower and getting ready for winter.

I checked just now and 2 of those sites have updated the price but the first place I ordered it from is still listing it for $277.50. :comp26:

At the time of my post I'd setup an eBay search with email alert and it was dead silent until the week before last. A complete brand in the box mulching kit popped up. It was $125.00 "Buy it Now" with the shipping. I grabbed it. UPS dropped it on my door step last Thursday. It is brand new in the box and complete so I am happy.

The kit includes Simplicity's high lift blades but, I'm going to order the Gators too. I'll be servicing and painting the deck and getting it setup for spring soon.

I may just for experimental purposes try the full Simplicty kit with their blades first then the Gators with the ramps removed. I mean I've got them, might as well try out different combinations.

After my first fall clean up on the property I don't believe I'll be able to get away with mulching the fall leaves. Leaves pile up quite think over most of the place and trying to pick them up with the turbo vac and triple bagger on the first pass was impossible. In several spots the leave just piled up in front of the deck. The turbo vac itself clogged or the duct would clog almost instantly. The duct would clog either where it attached to the turbo vac or emptied into the baggers. The duct just isn't big enough for the volume of material the deck is picking up. What finally worked was going over all the leaves twice while side discharging. Once with the deck fully rasied and then again with it half way lowered. I did a final pass with the turbo vac with the deck at 2 inches. Even then the triple bagger would fill up very quickly. Turned out to be a very time consuming and frustrating process.

I did have my mind on mulching though in the fall. Just in case I did get a mulch kit I saved a big pile of leaves in the shed behind the barn. They've been kept dry all winter and after the mulch kit is on I'll spread them out and see how it does. I am skeptical and am keeping an eye out for a leaf vac / cyclone rake on craigslist for next fall.

I'll post my results soon, winter is almost over (I hope :tango_face_plain:)
 

·
Not so junior poster
Joined
·
262 Posts
Winter........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
Mulching kit? You mean the bolt on 'L' pieces that bolt to the front of the deck? I have all 3 pieces and I don't recall it costing $300! I think I have one left side section if you are still looking for one. Just let me know and I'll look. I also highly recommend the Gator G5 blades also.

*EDIT* - My bad. I'm confusing the blowout baffles with the mulching kit. Sorry. :thisthreadisworthle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
I have used all different combinations for mulching including Gators and Simplicity high lift blades installed on both a 44" deck attached to a 22HP Regent and 22HP Broadmoor. I've also had the pleasure of running a 23/50 Prestige complete with the same set up. All of which had the Leaf Shredder/Mulching kit installed.

I have about 2/3 acres of a pretty thick, green, fast growing lawn. Weeds are present, but mostly come to my yard to die quickly. I've learned that mulching has several important factors that are all equally important.

1. Cut often, 2x/week.
1. Never cut when the grass is wet.
1. Use a VERY sharp high lift blade.

I can add other factors too that are less important, but still factor into the equation.
For example, try not to cut in the same direction two consecutive times and try to make sure the belts are relatively tight with little to no slack.

Finally, the more RPM's put out by the engine, the more repetitions the blades will make under the deck. This is actually a big deal, but not always possible to change for a lot of people. Your engine should be about 3600RPM'S I think.

Notice I didn't include Gators as really making a difference. The mulch kit really helps shred the grass into oblivion, so the extra back edge of the Gators really don't add anything. However, if a guy were to "mulch" by side discharging, then the Gators help a lot, but this really isn't mulching.

This kit also works great in the fall. Just remember to cut often, like every few days. The leaves will be reduced to a size smaller than a 1/4 inch. No bagging needed!


Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
I do strongly recommend the Gator G5 blades. They are slicing and mulching beasts!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I put the mulching kit on week before last week, well most of it. I installed everything but the ramps, figured why drill holes when they may come right off. I mowed with the blades included in the kit. I wasn't impressed, left a pretty steady line of clumps behind.

Ordered a set of the Gator G3's last week. Put them on Monday and mowed again. I still got some clumping here and there but there was a noticiably less clumping. The grass had gotten pretty long too. It did a really good job. I also tried it out on the pile of leaves I'd save from fall. It chewed them up pretty good, had to go over them three times to really get them broken down. Probably still get a Cyclone rake or Vac-Trac before next fall.

I don't miss the Turbo Vac and Triple Bagger setup that's for sure. Between emptying the bagger and stoping to unclog the chute I am done in half the time.

In the end it was worth it. Considering that the only parts I'd used from the mulching kit were the baffles and discharge block off plate, I'm really glad I didn't pay the full boat $330 for the mulch kit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
My experience with a mulching kit on my 2017 Broadmoor is you have to observe two rules. The first is to not try to take too much off (I can't use the mulching kit in the spring unless I mow often or I'll get big clumps), the second is to mow slow. Half normal speed.
I usually only use the mulching kit for summer mowing. But yes, its a great time saver.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top