Ok, hear me out before the safety police beat down my door (ha!).. I love the cut from my 54" deck.. The problem is, its too good!.. I have never had wind rows from cutting like this before.. I know, I know.. I can leave the grass longer but I like it short.. Not that short really.. I keep it at about 3 inches.. I didn't have the guard on the 46" deck on my 318 and it worked fine and rarely gave me wind rows as it was able to launch the grass and spread it out vs leaving a row of clippings.. Occasionally I'd have a problem with the tractor that would prevent me from cutting one weekend here or there and the grass would get extra long, (another reason for stepping up to a new tractor) and I would get some rows left behind.. When it happened, I would simply raise the deck with the blades spinning when I was done mowing and run down the rows of clippings.. The deck would vaccume up the clippings and spray them out like a fan.. Problem solved.. However.. This 1 series deck cuts so much grass on every pass that I think windrowing is going to be unavoidable and its largly due to the cover at the end of the deck that does not allow the grass to fly.. I suppose the only way to know if its better with out the guard is to try it.. Just wondering if anyone else has taken it off.. If so, Good?, bad?, no difference?..