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To be totally honest, I don't which breed of grass is the most common around here as I never really checked. When I buy grass seed, I just tell Elmer at the Mill what I am doing and he provides the seed, which is usually categorized as "Full Sun, Full Shade or Mixture". The type of grass seed does make a big difference based upon the location.

For example, here is one yard I mow and take care of the landscaping and I replanted this entire front yard last year as when I took it over, the roots from the maples were all very exposed and dirt surrounded the tree trunks for 20'. I seeded this lawn with "Mixture" with "Full Shade" under the trees and its come in very nicely.......The roots grow back up to the surface, but the owner is pretty particular and likes it kept nice. Each yard is about 55,000 sq feet in our neighborhood with an acre of actual grass being the norm, with some perimeter lots nearly 2 acres of grass..

The owner of this house has a x5xx Deere but has delgated all work to me as he bought a cottage up on a lake and he and his family spend 80% of their time up there during the summer, etc. I just email him an invoice and he mails me a check........He likes the way his lawn looks now and told me he has no desire to resume its care. He even has the snow blower for his tractor but I plow his driveway as well. As he said "The time it takes me to get my tractor out, you are done with the driveway. Plus, sitting outside in the cold isn't near as much fun as it used to be."

Each week when I finish mowing a lawn, I take a picture of it and use the image dates to double check my invoicing at the end of the month. This house has security cameras and often, the last thing I do before I leave is use my back pack blower and clean off the porch, sidewalks and driveway. When I walk on the porch, the cameras send my image to the owner and he usually sends me a text message when I finish complimenting the result. He likes the attention to detail, as do I of cleaning off the porch, patios, hot tub area, etc........

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Heck, if I lived in your area I'd hire you as well. I'll bet our lawn would look much better as I'm not that meticulous. It gets cut and trimmed but that's about it although I did take some soil samples this year on one particularly bad part. PH was 5.1 which explains a lot, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Heck, if I lived in your area I'd hire you as well. I'll bet our lawn would look much better as I'm not that meticulous. It gets cut and trimmed but that's about it although I did take some soil samples this year on one particularly bad part. PH was 5.1 which explains a lot, lol.
The guy who owns the house I posted the photo of the lawn, has email notifications from the Michigan State University Ag Department on timing for applying pre-emergents, etc. While he likes to "manage" the details, he prefers to defer the actual work, which is fine. I have the equipment and some time, so I take care of a number of things.........

His wife recently was diagnosed with very serious and aggressive cancer in her sinus cavities and nasal passages, etc. She tried to take a bite out of an apple a couple of weeks ago and her front teeth hurt, so she went to their dentist. He took an xray and found half of her front upper jaw bone is gone and she had an exam in March of this year and there were no signs of trouble then.

They are headed to Mayo clinic tomorrow, I really hope she can get help, but as aggressive as the cancer is, I fear this could take her life.........The proposed surgery is massive and very disfiguring, its terribly sad..........she is such a nice lady and great person. She has 5 children and 5 grandchildren now and is only 71 years old, We have been neighbors for 27 years.........
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Sulley
I know we each have back problems and you cut much more than myself. I know the suspension will work great for you, nice machine👍👍. Take care my friend.
Thanks Dennis......I try to remain as active as I can. I have a spinal stimulator implanted and I have had an anterior fusion of L4/L5 and several other surgeries with titanium spacers inserted, artificial discs and even synthetic bone was put in my spine along with enough hardware I set off all metal detectors. I haven't been able to use an MRI machine for a long time due to all of the hardware, etc. Between my spine and shoulder, I think I have had 14 surgeries now......over the years.

But I remain as active as I can be and do pretty much everything I want to do. Some days I really struggle with the pain but I have dealt with this now for half of my life.

The activity is good and the new mower sure makes it easier to walk when I am done mowing. I also added one of these to my new mower, to limit the climbing on and off to pick up and move things. I added it the same day I hit a paper in a neighbors driveway with the mower. Was I P***ed when that happened. I spent 30 minutes picking up paper after the mower shredded it........Its very handy and fits on the mower very well.......

 

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Do you use the Grabber from the mower? See that it comes in a 50" length, so wondering if that would work better when seated for small twigs and such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Do you use the Grabber from the mower? See that it comes in a 50" length, so wondering if that would work better when seated for small twigs and such.
Sure do, I can stay seated and grab objects which I used to have to stop the machine and get off and pick up to get out of the way.......The newspaper really did it. I avoided the paper but the draw of the air under the deck sucked it about a foot across the pavement and instant confetti.........and a lot of bending over to pick up.......not to mention a wasted 30 minutes. Of course, the moment I hit the paper, the wind picked up "enhancing" the clean up challenge.............
 

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FYI, from someone who has used a somewhat similar zero turn with collection system for about three years, there is a screen in the lid that goes over the three collection bags that is hard to see unless you are very short (I'm not). That screen is part of the ventilation system that allows air to exit and grass clippings to stay in the bags. Mine started giving me trouble this spring after two years of problem free use. I eventually found out that the screen was there and could cause problems when plugged . Internet search provided that info as the OP manual I was given at purchase did not mention the screen. It gets cleaned prior to each use now.

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I bought a ExMark Lazer Z, E series machine the same month I bought my 1025r, so I did not buy a MMM with my 1 series. I have to say for my needs, this was clearly the right move.

Not only do I love the way the ExMark cuts the grass and find it extremely effecient, it also resulted in the expansion of my "neighborhood activities". Just as my 1025r caused me to now plow 28 of the driveways in my neighborhood since I purchased it, the Exmark resulted in the expansion of my lawn mowing activities, as well. Now, I spend two afternoons a week mowing 10 lawns in the neighborhood. Yes, I charge as these people all had lawn services or were doing the mowing themselves and asked me to take over the responsibility of their lawn care.

Since I am spending so much time on my lawn mower (about 12 to 15 hours a week), I decided to upgrade to a new mower. The prior Exmark had been flawless and an outstanding machine. In fact, I sold it last week to the first person to inquire about it and I was able to get 70% of what I paid for it new, despite it having 865 hours on it. Here is a picture of my mower right before it went to the new owner. The new owner is a commercial lawn operator. Note, the Kenny ROPS bracket .50cal tool box on the ROPS, which went with the machine...

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Here is the new machine, ExMark Lazer Z E Series with the suspension operator platform and the Kawasaki engine again, which is now a $500 upcharge or you get a Kohler or ExMark engine....It also has the MCS system and the JR Co implement mount with the thatcher. I also added the pedal operated discharge chute which is a GREAT, yet expensive ($600+) option as well as the commercial striping kit roller with ball bearings another $600+ option. All in, the new machine was $19,827.........but I am very happy......It's very comfortable and now spending 5 to 7 hours a day mowing on Thursday's and Friday's doesn't seem like as much work.

I already have 12 hours on it after 3 days. Just changed the oil today and went to Amsoil Synthetic just as I did on the last machine........Machine has a 5 year, 1,250 hour warranty on it. The old machine had one deck spindle replaced under warranty as the seal was bulging. Other than oil changes every 100 hours and hydro oil every 200 hours, a deck belt and a drive belt, the old machine never had a wrench turned on it. Extremely pleased with the ExMark machines I have owned...........Outstanding cutting quality and operation comfort.

Just had to share it with my GTT friends who know how much I liked and enjoyed my first ExMark machine. Looking forward to more of the same with this one..........



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Wow....nicely equipped unit Sully.

Last year I bought an Exmark Radius X w/ 52 inch deck.... ( wish I would have gotten the 60" now - but they wanted $800 more, and I only mow 1.5 acres.

The Radius X is one level below yours, but is still built more like the commercial Laser.... in fact, it has the same deep, welded deck and other commercial grade elements like the transmission etc....

I got the full suspension seat (dial in the front)....which floats pretty nicely, but it still can be rough riding at times....which might be something inherent of Zero Turns with the non-shocked front wheels....

My Exmark Radius X also has the Kawasaki engine....

My cost was approx $8,400 out the door / taxes included.....I really worked several dealers for a decent discount and then convinced my local dealer to match another bid.

$19k for a lawnmower is a ton of money.....but I do see you somehow got the Ultra Vac.

I was going to get that leaf / grass pickup system....mainly for fall leaves...but NO DEALER in the state or neighboring state had any stock and had no idea when their backorder would come in....so I ended up getting the Cyclone Rake leaf vacuum system for John Deere....much greater capacity, and I can leave my Exmark strictly for mowing.

I will say, I am kinda disappointed in my Exmark.

It is built well and has all the quality component specs....buuuuutttt.....I don't think the cut is that great.

If I had it to do over, I would buy a high end John Deere ZERO turn. My JD dealer who sold both lines told me the JD cut was much better than the Exmark....and he actually had a longtime commercial customer that always had JD Zero turns, opt to buy 3 Exmark Lasers and he brought them all back and demanded they take them back and he rebought John Deere units....He said the cut wasn't nearly as good as his JD's.

I can't speak to that exactly because I have not cut with JD Zero Turns..... but my Exmark leaves a lot of little tufts of grass popping back up....

The John Deere X340 I had before my 1025R cut some really well groomed grass.

Maybe mine needs to be looked at.....

I do not run over sticks or any debri....maybe I need to sharpen my blades more often....dunno. I like it alright....but I think the JD cut might be more reliable from what I have heard.

Although, you are on your 2nd Exmark and live the cut.....so who knows??

If you have any suggestions....I would like to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Wow....nicely equipped unit Sully.

Last year I bought an Exmark Radius X w/ 52 inch deck.... ( wish I would have gotten the 60" now - but they wanted $800 more, and I only mow 1.5 acres.

The Radius X is one level below yours, but is still built more like the commercial Laser.... in fact, it has the same deep, welded deck and other commercial grade elements like the transmission etc....

I got the full suspension seat (dial in the front)....which floats pretty nicely, but it still can be rough riding at times....which might be something inherent of Zero Turns with the non-shocked front wheels....

My Exmark Radius X also has the Kawasaki engine....

My cost was approx $8,400 out the door / taxes included.....I really worked several dealers for a decent discount and then convinced my local dealer to match another bid.

$19k for a lawnmower is a ton of money.....but I do see you somehow got the Ultra Vac.

I was going to get that leaf / grass pickup system....mainly for fall leaves...but NO DEALER in the state or neighboring state had any stock and had no idea when their backorder would come in....so I ended up getting the Cyclone Rake leaf vacuum system for John Deere....much greater capacity, and I can leave my Exmark strictly for mowing.

I will say, I am kinda disappointed in my Exmark.

It is built well and has all the quality component specs....buuuuutttt.....I don't think the cut is that great.

If I had it to do over, I would buy a high end John Deere ZERO turn. My JD dealer who sold both lines told me the JD cut was much better than the Exmark....and he actually had a longtime commercial customer that always had JD Zero turns, opt to buy 3 Exmark Lasers and he brought them all back and demanded they take them back and he rebought John Deere units....He said the cut wasn't nearly as good as his JD's.

I can't speak to that exactly because I have not cut with JD Zero Turns..... but my Exmark leaves a lot of little tufts of grass popping back up....

The John Deere X340 I had before my 1025R cut some really well groomed grass.

Maybe mine needs to be looked at.....

I do not run over sticks or any debri....maybe I need to sharpen my blades more often....dunno. I like it alright....but I think the JD cut might be more reliable from what I have heard.

Although, you are on your 2nd Exmark and live the cut.....so who knows??

If you have any suggestions....I would like to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
Typically, I change the blades every 15 to 20 hours of cutting, which is about every two to three weeks. I have 4 sets of the blades, in both the regular lift and the winged style blades.

I find the cut is best at 4" or shorter. Over 4.5" of cut height and there is an occasional strand uncut here and there, but I typically only cut "junk" at 4.5" or taller and some of it clearly is classified as "non grass weeds". In fact, our HOA walking path along the river, which I cut out of the brush using my 1025r and Frontier RC2048 rear mower, now that I have the area smoother and more easy to walk upon, I cut it with my Exmark. I cut the walking path at 3" and here is what it looks like, before and after the cut. I cut it at 3" because of the fact it is a walking path and I want it easier to walk on and also, I want to keep the insects down. I also spray it once a month targeting the mosquitoes and ticks.

This area was all chisel plowed and left in that shape years ago and what a mess it made of the property. Even today, over a decade later, the areas where I haven't worked to "smooth" out the surface, is difficult to walk across without tripping. The edge of the walking path is the natural condition of the property before I started to work to return it to a usable condition for walking, biking, etc.....This walking path is about 1.1 miles long with half along the river and the remainder through the property, which is about 40 acres in size. It is accessed with the 1,100 ft long road I built with my 1025r last fall (details of the road build are in a thread somewhere.......)

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I also like the cut of the "winged" high lift blades the best, the blades which are this style.


They are known as "Gator Blades" although I believe that Gator is Oregon's brand name and while Oregon blades are typically very good, there are other sources of the same blade so they don't have to be "Gator Blades", as long as they are this style.

I also prefer to run without the discharge chute down and with the discharge door adjusted up to about 2 O'clock, when looking at it from the front of the machine, so the flap, when fully open, is well past (specifically above) being level with the deck. This permits the best distribution of the clippings and the blade style makes the clippings the smallest.

There is one type of grass like matter which I will see a strand once in awhile, but it's in a lawn which is not well cared for and tends to have a lot of "whatever" growing in it. In fact, I cut that lawn last night as the last lawn of the day and it was number 10 I had cut so I was ready to get done. There were a couple of those stragglers sticking up so I 2nd cut the area which is limited in size to about 2,500 sq ft, at 90 degrees to the first cut and the problem was solved.

But his "yard" and in the lower common area, which is just cut weeds, (I place the neighbors property in the yard category rather than the lawn category) is the only one where I have noticed the occasional straggler uncut issue. In fact, I cut a lawn immediately before his which last year I had stripped and changed the contour to solve some drainage issues and then re-seeded the entire lawn and the cut quality on all grass is outstanding. It's growing so quickly that I last cut that same lawn on Saturday and when I cut it last night at 4", I was cutting at least 2.5" off.

While I am a John Deere fan and prefer their equipment in most categories and equipment choices, in the case of commercial zero turns, I personally prefer Exmark. I looked at a number of brands including Simplicity, Toro, Kubota and probably a dozen others, in the end, I selected the machine which has served me very well and also supports my friends dealership, and the level of service I get from them is simply outstanding.

When I have noticed some commercial companies leaving grass uncut, its always a combination of these issues;

1. The mow at too fast of a ground speed.

2. They don't alternate mowing direction by at least 90 degrees each mowing and often mow the exact same pattern every time.

3. The blades aren't sharp

4. They mow when there is dew and other moisture so their decks are plugged up in the corners and between the blades with "crud clumps". These disrupt the air flow, which reduces the lift and compromises the cut quality.

5. When the grass is growing rapidly, they raise their cutting height each time, to minimize clippings. Eventually, some mow at 5.75" of height, which is hard to make the lawn look nice (in my opinion). Eventually, they are going to have to cut that down to be able to do leaf clean up and that leaves a lot of clippings, which become excessive thatch, which not only shows when you get the lawn down to the correct height, but it also will weaken the lawn over time and start to thin the grass.

As you know, its a lot of work to have and maintain a nice lawn. Whenever corners are cut, ultimately there is a day of reckoning where either extra work is required to turn the lawn around or begin to return it to a respectable result. Maintaining a nice lawn is certainly less work than trying to return a neglected yard back to a lawn..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
But would the 50" work better or just be too long?
If it would fit on the machine, I would go with the longest "grab stick" available. Due to the differences in the machines, the stick is in a different location on the new machine verses the older machine. In both cases, its on my right when seated and the handle is near the seat. I did find on my old machine that I had to be careful as the stick did turn off the igntion key once when removing it from its carry position on the machine.
 
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