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Discussion Starter #1
I typically mow with my X300 but have used the 1025R the last couple times, really just for lack of time.
I've yet to dive in to checking the deck alignment and level. It does pretty good but not as good as I think it should.

I been reading about getting these decks setup and seems that the "sticky" procedure on here isn't always followed to get the best results.

Since I bought this machine used, I figure at the time I go through the deck setup I want to replace the blades and have a new belt on hand as well.
Is this the correct part # for the belt? (60d deck) LVU21854 The last two #'s being 54 seems kinda tricky to me since there's also a 54" deck.

Are y'all using high lift or medium lift blades on these 60" decks?
Grass is St Augustine

Thanks
 

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High lifts for me for sure, I like the stripes. I also like G5 and G6 Gator blades. I've used both and they both have their advantages. Northern grass.
 

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My yard isn't nice enough to comment on the blades, plus I use the mulch blades that came with the mulch kit.

My main comment is about the belt. 3 yrs ago when I got my tractor, I thought about getting a spare belt. Then I seen it was $100, so I held off. The belt is now 6 yrs and shows little wear and no fraying. I'm pretty impressed with the longevity. You might wanna forgo getting a belt just for spare for now, and save the money.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, excellent point Kyle. I seen the price on that belt and figger I better wait till I get it apart and determine if having a spare is worth it.
But you know they only break on Sundays or Holidays, just the same as a water well.
However, if it fails I have two other machines I could mow with.

Mulch kit. I've ran across quite a few threads in my searching, and the mulch blades come up more often than not.
You say you don't have groomed yard, so why the mulch kit? Does it actually work good for leaves and debris better than "normal" grass?

I wonder what folks main purpose for the mulch "kits" are? Grass mowing or leaf and debris mulching?
 

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2 edges of my yard are tree lined but in the fall I have very few leaves to deal with, save 1 area next to the barn that accumulates some oak leaves. The mulch kit does well for those. I haven't raked leaves in 10 yrs.

My yard is a country yard, though not pristine it has a couple areas where the soil is black and usually moist, so the grass grows well there. Well enough that when I was side discharging it would require raking to get the clippings up. Multi-mowing the area would only blow the clippings around. The mulch kit for the most part eliminates that. If the grass gets a lot of growth between cuts, I might get some windrows that need a second pass, but in general one pass is good.

FWIW, I have mulch kits on both the 1025 & the X360. The 360 sees more mowing time than the 1025 does now. Its mulch kit is just as good, if not better.
 

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Corkpuller,

There are really three different blades commonly used. There are the "Normal" blades and then there are the "High Lift" blades and the "Mulch Blades". Here are photos of each for clarity.

I use High Lift blades this time of year, and Mulch Blades in Spring and Fall. The high lift blades do a great job standing the grass up assuring a good consistent cut where the mulch blades also create lift, but really chop down the clippings, which is why I use them in the spring and early summer when grass is growing and I am mowing 2x a week and then again in the fall, when there is a lot of debris to deal with.

"Regular John Deere 54" blades"
745016


High Lift blades, John Deere 54" Deck

745017


Mulching Blades, John Deere 54" Deck

Screenshot_2020-06-30 Set of 6 John Deere Z425 Z435 Z445 54 Gator Mulching Mower Blades.png
 

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To clarify the way I use the three different styles of blades.

Regular blades - I would use them on a lawn which had very thin grass or patches of dirt. If you have new grass in it's first 4 months of its life, I would ONLY use the regular blades for cutting the new grass. Also, make sure the regular blades are kept sharp. The Mulching blades and the High Lift blades can actually pull the new, young grass right out of the ground, which obviously you don't want. If I had to mow a lawn where there was a lot of dirt, etc., I would probably use the regular blades for that lawn to cut down on the dust and dirt from mowing.

High Lift Blades - Stand the grass up very well and work great with striping kits. I run high lift blades from Mid June until leaf clean up in the fall. They maintain their cutting edge very well if you don't confuse the blades with a limb chipping machine (like many do....). Pick up limbs which are any larger than your smallest finger in diameter instead of chopping them up, otherwise, it takes the edge off the blades. High lift blades are excellent at throwing the clippings out of the mower chute, because of their design.

For anyone who uses a smaller mower (like the D100 series, etc) which uses the grass collection system without the deck mounted, belt driven blower unit to blow the clippings into the collection bins behind the tractor, use the High Lift blades and they will throw the grass into the collection bins better than any other blades. Again, this is when you don't have the benefit of a belt driven deck mounted blower to direct the clippings and mower discharge from the deck.

If you are using a machine with a deck mounted blower unit for the deck debris into either an MC519 cart or the rear 2 or 3 fabric grass collection bags, using a mulching blade allows the material to compact better in the collection system, allowing you to mow more before dumping the collection system. Just know this also means much more weight on the tractor and mower.

Mulching blades - Do a great job chopping up the clippings and reducing the size of the grass on the lawn when mowing. When the grass is growing fast, the mulching blades help keep the clippings chopped down, verses having grass which is 2" or more long from regular mowing laying on top of the lawn.

I always mow with the safety chute up as I like the clipping well dispersed and not in a windrow. That does mean you get clippings blown on you with cross winds, etc. but that's part of the game for the best result, in my view.

But again, the lawns I am mowing are all pretty thick and well maintained, so the grass is usually in good shape. Using Mulching blades and the discharge chute up, you will not see the grass coming out of the deck and leaving "strips" of clippings.

Eliminating Grass Clippings from the Finish Cut
If the grass is that long and thick to create visible clippings, I always cross cut it immediately at a 90 degree angle to the first cutting, to chop the clippings into the lawn. I usually will mow the front and rear yards separately, even if the lawns really are somewhat connected. This way, I can allow the front yard clippings to be drying in the sun while I am mowing the rear yard. When I finish the rear yard, I then go to the front yard and cross cut it. Allowing the grass to dry in the sun makes chopping it down and eliminating the clippings on the lawn much easier.

If someone has a lawn which has "bald spots" or lacks grass in areas, I would use the regular blades as the extra lift of the High Lift and Mulching blades just stirs up that much more dust and dirt which end up all over the operator.

Don't get me wrong, all of the blades cut very well, if they are kept sharpened and properly maintained. If someone has a "rough lawn" in the sense of not lush grass and more weeds and bare spots, the regular blades will probably hold their edge longer as whirling sand and dirt really dull blades quickly. It takes away the sharp edge and tends to leave the blades cutting edge "more rounded".

Clean under the mower Deck the Lazy Way.....
For those who mow when the grass is wet, one of the easiest ways to clean under the deck WHILE MOWING is to cut things like corn stalks or large dead weeds. This large rough material will often strip away much of the debris under decks while cutting, especially if the mowing was just done when the grass is wet.

Also, if someone isn't real diligent about keeping their deck cleaned under neath or they tend to mow when the grass is wet, the regular blades probably will work the best as you need the underside of the deck cleaned from large clumps and crud for the air flow to work properly. When the deck is all plugged up underneath with grass chunks, the air flow is compromised and the advantage of the high lift and mulching blades is largely lost.

Whenever I mow and my grass is a little wet, I always take the mower deck out into my 10 acres and cut wild raspberry bushes and wild grapes and other large diameter and tough "weeds" and you can watch the large chunks shoot out from under the deck. All of that debris from the thicker, heavier weeds and items being cut has to go somewhere and it tends to strip away the loose crud under the deck.

The absolutely best deck cleaner while mowing is cutting dead cornstalks and corn stubble. But for when those aren't available, look for larger diameter mowing debris like the viney junk and it cleans under the deck quite well.

There is no substitution for scraping the underside of the deck. I prefer to use the wooden paint stir sticks for 5 gallon buckets as they are longer and make the reach easier and they are stiff enough to not easily snap while using them. The wooden scrpaers don't score the under deck paint and finish, which can lead to rust and other problems. Plus, when you buy paint at the Home Depot, they will give you a couple of the 5 gallon stir sticks, if nothing else, they are only a few dollars for 5 of them if you have to buy them........
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Obviously I have yet to buy blades for the 60D.
But I know with my old 1988 160 lawn tractor the options were standard, medium and high lift which back then some referred to the high lift as mulching blades.
I ran all 3 before I settled on the medium lift.
Seemed the high lift would cause a lot more accumulation under the deck.

I “think” the medium is what I’ve continued to run on my X300.

Y’all have to realize that St Augustine is really a totally different animal than the thin bladed grasses grown up north. I see no sense in having to change blades for different seasons for my use.
To me that’s like having two sets of tires for my pickup. :p
 

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My yard isn't nice enough to comment on the blades, plus I use the mulch blades that came with the mulch kit.

My main comment is about the belt. 3 yrs ago when I got my tractor, I thought about getting a spare belt. Then I seen it was $100, so I held off. The belt is now 6 yrs and shows little wear and no fraying. I'm pretty impressed with the longevity. You might wanna forgo getting a belt just for spare for now, and save the money.
Same here... albeit with a X500 deck. 7 years now and the belt still looks perfect. My theory is "when" it needs replaced chances are a local dealer will have a belt in stock and if not I can probably have one in a couple days and not mowing the grass for a few days is not a life and death situation. :)
 
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