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Side or rear... where do you shoot grass? why?

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I am looking at a property that would make me have to cut grass... now that I have 2 decks I was wondering which one I was going to use. I know, one of life's major quandaries.

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Mow often - rear discharge.   Let it get tall - side discharge.

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Mow often - rear discharge.   Let it get tall - side discharge.

Why?

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Mow often - rear discharge.   Let it get tall - side discharge.

Why?

 

 

Because the rear discharge does a better job in shorter grass.

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I have used both, and while they both have pros and cons, ....I don't necessarily like the rear discharge because your back get SUPER dirty with dust and grass clippings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ok...well I figured it would alleviate the blowing in my face. I have only used sides.

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I like the rear discharge best. But there is pros & cons. Never had the grass & dirt on my back. My only con that I can thing of is I like to blow grass off the drive with the mower. Doesn't work well with rear discharge. the thing I like best. no grass in flower beds, car tires, & even dist. grass. Hope this helps

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I have both and like the side discharge. The wife likes the rear discharge better because she says its not as bad on her allergies. I dunno. Shes Blonde ya no.

But I can see where shes not inhale as much polen that way. It sure does dirty up the rear wheels inside tho but I just use the leaf blower and clean it off.

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I like my rear discharge only in the fall with a tow behind catcher. It does not seam to chop leaves as well eaither. But I agree with the post of others regarding dust on my back, nothing left in flower beds and I would spend less time blowing the lawn/driveway after mowing if I used my side discharge. But I look forward to may yard work days so I vote for the rear discharge.

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Rear Discharge is what I would recommend, especially since the clippings dont get blown into my garden.

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Mow often - rear discharge.   Let it get tall - side discharge.

Interesting, I'm the exact opposite.  Rear if the grass is long and side if mow often.  There are pluses and minuses to both but here's my take.

 

RD Pro's

Doesn't clog with long wet grass

Doesn't eject clippings out the front of the deck to get sucked in by a powerful Onan

Can tow a sweeper to pick up clippings

Trim mow on both sides without getting clippings in the flower bedss

Easier to maneuver in tight places

Able to accept recycler adapter

 

RD Cons:

Cut not as clean as SD

can't blow leaves / clippings onto neighbors lawn

When trimming leaves clippings right against the wall

Your back can get messier with clippings ejecting out the back onto your shirt

 

 

SD Pro's:

Cleaner cut

Can blow leaves and clippings onto neighbors lawn for him / her to clean up

 

SD Cons:

Has tendency to eject clippings at the left front and into the fan of the machines (Serious problem for Onan owners)

Can not trim on both sides

Far wider, making it less maneuverable 

Can not use a sweeper at same time

Clogs with long wet grass (at least mine does!)

Not as cool looking as a RD

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I like my 48" side discharge. Had to have the dealer order it when I bought my tractor as he had only 36's and 42's.

Why, I have a large yard 1 3/4 acres. I also have another 2 1/2 acres that I mow along the fence lines to keep them clean.

Edited by Don1977

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Mow often - rear discharge.   Let it get tall - side discharge.

Interesting, I'm the exact opposite.  Rear if the grass is long and side if mow often.  There are pluses and minuses to both but here's my take.

 

RD Pro's

Doesn't clog with long wet grass

Doesn't eject clippings out the front of the deck to get sucked in by a powerful Onan

Can tow a sweeper to pick up clippings

Trim mow on both sides without getting clippings in the flower bedss

Easier to maneuver in tight places

Able to accept recycler adapter

 

RD Cons:

Cut not as clean as SD

can't blow leaves / clippings onto neighbors lawn

When trimming leaves clippings right against the wall

Your back can get messier with clippings ejecting out the back onto your shirt

 

 

SD Pro's:

Cleaner cut

Can blow leaves and clippings onto neighbors lawn for him / her to clean up

 

SD Cons:

Has tendency to eject clippings at the left front and into the fan of the machines (Serious problem for Onan owners)

Can not trim on both sides

Far wider, making it less maneuverable 

Can not use a sweeper at same time

Clogs with long wet grass (at least mine does!)

Not as cool looking as a RD

 

 

+1

 

I have both and like both.  I alternate using the SD vs RD decks - that's the cool thing about these Wheelhorse decks, you can use them on more than one tractor.

 

One thing I like about the RD decks is the ability to trim on both sides, so direction of mowing is never an issue.  With the RD, I never have to sweep off the sidewalks or patio from grass clippings.  I have mowed and towed a sweeper with the RD at the same time - works great!

 

My 48 inch SD decks work great too!  I can't explain, maybe it's the kid in my, but the thing I like most about the SD decks is simply enjoying the seat time and watching the grass fly out of the SD deck... :)

 

But....

 

If you have two tractors, you might as well fit each tractor with a mowing deck and use both... ;)

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I have both and have used both.  Folks have commented on pro's and con's of both types and I agree with them.  One thing that was not mentioned as a con for the RD type is that I always got a ton of grass clippings on top of the transmission tunnel (under the shift plate cover).  Also, the left rear tire on the inside was a perpetual shade of puke green.  Never happens on the SD mower.  The other advantage of a RD deck (for me) was that I could park the tractor between the two cars in the garage without having to worry about someone running over the side chute.  When I use the SD machine, it gets parked way in the front of the garage out of harms way.  P.S. I consider myself lucky as I have a spouse who likes to cut grass.  She has her own machine (314-8) with a 42 inch SD.

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I have a non WH rear discharge mower with a "powerflow" on top of the deck, I can bag or put the clippings back on the ground. Why,,because I can trim of both sides of the deck, I cut back and forth, not in circles, little dead running, I don't blow grass in the pool, on the walks, or any place else the wife doesn't like it. As they say,,happy wife happy life.

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Although I have a 42" RD deck, I have never used it. That is reserved for the day I have a lawn sweeper.

I can add this to the conversation though;  I really like the Gator blades. I bought a set this year for an Ariens 2048 Zero turn mower I have. Those things cut like nothing I have every used before! The 20hp Briggs powering a 48" SD deck shredded the grass and blew it out like it was confetti. It made my grass cutting much easier. I am planning to put some Gator blades on one of my 48" SD Wheel Horse decks this Spring and see how they perform using the 417A.

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Gator Blades will definitely improve the cut of both the SD and RD; and using a dual blade system (both 3 Gator and the 3 original blades, = 12 cutting edges) will greatly improve both the cut quality and the throw of both mower discharges. 

All the issues, Pros & Cons have been well addressed above . . . but, grass types, blade length, moisture, ground condition, speed and your standards are all important factors that have to be considered.

 

And a part of the equation has to do with our personal preferences.

 

Using an added rear baffle extension on the RD will greatly reduce the up-draft of clippings.

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I have both.  I had to have the RD when I got a refurbed C-141 about 1982.  Couldn't find one locally, so I drove about 60 miles to pick up a brand new one!  I used that deck for about 20 years on a couple different tractors and then I brought and old Charger 12 home with a 48" SD and liked the look of the mowing job it did so well I have not used the 42 RD since.  I have had several 48" SD over the past several years and like them for all the reasons stated, but mostly I just like the mowing job it does!  The RD is in the back of my storage area, all cleaned up and in very good condition (never cut a blade of grass with it before coating the underside with graphite paint and recoating about every two seasons)  has all the baffles and no pitting!  Not much I can add to pros or cons with either and I agree with every one of them.

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I have a 42" SD and also have the Vac system that mounts on the rear of the tractor and sucks the stuff out from under the deck and blows it into a trailer. I usually just use the vac system when there are leave in the yard. I love the way the SD pushes grass clippings and leaves, I can push the leaves across almost half of my yard before having to pick them up. RD just leaves everything right where it is when you cut it.

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I have only had so mowers. My new 854 has rear discharge. My new 416-8 has side discharge. Never mowed with either of then. However I never minded the so on all my older mowers.

Glenn

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The only kind of deck I have ever had to use on my WH is a rear discharge. I absolutely loathe the rear discharge and cannot think of one kind word to say for them! To that end I would even say that the RD deck is the worst piece of machinery I have ever mowed an acre of grass with. It is true that the RD deck is most effective when mowing grass that is not high. My experience has been that to leave the grass looking fairly decent after being cut you better cut the grass when it is REALLY REALLY short.

Anyone that has mowed many acres with a RD horse deck will readily agree with what I say, or at least they should! I used to mow about 4 acres a week with a RD 36" deck under a Lawn Ranger so I know wherefore I speak. I tried everything from reversing the blades to re-sharpening the blades and finally replacing the blades as well as adjusting the deck height. Nothing I ever tried resulting in any significant improvements with the RD deck. Generally you will know if the grass you are trying to mow is too high for the RD deck because it will result in a mow job that looks like a "freshly hayed" farm field, windrowed to no end and not pleasing to the eye in any way!

If you have a choice, forget you own the RD deck and either keep it as a relic of days gone by or sell it, or better still give the bloody thing away but for the love of pete whatever you decide to do, do not use the bloody thing!

Sorry guys, that has been my honest experience and I have mowed with this machine for years and tried everything I know to make this better, but that was all to no avail. I still have a RD mower deck for each of the four machines I own, but only keep them because they came with each tractor. I love my horses but really despise rear discharge decks in the worst possible way! No offense intended to RD deck lovers intended.

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I tried a 42 inch rear discharge under my 417 this summer at my Dads house where the grass is pretty thick and grows fast. The blades were very sharp. I didn't care for the cut at all. I put the 48 inch deck right back under the 417 for the next cutting. IMO, you can't beat the finish that a 48 inch side discharge gives. At my house the grass doesn't grow so fast and isn't nearly as thick the rear discharge under my 854 does a decent job. As someone else also mentioned, for some reason I also like to watch the clippings get tossed out the side...

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I wish I had an RD for my 310 for the times when I was cutting the really tall, heavy grass at my father's house -- With a RD I would only have to cut the grass 1 swarth at a time -- With my 37" SD you have to get 3 passes in before you have a enough room where the 4th pass isn't throwing cut grass onto the standing grass

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I wish I had an RD for my 310 for the times when I was cutting the really tall, heavy grass at my father's house -- With a RD I would only have to cut the grass 1 swarth at a time -- With my 37" SD you have to get 3 passes in before you have a enough room where the 4th pass isn't throwing cut grass onto the standing grass

Nice plan, but that is not at all how it would work. You would go back and forth over the same stand of grass an untold number of times and grow more frustrated with each pass you made wondering why on earth you could not seem to get all the grass cut down to an acceptable level. After working yourself to a lather and being frustrated beyond description at the poor performance of the RD deck in the tall grass you would finally park the bloody horse and go get a 21 push mower and actually finish cutting the remaining 30-40 of the grass that was left standing after your failed attempt to cut it down with a RD deck with the push mower!

Sadly, I am not exaggerating in the least, surely there has to be at least one other horse lover that has experienced this as well. I know I am not the only one.............

BTW: All a RD deck will do with this..... QUOTE "for the times when I was cutting the really tall, heavy grass at my father's house" is beat the grass to a pulp, actually cut a small percentage, then lay the remaining 60-70 percent of the remaining grass over swirled up and windrowed on its side to spring right back up and stand tall unless you actually cut it down with a mower that will work in tall heavy grass, the RD WH deck is not up to that challenge for sure!

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