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Fall cleanup and how tough is a Horse ?

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Tried to spend most of the day yesterday finishing up the utility trailer and getting it ready for service on various tasks that need done , as in NOW as the weather here has changed drastically . Temps yesterday hit the mid-60s but it came with 40mph winds . Hard to even concentrate but I got the lift assist cables done and everything works as it should . Loaded up the little Deere lawn tractor I use at times to mow /backup as well as the engine hoist and the old push mower - those items need to go out to the storage unit asap and get out of the way and weather . Late afternoon I looked at the yard and realized that grass had gone crazy on a growth spurt the last few days of rain/warmer weather - decided to mow "real quick" . The Deere did a lousy job last time and left a lot of clumps as usual - it's discharge plugs up far too easily and it can't handle cutting any more than about 1-1/2" at a time . I wanted to knock it down to "one notch off dirt" and the 16 Auto has my "good" 48" deck that I run doubled blades on - standard hi-lift on the bottom and Gator blades above those , it mulches up the grass great and seems to discharge much better . I cut almost 4" off the top and left it pretty short for winter - same as always and the grass always comes back nicely in the spring .


Went pretty well , the old Kohler rattling along and barely ever touched the governor - until I just barely caught the drainage inlet in the lower back yard - the ground has sunk this summer from some really heavy rains/flooding and the cover is sticking up more than usual . That was a bad hit and it caught both blades on the discharge side - cast iron versus hardened steel at high rpm is never a good thing ....






Can't believe the blades actually cut a notch out of that 60lb cast iron cover - those things are very tough and designed to withstand heavy equipment running over them .


What is even more surprising is it did not damage the spindle - it still runs dead true with zero wobble . The hit did bend the deck housing slightly just inboard of the spindle - a few choice whacks with a 4lb hand drill and a block of wood fixed that - it was trying to hit the blade tips to the center spindle . Deck still cuts nice and flat now , just as it always has - amazingly tough parts . Both blades suffered some pretty heavy damage but luckily didn't break or shatter as they sometimes do - I was glad of that . Caused a 20 minute delay swapping the blade set for some old used ones ( I always save a couple old sets) and fixing the bend in the deck shell . Finished the rest of it in the dark and it looks great - temperature dropped 38* last night and today the high is 43* with high winds , again . Glad I got it done , hauling out the load to the storage unit later today .


Here's the crazy property I mow where we rent - lot of hills and holes and places where no Kohler K series should ever go except up/down , never side hill it when mowing .







I'll have to grab a pic of the one blade that got the worst of it - held up amazing well against that cast iron .




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2 hours ago, Sarge said:

my "good" 48" deck that I run doubled blades on - standard hi-lift on the bottom and Gator blades above those


Id love to see more information on this. Been mowing all my life and never thought about using double blades. Do you have a write up you can point me to?

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Their are several of us using 6 blades. I personally have a 48SD with 6 blade as Sarge says and using them for 3 years. Also I have 42RD the same.

To get a good thread on the shaft I don't use any of the washers and use the same blades as Sarge. I doubled blades on Kubota O turn 60in.deck. 

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Most of the WH spindles are long enough to handle two blades , or - you could use nylon insert type jam nut but I'm not sure about their total strength . If your spindle sticks out of the end of the nut - it should be long enough to handle the extra blade clocked 90* to the original . You do this at your own risk - I use it this way due to a whole area that gets self-watered from old leaking tiles and a natural ditch in the back yard , which grows insanely thick and fast . There are times in the summer I have to mow every 4 days - that bottom area could use it in 3 days in comparison . Plus , most of it is fast growing rye grass for grazing - it's what the village uses to blend in whenever they do any digging work around town . We use the stuff at work to line ditches and banks - it's tough and fast growing but a pain to keep up with on an average lawn . Add that into various other types on this property and it's tough to keep up - I needed some way to grind the clippings up small enough to prevent having to pick it up fairly often - still a must several times in the summer .


The pics never do justice to the lay of the land - those hills will kill a splash lube Kohler if you run them sideways - had my brother mow for me once when I was working 14-15hrs a day on a large job - that cost me a 14hp Kohler K series engine when the rod exploded .



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Surprising how little damage was done to the blade - I expected it to be broken off as they do most of the time but it just took a chunk of the end and rearranged it -






Worst part was this set was just put on this last spring so they've only been sharpened twice this year - no fixing this one . The spare I put on to replace it was worn down almost 1/4" already and it had to be ground again to get a good edge - but it leaves no lines in the grass which was a surprise . 20 minute repair and the Horse is no worse for wear - I love this beast . If I had hit that with the little Deere lawn tractor I'm sure it would have shattered the spindle at least and probably bent the deck shell into a pretzel - those newer spindles that JD used are really thin and weak in comparison .


The leaves here are finally starting to come down and last night we had our first hard freeze as the temps early this morning were mid-20s . Got everything set up in the bigger shed to work on the D and will focus on that this week as weather permits to be warm enough to heat it up with the propane heater . Hope to have it back in service by week's end - they are calling for temps above 50*F and I need to finish some dirt work before the white stuff arrives .



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