Bagging Done Right for Perfect Results

 May 26, 2010

Believe it or not, there’s a low-maintenance way of bagging your grass and leaf clippings. We know what you’re probably thinking, but trust us on this one. There are certain things you can do to streamline the bagging process without disrupting productivity or cut quality.

First, you must remember three things: airflow, airflow and airflow. Airflow plays a major role in bagging. It’s the little things that make all the difference, from high blade tip speed to the right “breathability” in the system. The more your deck is able to breathe, the smoother the bagging process will be.

It’s a good idea to maintain a clean cutting deck.  If the underside of your deck is packed with grass, it won’t breathe as well.  Clean it out, and you will process more material. And keep the deck at ¼” positive rake.

Every bagger can get clogged with material.  Plugs normally start closer to your deck discharge, but check your hopper along the way.  To keep this clogging to a minimum in tough conditions, slow your forward ground speed while keeping engine throttle and rpm high.  This gives your deck the best opportunity to process material through the system to your hopper.

Also remember to keep your bag and hopper screen clean so more air passes through them. If your system does plug up, always shut down your mower completely before trying to clear material.

Keep your engine speed up.  Higher blade tip speed created by running your engine at full throttle will maximize air flow.  Engage your blades at ½ throttle first, then power up to full throttle for bagging.

For spring grasses, use a notched airfoil blade to increase air flow. In the fall, use blades that will process leaves to a finer grade, such as Exmark Extreme blades.  Also, blades with a higher sail lift (the upturned portion at each end of your blade) require more power from your engine, but also create more vacuum within your deck to pick up leaves.

We’d love to know if this post has been helpful. Leave your questions, comments and anything else on your mind below.

This post is by Mark Aldendifer, parts and accessories marketing manager at Exmark Manufacturing.