I've been mowing it all with the JD for nearly 10 years. It takes nearly 3.5 hours, 48" deck is too small. Although the Bolens leaves a less than desirable finish, it has knocked an hour off of the total time.
I am confident that increasing the blade speed, replacing the running gear with a well designed caster system and doing away with the integral chute portion of the deck will provide results that I can be content with.
It really is a nice little garden tractor, whoever had it before me took very good care of it. It has plenty of power and uses less than half of the fuel that the JD consumes. JD = 5 gallons of gasoline to mow the yard. Bolens = 2 1/4 gallons of diesel for the same task.
For what I paid for the Bolens, I really have no reason to complain. I'd like to get a 60" Hustler but I cannot justify the price, considering that the only thing it's good for is mowing grass.
This experiment is more fun anyway. It doesn't take much time to fab up a good wheel kit and swap out a few pulleys. So far I get the feeling that most riding mowers stay around 16k SFM to ensure that they are well under the maximum limit and also pass the projectile test.
While we can all speculate, none of us actually know what the results will be from a drastic increase in blade tip speed. I intend to fu€k around and find out .
Most 'lawn tractors' have very shallow decks, made to cut 1-2" off the top of the lawn. Speed isn't a concern, that's why they have cup/bottle holders built it. Have a beer, relax, putt around the yard all afternoon. It's what home owners do on the weekend....My 1976 Deutscher mower is 1000% better made than the cheapie MTD(is $3000 cheap?) I bought last year.............I should have spent $600 on a new motor for the Deutscher ............anyhoo,the MTDs problem is it doesnt like grass ,the cutter deck just chokes with grass ,and will smoke the drive belt,then stall the motor ..............the reason the Deutscher works is the cutter deck is a flat steel sheet with two edges folded over .........the cut grass can escape freely and not choke up the blades.
Bingo, we have a winner.... also check for any slippage at the blade pulleys. Slip factor can sneak in and all your calculations go out the window.The deck should not be level. It should be level side to side but actually should be tilted down towards the front. Level or tilted up in front will cause extra drag in heavy or wet grass. Enough to bog the engine in some cases. I set mine about 1/4" lower in front than in the rear. That gives you clearance sort of like on the bottom of an endmill (really more like heeling, but same result). I can probably check my JD 62" deck (also diesel) today and tell you how fast it spins.
One of the guys I used to work with put a highly modified 460 in a JD 445 garden tractor and used it in several tractor pulling contests. There were several garden tractor pulling clubs in our area for many years. I still see a few outdoor arenas manicured for pulling but haven't seen much action in recent years. I think the pandemic had negative impact on many of the clubs. Most builders were in their late 50's or retired before the pandemic. They probably didn't want to take the chance of getting infected at the crowded contests.I keep thinking of modifying my Toro ride on for better, more efficient cutting.
The idea of lazer mowing is not all that far out there. A company called Carbon Robotics out of Detroit recently introduced a lazer powered “cultivator” for row crops. It was demonstrated a few weeks ago on NBC news.
The machine travels slowly through the field detecting weeds in the crop rows. Lasers are then activated to burn them off. The machine is part of their effort to minimize the use of weed killers
You can buy them but you better be sitting down when you here the price. The current model sells for 1.3 million. It is totally robotic It can run 24 hours a day and replace 30 laborers
My 1976 Deutscher mower is 1000% better made than the cheapie MTD(is $3000 cheap?) I bought last year.............I should have spent $600 on a new motor for the Deutscher ............anyhoo,the MTDs problem is it doesnt like grass ,the cutter deck just chokes with grass ,and will smoke the drive belt,then stall the motor ..............the reason the Deutscher works is the cutter deck is a flat steel sheet with two edges folded over .........the cut grass can escape freely and not choke up the blades.