One of the great things about riding mowers is how convenient they are. What isn’t convenient is when your mower decides to stop bagging up the grass properly. Plenty of riding lawn mower owners experience this issue, so we’ve created this troubleshooting guide and rounded up some of the common reasons behind your bagger issues.
Reasons your riding mower bagger might not be working
A faulty grass bagger can be a real nightmare, especially given the price of ride-on mowers. Here are five reasons your mower’s bagger might not be working:
1. Wrong blades or they’re fitted incorrectly
Be sure to check your manufacturer handbook to identify the correct blades for your mower. If you’re using the wrong blades you might find that these are preventing the grass being sent up the chute as it should be. We’ve heard stories of people buying mowers with the blades incorrectly assembled (upside down) so the grass was being shot down rather than up!
2. Wet Grass
Wet grass can be problematic when it comes to using a bagger. Firstly, the texture of wet grass is stickier and more likely to form clogs rather than passing through the chute without problems. Mowing wet grass also causes issues because grass blades containing moisture is heavier than dry grass, in turn making it far more difficult for your mower to send it up the chute. The solution to this of course is waiting for grass to dry before cutting it, side disposal is another alternative.
3. Clogged Bagger
Cleaning out the collection bags can also be a helpful idea. If they’re made out of mesh (which is common) you may find that debris and grass clippers has built up, creating pressure when it comes to your mowers airflow. This seemingly mild restriction can have a large effect on your baggers’ productivity. A simple way around this is to clean it every so often using a garden hose or with a pressure washer if build-up gets really bad.
4. Blockages in the Chute and Deck
Dirt and grass cuttings can easily cause clogs and blockages.These blockages can be the reason that grass is no longer reaching the bagger, the most simple way to prevent this is to regularly check your chute and cutting deck then clean them when you notice any build-up of debris.
5. Using the Wrong Speed
You need to make sure that you’re operating the mower at the correct speed. If you’re using it too quickly you may find that the system doesn’t have time to send the clippings up through the chute and into the bagger. A telltale sign of this is if your clippings are being shot out underneath the deck. On the flip side, other people run their mower at high speeds to help bagging as they feel this helps get the clippings up into the bags. Everyone’s mower will be different so be sure to check your manufacturer guidelines on the required operating speed.
Other Troubleshooting Tips
Making sure that the bagger is fitted securely is essential. A good way to troubleshoot whether it’s a flow issue or a bagger issue is to remove the bagger and monitor whether clippings get discharged from the rear. If worst comes to worst it’s always worth ringing the manufacturer and seeing if they’ll offer you support (even out of warranty). An alternative to bagging is to mulch instead, especially if you have loose soil (it will also help you save on fertilizer).