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  1. #1
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
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    Fort Wayne, IN
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    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    I'm looking at buying a 6' finish mower for my John Deere 4200 MFWD. I've seen the side and rear discharge models offered by Woods and Frontier (green Woods) that are within $50 in price for side vs. rear so that's not going to be the determining factor. What are the inherent advantages and disadvantages to side discharge and rear discharge systems? Why would/should I want one over the other?



  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    Janesville, Wisconsin
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    None -yet. Until then FunBuggy (EZ-Go) will have to do!

    Default Re: Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    Gary,

    From what I've seen in other threads that discussed this topic, the main difference seems to be that the rear discharge allows you to mow alongside any object in either direction, whereas with the side discharge you can't mow along the side that discharge chute is located. Also, the rear discharge apparently has less clumping and/or wind rowing than the side discharge.

    If I were going to be buying a mower, I think I would go with the rear discharge. It seems more versatile. I can't speak from experience, since I don't have a tractor YET! But I sure can pass on information that I've learned! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Platinum Member buppy69's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Western NC
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    Hinomoto E2804, Hinomoto N239,

    Default Re: Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    Get the rear discharge. You'll be glad you did.

    Eugene

  4. #4
    Super Member Inspector507's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    Gary,
    I have a rear discharge. I love it versus the side discharge on my old Craftsman rider. The side discharge left clumps or rows of grass, whereas the rear discharge spreads it out a little more even to the rear. And like Golfgar mentioned, you are limited in closeness on the side that the discharge is on.

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Dec 2000
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    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    I'm in the same process right now Gary and have tryed out both. I liked the rear discharge better for all the reasons mentioned. My favorite mower was a zero turn landpride accu-z they brought out. But I really didn't want to fork over $8k for it!!!! I think it'll just be a finish mower on the 4600.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
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    Lancaster County, PA
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    Kubota L3200, Ford 1210

    Default Re: Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    I like side discharge. Just bought a new one this Spring for the new tractor. Had a MMM for an old Cub Loboy, RFM for a Fords 1210, and now a RFM for the kubota. I much prefer rear-mount. The side-discharge lets me use the tractor to "rake" the leaves in the Fall. I mow with the guard up, and can trim around the tetherball pole. With the RFM, you can swerve and run the deck under low-hanging pines and shrubs. Everyone likes different stuff for their own reasons.............chim

  7. #7
    Super Member Inspector507's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    chim,
    May I ask why you like side vs rear discharge?

  8. #8
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
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    Lancaster County, PA
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    Kubota L3200, Ford 1210

    Default Re: Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    The main reason is being able to use it as a rake. In the Fall, it is a heck of a lot easier to "mow backwards", blowing the leaves from the center of the property to the fencerow, creek (hope DEP isn't tuned in), and the cornfields.

    Sometimes in the Summer either my schedule or poor planning causes me to mow the grass when it's much too long. I'll let the fresh-cut grass lay and dry for a day or so, then use the mower to blow the dried clippings into long rows that are raked up in a matter of a few minutes.

    My only personal experience with a rear-discharge deck has been with my Mom-in-law's John Deere (forgot the model number) mower. It's one of those with a 5' front deck and rear-mounted motor. It has always left little windrows of cut grass between the blades whether the blades were sharp, dull, or whatever. It never left her lawn looking good.............chim

  9. #9

    Default Re: Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    I used a JD272 side discharge for several years. got a Landpride FDR-84 rear discharge last year. If you want to manage the clippings (pick up, etc), the windrow from the side discharge is handy. Otherwise, I really prefer the r-d. It spreads the clippings enough that they don't clump and suffocate the grass.
    You can mow in any pattern, whereas with the s-d, you generally have to mow counterclockwise from outside-in, due to the exit chute being on the right. This is to throw the clippings over the previously cut areas. If you throw the clippings onto uncut grass, the mower will get really clogged and does a poor cutting job (if grass is wet, fuggetaboutit). And eventually you'll create some monster piles.
    The r-d is simply more flexible to use.
    One point about machine dimensions - a s-d's chute adds several inches to the width, whereas a r-d is only 2-3" wider than the cutting width, so if you store in a narrow space (barn, etc), you need to factor in that.
    On the other hand, my r-d LP's deck is longer, which requires more room in the shed to store.
    Before you buy, scrutinize the way the deck floats on the wheels. Any unit will cut decently on flat tabletops, but for uneven ground, several have wheel positions that cause the deck to scuff the surface, digging up, gouging the grass. Absolutely need the optional roller in the front too.
    Hope some of this helps. jim

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Location
    Wilson NC
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    Several

    Default Re: Finish Mower: side discharge vs. rear discharge

    Read with pleasure some really good advice from various sources. Nothing like some hands-on-use..!
    I have designed, worked with and reviewed many mowers in all types of grass and terrain.
    The market is very much going to Rear Discharge. Size is a factor every time you mow: more and more 84" units are used, all with rollers in front. Floatation is also VERY important. So is easy cleaning and paint quality. Of the 30-something brands offered, only a few offer POWDER paint.
    Then there is the value. What initial cost and what are the REAL prices of the replacement parts such as blades, belts, tires and even a PTO. Remember the Woods dealer who wanted I believe $100 for a relacement wheel..ouch !
    Ask your dealer to check into First Choice. Or contact them yourself. Without doubt the fastest growing brand in the industry. And for good reasons.
    You will likely save some $500 over the well known shortliners such as Woods, LP & Bush Hog. You can even get them in YOUR colour.

    Above all enjoy your new mower !


    PS Send us some water here in E-NC.


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