What’s the Best Way to Deal with Clippings: Mulching, Bagging or Discharge?

What’s the Best Way to Deal with Clippings: Mulching, Bagging or Discharge?While there are generally accepted practices for cutting grass, there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to dealing with the clippings. Is mulching always the best option? Why shouldn’t you always bag clippings? Why would you want a rear discharge deck? Here’s what you need to know about how these methods work, and when you want to use them to deal with your lawn clippings.


Under most circumstances, mulching is the best choice for mowing. Mulching cuts grass clippings into tiny pieces, allowing their nutrients to be reabsorbed into the soil. Returning these clippings to the lawn also supports microorganism growth, acting as a sort of first course before microbes tackle the tough, woody material that makes up thatch. Done correctly, mulching reduces the need for fertilizer and keeps thatch buildup under control.

Modern mulching systems use high lift blades that act like fans, blowing clippings up into the deck’s mowing chamber. As the clippings fall back down, they’re sliced again. Large clippings continue to flow back into the mowing chamber, while small clippings fall between the blades onto the ground.

All that cutting can bog down the mower with clippings. To speed up this process, Honda’s Microcut system uses a pair of blades stacked on top of each other to slice clippings twice with each pass. Other manufacturers like Scag take a similar approach, adding serrated edges to the ends of their mulching blades to make two initial cuts before mulching.

In the past, there was a major difference in mulching performance between stamped and constructed mower decks. While a stamped deck can be shaped to hug the blades for increased vacuum, a constructed deck’s flat sides leaves the deck almost completely open. Today, manufacturers get around this by including baffles with their mulching kits. These metal plates seal the mowing chamber, improving vacuum. While you won’t get the finish of a stamped deck, the results are much closer than they were on older mowers.


Bagging is generally frowned upon in the landscaping community. By removing clippings, you’re stripping their nutrients from the soil. More fertilizer has to be added to the soil to compensate. However, there are times when you may not want clippings on your lawn:

– If weeds are germinating, mulching or discharging will spread their seeds across your lawn.

– While you can leave a thin layer of mulched leaves on your lawn for microorganisms to digest, a thick layer will block water and sunlight while turning acidic. Bagging removes leaves before they get out of hand.

– If you have black walnut trees, you may want to remove all leaves from your lawn. These leaves contain juglone, a chemical that is poisonous to a wide variety of plants.

The clippings you collect don’t have to go in the garbage. Instead, you can create a compost pile. Weed seeds, pollen and juglone break down after a few weeks, making the resulting mulch harmless to your lawn.

Side Discharge

A side discharge system is the simplest way to deal with clippings. The blades cut the grass and push the clippings out of a chute on the side of the deck. Vacuum is still important to lift the grass and get an even finish, but there’s no need for tall mowing chambers, tight tolerances and high lift blades to get a good cut. However, the clippings left behind can clump together, and they don’t integrate into the soil as well.

Discharging takes less power than mulching, making this method a good choice for exceptionally tall or thick grass. To keep your lawn healthy, never cut more than one-third of the grass’s height at a time. If you need to get overgrown grass down to a manageable height, cut one-third of its length over multiple mows, letting the grass recover for a couple days between cuts.

Rear Discharge

Aside from some walk-behind mowers, a rear discharge deck cannot be adapted to bag or mulch clippings. However, letting the clippings leave the rear of the deck eliminates the need for a discharge chute. This makes rear discharge decks narrower than other decks. Since clippings are spread across the entire width of the deck, there’s less chance of clumping. Rear discharge mowers are a great choice for maximizing cutting width while keeping the mower small enough to weave through and around landscape features.

We Can Help You No Matter How You Mow

Need to upgrade your mower for mulching or bagging? Want to add a rear discharge mower to your fleet? No matter your needs, Shank’s Lawn Equipment can help you. We’re a dealer for most major mower brands, including Honda, Cub Cadet, Exmark, Scag and Wright. We can help you find a mower that fits your needs, add accessories, and keep it running with parts and repairs. When you need lawn care equipment, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also order parts and accessories from us at www.shankslawn.com. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.

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Scag Wide Area Walk Behind Mowers: Balancing Speed and Maneuverability

Scag Wide Area Walk Behind Mowers: Balancing Speed and ManeuverabilityWhen you need to mow around landscape features, nothing beats a walk-behind mower. When you need to cover a lot of ground, nothing beats a mower with a big deck. Want a mower that can do both? That’s where Scag’s wide area walk-behind mowers come in. They’re compact and easy to maneuver, but they’re also available with decks ranging from 32 to 61 inches. Add in features like hydrostatic drive, and you get mowers that can go just about anywhere while offering the mowing speed of a small ZTR.


All models come with Kawasaki FS Series engines. These V-Twins don’t have the advanced filtration system of the FX, but everything else carries over, including the rotating grass chopper screen and built-in cleanout ports. That means you get commercial reliability with low weight. This engine is mounted between the deck and controls, making it easy to access for maintenance.


Scag offers two deck designs with their walk-behinds: 32 and 36-inch Advantage Cutter decks, and 48, 52, and 61-inch Velocity Plus decks. The Velocity Plus adds bumpers to resist impacts and uses slightly thicker metal than the Advantage Cutter. Otherwise, these decks are almost identical. They both use multi-layer constructed shells with built-in baffles to increase mowing chamber vacuum.
The result is good cut quality with maximum durability.

However, there’s a big difference between these decks if you want to mulch. Velocity Plus decks can be equipped with the Hurricane Plus mulching system, This adds more baffles, a metal mulch plug and high lift blades with double serrated edges for superior mulching performance. Advantage Cutter decks can be equipped with a mulch plug, turbo baffle and high lift blades. Mulching performance is good, but it can’t match Hurricane Plus. With either deck, you can add a fabric bag grass catcher to the chute to capture clippings. This works like a bagger on a small walk-behind, letting you lift out and dump the entire bag when it’s full.

These decks are paired with the same Ogura clutches used in Scag’s ZTRs. These have an adjustable air gap, letting you compensate for wear to extend the clutch’s life.


Scag makes three wide area walk-behind models: the SW, SWZ and SWZT.

This line of mowers uses a 5-speed Peerless transmission. In top gear, these mowers can reach 6 MPH. A twin belt drive improves reliability and makes slipping less likely if the mower gets wet. The SW is offered with 32, 36, 48 and 52-inch decks.

The controls are mounted on a three position handle that rotates up and down to fit operators of different heights. Spring-assisted EZ grip controls reduce hand fatigue.

The SWZ uses a hydrostatic drive system, giving it zero turning radius capability. A combination of Hydro-Gear pumps and Parker drive motors delivers a top speed of 7.4 MPH. Scag’s Adjust-a-Track system controls neutral and tracking with a single adjuster. It has the same three position handle and EZ grip controls found on the SW. Scag makes the SWZ with 36, 48, 52 and 61-inch decks.

Like the SWZ, this mower line uses a hydrostatic drive. However, in place of separate pumps and motors, it uses a pair of Hydro-Gear ZT-2800 transaxles. With the motor and pump built into a single unit, there are no hoses or fittings that can leak. Together, these units can propel these mowers to a top speed of 7 MPH.

The SWZT uses fixed controls, but they have an angled handle like you’ll find on a stander mower. This lets the operator use a more natural grip, reducing wrist fatigue.

These mowers are offered with 36, 48, 52 and 61-inch decks. The SWZT’s deck height adjustment uses a set pin that goes into clearly marked holes, like you’ll find on a ride-on ZTR.


Kawasaki guarantees FS Series engines for three years of commercial use.

Scag guarantees the SW, SWZ and SWZT two years of commercial use, or either three years or 500 hours of residential use. On SW and SWZ models, the cutter deck spindle and Velocity Plus decks are covered for three years. All Scag products are covered for 90 days when used for rentals.

Get the Perfect Mower for Your Needs

Whether you have a small yard, or you cut grass for a living, Shank’s Lawn Equipment has a mower for you. We carry most major mower brands, including Scag, Exmark and Cub Cadet. Looking for parts? We have a massive warehouse, which means there’s a good chance we have what you need in stock. Need repairs? Let our service department take care of it. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We also ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada. If you need something for your Scag, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.

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Cub Cadet Ultima Series ZTX

Cub Cadet Ultima Series ZTXThe term “prosumer” is thrown around a lot when referring to high-end electronics and camera equipment, but this word also fits the Cub Cadet Ultima Series ZTX. It bridges the gap between residential mowers, which emphasize ease-of-use over durability, and professional mowers, which are too expensive for non-commercial buyers. The result is a ZTR that has comfort features that would be noteworthy on a commercial model, along with top-grade components and construction. However, you don’t have to spend commercial mower money to put one of these in your garage.

Professional Deck Quality, Consumer Deck Maintenance Requirements

All ZTX mowers come with a constructed deck made with 10 gauge steel. 7 gauge steel is used to make side wraps and a skid plate, adding reinforcement where you’re most likely to strike obstacles. This deck has a tall mowing chamber, sloped sides, and overlapping blade positioning to maximize vacuum. The result is a rugged deck that nearly matches the cut quality of a stamped deck. The blades mount to spindles with sealed bearings, making them maintenance-free. Anti-scalp wheels come standard.

The ZTX line is offered with 48, 54, and 60 inch wide decks. Cub Cadet says 48-inch deck mowers can tackle 4 to 9 acres, while 54 and 60-inch decks are good for lawns from 4 to 10 acres. If your lawn is near the top end of this size range, a larger deck will cut mowing time significantly.

These mowers come equipped with a foot-operated deck lift with a dial adjuster. This lets you lift the deck to go over curbs, then drop it back down to your preferred mowing height.

Built for Comfort

Cub Cadet builds the ZTX around a robot-welded tubular steel frame. It has a built-in bumper that surrounds the engine without getting in the way of maintenance. A ROPS bar protects the operator in the event of a rollover. This bar folds down, making it easier to store and transport.

The seat is mounted on isolators, and both the seat position and armrests are adjustable. A thick rubber mat covers the footplate, stopping one more source of vibration. The ZTX5 and ZTX6 also have suspension arms built into the front caster wheels. This softens bumps, keeping the deck planted for a better mowing finish.

Top Quality Engines

ZTX4 models come with Kohler 7000 engines. Based on the block used in their professional Command Pro, this engine doesn’t get the Pro’s high-end air filtration system. However, most of the features carry over intact, including their Consistent-Cut governor. It’s designed to help the engine react quickly to load changes, so blade speed doesn’t drop when you drive into a patch of thick grass.

ZTX5 models come with Kawasaki FR Series engines. Like the 7000, Kawasaki starts with a commercial engine, removing features to lower the price. Again, the main difference is the lack of a commercial-grade air box.

Want commercial-grade power? The ZTX6 uses the Kawasaki FX. This engine is one of the most popular choices in commercial ZTRs, ensuring a long service life in these residential mowers. Despite being the most powerful engine in the ZTX lineup, it’s only offered with 48 and 54-inch decks.

Drive Systems

Cub Cadet equips the ZTX with Hydro-Gear ZT Series transaxles. These units combine the pump and drive motor into one unit, eliminating hoses. All three units are commercial grade and use an external oil filter for easy maintenance. Top speed for the mower depends on the transaxle model:

ZT 3100 – 8 MPH
ZT 3200 – 8.5 MPH
ZT 3400 – 9 MPH

All three have a reverse top speed of 3.5 MPH.


For the most part, the available accessories are what you’d expect for a mower like this. There’s a triple bagger kit for lawn clipping collection. The mulching kit comes with high lift blades and a deck plug to turn clippings into fine mulch. If you want a ballpark finish, you can add a lawn striping kit to roll the grass as you mow.

What you probably don’t expect is a 52-inch plow kit and tire chains. This makes the ZTX one of the few ZTRs on the market that can move snow.


Kohler and Kawasaki both guarantee their engines for three years. Cub Cadet guarantees the rest of the mower for four years or 500 hours of operation.

When You Think Mowers, Think Shank’s

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has helped professionals and homeowners with their lawn equipment for over 35 years. We carry mowers of all sizes from walk-behinds to ZTRs from several major brands, including Cub Cadet, Wright, and Exmark. Looking for parts, accessories, or repairs? Our service and parts departments can provide you with the support you need to keep your mower working. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also order parts and accessories from us at www.shankslawn.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.

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Cub Cadet Ultima Series ZT

Cub Cadet Ultima Series ZTDo you think a zero turning radius mower would make mowing your lawn easier, but it would be too expensive? Then the Cub Cadet Ultima Series ZT is for you. This line of mowers costs about the same as equivalent lawn and garden tractors without cutting corners on components. This makes them a great choice for larger lawns filled with landscape features. If you’re new to ZTRs, the model choices can be confusing. This breakdown will help you pick the features you need to take care of your lawn.


A mower’s top speed is only important during transport. To get a good cut, you’ll go the same speed on any mower. As a result, deck width is the most important factor in determining mowing speed. However, wider isn’t automatically better. A smaller deck can get into tight spaces, and it tilts less from left to right, getting a cleaner cut with less scalping on uneven terrain.

Cub Cadet offers the ZT series with 42, 46, 50, 54 and 60-inch width decks. A 42 or 46-inch deck is a good choice for up to two acres, while a 50 or 54-inch deck is a good choice for properties up to four acres. A 60-inch deck can cover up to 5 acres.

All but one ZT model comes with an 11 gauge fabricated steel deck. These decks are built by welding together pieces of flat steel sheet, creating a deck that can withstand hard impacts. Cub Cadet backs these decks with a lifetime warranty.

The ZT1’s 42-inch deck is made from 13 gauge stamped steel. This deck won’t take the abuse of the fabricated decks. However, by forming the deck using a single piece of metal, the sides curve around the blades. This increases the mowing chamber vacuum, resulting in a cleaner cut.


The ZT1 46 uses Cub Cadet’s own 679cc V-Twin. Like the company’s single-cylinder engines, this twin was developed in-house specifically for their equipment. That means you can expect the same easy starting and maintenance their walk-behind mowers are known for.

The Kawasaki FS Series is built for use in a variety of mower applications, including ZTRs and wide-area walk-behinds. Kawasaki focused on low weight and emissions requirements when designing these engines. However, you still get cast-iron liners, a full pressure lubrication system and integrated clean out ports. It’s only offered with a 60-inch deck.

The Kawasaki FR Series is basically a low cost, consumer-oriented version of their professional FX Series. It may not have the FX’s advanced air filtration system, but it comes with features like cast iron cylinder liners and a grass chopping screen to ensure a long service life. This engine is offered with 50 and 54-inch decks.

The Kohler 7000 is a consumer version of their professional grade Command Pro. Kohler’s Consistent-Cut governor helps the engine react quickly to load changes. This maintains blade speed for an even finish. The 7000 is offered with 42 and 52-inch decks.

Hydrostatic Drive

By using valves to control the flow of fluid, a hydrostatic drive unit can change speed independently of the engine. This keeps blade speed up no matter how fast or slow you’re moving. A ZTR uses two drive units, one for each drive wheel. Wheel speed is controlled independently by the lap bars. Move one wheel faster than the other, and the mower will turn. With one wheel spinning in reverse, and the other forward, the mower will spin in place, hence “zero turning radius.”

Cub Cadet uses Hydro-Gear integrated transaxles in the ZT Series. These units have a built-in pump and motor, making them compact and eliminates hoses that can leak. The ZT 2200 EZT is designed to be basically maintenance free. It has a top speed of 7 MPH. Cub Cadet uses this transaxle on 42, 50 and 54 inch ZT1 mowers.

The ZT 2800 is the company’s largest residential transaxle. It has an external oil filter, and needs occasional fluid changes. This unit has a top speed of 7.5 MPH. Cub Cadet uses this transaxle on 50, 54 and 60 inch ZT2 mowers.

Big or Small, We Have Mowers to Fit Your Needs

When you need a lawn mower, talk to the experts at Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We carry all types of mowers, including walk-behinds, tractors and ZTRs for both homeowners and commercial users. We’re also a dealer for most major brands, including Cub Cadet, Exmark, and Wright. Need parts or repairs for your mower? We have a massive parts warehouse and a service department that is certified to repair everything we sell. Visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We also ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada. To order, or to see the equipment we currently have in stock, go to www.shankslawn.com.

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Trimming and Edging: Getting the Borders that Give Your Lawn a Professional Finish

Shindaiwa’s New Edger and TrimmersTrimming, watering, overseeding and fertilizing can help you get a thick, green lawn. However, to get a great looking lawn, you need to make defined borders between your grass and the surrounding pavement and landscape features. These tips will help you get these crisp lines without damaging your landscaping.

Use the Right Angles: Hardscaping vs Landscaping

Driveways, sidewalks, stepping stones and solid edging have flat sides. They need a sharp 90-degree edge next to them to look their best. This keeps grass from hanging over these materials, and helps visually separate landscape and hardscape.

With mulch piles, trees, flower beds and other landscaping features, you need a 45-degree edge to get a good transition. This creates a bowl-shaped depression that holds in mulch, and helps feather in the border between different types of plant growth.

Choosing the Best Tool for the Job

An edger will get a sharper, straighter line than a string trimmer around hardscaping. However, a string trimmer is more forgiving around landscaping. Here, a sharp line will look out of place unless you have metal or plastic edging in place.

Need to create a new border around landscaping features? For the best results, use a bed edger. It has the power and size to cut through untouched soil in a couple passes. Bed edgers are also great for re-establishing edges, but you can also get good results by fitting your standard edger with a redefiner blade. This blade has stacks of angled teeth that claw through the soil, reshaping the border.

If you keep digging into the soil, the edge will spread. Once you have defined lines, only trim new growth. You’re less likely to cut soil using a string trimmer. Keep the head at 90 degrees from the ground at all times when edging hardscaping, and at 45 degrees around landscaping.

Getting a Good Cut

When it comes to hardscaping, evenness is everything. Stay against the pavement, especially when using a string trimmer. Veering away will cut into neighboring grass roots, damaging your lawn. This can create a jagged space full of bald spots.

When you establish a new border around landscaping, start with a 90-degree cut. This defines the border between the bed and the lawn. Next, go back and make a 45 degree cut around this edge. This feathers in the grass, creating a smooth transition.

If you want the best results, trim after mowing. It may be easier to mow after trimming to mulch all the grass clippings at once. However, if the grass is already cut, it’s easy to get trimmed areas to match. This creates a clean, even surface.

Taller grass and harder soil take more effort to cut. If you use a bed edger on clay soil, make a pass using the edger’s shallow setting, then a second pass using its deep setting. Why tidying up edges in dense soil, you will get better results with a pole edger than a string trimmer. The pole edger makes it easier to move slowly across the ground while maintaining a straight line. This gives the blade more time to cut.

When working on mulch beds, make sure the mulch is in a pile that slopes down into the border. The edge of the much should be slightly lower than the top soil. This slope keeps the mulch from rolling into the yard, and makes it easier to cut the surrounding grass. This pile needs to be at least two inches deep to suppress weed growth. That means the edge of the border should be three to four inches below the surface of the top soil.

Get the Equipment You Need for a Great Lawn

Shank’s Lawn Equipment has the tools you need for lawn care, whether you’re a homeowner or a professional landscaper. We carry string trimmers, edgers and bed shapers from several major brands including Brown Products, Cub Cadet, Echo, Little Wonder and Shindaiwa. We service everything we sell, and we have the parts you need to repair and upgrade these machines yourself. Visit us in person at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA, or online at www.shankslawn.com. We ship parts and accessories across the United States and Canada.

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Cub Cadet CC 30 H Riding Mower

Cub Cadet CC 30 H Riding MowerThe Cub Cadet CC 30 H’s rear-engine design may seem old-fashioned, but there’s a reason why this riding mower is the best-selling model in its segment. Simple construction, great visibility, and compact size makes it a practical alternative to walk-behind mowers. If you’re tired of using a walk-behind mower on your lawn, it’s definitely worth a look.

Bigger isn’t Always Better

A wide deck and a big engine are great to have if you need to mow a big yard. However, it doesn’t do much good if you have a regular suburban yard, and you can’t get your mower across most of it. That’s where this Cub Cadet really shines.

The CC 30 is small enough to fit through most gates. It’s not as nimble as a ZTR, but its 18-inch turning radius is far smaller than a front engine lawn tractor. That means most owners can easily get into narrow spaces, mowing their entire lawn with one machine instead of switching to a walk-behind mower for part of the job. By putting the engine in the back, the operator has a clear view, making tight maneuvers even easier.

Cub Cadet recommends this mower for cutting up to 1 acre of flat terrain, but it can handle up to a 21% slope. This makes it a great upgrade from a walk-behind mower.


The CC 30 uses a single-cylinder 382cc OHC engine designed and built by Cub Cadet. Unlike other engines in this class, it uses a fully pressurized oiling system with an oil filter. This keeps the engine fully lubricated for longer service life. It also has an automatic choke and an electric starter. Most maintenance on this engine is limited to yearly services: changing the oil, replacing the fuel filter, and cleaning a few key components.


While the overall design of the CC 30 hasn’t changed in years, there’s one huge upgrade: a hydrostatic transmission. The Hydro-Gear T2HP gives the CC 30 has a top speed of 4 MPH going forward, and 2 MPH in reverse. The transmission is controlled using two foot levers. The largest one on the right side acts like a gas pedal: the more you push down, the faster the mower goes. Push the small lever next to the driver’s seat, and the mower backs up. Combined with the rack-based steering, it makes operating this mower feel like driving a car.

The hydrostatic transmission is maintenance free. A built-in cooling fan and die-cast aluminum case maintain fluid temperatures, so the hydraulic fluid will last the life of the mower. Using a hydrostatic drive separates mower speed from engine speed, so the blade can run at full speed 100% of the time, improving cut quality.


The CC 30 H uses a 30-inch deck made from stamped 14 gauge steel. This lets Cub Cadet form a mowing chamber that hugs the blade, increasing vacuum for a precise cut. It has a built-in wash port, so you can hook up a garden hose to clean out grass buildup without removing the deck. Deck height can be set to one of 5 positions ranging from one to 4.5 inches.


Cub Cadet offers several ways to change how this mower handles grass clippings. The mulching kit comes with a deck plug and a high lift blade. This traps clippings inside the deck housing, where they pass by the blade multiple times. With each pass, the blade chops them into finer and finer pieces, turning them into a fine mulch. Want to remove clippings? The bagger kit has a 3.25-bushel capacity, and it’s designed to be easy to install and remove.

This mower can also pull small trailers. Cub Cadet offers a 12.5 cubic foot utility cart and a 12 cubic foot steel cart. There’s also the hauler trailer, which has fold-down sides. This lets you use it as a bucket-shaped box or flatbed trailer.

The CC 30 can also be used for other jobs around the yard. The 44-inch sweeper picks up leaves and lawn debris for easy disposal. The 175 lb. broadcast spreader is handy for overseeding as well as spreading pelletized fertilizer and herbicides.


Cub Cadet guarantees the CC 30 H for three years or 120 hours of residential use. This warranty extends to the engine.

Big or Small, We Have the Equipment You Need

Shank’s Lawn Equipment doesn’t just sell to commercial landscapers. We carry a wide range of brands, including Cub Cadet and Troy-Bilt. If you’re looking for a new mower, or you need accessories or repairs for your old mower, come see us. Our shop is at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.

Need parts or accessories for your Cub Cadet? We can ship what you need to any address in the USA or Canada. To order, visit us at www.shankslawn.com.

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Vortexx Cold Water Heavy Duty Pressure Washers: Maximum Reliability for Tough Jobs

Vortexx Cold Water Heavy Duty Pressure Washers: Maximum Reliability for Tough JobsAre you a professional cleaner? Are you looking to add pressure washing to your landscaping business? Do you need to keep a fleet of vehicles clean? If you have demanding jobs, you need a Vortexx pressure washer. Their cold water commercial pressure washers don’t cut corners. From their pumps to their frames, every component is built for maximum reliability, making the best choice for commercial operations.

Why Should I Choose a Vortexx Commercial Washer for My Business?

The most important reason: COOLFLO pump protection. These pressure washers don’t use off-the-shelf pumps. Vortexx works directly with AR’s engineers, adding re-buildable unloaders, extra filters, three-foot bypass hoses, and thermal relief valves to their pumps. Stainless steel quick connectors are used on every connection from the pump to the gun. These modifications reduce or eliminate the most common points of failure. Vortexx guarantees these pumps for 6 years of commercial use, something you will never see from other manufacturers.

Everything is mounted on a one-piece welded aluminum frame. That means you don’t have to worry about corrosion, and there are no frame bolts that will vibrate loose during use. This frame has built-in storage for the hose and wand. There are also cutouts in the frame to drain oil, making maintenance cleaner and easier.

Vortexx’s exclusive tow and stow handle slides out when you need to move the cart, and folds back down to take up less space during transport or storage. All three of these commercial models use foam-filled tires that won’t go flat.



2,950 PSI
8,850 Cleaning Units

The smallest of these commercial models uses a Honda GX200 to power an AR VRT3 triplex plunger pump. This sends water through a 50-foot non-marking hose. The gun handles a maximum of 4,500 PSI and has a 48-inch long lance.


4000 PSI
16,000 Cleaning Units

Look at the GPM and PSI ratings, and you might think that this pressure washer is only about 30% more powerful than the VX3000HD. However, when you put the added flow rate and pressure together, you get almost double the cleaning power.

To deliver this much power, Vortexx pairs a Honda GX390 with an AR RRV Series pump. The VX4000HD comes with a 50-foot Uber-Flex hose by Propulse. This hose is kink and abrasion resistant, and its textured finish reduces surface friction, making it easier to wind, unwind and drag. The gun is rated at 5,100 PSI, and it comes with a 48-inch lance.


4,000 PSI
16,000 Cleaning Units

On the surface, this washer doesn’t seem much different from the HD. The two pressure washers share most of the same components, but the XG has a gear drive that reduces pump speed by 50%. This extends service intervals on the unit’s AR RX Series pump. Otherwise, you get all the same features as the HD, including the Uber-Flex hose.


Vortexx has everything you would expect for your pressure washer. Need a foam lance to lay down cleaning chemicals? What about a surface cleaner for pavement, or a deck cleaner to spread out spray for faster cleaning? Want to use a rotojet or turbo nozzles for quick coverage and less chance of surface damage? What about a longer lance that can reach up high to clean windows and gutters? They have all of those attachments, often with several different size options. They also have a couple of unusual attachments you may want to consider.

The sludge vac turns your pressure washer into a trash pump, moving up to 15 times the rated pump GPM. This lets you use it for everything from cleaning out car wash pits to emptying flooded basements. It uses water flow from the pump to drag along gray water and trash. That means there are no moving parts involved, making it less susceptible to damage than a standard trash pump.

The industrial and professional wet sandblaster kits use water pressure to draw in and mix sand with water. This is as effective as a regular sandblaster, but since the sand is wet, it doesn’t create dust. The industrial sandblaster has the option of using different sizes of tungsten carbide nozzles.

We’re Your Professional Equipment Headquarters

Shank’s Lawn Equipment is an authorized dealer for Vortexx, AR Pumps, and Honda Engines. That means we don’t just sell these pressure washers, we can service everything on them. If you’re looking for a new pressure washer, or you want parts or service for your current machine, visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA.

Do you need parts or accessories for your Vortexx pressure washer? Visit us online at www.shankslawn.com. You can order what you need from our website and have it delivered to your door, whether you live in the United States or Canada.

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Troy Bilt Tillers

Troy Bilt TillersWhether you want to do some minor landscaping or turn your back yard into a garden, Troy Bilt makes a tiller that fits your needs. However, with multiple lines spanning 12 models, finding the right tiller can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know to get the right tiller for your next landscaping or gardening project.

How Features Affect Performance

Tine Direction

Forward rotating: The blades move in the same direction as the wheels. This pushes through soft soil with ease. Forward rotating tillers are a good choice if you’re preparing already tilled ground.

Counter-rotating: The blades move in the opposite direction of the wheels. This helps them cut deep into unplowed soil. They also don’t transfer as much vibration to the handle when cutting through heavy clay or rocks.

Dual direction: The Mustang Dual Direction tiller can switch between forward and counter-rotating the tines. This lets you choose between heavy ground turning or working tilled soil.

Tine Shape

Troy Bilt’s bolo tines have a unique shape that captures dirt as it’s sliced, chopping and turning each clump before being dropped on the ground. All tillers except the Ranger FT have these tines.

Tine Placement

Front-mounted tines work best for previously tilled soil, picking up and turning dirt with little effort. The Ranger FT, Colt FT and Colt FT XP are front tine tillers. All other Troy Bilt tillers have rear-mounted tines. This helps the tines dig into packed down soil, making them the best choice for difficult jobs.

“Just One Hand” Operation

Troy-Bilt designs their tillers to be used with one hand on the controls. This lets you walk alongside the tiller, staying out of the path of the dirt. It also keeps you from compacting the freshly turned soil with your feet.

Tilling Width

A wider width reduces the time it takes to make new garden plots, while a narrow width tiller can easily pass between plants. Some models have adjustable width tines for both jobs.


Forward rotating tines push the tiller along automatically, so there’s no drive system required for the wheels. Most Troy Bilt counter-rotating models have a single speed transmission that matches wheel speed to tine speed. Power reverse helps pull the tiller out when it gets stuck, and makes the tiller easier to maneuver. The Big Red and Horse have multiple gears to match the tiller speed with the ground condition and your walking speed.

Tine Drive

The Colt FT and FT XP use a chain drive, and the Ranger has a light duty gearbox. All other tillers have a heavy-duty gearbox with a limited lifetime warranty.


Most Troy-Bilt tillers are powered by the company’s own line of residential engines. Pro Line tillers use Honda’s GC residential engine, while the Pony, Horse and Big Red use Briggs & Stratton commercial engines.


There are a lot of similarities between model lines, which makes it hard to find the right model for your needs. This breakdown pairs similar models, noting their different features for apples-to-apples comparisons.

Unless otherwise noted, these tillers are powered by a 208cc Troy Bilt engine and have rear mounted tines.

Ranger FT
– 140cc Troy Bilt engine
– 7 inch adjustable depth, adjustable width up to 24 inches
– Front-mounted forward rotating tines

Colt FT and FT XP
– The Colt FT comes with a folding handle.
– 13/22/24 inch tilling width
– Front mounted forward rotating tines
– Chain drive
– 7-inch depth

Bronco CRT
– Counter-rotating blades
– 6 inch tilling depth, up to 14 inch tilling width

Super Bronco CRT, Mustang Dual-Direction Rear Tine and Pro-Line CRT
– Counter-rotating blades
– Mustang can switch between counter and forward rotating tines
– Pro-Line powered by a Honda GC160 engine
– 7 inches deep, 16 inch width
– Power reverse
– Front bumper

Pony, Pony ES and Pro-Line FRT
– Pony and Pony powered by a 250cc Briggs & Stratton commercial engine
– Pony ES comes with electric start
– Pro-Line powered by a Honda GC160 engine
– 7 inch tilling depth, 16 inch width
– Forward rotating tines
– Front bumper
– Power reverse

Horse and Big Red
– 306cc Briggs & Stratton
– 4 forward and 2 reverse speeds
– Big Red transmission has a neutral to run the tines in place
– 7 inch tilling depth, 20 inch width
– Forward rotating tines
– Front bumper

We Cover All Your Lawn and Garden Equipment Needs

Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries most major equipment brands including Troy Bilt, Honda and Mantis. We also service everything we sell, and we have a massive warehouse full of OEM parts. That means we can help you keep your tiller running long after the sale. If you’re looking for new equipment, or need help with your current tiller, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. Need parts or accessories? We ship across the United States and Canada. To see what we offer, visit www.shankslawn.com.

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Brown Products Bed Edgers

Brown Products Bed EdgersA Brown Products BedEdger does more than edging. Thanks to a wide selection of rotors, these machines can edge and trench surfaces, preparing them for a wide range of landscaping tasks. Naturally, it can make angled cuts in the soil, creating defined edges between landscape features and lawns. Switch to a different rotor, and you can dig shallow or deep trenches for installing everything from irrigation to walkways. It even removes small stumps. Which model should you buy, and how can you use it for your landscaping business?

Rotors for Every Purpose

While the machines themselves are solidly constructed, what makes the BedEdger line stand out is their flexibility. Brown offers rotors in a wide range of sizes and designs to handle most common trenching and edging jobs. A single nut mounting system makes it easy to change rotors at your worksite. This lets you use your edger for multiple jobs in one visit. Here’s what they currently offer for the BedEdger and BedEdger Bantam:

Clay – Need to make a trench in hard ground? Despite the name, these rotors are strong enough to cut through hard, rocky, and wet soil as well as asphalt and gravel. Brown offers a two-point rotor that cuts one-inch trenches, a three-point rotor that cuts two-inch wide trenches, and 5 and 7 point rotors that cut three-inch wide trenches. The 7 point rotor’s extra cutting surfaces increases its service life as much as 90% compared to the 5 point rotor.

Rock – While soil performance is poor, this rotor design has no trouble cutting through rocks thanks to its replaceable tungsten carbide bits. These rotors are available in 1.5 and 3-inch widths.

RainDrain – This rotor cuts a flat 4 ½ inch trench. This trench is perfect for laying down four-inch drain lines used to transfer water from gutter downspouts. It’s also great for laying down edging built using bricks and cinder blocks.

Root Pruner – A 1.5-inch cutting width makes this rotor ideal for slicing roots next to driveways and sidewalks. This keeps roots from growing under and lifting up concrete while minimizing the harm to the plant they’re growing out of. The root pruner is also a good choice if you need to make trenches to lay down invisible dog fences, low voltage lights or wiring for irrigation controllers.

BedMaster – This rotor has angled points that create sloped trenches. This helps create sharply defined borders around landscape features. The three-inch rotor is good for simple trenches, while wider four and 5-inch rotors provide the space needed to place plastic retaining walls and edging fences.

Re-Defining – Less aggressive points make this tool a better choice than the BedMaster when you need to re-establish previously cut bed edges. This design throws less dirt and lasts longer, saving money on cleanup and replacement costs.

Curbing – This flat rotor cuts a 9-inch wide trench that’s perfect for installing blocks and timber landscape borders.

StumpMaster – This rotor only cuts up to an inch deep into the soil, but it can remove trunks and roots up to 6 inches tall.


The standard BedEdger cuts between 10 and 30 feet per minute when edging and 7 to 30 feet per minute when trenching. It’s powered by a 9 HP Honda GX270 and uses a double belt and pulley drive.

Brown offers two versions of the BedEdger. The F791H has a depth adjustment ranging from 2 to 7 inches, while the F991H can cut up to 9 inches deep. Trenching width for both models ranges between ½ inch and 9 inches depending on the rotor.

The BedEdger Bantam is smaller and uses a three-step depth adjustment instead of the infinite adjustment of the standard model. Cutting depth can be set to 3 ½, 4 ½ or 5 inches. Brown makes two versions: the B590 uses the same GX270 as the regular BedEdger, while the B565 comes with a 6.5 HP GX200.


Honda guarantees GX Series engines for three years of commercial use. Brown Products guarantees the rest of the BedMaster for one year, excluding wear parts.

We Cover All of Your Landscaping Equipment Needs

Shank’s Lawn Equipment doesn’t just carry major brands, we also sell and service equipment from specialty manufacturers like Brown Equipment. If you’re looking for a new edger or trencher, or you need service or parts for your current edger, visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. You can also order OEM parts and accessories for your Brown Products equipment from our website, www.shankslawn.com. We can ship your order to any address in the United States or Canada.

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Which Honda Generator is Right for You?

Honda EB 5000 GeneratorBuying a generator is confusing. How much power do you need? What makes a home generator different from an industrial one? What’s so special about a pure sine wave inverter? Here’s what you need to know to pick the right Honda generator for your needs, whether you want backup power for emergencies or just want to have a TV on at your next tailgate party.

Why Honda?

In recent years, the market has been flooded with cheap generators using generic engines. While the price tag of these models may be enticing, there are plenty of reasons to spend extra to get a Honda generator.

When you buy a Honda, you get a reliable Honda engine instead of a no-name engine with questionable build quality and limited parts support. There’s no reason to check valve adjustment or replace components before you first use your generator: just add some oil and gas, and it’s ready to go.

All Honda generators have a pure sine wave inverter. Small fluctuations in motor speed results in “dirty” power from the generator. By passing this power through an inverter, these fluctuations are smoothed out. The result is the same smooth cycling between positive and negative electricity you get from household outlets. This makes it safe to use your generator to power sensitive electronics including TVs, computers, and smartphones.

Honda’s Smart Throttle changes the engine speed automatically to meet demand, so it always provides the right amount of power while minimizing fuel consumption and noise.

How Much Power Do I Need?

To figure out how many watts you need, start by checking the power specifications on the appliances you want to use. This information is either stamped on the housing or listed in the owner’s manual. Multiplying amps by 120 tells you how many watts a 120-volt appliance uses. Remember that you probably won’t use all of your appliances at the same time.

Electric motors need 1.5 to 3 times as much power to start as they do to run. Honda builds its generators to handle short bursts of extra power to get these appliances working. Devices with these loads include power tools, refrigerators, and air conditioners.

240-volt connections are needed for well pumps and high power RV air conditioners. However, since this power is single-phase, it can’t power multiphase equipment like welders. 240-volt connectors can be used in 120-volt mode for home and RV shore power.

Choosing the Right Generator for the Job

Honda separates their generators into 5 broad ranges. Depending on your use, there may be more than one range you should consider.

Tailgating and Camping: EU and EG Series
EU-i models are fully enclosed to be quiet, while EU models produce more power. Both ranges are parallel capable. That means you can connect two generators together, doubling the available power across all outlets without having the bulk of a large generator.

All EU Series generators are fully enclosed. This blocks engine noise, making them quieter. If you don’t care much about sound, EG Series generators offer ample power at lower cost.

Home Power: EG and EM
EG models generate between 2,800 and 5,000 watts, making them a good choice if you just want to keep your refrigerator and a few electronics running. EM Series generators produce between 4,000 and 6,500 watts, letting you power more devices at a time.

Both EG and EM Series models are transfer switch capable. With the right equipment and professional installation, these switches can send power through your home wiring. This lets you use your wall outlets instead of depending on extension cords.

Work: EB Series
The EB Series draws from Honda’s other models, offering everything from the portable EB2200 to the 10,000 watt-producing EB10000. Features like external ground connections and GFCI outlets make them safe to use outdoors to power equipment. Wheeled cart models have a steel loop to hoist the generator out of reach when storing at worksites.

RV Shore Power: Many Choices Depending On Your Setup
There’s no RV-specific line, but you can still use home, work and quiet generators for shore power. Look for something that has locking plugs that are compatible with your RV’s wiring system. For small RVs, Honda recommends generators with a 3,000-4000 watt output including the EG4000, EM4000, and EU3000. If you have a large RV with two air conditioners, they recommend 240 volt-capable generators including the EG6500, EM8500 or EU7000.

We Can Help You Get the Right Generator and Keep it Running

Shank’s Lawn Equipment is a certified Honda Power Equipment dealer, carrying Honda generators along with the accessories you need to put your generator to work. If you want a quality generator, or you need help with your current generator, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. We also ship OEM parts and accessories across the United States and Canada. To order, visit us online at www.shankslawn.com.

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