Why Does My John Deere Bagger Keep Clogging? [Tips And Trick to Keep It From Clogging]

John Deere lawnmowers and tractors have long been renowned for their dependability, precision cutting, and manicured results. However, the John Deere bagger can be annoying as certain conditions cause it to keep clogging, which is frustrating for the operator.

There are eight reasons why the John Deere Bagger Keep Clogging as follows.

  • The underside is dirty.
  • You’ve installed the bagger incorrectly.
  • Check the blower belt tension.
  • The engine is run too slowly.
  • The grass is too wet.
  • The grass is too tall.
  • The tractor is run too fast.
  • The blades have lost their edge.

With appropriate care and correct cutting conditions, it is possible to prevent the John Deere bagger from clogging. 

A few simple steps and ensuring that the cutting conditions are right will keep the John Deere bagging system operating optimally. Let’s go over those steps to help you keep your John Deere Bagger from clogging.

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Common Reasons Why The John Deere Bagger Keeps Clogging

Are you having issues with your John Deere Bagger clogging up? Here are several of the most common causes of this issue and what to do to fix the issue.

1. The Underside Of The Cutting Unit Is Contaminated

If the John Deere Bagger is clogged, it may be because the grass clippings have stuck onto the sides of the cutting plate and are restricting airflow into the blow chute.

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence and should be avoided by cleaning the underside of the cutting unit before each use.


Clean the underside of the cutting head, ensuring that the blade’s movement is not restricted. Check the outlet chute to ensure that there is no blockage.

There is a great trick to prevent grass cuttings from sticking on the underside of the plate.

This is easiest to apply when the tractor is new and has not yet been used; however, it can be done on a used machine with care.

The steps to follow are listed below.

  1. Remove the cutting deck from the tractor (the instructions are contained in the operator’s manual.)
  2. Scrape off stuck on grass clippings, mud, and other debris.
  3. Clean (polish) the underside of the cutting deck very well.
  4. Remove any rust spots, and paint over these with a small layer of rust protection paint.
  5. Use a ceramic coating typically used on cars to prevent damage to the painted surfaces – Amazon Link.
  6. Follow the product’s instructions and apply it to the cutting deck surfaces, including around the discharge chute.

If you mow wet grass, which usually sticks to the undersides of the cutting plate, you will be surprised how the ceramic coating keeps the surfaces clean.

Even with the ceramic coatings, it is a good idea to spray off the inside of the cutting deck after use.

If your model John Deere tractor has a cleaning point, connect this up, and following the instructions, clean the underside of the tractor.

2. The Bagger Is Installed Incorrectly

The John Deere bagging system needs to maintain positive air pressure in the blow chute and requires a good seal at the discharge chute up to the bags installed at the rear.

If there is a break in the seals or they are compromised, then there won’t be enough air pressure to push the grass clippings up the blow chute and into the bags. 

Check that the bagging system is correctly installed and, in particular, that there are no significant air leaks or breaks in the seals.

3. The John Deere Bagger Drive Belt Is Incorrectly Tensioned

Check the position of the drive belt tension lever. If it is activated, it will slacken the tension on the blower drive belt, and the blower fan will not turn.

To correct this, pull the lever all the way back, push it to the left and allow it to slip into the indicated slot.

When the blower fan is in operation, it will blow the grass clippings into the bags.

4. The Engine Is Run Too Slowly

Although you may feel that you are causing excessive wear if you run the John Deere tractor engine at full speed, you are not.

The engines are designed to operate at the highest speed setting. This ensures that the blades rotate fast enough, creating sufficient airflow to make the bagging system work.

Always run the engine on the John Deere tractor at the required speed as specified in the operator’s manual.

5. The Grass Is Too Wet

Avoid mowing wet grass. The grass clippings will stick to the undersides of the cutting deck and reduce airflow, preventing the bagging system from working.

Mowing wet grass can also cause damage to the drive belt and other parts of your John Deere tractor. Therefore, waiting until the grass has dried before mowing is best.

6. The Grass Is Too Tall

If the grass is too long, cut it down in increments instead of immediately going for a final cut.

If the cuts are too long, they may clog up the discharge chute and the blow tube.

7. The John Deere Lawnmower Is Running Too Fast

It’s essential to run the engine at maximum speed, always use a slower forward motion when driving the John Deere tractor.

If you run too fast over the ground, the grass cut will be uneven, and the bagging system will not work effectively.

8. The Blades Have Lost Their Edge

The cutting blades serve two purposes.

  1. They cut the grass.
  2. They create a vortex of air to move the grass cuttings.

If the blades lose their shape, both functions will be compromised.

We highly suggest upgrading John Deere’s super high lift blades for better airflow and fewer clogs. In addition, their unique design features a higher rake angle on the backside to provide additional airflow compared to the standard units and will help stop clogging.

How Does The John Deere Bagging System Work?

There are two John Deere bagging systems.

  1. John Deere tractors with a cutting deck smaller than 48 inches.
  2. John Deere tractors with a 48-inch or larger cutting deck.

The collection compartments are securely attached to the back of the tractor for convenient storage.

A blow tube is attached to the right-hand side of the cutting deck and joins onto the bagging system at the rear. The grass cuttings are blown up this tube from the cutting deck to the bagging system at the rear.

John Deere Tractor Cutting Decks Smaller Than 48 Inches

On John Deere tractors with the smaller cutting deck, the blow tube connects directly to the discharge chute on the edge of the cutting plate without the need for a blower fan.

In these models, the airflow created by the cutting blades is sufficiently strong to blow the grass cuttings into the bags.

John Deere Tractor Cutting Decks 48 Inches Wide and Larger

John Deere tractors with cutting decks 48 inches wide or larger require an additional blower assembly. It is installed between the cutting head and the blower tube.

The blower assembly is easily mounted into the deck with a simple “Z” shaped bracket. It joins the discharge chute on the edge of the cutting plate. 

The blower assembly features an efficient fan driven by a pulley powered by the primary cutting disc spindles.

The fan creates negative pressure under the deck, drawing the grass clipping into the blow tube. However, once behind the blades, a positive pressure pushed them up into the bags at the back.

A belt tension lever is positioned on the blower’s top side, which acts like a clutch. When disengaged, the belt’s tension is loosened, and the blower won’t run.

Final Word

Avoiding blockages within John Deere’s bagging system can be fixed once you understand the underlying cause.

There are eight main reasons why the system becomes clogged, and as revealed above, they tend not to involve mechanical faults but instead result from environmental factors. 

By being mindful of these issues, you won’t have any issues with a clogged bagging system. 

It’s all about ensuring the best cutting conditions, keeping an eye on the blades to ensure they’re sharp, and paying attention to debris buildup in the chute and tubes.

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