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Lawn Masters LC
04-07-2005, 09:59 PM
We aquired a Great Dane Super Surfer in a biz aquisition. We love it. We're looking to buy two more. Do you have any opinion on John Deere vs. Great Dane. We're more fond of the Kawasaki engine.

Lawn Masters Lawncare, Inc.
500k biz and growing.

Spirit Lanwcare
04-07-2005, 11:22 PM
The fabricated deck on the Great Dane is much better than the stamped steel deck on the Deere. IMHO

Almost all of your commercial mowers have a heavy duty welded fabricated deck not stamped steel.

If you like the Dane stick with the Dane...we have used Kohler engines for years with very good success.

MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC
04-08-2005, 12:51 AM
The fabricated deck on the Great Dane is much better than the stamped steel deck on the Deere. IMHO

Oh and why is that? :confused:

Tider6972
04-08-2005, 02:12 AM
Well, another who has 'no clue' about a 7-Iron deck !

joeg2246
04-08-2005, 04:54 AM
What are the pros and cons for each. I have wondered but have no clue. I was thinking of buying the intermediate Cub Cadet Z mower with the 23HP Kohler but I did notice it had a stamped deck and thier commercials are fabricated. The intermediate mower is about $1600 dollars less. I only have 17 yards and thought it would be fine. But i was curious about the difference between the decks.
Joe

Spirit Lanwcare
04-08-2005, 07:53 AM
Oh and why is that? :confused:

You get a better quality of cut from a fabricated deck and they will last longer.

Any stamped deck (even 7 gage) has it's weak points in comparison.

I have tried the 7 iron deck and I don't think that it cuts as well especially in the early spring when the grass is really thick and I was not impressed by the discharge either.

Tider6972
04-08-2005, 10:28 AM
spirit, your "observations"completely belie your statement that you've "tried the 7-Iron".

Your list of weak points are actually it's strengths: cutting AND discharging thick, wet grass! Florida LCOs who cut thick St. Augustine in the dailey summer showers of Florida can attest.


I run Hustlers, but I'd love to have the 7-Iron decks on them !

Spirit Lanwcare
04-08-2005, 11:40 AM
spirit, your "observations"completely belie your statement that you've "tried the 7-Iron".

Your list of weak points are actually it's strengths: cutting AND discharging thick, wet grass! Florida LCOs who cut thick St. Augustine in the dailey summer showers of Florida can attest.


I run Hustlers, but I'd love to have the 7-Iron decks on them !

You run Hustlers so...

You really have no clue about the 7 iron decks....are you just believing the "hype?"

Teiman
04-08-2005, 01:36 PM
STAMPED VS FABRICATED DECKS

Fabricated, (cut, bent and welded) should
hold up longer, always thicker and heavier and usually deeper.
Downside is more weight, sometimes twice as much

Stamped (draw/stretch formed and trimmed) are always thinner
lighter and sometimes shallow, this can be a problem in taller
grass.

I have had stamped decks rust out. Hard to repair because
of the thinner material is difficult to weld especially after rust.

I design stamping dies for my full time job, sometimes for Deer.
(25 years) So please buy the stamped deck and support my job.

Personally I own some of both but my favorites a
Wright Stander with a fabed deck that is built like a battleship.

Mantec Engineering and Design Inc.

Tider6972
04-08-2005, 04:35 PM
No credible, professional, degreed engineer would make such a broad, generalized statement as you have made here: "Stamped (draw/stretch formed and trimmed) are always thinner llighter " ...further, this statement is factually and provably incorrect as to the 7-Iron deck. To wit: the 7-Iron is , in fact, thicker than the majority of fabricated decks used in major brand ztr, for it is a full 7 gauge steel, whereas many fabricated decks have a 10 gauge top and 7 ga on the deck skirt. The 7-Iron is 5.75 " deep at the rear of the deck, deeper than any other deck in this class!

"I have had stamped decks rust out. Hard to repair because
of the thinner material is difficult to weld especially after rust."
...once again, this statement is factually WRONG, as to the 7-Iron deck, it is thicker than most, with no seams or creases making it more difficult for rust to start. Anyone who has been around metal and machinery knows that rust is very likely to appear first at the edge of a weld!..and while the weld itself is strong, the metal at the edge of welds is the first to let go, especially in an often moist and vibrating mower deck.


But statements like "Fabricated, (cut, bent and welded) .... always thicker and heavier and ... " ...don't sound like any statements I would expect a competent engineer to utter. On the contrary, every engineer with whom I have ever spoken or communicated is FAR more likely to beat you to death with intricate detail than to make such broad generalizations !

"I design stamping dies for my full time job, sometimes for Deer.
(25 years) So please buy the stamped deck and support my job." ....If, as you say, you actually do make dies, sometimes for "Deer" (sic), perhaps you are involved with their "Edge" series of decks used on homeowner lawn tractors.Quite a different piece than a 7-Iron deck! Or perhaps designing stamping dies requires a different skill set than designing mower decks?

Tider6972
04-08-2005, 04:55 PM
-Spirit, no I'm not just believing the hype. Over the last four years, I've been demoing ZTRs before buying. I've been expanding, slowly, but have added 3 ZTRs in that time.

Four years ago, after much seat time in Deere, eXmark, Walker, and Toro, I found the 7-Iron to offer the very best results on Bermuda grass, St. Augustine, Zoysia and even Bahai, along with various weeds. Wet grass simply does not accumulate in the 7-Iron! It discharges as well as any, better than others in damp and wet conditions. As I mulch almost exclusively, I bought LazerZ HPs, and they are good mowers. I decided against the Deere because of the mower itself(Yazoo/Kees based at that time, if I recall).

I rejected the Toros because of the SFS (stamped ! ) deck.

Last year, looking to add another unit, I once again demoed: Dixie, Husqvarna, Wright, Hustler, Toro (new 500 series), eXmark Lazer EFI, and Deere, now based on Great Dane tractors.

Once again, the 7-Iron out cut them all! But, once again, I eliminated the 757 because of it's GD lineage, the unitized hydro pump(s), and I was determined to get the 28EFI engine.

Hustler won out because of it's refinement and quality of build. It cuts as good as a Lazer or Toro, but is just a more refined piece, IMO.

The Ultimate ZTR : a SuperZ 28EFI with a 7-Iron deck ! With that design, the design engineers could take a long respite!

leaflawnandlimb
04-08-2005, 05:26 PM
You may love your precious "7 iron" deck but in all actuality people like the fabricated decks for thier long service life ( some well over 30 years ) over a deck that started life as a peice of 7 ga. steel before it was streched and bent over a die (if I am correct the 7 iron is not proven how long it will last like a fab deck), so in 30 or so years come talk how good it is.

Tider6972
04-08-2005, 06:03 PM
I like your logic there, leaflawnandlimb! 30 years, WOW !

So, tell me, what do you do with that deck when, after 3-6 years the rest of your mower is WORN OUT ! L O L Does it make a nice coffee table or what? hehe

I heard all the 'stuff' about stamped decks, on this site and others too, before I bought my first ZTR. The 7-Iron is not an ordinary stamped offering. Most of the opinions are like some of those in this thread, based on bad information and absolutely no experience actually using the deck.

Deere uses new technology, for instance, so that the corners are not thinned when they are formed. It's a process like hydro-forming used by truck frame makers to assure no weak spots at the bends. I took the time to find that out. Accurate information is available, though I know most will chose to ignore it.

"Stretching" is not part of the Deere process.

My input is for those who want it, I'm trying to change NO pre-determined opinions.

Tider6972
04-08-2005, 06:06 PM
joeg, the Cub deck, like old Toro and most other stamped decks, are not in the same league with the 7-iron, not even close.

Teiman
04-08-2005, 08:31 PM
Tider,

Reading the brochure at at the dealer does not
make you an expert at metal forming technology
(don't get such a big head)

Hydrofoming is a stretch forming operation although
less abusive than straight Mechanical forming.
Metal does thin but to a lesser degree. I could
explain the whole process but why?

I think generalizations are helpful to most of the
folks who read this forum They are not looking to
read my college thesis or for that matter
your editorials on others posts

Everything I said is generally true.
and most folks on this site would back me up.

Most of what you said is salesmen/Dealer Spin. Its not
worth my time to go into the details. Best described as
half truths

I am sure the 7 iron deck is a nice one. Deer makes good stuff
and they are a Great company to deal with even from my end of
the business. They have treated me with far more respect than you
have. They even ask my opinion and value my input as I am sure
most of the forum members do.

Stamped decks do sometimes have advantages, smoother air flow, less weight but generally are cheaper to manufacture and that is why they exist.

Tider6972
04-08-2005, 09:13 PM
You do have a couple supporters in this thread, congratulations, and I understand your choice to use generalizations - from your side as well as theirs.

Your 'argument' is BS and we both know it. I verify anything a 'salesman' tells me, in fact rarely deal with them except to demo and buy.

I stand by my post to you, you made too many errors for *Deere* (look on your check for the correct spelling >) ) to ask your opinion.

Oh, and thanks for the tacit admission "I am sure the 7 iron deck is a nice one." that you've never used one for it's intended purpose, so you don't know how good it performs.

MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC
04-08-2005, 09:19 PM
Wow, after reading some of your guy's posts I find it really funny. (Teiman, Leaflawnandlimb, and Spirit Lanwcare)

Tider6972, I give you credit for even replying to their comments. Plus you know what your talking about.

Teiman, you may have worked as an engineer for metal stamps, but how did you do work for JD when you cant even spell their name? Its "Deere" not "Deer". You have any idea how much JD spends on the stamps for the 7IRON decks? Millions per die. The dies can only stamp so many decks before they have to be replaced. It also takes 7,000,000 lbs per square inch of pressure to stamp JD's 7IRON decks. You may have done some work for DEERE but I highly doubt you have done anything with the 7IRON dies. (your posts show your weakness).

Logan's Landscaping
04-08-2005, 09:28 PM
He wanted to know from people who have first hand knowledge of the benefit of both. I wanted to know to because I am looking at getting a Wright stander and was interested in how that would stack up with these 2.

Spirit Lanwcare
04-08-2005, 10:26 PM
He wanted to know from people who have first hand knowledge of the benefit of both. I wanted to know to because I am looking at getting a Wright stander and was interested in how that would stack up with these 2.

I would demo the new Super Surfer from Great Dane if you get a chance. The floating deck and easy height adjustment make it a better mower than the Stander in my opinion.

Lawn Masters LC
04-08-2005, 10:31 PM
I appreciate all the input on the deck, but I still need general opinions and maybe some more info on the Wright unit. Those would be totally new to me and I may consider looking at those too.

Thanks

Teiman
04-08-2005, 11:05 PM
Guys,

I'm just trying to add something from a manufactures standpoint.
If you don't like my input please just ignore it. Line by line critique
of others posts is not what most folks come here to read.

The cost of tooling even at 7 mil is not the most significant cost factor
in metal products, Its the labor and the material. Stamping is not
Labor intensive compared to fabricating. It saves raw material (no square corners etc..) It is still far cheaper than fabricating. Size of the press and tooling cost are lesser considerations.

The known limit to Hydrofoming is still the Modulous of Elasticity of
a given sheet of material. (how far it will stretch before it blows out)

Answer this question. Why do 99% of the noncomercial units used stamped decks? Sometimes even frames and axles. Answer: They are less expensive to produce.

You wont find very many good Engineers that can spell worth a dam. Its a
right/left brain thing. Ask one. It is one of my weaknesses, my apologies.

The last project I did for JD was for the consumer product. Just a small
portion of the stamping equipment (some of which) I designed cost over 100 million to put into production. It was only located at one supplier to the main manufacturing facility. I might add It was and is a huge success, is Made In America and I am proud to have been a part of it. Great product for the
homeowner at a good price.

No wonder there is almost no participation in this forum from the
manufacturing sector of the business. I will definitely be giving less
input. Not worth the insults.

GreenMonster
04-08-2005, 11:13 PM
I was not impressed by the discharge either.

You guys get awfully touchy. I got a quik trac last year, and I've been extremely happy with it, so, I really don't give a rip what anyone else says.

Although, to imply the 7-Iron deck has poor discharge couldn't be any further from the truth. This deck consistently throws clippings across 2-3 passes. The only time I don't like my 7-Iron is around beds! :D

The stamped decks on my ghooper and bob-cat don't discharge nearly as far.

Teiman
04-09-2005, 12:14 AM
Lawn Masters,

I just mowed my first 10 acres with my new used Wright Stander
It is a 61 with 23 hp Kawi.

I really liked it. The short wheelbase, large Hydros,
etc.. made it handle really wild. It takes a while to get used to
Easy to tear turf till you get used to it. Got a little tiring on
the legs but not bad.

It is a simple machine, with fixed deck. Almost Crude by some
standards, but has a good reputation. I have called wright with
some questions and every time someone answers the phone and
helps me with whatever I need. Small company service.
Dealers have been another story most seem clueless.

Biggest drawback would be the fixed deck. Not an issue for
me because I don't need to adjust much.

I have to mow several thousand feet of pond bank so a
stander is one of the only safe options to a Walk behind.
Wright calls it the Bof (Bail Out factor) never know when you
might hit a Muskrat hole or loose a tire or a Hydro.

You hear good and bad about all brands on this forum
I chose Wright because I got a good deal on it. So far
I'm real happy with it.

Tider6972
04-09-2005, 12:41 AM
If you like the GD, try a Wright before you buy another. I have demoed a Wright 52" and a 36 ". They are very manuverable mowers and produce a good cut- and after all, isn't that what we're after, a good looking lawn?

I have no mowing time on a John Deere Z Trak (basically same as the Dane but mainly 0f0or the deck ), just some 'parking lot' rides.

The Wright's only short-coming that was apparent to me is the difficulty with deck height adjustments. That is a necessary feature for my mowers, we cut different types of grass and re-set cutting height often during the day. I had to pass on the Wright.

Since I liked the manuverability of the Wright as well as the 7-Iron Deere deck, I took the Z-Trak for a spin with full intentions of buying one. It was a disappointment. The balance of the machine is bad.

Great Dane designed their Surfers after the Wright design, but were found to have infringed upon Wright's design and had to make modifications which led to the balance issue. This is from memory from 2 years ago, but I believe it's essentially accurate.

A search on "Great Dane Surfer" on this site will tell you lots!

Good luck with whatever you choose! As long as your happy, that's all that counts.

MacLawnCo
04-09-2005, 11:01 AM
The wright deck is fickle. It takes a lot of experimenting to get it to cut really well. Im getting closer by the day but im still not jumping for joy. It is faster than my wb's by a significant margin.

Wright is putting a new deck design on the stander this summer. I would wait to demo that one before i purchased another.