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thesargent
07-11-2006, 12:26 AM
what are the benefits of floating decks? of fixed decks? pros and cons of both. im gathering as much info as i can on larger walkbehinds. thanks for your opinions

ProLawns
07-11-2006, 07:09 AM
I'll never own a fixed deck. Different mowing situations call for different heights and I can't imagine not being able to adjust the height.

MDLawnman
07-11-2006, 07:20 AM
I have one fixed deck and two floating decks. The fixed deck is ideal for the purpose that I purchased it for but there is no comparison to the floating decks. They give a superior cut every time with a low risk of scalping. A person has to be careful and pay attention not to scalp with a fixed deck. With the "floaters" it's go go go!

Roger
07-11-2006, 08:06 AM
My experiences are limited, but in a general statement: My fixed 36" deck on a w/b is less prone to scalping and gouging than my 48" deck on a ZTR.

The primarly problem with the 48" deck on the ZTR is working parallel to slopes. The floating deck will more likely leave a sea-saw effect than the 36" floating deck. Also, when working around the base of trees, the fixed deck will not gouge as easily on the outside edge as the wider, floating deck.

My anti-scalp wheels on the floater are set so that they rarely engage with the ground. The are uually turning, but only because they are running on the turf (standing blades of grass), not on the ground. They are positioined in a "middle hole," and I'm reluctant to set them lower, lest they run too much on the ground.

Remember, these experiences represent a limited range and may not follow what others have learned with same width decks.

ProLawn implies that fixed deck cutting heights cannot be changed. That is not the case with my equipment -- I've never seen a fixed deck for which the height setting could not be changed. I change mine many times each day, sometimes different height settings on the same property.

naturescape
07-11-2006, 09:09 AM
I used to say floating decks were a money making scam. Well I've used both now, and there is no comparison. The floating deck is the only way to go! It will cost maybe 700 dollars more, and adds a bit of weight. I don't think the weight issue matters at all if you use any kind of sulky, as a matter of fact, I've found the extra weight in the front is a must!

You can adjust height easily on a fixed deck, but you'll never get the right pitch.

T.E.
07-11-2006, 10:20 AM
Ditto all of the above for the floating deck. Wouldn't put my liquid gold/aka gasoline in a fixed deck. :D Later, Tony

mike lane lawn care
07-11-2006, 10:53 AM
i had a fixed deck machine and it scalped all the time. my broadmoor has a floating deck, and has NEVER scalped even on the most uneven terrain. i have never noticed a wavy pattern on hills as some have said, you will never see me with a fixed deck unit. not in the berkshires anyway.

thesargent
07-11-2006, 11:27 AM
well thanks. it sounds like floating is the way to go. even on a smaller walk behind (32-36) would you recomend a floating deck?

ProStreetCamaro
07-11-2006, 12:23 PM
I honestly haveny seen any real difference between the two. All our old WB's were fixed decks and we never had any problem with scalping. One was a 50" Gravely, 48" bunton, 2 36" bobcats, 1 36" scag and various others over the years. When your on a velky it is easy to push down on the handles and raise the front of the mower over a rought spot.

MTR
07-11-2006, 03:26 PM
32-36, fixed deck is okay, no big deal.
48-60, you need floater all the way.
I have used eXmark both 36" fixed and 52" floater, I love the floater outright, it leaves much better cut and beauty. Set, anti-scalp lower to keep it floating while cutting hill. It takes a few dollars to replace aftermarket anti-scalp roller!

lawnboy dan
07-11-2006, 06:06 PM
there is no con to a floating deck

Dashunde
07-11-2006, 06:35 PM
I've had two more or less identical (same deck) Gravely wb's, one fixed and one floating.
The fixed seems to cut a bit better.

Gravely uses four pins to set deck height instead of washers in the front swivels - so the pitch remains the same no matter what height its at.

THEoneandonlyLawnRanger
10-05-2006, 12:10 AM
54" fixed deck sucks, ive spent over 200 bucks on optional rollers and finally stopped most of the scalping problems....floating the only way to go with bigger decks

Willofalltrades
10-05-2006, 12:23 AM
Ok everyone likes the floating decks. Why is the Wright Stander such a loved mower when there is other mowers that offer a floating deck on a standing unit (Deere, Great Dane, Everride)? I mean, granted there is other factors but I mean when It comes to cutting how does the Stander out perform? I am raising this question because I want to get one next spring. The only thing that is making me shop around is because of the fixed deck. That Deere with the 7 Iron II looks really good right now lol.

Willofalltrades
10-05-2006, 12:26 AM
Sorry to hyjack the thread THESARGENT but if you are looking at large WBs then a Standing machine is a good option to check out to.

topsites
10-05-2006, 12:53 AM
what are the benefits of floating decks? of fixed decks? pros and cons of both. im gathering as much info as i can on larger walkbehinds. thanks for your opinions

First, I do agree: Anything over 48" is not worth it with a fixed deck, it's just too big.
So as for fixed decks, you get to 48" and leave it at that.

Pros of float deck is less scalping, plain and simple.
Electronic clutch means if you should activate the operator-presence safety switch, only the blades disengage and not the motor.
Also, I suppose deck height adjustment is a pro, but then I cut at 3" always.
Cons of float deck is weight, the machine weighs almost twice as much as the fixed deck... Not that big of a deal until the engine is worn a bit, it affects your speed, and also it is a LOT tougher to get it out of the mud if you get it stuck and it is easier to get it stuck in the first place... You fairly need a tow rope to get it out of a ditch, and most folks can not push a float up a trailer ramp without engine power (at least not at the usual angle).
Also, it clatters and clanks a lot, I find it less accurate in the turns, and a pita to curb mount.
Other than that, an easy-peasy Wb to master, a pleasure to drive, it's the cadillac of Wb's, like using scissors to cut hair, it almost never scalps or gouges, but the float does have its limits as to how far it floats.

Pros of the fixed deck is light weight (a 48" weighs 300 lbs. vs. the float's 500).
Price (1,000 cheaper).
Better on steep hills.
Blade rpm's are far higher, since the machine is all one solid piece, the belt is tighter and mfg's gear the spindles so as to transfer more rpm's to the blades - sounds like a jet-powered vacuum cleaner, no joke.
It is fast and highly accurate in the turns (no moving parts). Awesome for cutting in and out of ditches at high speed, and for speed and stunt mowing you can't beat a fixed deck.
Less stuff that can break and go wrong, easier to get unstuck and easier not to get stuck in the first place, also easier to fix and work on. Everything is manual, no key to get lost, no dashboard electronics that can fail, no stupid electronic clutch...
If the engine should fail, can be pushed up a trailer ramp (tough, but it's doable).
Great for curb-jumping, built solid like a tank, no clattering or clanking around.
As for anti-scalping techniques, you (the operator) are the anti-scalp device: Lifting the deck at times and angle of approach are both highly critical with this machine. It's light front end makes this easy, but the same lightness in the front can make this machine rear itself on you should you give it too much stick at the wrong time.
Cons: Scalping, this machine is one solid piece.
A steeper learning curve, some folks never get or dig a fixed deck. So, a LOT of practice, I have 4 years into mine thou on average, if you already know how to operate a float, then about a month should do it.
Lack of electronic clutch means if you have an operator-presence safety device and you disattend the machine, the whole thing shuts down (this BLOWS when the engine is HOT, it can take several pulls to get it going).

This can be either a pro or a con, depending how you see things:
A tough machine, unforgiving and temperamental, the army jeep of Wb's, like using a straight razor to cut hair, it gets in closer and deeper anytime.

But I do hear say, those Lco's who can 'get' a fixed deck never go back.
At least I never did.

naturescape
10-05-2006, 08:36 AM
First, I do agree: Anything over 48" is not worth it with a fixed deck, it's just too big.
So as for fixed decks, you get to 48" and leave it at that.

Pros of float deck is less scalping, plain and simple.
Electronic clutch means if you should activate the operator-presence safety switch, only the blades disengage and not the motor.
Also, I suppose deck height adjustment is a pro, but then I cut at 3" always.
Cons of float deck is weight, the machine weighs almost twice as much as the fixed deck... Not that big of a deal until the engine is worn a bit, it affects your speed, and also it is a LOT tougher to get it out of the mud if you get it stuck and it is easier to get it stuck in the first place... You fairly need a tow rope to get it out of a ditch, and most folks can not push a float up a trailer ramp without engine power (at least not at the usual angle).
Also, it clatters and clanks a lot, I find it less accurate in the turns, and a pita to curb mount.
Other than that, an easy-peasy Wb to master, a pleasure to drive, it's the cadillac of Wb's, like using scissors to cut hair, it almost never scalps or gouges, but the float does have its limits as to how far it floats.

Pros of the fixed deck is light weight (a 48" weighs 300 lbs. vs. the float's 500).
Price (1,000 cheaper).
Better on steep hills.
Blade rpm's are far higher, since the machine is all one solid piece, the belt is tighter and mfg's gear the spindles so as to transfer more rpm's to the blades - sounds like a jet-powered vacuum cleaner, no joke.
It is fast and highly accurate in the turns (no moving parts). Awesome for cutting in and out of ditches at high speed, and for speed and stunt mowing you can't beat a fixed deck.
Less stuff that can break and go wrong, easier to get unstuck and easier not to get stuck in the first place, also easier to fix and work on. Everything is manual, no key to get lost, no dashboard electronics that can fail, no stupid electronic clutch...
If the engine should fail, can be pushed up a trailer ramp (tough, but it's doable).
Great for curb-jumping, built solid like a tank, no clattering or clanking around.
As for anti-scalping techniques, you (the operator) are the anti-scalp device: Lifting the deck at times and angle of approach are both highly critical with this machine. It's light front end makes this easy, but the same lightness in the front can make this machine rear itself on you should you give it too much stick at the wrong time.
Cons: Scalping, this machine is one solid piece.
A steeper learning curve, some folks never get or dig a fixed deck. So, a LOT of practice, I have 4 years into mine thou on average, if you already know how to operate a float, then about a month should do it.
Lack of electronic clutch means if you have an operator-presence safety device and you disattend the machine, the whole thing shuts down (this BLOWS when the engine is HOT, it can take several pulls to get it going).

This can be either a pro or a con, depending how you see things:
A tough machine, unforgiving and temperamental, the army jeep of Wb's, like using a straight razor to cut hair, it gets in closer and deeper anytime.

But I do hear say, those Lco's who can 'get' a fixed deck never go back.
At least I never did.

Half of the 'pros' that you attribute to fixed decks have absolutely nothing to do with it being fixed. Rpm speed and having an electric clutch are not dependant on being a fixed or floating deck with many manufacturers.

Also, a floating deck controls scalping on 4 points, if you are lifting a fixed deck machine to avoid scalping, you are only controlling it on one point, in which case the cut is not AT ALL even.

A floating deck is the only way to go, this is coming from someone who thought they were just to increase manufacturer profits at one point, but after trying a fixed again, I will never give up a floating deck.

Also, if you are doing 'stunt mowing', you shouldn't even be in this business.

Lynden-Jeff
10-05-2006, 09:07 AM
there is no con to a floating deck

Incorrect. Personally FIXED> Floating unless you have a rediculously large deck (54 +60). Floating decks bounce around like mad on uneven terrain and IMO give a lousy cut unless its very flat ground. They are also way more its hard to pop a wheely to get over obsticles, theres more things to go wrong with a fixed deck and really the only PLUS to a floating deck is the height change. If you are worried enough about scalping with a 48" fixed then you will learn how not to scalp.

Cheers
Jeff