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cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 08:22 AM
I just purchased a 40" Toro Turbo Force T2 and I have to say I love the mower, I am just having a hard time with the deck digging into the lawn and making scalped lines.

How do you pros cut without doing this? I do not have the smoothest lawn so I am thinking I may need to rase the deck up to 2.5 inches or more to prevent scalping. When I was cutting with my 26" Exmark Metro I was getting little circles all over the place so that should tell you I have some problems.

With the 40" Toro, what is the proper procedure for mowing a side slope...would you mow with the anti-scalp wheel on the upper side of the hill or the lower? This particular mower has one wheel on left front, and two in the front center and then a plate in the rear.

Budget
07-12-2007, 08:45 AM
I have no Toro, but i cut everything at 3 1/4" and up. You might be cutting to low, but i am not sure about the turf in your area.

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 09:08 AM
We have alot of bermuda, and around her its usually bermuda in front and fescue in the rear.

One thing I was not factoring is the increased weight of the machine...going from a 100 pound walk behind to a 667 pound monster has got to play a part in the scalping. So in reality the cutting height may actually be .25-.5 shorter due to the compaction.

Sammy
07-12-2007, 09:13 AM
........... You might be cutting to low, ...........

He Is Cutting To Low !

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 09:19 AM
I will raise deck to 3" and see what happens...thanks fellows.

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 09:20 AM
I guess if my yard was golf course smooth it would do fine...but my lawn like most others is pretty bumpy...over all it looks ok, but it really needs to be leveled.

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 09:23 AM
Now for my rear lawn which is fescue I am and have been cutting at 4" and it looks great...not a single scalp mark and it even has a steeper hill...so I guess I really answered my own question.

NickN
07-12-2007, 09:40 AM
This time of year it's not uncommon to scalp bermuda.The turf is producing more top growth than it is undergrowth.The fact that you're going to 3 inches isn't going to help.It will look good for a few weeks,but then it will scalp again.
They key to keeping bermuda from scalping is,cut low early in the season,1-1.5 inches.Keep cutting it at that height until you start to scalp,then raise the deck .25 inch and cut it at that height until it starts to scalp again.Then raise it another .25.Also,during the summer,if you're getting rain or irrigation,you'll need to cut twice per week.This prevents too much top growth from growing and allows for some undergrowth to green up.Then,when you cut,you don't get the brown scalp marks.

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 09:47 AM
Nick, thanks for the advice. I had been cutting my bermuda at 1.5 inches with my 26" and when I set my Toro 40" to 2" it was scalping...so its not a problem that I had been cutting it too long or not frequently enough...this has to do with the length of the deck. I need to find a happy medium between 1.5 and 3 inches. I cut my bermuda lawn every 4-5 days and the fescue about the same (Though it has slown down a bit).

NickN
07-12-2007, 10:07 AM
Is it a fixed or floating deck?

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 10:12 AM
Is it a fixed or floating deck?

It is a floater...its the brand new Toro T2 40" Hydro

See link for description http://www.toro.com/professional/lce/midsize/tf_floathydro/30496_specs.html

Vikings
07-12-2007, 11:00 AM
I will raise deck to 3" and see what happens...thanks fellows.

The Deck? I just bought a toro 36 inch and was scalping. I raised the blade INSIDE the deck. If your deck is too high it won't create suction and make that grass stand straight up so it can be cut especially in yards that have thin grass.

When I got my toro the blade was as low and it could and the deck was as high as it could go. So when I scalped I scalped with the blade which is bad but now that lowered the deck and raised the blade, when I scalp I scalp with the deck which isn't too bad... unless you also hit the tree and take out some bark:confused:

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 11:30 AM
The Deck? I just bought a toro 36 inch and was scalping. I raised the blade INSIDE the deck. If your deck is too high it won't create suction and make that grass stand straight up so it can be cut especially in yards that have thin grass.

When I got my toro the blade was as low and it could and the deck was as high as it could go. So when I scalped I scalped with the blade which is bad but now that lowered the deck and raised the blade, when I scalp I scalp with the deck which isn't too bad... unless you also hit the tree and take out some bark:confused:

I will take a look at that Vikings...that is a great idea!

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 11:40 AM
The Deck? I just bought a toro 36 inch and was scalping. I raised the blade INSIDE the deck. If your deck is too high it won't create suction and make that grass stand straight up so it can be cut especially in yards that have thin grass.

When I got my toro the blade was as low and it could and the deck was as high as it could go. So when I scalped I scalped with the blade which is bad but now that lowered the deck and raised the blade, when I scalp I scalp with the deck which isn't too bad... unless you also hit the tree and take out some bark:confused:


Was it a floating deck you purchased? I am wondering if the floating deck has spacers of if that is just something used on fixed deck.

MeadowsLawnCare
07-12-2007, 11:46 AM
I don't think the levelness of your yard is the problem. I mow a lawn that feels like im mowing a wishy wash board. Its absolutely terriable, but I never scalp. Try raising it little by little and see what that does.

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 11:58 AM
I don't think the levelness of your yard is the problem. I mow a lawn that feels like im mowing a wishy wash board. Its absolutely terriable, but I never scalp. Try raising it little by little and see what that does.

Well I was cutting at 1.5" with my Exmark Metro 26" and only had the occasional ring, if I did that with my new Toro my lawn would be brown all most all over. If I rase the deck too much I will be cutting the bermuda too long.

My problem is it takes a few days before I can test it again. Though I have been testing on my neighbors lawns which most don't seem to mind a free cut.

james mcdonald
07-12-2007, 01:07 PM
This is a very interesting and I believe an important thread. It appears a lot of operators cut grass at 3 plus inches, so the issue of scalping does not come up. I have a garden tractor with a 44 inch deck that has constant ground contact. It rarely ever scalps at a 1-1/2 cut and never at 2 inches. The deck actually floats from the rear deck wheels and not from the tractor frame. It appears that some mowers are designed to cut lower than others without scalping. I would be interested if any operators that have ztrs cut at 1-1/2 or 2 inches without scalping. Walkers?

DSTC
07-12-2007, 01:24 PM
This is a very interesting and I believe an important thread. It appears a lot of operators cut grass at 3 plus inches, so the issue of scalping does not come up. I have a garden tractor with a 44 inch deck that has constant ground contact. It rarely ever scalps at a 1-1/2 cut and never at 2 inches. The deck actually floats from the rear deck wheels and not from the tractor frame. It appears that some mowers are designed to cut lower than others without scalping. I would be interested if any operators that have ztrs cut at 1-1/2 or 2 inches without scalping. Walkers?

I cut Bermuda at 1" with a walker and never scalp. Also cut centipede at 1.5-2" and never scalp.

NickN gives some of the best advice I've ever seen on hybrid Bermuda mowing. you really can't compare mowing Fescue and Bluegrass like some people have in the midwest and northeast with mowing Hybrid Bermuda. Mowing Bermuda at 3" is just asking for trouble. Bermuda and centipede are most dense when mowed lower than 2" and Cool season grasses are most dense when mowed higher.

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 01:56 PM
I cut Bermuda at 1" with a walker and never scalp. Also cut centipede at 1.5-2" and never scalp.

NickN gives some of the best advice I've ever seen on hybrid Bermuda mowing. you really can't compare mowing Fescue and Bluegrass like some people have in the midwest and northeast with mowing Hybrid Bermuda. Mowing Bermuda at 3" is just asking for trouble. Bermuda and centipede are most dense when mowed lower than 2" and Cool season grasses are most dense when mowed higher.


Unless I am using the incorrect procedure for cutting may lawn there is no way you could ever cut my lawn without scalping at 1"...I cut at 1.5 with my Emark Metro and the best I could get with it was 1.5"...but my procedure may be wrong and that why I am asking this quuestion.

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 01:58 PM
Lets keep this thread alive...I would like to see alot of input on this and hear everyone techniques.

james mcdonald
07-12-2007, 03:59 PM
I believe what you will find is that decks like Ingersoll/Case, Simplicity and Walker which follow the ground will allow you to mow much lower without scalping than decks suspended from a frame by steel links or chain.

DSTC
07-12-2007, 04:16 PM
I believe what you will find is that decks like Ingersoll/Case, Simplicity and Walker which follow the ground will allow you to mow much lower without scalping than decks suspended from a frame by steel links or chain.

agreed

CGA, cutting at 2" isn't going to kill ya. Bermuda is just more healthy and weed free at say 1" or 1.5" because it is denser at lower heights. It tends to get a bit wirey as it gets taller. 2" especially during the summer in the heat is just fine.

I would think that your toro with the floating deck would be able to do it since toro is the #1 maker of golf course equipment and you'll find alot of bermuda at the golf course.

How big is your area of Bermuda and have you considered an inexpensive reel mower?

Sorry that I can't help more on the Toro as I know completely nothing about them.

cgaengineer
07-12-2007, 11:31 PM
I tried tonight on my fathers lawn and it bermuda...I set mower deck at 3" which in all reality when you take an spot measurements the lawn works out to be around 1.75-2.0 so I think I have solved my problem. I guess when you consider the weight of the machine there is likely a bit of compression when riding over the turf so it all averages out. I will take a picture tomorrow and post...his lawn looks really good and he said it was the best cut he has seen on his yard all year...40 inches really makes it look smooth and even unlike using a 21" (Oh, and he doesnt like stripes either)

So I will set my deck at 2.5-3 inches and in 5 days I will try again on my lawn...hopefully it will work out fine.

Somebody mentioned a reel mower...yeah right...like I could afford one of those along with the maintenance, besides...the lawn is too uneven for a reel I think.

robbo521
07-13-2007, 12:09 AM
i have been cutting all of mine on 1.5 and no scalping.but with the rain i have gone to 2.0 and i like the way it looks better so may stay there.may even go up some more.

brucec32
08-10-2007, 05:22 PM
This time of year it's not uncommon to scalp bermuda.The turf is producing more top growth than it is undergrowth.The fact that you're going to 3 inches isn't going to help.It will look good for a few weeks,but then it will scalp again.
They key to keeping bermuda from scalping is,cut low early in the season,1-1.5 inches.Keep cutting it at that height until you start to scalp,then raise the deck .25 inch and cut it at that height until it starts to scalp again.Then raise it another .25.Also,during the summer,if you're getting rain or irrigation,you'll need to cut twice per week.This prevents too much top growth from growing and allows for some undergrowth to green up.Then,when you cut,you don't get the brown scalp marks.

Ditto what he said. Don't start cutting hybrid Bermuda at 3 1/2" like you would Fescue. It's not designed to be cut that high. It looks ok and beats a scalped lawn of brown stems, but it also looks puffy and a knowledgeable customer will realize this. The stem level will just rise as the cutting height does, to where you have .25" of green masking 3.25" of stems. This year I started at 1.5", about the lowest a rotary mower will handle, and am up to 1.75" on some flat lawns and 2.25" on the worst surge-growing, bumpy, irregularly fertilized ones. Should finish no higher than that this year with dry weather forecast through most of August.

Most customers won't pay 2x/week, so expect a somewhat degraded look on lawns where they refuse to moderate nitrogen accordingly. No free lunch out there.

brucec32
08-10-2007, 05:27 PM
I tried tonight on my fathers lawn and it bermuda...I set mower deck at 3" which in all reality when you take an spot measurements the lawn works out to be around 1.75-2.0 so I think I have solved my problem. I guess when you consider the weight of the machine there is likely a bit of compression when riding over the turf so it all averages out. I will take a picture tomorrow and post...his lawn looks really good and he said it was the best cut he has seen on his yard all year...40 inches really makes it look smooth and even unlike using a 21" (Oh, and he doesnt like stripes either)

So I will set my deck at 2.5-3 inches and in 5 days I will try again on my lawn...hopefully it will work out fine.

Somebody mentioned a reel mower...yeah right...like I could afford one of those along with the maintenance, besides...the lawn is too uneven for a reel I think.

Actually a small reel mower can handle some pretty good undulations. But I read this post and wanted to remind you to actually measure the blade height rather than relying on the mower's settings. On some mowers this is inaccurate and you could be mowing lower than the indicated setting.

My exmark was set up 1/2" lower than indicated.
My Gravely 1/4" lower than indicated.
My Toro fixed deck cuts 1/2" lower than indicated.
My Toro floater 1/2" lower.

They sell cheap guages that reach under a deck and measure the blades. Be sure to point the blades to the front and measure them there, not at the side. Decks are usually pitched slightly forward and the blade's lowest point should be up front.

brucec32
08-10-2007, 05:34 PM
Unless I am using the incorrect procedure for cutting may lawn there is no way you could ever cut my lawn without scalping at 1"...I cut at 1.5 with my Emark Metro and the best I could get with it was 1.5"...but my procedure may be wrong and that why I am asking this quuestion.


the walker has a shorter wheelbase between drive wheels and front casters, and on most of their decks the wheels are the same width as the deck, so it can handle undulations in Bermuda better. Typically midsize wb's are longish, so when you crest a bump it is more likely to scalp. You also have a little trim edge sticking out, and if the antiscalp wheel is not at the right height it can drop the deck a little and scalp.

Try setting your antiscalps so that they just brush the turf when mowing at the lowest level. If too high they still allow the deck to drop too much.

Some mowers just don't cut on bumpy ground w/o showing mow lines in Bermuda. I use a Lazer hp with 48" trivantage deck and it cuts better and smoother than my 32" toro which has a longer wheelbase.

it's all about the geometry of the decks and wheels and how they work together. Most mower companies seem to concentrate on northern turf, where the grass is green top to bottom and cutting heights are higher and scalping is less of a factor.

I'm looking at the same mower you have, but would have to test it first on real world lawns. I could tell you if it's the mower or not after one lawn.

brucec32
09-11-2007, 09:47 AM
Was it a floating deck you purchased? I am wondering if the floating deck has spacers of if that is just something used on fixed deck.

You can only change the blade's position inside the deck on a fixed deck unit, with the use of the spacers.

delphied
09-11-2007, 11:46 AM
We have alot of bermuda, and around her its usually bermuda in front and fescue in the rear.

One thing I was not factoring is the increased weight of the machine...going from a 100 pound walk behind to a 667 pound monster has got to play a part in the scalping. So in reality the cutting height may actually be .25-.5 shorter due to the compaction.

The tires on the bigger mower are bigger than the smaller mower. A bigger "footprint" distributes the added weight and Viola, same compaction as the lighter machine. Scalping is not due to machine weight either.

cgaengineer
09-11-2007, 01:49 PM
The tires on the bigger mower are bigger than the smaller mower. A bigger "footprint" distributes the added weight and Viola, same compaction as the lighter machine. Scalping is not due to machine weight either.

Actually in relation to actual height of deck weight is an issue. At 667 pounds and deck set at 1.5 inches there is some give in the turf/soils causing a lower then set height, especially if calibrated from concrete. So the height on concrete would be different then on soil.

tjsquickcuts
09-11-2007, 05:13 PM
You are going to have to just deal with it to be honest....Bermuda needs to stay under 2.5 to keep a full and uniform green.....You are doing nothing wrong, its just the mower may need some anti-scalp rollers....I had been dealing with the same thing with my 52in WB....Scalped while turning, and scalped on all bumps.....I had to learn how to work with it.....I am planning on having some anti-scalp rollers added to my 52in WB in Nov....Already have the rollers, just need some time to have them added....But, if you can get a lawn down to about a 1in to 1.5 in....it leaves a clean cut....but if I am cutting over 2in, then it will tend to scalp......

txgrassguy
09-11-2007, 05:21 PM
One thing to try is too lower your ground speed.
On uneven terrain a mower will bounce and the deflection in the tires will cause the deck to be alternately higher then lower creating the scalping.
You can experiment with air pressures at 3 to 10 psi higher so the mower won't settle quite as much.
As another poster mentioned, it is not uncommon that the bench height is different than the actual field height so check this as well.
On highly maintained residential turf sites, my crews will cut as low as 1.25" with an ExMark Navigator on Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass sites with great results.
Also check to see how uniform the leading edge of the rotary blade is, how sharp it stays and to ensure there is no debris build up under the deck as the resulting turbulent air flow will result in non-uniform cutting.

tjsquickcuts
09-11-2007, 06:01 PM
I agree with the lower speed.....thats what helps keep the walker from scalping, along with that lite weight deck.....I usually cut in 1 unless its open terrian then I will do 2 maybe 3.....I was going to sell my 52in, but found some uses for it on some fescue lawns we have at some commerical props....It cuts the fescue perfectly at over 3.5, but is a jack hammer on Bermuda......The only WB i recommend for Bermuda is a 36in deck.....unless the mower has anti scalp rollers on the outside corners of the deck....

cgaengineer
09-11-2007, 06:14 PM
Thank you everyone for the information. Since I have cut a few lawns I am starting to learn the in and outs of this mower and I am doing well with it. But since the green season in closing soon I guess I will have to wait a few more months to learn it over again. I figure by end of next summer I will be more familiar with it and will have a groove to follow so to speak.