View Full Version : Walkbehind for berms, etc--Fixed deck?

08-06-2007, 03:44 PM
Hello lawnsite:

I think I am about to break down and find a used walkbehind, the snapper isn't getting things done fast enough (30" + 1 acre + 100 degree heat = :nono: ). I am leaning toward a 48 or 52 hydro with a fixed deck and a sulky.

My concern is that my yard has a couple of berms which don't really scalp, but get cut shorter than everything else unless you go across them just right. There is also one area where kind of a valley is formed where the ground slopes back up to the house. I'm worried that a larger deck might dig into the dirt when mowing this lengthwise.

The floating deck units in my price range (<2000) generally look pretty rough, and the addtional parts and problems (looks like more stuff that would need fixing) would not be worth the improvement in QOC.

Has anybody had any luck with a larger fixed deck WB on a rolling lawn?

08-10-2007, 12:34 AM
I have a Scag 61" fixed deck hydro with a rolling lawn and I'm not gonna lie... sometimes I go over the "berms" the at the wrong angle, position and/or speed and it scalps. Also, worse than this is when one of the drive wheels starts spinning in one of the ruts... scalp mania. Fixed decks are much more popular, simple and cheaper to maintain. I'd just go with the fixed deck and be extra careful in those areas. To a certain extent, experience on those helps you scalp less...

08-13-2007, 01:59 PM
Thanks for the reply Steve!

That's about what I had figured. It's looking like a 48 is as big as I should go, if I see a Toro 40 or 44 I may give that a shot too. As tall as I cut my yard (4" in summer--fescue, bermuda, crabgrass, and weeds!) it shouldn't take much to stay out of trouble. Also, if it gets to be a problem after some practice I could always weld brackets for anti-scalp wheels wherever I get scalping.

How fast (groundspeed wise) are you able to run your Scag? Is it usually wide open or do the berms, etc cause you to slow down? I ask b/c I am concerned that running a larger mower at lower speeds may not significantly reduce my time spent in the HEAT. The manuverability factor (especially) on the hydro ought to offset any losses due to groundspeed, do you think?

08-14-2007, 03:21 AM
Sounds to me like you have a few problems in your yard like I have in mine. As you know the larger your deck the easier to scalp. I have the new 40" Toro T2 Floating Deck and I will not lie...I have scalping in certain terrain so its going to be hard to avoid in certain terrain. 40" doesnt give you much over 30", but I have to say that if you try the Toro T2 with a Toro TruTrac you will fall in love...what a combo (I know about the T2, but not about the TruTrac...basing my opinion on people who have used them)

08-14-2007, 07:10 PM
CGA, I understand that T2 is the deck, what is tru-trac?

08-15-2007, 04:50 PM
T2 is actually the controls, TruTrac is the Tor brand sulky, havent used one but everyone that has raves about them.

08-25-2007, 01:29 AM
You know, slowing down can help but it doesn't always. Sometimes I even think that slowing down gives the mower less momentum and makes it more prone to getting stuck in the ruts. I run it a few notches from the end, and use my hands to slow it a bit from there (rarely leave it "open handed" at that speed setting).

I find that approach angle seems to be the best way to avoid scalping... knowing what angle to come in at.

Good luck!

08-29-2007, 07:11 PM
Thanks for the help guys!

The snapper doesn't have any antiscalp rollers, so I have to mow along the berms. If I go straight across them it's bad news. One thing going for a wb is that (I hope) it would cut better at a higher height, which would additionally minimize scalping. If I pick the deck on the snapper up over 3.5", it starts leaving stragglers and laying grass over more(fescue and weed yard). I would think that a commercial deck could handle the higher cut better.

I am still wonderring about the time savings after some practice. How long would you figure you spend on an acre, less trimming and stuff?

I'm sorry to ask all the questions, kind of an analysis paralysis, but the grass isn't growing anyway, so what's the hurry LOL?