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View Full Version : ZTR...Mid Deck or Out Front Deck?


Andrew & Ben's Lawn Care
06-02-2011, 12:39 AM
Getting a new mower this month but I don't know the advantages or disadvantages of the deck placement. Would like some input on this before I buy.

tacoma200
06-02-2011, 01:15 AM
A very low percentage of ZTR's sold are front mount. The mid mount is the overwhelming choice for most people.

Some of the advantages of a front mount are ability to trim under tree's and fences. Lots of attachments. Decks can be powered and lifted for easy access to blades and deck cleaning. You could go to the grasshopper site which will list some of the pro's and con's.

If you have to ask you probably want to stick with the mid mounts.

Ridin' Green
06-02-2011, 02:52 PM
Plus, a front mount mows the grass before any wheels have had a chance to pack it down. Still, most guys go with a mid mount these days. One reason is they are shorter and fit more easily on a trailer with more than one mower. Another, is that you need to get used to a much longer tail swing on a front mount.

Andrew & Ben's Lawn Care
06-02-2011, 06:09 PM
Thanks guys, that does it for me. Because most of my a accounts are residentials, I don't need the long tail swing. The mid mount decks don't seem to slow anyone down do, that's what I'll go with.

SouthSide Cutter
06-02-2011, 09:03 PM
Had Grasshopper out front for years then went to midmount. I think they are faster over all. Don't think midmounts make the yard look as good. If I wasn't doing this as a business I would go back to the Grasshopper out front. Just my 2 cents and I have had both.

JCLawn and more
06-06-2011, 09:43 PM
don't know if you have decided yet but I have both. Advantages of a front deck: They float better, easier to change blades, shaft drive and less belt wear, you can put the deck to places to tight for the whole mower, you have better control over the mower because your drive wheels are in the middle of the mower, they do loads better on hills, you can get on shrubs, trees, and an added bonus you can you the front deck as a trailer to hold branches and what not if you are doing yard work.

The down side, they are 3 foot longer, I don't notice it. I do 1/8 acre lots with my 61inch 8.5 foot long mower with no problems.

The pro of a mid mount, they are shorter, the con is that they scalp like crazy.

SouthSide Cutter
06-06-2011, 10:19 PM
don't know if you have decided yet but I have both. Advantages of a front deck: They float better, easier to change blades, shaft drive and less belt wear, you can put the deck to places to tight for the whole mower, you have better control over the mower because your drive wheels are in the middle of the mower, they do loads better on hills, you can get on shrubs, trees, and an added bonus you can you the front deck as a trailer to hold branches and what not if you are doing yard work.

The down side, they are 3 foot longer, I don't notice it. I do 1/8 acre lots with my 61inch 8.5 foot long mower with no problems.

The pro of a mid mount, they are shorter, the con is that they scalp like crazy.

They wont scalp if you put the scalp rollers down. I got mine about as low as they go. Have to raise deck when turning on 23/4 and lower or it will tear out turf. But they dont scalp anymore. But you need new scalp rolles every year.

JCLawn and more
06-06-2011, 10:26 PM
They wont scalp if you put the scalp rollers down. I got mine about as low as they go. Have to raise deck when turning on 23/4 and lower or it will tear out turf. But they dont scalp anymore. But you need new scalp rolles every year.

I think you just added to the cons :laugh: Not all decks have adjustable scalp wheels either. Lastec and encore make the only mid mounts with a full flotation deck like a front deck

McVey Landscape
06-07-2011, 03:18 AM
Walk behinds. Love my Exmark Turf Tracers. Own two of them and a ZTR. The walk behinds will out mow the ZTR in most yards where there is not much open area.

retrodog
06-07-2011, 11:14 AM
Hey, I had a 722D Hopper front deck, a turf tiger, and a bad boy lightning on my mowing rig in 06. The hopper was nice to lift the deck up at the end of the day to sharpen blades, and clean out deck, good for hills, nice to see everything your deck is hitting, singing over pools and into bushes, never tore turf when turning (even when doing it fast). The negatives.....wouldn't cut wet grass, didn't "sling" grass like the other mowers kinda set it down beside the deck waiting for the hay bailer to come by and pick up...lol, seems like everytime my wife would mow on it she would knock a tombstone over with the rear swing, had to always get oversized trailers for it, had no guts whatsoever (lost alot of power from the deck to the motor, so it would die alot on me, if there was moisture in the grass at all forget it. I had to do alot of forward and backward mowing if you know what I mean). I have done alot of research, and walker is ten times the cutter the Hopper is, but so expensive, and Zipper makes one of the best and lowest priced front decks right now. They have a front deck 25hp Kawasaki with 1 gear box (no power loss) for $7499 and $7999, and their top of the line 64" with powerfold deck 28hp Kawasaki is just a hair over $10000. They discharge grass better and the diamond plate chrome is nice, and the simplier electronics seems to be easier to work as opposed to the Hopper.I leave the front decks to the old timers that worry about not getting off the ground, and putt around, and I am all the way mid deck due to the sheer production level of a mid-deck. I promise you when we bought the TT mid after just having a front, our profit margins sky rocketed, the time we spent on yards went down, and our finished cut quality went up tremendously. On our high end yards I would take a Stihl BR600 and blow the clumps of grass on every pass I made with the hopper (I thought all mowers did that). When I went to a mid deck I could mow in the pouring down rain and it would still blow grass out 6 feet.....

JCLawn and more
06-07-2011, 11:42 AM
Hey, I had a 722D Hopper front deck, a turf tiger, and a bad boy lightning on my mowing rig in 06. The hopper was nice to lift the deck up at the end of the day to sharpen blades, and clean out deck, good for hills, nice to see everything your deck is hitting, singing over pools and into bushes, never tore turf when turning (even when doing it fast). The negatives.....wouldn't cut wet grass, didn't "sling" grass like the other mowers kinda set it down beside the deck waiting for the hay bailer to come by and pick up...lol, seems like everytime my wife would mow on it she would knock a tombstone over with the rear swing, had to always get oversized trailers for it, had no guts whatsoever (lost alot of power from the deck to the motor, so it would die alot on me, if there was moisture in the grass at all forget it. I had to do alot of forward and backward mowing if you know what I mean). I have done alot of research, and walker is ten times the cutter the Hopper is, but so expensive, and Zipper makes one of the best and lowest priced front decks right now. They have a front deck 25hp Kawasaki with 1 gear box (no power loss) for $7499 and $7999, and their top of the line 64" with powerfold deck 28hp Kawasaki is just a hair over $10000. They discharge grass better and the diamond plate chrome is nice, and the simplier electronics seems to be easier to work as opposed to the Hopper.I leave the front decks to the old timers that worry about not getting off the ground, and putt around, and I am all the way mid deck due to the sheer production level of a mid-deck. I promise you when we bought the TT mid after just having a front, our profit margins sky rocketed, the time we spent on yards went down, and our finished cut quality went up tremendously. On our high end yards I would take a Stihl BR600 and blow the clumps of grass on every pass I made with the hopper (I thought all mowers did that). When I went to a mid deck I could mow in the pouring down rain and it would still blow grass out 6 feet.....

I think that was due to you blades. My 721 blows it a little over 2 passes, or about 12 ft. I have mowed in the rain many times with no issues unless the grass is thick. My mower is 17 years old, and the new decks have changed all around. I was watching a gravely today and I was not impressed, the hoppper chews up the grass a lot more and I think that is why it takes more power. Plus the old decks were 4 inches deep and the new ones are 5
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7.3pstroke
06-08-2011, 08:14 AM
just my two cents...I have seven Walkers...I bought a mid-mount Toro once several years ago...after using the Walkers I hated the mid-mount...keep in mind I worked alone so trimming, edging, and blowing were also my duties...the Walkers cut so much time off trimming...yes they are not as fast a mid-mount...so they say...apparently people on here haven't used the Walker Super-B...It flies...overall it comes down to personal preference you should just try them both before you spend you hard earned money...

JCLawn and more
06-08-2011, 09:45 AM
just my two cents...I have seven Walkers...I bought a mid-mount Toro once several years ago...after using the Walkers I hated the mid-mount...keep in mind I worked alone so trimming, edging, and blowing were also my duties...the Walkers cut so much time off trimming...yes they are not as fast a mid-mount...so they say...apparently people on here haven't used the Walker Super-B...It flies...overall it comes down to personal preference you should just try them both before you spend you hard earned money...

exactly. Also mid mounts are cheaper to keep in mind

retrodog
06-08-2011, 03:21 PM
I think that was due to you blades. My 721 blows it a little over 2 passes, or about 12 ft. I have mowed in the rain many times with no issues unless the grass is thick. My mower is 17 years old, and the new decks have changed all around. I was watching a gravely today and I was not impressed, the hoppper chews up the grass a lot more and I think that is why it takes more power. Plus the old decks were 4 inches deep and the new ones are 5
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I don't know man, thats what everyone said too. The dealer said it was fine, but I tried hi lifts, standard lifts, and gator blades and never got any better results. Maybe I just got a lemon or something, but I have talked to alot of guys that run them that say dew on the ground and wet grass on sprinkled yards were huge hurdles for them, but I don't hear alot complaining like I did about the hay bailing lines..... A guy off of here bought it from me in North Carolina, and he said he likes it, so maybe I am just alittle more anal about the finished look than others. I know a lot more since then, so if I am not discharging over 2 rows I am checking out the mower to see whats wrong with it. I mowed on a new 2011 Grasshopper with the big Kubota diesel 61" a few weeks back, and the deck clogged up on me in less than 30 minutes, no prob though with a push of a button I cleaned the deck with ease and kept mowing, but I didn't like the clumps it left. It was very humid and alot of moisture in the grass, but I was dissappointed especially for the $16000 he gave for it.... I had a Hustler Super Z on my trailer and a 35hp Cat diesel 72" BB, he mowed on both and said he got sick to his stomach after mowing on the 35hp 4 cylinder for $13 thousand....

braddsn
06-08-2011, 07:24 PM
Just my .02 on this subject, I have a Grasshopper 727K (front mount) with the 27hp Kohler, it slings grass at LEAST 12 ft, if not more. I have mowed when it was VERY wet and really thick.. never had any problems with clumping, or the deck clogging. I tested several mowers before settling on the Grasshopper, including my dad's Scag (which is a great mower btw). I have yet to run into a situation where my hopper was clumping or clogging. One of the reasons I chose the hopper was because of the way it blew grass out far and evenly... leaving a beautiful lawn afterwords.

barncat
06-12-2011, 02:55 PM
I had an Exmark Lazer 60", and it was an Incredible mower. With that said, I found that I was still having to trim quite a bit, as i couldn't get up under the shrubs, and fences. And while it mowed great, I was still scalping.

I sold it, and bought a Grasshopper 718, 48" 18hp. I absolutely love it. It mows incredibly, I have ZERO trimming to do, and I have rarely scalped. I have never had a problem in wet grass, and the only thing it doesn't like to mow is clover.

It has it's downsides, as the Exmark was EXTREMELY comfortable, and about 2mph faster, but it also left "standers" when mowing dandilions. I have ZERO regrets in switching to the smaller Hopper.

Birdhunter1
06-12-2011, 04:47 PM
Another front deck vote here. I have mowed for years with a midmount, always wanted a Grasshopper so I bought one. I love it but I do see where mid mount mowers do fit in, I was mowing last week one of my dads accounts and was in the middle of a triangle of a power pole, telephone box and a sign. I never had a problem with a midmount in there but my grasshopper tailswing was a bit of a pain. I was able to mow everything in that area but I never once worried about tailswing in there before. However on this same account I was able to mow parts of a sediment pond that I never was able to do with a midmount. Luckily for my dad and I we have each, and while each has its merits I wouldn't go back to a midmount unless I had to fit more than two mowers on a trailer.

Andrew & Ben's Lawn Care
06-12-2011, 05:21 PM
Wow, lots of good information. Thank you so much for all of the good points of view. Since I've posted the question; I've made the solid decision to go mid-mount. Then I read more and changed my mind to Front-Mount. Flip Flopped a few more times and decided the only way to meet my needs is to get one of each. I have decided to get the Ferris first and the Walker second. I'll post some pics when I get them this week or next.

lawn crafters
06-13-2011, 04:33 PM
exactly. Also mid mounts are cheaper to keep in mind

that all depends on what mower you are comparing, a scag ztr with a vac probobly is around the same price as a walker. well atleast thats what i found out when i purchased my walker. however every dealer is differnet i suppose.

alanauer
07-01-2011, 11:09 AM
Before you get a mid, have them demo what you go through to access the underside.

JCLawn and more
07-01-2011, 10:09 PM
I ended up with a mid :) I still like front decks. I bought a kubota zd326. It actually floats better than my front deck, but that is because I can set my swivel anti scalp casters at 3/4 inch from my deck height. Plus the mower jacks up to get to the deck. So how do you like the ferris?

Huling
07-01-2011, 10:47 PM
A very low percentage of ZTR's sold are front mount. The mid mount is the overwhelming choice for most people.

Some of the advantages of a front mount are ability to trim under tree's and fences. Lots of attachments. Decks can be powered and lifted for easy access to blades and deck cleaning. You could go to the grasshopper site which will list some of the pro's and con's.

If you have to ask you probably want to stick with the mid mounts.

Tacoma: Just wanted to jump in and say it is people like you with "opinions" based on experince, that make this web site worth while. Appreciate it!