View Full Version : Bumpy terrain - fixed deck better?

06-10-2003, 01:12 AM
Most of the lawns I maintain are an extremely bumpy ride.. in fact I think I have permanent nerve damage in my neck from the jolts I've taken.. but that's another topic. What I want to know is.. would a fixed deck give a better cut than a floating deck? I think the floating deck on my lazer bounces around too much causing a lot of uncut spots.. Make sense? What 60" mowers have a fixed deck?

06-10-2003, 01:21 AM
I've been looking at a Gravely 260z.

my dealer said it has 2 bolts that go through the front axle to lock it into a fixed position. he said some people were havin trouble with the deck scalping and missing on rough terrain. Not sure if thats what you need, but the gravely seems like an awesome machine, its got a hydraulic lifted deck too

Envy Lawn Service
06-10-2003, 01:23 AM
If you are bouncing a 60" deck around bad enough to get a bad cut, you need a governor to slow you down, not a fixed deck. I have some of the roughest properties you can imagine and I can't stand to ride hem fast enough to bounce my deck around and it's only a 48" deck.

Are you sure you are getting a poor cut from bouncing or are these areas where it would be better if the deck was articulating? As in a place where on front wheel lofts off the ground from uneven terrain.

If not, you may want to play around with air pressure a bit. With a fixed deck, the whole mower is just going to bounce.

06-10-2003, 01:29 AM
I think “floating decks” which are really hanging decks are more likely to scalp than fixed decks. Why? Because with a fixed deck, you have precise control over what the mowing deck is doing with the steering levers. Hanging Decks have a mind of their own when it comes to abrupt changes in terrain. As far as brands go, I think Scag has some fixed decks that large, but I know 61” Wright Standers have fixed decks.

06-10-2003, 01:35 AM
Envy... my question was not about how fast or slow I need to go to get a good cut. I wanted to know if a fixed deck would give a better cut over a floating deck at the same given speed on a bumpy lawn..

Simone Lawn Service
06-10-2003, 04:47 AM
I have a 48" Great Dane Surfer with a fixed deck. My next mower will definitely have a floating deck, from what I can see they really leave a smoother cut, but I've never had one...I can tell you that some of my properties are pretty bumpy, I go at a reasonable rate of speed, use sharp blades, and I seem to see blades of grass sticking up here and there-maybe the grass is just "looking greener on the other side":confused: If I take a steep hill I WILL either scalp the turf or get hung up, or worse yet-stuck.

06-10-2003, 11:31 AM
A “floating deck” that follows the terrain would be nice. Whenever someone comes out with a true “floating deck” let me know. Everything I’ve seen on the market is a hanging deck. Which means it has a tendency to follow gravity, not the terrain.

On a steep slope, you’re mower might be tilted 20-degrees, but the deck might be hanging at 25-degrees. Seems to me a hanging deck is going to produce a poorer cut than a fixed deck on a steep slope.

06-10-2003, 02:06 PM
I'm new, but for what it's worth, my 48" Exmark metro hp (floating deck) was bouncing so bad it knocked off a hub cap, then I remebered reading about the "scalp roller height adjustment" in the manual.

I lifted the rollers up a little, and that took care of it.


06-10-2003, 04:49 PM
I have a 44" floating deck on my z master and i let my anti scalp wheels down a notch so they almost ride on the ground. So far i have never had a scalping problem on the roughest of lawns. When you get to a good bump the anti scalp wheels ride on the ground to keep the deck from scalping like they were made to do.

06-10-2003, 06:13 PM
Isn't amazing? I never asked about scalping nor do I have a problem with scalping... Does anyone read any more?

06-10-2003, 06:50 PM
Any deck will work if you just slow down some.

06-10-2003, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by Lawn-Scapes
Isn't amazing? I never asked about scalping nor do I have a problem with scalping...

Probably because you have a floating deck.

06-11-2003, 07:40 AM
I've had my fixed deck wb "skip" over some grass when it's bumpy and I'm going a little too fast. I've learned my properties and know where the bumps are now. A floating deck would seem to alleviate this problem somewhat as long as the bumps aren't too severe and the ground speed was a little slower. I just pinch the handles a little going over rough ground unless it's a lot, then I downshift.

06-11-2003, 12:01 PM
scalping is caused by operator error, not fixed decks.


06-11-2003, 11:10 PM
Tom, did you see if you can raise your rollers yet? That was my cure for the same problem.

The rollers need to be adjusted as you adjust the deck height. My guess is you are set for maximum floatation and knocking yourself around on roots, as I was. That setting is for higher cutting (4" or so?).