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View Full Version : Front deck vs. Belly deck


pikefool
10-28-2004, 12:57 AM
which is better, a front deck or a belly deck and why? :)

out4now
10-28-2004, 01:07 AM
Front decks are better where you have lots of 90 degree corners. Walker is good for these situations. Midmounts though have a speed advantage. Depends on properties you are doing.

PLM-1
10-28-2004, 01:25 AM
I like front decks. Better view, trimability and the blades and the top and bottom of the deck are easier to service.

Doster's L & L
10-28-2004, 01:26 AM
Front decks are at a disadvantage because the 2 front wheels seem to hit dips in lawns and if they're deep enough, they'll cause a circular scalp from the blade. Mid mounts on the other hand, especially exmark which is what i use, will float right over the hole. If ALL of your lawns are perfectly smooth and you had alot of low lying branches to get up under, i think the front deck is the way to go. If you do look into getting a front deck, i DO NOT recommend Woods. You'll see more down time than you could possibly imagine! (This my friend, is not an opinion.) Personally, l like Exmark.

PLM-1
10-28-2004, 01:46 AM
Front decks are at a disadvantage because the 2 front wheels seem to hit dips in lawns and if they're deep enough, they'll cause a circular scalp from the blade. Mid mounts on the other hand, especially exmark which is what i use, will float right over the hole. If ALL of your lawns are perfectly smooth and you had alot of low lying branches to get up under, i think the front deck is the way to go. If you do look into getting a front deck, i DO NOT recommend Woods. You'll see more down time than you could possibly imagine! (This my friend, is not an opinion.) Personally, l like Exmark.

the same thing happens with a midmount. but if they are deep enough the midmounts just get stuck! e.g. mowing around ponds. F/M's are the way to go...if exmark made one everyone would have one...

Doster's L & L
10-28-2004, 02:28 AM
"but if they are deep enough the midmounts just get stuck!"

That's funny... If ANY hole is deep enough, ANYTHING will get stuck. I'm talking about a hole that is about 1' in diameter about 6" deep. If you are striping with a front deck and that front tire hits the hole, you're GONNA have a circular blade scalp. I mow around a few ponds myself... i have no trouble with the mid mounts. I have mowed the same ponds with the Woods f/m, there is no advantage or disadvantage with either one of them near ponds.

The only advantage with the F/M is around low lying lilmbs and cemetarys around stones. The other stuff... Mid Mounts are the way to go. BTW, make sure the 2 front tires are stationary and are not able to pivot in the center. Example: Kubota. I like Kubota.... Very dependable! l own one of those too, which is a M/M, but the front axle pivots in the center. When one of the 2 tires hit a hole, it will also want to scalp a bit, but NOT NEARLY as bad as a Front Deck mower.

Joplin, im just curious. I know that Grasshopper makes the Woods mowers. I had to take my Woods mower to the shop ALL the TIME!! Sometimes l took it to get fixed more than once a day on a number of occasions. How is your grasshopper holding up? Do you have good luck with it being dependable? I know there was a redesign in their machines a few years ago. I had the 97-98 model and AB SO LUTE LY HATED the thing!! Just curious if any improvements have been made. Thanks!

rodfather
10-28-2004, 06:30 AM
Front decks...less hand trimming needed and better visibility. Easier to service as well.

Nick911Racing
10-28-2004, 07:56 AM
Front mounts are a 100 times easier to service in every aspect; deck, blades, motor, etc. The disadvantages are to change deck height for the kubota and deere you must remove the front castors and change the spacers. In the back pins need to be moved and you manually have to lift the deck to do it. One other disadvantage is wheelbase/length, which are significantly longer. The midmount deck mowers I find are usually extremely difficult to service since you must remove a lot of things to get to what your servicing. It is a heck of a lot easier to change deck height however and the groundspeed is usually higher than that of the frontmounts. I personally have found however that the front mount scalps a lot less than the midmount because on a front mount castors and wheels are closer to the deck and the deck is independant of the chassis so there is less span between the front and back of the deck which reduces scalping.

Thats my two cents.
Nick

fcl01
10-28-2004, 08:07 AM
i think that both have their goods/bads. ive never had a walker, but the grasshopper and steiner are great mowers. but theres a couple things against them, overall size and weight is a big factor. people buy z's for manuverability. the longer the overall length is, the more limited you are on where you can just whip it around. plus, once a steiner or a hopper is stuck, you better have a tractor or something to unstick it. they are extremely heavy and since they pivot at the deck, one end or another is always gonna hang up.
but they mow like theres no tommorrow!
whichever you get, i think youll be happy :D
in short, buy whichever good brand is the most comfortable to you. youre the one who has to sit on it all day. :waving:

walker-talker
10-28-2004, 08:43 AM
if exmark made one everyone would have one...
Rumor has it that Exmark is coming out with a front deck next year and is suppose to be on display at the GIE. I would buy one in a heartbeat if it cuts anything like their other mowers. The blade tip speed seems to be faster than the Walker. Don't get me wrong...I love my Walker, but since I already have one, then I would go with the Exmark. I love the front deck design and here, speed is not really an issue. Most lots are 5K to 10K.

clovergurl1487
10-28-2004, 09:19 AM
I have been using an Exmark 72" and a Toro 60" midmount for several years and have been happy with both (other than the Toro is to small). Several weeks ago I bought an Exmark 60" walk behind which I put a velke on. This I guess would qualify as a front mount without the length and weight issues. I am finding that on many, not all, but many of the lawns I have been doing for several years there has been at least a 10 to 15 percent decrease in time. Obviously the more open it is the less of an advantage there is.

CathyLynn
10-30-2004, 02:21 AM
I would try any new front mount, just so i could say ! did. The WALKER is a nice mower, and we do use them a lot, but if something better came along......we would be first in line to try!

Mid mounts will always have a speed advantage-the out fronts get too much deck bounce if you get moving too fast.

Avery
10-30-2004, 09:35 AM
Toro already has a front mount. The 355. Front mounts are faster than belly mowers and give a better quality of cut IMO. I expect the Exmark will look and perform just as good as the Toro.

PLM-1
10-31-2004, 11:21 PM
"but if they are deep enough the midmounts just get stuck!"

That's funny... If ANY hole is deep enough, ANYTHING will get stuck. I'm talking about a hole that is about 1' in diameter about 6" deep. If you are striping with a front deck and that front tire hits the hole, you're GONNA have a circular blade scalp. I mow around a few ponds myself... i have no trouble with the mid mounts. I have mowed the same ponds with the Woods f/m, there is no advantage or disadvantage with either one of them near ponds.

The only advantage with the F/M is around low lying lilmbs and cemetarys around stones. The other stuff... Mid Mounts are the way to go. BTW, make sure the 2 front tires are stationary and are not able to pivot in the center. Example: Kubota. I like Kubota.... Very dependable! l own one of those too, which is a M/M, but the front axle pivots in the center. When one of the 2 tires hit a hole, it will also want to scalp a bit, but NOT NEARLY as bad as a Front Deck mower.

Joplin, im just curious. I know that Grasshopper makes the Woods mowers. I had to take my Woods mower to the shop ALL the TIME!! Sometimes l took it to get fixed more than once a day on a number of occasions. How is your grasshopper holding up? Do you have good luck with it being dependable? I know there was a redesign in their machines a few years ago. I had the 97-98 model and AB SO LUTE LY HATED the thing!! Just curious if any improvements have been made. Thanks!

I love it. It's a kubota 22hp diesel...so far so good. I talked to a guy the other day at the dealer when i was buying more blades and he has a 21 hp diesel with 18000 hrs on it with no problems...hope mine lasts that long! There are a bunch of ppl with 10000 on them with no probs also.