4 Chains or 2 Chains and Leveling Links?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by MBDiagMan, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    I did some searching and couldn't find any information, ideas or opinions on this issue, so I hope you guys can help.

    I have an eight year old Bad Boy Lightening Z. It's been a trouble free machine, but I have only one issue with it and that is the way the deck doesn't seem to float very well.

    On flat ground it gives a very nice cut. I mow a 1/4 mile of bar ditch as we call it in Texas, and there just doesn't seem to be anyway to get it to make the bottom of the ditch look nice.

    I am wondering what kind of difference a mower with the deck suspended by four chains would make, if any difference at all. The Lightening Z has two chains and two leveling links as they call them.

    This has been a great machine and I hate to start over, but I would like to get something with a bigger deck anyway.

    Thanks for your comments and sharing your experience.
     
  2. kawakx125

    kawakx125 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,128

    my mower is suspended by 4 chains and it doesn't cut any differently on hills. the bottom of ditches is more difficult to make look nice if there are quick changes in elevation or a narrow ditch. sometimes a trimmer is the best bet. a deck can only float where the anti-scalp wheels touch the ground, and theoretically when one wheel touches and ''floats'' the deck, the entire plane of the deck is changed in relation to the mower. so if you are trying to run your deck or drive wheels with one side on the other side of the ditch, then it'll cut unevenly. you still have to try and keep your drive wheels and deck on an even plane. not always possible, but IMO where floating decks are beneficial is cresting hills and on turning. any obstacle or hump has to be larger than the width (front to back) of the deck or a floating deck will still scalp some when the obstacle is directly underneath.
     
  3. kawakx125

    kawakx125 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,128

    also, bigger decks are more prone to scalping, regardless of being fixed or floating.
     
  4. T Total Lawncare

    T Total Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from The deep south
    Posts: 1,114

    Make your first two passes to the left and right of the bottom of the ditch(discharge away) and work your way out from there. Sometimes you may have to feather the deck with the foot lift to keep it from scalping. How many chains your deck is suspended by is irrelevant. Cutting uneven ground is a art. Like said earlier the larger the deck the harder the task to keep it from scalping. My 2 cents.
     
  5. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    Thanks for the helpful responses. I have indeed been putting the non discharge side to the bottom of the ditch on both sides although I don't do that first and then work away from the ditch. The bottom of the ditch is smoothly rounded, no trench in the bottom.

    I don't have a foot lift on my deck. Maybe that is an important consideration for my next mower.

    Please keep the ideas and comments coming. They are greatly appreciated.

    Larry
     
  6. kawakx125

    kawakx125 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,128

    doesn't necessarily have to be a trench, but the width of the ditch at the bottom plays a large role, the narrower it is the harder it is
     
  7. T Total Lawncare

    T Total Lawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from The deep south
    Posts: 1,114

    Don't know your cutting height but the lower the harder to keep it clean as well. Since you don't have a foot assist you might want to raise your height a couple notches on the uneven ground and go back to normal height on the flat surface. My mower will usually blend the difference in cut height pretty well as long as there is not a HUGE difference in height of cut..
     

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