44" and 48" Lazer HP decks interchangeable?

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by brucec32, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I was curious if the 44" deck on an HP will fit the frame of a 48" mower and vice versa?

    Also, have you had any reports of the 44" deck giving a better cut due to the wheels and deck size matching up very closely with no trim edge worth speaking of? I know my overhang leaves a "groove" sometimes on uneven terrain, especially concave surfaces.

    I mow some Bermudagrass lawns that aren't totally flat and in my experience smaller decks tend to handle the rolling terrain and dips better when you're mowing at 2" or so. Currently using a 32" but that's getting old really fast.
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Bruce32,

    You can mount the 44" deck on the 48" front frame. The 48" drive wheels will stick out past the 44" deck but you can correct this with a set of 44" wheels.

    Would the groove better be described as a "stair step" cut with a variance of height between your two cutting paths?

    In all honesty I don't ever recall hearing this on a 48" deck so it may be something with your machine that we can correct or it may be conditions.

    Does it appear to happen more on the trim side or the discharge side?

    Does the problem seam to magnify when turning or stay consistent?

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Thanks for the reply Terry,

    The problem is one I've had with all decks on Bermuda, the Lazer isn't cutting with any flaws, it's the lawns that are the problem. Unlike cool season turf, the plant is part brown stems, part green leaves, with only the top being green much of the time. This is, I think, because it really needs to be mown low twice a week, but nobody really does that much. So, the plant outgrows one's ability to mow it enough to keep it mostly green with less "stem". Instead, it gradually becomes more stem and less leaf, to the point where mowing at recommended height leaves you with a lawn of nice brown stems. You can raise the deck and keep the top green looking, but there's a limit to how many times you can raise the cut height and still have it look nice.

    As far as lines and creases, what happens is that any variation in the lawn, holes, ruts, concave surfaces, etc....cause this brown/green variation to become very evident in places where the mower is cutting green leafy material in spots and tougher brown stems in others. Whereever you hit stems, it shows as brown. And since a mower cuts in one plane only, it can't account for a curved surface with a radius that is too severe, so especially on Bermuda you wind up cutting stems in one part of the arc and leafy green stuff in another. I've always had this problem on Bermuda. The mower cuts fine, and it's hard to describe the geometry of it, but with increased overhang, dropping a tire in a rut or low spot even 1" might cause the end of the overhang side to drop more than 1". The net result is that smaller decks handle this grass better than larger ones (not showing these creases and variations). And when the drive and caster wheels match the deck width, like on the 44", there is less chance of the problem occuring, since the wheels do a good job of keeping the deck equally distant from the grass at all points. Anti-scalp wheels help on overhangs, but they're never able to do as good a job due to their setup and limitations.

    I was just curious if any of your users had ever commented on the smaller deck doing a better job. I was going to pick up a 2nd unit for just these type of lawns if I was sure it worked.

    My lazer cuts fine. But I'm having a continuation of my earlier problem I will address in another post.
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Bruce32,

    I have not had anyone comment that the 44" cuts Bermuda better than the 48". The property may be the cause of the problem but we may be able to improve them by trying a few things before you invest in a new mower or a new deck.

    First I'd raise my air pressure to around 18 psi to make sure the mower is staying stable and your not getting too much flex out of the tires. The property may be the cause but a little too much flex in the sidewalls may magnify the problem. Second I'd check my anti-scalp rollers. Park the mower on a solid surface and drop all the rollers till they are with in 1/4" of the ground or on their lowest setting. I would also consider getting the striping roller. The roller may not help a great deal with the striping abilities of this type of grass but it will help stabilize the deck when cutting as low as you are on rolling hills. Also are you side discharging or mulching?

    If your side discharging you may want to try a low lift blade rather than a high lift. The high lift can often pull some of the old debris loose from the surface to the top where it can be seen which makes for a more unsightly appearance. Often by switching to a low lift on this type of grass you’ll actually get a “cleaner” looking lawn.

    Last but not least how tall is the grass before you begin cutting (how much are you removing)? It’s possible that when side discharging a thick, wet and lush lawn you can get some belt slippage which can often leave an uneven look to the lawn. I would check the deck idler very closely to make sure your not getting any belt slippage. I don’t know if the loss of blade tip speed caused by the other issue may be partially to blame as well.

    After that I would begin looking at the way your approaching the hills, undulations etc. Often, depending upon the lawn changing your approach to some of the problem areas can make a world of difference.

    I guess what we are trying to do here is make sure we’ve tried everything before you invest in a 44” deck that may or may not solve your problem.

    Give these things a try and let me know if you see any improvements.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Thanks, but again I think the appearance issue is just a fact of life mowing Bermuda less than 2 times a week when it's raining a lot, or with a medium/large deck. It's something that's easier to show than explain. The 44" would be a 2nd lazer unit, for gates, smaller lawns, and also importantly as a backup unit to a bigger lazer.
     

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