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Fastrak Scalping

Discussion in 'Hustler Turf Equip (Archived)' started by E36M3, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. E36M3

    E36M3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Hi All,

    I recently purcahsed a 20/52 Fastrak. I love it except that I seem to be scalping excessively. I lowered the anti scalp wheels to the lowest position, but the rear of the deck is what scalps. If the rear wheels drop into a dip in the lawn, I'm left with 3 circles as evidence. I already am cutting higher than I would like, but to no avail. Is there an add-on kit for rear anti-scalp wheels? My gravely rider had anti-scalp skids that went front-to-back under the blades at each side of the deck. Is there a kit for that maybe?

    My wife is wondering why the grass looks so bad when our 30 year old gravely had no problems making a nice cut. :help:
  2. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    There is not a additional anti scalp kit available for the FasTrak.
    What height are you cutting at?

  3. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    In all honesty, if you believe the cut quality of your 30 year old gravely is better than the Fastrack, you it sounds like you should have bought a mower from Home Depot. I’m not trying to cause a problem, however some of the lower quality machines from Home Depot have anti-scalp rolling in front and back. The reason for this is the manufacture assumes you are using a lesser quality mower to cut lawns of equally poorer quality. In other words, most people don’t buy a higher end machine, such as the Fastrack, unless they have premium quality lawn to equal the quality of the Fastrack.
    Frankly, it’s like buying a BMW car, to drive on unpaved back roads, instead of buying a Jeep Wrangler.
    The Fastrack and “all” higher quality riding zero turn machines do not have rear rollers, since the assumption is that they will be used on lawns of good quality and smoothness.
    Let me say, I have 3 Hustler machines, and "all three" scalp on one property......and that property is a church cemetery, which is severely uneven and is in need of regrading.
  4. E36M3

    E36M3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I'm Cutting at around 2 1/2"
  5. E36M3

    E36M3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I may be mistaken, but the reason I buy a higher end mower is so that I don't have to buy another for 30 years. I didn't realize that I was buying a mower that would not cut my lawn by doing so. At least I'll be able to scalp my lawn for the next 30 years because I bought a quality mower. The lawn is 2 year old bermuda sod. The problems I have are at the crest of a steep incline where it levels off, a small bumpy area that I admit could use some help, and one place in my front lawn where a large truck cut a corner and indented the lawn.

    I would consider the Gravely as high-end, if not higher end than a Fastrak. It was 30 years old, but still had another 30 left in it. It still fetched a good price at that age, and I didn't have to make any excuses for a low quality cut.

    Maybe you surmised from my screen name that I own a BMW. I've driven on many types of roads including unpaved roads without a problem. The flaw with your analogy is that you equate quality with appropriateness of use. I might equate buying a Jeep Wrangler with buying a mower from Home Depot. I guess in that respect, your analogy holds water. If I bought a BMW X-5 however, It should be able to do all that the Jeep Wrangler could without any excuses.

    I happen to have a lawn with very few trouble spots. I would like to find out what I might be able to do about it. Maybe its my technique and I need to get used to the mower, maybe there is a way to mow these places more effectively. I can't imagine though that every lawn has to be perfect in order to mow it with this machine.
  6. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    First, the Fastrack is not by any means a truly high-end mower. It is basically a quality zero turn homeowner machine. A high-end mower would be closer to double the price of the Fastrack. However, the Fastrack is a good quality machine.
    It may be how I interpreted your post, but I got the inclination that the machine was scalping all the time. Actually, with that thought, if you are going up and down the same incline, then yes, I’m sure it will scalp every time you go over the crest. And, most of the mowers I know of will do the same, in the situation you describe.
    Sadly, it sounds as though you and your dealer didn’t communicate correctly to each other, as to the demands the machine would be required to perform.
    And, rather than make suggestions, I think it may be time for PJ to make some suggestions, since other than not mow over the crest, which is what I do with a similar account, I don’t have any advice.
    In all honestly, the areas where you have the scalping, in my opinion, would cause scalping with many brands of machines.
  7. E36M3

    E36M3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I'm sorry if I generalized. I mowed again last night, and was able to mow the crest without scalping it. I am lifting the deck when I get to the top. The problem is, it looks quite uneven depending on what piont I lift the deck in each progressive cut. I may experiment with running along the slope rather than up the slope, then finish it off with my push mower. ;)
  8. mowerconsultant

    mowerconsultant LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Syracuse, NY
    Posts: 9,761

    I am just finding out that there may be a single hole under your deck in a rear gusset that you can bolt a anti scalp wheel into.
    Depending on serial # the hole may be there, if not you can certainly drill it and put one on, or your dealer can.
    E-mail me or post your serial # and I will let you know.
  9. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    And I apologize if I assumed too much. Frankly, there were some nice things on older mowers that are just missing on today's machines. As I said, my high-end walkbehind machines scalping under certain conditions, and that's just the way it is.
    NOW....... For your information, which PJ may not have mentioned, there "is" a reason, or more to the point, plusses and minuses to anti-scalp wheels.
    Naturally, you already know the plus side, however, here’s the minus side.
    First, your machine is a zero-turn machine, which means it can basically pivot in it’s own width. Of course, your old machine couldn’t. Now, the down side of a zero-turn with anti-scalp wheels is, with the ability to pivot, the deck does not move forward while pivoting.
    In turn, if the anti-scalp wheels are doing there job “during the time the deck is pivoting”, the wheels will “drag across” the ground and divot the grass, leaving a bare spot in the lawn. This can actually be worse that just scalping the lawn because the wheel completely digs up the grass.
    So, now you know the “rest of the story”. :rolleyes: The reason I mention this is because, I believe Hustler’s choice to leave out the rear anti-scalp wheels is they believe, as I do, it is the lesser of two evils.
    Hope this helps,
  10. E36M3

    E36M3 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10


    I know the scenario well. When I first got my Gravely, I had a front mower attached. When I would cut a sharp corner, the mower, being so far out front, would actually be moving sideways. Once in a while it would catch and tear up the grass. I soon found a belly deck to put on it and sold the front mount to someone with a walk-behind.

    In the case of the hustler, the anti-scalp wheels are not touching the ground unless they are actually doing their job. So hopefully one more won't hurt.

    PJ, My serial number is 05051442.

    Speaking of which, I bought my mower with the mulch kit. When the deler went to put the discharge blocking plate on, it did not fit. He ended up getting an adapter from hustler because the deck had changed. I'm not big on having to adapt things in place. What are the chances I can get the "real" plate when it is available?

    Thanks for you help.

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