Fixed deck or floating?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Tom c., Nov 23, 2006.

  1. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    Hey fellows first off Happy thanksgiving!! Second what are the advantages of a floating deck w/b compared to a fixed deck? Im looking to get a new larger mower in the spring 48in, and am definately getting a hydro but aint sure about deck size and type any help would be greatly appreciated!!!:drinkup:
  2. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Posts: 2,160

    well i can tell you what I've heard about Lesco's Float-Deck Hydro. everyone seems to say that they scalp a lot. I've heard it from Lesco too. as for deck size, a 48" can fit as where a 52" cannot fit in some places. i have a 48" (belt) and a 52" (hydro) both fixed decks. and IMO the deck size did not save any time. id say the time saver is thats it a Hydro and a lot easier to move and turn. thats just my .02 about it. and Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
  3. tinkerlawn

    tinkerlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    We have been running fixed decks for the last couple of years, and thought they were the best. But we just bought a new 52' tthp with the floating deck, and the cut on them are amazing. yes it does scalp in places that a fixed wouldn't, but with a floating deck the deck is even, which translates into an even cut. The fixed deck heights are at an angle and are truly not even.
    Sorry if I have confused you.
  4. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,096

    I have a 36" exmark wb and a 52" bobcat hydro wb. Both of which are fixed decks. The 36 seems to have a bit of a scalping problem. The 52" don't scalp at all. After seeing how nice the 52", it actually kinda turned me away from spending the extra cash for a floating deck.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,206

    Floating decks are usually easier to adjust up/down so if you are changing it that may be a factor. We don't see that much difference in cut and we have both in Scag units. The Scag 36" has anti scalp rollers on front and back.
  6. Tom c.

    Tom c. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    Thanks for the info it helps alot!! Thankfully I got all winter to shop. happy Holiday Season!!!:waving:
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    If you've never operated a large deck machine before, I recommend starting with a float deck until you have at least 1,000 yards cut.

    The math on scalping boils down to this:
    The wider the deck, the easier it scalps.
    A float should scalp less than a fixed, that's the design intent.
    I myself prefer the fixed deck, but my 60" floating Z scalps no worse than my 48" fixed deck, as a testament to the anti-scalp ability of a float. But on the same size deck, the float should and will scalp less.

    The float deck operates somewhat independently from the main frame, as it swivels and adjusts (with extra casters) to the terrain, almost like having 4-wheel suspension. But the motion is limited to a few inches...

    The fixed deck is all one solid piece, the operator is the only anti-scalp device thus it scalps easier and takes considerably more practice.

    - The float weighs around 500 lbs., the fixed deck 300... This makes the fixed deck easier to push / get out of the ditch, and it doesn't get stuck in the mud as easy. Also, the front is lighter on the fixed, making it easier to curb jumb.
    - Deck height is easier to adjust on the float, but it also involves more moving parts (that can break).
  8. skagman2006

    skagman2006 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Well said- i was gonna say the same thing....

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