How to prevent scalping?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cgaengineer, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I just purchased a 40" Toro Turbo Force T2 and I have to say I love the mower, I am just having a hard time with the deck digging into the lawn and making scalped lines.

    How do you pros cut without doing this? I do not have the smoothest lawn so I am thinking I may need to rase the deck up to 2.5 inches or more to prevent scalping. When I was cutting with my 26" Exmark Metro I was getting little circles all over the place so that should tell you I have some problems.

    With the 40" Toro, what is the proper procedure for mowing a side slope...would you mow with the anti-scalp wheel on the upper side of the hill or the lower? This particular mower has one wheel on left front, and two in the front center and then a plate in the rear.
     
  2. Budget

    Budget LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 368

    I have no Toro, but i cut everything at 3 1/4" and up. You might be cutting to low, but i am not sure about the turf in your area.
     
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    We have alot of bermuda, and around her its usually bermuda in front and fescue in the rear.

    One thing I was not factoring is the increased weight of the machine...going from a 100 pound walk behind to a 667 pound monster has got to play a part in the scalping. So in reality the cutting height may actually be .25-.5 shorter due to the compaction.
     
  4. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,734

    He Is Cutting To Low !
     
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I will raise deck to 3" and see what happens...thanks fellows.
     
  6. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    I guess if my yard was golf course smooth it would do fine...but my lawn like most others is pretty bumpy...over all it looks ok, but it really needs to be leveled.
     
  7. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Now for my rear lawn which is fescue I am and have been cutting at 4" and it looks great...not a single scalp mark and it even has a steeper hill...so I guess I really answered my own question.
     
  8. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    This time of year it's not uncommon to scalp bermuda.The turf is producing more top growth than it is undergrowth.The fact that you're going to 3 inches isn't going to help.It will look good for a few weeks,but then it will scalp again.
    They key to keeping bermuda from scalping is,cut low early in the season,1-1.5 inches.Keep cutting it at that height until you start to scalp,then raise the deck .25 inch and cut it at that height until it starts to scalp again.Then raise it another .25.Also,during the summer,if you're getting rain or irrigation,you'll need to cut twice per week.This prevents too much top growth from growing and allows for some undergrowth to green up.Then,when you cut,you don't get the brown scalp marks.
     
  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    Nick, thanks for the advice. I had been cutting my bermuda at 1.5 inches with my 26" and when I set my Toro 40" to 2" it was scalping...so its not a problem that I had been cutting it too long or not frequently enough...this has to do with the length of the deck. I need to find a happy medium between 1.5 and 3 inches. I cut my bermuda lawn every 4-5 days and the fescue about the same (Though it has slown down a bit).
     
  10. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    Is it a fixed or floating deck?
     

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