Scalping

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dogchapman, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. dogchapman

    dogchapman LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 23

    I have recently upgraded my equipment to include a TORO 36 Proline HYDRO.
    This mower is a floating deck. Does anyone have advice to reduce scalping?
    THANKS
     
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    A 36" mower with a floating deck should not scalp at all IMO....that or you are cutting just too damn low.
     
  3. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,405

    Not to highjack or anything but how can you reduce scalping with a fixed deck?

    Cheers
    Jeff
     
  4. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 403

    If you scalp a piece of property that means you miss read the area you were cutting,it happens but it should not happen every week.Change your pattern,lift your deck a little. I run 52" fixed decks and don't have any problems to speak of but if I hit a hole I didn't see and scalp,it won't happen again. It's not really hard not to scalp but more of the fact that you are paying attention to what you are doing. Sorta like keeping the chute side of the mower facing away from the mulch beds and cars etc.
    Jeff, I thought it was a good question.
     
  5. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    (sigh) More advice from Northern boys about our southern turfgrasses. . . thanks for the help fellas, now go sit down.

    True, raising the deck will reduce the scalps, but bermuda varieties. and zoysia need to be cut short. Zoysia gets matted and thatchy, while bermuda gets stemmy, puffy, less dense, less healthy, and REALLY shows a nasty scar when a scalp occurs at higher heights.

    Gotta make a decision: have the customer live with the scalps in favor of the overall health, or raise the height and deal with the less healthy turf, or fill in the holes to stop the scalping. A 1" deep hole on bermuda cut at 2" is gonna leave a mark. You simply can't memorize every hole in every lawn, and you can't see a depression that shallow after it grows over again - and customers remind me that it grows over, and is finally gone just before I get back the next week!

    The floating deck helps a little, but not as much as you would like. I add spacers to help adjust in 1/8" increments on my 36" TTHP . . . then explain the tradeoffs I gotta make to the customer. Right now I'm cutting at 2 1/8" and that's too high . . .
     
  6. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 403

    quiet, what I was replying to was Xoo's coment and he is in canada and by raising the deck I ment for him to just push down on his pistol grips, t bar or ecs and raise the deck over the area that he is scalping. You guys down south are dealing with a whole different ball game, so not tying to give advice to you southern boys:)
     
  7. Idealtim

    Idealtim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 939

    I used to try to scalp with my 36 and couldn't. I think your deck is way to low.
     
  8. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    (sigh) . . . more help from up North
     
  9. poonero

    poonero LawnSite Member
    from ny
    Posts: 56

    buying a toro is never an upgrade in equipment
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Practice, in both cases. ALL wide decks scalp, that is not to say you should accept this as a normal event but it is to say that you need to learn how to prevent it. On maiden cuts you will likely scalp more than ever, it is best to learn what parts of the yard this happens on so one can prevent it the next time around, happen it will, just learn where and how and don't do it again, so to speak.

    I have two 48" fixed decks, scalping is rare now, it was a lot more common when I first started with two 52" float decks but it has little to do with that. See, all wide decks scalp, floats just as easy thou the float prevents it some, it isn't like it is completely independent of the rear frame, float only swivels a little bit but beyond that it is up to you.

    As for the fixed deck, the front is light enough I find lifting the front over certain parts is the easiest way to prevent it. Other times, angling the entire mower helps but the mower doesn't usually want to angle any other way than the terrain dictates, so lift the deck.
    On that note, the angle or direction of approach can make a world of difference, a lot of times simply changing the direction in which you come into that scalp-prone section of the yard fixes the problem. No, I am not saying mow it in the exact opposite direction, I am saying try different directions coming into it (and going out of it as well).

    For most parts, watch the ditches, especially the top angle of the ditch but really a lot of times it is easier to weedeat the entire ditch, at least those parts where you can not find a way to not scalp, certainly remembering those sections makes it easier to at least try something different on the next cut.

    Last but not least, a little scalp here and there is ok, so long it is not everywhere.
     

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