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Should WB decks float?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Cut This!, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. Cut This!

    Cut This! LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    On a 48” walkbehind, is it worth the extra cost to go to a floating deck?

    I assume performance is slightly better because it can follow the ground a little better. But how much does it really float? Does the trim edge rise up 1”-2”-?”

    Besides the ability to float, what are the other advantages or disadvantages of these machines? Are the decks as durable or how durable is the linkage used to hang them?

    I don’t want to start a fight, just looking for general information floating vs fixed for walkbehinds
  2. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Are you considering a fixed deck because of the price? I have a floater on my Toro Proline and because of the properties I service I wouldn't consider a fixed.
    Having never owned a fixed I cannot comment on them other than what my dealer told me but my floater is a great deck and there is little to no scalping with it at lower settings.

    My advise is the same to all that want to buy, DEMO, DEMO, DEMO. You are shelling out a couple K for a machine. Get the dealer to let you use one on for a few days on your properties and see what you think. A fixed might work for you and it might not, you have to see for yourself. Good Luck.
  3. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,154

    My dealer said if I don't change my cut of height much, probably did'nt need a floating deck, plus my properties are in general pretty smooth. But if I were to do it again I probably would go with a floating deck. By the way I have a 48" MTD Pro. It cuts good and does'nt scalp much at all, (seeings how its a 48") if any unless operater fault.
  4. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    I would agree with the demo advice. I would also say that over 36" you will want a floating deck. Just my opinion.

  5. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 788

    I have an exmark TTHP 48" floating deck and I love it.The properties that you have now might be good and flat but what about the one's in the future? Are you going to turn down a job just because it is not smooth and level? These are the ones that I like to get! It reaaly impresses the customer and is good advertising when you take what was once nearly a cow pasture and turn it into a nice well manicured lawn.

    You also have to cut different types of grass at differnt heights or at the customer's request and a floating deck is alot easier to change than a fixed deck- at least it is on exmark:D. I would recommend that you do a search on this site- tons of information and then demo each of them and go with what you feel is right for your business now but keep your eye were you think you business might lead to in the future. Do you want to get any bigger? Are you happy doing just the props. you have now> Do you ever want to get into comm.? etc. etc. etc?
  6. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    I've also been thinking about this dilema. I've pretty much decided that my nest mower will be a 48 with a ploating deck.

    Several reasons:

    Following ground contuore of cours but more because fixed decks generaly don't have any anti-scalp wheels.
    If a fixed deck had the antipscalp wheels of a floating one, I might go fixed.

    Frame stength- most (not all) fixed decks use the deck as the front frame with no additional support. floating deck have a seperate support frame with the deck just hanging from it.

    Power- many manufacturers offfer larger engins on there floating decks than the fixed deck machines. 17 hp on floating but only 15 on fixed.

    Size- some companies have larger tires front and back on the floatng deck machines. they may also be wider and longer also.

    Some offer electric sluthes with floating decks but mechanical lincage clutches with a fixed deck.

    Some brands have a completly different deck. stamped for floating but welded for fixed. you have to decide if this is good or bad.

    It comes down to demoing as much as you can but around here that's been hard for me to do.

    Hope this helps but i might have just confused things more.
  7. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    I've found the floating deck is great when you come up to lawn that's way overgrown and you have to cut it twice. Just raise the deck, cut it, then lower the deck and cut again. OR, you get behind and have to cut the grass a little higher to make it look nice, then you come back in less than a week and cut it again, lower.
  8. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,280

    Based on what I have seen and talked to, floating deck offers the best quality of cut, but it does not mean that you will see the difference all the time depending on how is properties' contour take effect and how clean your underdeck.

    I can say that if you want 48", you 'd better go floating, don't take fixed 48" otherwise the scalping problem will always "haunt" or "annoy" you daily. Fixed deck is good on 36" or 32" cause it won't scalp, the deck is just short of scalping when it's about to scalp. Take a look, not many manufacturers can sell 52" or 48" fixed deck WB as well as they do on 36" fixed, just take a look around.
  9. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    I am also considering a floating deck for a 36". The few dealers I have spoken with all say that if only cutting level properties a fixed deck is fine for a 36". Going with a 48" they all recomend a floating deck.
  10. mklawnman

    mklawnman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 634

    I have a fixed 52inch Scag, after playing around with the spacers on the spindle I have it set now that it doesnt scalp at all, while giving a great looking cut. Dealer told me if I didnt need to change height that much that the fixed deck is the way to go and its cheaper. Have a 17Kaw on it. ITs really easy to manuever by hand if you have to help it stay on a hill because it is lighter on the front due to not having a frame for a floater.
    I'd maybe consider a floating if I would do it over again, but I am happy with what I have and it was much cheaper than floating.

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