Stamped 7-gauge deck

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Vibe Ray, May 17, 2002.

  1. Vibe Ray

    Vibe Ray LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 785

    I believe I've seen JD come out w/ a stamped 7-gauge deck a while back. I was wondering why eXmark doesn't look into doing this as well. I understand that fabricated is better but only because it is a lot thicker and stronger, so isn't this the best of both worlds? Or id there something that I don't know? If not, why?
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Vibe,

    I don't know that I would call it the best of both worlds. I just haven't seen any stamped decks that will do what we want them to do.

    Stamping a deck allows you to pound a bunch of them out in a hurry with relatively little labor. The downside is the "mould" or "die" that is used to make the deck is very expensive. Just to prototype a stamping is very expensive and what do you do if it doesn't work, or if you learn something new or a better way of doing things. If that happens youÂ’ve got to start all over again with another new and very expensive die. With a fabricated deck we can build dozens of different prototypes at a fraction of the cost of one forming die.

    With a fabricated deck you get all the strength you need and still have the versatility of being able to adapt, change and improve. This is possibly one reason why you won't find many stamped decks that will bag well, side discharge well and mulch well, all from the same deck. In most examples of stamped decks they may perform one or even two of these tasks well but seldom will they do all three with professional quality.

    Another advantage of a fabricated deck is that it gets its strength from the gussetting or welding of the deck. A stamped deck gets its strength from the bending and stretching of the sheet of steel in the forming process. While a stamped deck can be very strong it can be more difficult to straighten and may not maintain an adequate level of rigidity once it has been straightened. With a fabricated deck once it is straightened it also maintains a higher level of rigidity. Additionally if we find a weak spot in our deck we can add another sheet of steel, reinforcement ring, gusset, plate etc. With a stamped deck it can be more difficult and using thicker steel might not be possible due to the configuration of the forming die or the ability of the presses that stamp the deck into shape.

    The biggest issue we see is the adaptability of a fabricated deck vs. a stamped deck. We prefer the ability to make changes and improvements in our decks as we learn more or find better ways of doing things and until the rotary mower design is perfected a fabricated deck is the only way we can do this.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. derekarbeiter

    derekarbeiter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    First of all, welded or stamped, it's all just personal opinion. However, stamped is better when done properly. Airflow is better, strength is better, and that translates to better cut quality and a longer life deck. For example, a welded deck has a welded seam on the top of the side skirts as a part of its design where as the stamped is solid steel= STRONGER. A welded deck has corners which can catch grass where as the stamped has smooth, rounded sides which push grass out= BETTER CUT QUALITY. I am aware that a 7-gauge welded deck is beter than a 12 gauge stamped but when you stamp something such as the 7-IRON, there is no comparison. I think a lot of people see the welded deck and its corners and think that it is stronger because of it just looks beefer. However, you have to realize that a stamped piece of steel is stronger than one with a welded seam. So why do most companies use weded decks? A: Cost and the majority (It costs millions of dollars to buy presses, dies, etc. where as you can weld a deck in your garage. And of course the majority of the consumers have this idea in there head that welded is stronger.) SO YOU DECIDE. DEMO, DEMO, DEMO.

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