deck leveling

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cmills, May 23, 2008.

  1. cmills

    cmills LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 21

    I am demoing a new Scag Turf Tiger with the Cat diesel and I asked the Scag rep about the deck and if they had it level and he said yes, and that it should be about a 1/4 inch lower in the front than the back, like I always thought, then I got home and was reading through the owners manual and it says it should be level. So my question is, which is it supposed to be, I always measure from the blades by turning the blades front to back and make the front about a 1/4 lower, is it different for Scag for some reason?
  2. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    All decks I have seen said the pitch should be 1/8" to 1/4" lower in the front.

    This is the dictionary meaning of pitch:

    9. degree of slope of something: the degree, direction, or extent of a slope, especially of a hill, road, or other feature.

    This is the quote from a TT operators manual on deck pitch. I don't understand why they call it pitch if they want it level. Maybe some of the Scag people will explain this for us.


    Cuter Deck Pitch

    The pitch of the cutter deck should be equal between
    the front and rear of the cutter deck for proper cutting
    performance. To check for proper deck pitch, be sure
    that the mower is on a flat, level surface and the tires are
    properly inflated.
    Check the distance from the top of the cutter deck to the
    floor at the rear RH side of the cutter deck directly behind
    the cutter deck hanging chains. Next check the distance
    from the top of the cutter deck to the floor at the front RH
    side of the cutter deck directly in front of the cutter deck
    hanging chains. The measurement at the front of the cutter
    deck should be the same as the rear of the deck. Make
    these measurements at the LH side of the cutter deck also.
    If the measurement at the front of the deck is not the same,
    the cutter deck pitch must be adjusted as follows:
  3. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,281

    My Scag manuals also call for the 1/8 1/4 inch pitch towards the front, both on the Advantage and the Velocity. Works fine so I dont question it
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,574

    Funny thing but I never checked any scag for that stuff. Consider wear, banging on stuff, tire pressure loss ....those deck are probably out of wack in a few weeks any way.
  5. C&K

    C&K LawnSite Senior Member
    from East TN
    Messages: 295

    As far as I have seen, the pitch is strictly for creating a vacuum which will help promote striping. A level deck should produce the best cut quality based on the contacting edge of the blade being the same height across the cutting plane. However you generally cannot see the difference in cutting heights which is why most people adjust the pitch of the BLADE (front to rear)not deck, around one quarter of an inch on a 60" mower. If you measure at the front and rear of the deck you will likely have too much pitch or more than necessary to promote striping and leave a quality cut. It varies from mower to mower so my advise is based on my experience with the exmark ultra cut 60", 48" and husqvarna 48" commercial mowers.
  6. Nosmo

    Nosmo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,216

    C & K is right. Measure the tips front and back on each side. The blades do the cutting -- not the deck. This will give you the 1/8" to 1/4" pitch when you adjust the deck provided none of the blades are slightly bent.

  7. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,177

    I personally know this, but per the Scag TT operators manual as I copied and pasted directly from it in post #2 they are saying level deck front and back. Why would they make this statement? They make no mention anywhere of the front needing to be lower than the back.

    I have watched a professional with a special deck measuring device check and adjust a Bad Boy Lightening deck on my shop floor. I asked about the device and he said they were expensive and most shops would not buy them. I can say it worked perfectly and he adjusted 1/4" lower in the front but checked the deck on all sides.
  8. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,390

    I have't measured from the blades but my Tiger is the same all the way around. So I guess mine is level? Cuts good though. No complaints.
  9. The Rookie

    The Rookie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I have a few questions and concerns. I have tinkered around with deck pitch 2 or 3 years now on all my mowers I have had. It seems like the lower you set the front 1/8inch or 1/2 inch, the better stripe is produced. The other thing I have noticed with the pitch is when mowing low 1.5 to 2 inches that the leading edge of the deck destroys yards even more with mole runs. I have also found that the wider the deck the harder to get a level cut on uneven terrain.
    So my question is how to get an even cut on unlevel terrain with a 50 to 72 inch cut deck. Pitch is more of personal preferance but I will adjust from the current setting to get a more level cut.
    To further illustrate, imagine a one acre property with 25 or more mature oak/maple trees. How does one navigate around the trees while striping, to not leave the tell tale, ring around the tree mark around every one. Any comments or suggestions apreciated.
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,574

    We do medias between street and there are a lot of bushes and trees....we don't take a circle around eash one because that increased our mow time by a lot and it make an ugly mard as you found......trim guy takes care of it...

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