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Deck Width Help

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by roadking35, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. roadking35

    roadking35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Looking for advice from people much more experienced than I, YOU!
    I am a homeowner cutting approx 2 acres, front is flat with landscaped beds lots of room, back is sloped with lots of trees.
    The trees are mature pines with no low branches.
    I am looking at purchasing a ztr to enable me to cut around the trees and beds faster than I am presently doing with my JD with a 38 deck. Could you discuss the pros and cons of different width decks...52, 60 etc.. I am mostly concerned with scalping on the slopes. Thanks in advance! The lawn is not rough.
  2. BigDave

    BigDave LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    I have the same scenario -- 2 acres, though sloped in the front and flat in the back. For me, 52" is perfect, though I could get by with less. Not only is a 60" more prone to scalping on slopes, but you generally need a bigger ZTR, and that requires more garage space, etc.
  3. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    GENERALLY, the wider the deck the more prone to scalping. But if you learn how to adjust the anti-scalp rollers the correct way, most scalping can be avoided.

    I love my 52" but in the need for speed the next ZTR I'm getting will be a 62" deck. I've learned how to adjust the rollers though.

    Get the widest deck and the most HP engine you can afford, then read the manual and make sure your rollers are adjusted for your cutting height. You won't regret it.
  4. CBB

    CBB LawnSite Member
    from MS/LA
    Messages: 147

    If you are purchasing a commercial grade ZTR I really wouldn't try and sell you on anything larger than a 52" anyway. A 44" or 48" would even do. A good ZTR will be able to handle 2 acres in less than an hour with a smaller deck. But if you really would like something larger, adjust the anti-scalp rollers and get after it.

    I would suggest having a dealer come help you demo a machine, and he could properly show you how to make the adjustments. Do the demo at your property so you will find the one that fits your need.
  5. roadking35

    roadking35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Thanks for the help.. If possible could you elaborate more on the deck anti scalping roller adjustment?.. I'm fortunate that the cost is not really the problem.. I understand that the mower will probably last me a very long time no matter if I'm cutting my lawn or my future lawn possibly larger!..
    Once again thanks for the help.. I'm leaning on the 60 hustler!
  6. BigDave

    BigDave LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    A local dealer has Scag Cub 61" 25 hp Kaws on special for $6999, which I consider a steal. But the Cub is a compact unit, and I've seen people on this site mention that 61" is a bit too big for a Cub, and 25 hp is a bit too little (especially if you want to mulch or vacuum). So, you almost need to upgrade to the Scag Tiger, which is a bigger unit, more $$, and takes up more space in your garage.

    That's why I say that 52" is perfect. People on this site commonly say that when you go smaller, your deck won't extend very much outside of your ZTR's frame, making it harder to trim under trees, etc.
  7. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    Anti scalp roller adjustment can be found in the owners manual.

    HOWARD JONES LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    If your rollers are set too low, they roll all the time and make ruts in soft ground, especially when turning because most rollers don't pivot (a few mowers have castor rollers). If too high, they don't do anything, the deck will come in contact with the dirt before the rollers. They are adjusted according to what height you are cutting the grass. My experience is that even when perfectly adjusted, there is still a problem with rollers and/or deck roughing up the grass or scalping - I have a foot-assisted deck lift on mine, and putting some pressure on it in problem areas helps it float better.

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