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Fixed Deck vs. Floating

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FinerCutslawnCare, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. FinerCutslawnCare

    FinerCutslawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,386

    Hey guys I am just trying to gather some info(beings that is what this site is for, and I was wondering what you guys prefer more. Be sure to include the ups and downs of both!!! thanks alot!
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    Fixed: will scalp more, can sometimes be a pain to change heights, can leave an uneven cut on unlevel ground, cheaper cost than floating, and lighter weight.

    Floating: nice cut, better on hills and uneven ground, easy to change heights, more expensive, heavier in most cases.

    Thats what i can think of off the top of my head!
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    They are definitely two entirely different machines. I started with float decks and would highly recommend anyone who has never used a Wb before start with a float deck as well, because it's not as easy as it looks.

    To me, the float deck is the cadillac (smooth and silky), where the fixed deck is more like a performance car (fast and bouncy). Thus the float has better shock absorption and is lazier and more predictable while the fixed deck tends to be fast, aggressive and capricious. They both have a mind of their own at times, but the fixed deck definitely takes the lead in the 'my way or no way' department. However, each machine takes learning, one can get away doing things with a float deck that the fixed deck will not tolerate, but once I learned how to operate the fixed deck, I found it to be a superior grass cutting machine.

    The float deck is more forgiving of mistakes, the fixed deck is tighter around turns and hills, and leaves less room for error.

    Once I switched to the fixed deck, I never went back:
    - It is a lot lighter, 300 pounds instead of 500 means it first gets stuck in the mud and the ditches a lot less, and when it does get stuck, it's a lot easier to get out.
    - It is a one-piece machine. On the plus side, there is no more clatter and clank from the deck and no more springs and little pieces go flying away when you hit a bump, the machine is built like a tank and it handles like one. On the bad side of things, the deck will develop small hairline cracks by the fifth year, and these cracks grow with time.
    - It is noticeably faster, not only is it 200 pounds lighter but it sports a 5-speed transmission as compared to the 4-speed of float deck trannies.
    - It is cheaper thou this came as a bonus because I really thought they were the same price... But, it's a thousand dollars less for fixed... When it comes time to sell, after a few years they match the float deck in price, a 5-year old fixed deck sells for the same money as a 5-year old float in like condition.

    That having been said:
    - Floats and Fixed are not interchangeable as deck sizes. At least with Toro, whichever size you decide on is either a float or its fixed, but it's not either or and there exists no further choice: The 40, 44, and 52" are all float decks and only float decks, while the 48" is the only fixed deck and you can not buy a 48" float deck toro, they make one or the other, depending on model.

    It takes time (and patience) to master the fixed deck, and the learning curve is a bit steep. However, once I 'got' it, I loved it. I suspect it is a bit of either you will love the fixed deck or you will hate it. That having been said, I don't hate float decks, I just prefer the fixed.
  4. FinerCutslawnCare

    FinerCutslawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,386

    Thanks alot that actually helped me!!!! I just heard that floating decks are more forgiving in some situations and that the are alot easier in general. Thanks for your opinion though!!!:waving:

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