fixed or floating deck?

creek chub

LawnSite Member
Salem, VA
Do you guys think customers prefer or even notice the difference between a yard mowed with a fixed deck or floater? I know I would prefer to mow with a floater but with just starting out and all I would prefer to do it right. Any suggestions?

Creek Chub


LawnSite Member

The customer will only notice a difference between the two decks if you scalp the crap out of their yard. Floating deck will take uneven ground better, and less apt to scalp. I prefer the floating deck on my Exmark tt hp, because I can change the mower deck height by pulling 4 pins, and setting it. Floating decks are more expensive than a standard fixed deck though. I hope my rambling helps, hands are shaking from aerating all day long. good luck with mowing this season. mark


LawnSite Member
Long Island, NY
The other thing to consider about a floating deck, is the increased amount of maintenance. Fixed decks don't have much to break. The height adjusting pins sometimes break, and they usually ride in bushings that wear out. Otherwise, a terrific cut, and no scalping. Good luck!


Mark McC

LawnSite Bronze Member
I have a fixed deck with belt drive. Next time, it's floating deck and hydros. No ifs, ands or buts.


LawnSite Platinum Member
Atlanta, GA
I bought a fixed deck mower last year after years of only floaters. It's not the end of the world, but if they'd have offered a floating in that size I would have gone with that. When you mow at different heights the time, effort, and mess to change the casters gets old.

On the narrow deck sizes it's not a big difference in cut, since you'll notice that many 36" floaters don't have anti-scalp wheels to help it float up anyway. Above that, floater only if you do lawns with rolling terrain. I have scalped badly a time or two with both floating and fixed decks , but if you pay attention you can manage with a fixed deck. I will say that designs like the Exmark TT HP 48" are great in that they have wheels all over the place to give a smooth cut. And they really do. I saw a side by side comparison of my 32" and a tthp 36" and the tthp was better even on flat terrain. No idea why.

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