floating or fixed????

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by luv2mow1122, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. luv2mow1122

    luv2mow1122 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    my dealer wants 2,999 for the 40'', t-bar, belt drive, turbo force, fixed deck.
    they want 4,050 for the floating deck in the same model. is the floating deck really worth the extra 1,000, i know it depends on the terrain of the yards i cut, ive never owned a floater so i dont know if it is worth the extra 1,000.
  2. kkls2006

    kkls2006 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    We run Bobcat Mowers but I prefer our floaters vs our fixed any day....

    All future purchases will be floating decks for sure.
  3. mow & snow

    mow & snow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 225

    Both of my Ferris wb are fixed decks. I set the spacers underneath and if I have to adjust the height a little, I change the casters up top.
  4. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    Advantages of Fixed: Lighter weight and shorter

    Advantages of Floating: Much easier to change height (and still maintain proper deck pitch) and Less scalping.

    You really have to decide whether its worth it to you. If possible try them both out.

    For me, floating is an absolute must.
  5. Prestige-Lawncare

    Prestige-Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    Floating ... simple decision for me.
  6. All Season Lawn Care

    All Season Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    I have tried both the floating and the fixed and any day i would go with the floating no matter what i own 2 and would not go back to the fixed!
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    First of all, the different models are not exactly just a matter of fixed vs floating deck. The Toro floater is 44", not 40", and be sure the engines on the two models you're comparing are the same. But $1,000 is a little expensive for the step up from fixed to floating deck.

    All this depends on how you plan on using the mower. Is it your main machine? Just for gates, hills, etc?

    In Atlanta, I would NOT go with a fixed deck mower. You'll likely be mowing Bermuda at 1.5-2.5" and Tall Fescue at 2.5"-4", sometimes on the same lawn, and certainly on the same day. The mower is not designed to vary in cutting height that much unless you break out the toolbox and change the rear axle and/or blade spacers as well as the front caster spacers. You'll make up the money you spend in time saved changing cutting heights, and resale value down the line. Also, when you do reach extremes of deck pitch using the front casters to adjust height, it can affect the cut quality, especially on Bermuda.

    Also, that deck has a decent amount of trim edge on either side, yet no anti-scalp wheels on the sides. You won't be able to use it to mow Bermuda very low at all on anything but tabletop flat surfaces. It will gouge and show mow lines on the undulating terrain found on many lots, and even on some fairly flat ones. The 44" floater also has a med/long trim side, but it has an anti-scalp wheel and should do better.

    Also decide if you need to mulch and if you do get plenty of power.

    I like the Toro 40", but for me it would be a single purpose only mower (mowing small/med tall fescue lawns) and I prefer a more versatile machine. I just would never put it on a decent Bermuda lawn. Some people don't mind the look fixed decks leave on that kind of turf, but others sure do.

    If you are going walk behind and cut a lot of nicely maintained turf, I would test the Exmark Turf Tracer HP 48". Not as easy to use as the T bar in some ways, but the cut is excellent. Just expect to pay quite a bit more. Also look at the various Hustlers if you want easy steering in a hydro, or Gravely mowers for a T bar alternative in belt drives.
  8. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    I have a fixed deck 36 for the gated backyards and it does the job. However, If and when I replace it, it will be replaced by a floating deck. It is just too much trouble to adjust a fixed deck. I brought mine down to a reasonable all around level for the lawns that I currently do, and I have not had to adjust it since. But that does not mean that I will not get a customer next week that will require the 36 and at a different hight that it is currently set.
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    Perhaps that floating deck toro is a hydro, hence the large price difference?

    Seems like an extra K is a lot for just the change to the floater...
  10. NMS0219

    NMS0219 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 616

    I only have floats now when we started we had fixed due to price, I would never go back

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