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Floating or Fixed?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Madstriper, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Madstriper

    Madstriper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    I am a part - timer, pay my taxes and have insurance.
    Im looking for a walkbehind that has a great cut while mulching
    most often St. Augustine. My 21" honda cuts very nice, but only 21".
    My Home Depot 42" John Deere scalps too easy with uneven ground and
    in turns. Yes, I do cut it high enough. What mower would give me the best
    looking cut, I really try to leave a great looking lawn.
  2. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 344

    The depends on the size your looking for and how you cut. If your cutting every lawn on you're route at the same height and looking for a small deck 36" there is n't a huge difference. If you're looking at a 42' or larger the floating deck will scalp less. The big kicker is changing the height of cut. With the floaters it's usually pulling a pin or two and replacing them. On a fixed deck it's using a wrench to loosen the rear and moving spacers around under the casters in the front. Not hard but not as quick as the floater.

  3. DillonsLawnCare

    DillonsLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,100

    probably a floating deck, but its still gunna scalp in certain situations.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    There are just certain things to be kept in mind, they may be floating decks but they're not flex decks. We're talking a 4-foot flat steel surface going over the ground, it doesn't adjust to inconsistencies in that space itself, and even the float deck has limitations as to how far it will adjust.

    You can't just ride a deck over the contours of say, the top of a ditch, it will scalp whether the deck floats or not, since that contour is rounded and your deck isn't... Most of it has to do with the angle of the machine vs. the terrain, how an area is approached and dealt with makes a big difference... For example, rather than cutting over the contour, maybe cut once below the angled area and then again over top, or perhaps approach it from the diagonal or perpendicular direction, all of this can make a difference. Beyond that some areas have to be string trimmed, and what some guys like doing is using the big decks for the open areas and then the 21" for the tricky parts, however you like.

    So it takes practice, the fixed deck is an even tougher machine to learn on.
    You might try a Quick 36, the smaller decks scalp less because the deck isn't as wide, you may find the price attractive as well.
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Dillon is correct, you will still get scalping as I learned. What the floater gives you is easy height of cut adjustment.
  6. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    Like everyone said a floating deck will scalp less but given certain conditions they will all scalp. It really depends on your budget and the mowing conditions you have. Fixed deck mowers generally cost less than floating deck models so if your mowing mostly level ground a fixed deck mower should be fine. If you mow a lot of hilly or uneven ground go with a floating deck.

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