Floating vs. Fixed Decks

  • Thread starter GrassRoots Lawn Care
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GrassRoots Lawn Care

Guest
I am ready to buy our 3rd mower in as many months. I am in the market for a mid size walk-behind belt drive. Looking at the Exmark Metro 48&quot;, Toro Proline 48&quot; and the Toro (Exmark) 44&quot; Recycler floating deck. Question is this: We have always used fixed decks and have never had troubles with scalping. We mow at a reasonable pace and have very few inclines. How much of a better cut will the floating decks give over the fixed deck models? Are they worth the extra cash? Other than scalping, what advantages to these decks give? Any and all advice will be appreciated. Thanks. <p>----------<br>Mike Reynolds,<br>GrassRoots Lawn Care, Florida
 

Acute Cut

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Bellingham WA
I have not used many fixed decks in my time, but i do know some. I used an exmark 36&quot; non floating while mine was in the shop one day. To change the levels was time consuming and messy. The mowing heights dont variate much vs a floating as well.<p>On a side note: DONT GET THE BELT DRIVE! GET A HYDRO! Ask your dealer if you can demo one. It costs only slightly more, but the difference is worth ALOT more. You will/could save alot of time and money with a hydro.
 
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GrassRoots Lawn Care

Guest
I have used a 48&quot; hyrdo WB in the past (working for a scrub) and cannot see any gains in productivity to justify the $900-$1100 increase in price. I have heard the resale value in hydro's are better and that hyrdo's are easier to control in wet or hilly conditions but I've never had a problems in wet or hilly conditions using a good belt drive. Am I overlooking something? If so tell me, I'm always looking to learn more, increase productivity thus increasing profit.<p>----------<br>Mike Reynolds,<br>GrassRoots Lawn Care, Florida
 

Alan

Member
Come up where there are real hills and you'll see the difference in production with a hydro. The worst lot for hills in Fl is probably about average for VT. The difference in PRICE is not the difference in COST. On uneven terrain there is no comparison between the two drive systems. My hydro has a floating deck and I'd never own a fixed one. Tried them but was not satisfied with the results in this terrain<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: Alan
 
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GrassRoots Lawn Care

Guest
Other than uneven terrain, how does the hydro outperform the bert drives? No hills here in Florida except for landscaped elevations in some commercial work. Even those we handle well with a belt drive in 1st gear. <p>----------<br>Mike Reynolds,<br>GrassRoots Lawn Care, Florida
 

little green guy

LawnSite Senior Member
I personaly don't like the floating decks. All my mowers are fixed deck. I have used floating decks before and didn't like them. The floating deck adds to much wiat in the front and makes them to hard to get over curbs and stuff. I think that they are realy unessasary on walkbehind. On ztr's they are very good but i just can't justify the extra wiat and cost. If you know how to use a walkbehind the right way you should have no prblems with scalping. <p>As for the hydo vs. belt I think hydro is defitly the way to go. The new scag hydros can go very fast and if you put a velke on you can realy fly. Plus when i use my beltdrives i usually make two perimiter passes where as when i use my hydo i only make one with especially saves time on big lawns.
 

Evan528

LawnSite Silver Member
i definitly agree with little green guy. for a 48inch walk behind or smaller there is no need for a floating deck. fixed cut fine you just need to no how to use it right.... on a big 60inch rider that is another story.... ive used the scag 3 wheeler wich has a fixed deck and it scalps alot and dosnt cut nearly as smooth as my z master with a floating deck.....
 

Lazer

LawnSite Bronze Member
On a 48&quot; you need neither hydro nor floating deck. <p>Hydro and floating decks are for your 60&quot; walk-behinds. <p>The ONLY advantage a floating deck of that size will give you is a quick height of cut adjustment.<p>The 48&quot; fixed deck Toro 14hp Kaw for $2200.00 seems tough to beat in that catagory mower.
 
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GrassRoots Lawn Care

Guest
Thanks for the posts. By the way, Lazer where are you getting these prices on the Toro's. The 48&quot; I was looking at was $2800. Please tell me, might be worth the drive to save $600.<p>----------<br>Mike Reynolds,<br>GrassRoots Lawn Care, Florida
 

Lazer

LawnSite Bronze Member
I do drive to save money on Toro's, but they're available at Turfquip.com, Alamia.com or 1(877)DORUSSO.<p>I'm sure there's more places. $2800 sounds like list price.<p>
 
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