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Formed or Fabricated Decks???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Scott Campbell, Jan 20, 2001.

  1. Scott Campbell

    Scott Campbell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 55

    I was curious about the general opinion from everybody about the two basic decks on ztr's. Have any of you noticed a considerable difference between the two? Does one have better pick up than the other? How about longevitiy? Are formed decks more prone to crack? Is one a better mulching deck than the other?

  2. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I like the Fabricated deck best. It has better lift to stand the grass up to get cut off at higher speeds in my opinion. The only mulching I do is leaves and I picked up leaves back when I used a Formed deck, so I can't compare that part. I have never had any cracking problems with either.
    I hope this helps
  3. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    Your talking about 2 different methods of manufacture.

    In theory, it doesn't have any bearing on the questions you asked. This is important because one isn't better than the other in any way by being formed or fabbed.

    In reality, forming a deck is faster and costs less. Fabrication more easily lends ifself to thicker, heavier gauge steel and generally more time is put into design, constuction and baffling. Heavier steels lends itself to making deeper decks, too.

    In short, it is largely a matter of practicality that fabricated decks generally have more vacuum, longer life, less prone to cracking and have better mulching cababilities.
  4. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,260

  5. Stamped decks flow better. Since they move air=clippings better they don't build up as much lawn dukey to the deck.

    Fab decks usually have corners where the clippings get hung up and build up.
  6. lee b

    lee b LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,167

    Eric, have you seen the new 7-iron decks on JD ztr. They are extremely thick, 7-gauge steel, and don,t have a single corner to catch grass in. I would agree with you on all decks but these. They cut very good, as good as any fab. deck. JD uses a 4 million ton press to form these decks. The rest of the mower may not be quite as good as a dc or lazer, since they only offer Kohler engines. But I believe the deck is great. If JD does their homework and improves these mowers in other areas, engines, maybe 72' deck, higher blade speed, better seat, with their service; I think you'll see'em eat into other companys sales. Just my opinion and you know some stink.
  7. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I have seen them at the dealer when they came out. They look a lot like the 60" deck I already have. I was amazed that John Deere didn't get into the ZTR market a long time ago. We have several dealers around here for them, but I haven't seen 1 JD ZTR out cutting yet. I didn't look under it, is it a belt drive or PTO drive?
  8. lee b

    lee b LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,167

    Eric, the JD ztr uses belt drive. I don't know what the blade tip speed is and dealer doesn't either. From what I've seen {I haven't demoed one, just saw one cut alittle bit, in a rough spot} the JD will handle alot of grass and cuts fast and smooth. Ya'll have convinced me to go for a lazer, but I still have a soft spot for green paint. If JD will improve their engine choices and a few other minor details I believe they will have a very good mower. And I know nobody can beat their commitment to service. Plus in my situation the JD would be ideal, the dealership is only half a mile away from every property I mow.
  9. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I'm surprised they use Kohlers on them. They used to use Kawasaki's or the Yanmar on about everything. It must of been what Kees was using on the tractor part of this machine. I wonder what they will use now that they bought Great Dane?

    It's sort of like MTD uses the Kohler on their Pro ZTR, but they put a Kawasaki on the Lesco version. I wonder what they are putting on the Cub Caddet they build now?
  10. Grassman

    Grassman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    Lee, the only part of their midmount z that is built by JD is the 7Irn deck. The rest of the mower is built by KEES for JD. I don't know the prices of each, but I bet the regular KEES mower is just as good and substantionally cheaper. Russ

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