how much does steel gauge affect your decision?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnwizards, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    we get all kinds of talk about different steel gauges of mowers. be it 7, 10, or 12 gauge. does this affect your decision in buying. i think unless you were going full throttle into a tree it would be hard to bend a deck at any gauge. does anyone have any experiences that would prove me wrong? pictures and stories of how it happened would be superb.. thanks...

  2. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Cant say i've run into anything worth mentioning but the gauge of the steel has alot to do with the durability of the whole machine! I have a friend who actually had to replace DECK because SAND ACTUALLY SANDBLASTED through it!!!! This sounds like a homeowner vs. contractor equipment issue.
  3. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Steel Gauge has a lot to do with the life and strength of equiptment. However design can be just as big of an influence as the amount of steel you have.
    Gauge and design play a big roll in how anything performs and weight.
  4. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    i never understood why they needed such heavy decks under there.

    some have extra thick on top too, not sure i understand that.

    i've hit some pretty nasty stuff at WFO with a stamped deck and have never had any issues. ZD18


    i was doing a leaf cleanup on an unfamiliar lawn, i was going WFO(9mph) when i hit a water shutoff fixture. i sheared it clean off

    it stopped me dead in my tracks. i thought for sure i broke or bent something real bad. i got off to look(after i checked my pants) not even a scratch. I COULD"T BELIEVE IT.

    other than that i treat my equipment good and have never had any issues.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Because after 6-8 years the cheaper steel starts to crack (and I mean crack), on a machine that's designed to last a minimum 10-15+... This, in addition to the rust, then becomes a material stability issue.

    Even the heavier gauges do it, but they last longer, considerably so.
  6. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    that may be true but most lco's get rid of their mowers way before 6-8 years. some even do yearly trade ins.
  7. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    When I was looking at ZTR's I was really consernd about the gauge of metal. Becuse some of the semi-commercail mowers have 12-14 while commercails have 7 that is twice the strength. I dont know if anyone else has had this experience but I have seen a few 21" that have giant holes in them from rocks geting blown threw the metal.
  8. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    In have never considered it b/c when buy an Exmark, Scag or any of the "top" brands it's a "non-issue".

    But for the most part thin steel is nothing a welder and a torch can't fix:)
  9. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    you can't compare a 21' vs a commercial mower.

    have you ever seen a hole blown in a commercial mower?

    REALSLOW LawnSite Senior Member
    from FLORIDA
    Messages: 668

    Design and the amount of steel is the major reasons usually I will buy a perticular brand. Some steel is better quality than others so it can be deceiving.

    Take Moto X bikes the steel looks similar but it was not in some cases. I owned Kawasaki and Hondas the Honda steel was way better quality so the bike held up way better no comparison so it can be confusing to say the least.

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