Stamped vs Fabricated decks

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
The cut isn't really dependent on whether the deck is fabbed or not, and both have squared corners underneath where grass can collect.....along the top of the rear baffle that forms the back of each chamber and along the front baffle since all are welded in. Regardless, the 7 Iron does tend to stay clean pretty well even in bad cutting conditions.
 

SteveOGrady

LawnSite Member
I am personally very against stamped decks on any commercial or heavy use mower with the exception of 21” walks. The reason is if you or more likely a careless employee hits something solid, catches a curb wrong, stump, concrete ect with a stamped deck It’s super easy to tweak, bend and even crack. If this happens your pretty much SOL and have to replace the deck. On the other hand, if the deck is fabricated you can cut out and replace, plate over, heat and bend and easily weld to a fabricated deck and “fabricate” repairs.

it’s super difficult to weld to a stamped deck and often heating it causes it to warp more.

if you like to run your mowers to death and the decks gets sand blasted through it’s super easy to fabricate new sections of a fabricated deck. Doesn’t really work for stamped.

Manufactures LOVE stamped decks because it’s substantially cheaper to make in both parts and labor. A huge machine literally presses the metal into the deck mold. Typically—and I am generalizing—stamped decks are of thinner metals due to the fact they need to be pressed into shape, lack reinforcement in critical areas. The stamping process itself weakens the metal overall due to the stress of pressing. Take a paper clip and bend it and notice it snaps easily when bent.

As always there are exceptions to the rules and that’s why I qualified 21” walks. There are a couple of niche manufacturers making fabricated 21”s (or were at one time I sold my dealership in 2014) but the prices are so prohibitive you can buy 2 or 3 stamped 21” walks so doesn’t make sense IMO.

There is a reason price point homeowner ZTRs and riding mowers always use a stamped deck. Cheaper.

IMO for commercial work or heavy use except for 21” walks go fabricated.(if you use a 21” extensively As a main mowers and want Both ruggedness and lightness go with cast aluminum...Toro Super Recycler and Honda come to mind...there may be others )
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
I am personally very against stamped decks on any commercial or heavy use mower with the exception of 21” walks. The reason is if you or more likely a careless employee hits something solid, catches a curb wrong, stump, concrete ect with a stamped deck It’s super easy to tweak, bend and even crack. If this happens your pretty much SOL and have to replace the deck. On the other hand, if the deck is fabricated you can cut out and replace, plate over, heat and bend and easily weld to a fabricated deck and “fabricate” repairs.

it’s super difficult to weld to a stamped deck and often heating it causes it to warp more.

if you like to run your mowers to death and the decks gets sand blasted through it’s super easy to fabricate new sections of a fabricated deck. Doesn’t really work for stamped.

Manufactures LOVE stamped decks because it’s substantially cheaper to make in both parts and labor. A huge machine literally presses the metal into the deck mold. Typically—and I am generalizing—stamped decks are of thinner metals due to the fact they need to be pressed into shape, lack reinforcement in critical areas. The stamping process itself weakens the metal overall due to the stress of pressing. Take a paper clip and bend it and notice it snaps easily when bent.

As always there are exceptions to the rules and that’s why I qualified 21” walks. There are a couple of niche manufacturers making fabricated 21”s (or were at one time I sold my dealership in 2014) but the prices are so prohibitive you can buy 2 or 3 stamped 21” walks so doesn’t make sense IMO.

There is a reason price point homeowner ZTRs and riding mowers always use a stamped deck. Cheaper.

IMO for commercial work or heavy use except for 21” walks go fabricated.(if you use a 21” extensively As a main mowers and want Both ruggedness and lightness go with cast aluminum...Toro Super Recycler and Honda come to mind...there may be others )
There's just so much that is wrong with this post and it getsa bandied about on the internet all the time, usually by those with little or no hands on experience with a quality stamped deck.
Stamped decks are every bit as tougher, and most likely tougher than fabbed when made of equal materials. No welds to break or rust out etc. Commercial stamped decks like the 7 Iron and Husky deck are made entirely from 7 gauge steel, and it is very high quality steel. Many, if not most, welded/fabbed decks have 7 gauge wrappers/skirts and ten gauge tops. Exmark decks are made that way and I doubt you will find anyone that says they are poorly made.

The simple truth is, most manu's that use fabbed decks make their wild claims about weak stamped decks because they cannot afford the dies, which run well over 100K and the press that runs well over a million. If they could, they would switch too as it is faster to stamp the shell than to weld it, requires much less labor for welding and handling materials to make the deck etc.

Stamping a deck properly does NOT weaken the steel either. Plus a radiused corner is always stronger than a squared corner all else being equal. The Romans knew that 4000 years ago.

This deck is 30 years old this year, still cutting very nicely, not warped or cracked or rotted out and is only 11 gauge. I have owned it for over 1/3 of its life and know it has cut an enormous amount of grass in that time, not to mention all the grass it cut on the farm before I got it.

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SteveOGrady

LawnSite Member
I know there are JDs devotees who will genuflect before the almighty green. If it works for you great. Give a stamped deck to the average idiot employee, they bend it and break it so get your welder and torches and see how easy it is to repair. On the top of my head only JD stamps commercial decks.....I can’t think of any other manufacturer that does that. Must be a reason.......

JD is absolutely the best at marketing and have unbelievable brand recognition and following. I’m not saying their equipment is bad but IMO the dollar for value just isn’t there.......BUT wait......

A HUGE reason for JDs success in commercial lawn care is they are large enough to in-house finance Or at least back the loans for lawn contractors. When I was 19, with no credit and everyone else said no...Circa 1994/5 ish JD said yes. I wouldn’t have gotten to where I was without JD loaning me a tremendous amount of money which ironically led me to be a rather large dealer and huge pain in Green Souths’ side just a few years later.

when the Great Recession hit I literally went from being a very successful dealer to selling my dealership w my tail between my legs bc JD ate my lunch. Not bc they had better equipment or even prices but BC their finance application was a mirror out in front of the buyer and if he/she could breath fog on the mirror and sign an X they got financed.
 
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SteveOGrady

LawnSite Member
I can tell you form 25 years in this business as a lawn contractor with 100 employees at my peak and a lawn commercial maintenance division with over $1m in annual revenue AND being a top 10 dealer by volume for 3of the 4 major lines I sold AND having owned multiple JD ZTRs and walk-behinds w 7 iron decks AND having idiot employees that bent them and attempted welding repairs not work requiring me to purchase a New crate deck........that my experience. First hand.

Frankly, I put more hours on ZTRs in a week than most companies will in a decade. Art Evens flew down to Gainesville in his private jet personally to fly me to his factory and out to dinner. I had many trips paid for by big manufacturers and direct access to their company presidents........so I like to think I learned a thing or two.

if stamped was so good and a competing feature to brag about pretty sure someone else besides the almighty green would be doing it.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
I know there are JDs devotees who will genuflect before the almighty green. If it works for you great. Give a stamped deck to the average idiot employee, they bend it and break out your welder and torches and see how easy it is to repair. On the top of my head only JD stamps commercial decks.....I can’t think of any other manufacturer that does that. Must be a reason.......

JD is absolutely the best at marketing and have unbelievable brand recognition and following. I’m not saying their equipment is bad but IMO the dollar for value just isn’t there.......BUT wait......

A HUGE reason for JDs success in commercial lawn care is they are large enough to in-house finance Or at least back the loans for lawn contractors. When I was 19, with no credit and everyone else said no...Circa 1994/5 ish JD said yes. I wouldn’t have gotten to where I was without JD loaning me a tremendous amount of money which ironically led me to be a rather large dealer and huge pain in Green Souths’ side just a few years later.

when the Great Recession hit I literally went from being a very successful dealer to selling my dealership w my tail between my legs bc JD ate my lunch. Not bc they had better equipment or even prices but BC their finance application was a mirror out in front of the buyer and if he/she could breath fog on the mirror and sign an X they got financed.
Yes, I just told you the reason not many others use stamped deck shells. Ignore the facts if you want to, but they are well established. I also just told you that husky uses stamped deck shells. Well a combination or mostly stamped and a welded front wrapper.

This post of yours is also full of misinformation. JD has a good rep because their mowers are durable, their decks are extremely durable, and both have a 10 year long track record now to back it up with hardly a thing changed on them in that time, and they cut exceptionally well in any condition.
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
I can tell you form 25 years in this business as a lawn contractor with 100 employees at my peak and a lawn commercial maintenance division with over $1m in revenue AND being a top 10 dealer by volume for 3of the 4 major lines I sold AND having owned multiple JD ZTRs and walk-behinds w 7 iron decks AND having idiot employees that bent them and attempted welding repairs not work requiring me to purchase a New crate deck........that my experience. First hand.

Frankly, I put more hours on ZTRs in a week than most companies will in a decade.

if stamped was so good and a competing feature to brag about pretty sure someone else besides the almighty green would be doing it.
I call BS on all of your posts. Not worth arguing with any longer.
 

SteveOGrady

LawnSite Member
I owned Equipment Direct, Inc in Gainesville Florida. I’m sure someone here knows me. I owned Stephen J OGrady of Florida, Inc for over 20 years and ValuCut. Go to sunbiz.org and do a little research.

I don’t think JD is bad. I can only share my experiences.
 
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