What About Fixed Decks?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by touchofpride, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. touchofpride

    touchofpride LawnSite Member
    from NE
    Messages: 33

    Hey guys, haven't used one so don't really know but are fixed deck walk behinds a pain in the butt to change the cutting heighth? Especially if you have to change between lawns while out?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yes but in that same motion it also permanently fixes the problem with changing cut height, so that guys like myself cut at 3" always.
    To me, 3" is the best case compromise: It's not too low, it's not too high (but that's just me).
    Because changing cut height, unless I have reason to do it, can certainly be a pita anyhow.

    It's a different story on a Z where I have a dial indicator, where with the turn of my thumb, it changes the height.
    But the only reason I would change it is to raise it to 3.25" to tackle some uneven stuff, then down to 3" it comes again.
    Which, the problem with it all is most folks would really like it at 2.5" but that's not a good height for larger decks.

    On a fixed deck you can still change it some, by simply lowering / raising your front casters, but the easy answer is: Sorry, I can't, it's a Fixed deck.
  3. mow & snow

    mow & snow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 225

    Most people will tell you to buy a floating deck mower. But I only use fixed decks and they work well for me. I set the height at the beginning of the week a everyone gets cut at that height. If you have a couple pita then all you do is adjust the front casters. I'ts quick and easy.
  4. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,815

    chances are you really are not moving the deck too much on a fixed deck so the spacers in front wheels is enough to make adjustments. when i used walk behinds i used the fixed deck and rarely had anyone complain about the height. the only time they did complaine was when i could lower the deck enough on the crap lawns that dont grow/look good anyway. simply depends on how much money you want to spend. i would save my buck for a used ZTR any day of the week though.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    All my business has run over the past 13 years are fixed (52 and 61 inch) fixed decks. What is the big deal? If you need to make a deck height adjustment, simply move the spacers up or down on the front caster tires...takes less than 30 seconds.
  6. Groh's Mows

    Groh's Mows LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    Touch of pride,

    If all you need is a minor change in the height adjustment, just changing the washers on the front caster wheels will work fine. Keep in mind this is actually cahnging the "pitch" of the blades or angle relative to the turf. As long as the pitch is not too far off from horizontal you won't have problems. If you have the back of the deck set low and change the height on the front with the spacers, you will be able to see an uneven cut on turn and transition areas. To change the back of the deck on most fixed deck wb's is more than you would want to do very often. The only time I would change the back is in the spring or late fall for scalps or clean-ups. As others have said, pick a cutting height and stick with it.
  7. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    I tried mowing at 3" last year and basically told everyone that's how it should be. Some yards didn't look very good and one in particular, where I had an LCO (a better one than me :)) next door, their cut looked better than mine. Short and bagged looks good on small yards, or at least short. I don't think I'll cut at 3" this year, I had more than a few problems with that height.
    I kept telling people the longer the grass the longer the root and its dry right now blah blah they don't want to hear that.

    This year I'm getting at least one 48" wb but I think I better make a floating deck if I can afford it or maybe I'll get two of those quick 36 (for the same price)
  8. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    Why are some people so adamant about floating?

    I do live in the city and everyone's yard is mostly flat I just don't want to make a mistake.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Yeah it's not so hard :laugh: I think people make such a big deal on the height changes for no reason. Only thing I don't like is I'm too lazy to put gloves on so I get grease all over my hands :laugh:

    About the only time I wish for a floater is in the spring, when you encounter some real fast growing lawns and on the 2nd cut it is easier to raise the deck up...when I used a Z years ago I would cut at 3.5 inches then completely raise the deck up and run over it again, which takes care of the clumps without cutting off more grass. But can't have it all...
  10. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    What's the price difference? If it's $500, then that's about $.50/hour over 1,000 hours. But it will resale for a higher price too, so call it $300 over 1,000 hours, or $.33/hour of use. Say you need 20 min to just mow a typical small lot lawn with your mower. Now you're looking at $.11 per lawn. Even double that figure, and it's still peanuts.

    Don't be cheap when it comes to equipment. Get what works best and easiest. There are pros/cons to the two types (I prefer floaters, though I have one fixed deck) but cost is a non-issue.

    Why fight customers and tell them you HAVE to mow at a certain height just because of your mower's lack of flexibility? Buy a floater if you think this will ever be an issue. There is always one oddball lawn that needs to be mowed higher or lower than most.

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