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Hick

Wider Deck is better, right?

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Hick

When I bought my lawn tractor / mower, it had a 48" deck on it. I was wanting a bigger deck, thinking it would mean less mowing time.

Couple years ago I did a spreadsheet to show actual time of mowing a lineal acre (one acre straight run with no turning) with the various sizes of deck, then factored in how long it actually took me to mow our lawn with the 48" deck. Using that factor, it showed that I wouldn't save all that much time (8 minutes), so I put the idea on the back shelf.

Then last year a good used 54" deck came up on ebay for half new price. And in the meantime my brain slipped a couple cogs and I was "remembering" that it would save about a half-hour or more (also forgetting I had the spreadsheet) and so I bought the wider deck.

And it seemed to be faster! It worked better in the front yard, not so much better in the back. There was one spot in the ditch I can't go with the wider deck, and places in the yard that the extra width makes uneven cuts in dips. But it seemed faster.

Last Monday I happened to notice that it was 1 PM when I started, and 3:30 when I finished. That was with the 54" deck.

So this morning I put the 48" deck on, went out at 1 PM to start mowing. I mowed the exact same pattern as I did before, and was thinking I was doing a lot of extra turning, so it must be taking longer, right?

I finished at 3:30!

And the yard looks smoother with the 48" deck.

One advantage of the wider deck is closer maneuverability around trees and other obstacles.

Edited by Hick
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steve-wis

Wow!!  I use a 627 with 32 inch deck on mine.  Takes about 50 minutes.  I enjoy the seat time so I am usually trying to make it last a bit longer.  All in how you look at it, I guess!

Edited by steve-wis
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RAC

When I first started using the tractor+trailing mower combo I was running a 1650 cub 44 deck and 44 inch offset trailing mower. It cut my mowing time to 1/3. Now I'm running a legacy with a 60 inch deck and 54 inch offset trailing mower. 

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Chris727

All depends on what kind of terrain and obstacles you have in your yard. A wider deck will scalp worse in uneven terrain. The plus though is that 54" deck will have higher resale even if it doesn't get more done, but you might work the machine a little harder with it or use a tad more fuel. 

 

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Hick
54 minutes ago, Bird76Mojo said:

Time to get a Powermax with a 60" deck....

My yard is uneven enough going the extra 6" made dips in the cuts, a foot would be even worse!
 

 

1 hour ago, Chris727 said:

All depends on what kind of terrain and obstacles you have in your yard. A wider deck will scalp worse in uneven terrain. The plus though is that 54" deck will have higher resale even if it doesn't get more done, but you might work the machine a little harder with it or use a tad more fuel. 

 

Terrain is from a 23° slope to flat, smooth to ditches.

60a9d46fe5b81_2019-06-14Slopes.thumb.png.5fa6d800b2522463c2ec695aa2f9f78d.png

Fuel usage didn't seem to change (26 HP water-cooled Kawasaki twin).
Obstacles? Well, you decide! :)
60a9d348a9b88_Aerial2020crp.thumb.JPG.2221d95904a7c97dac4344499a0d051c.JPG

 

Edited by Hick
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Hick
15 hours ago, steve-wis said:

Wow!!  I use a 627 with 32 inch deck on mine.  Takes about 50 minutes.  I enjoy the seat time so I am usually trying to make it last a bit longer.  All in how you look at it, I guess!

Yes, seat time on my tractors is as good for me as seat time on the Gold Wing. People tell me I need to get a z-turn, but this ol' farmer would rather look over a hood than a deck!
Well, unless THIS is the deck I'm looking over!

20210523_081617.jpg.1b349a0f38e1aa663926d88e9adfc133.jpg

Edited by Hick
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720nut

Like they say , whatever trips your trigger. Ha Ha. I used to have a B 112 with 48" deck, seemed to take me for ever to mow our acre and a half, now with 60" O-turn like 15-20 minutes.

Like what was said, the smaller 48" barely scalped any thing but the 60" in ruff terrain scalps quite a few places, I think as for tractor vs O-turn that on the Simplicity's you have a whole row of rollers on deck vs 5 rollers on the 60" four corners and center on the front of the deck.

Time wise Exmark is definately faster but I miss the ole B 112, if just to mow now and then. I know a couple of guys locally that mow commercially with a lawn tractor they don't do many yards but for them it's like you guys stated that they just enjoy seat time .

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tripleguy

Ground speed also helps. A newer tractor with suspension enables you to mow faster. Increasing deck size AND ground speed will allow you to cut appreciably faster. I went from an older Simplicity with a 48"deck to a newer Prestiege with a 52" deck but the real improvement is in the handling (ground speed, full suspension, power steering and tighter turning radius as well as foot control hydro drive). Old tractors are cool but the newer ones with modern tech have advantages too. 

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Hick
1 hour ago, tripleguy said:

Ground speed also helps

Ah, yes, ground speed. My Deere 2010 X540 has what they call cruise control. It is really a stepped stop for the hydro. And the speed that is most comfortable using the foot pedal control is half-way between the steps!! IOW, the lower step is slow, the upper step is too fast and rough in places. I need to adjust it, but I'll have to pull the seat / fender pan off to do it.

As for tighter turning radius, this one is almost a z-turn compared to the Deere 216 it replaced. Remember the song, "Give Me Forty Acres (and I'll Turn This Rig Around)"? That was the 216!

Edited by Hick
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SmilinSam

Personally , moving at the same ground speed, I have always noticed a significant reduction in time spent mowing for every 4"-6" increase in deck width. Thats on bigger jobs, on the smaller jobs you dont notice the difference in time so much.

IE at work with a 42 or 44" deck it takes around 3 hours. With a 48" or 50" it takes around 2 1/2 hours. With a 54" deck it takes around 2 hours. Been mowing that same patch for over 25 years now using a multitude of tractor types and decks.

I also note that if you can get in and mow with a ZT,  a ZT with a smaller deck will mow as fast as a conventional tractor using a bigger deck....

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Hick

Well,  maybe I read the clock wrong two weeks ago.
Put the 54" deck on today, mowed the place in 2 hours, 10 minutes, same pattern, same speeds.

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