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Discussion Starter #1
What is the big deal about a welded deck ?
Stamped is thinner gauge.
Welded is thicker.
If there is a dent, why does it matter?
It is still shielding the grass from flying everywhere.
If there is a dent, just hammer it out.

What is the big deal about a welded deck ?
 

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Heavier steel. They are built like a tank to last a lifetime when many thin stamped decks will rust thru or have brackets rip off with a piece of the deck attached.

You can straighten stamped decks when they get bent with not too much trouble. With a fab they are unlikely to bend.
 

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Fabbed decks do rust through and can be damaged by striking a stationary object. Fabricated tends to be easier to fix because they’re mostly flat sheets (though some sides are bent into a round) rather than 3D rounded contours that many surfaces on a stamped deck.
 

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I think rust thru is one of the problems with a Stamped deck. The other is they are so easily bent at the spindle mounts.
But hey pound your brains out.!
 

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I think rust thru is one of the problems with a fabbed deck. The other is they are so easily bent at the spindle mounts.
But hey pound your brains out.!
I think you miss spoke, what you said is typical of stamped decks.

Walt Conner
 

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Fabricated deck is only fabricated because it's heavier steel and the tooling to stamp it costs more than fabricating it. Probably not entirely by hand, I'm sure the sections are CNC plasma cut or whatever, then welded by hand or maybe robotically. But either way, it's not better because it's fabricated, it's better because it's heavier steel. So it will last a lot longer before rusting through and also it can take an accidental impact without damage or with less damage than a thinner stamped deck.
 

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As stated One of the Big reasons you see Fab decks is they are cheaper to Produce. That said Deere Has spent the Money on stamping machine while Out Manufacturers such as Briggs Outdoor Power, HOP & MTD Have not spent the Money on stamping machines Capable of stamping thicker Gauges of steel Ie 7 gauge decks.

I have a 7 gauge Stamped deck on My JD 2025R and a MTD Fab deck Only thing I hate about the Fab deck On My Cub is it is always full of Grass On top the deck I don't have that Problem with any of My stamped decks. Yes the stamped get some Grass But Not Like the Fab deck on the Cub

But either deck I have will Kill Your Back to Lift

I have a Deere stamped Model 48 deck(46inch) doesn't Have any rust holes & its 45 years old. It does have some dents But Cuts fine . I have a 50 year Old Model 47 deck and it has rust Holes and Has Had to be re-welded at One Time it's Shot But it still cuts Great. I have a 38inch deck That is In Mint condition On My 1964 110 and it what 55 years Old. It was restored But Has Never Had to be re-welded The Fab deck On the Cub XT3 already has the Paint coming off and the Gauge of steel MTD uses for there Stamped decks Is questionable depending On the series of XT series you have.

Simplicity Fab Decks Look over Built compared to MTD Made Fab decks.

Only time will tell How well My XT3 54inch Fab deck holds Up. But to Me either is fine But I'll have to let You Know in 10 years How the Cub Fab deck is holding Up. With stamped it depends On How well You Maintain them same for Fab. I have seen older Fabricated decks which do Have through & through rust Holes But They haven't been re-welded That I could see It depends On the Gauge of steel it is fabricated from as well Not all Fabricated designs are the same :thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, so rust on thinner metal.
I saw a few tractors with clearly repainted decks and overspray.
Is it common to naval jelly/primer/paint over rust spots on stemped decks to keep the rust at bay?
Seems like a smart thing to do each season.
 

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OK, so rust on thinner metal.
I saw a few tractors with clearly repainted decks and overspray.
Is it common to naval jelly/primer/paint over rust spots on stemped decks to keep the rust at bay?
Seems like a smart thing to do each season.
Yeah, if you have the time and inkling to do so. I feel like leaving one outside is very detrimental to the life of a deck WRT rust. If you can keep one dry you'll keep a lot of it at bay. Some folks wash or scrape the bottom of their deck after mowing to remove the accumulated grass as it can rust it from the bottom.

Another thing that's very good to do is blow the grass off the mower after each mowing. Keeps it from accumulating and holding moisture. If you keep the hydro/hydros area blown clear it'll let it cool itself better and extend its/their life as well. Heat kills transmissions and grass can completely block airflow to the hydro. I blow my mower off with a leaf blower after each mowing session.
 

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What is the big deal about a welded deck ?
Stamped is thinner gauge.
Welded is thicker.
If there is a dent, why does it matter?
It is still shielding the grass from flying everywhere.
If there is a dent, just hammer it out.

What is the big deal about a welded deck ?
I had similar thoughts a few years ago.

There is already a lot of good info said, but consider this.

If your buying a mower every 3-5 years, it probably won't make much difference having a stamped deck. Like myself you will keep bending it back with chains and straps on trees, and your hubs will be replaced more frequently because of the pulley/ belt alignment becoming worse, or you start losing belts faster, or you notice the deck scalping your lawn and it won't come out with any adjustment, etc.

If you don't have a showcase lawn and you keep the weeds mowed (like myself) than again, it still might not matter, because in three years you buy a new rider and the clock starts over in a way, easy, right?

My stamped deck finally just gave up on my old rider, and the cost to replace the deck was half the value of the now very used 2011 lawn tractor. I'm referring to a used deck that someone else has been working kinks out on and is not aligned either. I decided it just wasn't economically worth it. Besides, if I really liked it and took it to a welder to fix, they won't, poor quality metal, welds are difficult on a stamped deck with hybrid or mixed steel.

By the way, I liked the little rider with the stamped steel deck, it was tin like, never achieved greatness in grass cutting, and wouldn't win any show tractor contest but maybe a participation award for showing up, if that exists.

With all it's faults (the gear drive was bullet proof and I kept it) it was cheap. It met my expectations, so I don't have any complaints with it, and at the time it cut the yard maintenance by a third of the time over the 20" Bolens push mower I was using.

I still have the push mower, with custom paint now.

In contrast,

My GT has a fabricated deck (2017 Husqvarna GT48DXLS), and yes the deck is tough as nails, true. It will take a beating and be able to hold the proper pulley/belt alignment longer without needing attention. The heavy steel deck has a muffle effect on the hardware noise and the blade air noise is now dominate, and I prefer a propeller sound over the hardware sound.

It's not immune from operator error, but it will take a lot more oops, teens, I didn't see that, and if I damage it bad enough, it's of a steel that can be repaired at the welders, and for me, being able to reasonably have repairs made locally brings me some piece of mind.

If you bought a GT like mine or another brand, that came with a fabricated deck and still plan to buy new every 3-5 years, then you might achieve a true maintenance free experience, if there is such a thing, and what I'm saying here might not have that much value to you, that's ok. Knowing what you want I think is most important here.

I look at the stamped deck as a disposable deck, with I think three full overhauls from 2011 to 2019 when it died beyond repair, miner repairs yearly, and two deck straightener's done with a bolted piece of steel to cover a hole by a golf ball I couldn't see being shot through the deck, I still liked it, crazy I know but it was not a recommendation just that I believe it met my expectations for a Home Depot $900. special.

I had higher expectations from my fabricated deck (it cost a lot more) and this deck meets those expectations every day I mow, plus I have made a small custom modification to make it better for my needs (the thread, you don't need a welder for this mod) and I view the fabricated deck as an investment, because of it's value and compatibility to many types of lawns, conditions and it can be truly repaired.

Because the fabricated deck is completely repairable you can think outside the box with custom plans and make the deck work as you want. The fabricated deck has long term actual value.

These fabricated decks most likely were produced by contracted fabrication businesses for yard equipment manufacturers, these business are most likely specialty cottage industry shops making custom mowing decks, among other specialty fabrication parts, that's where grass roots entrepreneurship still exist with owners that hire employees they know by name and their family's, that are here in North America, the deck not hardware. I'm almost sure I have tracked the business that built my deck, it is a medium size business in their community that takes pride in the hand welded decks they produce, I like that.

When many corporations produce products for no-name customers these days some of them have no desire to create loyalty in their customer base and it shows, but when you look deeper, I still find there are parts built by small business that do take pride in their work, and for that it's a win for the consumer.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I plan to use this mower for a lot longer than 3-5 years.
Last mower got 175 hours in 7 years.
Zero turn will be even less.
A $3000 product should last more than 150 hours.
That's 3.5 months in a car's life.
 

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I had similar thoughts a few years ago.

There is already a lot of good info said, but consider this.

If your buying a mower every 3-5 years, it probably won't make much difference having a stamped deck. Like myself you will keep bending it back with chains and straps on trees, and your hubs will be replaced more frequently because of the pulley/ belt alignment becoming worse, or you start losing belts faster, or you notice the deck scalping your lawn and it won't come out with any adjustment, etc.

If you don't have a showcase lawn and you keep the weeds mowed (like myself) than again, it still might not matter, because in three years you buy a new rider and the clock starts over in a way, easy, right?

My stamped deck finally just gave up on my old rider, and the cost to replace the deck was half the value of the now very used 2011 lawn tractor. I'm referring to a used deck that someone else has been working kinks out on and is not aligned either. I decided it just wasn't economically worth it. Besides, if I really liked it and took it to a welder to fix, they won't, poor quality metal, welds are difficult on a stamped deck with hybrid or mixed steel.

By the way, I liked the little rider with the stamped steel deck, it was tin like, never achieved greatness in grass cutting, and wouldn't win any show tractor contest but maybe a participation award for showing up, if that exists.

With all it's faults (the gear drive was bullet proof and I kept it) it was cheap. It met my expectations, so I don't have any complaints with it, and at the time it cut the yard maintenance by a third of the time over the 20" Bolens push mower I was using.

I still have the push mower, with custom paint now.

In contrast,

My GT has a fabricated deck (2017 Husqvarna GT48DXLS), and yes the deck is tough as nails, true. It will take a beating and be able to hold the proper pulley/belt alignment longer without needing attention. The heavy steel deck has a muffle effect on the hardware noise and the blade air noise is now dominate, and I prefer a propeller sound over the hardware sound.

It's not immune from operator error, but it will take a lot more oops, teens, I didn't see that, and if I damage it bad enough, it's of a steel that can be repaired at the welders, and for me, being able to reasonably have repairs made locally brings me some piece of mind.

If you bought a GT like mine or another brand, that came with a fabricated deck and still plan to buy new every 3-5 years, then you might achieve a true maintenance free experience, if there is such a thing, and what I'm saying here might not have that much value to you, that's ok. Knowing what you want I think is most important here.

I look at the stamped deck as a disposable deck, with I think three full overhauls from 2011 to 2019 when it died beyond repair, miner repairs yearly, and two deck straightener's done with a bolted piece of steel to cover a hole by a golf ball I couldn't see being shot through the deck, I still liked it, crazy I know but it was not a recommendation just that I believe it met my expectations for a Home Depot $900. special.

I had higher expectations from my fabricated deck (it cost a lot more) and this deck meets those expectations every day I mow, plus I have made a small custom modification to make it better for my needs (the thread, you don't need a welder for this mod) and I view the fabricated deck as an investment, because of it's value and compatibility to many types of lawns, conditions and it can be truly repaired.

Because the fabricated deck is completely repairable you can think outside the box with custom plans and make the deck work as you want. The fabricated deck has long term actual value.

These fabricated decks most likely were produced by contracted fabrication businesses for yard equipment manufacturers, these business are most likely specialty cottage industry shops making custom mowing decks, among other specialty fabrication parts, that's where grass roots entrepreneurship still exist with owners that hire employees they know by name and their family's, that are here in North America, the deck not hardware. I'm almost sure I have tracked the business that built my deck, it is a medium size business in their community that takes pride in the hand welded decks they produce, I like that.

When many corporations produce products for no-name customers these days some of them have no desire to create loyalty in their customer base and it shows, but when you look deeper, I still find there are parts built by small business that do take pride in their work, and for that it's a win for the consumer.
Before Your Tractor Modification I would Have said Your deck would Outlast Your Tractor But Now the Tractor Might outlast the deck :):bannana::thThumbsU
 

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When I was looking into buying a new mower this year I considered Cub Cadets Fabricated deck but I could not find what ga. steel they used until I contacted there online customer service dept. They told me the fab. deck is made out of 11 ga. steel. There stamped is made out of 10 ga. steel. So I ended up with a JD x738 54" deck with stamped 9 ga. re enforced steel. Not all fabricated decks are made of thicker steel.
 

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Original poster used two terms. Dent and bent.

A dent is no big deal as stated. If it' s bad enough, bump it out, touch up the paint, and keep going.

A bent deck is another thing altogether. Bent means the spindles and blades may no longer be in the same plane with each other and some blade will cut shorter that the others. Only jacking it back into shape can fix the deck. Some shimming of one or more spindles may be required to be sure the blade tips are all in the same plane.

Just some random thoughts on this subject. Hope for dents, not bents.?
 
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For a given thickness, a stamped deck can certainly be superior due to greater freedom of design, not that I think there's anything wrong with fabricated decks. A fabricated deck is more infinitely repairable but I don't think the average new mower buyer cares about that.

Thickness aside, I think deck construction is largely irrelevant, the biggest contributor to deck life is the user and the use. If you mow wet, never wash down the machine and are running over rocks ect then the deck is going to have a very short life no matter how it's constructed.

At work they have a quite new Deere which despite low hours has had the deck replaced due to rust. Due to pressure to get the job done fast it never gets washed down and it gets put away in a dank shed. It was an almost $2k deck replacement on a $3k mower.
 

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I have a fabricated deck on my Ingersoll 4018 and a stamped on my JD 455 and Cub Cadet 1720. I sandblasted the original deck on the CC 1720 and primed and painted it, looked great but rusted through a few years later, possibly from reducing the thickness of metal sandblasting it down to good metal on the underside. I picked up a NOS Cub Cadet LT46 deck off eBay several years back and it is still operating fine although the paint flakes off in areas.

My reasoning for prolonging deck life is to coat the underside with used motor oil seasonally.

My brothers messed with cars from the '50's, '60's and '70's, the ones that leaked oil always had good frames under them.

As for dents and bends, pay attention to your mowing, easier said than done!

CCMoe
 
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