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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm staring my second season with my Brutus HD and last season I floated the mowing deck while mowing.

I'm having second thoughts -- does anyone know if you are supposed to float the deck or just level it and lower it?
 

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As far as I know it should be floated after you adjust the wheel height for the cut height you want. Otherwise as you go over bumps and hills the mower will come off the ground and then slam back into it, I don't think that would make a very smooth cut. In float the mower will follow the contours of the ground and leave a smooth cut.
My grass in Maine is just starting to turn green, maybe I'll get to mow again in about a week or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response. That was my thinking my first season too. The reason I began to doubt it was because recently I was using the bucket in float mode to fill in some low spots with dirt. After dumping the dirt you tilt the bucket forward and float it, then pull it backwards over the ground you are filling in. The float mode seems to lift and lower the front of the Btutus to create a lot of downforce needed to smooth out the surface – maybe the opposite of “floating”, keeping the bucket rigid (not moving up and down over the ground) by using the weight of the machine, I don’t know. That works well though.

For my first mowing this season again I used the float mode and noticed the guide wheels dig into the turf at times when turning and backing (I confess I don’t lift the deck like the mower manual suggests when positioning for the next cut) and I get some scalping on uneven terrain too like last season.

So I switched to leveling the deck then just lowering it to the point where the deck wheels are on the ground and I’m not lifting the front of the Brutus, then I turn off the tilt. My grass is so thick (SE Michigan) I don’t know if my cut is more even but the guide wheels aren’t digging in and there’s been no scalping. The mower manual doesn’t say to float the deck but it does describe what the float setting is – leading you to believe that you should float it.

So even though floating the deck seems logical to me and you I think I’ll try the company to get the final word.
 

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I'm not sure, but I do know that the tilt needs to be centered as there is some tilt play build into the mower (I think). I don't have my mower on yet. The float is for up and down, if you don't adjust the tilt to its center position (place the wheels on the ground, in float, then move the tilt back and forth, you will see the wheels on the front or back come off the ground, set the tilt so it's in the center with all mower wheels on the ground. That will let it float front to back and up and down over rough terrain. Also to properly adjust the bars that set the wheel hight, first raise the wheels off the ground, then set the wheels to the correct hight. Then with the wheels still off the ground check to see if all 4 wheels will rotate a full 360 degrees without contacting the mower deck. If they contact the mower deck adjust what holes the pins are lined up with or pull the whole bar off, rotate it around the other way and try it, eventually you will get it set right so they won't contact the mower deck.
(DO NOT) raise the mower deck or tilt settings way up with the PTO going or you might bend or damage your drive shaft, a new driveshaft will cost you around $90 for that mistake, same on the snowblower.
 

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Float might not be working?

Thanks for your response. That was my thinking my first season too. The reason I began to doubt it was because recently I was using the bucket in float mode to fill in some low spots with dirt. After dumping the dirt you tilt the bucket forward and float it, then pull it backwards over the ground you are filling in. The float mode seems to lift and lower the front of the Btutus to create a lot of downforce needed to smooth out the surface – maybe the opposite of “floating”, keeping the bucket rigid (not moving up and down over the ground) by using the weight of the machine, I don’t know. That works well though.

For my first mowing this season again I used the float mode and noticed the guide wheels dig into the turf at times when turning and backing (I confess I don’t lift the deck like the mower manual suggests when positioning for the next cut) and I get some scalping on uneven terrain too like last season.

So I switched to leveling the deck then just lowering it to the point where the deck wheels are on the ground and I’m not lifting the front of the Brutus, then I turn off the tilt. My grass is so thick (SE Michigan) I don’t know if my cut is more even but the guide wheels aren’t digging in and there’s been no scalping. The mower manual doesn’t say to float the deck but it does describe what the float setting is – leading you to believe that you should float it.

So even though floating the deck seems logical to me and you I think I’ll try the company to get the final word.
It sounds as though your float position is not functioning properly. Also remember that only the lift cylinder floats. The tilt cylinder does not. And so you need to have the quick attachplate set to the proper tilt for the specific attachment & activity.
 

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I finely have lots of grass to mow.
1. Lift the mower deck wheels off the ground and set the mower wheels for the proper cut height, verify that they will rotate a full 360 degrees without hitting the mower deck, adjust what holes the pins go thru and or turn the whole wheel bar around so that they will rotate freely, or they will catch on the mower deck and dig into your lawn.

2. Park on a level area and lower the mower deck, then jam the joystick full forward to put it in the up and down float mode.

3. Move the joystick side to side to adjust the tilt, run the tilt until the the front wheels try to come off the the ground, then run the tilt in the opposite direction until the rear wheels try to come off the ground, now that you know the full tilt range try to set the tilt in the center of the two extremes, this will give you you the most forward to back float.

4. The side to side tilt is built into the mower deck, make sure it's not stuck, lift the mower deck off the ground, now following all the safety procedures so you don't cut off any of your favorite body parts, get out and push down on the left and right sides of the mower, deck, it should tilt side to side with around a foot of play.

5. That's all you can do, in the rough fields I mow it sometimes isn't enough, but works great most of the time without tearing up your lawn.
 

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Scalping is minimized by setting the cut height all the way up or nearly so, it's a big deck and it will scalp irregularities in surface height greater than the cut height. The fire ant mounds here are a great example of that... Talk about a home wrecker! LOL
 

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The PTO shaft has a collar that must be drawn back to give locking balls some place to go so the spline can slide into the coupling. Hopefully that is the problem. Damage to the PTO shaft at the front end can also be the problem, use a small file to remove dings top, bottom and sides all the way around the spline form. The next stop if that does not work would be a new shaft that fits before you mount it.
 
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