yes, we are regulated also as far as tip speed goes.
we do not always go at top speed, as a matter of fact right now we mow ( because of the ideal temperature and rain on the east coast) at 2-3 miles an hour and cut 1/4 inch of grass of at the times. mowing over the same area up to three times.
some of us grasshoppers have quite a bid of school time behind us and many year of correcting our associates mistake. when everyone goes home we remow some of the areas of the golf course or estate once more.
mowing is not learned over night .... but we do find that attitude when we quote a price to an owner ....well i mowed when i was a kid ... i only made 5 dollars an hour ... we arrive with $60,000 worth of equipment on the property and we should mow this lawn not to exceed #25.00. an hour.
What's your opinion concerning which mower deck gives the best cut, suspended or one that rides on caster wheels? I was always under the impression that the two things that determine the quality of the cut were (1) Sharpness of the blades and (2) How much of the grass blade is removed and that the style of the deck is a distant third, if it's on the list at all. Thanks!
mower decks (my opinion) and this is not not based on a survey:
the best example is the exmark deck plus the optimal tip speed and their blades, they still makes the best cut, best strips at Optimum speed(not maximum speed). i have seen and used, at my dealer, the exmark with a toro deck and side by side the exmark deck. the exmark deck deck is rendering a nicer cut in heavy grass growing periods than the same machine with a toro deck.
the two points you mentioned are definitely most important, deck is next, BUT don't forget frequency of mowing (five days for fertilized lawns) in this kind of weather. these intervals screw up our production schedules.
if i follow these recommendations i never will and have not picked up a single blade of grass this spring season.
for our production mowers we are moving to kubota zero turn diesel machines. the cut is good +, the cost $5000.00 less than exmark diesel ... i know guys you have found an exmark dealer that sells it for less ... he is xyz miles away from my yard and i just drive to that discount dealer in the morning and am back on the road in 15-30 minutes.