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View Full Version : John Deere vs Exmark?


MowCo
04-21-2006, 07:09 PM
I'm looking at the John Deere 717A Z-Trak 48" 19hp, and the Exmark Z HP 46" 19hp. Prices are close to the same. There's a lot of talk on here about Exmark but not much on John Deere. Is the John Deere an inferior mower, and why?

D and H Seasonal Services
04-21-2006, 07:52 PM
I'm looking at the John Deere 717A Z-Trak 48" 19hp, and the Exmark Z HP 46" 19hp. Prices are close to the same. There's a lot of talk on here about Exmark but not much on John Deere. Is the John Deere an inferior mower, and why?
All my equipment is JD and I have nothing bad to say about their products. I have a 727A and I love it.

Charles Odell
04-21-2006, 08:04 PM
John Deere the last 8 years.:usflag: In my opinion they
are the best mowers you can buy. Check the resell
value on 2 to 3 year old JD's vs 2 to 3 year old X marks!

TOOMBSTONE
04-21-2006, 08:05 PM
Hey MowCo, you Live close to me, I live in Murfreesboro, I would go with the Exmark. This is because I have used just about all of the mowers out there, and Exmark is the best I have found. E-mail me your phone number and we could chat about the business. My e-mail is toombstone24@msn.com. I would be gald to talk to someone in the area.

southernlandscapespecial
04-21-2006, 08:42 PM
If you are going to compare John Deere to any of the other mowers compare it to Hustler. I will admit that I don't know much about exmark, but in my own opinion I think Hustler and JD or close. I am on my fourth John Deere and the only reason is I trade them in at 200 hours. My last trade in was a month ago, I went from a 727 to a 757, the 727 was a 2004 with 189 hours on it the dealer gave me 5300.00 (I paid 6400.00 for it new)and sold me the 757 for 7750.00. The trade in or resale value also counts when making a buying decision

Roger
04-21-2006, 09:03 PM
Earlier this week, I ordered a JD 717A. I had researched the 19hp/48" mowing deck market extensively. In the end, I narrowed to Scag Tiger Cub, and JD 717A. Even though I have an Exmark w/b, nine seasons and can speak very highly of reliability, quality of cut, etc, I wrote off Exmark pretty early because of price.

I lined up the Hustler SuperMini next to the Tiger Cub, and chose the Tiger Cub between those two -- when I say "lined up," I mean almost next to one another. My exclusion of Hustler was with the shallow mowing deck and small discharge opening. Maybe my criteria was flawed -- many here on LS speak highly of Hustler and are very happy.

My decision between Scag and JD came to dealership. The Scag dealer is about 1.5 hour drive away, but, in my opinion from a visit there, a very good dealer. They only sell commercial equipment, including golf equipment. I thought they really had their act together. On the other hand, the JD dealer is much closer, but doesn't deal much with commerical mowing equipment. I never see a JD commercial mower on any truck/trailer in the neighborhoods I work. This dealer is primarily an ag equipment dealer, and does not stock much mowing equipment (mostly 737, 60" decks for larger operators and estate owners). So, even though the dealer is much closer, I don't have the same level of confidence than with the Scag dealer. I'm sure anybody can shoot my logic down with these arguments.

Oh yes, I'm within a few blocks of a Toro dealer -- but I do not do any business with them. Therefore, Toro wasn't even in the consideration tree.

Just like a few of the previous posts, rarely does anybody have negative comments regarding JD ZTR mowers. Rather, quite the opposite, people speak highly of them. Clearly, other parts of the country, they are very popular. The 7 Iron deck gets good reviews, but I don't know how it will perform in this part of the country.

As you can see, my process was primarily one of exclusion. I think any of the primary brands, Scag, Toro, Exmark, JD, Scag, Hustler, Gravely (I'm sure I left out somebody, sorry) would have done the job for me. Also, I think there is too much emphasis placed on price -- how many times, "... how much did you pay?" A few hundred dollars on a piece of equipment that should produce revenues in six figures isn't a big deal (... says he, who excluded Exmark!). I think everybody has to buy what is in their comfort level, even though the factors to develop that level aren't always so objective.

Also, I know that many on LS say, "demo," "demo," and "demo" again. The JD dealer has no demo units. The Scag dealer is 1.5 hours away, effectively killing a day to get the mower, mow for a couple of hours and return it. I didn't even ask them about a demo model. Again, many here will shoot my thinking down on this point.

Steppenwolf
04-21-2006, 10:00 PM
. I am on my fourth John Deere and the only reason is I trade them in at 200 hours.

Why do you trade them in @ 200 hours? Not even broken in yet Or did you mean 2000 hrs.........

J&R Landscaping
04-21-2006, 10:16 PM
The dealer support for the JD comercial mowers is almost non existant around me. If it was a green mower you want, BOBCAT is the way to go. Exmark also has very good dealer support around me!

QualityLawnCare4u
04-22-2006, 01:58 AM
I owned a 717, and now have a 737 and an Exmark and I will take the JD hands down over the Exmark anyday. I actually liked my 717 better than the 737, would fit anywhere I wanted to go, cut great and was the best mulching mower I ever used. Wished I had the 717 back instead of the 737.

Roger
04-22-2006, 07:36 AM
QualityLawn ... Your comments about the 717 are good to hear. I hope that I can make similar ones in a few weeks after I get started using mine!

deerbutcher
04-22-2006, 11:38 AM
Mine will make 1 week old Monday. Glad to hear many good things about them. Makes me feel I made a good choice for my 1st commercial mower.

QualityLawnCare4u
04-22-2006, 01:55 PM
QualityLawn ... Your comments about the 717 are good to hear. I hope that I can make similar ones in a few weeks after I get started using mine!

You will enjoy it big time! It is one fine mower for small residentual to mowing 5 acres with no problem. My 60" deck on the 737 has caused me problems of fitting in a LOT of yards and gates.

Precision
04-22-2006, 02:37 PM
It is well know that I don't like ANY JD products. But I will not bash them here.

The thing to compare between mowers of relative quality is not price, it is not what brand (color of paint) it is dealer support.

example using two other brands.

For arguments sake say a Hustler mower breaks down at 100 hours, call it a bad spindle and it takes 3 weeks to get the mower fixed and the dealer has no loaner program.

Now lets say the exact same thing happens to a Toro, but that dealer gets the mower fixed in 2 days and has a loaner if needed should the repair take longer.

Obviously Toro all the way. Regardless of price. Being without a front line mower for 3 weeks can put you out of business.

If Deere is the one with better service, then by all means then buy the Deere. If not then buy the exmark or something else.

The reality is the mowers of similar prices from first tier companies are similar enough to be mainly an opinion or user preference. Around here Deere has the worst service of any brand. In other areas, they have the best.

My best dealership has Toro and Scag, so that is what I buy.

southernlandscapespecial
04-22-2006, 04:21 PM
. I am on my fourth John Deere and the only reason is I trade them in at 200 hours.

Why do you trade them in @ 200 hours? Not even broken in yet Or did you mean 2000 hrs.........
200 hrs. is correct. The way I look at it is that I will always have a mower note. with only 200 hrs. on it the mower still has a little bit of warranty left and that makes it easier for the dealer to resell and in return I get a new mower that is covered under a full 2 year warranty. Hydraulic break downs can be very expensive if they are not covered under warranty.

Precision
04-22-2006, 08:16 PM
200 hrs. is correct. The way I look at it is that I will always have a mower note. with only 200 hrs. on it the mower still has a little bit of warranty left and that makes it easier for the dealer to resell and in return I get a new mower that is covered under a full 2 year warranty. Hydraulic break downs can be very expensive if they are not covered under warranty.

Just wondering, how many hours do you put on in a year?

I think you are losing a lot of depreciation that way. I would hold it for at least 500 hours or 2 years whichever came first.

Steppenwolf
04-22-2006, 08:19 PM
200 hrs. is correct. The way I look at it is that I will always have a mower note. with only 200 hrs. on it the mower still has a little bit of warranty left and that makes it easier for the dealer to resell and in return I get a new mower that is covered under a full 2 year warranty. Hydraulic break downs can be very expensive if they are not covered under warranty.



I do not use JD mowers but if you are afraid to use one more than 200 hundred hours I would consider changing brands. I have had over sixteen thousand hours on four hydos w/b's ( that's the total of the four)with out one hydro problem. Just got two new hydro w/b's and have 68 hrs on the one so far this year and we are just starting.There is about zero maintance to a hydro vs a belt. Not bashing JD but I would be buying about 6 new W/B's a year( at the least) if I went by that rule of thumb.Keep your mower, many of us put between 500 and 800 a year and have no hydro drive problems. You will spend more on blade belts and blades than on your drive system as long as you stay hydro.

southernlandscapespecial
04-22-2006, 09:14 PM
I do not use JD mowers but if you are afraid to use one more than 200 hundred hours I would consider changing brands. I have had over sixteen thousand hours on four hydos w/b's ( that's the total of the four)with out one hydro problem. Just got two new hydro w/b's and have 68 hrs on the one so far this year and we are just starting.There is about zero maintance to a hydro vs a belt. Not bashing JD but I would be buying about 6 new W/B's a year( at the least) if I went by that rule of thumb.Keep your mower, many of us put between 500 and 800 a year and have no hydro drive problems. You will spend more on blade belts and blades than on your drive system as long as you stay hydro.

I respect your opinion, but my way of thinking is that lets say you buy a well made 60" deck ZTR (JD,HUSTLER,GRAVELY) @ 8000.00. I always trade them in with 3 months remaining on warranty. In 2 years I lose around 1500.00 on the trade in. I will use 6 years for example..In 6 years I get 3 new mowers ( one every 2 years trading in the older one) that is a loss of 4500.00Now lets say I buy that same mower and keep it for 6 years and put the hours that you put on yours 800 hrs.yr x 6yrs.=4800.00 hrs. Now in 6 years I want to trade in the mower, I think I would be lucky to get 1500.00 for that mower. That comes out to a loss of 6500.00. That is a 2000.00 difference with me trading in every 2 years. I just like the feeling of having that warranty when I send a helper out to mow yards, knowing that he could care less if he breaks my equipment. It is just my opinion.

Steppenwolf
04-22-2006, 10:32 PM
I understand your last post but if you get rid of your mowers at 200 hours that seems like you you are buying equiptment every couple of months. I could be missing something in your post:-)

chesterlawn
04-23-2006, 07:48 AM
I have 3110 hours on my exmark z .Put 1 new engine on it , replaced 1 hydraulic hose , some belts , blades thats it . Runs and cuts great.

kmann
04-23-2006, 01:03 PM
I'm looking at the John Deere 717A Z-Trak 48" 19hp, and the Exmark Z HP 46" 19hp. Prices are close to the same. There's a lot of talk on here about Exmark but not much on John Deere. Is the John Deere an inferior mower, and why?
I have the 717A and it's certainly not inferior to ANY ZTR. But you need to research your dealer support. Many, many LCO's use JD down here and use them alot,meaning year round.

lawnspecialties
04-23-2006, 01:26 PM
It is well know that I don't like ANY JD products. But I will not bash them here.

The thing to compare between mowers of relative quality is not price, it is not what brand (color of paint) it is dealer support.

example using two other brands.

For arguments sake say a Hustler mower breaks down at 100 hours, call it a bad spindle and it takes 3 weeks to get the mower fixed and the dealer has no loaner program.

Now lets say the exact same thing happens to a Toro, but that dealer gets the mower fixed in 2 days and has a loaner if needed should the repair take longer.

Obviously Toro all the way. Regardless of price. Being without a front line mower for 3 weeks can put you out of business.

If Deere is the one with better service, then by all means then buy the Deere. If not then buy the exmark or something else.

The reality is the mowers of similar prices from first tier companies are similar enough to be mainly an opinion or user preference. Around here Deere has the worst service of any brand. In other areas, they have the best.

My best dealership has Toro and Scag, so that is what I buy.

That's the best response in this entire thread. Let's face it, Deere, Exmark, and Hustler are probably the top three brands out there and you probably won't go wrong with either model.

In my area, the "big" Deere dealer is way overpriced and often comes off as arrogant to me.

When I first started out in the lawn care biz, I went to the local Exmark dealer and when they realized I had a Cub Cadet Tank, the guy snubbed his nose in a cocky sort of way. Sort of like letting me know I had an inferior product. Then last year when I tried to get a Metro 26, that was a bad joke entirely.

My Hustler dealer is about as good as they get. They also carry Toro. They have bent over backwards to help this small time one man LCO, even though they have huge customers and state contracts. They keep a big inventory of parts and accessories in stock, and when they don't have it, they usually ship it overnight. They also offer "customer appreciation days" with pesticide credit classes as well. As much as I love my Hustler, if Hustler closed it's doors tomorrow, I'd probably get a Toro next just because of my dealer.

7 IRON
04-23-2006, 03:37 PM
That's the best response in this entire thread. Let's face it, Deere, Exmark, and Hustler are probably the top three brands out there and you probably won't go wrong with either model.

In my area, the "big" Deere dealer is way overpriced and often comes off as arrogant to me.

When I first started out in the lawn care biz, I went to the local Exmark dealer and when they realized I had a Cub Cadet Tank, the guy snubbed his nose in a cocky sort of way. Sort of like letting me know I had an inferior product. Then last year when I tried to get a Metro 26, that was a bad joke entirely.

My Hustler dealer is about as good as they get. They also carry Toro. They have bent over backwards to help this small time one man LCO, even though they have huge customers and state contracts. They keep a big inventory of parts and accessories in stock, and when they don't have it, they usually ship it overnight. They also offer "customer appreciation days" with pesticide credit classes as well. As much as I love my Hustler, if Hustler closed it's doors tomorrow, I'd probably get a Toro next just because of my dealer.

I have been selling John Deere equipment for about 10 years now and I will
have to admit ,I don't understand how with the amount of competition out in the market today,A saleperson can act arrogant when a customer walks through their door.I hear often how Deere dealers seem arrogant and that
sucks:hammerhead: I know one thing,Selling John Deere Products Is Not As
Easy as It Used To Be.Don'y get me wrong,I love selling Deere,But the Name
alone won't Do it all:nono: Withought good dealer support,the name means nothing!!!

Steppenwolf
04-23-2006, 05:14 PM
7 IRON,
I don't use JD equiptment but you are so right about dealer support.I picked up two new w/b's this year and had some issues with them,basically things were not set up how they should have been,bad batterys,mis aligned pulleys and other minor things etc. The owner of the dealership was not happy, he went and talked to the set up crew,I think they will do it right from here on out.But all of the problems were handled in a quick manner.
(Without good dealer support, the name means nothing")quote...as long as they keep producing quality products and don't sell out to the big box stores.

Rougher83
04-23-2006, 11:17 PM
Tale of two dealers. I am a proud user of JD products and until something changes my mind...always will be. However...I have 2 dealers within 10 miles of where I live. One of which I wouldn't do business with again because of the lack of support at said dealership. The second on the other hand has been nothing but helpful...professional and always ready to satisfy the customer. If I need anything, I just pick up the phone and give him a call and if they don't have it...he'll get it. If I can't come and get it right away...he'll bring it too me! If my machine breaks down...I can come and get a loaner or again he'll bring it too me if he's got the time. Granted...I realize I am not his only customer...but he makes me feel like I am...and that my friends is customer service! As far as price difference between the selection of mowers...at least in my area there isn't much...so I find it difficult to understand why someone refers to Deeres as overpriced...but again...it may just be my area where Deere is well represented.

TOOMBSTONE
04-23-2006, 11:25 PM
The JD is way to slow, I would pick the Exmark anyday.

Roger
04-24-2006, 08:05 AM
The JD is way to slow, I would pick the Exmark anyday.

How much speed do you need?