View Full Version : Need Buying Advice, Please!

06-09-2001, 07:15 PM
I am a Homeowner with about an acre, but most of my backyard is a hill. I have tried a Ride-On with no success. I bought a John Deere Commercial 5 speed 21" Mower and it works great, but it outright takes too long. I have been told a Commercial Walk-Behind is the only tool for me. I have narrowed my search to a John Deere GS30, Scag and Exmark Metro. All will be Belt with 36" Deck. I looked at the Gravely 150, but did not like it or the local Dealer. What do you Pro's think? I will use mine for about 30-40 hours a year. Most of you do this in a few days; so I realize even the worst I can buy is overkill for the job. However, $2200-2700 is a big ticket item and I want to be a diligent consumer. Thanks!

06-09-2001, 07:27 PM
I have a 48" walkbehind John Deere works good on hills takes no time on a acre, has 800 hrs and run like it was new, If you lived in Maine I would sell it to you for a decint price, Want a Walker LOL

CSRA Landscaping
06-09-2001, 07:59 PM
:blob4: Scag! :blob4:

06-09-2001, 08:19 PM
What kind of advice is that? NOT VERY GOOD! Back-up your "scag" reply with helpful information.


Ask your local dealer to demo each unit. This will give you the best opportunity to find a mower that works best for you.

Chuck Keough

06-09-2001, 09:39 PM
I personally wouldnt get a scag, had one and didnt like it at all, seemed like a very heavy pile of junk. I love my exmark, very dependable, and does a great job. Ive never evan seen a John Deere, not real big around here i guess. Good luck, I would try to demo each to see what you like, because as much as you use it it should last you about 500 years.

06-09-2001, 09:53 PM
I first bought a gs45 Deere and I paid way too much for it. $3,400.00 to be exact. Deere make good equipment but the ergonomics of this particular unit was terrible. I quickly out grew this unit and I bought a 48" Exmark Merto hp with a 17 hp kawasaki for around $3,000.00 I would prefer and exmark hands down. For several reasons... Exmark has been making commercial mowers for years and years. I have only seen and heard of a hand full of deere walkbehinds in service. I believe Exmark has a better design. The handles(pistle grips) are pitched out farther, instead of pointing straight down (deere). THis feature makes the unit much easier to handle and it doesn't bother your wrists as much. I feel that the Exmark has an incredible deck design. Exmark also has an awesome mulching system if you interested in leaf mulching and recycling lawn clippings. I would sugest that if you have an acre of mowing you should invest in a 48" deck atleast. The deck is only 12 inches bigger but it creates a better center of gravity on hills. The bigger deck will also cut your mowing time but one third of the time because with a 48 inch deck you will be able to mow in three swaths what a 36 in deck will do in four swaths.
If that hasn't sold you on an Exmark maybe this will, My wife works with me and on occasion she will get of the laser(Ztr) and mow with the walkbehinds, and she prefers the Exmark over the Deere. Also if you ever have any questions that your dealer can't answer, the guys at Exmark are friendly and can talk you through your problems. Remember that these machines are designed to run 70 hours a week, 30 weeks a year and I have seen units in use that are about as old as I am- 21 in dec.

CSRA Landscaping
06-09-2001, 09:58 PM
Chuck & LaxCoach,

Here's my helpful info:
I have a Scag Tiger Cub, 48". Now I know it's not a WB but the punishment I put that thing through and the quality of the cut, as well as the speed of the cut that I get from it, quite frankly, impress me. The key is to keep your blades sharp. Oh yeah, I'm running double highlift blades on it. So, I hope that helps to clarify it a little bit when I say ...

:blob4: Scag! :blob4:

06-10-2001, 03:09 AM
With that little use u could by one of them 33" Troy Built. Not commercial, but will save u close to a grand.

06-10-2001, 03:15 AM
as a home owner user, you won't be kickin' the crap out of your mower like us unless it falls down the hill. The sales persons will try to sell you the most expensive thing they can. You don't need a commercial w/b. Why pay for 7 gauge steal and a 14+hp mower with a 48+" deck that is only used for 30-40 hours a year? We buy this kind of equipment because we put that kind of use on our mower in days.

06-10-2001, 03:42 AM
Many of the exmark distributors are still running the $1999 special on the metro. We just checked into it for MikeLT1Z28.

The exmark metro cut is awesome. Because of deck design and high blade tip speed you can cut as fast as the mower will go.

06-10-2001, 09:19 AM
If I were you I would check out some of the deals on Ebay.com. There are many used mowers that are in GWO and at a reduced price.


06-10-2001, 10:31 AM
Thank you so far for the informative advice! I want to reply the following responses. I am only considering the John Deere because I have two huge Dealers very local. I am leaning towards the Exmark, because of price but it great to see that so far my studies show it is by far the most popular WB. I have considered the 33" Troy-Bilt, Craftsman, Cub Cadet933r (all the same 9HP WB), but it has a split rear wheel differential and will be a monster to handle on the hill as mowing in the left to right will force the Mower down hill! I might add my Exmark Dealer was the one who pointed this out and REFUSED to sell it to me. This guy would rather lose a sale than take my money. Also, the advice about your Wife was key. My Wife will cut the lawn as much as myself. She and I tested the Exmark and Gravely. Nobody has a 36" Scag (non-hydro) for us to try. I like the idea of a 48", but as it is the 36" machine is a vast improvement over a 21". I still need my garage for important things like Bicycles, Bubble makers, golf clubs and oh yeah, Cars. BTW, I only plan to Mulch (with Kit), so let us hear about who does this best. Is there another BeltDrive WB I should look at? Thanks again for specifics on ergonomics, easy maintenance, dependability etc. I really appreciate the advice this is like a "Personal Procurement Team"!

06-10-2001, 10:47 AM
any walk behind you get will take a little learning.
it would be nice if you could find somebody that
knows motors ,bearings and if possible mowers,to shop used
with you . my next suggestion would be to go to an independent
repair shop and see what he has got.you might ask neighbors etc about reputable repair shops.luck to you

06-10-2001, 11:45 AM
I would go with a Toro or maybe a Snapper... These would probably be easiest for your wife to use.

What part of Maryland are you in?

06-10-2001, 11:59 AM
Well I was looking in the Magazine "Northern" 1-800-533-5545 an for 1099.99 you can get a 33" Widecut 8 hp mower
-POWERFUL Briggs & Stratton
-Peerless Transaxle with 4 forward speeds, power reverse and auto style differential

The same type of mower used by the pros, But designed for home used! Extrme maneuverability. Blade brake clutch stops blade while engine stays running, Twin blades for side discharge , bagging and mulching

Thats what the add was the web site is www.northerntool.com
good luck and let us know what you do

AB Lawn Care
06-13-2001, 12:05 AM
Deere,Scag,Exmark.....it's like ford,chevy,dodge.Some like certian brands and others don't.Most commercial WB's are very similar,any 1 will be fine for you.Just look at price,dealer support and which you like.

On a side note I LOVE my little scag WB 36''.Great cut and 600hrs trouble free.

06-13-2001, 12:27 AM
Ferris SD 48"!!!!!!!! Single hydraulic drive, not the double. very simple to operate. 1. Disengage parking brake 2. Engage blades 3. Forward and reverse with either thumb. Disc brakes for turning. NO gears, NO Speed control lever, NO PROBLEMS. Ferris also makes belt drives if you prefer but the SD is so simple and well built I reccommend it. Check out the Ferris website.

06-13-2001, 05:05 PM
Check this out...

06-15-2001, 08:59 PM
Thanks for all the assistance. The advice really helped me make a solid decision. I wanted very badly to get the inexpensive type Troy-Bilt 33" that was reccomended at the www.northern.com site, but it is NOT peerless. The bottom line is you get what you pay for. I decided a commercial mower with a warranty was best. I have been looking on Ebay and just about every shop I pass (I travel extensively thru the Mid-Atlantic states)for many months to no avail. I have found that Exmark is bar-none the leading brand sold for WB's. I narrowed it down to Scag and Exmark, but could not justify the $400 difference for an almost identical machine. I like Bunton, but no local Dealers. The John Deere was full of plastic and had uncomfortable handles, besides NO ONE has them out there... their Tractors a different story! Finally, the $1999 deal was for a 32" Exmark Metro with a 11HP Briggs. It does not have Pressure Lube and Oil Filter. In the end, I bought a 36" Metro with 12.5 HP Kawasaki and added the Micro-Mulch Kit for $2309. It should last me about 450 years! Thanks again to all!

02-09-2002, 11:00 PM
:blob4: :blob4: :blob3: Exmark, Exmark:blob4: :blob4: :blob4:

CSRA Landscaping
02-09-2002, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by thelandscaper27
:blob4: :blob4: :blob3: Exmark, Exmark:blob4: :blob4: :blob4:

I got hammered for a similar response ... :(

02-09-2002, 11:48 PM
CSRA LAndscping,

HA,HA,HA Just had to add more to your originality to your original post.;)

CSRA Landscaping
02-09-2002, 11:51 PM
TL27, I don't think you understand what I'm saying.

Boy this place gets friendlier everyday ... ;)

And BTW, yours is far from an original post.

02-10-2002, 11:53 PM
Look above. You got hammered for a simular response. Ijust added a few more things to it. that's all.

02-11-2002, 12:57 AM

What CSRA is trying to say is this.
When you give a recommendation for a product whether it be equipment, software, trailers, trucks, etc..... It is appreciated if you could elaborate a bit as to why you like the product.
Is it the ease of operation, the quality of cut, the affordability.. etc. By explaining a bit about your choice, you help the person that asked the original question have a better chance of making an educated purchase.
CSRA is also saying that one time he named a product without explaining, and he felt he got "hammered" because he didn't explain. I do not know what thread he is talking about though, so I can't say one way or the other if he was "hammered."

02-11-2002, 02:01 AM
OK sorry for the mis-understanding.

I love exmark equipment because of the sizes, he ability to handle such machine. yes, they do have such a great quality cut.

Sorry again yall for the mis-understanding .