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View Full Version : Grasshopper Mid vs. Exmark Mid


beezwax
11-24-2006, 11:33 AM
Hi, everyone. I am looking for feedback from anyone who has run both the Exmark and Grasshopper midmounts. I have searched all of the posts so far and have formed my own opinion, but I am looking specifically for anyone who has experience with both machines. I am currently a longtime GH dealer, but I have found out that one of the other local dealers is dropping the Exmark line. I personally think the Exmark line is topnotch from what I have seen, but I would like any of your opinions - trying to evaluate how I would market both brands under one location. I appreciate any current realworld experience you guys may have to share.

Green King
11-24-2006, 12:01 PM
I have demoed both of those units. In this area I would go with exmark better support. Otherwise they seem pretty much a wash.

PLM-1
11-25-2006, 01:59 AM
I'm not a huge Exmark fan. I've demoed them and I bought the GH. Exmarks are over-rated IMO.

Envy Lawn Service
11-25-2006, 02:07 AM
I'm not a huge Exmark fan. I've demoed them and I bought the GH. Exmarks are over-rated IMO.

As someone who has used Grasshopper, eXmark and others, I'd have to agree.


Picking up eXmark might be good for your sales, might not. eXmark kinda screwed up for the 2006 season and had some sub-par cutting machines out there. So that ticked a lot of people off. You might want to ask the other dealer why he is dropping the line. My guess is it's due to that... or due to eXmark dropping him. I've heard of situations where dealers lost the line over adding another brand. Don't know if that's true or not....

dozerdogue
11-25-2006, 12:14 PM
I myself recently purchased a Grasshopper 428D and so far love it. I did demo a new exmark and honestly liked the Grasshopper over it. Saying that the area that I live in exmarks have saturated the place. Exmark dealer support is great and their name is synonymous for making great cutting and well built machines.

tacoma200
11-25-2006, 12:24 PM
Both great mowers. I'd give Exmark the edge on decks exept the 2006 year. I have used both and have friends that still do and the Grasshopper will clog a bit easier in our grasses and doesn't do as well with crab grass. The Grasshopper is much more comfortable with the low air filled tires, has much better head light placement, the seat is isolated plus they seem to have a great new suspension seat. I have seen many of the diesels go close to 5000 hrs at least. Grasshopper definately has the edge in the diesel line up. The Exmark may handle a bit better, probably does have better support. I personally think the color scheme and styling of the Grasshopper probably does not help sales. That sounds stupid but the looks of a mower make sales sometimes. One bad deck year on Exmark shouldn't make a dealer abondon them. They are definately on the ball and plan to stay at top in sales. When I was at the Expo I am not exagerating when I say that Exmark probably had 10 times the interest in the outdoor display as Grasshopper. Alot due to the fact Grasshopper didn''t try too hard. They just set a few mowers out, no test area. So from a sale perspective, Exmark wins. The are #1 in sales and I see no end in sight. Grasshopper is a great mower that needs more promotion.

WREBELMACHINE
11-25-2006, 12:45 PM
Personally I think they are both overated. But if I had to choose I would go with the exmark simply because of past use better dealer support here anyhow. And I just do not see any grasshoppers used commercially here. I have demoed the hopper and it is a decent machine. Dealer support will be your most critcal thing to consider!

tacoma200
11-25-2006, 12:59 PM
Funny I think the Grasshoppers are "underated". They are more popular than Exmark here and they have niche markets in different parts of the country. They were voted 2nd ugliest mower in a poll a while back so I don't know how much lower you could get rated? I have seen more 5000 hr Grasshoppers than about any other comercial mower but that's just my experince and I'm pretty much an Exmark fan.

gilatplc
11-25-2006, 01:16 PM
Grasshopper is a great mower that needs more promotion.

This is dead true for GH and I think the reason why I my self when over to Exmark even thou the GH has GREAT support in my area (they have a factory here).
I have a GH 218 (which I'm selling to go larger) and it has its pro's and cons.
1, The controls I like offer the Exmark
2, The GH is lighter and didn't tare the Sh12t out of turf like this Lazer HP is

But GH in tall or wet grass while mulching will clogs AND clump way faster then my Exmark Triton (with updated BTS:weightlifter: ) will any day.
And I think with the update to the Triton deck it cut a better finish.

JMO
Gil

beezwax
11-25-2006, 01:33 PM
One thing that I think Exmark has that is beneficial to the dealer is the fact that they have a wide variety of machine (W/B, ZT's, small bagger machine, etc.). Exmark's have not gone over as well as I would have thought in the immediate area - maybe due to the dealer. Go over one county where another dealer is at and they definitely own the market share.

To me, it seems like the Exmark is tailored (or at least the marketing) to the commercial market (messages like "built for professional market" "increase productivity and profitability"). Look on their website and that is the message you see. GH website and marketing materials promote the "creature comforts" and ride of the machine - to me directed towards a homeowner, or possibly a owner/operator. I think marketing plays a large role on how each machine is perceived, whether it be correct or not.

SpikeGT
11-25-2006, 01:51 PM
I would take a GH over an Exmark anyday. JMO.

Envy Lawn Service
11-25-2006, 02:40 PM
One thing that I think Exmark has that is beneficial to the dealer is the fact that they have a wide variety of machine (W/B, ZT's, small bagger machine, etc.). Exmark's have not gone over as well as I would have thought in the immediate area - maybe due to the dealer. Go over one county where another dealer is at and they definitely own the market share.

To me, it seems like the Exmark is tailored (or at least the marketing) to the commercial market (messages like "built for professional market" "increase productivity and profitability"). Look on their website and that is the message you see. GH website and marketing materials promote the "creature comforts" and ride of the machine - to me directed towards a homeowner, or possibly a owner/operator. I think marketing plays a large role on how each machine is perceived, whether it be correct or not.

Like it or not, we have to accept that each year homeowners buy more machines than all of us commercial guys. They make up for well over half of all commercial mower purchases.

I'd hate to think what percentage of eXmark/Toro business is residential.
But you can bet your buns it's HIGH.

Mowingman
11-25-2006, 04:23 PM
I am a Grasshopper dealer. We have a sales rep from Exmark stop by several time/year trying to get us to sign up with Exmark. The Exmark line has some nice machine, butI have not seen anything about the Exmark line that makes me want to change. Enough said.

beezwax
11-25-2006, 09:56 PM
Envy - you are exactly right. Over half of our machines go to homeowners. Over the past few years, our commercial business has dropped quite a bit. At one time, there were only two places in town to buy commercial equipment (us and another dealer). Now, there are 5 places, with another coming in this spring. I have always thought there would be a problem selling two competing brands (we've tried it before). We tried to sell them against each other in the same situations, but we felt like the other brand just did not compare with GH, and there was only ~$500 difference in prices of comparable models. My thought is this: have the GH be marketed towards the homeowner market, and the eXmark be more towards the commercial market. Obviously, there would be some overlapping, but this would let the salespeople be more confident in what to suggest for each situation (i.e., comparing a Cadillac Escalade to a Chevy Tahoe - both will get you from point A to B, but the Escalade is a little more luxurious and marketed differently - front mount GH would be the Caddy in this analogy). Plus, the availability of having a complete line is advantageous. I may be totally off base on this one, but I thought I would at least throw out my thoughts to you guys to see if it makes sense.

Envy Lawn Service
11-26-2006, 01:52 AM
Pick up eXmark for your homeowner line... and get in all their lower level models. Walkbehinds, Phazer's, Lazer CT's, and the smaller Lazer HP's.... and get some of those new little mini Grasshoppers too. Homeowners are going to come in looking for the best 'looking' machine and want the eXmarks over the Grasshoppers. Either that or they are going to be looking for high end garden tractor level pricing and something that doesn't look intimidating in size.

PLUS, your commercial guys won't be going down the street for walkbehinds!!!

Speaking of commercial, get in ONLY the Lazer AS models with the UltraCut deck until you see how the second try at the Triton deck goes. Those should fit in with the commercial Grasshopper lineup. Above that in price, Grasshopper has the market on lockdown with the diesels and big frontmount Z's.

As it stands right now, that's what I'd do.

walker/redmax
11-26-2006, 02:45 AM
I have only had brief experiences with either but the Grasshopper was more up my ally. I like the design of the smaller caster weels and pivoting rear ones as apposed to two drive weels right underneath the rider and more weight on the front caster wheels. IMO:drinkup:

walker/redmax
11-26-2006, 02:53 AM
Hi, everyone. I am looking for feedback from anyone who has run both the Exmark and Grasshopper midmounts. I have searched all of the posts so far and have formed my own opinion, but I am looking specifically for anyone who has experience with both machines. I am currently a longtime GH dealer, but I have found out that one of the other local dealers is dropping the Exmark line. I personally think the Exmark line is topnotch from what I have seen, but I would like any of your opinions - trying to evaluate how I would market both brands under one location. I appreciate any current realworld experience you guys may have to share.
Sorry, should have read your post closer. Says you are looking for a Grasshopper midmount. So my previous post doesn't help you at all. Sorry:o

johnwon
11-26-2006, 06:40 AM
I think that having both Exmark & Grasshopper at the same dealer would be good for business. It's true about the home owner and the need for bigger & better toys...a..a..machines. I think the customer will sort of already lean toward one or the other before they walk in the door. I was thinking of buying Exmark Lazer HP for myself "home owner" but the Triton problem kept me from that. I looked real hard at the Grasshopper front mounts with the lift up deck...for easy blade removal, anyway the cost turned out to be my holdback. Most important thing for me though is a salesman that knows his product better than me. But thats just me...these dealers around here seem to do fine with salesmen that don't know their product as well as I can learn it here on the internet. So having a salesman that knows his product would at least be an added bonus.

beezwax
11-26-2006, 10:13 AM
Thanks, everyone. Anyone else who has any opinions please post. I forgot to mention that we are also a Simplicity dealer, which they have a very good small homeowner line, esp. the Citation line (built by Ferris). We have the small GH 120 series in stock, but we've had a hard time selling this unit beside the Citation - the Citation justs looks better and bigger for the same price. Many of our homeowners that are looking at GH are buying larger machines than the commercial guys (72") - this is because they are mowing ~5 acres at a time and are not concerned with the machine being quite as versatile as the commercial guys (and there is not that much difference in price between 61" and 72" percentage wise).

davidcalhoun
11-26-2006, 12:47 PM
beezwax, do you find that your homeowners getting the GH front-mount also want the ability to use the same machine for other task?

beezwax
11-26-2006, 12:57 PM
Not really, unless it is the bagger. Most of the attachments are pretty expensive - the commercial customers can justify buying the aeravator, blower, spray rig, etc., but for the homeowner, it's generally overkill. You've always have one or two homeowner customers that will go ahead and buy a few of the attachments, but they are the ones that are not concerned about financially justifying the purchase and really just want them to have.

fastcutter
01-26-2007, 01:13 AM
Hopper all the way...
:weightlifter: :weightlifter: