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Pristine PM
01-05-2007, 08:14 PM
Hi, I am looking at buying 5 small walkbehind mowers for townhouse complex use and saw that a few companies offer a 26 inch mower. Does anyone have any experiance with these mowers? It is either these, or 21 inch. 36 would be to big for these properties. I did search and know that there are issues with some of the exmark models, but I know that there are other companies that make this size of mower.

Thanks,

Jon

JRS Landscaping
01-05-2007, 08:22 PM
Hi, I am looking at buying 5 small walkbehind mowers for townhouse complex use and saw that a few companies offer a 26 inch mower. Does anyone have any experiance with these mowers? It is either these, or 21 inch. 36 would be to big for these properties.

Thanks,

Jon

exmark makes a 32 inch walkbehind

metro36
01-05-2007, 08:32 PM
I would get a 32-34" z. Exmark, scag, hustler and toro (coming out soon) make one.If you want a wb lesco makes good 32 or if you want a 21" toro prolines are the best.

Pristine PM
01-05-2007, 08:55 PM
Sorry, not to sound rude, but I really just want to know anyone that has a mower that is of similar style to a 21 inch mower, but is larger. There is an Encore Classic and an Exmark Metro that would fit this concept, I have looked to see if there are other companies that sell something like this and can't find any others. I take care of very small lots and a z would have no place on them, neither would a 32 or larger walkbehind.

Thanks,

Jon

greenbronco
01-05-2007, 10:41 PM
you might do a search on the exmark 26 or snapper26 here, seems to me there have been several posts on this ( very few favorable), I too considered buying an exmark metro26 but based on others responses here and a price of 1500 seems not too justifiable. either go up 32+ or stick with 21" seems what most say. really with several guys and small yards 21" might be more effiecient anyways. I noticed when i compared a walker 48" and 42"( i have mostly 1/2acre or less) i didnt see any difference in fact because several lawns were uneven and hilly, im sure there would be lots of disagreement on that seein that wider decks are most popular tho

Pristine PM
01-06-2007, 03:03 AM
Thanks, I did search for the metro, but some of the posts said that they had resolved their issues, so I was looking for current posts on the metro and any other brands. I didn't know about the snapper, only could find info from Encore about its classic. I know what you are saying, but I also think that cutting 100 small 10x10 townhouse lots might be alot quicker with this type of mower. 20 seconds times a hundred places could easily be 33 mins for one mower (if my math is correct). I really want something that is the same style as the 21 inch, nothing hydro or complicated, or heavy.

Grass-Masters
01-06-2007, 08:06 PM
Just so you are aware, I don't know anything about them but Dixie Chopper is advertising 22" and 24" mowers on there site at pretty good prices. http://dixiechopper.com/models_WB.php

metro36
01-06-2007, 08:30 PM
Carso
Those dixies are made by bradley/redhawk. I would steer clear of them.
Pristine
I would just but a toro proline 21" in your case. They are the best out there and last forever. I am still running one that is 8 years old.

Grass-Masters
01-06-2007, 08:35 PM
Carso
Those dixies are made by bradley/redhawk. I would steer clear of them.
Pristine
I would just but a toro proline 21" in your case. They are the best out there and last forever. I am still running one that is 8 years old.


I just seen it and figured if he was looking for small mowers he may want to look closer at them. I really did not know anything about the machines. I am not looking for machines right now. Thank You for the info, I am sure he will need it.

metro36
01-06-2007, 09:06 PM
No prob. I am always glad to save someone from buying junk.

tinkerlawn
01-06-2007, 10:03 PM
Hi, I am looking at buying 5 small walkbehind mowers for townhouse complex use and saw that a few companies offer a 26 inch mower. Does anyone have any experiance with these mowers? It is either these, or 21 inch. 36 would be to big for these properties. I did search and know that there are issues with some of the exmark models, but I know that there are other companies that make this size of mower.

Thanks,

Jon

Jon, We run a couple of the Commerical Honda 216's and love them. I demoed the exmark 26 earlier this year and although i loved the kaw engine on them, the belt drive wasn't very impressive compared to the strong Hydro on the Hondas. The only problem i've had is one or two cable adjustments that the dealer took care of. We did have one of em fall out the back of the truck while we were unloading them, hasn't effected anything, though i wouldn't reccomend it. lol Can't go wrong with the stock double blades either. You will have to bag in the tall or spring growth grass to prevent the mower from shutting down or clogging up, but that should be expected with a 21'? I also found that the mulching works effectively only when you take off 1-1.5 inches of grass.
I'm unsure of what brands your dealers carry

For the price of these mowers you think they would do flips in your front yard. :dizzy:

I'm unsure of what brands your dealers carry, so just my opinion

saw man
01-06-2007, 10:17 PM
Snapper has a decent unit, none of these will compare to the 21" comm. mowers most are used to.

One option that may work for you is the Snapper 28" rear engine rider. I had one set up as a mulcher and it did a pretty good job, you will also not get as tired running them. You can also store them sitting on their backs.

Other than that if you really want a WB I would probably go with the Snapper with the mulch kit. $1099 = $65 for the mulch kit. They only have the Briggs but you could put a new engine on later down the road, not much to the unit.

Do you have a lot of hills oris it mostly flat?

Pristine PM
01-07-2007, 12:10 AM
Thanks for the replies,

I did seach a bit, but am glad for these new responses. Most lawns are quite flat, and are fairly square. We currently run Toro's with the suzuki's, and are expanding a bit for the spring. We need 5 mowers, they cannot be any type of riding machine, it simply does not make sense. I don't like the look of the 26 machines, but like i said earlier, it is just about the time savings.

I think I should be able to access most of these machines from Toronto, but Exmark and Toro would make the most sense. GC Duke does carry encore though, and they just started distributing to a place in Oshawa that isn't to far.

Thanks,

Jon

joed
01-07-2007, 09:12 AM
Pristine,

I'm from the Toronto area too. I had the Exmark 26" a few years ago. Stay clear of that, far too many headaches. There is a snapper 26" too but it's not suited for commercial use. Having used the 26", I personally don't find much of a time savings over a 21" and with its additional weight, you get more and more tired as the day goes on. Personally, I would advise you to stick to either the toro proline 21" units, the honda 21" hydro units or even the lawnboy 21" units. I have all 3 and all 3 are great, each with its own pluses and minuses. Overall, the 21" toro is probably the best bet as it mulches very well and bags decently. The honda bags incredibly well, especially with the stock double blades but doesn't mulch as well as the toro. If you can, you could buy both the honda and toro and use the honda to bag in the spring and the toro to mulch for the rest of the year.

Pristine PM
01-07-2007, 11:49 AM
Thanks Joed,

That was exactly what I was looking for, but alot of people said that the 26 did fix some of its issues, but the weight will still be a factor I guess. I just wish we could test them out a bit before buying them, but the problem is that we will need them all as soon as the grass grows, and won't really be able to test.

Oh well,

Thanks,

Jon

joed
01-07-2007, 08:04 PM
Jon,

Having spoken to my dealer, the Exmark 26" had its mechanical issues solved for the most part this year but not the cutting issues. When I bought the mower in May of 05, these are the problems I had:

rear height adjuster broke causing the height to fall from 2.5" to 1/2" while mowing and consequently, I scalped a strip of grass before figuring out what happened.

Kawasaki engine was leaking oil.

drive belts were always out of whack and the unit could not climb small hills.

the bag did not fit snug and grass was flying all over the place.

BBC would stay engaged without me pushing it in.

These are the ones I can remember and all of them occurred within the first 10 hours. 3 update kits were sent but the issues were never resolved. Exmark finally gave me the choice of taking an 06 metro 26" or an 06 metro 21. I took the metro 21, which has been super, but another guy who had the same problems as I took the 26" and he regretted it. In August, he traded it in.

Beyond the mechanical issues, the other big thing about this unit is it can't mulch worth anything. The deck design is based on the old John Deere JX75/JX85 21" mower. Exmark told me this directly. I used to have that John Deere unit and it was a beautiful bagger but horrible mulcher. The 26" is the same. The Kawasaki engine does not have the power to move that unit and mulch at the same time. So, to me, in the Toronto area, if your machine can't mulch, you are going to lose a lot of time and money. That is the reason why I would not reccomend this unit to you. On top of that, I was not pleased with the way Exmark handled this whole mess. They made a mistake with the 26" and would not own up to it. The correct thing would have been to admit your error and refund everyone's money. They didn't and for people like me, eventhough we got replacement units, we were still out $500 because of their poor planning. Needless to say, I will think long and hard before buying another Exmark.

Sorry for the long rant. I would not want to see anyone go through the mess, I and others, have gone through with the 26" If you have any questions, feel free to email me at: jdifr@rogers.com

tallimeca
01-11-2007, 01:08 AM
All problems were fixed in 05 production. Anything with a 600,000 serial and higher should be fine. There was problems, and now there is not. We sold a bunch of them.

Some guys feel they got burned on the early models and cant' let it go. My distributor took care of any customer that was unsatisfied. Sorry I can't say the same.

The Exmark 26 is a nice machine now that they are straightened out.

fiveoboy01
01-11-2007, 01:28 AM
I'm not trying to be argumentative, but why couldn't you utilize a 32" walk behind? Light weight, and more productive.

Are the turf areas that small? Or is it just a price issue of a 21"er versus a small belt-drive or hydro 32"?

Pristine PM
01-11-2007, 06:07 AM
Yep, just that small. We take care of town houses... I saw one at the landscape show, and while it looked good, it is quite heavy and I don't think it would be a fun machine to turn.

Duekster
01-11-2007, 07:17 AM
Pristine,

I'm from the Toronto area too. I had the Exmark 26" a few years ago. Stay clear of that, far too many headaches. There is a snapper 26" too but it's not suited for commercial use. Having used the 26", I personally don't find much of a time savings over a 21" and with its additional weight, you get more and more tired as the day goes on. Personally, I would advise you to stick to either the toro proline 21" units, the honda 21" hydro units or even the lawnboy 21" units. I have all 3 and all 3 are great, each with its own pluses and minuses. Overall, the 21" toro is probably the best bet as it mulches very well and bags decently. The honda bags incredibly well, especially with the stock double blades but doesn't mulch as well as the toro. If you can, you could buy both the honda and toro and use the honda to bag in the spring and the toro to mulch for the rest of the year.

My partner has over 10 years of experiance and was a Toro guy. I talked him into trying a Honda 216. Then we bought 2 more. Last time I talked to him about the Eq, there was a few things about cable replacement he did not like at all but other than that here is the general feed back after two seasons:

Less over all break downs and maintenance.
Less broken wheels ( big time and money savings )
Better cut.

I think they run a little slow and may have to get them adjusted to speed them up a tad. I know another friend of mine did this but not sure how. He gave similar reviews on the Honda.

Cedar Valley Landscapes
01-11-2007, 11:22 PM
My company bought a Exmark 26" Metro and used it for one season, during that time I found that it is nice to have something other than a 21" to cut smaller lots faster. But i also found out how much i didnt like it as well. In some cases it just seemed to bulky and hard to manuver around tight spaces due to it not being able to turn like a regular walk-behind. It all comes down to personal opinoin. I would first demo one to see how you like it.

Larry

greenbronco
01-11-2007, 11:49 PM
if one is looking for a faster21 mower on flat areas perhaps try out a model with swivel wheels. I demoed an ariens with swivel wheels this fall, and again like so many here say about every thing it had good and bad sides. 1. Was very fast , turned so quick and in any open place practically had to run behind it to keep up when set on top speed. took like 4 or 5min to mow a back yard with small gate. 2. seemed like larger bag than most 21" ive owned or packed better. 3. did fine on slopes unlike some have said 4. seem solidly built 14ga better than honda and good engines i guess my biggest doubt with them is nobody here or for that matter anywhere seems to think swivel wheels are that great and not sure yet id want to go with something out of the mainstream. but then again the exmark is out of mainsteam too. gravely makes a comercial version of the ariens also . hope this helps

saw man
01-12-2007, 12:36 AM
The swivel wheel can only work on certain jobs. Anything that requires you to get into tighter spots the swivel wheel doesnt work well. The issue with slopes comes into play when you get into a small ditch and the diff. selects the wheel that has no traction put the power to, smae type of setup as the Snapper. The deck on the ariens is very similar to snappers as well.