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View Full Version : Thank you for all your advice


ixlr8
10-20-2008, 11:41 AM
I have been looking for a mower to run instead of, in addition to, my 48" WB and I wanted to thank the folks here that took the time to give me their inputs. I appreciated the fact the thread didn't become a Chevy vs Ford popularity contest and that facts/examples were given to back up peoples comments. I had narrowed the choices, due to dealer availability/quality and input from folks here, to the Exmark, Walker and a used John Deere.
The Exmark Super Z I demo'ed was very nice, I liked the smooth handling and cut. But the Exmark dealer didn't have a Navigator and was not interested in getting one in for demo. I was leaning towards a Walker/Navigator type mower.
I couldn't get a demo out of the Walker dealer and they said that Walker didn't make a 52" GHS deck, that anything larger than a 48" deck was only available in a SD deck. :confused: I contacted Walker directly and I did finally get a response from the Walker regional rep. He said that Walker did have a 52" GHS deck and he would gladly arrange a demo... but by the time he got back with me, ~3weeks, I had already bought the John Deere.
The JD is a 2005 727a with 260 hrs, the 54" 7-Iron deck (not the 7-Iron II :( ) and the previous owner added the comfort seat. There was a bit of vibration when the blades were engaged and I talked him down $500 from his asking price. Turns out one blade was a bit out of balance, okay it took over an hour of grinding and checking to get the balance in. I found out these are the original blades so new blades will be installed before the spring mowing season starts. I also found that the deck was not leveled properly. The rear tires were pressurized to 20 psi... maybe that is why he felt he needed the comfort seat. With sharpened/balanced blades, deck setup correctly, proper air pressure in the tires, I like how the machine rides and cuts. Although there is a little bit of uneven cut when mowing across a hill that I need to figure that out.
The key to the JD purchase decision was cash flow. The JD was was close to 1/3 the money of the Walker or the Navigator and I could just write a check for it, I would need to finance either of the other two. Which in this economy, and the present size of my business, was important to me. If I can grow the business from the part time it is now to full time, which I hope to do with the JD. I will revisit the Walker/Navigator debate.
In the mean time.. I need to learn to handle the JD. I find it more responsive than the Super Z and this is my first ZTR and I keep finding myself hitting things with the deck while trying to trim around them. :( On the other hand, SWMBO is an experienced ZTR operator and is having a blast mowing our yard with the JD. Actually I had trouble getting her off the machine so I could get some 'stick' time. :) She kept asking what else was there for her to mow... I think she was ready to start on the neighbors 10 acres!!
Thank you again for all your input/comments.