View Full Version : John Deere vs Dixie Chopper vs Exmark vs Scag vs Walker
Ladies and Gentlemen,<p>Please give the pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses of the machine you use. I need this information to help evaluate each so that I might make an informed decision in the purchase of one of the above. All help and comments will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance any and all assistance in this matter.<p>Doc<br>
01-23-2000, 05:37 PM
I have two of the 5 and I cast my vote for the Choppers. This is one of the few that keep making their machines better and stronger. DC's have Donaldson air filtering sytems, which I have not seen anything better. DC's have 4 oil filters, 2 for the hydraulics and 2 for the motor. One is a regular oil filter that cleans out most big stuff and then they have a Amsoil bypass filter that filters down to 1 micron in size to make their motors last longer. They have 2 oil coolers and the frame is guaranteed for ever. A lot of mower companies have gone to cast aluminum spindle housings including John Deere and Exmark which don't even have grease fittings. They are a lot cheaper to make, but can stretch under stress which loosens up the bearings causing them to fail with in 100 hours. In over 7,000 hours of total hours on DC's, I have never replaced a spindle bearing and they are all steel housings with grease fittings. If you get one, or anyone else has one, but aren't sure how to take care of it, I have a maintenance article on taking care of them on my website. A dealer in Maryland printed this article out and gives it to all new customers. <br>For Lazers benifit, :) never buy anything with Ex in the word. Ex means, used to be good, like an exwife. <p>----------<br><a href="http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html">Eric@ELM</a><br>
01-23-2000, 05:48 PM
My vote is for Exmark!<br>I would suggest a Lazer Z with 60" deck.<br>The Lazer is very stable, gives the best cut, and is easy to operate.<br>If your machine is purchased with a Kohler engine, an optional airfilter can be installed. The unit is the same design as the Dixie. Price $300. The filters will not need to be change for 300 hours. The Exmark used Mobile synstetic oil in the hydro system. Change after first 50 hours and then once per season. This is an easy project - 30 minutes. <br>My Lazer has 500 hours with no bearing problems, sorry Eric.<br>Estimated cost for Lazer with 60" and 25 Hp Kohler with airfilter option and mulch kit. $8,000.<br>The choppers are a good machine, but are about $1,000 more.<br>You and your homeowner group would be happy with an Exmark.<br>Good luck Jeff
01-24-2000, 12:29 AM
Jeff, I keep hearing the Exmarks have a better cut, but I haven't seen any proof. If your lawns look better than mine, please send me a picture of them. As I have said before, my dealer sells both Choppers and Exmark. Why would he use over 30 Choppers in his lawn service and no Exmarks if the Exmarks have a better cut and are $1000 cheaper. He is the one telling me that the Exmarks have the spindle problems and 500 hours is nothing on a commercial lawn mower, barely broke in. I have over 2,600 on my one Chopper with original bearings and my dealer has one with over 8000 hours on it with original bearings. This is what I am going by for information. I was just letting him know what I know about the subject. My dealer noticed me looking at a Lazer one day and said, you don't want one of them things. I said why. He said they don't hold up nearly as good and are a lot harder to work on than the Choppers. I have a lot of confidence in a guy that sells both and uses them also and has for 20 years. Now could you tell me what you mean by the best cut? How many different mowers have you had over the past years to make that statement. Page 7 on my site is a comparison picture of our lawn in the back ground compared to a Lazer cut in the foreground. Sorry Jeff, but that's all the proof I need. I can do better with my sickle bar mower than that.<p>----------<br><a href="http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html">Eric@ELM</a><br>
01-24-2000, 10:55 AM
UH, LET ME THINK,.............................................................................................. .................CHOPPER!
Eric<br>Accuratelawn<br>Homer<p>I just want to take the time to thank you for your replies and to let you know that they are greatly appreciated. I would also request that you tell me some of the down sides of your machines. Each person speak for the machine they use, please. Thank you again.<p>Doc<br>
01-24-2000, 03:10 PM
In our community, Dixie Choppers have been sold for 20 years. Lazer's have been on the market for 4 years. For commercial cutters, I would say there are maybe 300 Lazers in use and 10 Dixie Choppers. We have the same dealer for both and the Exmark outsells the Chopper by 80 to 1.
01-24-2000, 03:41 PM
Lazer, that would be 30 to 1 if my math is right, you corrected my math last time, my turn now. :)<p>Doc, the down side of my Choppers is I had to spend $40 to have a intake manifold gasket put on my Kohler engine that now has 2,648 hours on it. My other Chopper with over 1,800 hours hasn't been back to the dealer. I have owned several John Deeres and I made several trips to the dealer with them, but I haven't checked out the new Z's. I don't like to buy a new model of anything until they get the bugs worked out.<p>Now lets see some Exmark posts from guys with a few thousand hours on them.<p>----------<br><a href="http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html">Eric@ELM</a><p>
Lazer<br>Eric<p>Thank you both for your help. You each seem very adamant and devoted to your machines. I hope that some of you other professionals will speak for your machines also. Thank you all in advance for your posts and help.<p>Doc<br>
01-26-2000, 07:07 PM
I have:<br> cub walk behind 48"<br> snapper walk behind 36"<br> grazer ztr 52" great machine ingersol rand co.<br> gravely pro 100 50" <br>IMHO i would go with a three wheeled mower because it will not leave tracks as bad as a midmount. Outfrount mowers mow better than midmount mowers do.<br>
01-26-2000, 09:27 PM
Outfront mowers for the most part have the same decks as their mid-mount counterparts and the deck placement doesn't affect the quality of cut. Deck design, tip speed and blade configuration affect the quality of cut.
Curlawngreen<br>Kent Lawns<p>I wish to thank you both for helping me to understand out-front machines a little better. How do you know if a deck has been designed poorly. What is the optimum blade tip speed? What is blade configuration? How fast can a machine travel and maintain high efficiency?<p>Doc
01-28-2000, 06:04 PM
blade speed is set by some OSHA standard.<br>My "mowing speed " is around 3.5 to 4.0 mph.<br>which cut average mowing speed to around 2.5<br>to 3.5 mph. turns, travel time, back-up, etc.
Curlawngreen,<p>Thank you for the information. I am sorry that I didnít answer sooner but the server was experiencing some technical difficulties. The ground speed you stated seems to be much less than the ground speeds so many talk about. Why is there a difference?<br>OSHA sets the standard for blade speed. I assume this is a range because some run at 19000 and others less. What is the optimum speed? What is the fastest ground speed that can be attained and still maintain high efficiency? You spoke of buying a Walker because it gave the best cut and did not leave any wheel marks in the grass. What is it blade tip speed, ground speed and can it maintain high efficiency? Thank you again.<p>Doc <br>
01-29-2000, 12:43 PM
The Maximum allowed blade tip speed is 19,000 feet per minute. <p>There are several factors affecting quality of cut, most of which cannot be adequately explained verbally. Also the type of grass and moisture content and cutting height change the scenario. <p>One machine might perform better in one scenario and a different machine will be the best in another.<p>For the type of mowing we do, we look for a deep deck, high-lift blade, extensive directional baffling and high blade tip speed.
AB Lawn Care
01-31-2000, 02:00 PM
I agree that dixie choppers would be great for large scale propertys(you can't beat there speed).But if you do any smaller propertys than i would suggest walker mowers.We do mainly residential lawns and our walkers are great.The one advantage the walker has over dixie is the amount of attachments avalible for the machine.If you wan't to do snow removal with your machine than walker agian would be best besouse the dixie last time i looked did not have a blower for the large models becouse of how much the tires would stick out from the blower.Don't get me wrong i thnk that for large propertys dixie would be better,but if you have some small propertys than walker i think would be worth looking into.<p>P.S if any one reading this owns or is soon going to buy a walker than i highly suggest that you pay a couple of extra bucks and install a speed up kit on your walker this will bring the speed up to around 8mph<p>from:Adam<br>Ab Lawn Care
Adam, AB Lawn Care<p>I wish to thank you for the information and your time spent. When you say smaller properties what are you referring too? Residential property of what size, an acre, two or more, you didnít indicate. As I have stated many times the professional lawn care services in my area mostly use Walkers. Because everyone uses it, doesnít make it the best mower. Curlawngreen said that he was going to buy one this summer. He mentioned a larger deck could be added and that it only takes minutes to change. He said that Walkers gave lawns a manicured look. It is funny, all the times I have seen people using Walkers, I have never returned to a property and looked over the finished product. I have looked at pictures of Ericís work on his website. His work is absolutely beautiful a little longer grass than we prefer though. His work is done with a Dixie Chopper. I looked at Walker ownerís pictures on Walkerís website they were beautiful also. I donít know because they are the manufacturers. I like to see and hear things from real people.<p>Doc<br>
AB Lawn Care
01-31-2000, 04:08 PM
Doc<p>First of all I would like to answer the <br>misconception that Walkers use grass handling decks most of the time.In my area half the guys use grass handeling decks and half use side discharge.Walkers have a huge varity of decks to choose from.Just in case you don't know of all the decks to choose from I will list them for you.There is either two or three deck sizes for grass handeling the two decks I'm shure of are the 42'' and 48'' I'm not shure if there is a 36'' or not.For side discharging there is a huge varitey.From smallest to largest it goes 36''(gear),42''(gear),52''(belt drive),54''(gear)and 62''(belt).We use the 54'' becouse the gear drive gives a better cut than the belt drive decks.During the spring and fall we use a 42'' grass handeling deck for spring cleanup and leaves in the fall.During the spring we also attach a spring dethacher that mounts in front of the deck.I don't know what your spring time conditinos are like so I don't know if this would work for you or not but with that set up in the spring as soon as the ground is dry enough we start useing the walker.With that dethacther on the front we hardly do any rakeing.The only spots we have to rake is flower beds etc.You asked what size of lawns we use our walker on.Our property sizes range from 4,500 to 60,000 sq.ft.We could do bigger jobs with our walkers but for now we are sticking to residenial and some commercial jobs.A couple of companys use their walkers for industrial sized jobs(factorys,malls etc.)But we are going to down the road buy a faster mower so we can compeat better with them.Agian I think that walkers are great but for huge lawns somthing like a dixie would be better.It all depends on what type of jobs you have.You talked about swiching decks on the walker yes it is true,you can change decks in about 7 min But!!!!!!!!You need two men to do it.Yes I'm shure one guy could do it buy himself but weather he would walk away or not is the big question!I think your best to stick with one deck and change to grass handeling in the spring and fall.Walker decks are made super strong which also mean that they are heavy!As far as cut goes I think that the walker would give a better cut.No I have not seen how well a dixie cuts,but when your going that fast with that big of deck I don't think you could beat a walkers cut.I hope this will answer you questions.If you have any more let me know I will be watching this discussion.<p>P.S if you want to know what model is the best for the walker just ask,I would answer now but I have some office work to do.<br>from:Adam<br>AB Lawn Care
Adam, AB Lawn Care<p>I do thank you and appreciate the time you spent in providing us with these answers. Which model would you buy? Would it have the GHS deck? Would you get the side discharge and mulching deck? Would you get both? Would you get the diesel or the gas engine? If you had a choice between a Dixie Chopper, Exmark or Walker and you are working on properties two acres or less, which would you buy? I am beginning to believe that these three are the best machines on the market and that it is not machine quality but taste and how you will use the machine that really counts. Thank you again for your help and insight.<p>Doc<br>
AB Lawn Care
01-31-2000, 06:43 PM
Doc<p>As far as models go do not I repeat do not buy the 11hp with chain drive!!Our first machine was a 11hp shure is was alot faster than using a lawn tractor,and for us at that time it was great(becouse we were just starting the business back then).The reason I say not to buy it is it underpowerd slow and made to be used by homeowners with large propertys.That is the only model to stay away from.The 11hp is not a terible machine it just is not made to be used day in and day out by guys like us that beat the snot out of our mowers.Our 11hp is actually still in our fleet as a back up mower,it is basicly just waiting to be used as a trade in.In my opinion there are two choice models.1 is the 20 hp kohler and 2 the 24 hp gas kabota.We own a 20 hp kohler we put about 500 hrs on it this year(it is one year old now)we have had no breakdowns except for hitting a couple rocks but that is somthing that happens to every mower.The 24hp kabota is awsome,we have never owned one but we have heard nothing but good things about them.I think that engine has a 4000hr life expectancy.They are more expencive than the 20hp kohler but if you can afford it than buy that model.The 16hp gas is good too but it can only handel up to a 54''deck.As far a gas vs deisel goes I would go with gas.We bought a used 16.5 hp deisel(with 900hrs) and it was great during the summer time but we use our walkers for snow removal and lets just say that you don't want to be that close to a deisel exaust pipe when your using it in small drive ways all day long!We had the starter,all the injectors the glow plugs and a couple of other parts replaced to fix the smoking and problems with it starting.It did not work!Thats when we traded it in on our new 20hp.We heard this summer the the guy who bought it after us went through more problems with the engine and alternator and soon after that the dealership took the engine apart to see if they could locate the problem.They opened up the engine and one of the pistons fell right out!!!!It is going to cost him about $3000 canadian!!!Now does that settel the deisel question?It was not the any of the walker parts that where failing it was just the engine.For all I know that might have been a rare case.But from now on I am sticking to gas.I think that for my size of lawns (about 2 acres and under)walker would be best.It would be hard to use wide machines like the dixie or lazer z to manuver through gates and small spaces like I incounter daily.But if your doing large property then by all means look into those machines.Two other machines i would look into are the great dane(or wright stander)and the scag three wheeled riders.I have heard great things about the dane and stander.Also I use to think that the scag three wheeled riders where ancient history,but I once timed one of our competitors on a job that they got from us buy undercutting.They used 61'' machines and they blew our time away!!!!Don't be fooled like I was,they may look like an old design but they are fast!!!And never forget that scag has been in the business much longer than some other companys and they know how to build reliable machines.An other question you asked is GHS or side discharge.It all depends on your clients.We use to use GHS but we found that we did not like using that system and clients did not care if we used side discrarge.Some liked it more becouse they know it is better for the lawn.We now use still back pack blowers to blend the clippings into the grass when nedded.I hope this answered your questions if you have any more just let me know!<p>from:Adam<br>AB Lawn Care
01-31-2000, 07:58 PM
Doc and Adam yawl need to check out the Wright stander the rear wheels don''t prtrude out past the width of the deck and I know Doc you wonder about getting tired standing on a machine instead of sitting down but it is not as tiring as it looks it seems your leg act as shocks and you don't take the beating that you take on the riders it cuts beautifuly and is very manuverable and takes up little space on trailer or storage (48" wideand only 52" long also has larger decks if you prefer a little strange to operate at first but after a couple of hrs you start to get use to it would'nt trade it. good luck<p>----------<br>Dale email@example.com<br>Southern lawn and Landscape
AB Lawn Care
01-31-2000, 09:21 PM
Moonarrow<p>If you read through my last reply to Doc you will find that I recommend the Wright Stander.I'm sorry my reply was so long but I want to give enough imformation so he can decide if walkers would be useful for him.I don't think that walkers are the one and only choice.It just depends on what type of lawns you cut.I don't own a Wright Stander or Great Dane becouse I do mostly high end residential lawns.When I do enter the commercial-industrial market both mowers will be consedered.<p>I thought I would just clear that up that I don't think that walker mowers are the only choice.<p>from:Adam<br>AB Lawn Care
01-31-2000, 11:36 PM
Adam, Sorry if it sounded like I was trying to imply something, just giving an oppion and suggestion buy the way I do strictly high end resdidential and comm. works great on both of the like the old saying goes "try it you'll like it" haha. ps. appriciate your imput into the forums. THANKS<p>----------<br>Dale firstname.lastname@example.org<br>Southern lawn and Landscape
Dale, Southern Lawn And Lanscape<br>Adam, AB Lawn Care<p>I wish to thank the two of you for your time and encouragement. Adam you have given me much to consider concerning the Walker. I would assume that if one were starting up that he or she would do residential work first. I have never seen anyone using a stand-up machine and it would appear that at this stage it is not the way to go. When I go to the next dealer I will take a look at one if he has a Wright Sander available. I don't know if you have been following this but I just wanted to let you that we are the clients, someone else will be doing the cutting. We would like to have our lawns cut alternating every other cut between bagging and mulching. The larger side discharge deck is a mulching deck also. Does it work well as a mulcher or should the smaller dedicated mulching deck be used. If we decide to buy the Walker we will get the 24.9HP Kubota engine.<p>Doc
AB Lawn Care
02-01-2000, 11:31 AM
Doc <p>If you want to switch between multching decks and side discharge than the walker and laser z would both be considerations of mine.I am not shure if you can use a single deck with the walker that will switch between the two types of grass handeling.I have heard that the lazer z does a good job of multching.Hey lazer you should know if the lazer z has a deck that can switch between the two types.I hope lazer can answer that question for you.Agian just let me know if you have any other questions.<p>from:Adam<br>AB Lawn Care<br>
Adam, AB Lawn Care<p>Thank you again. I guess that I did not make myself clear, sorry about that. We would like to have our lawns cut alternating every other cut between bagging and mulching. I was asking if the Walker combination deck was a good one. It is a larger deck 52 inches and their dedicated deck is only 42 inches. Exmark has on their Laser a 52 inches trivantage deck. <p>Doc<br>
AB Lawn Care
02-02-2000, 09:52 PM
Doc<p>At first I thought that you were going to be multching and side dischargeing.And I think that the exmark would be best for that.But now that told me that you are going to be bagging and multching I think that walker would be your best choice between the two.The lazer z can bag with an attachment,but I think that the walker would be easier to use switching back and forth.I will find the company that makes the bagging system for the lazer for you.If I remember it has a hose that goes from the deck to a blower(it sucks the grass through the hose)and into a garbage pale the is mounted on the back.I personaly think that may be a pain having to start second engine(that powers the blower)becouse that means more pain takeing the hose off and the cost of that system and the extra fuel bills.You will have to decide for yourself what is better.Tomorow I will find the company that makes that attachment for you.<p>As always just let me know if you have any questions.<p>from:Adam <br>AB Lawn Care
You are telling me th stuff i need to know.
I know your busy with forum and all . but
was wondering what you soze and version of
chopper you would recomend for small (35)
service.Ido intend to make every effort
to aquire new accts as the idea is to increase
work output.When you get time.thanks
I GUESS SOZE MEANS DECK WIDTH.Sometime im not even
sure what i wrote myself. thanks
11-12-2000, 12:50 AM
We have 2 Walkers and 2 Toro's, I feel the Walkers are a machine that fits our company the best, its bagging system is almost unbeatable plus it has the out front mower design so your trimming time is also cut down and I know other manufactures have there own bagging systems but some hang way of mower and is a add on. On the Walkers the mower is built around the bagging system which gives you a compact design unlike out ZTR mower. It all depends on your needs, for cleanups and for bagging capabilities we recomend Walker and if speed and discharging is your thing Exmark, Toro, Scag and Dixie all have fast quility machines. You will here alot of different opinions but check with local contracters to see what they use and get there opinions!
11-15-2000, 09:21 PM
I have a Dixie Chopper,although Eric@ELM loves his,mine has had six problem areas and went back 5 times in the first 100 hrs.Mine is a 2000 XW 2500.it is a 60".I do not recommend the Dixie,not only due to defects on the machine,but due to not getting adequete support from Dixie Chopper in Indiana.E-mail me private for more details,I dont want to start a bashing thread again.
Thanks for the honest appraisal of
the dixie John.As a soon to be buyer
you saved a lot of frustration probably.
Sounds like you know the machine.
11-20-2000, 07:32 PM
Neither of these two mowers where on the list, but I use Honda and Gravely mowers..The Honda is a 52in hydro that will go anywhere as long as you can hang on..I'm in the south and alot of my yards have steep inclines and the Honda works better than anything I've used..As for the Gravely's, I have a Pro260z and a belt drive walk-behind..The 260z has a 60in deck and is fast with a great cut..The 260z did have a 50in deck and was the worst mowing mower that I'd ever used but since I had the deck changed, I wouldn't have anything else...Another great feature about the 260z is the hydraulic deck..This makes mowing alot faster.One good thing about the Gravely walk-behinds is the ease in changing the deck heights, but they're not really built to stand alot of wear and tear...Clean-Cut
11-22-2000, 11:24 PM
:) I have had nothing but good luck out of mine.I really put mine to the test too.Give both mowers an honest try before deciding.I have 2 96 models.No major repairs yet.john
[Edited by cclllc on 11-23-2000 at 04:15 AM]
11-23-2000, 12:26 AM
what type of mower are you using? dixie or exmark? you didnt say. I would suggest that you look at the toro 22 or 27 liquid cooled. You can get the 22 with a 52" or a 62" deck. You can get the 27 with a 62 or 72 i have heard. I also have heard that toro is coming out with a bagger similar to the exmark UltraVac. The Super Flow Deck cuts wet grass really well too. And you cant beat the quietness (sp) of the liq. cooled. Hope this helps.
11-23-2000, 12:41 AM
I have 2 1996 dixie choppers.22 hp 60 in. cut. :)
12-05-2000, 09:49 AM
Starting up a biz this spring and would like to know how you folks feel the Toro Z100 stacks up with these others? Great info here
12-12-2000, 11:23 PM
Currently running two Choppers 1998 and 99 models one basic machine and one with options, great machines no problems with either. BUT!!! John Deere have owned one this will be the only one I ever own (POS!!!) Save the money they cost green paint is not worth that much.
12-13-2000, 12:20 PM
If you are going to alternate every other week the Walker would be the better choice. You can get the new 26hp EFI Kohler with the 48" bagging deck and then the 52" deck with a mulch kit. The LazerZ would be just as easy though, mulch kit on one week, bagger on the next. The only down fall to the Lazer is that the bagger makes the mower soo wide. Like 67". If you are doing residential yards go with the Walker. Otherwise the Lazer would be the mower of choice. You can swith the deck on a Walker in about 5 min. It takes 20min to swith the bagging and mulching system on a Lazer. Buy what you want, what you like, and what you prefer for your own properties.
01-09-2001, 08:14 PM
Walker ..... Walker .... Walker
This is the best "over-all" mower made. Over all means can handle a variety of mowing conditions & perform a variety of task.
Flat Open Yards .... Hilly Burms in Landscaped Areas.... Narrow Side Yards or Grass Strip in Shopping Areas.... Wet Areas the 3 Tires leave little tracks .....
The front deck is not only easier to get under trees (save on weed wacking) but helps get close in confined areas .... oh she also flips up to switch blades with quickness.... Grass Height is easy as 4 pins
With a speed up kit or even with not your workers can't finish their jobs before the grass is mowed. With a GHS you can pack over 9 bussels of compacted clippings or switch decks from a variety of sizes 36 to 54 .... Mulch or Side discharge.... has Dethatching attachmenst ...... Edger kit for super long curbing .... the Bagger when using a mulching deck is great garbage area for small branches ....bottles ...cans etc.
I used a Chopper and this is the best mower for large open areas...she is so fast that running over things can be a hazzard...changing blades is real fun ... and she can be kinda bulky looking on smaller properties ..... But I'm mowing St Augustine which mulches easy .... with thin blade grass you have to use the GHS or clumps show up ..... So I can understand using a DC on side discharge grass
01-15-2001, 11:32 AM
I have 12 Exmark Lazers and 5 Walkers. Both are very dependable if maintained well. The Exmark is much quicker and easier to work on and ALOT less expensive. Problems I have encountered With each...Exmark spindle housings are not as good as others, but that would be about it. Walkers have some problem with the exhaust going bad. Keep in mind these machines run 8-10 hrs. per day 5-6 days a week. All said they are both very good. Exmark gets the final vote though.
01-19-2001, 02:31 PM
Doc, I have and Exmark Lazer Z and a Walker GHS 48" deck. I am very happy with both of them. I use the Walker for my residential accounts and the Exmark for the wide open spaces. In fact, I mow the athletic fields where I used to teach school. I can mow the football field (even beyond the goal posts) in a little over an hour with the Exmark. I mow the baseball infield with the Walker. I don't believe there is any mower on the market that gives the quality cut that the Walker gives. When you come off a customer's property, it is as clean as a whistle. Not only does it collect the clippings, it also picks up any small sticks, and even picks up if a dog has been through and make a stop. The Walker's stripping is excellent.
01-20-2001, 01:52 PM
Doc...I have 2 20 HP Walkers, I have 2 48" GHS decks, 1 54" Side discharge, and a 62" Side discharge. I mow mostly residentials. The Walker leaves awesome stripes. I bought the Deflector that allows you to use the GHS deck and not catch the grass, it just throws it out the back of the mower. I think using the deflector distributes the clippings more evenly than using the Side discharge...especially if there are a few leaves in the yard. I only have one arm and that's the main reason I chose the Walker...It only takes two fingers to operate. I am going to put the speed up kit on 1 this season, because it is slow to transport from 1 side of a property to another. But, I hear once you add it you may have troubles with the belt slipping off. If you do a lot of Bed Edging the bed shaper is a must, edges 100ft a minute, $3000 though. The company I used to work for has 3 Walkers that are strictly used for bed edging...they send out 20 man crews to clean up after 1 edger...bout 3 drive 1 ton dumps back to shop to dump, 1 guy on Walker and 1 in a loader....rest are cleaning up with wheel barrels. Well, anyway...Its a very versatile Machine, not just a mower.
02-11-2001, 10:37 PM
I use a Scag Sthm and a Lesco 52 beltw T bar, the scag is great around trees,and going up hills you see the drive wheels, this makes it easier to control wheel spin. The scag cuts ok would like to try the new deck. On wet grass
we run the engine about half speed to stop clumps. The lesco 52 is equiped with a Toro T bar drive. Works well in
wet and will back up also changed engine from 17 kawi to
14 kawi, mower was too heavy with 17 elec strt.
02-28-2001, 10:15 PM
I have three wheel Scag It may not have ground speed of a mid mount but it trims easier around trees,also the drive
wheels can be seen to stop wheel spin, also around big trees its easier to put the deck under the tree. I don't
like the Kohler but no other choice. My walk behind isa
52 Lesco beltdrive, which I adapted a TORO T bar. It goes in
the rain and will go backward. It is less expensive than others. ED
One thing not mentioned is your intended application. We have a variety of commercial and home owner association sites, ranging from wide open fields, to very small front yards that require push mowing. Each trailer that leaves our shop has different brand mowers and different size decks for the type of mowing required.
Two of the manufacturers that we use are scag and exmark.
The scags are walk behind hydro models with velkes. They have Kohler or Kaw. engines and decks of 48", 61" or 72".
Exmarks are the Lazer Z 60".
Scag walk behinds are excellent for most applications. They'll mow flat areas, and can hold their ground mowing very hilly conditions. In the winter, a plow can be fabricated for the front end, if you deal with snow removal.
Also, we run double blades in the fall to mulch leaves.
We are phasing out the 72" because over time the decks "warp" and can provide an uneven cut. In the end it is more beneficial having all 61" instead of the 72", as the 61" handle better.
Exmarks are fast and are great for wide open areas. They can handle slight inclines, but not hills. We also began using double blades on these machines in the fall with great results. We also fabricated a frame to house a Little Wonder blower on the rear end to aid in leaf removal in the fall. We also fabricated one machine with a spreader for turf applications.
Thats my insight to mowers, based on their intended use.
03-04-2001, 11:10 PM
I use jd. I like the way they run and operate. the biggest problem with jd is the price. depending on what you will use it for, get a mower with a large deck. This will save you time and effort to do what you can't get with a small deck.
Kansas Turf Man
03-05-2001, 02:16 AM
<B>Go with a Deere, Nothing runs like a Deere.</B> I go to schol at Kansas State University where the newest PGA Course wast just constructed. They run nothing gut John Deere. They are on top when it come to efficiency and Technology. I have ran a Deere all of my life. I have used everything form a Deere wrench all the way up to a 9410 tractor. There is no comparison in anyway.
03-05-2001, 03:09 PM
exmark gets my vote. the other companies have tried to sell in my area but aftera few guys got them they sold them and switched back to exmark. there cut is 2nd to none. i haven't had any problems with spindles. and i won't i believe they are built better. everyone watch out for ferris IS, it maybe the next best thing.
03-05-2001, 04:24 PM
just returned from Ct. show looked at all equipment, best deal- left over TORO. The Ferris get a vote for the tractor,
the excel for total package. The HusQ looks good price too
high. For flat area the gravely was comfortable and had different controls. The Scag offers a 27hp turf tiger $8800
The Toro $7k at A+ dealer may try for if I can sell STHM
03-25-2001, 05:23 PM
After reading some of the answers to your questions I figure I might as well put in my 2 cents worth.
In answer to some of your questions - Which mower is the best? Which ever mower you decide on, make sure you have a local dealer who is used to working with the landscape trade. There is nothing worse than to have something break and not be able to get parts and service.
Regarding blade tip speed. Most all of your brand name mowers all are running blade tip speed of 19000. This is an ANSI standard not an osha standard. This standard is voluntary. Most all your top name brands (Scag, Exmark, Encore, Bobcat, Bunton) are all there. I believe Dixe might even be more.
Where this comes in to play for you is that you can cut faster. However, when you are cutting faster than normal and have a machine with a suspended deck (chains) many times on a bumpy lawn your deck is bouncing up in the air and going over the top of the grass leaving an uneven cut.
Now the Advantage of a front cut over a mid cut !
You are right you will get a better cut. Because many have fixed deck. It won't bounce as much. They also easier to get under swing sets, pine trees ect. They are generally also more comfortable to ride. More attachments are generally available. Like Grasshopper for example. If you do alot of snow you can get enclosed cabs with heat.
The disadvantage is that they take more trailer space and they don't climb hills as well. They also aren't as manuverable in tight spaces.
Bearings: Today most everyone is going to loose fit bearings in an aluminum housing without grease zirks. The reason being is that they are cheaper. The next reason is they are much more serviceable than the cast iron housings and less weight. You don't have to put them into a press to disassemble them. Less chance of breaking the housing. Old technology always had grease fittings but on the negative side to that overgreasing will pop the seal out and allow dirt to get in.
Most of the warranties today are at least one year and some up to three years.
If you are doing properties that are a couple of acres or more you really don't want to be bagging. Most of the mowers today have a blade tip speed quick enough to handle the job as long as you are not cutting too fast. Also, keep your blades sharp. It does make a difference.
Hope some of this helps. Got to run now.
03-25-2001, 10:22 PM
This thread was started 14 months ago. Without reading all of the thread, I think he bought one last spring.
03-26-2001, 10:06 AM
I think Eric's right, last time 'Doc' responded was over a year ago ....
WC - LC
03-26-2001, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by Doc
Lazer<br>Eric<p>Thank you both for your help. You each seem very adamant and devoted to your machines. I hope that some of you other professionals will speak for your machines also. Thank you all in advance for your posts and help.<p>Doc<br>
Hey DOC, I am pretty devoted to my machine I have the 72" deisel Dixie Chopper. last year I had the 40hp twin engine, it seemed to be alot of trouble though because took twice the maint. It also seemed to have alot of trouble with breaking belts but that could have just been a defective machine. I also run a 25hp 60" that I have had since 1998 and it has about 3500hrs on it and still running pretty good. The deisel is the way to go I think. Its power and speed made cutting time shorter and better. I hope that helps.
03-27-2001, 05:13 PM
My vote is for EXMARK.
I have two of them, one of which is over 10 years old and is still running strong. They give a great cut and reliable power.
03-27-2001, 08:37 PM
03-31-2001, 11:47 AM
Look at the date of the first post! I think Doc has 300 hours on his Walker by now.
03-31-2001, 07:06 PM
Sorry about that. I'm a guy here. I will pay better attention.
04-01-2001, 09:28 AM
Who says he bought a Walker?
04-01-2001, 01:07 PM
Read the history on this thread. I think he bought a Walker, but that was a year ago, I could be wrong.
04-02-2001, 10:45 AM
My last reply was screwed up. It was supposed to say I am a new guy here and will pay better attention.
04-02-2001, 12:19 PM
Interresting to see how a 'dead' post can carry on like that ........
Just a line or two to let everyone know that we are doing well. Yes, We bought two riders last year a Walker and a Dixie. We are looking to get another new rider this year a Scag 61 or Exmark 60 both have 27LC Kawasaki engines. I do continue to enjoy all the post on this site. Anyone care to comment on these machines all help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.
04-03-2001, 01:41 PM
Good to see you back posting Doc. Thanks for updating us on your purchases. I thought you had gotten a Walker, but I did not know you got a Chopper too. :D
Which model and which motor did you get on the Chopper?
04-03-2001, 02:34 PM
I'm starting to suspect that 'ol Doc is not your average homeowner, unless his family enjoys a good lawnmowing race every weekend .......
By the way, how do you get them smileys to pop into the frame?
04-03-2001, 09:19 PM
I know which one would win. :D
Here is the page of smiley codes for you. http://www.lawnsite.com/index.php?action=showsmilies
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