View Full Version : Would you buy this if this was you???

08-14-2002, 12:10 AM
I'm looking to get a 48" mower.

Stopped by my local dealer today for a few parts I needed.

Inquired about any 48's laying around.

He said he did in fact just got one in, it was re-possed.

But when they picked it up, it had no engine on it and the handlebars were screwed up.

It **WAS** a Toro with the T-Bar handlebar.

They put on a brand new Kawi 15 HP engine ( I believe it was a 15, might of been a 17.5 hp) and a brand new Exmark ECS control system. It looks to be of the Metro line of products..

It is gear driven, not hydro.

The deck is still the Toro deck. Everything else looks like it is brand new Exmark items. (engine, handlebar wise. New belts, new blades etc)

Dealer says he can sell it now for $1500, with a 2 year warranty on the engine. He said all the holes line up from Toro to Exmark perfectly since they are the same company overall. (inter-changeable parts)

Does that sound like a wacked out piece-meal job, or a great deal to get a 48" with the ECS controls and engine, new, just mounted to a 1 year old deck?

Any suggestions? Thanks!


08-14-2002, 12:18 AM

Will they let you demo it?

If all the mech work has been done right and it leaves a good cut I think you may be on to something here.

I have the 15 Kawasaki on my Turf Tracer HP and the ECS controls too. You can't go wrong with either of those. If the frame, deck, and tranny check out then it may make you a nice machine...and the price sounds good for a good 48" WB.

Good luck! :)

08-14-2002, 12:20 AM
If your dealer is any count, go for it. With a two year warranty on the engine you do not have much to lose (if your deler is good). If my dealer had the same machine I would buy it. To me that is the only variable you need to consider. Good luck.

08-14-2002, 12:23 AM
What's the easiest way to check the tranny? I heard of driving forward into a fixed object like a tree and then slowly going forward to see if the machine has the power to spin the drive wheels when put against a fixed object.

If the wheels don't turn, then you could have transmission slippage problems, correct?

I like it because it does have the new engine on it. I saw it today in their back shop area (they were still finishing up some of the final adjustments), and the engine did look like it just came out of a box or a crate.. Shiny black paint, nice kawi sticker right on the crankcase area... so the engine looks good.

The handlebars you could tell were new as well with the ECS controls..

Any comparison of how a Toro deck does compared to an Exmark? Quality differences?

And how good DOES Toro match into Exmark parts?

I'd hate to get it, and want to add a mulch kit or something later only to find that the whole machine is off kilter and will never be right and it's a 'lemon'..

And I have NO idea why it was re-possessed and why the original owner had taken the motor off. <G>


08-14-2002, 12:26 AM
I envy you. LOL. I wish I had a deal like that around here, I'd JUMP on it. I don't think you can go wrong with this deal. Go for it. I had one dealer tell me that he has some video that shows Toro and Exmark mulching on a glass floor. He said that they were both about the same. I'm not speaking either way, but that's just what I heard, if that helps you in any way.

08-14-2002, 12:44 AM
I would not touch it with out demoing it for several days. An hour or two will not cut it. Run it hard and see what happens. And how you will like the controls. The price seems really good.
Gear drive is a draw back in my mind. I had a Toro with the 15hp Kohler hydro drive. I bought it with resale in mind, because the job I got it for I didn't think that I would have the job for ever. Turned out to be a one year job. I didn't like them, they didn't like me. I was able to get a good price out of it when I sold it. The guy was looking for hydro drive.

But what ever you do, DEMO it before you would buy!!!!

08-14-2002, 01:00 AM
I will have to ask the dealer if they would let me demo it for a day or 2 of work. That would tell alot.

I'd also want to see how the mulching kit works on it.

I'm comparing it right now to my new 32" Exmark gear drive with the mulch kit and pro-slide. That machine works terrific for me and my residential accounts without any problems.

I just did a hard analysis of my current accounts. Currently, exactly 50% of my accounts I would be able to use a 48 on exclusively for the entire job. My other 50% I would be able to use the 48 on every single one on the front yard only, but would have to switch machines for the back yard.

So this is what I figure, based on a 48 being 33% more effecient compared to a 32.. (33% *IS* the correct percent, right, it's not 50% more effecient, is it???)

Based off of 10 accounts:

Assuming each one takes 1 hour to cut and 5 of them can take the 48" Machine, that would reduce my overall labor time from 5 hours to 3.33 for those 5 yards only.

Now for the other 5 accounts, if I use the 48 machine on the front yard only, I'm being 33% more productive but penalty for having to switch machines on the same yard, so say it's only 25% effecient. So those 5 lawns which would take 5 hours becomes 5 lawns in 3.75 hours.

Summary: To cut all 10 lawns which would normally take me 10 hours now would take me 7.08 hours.

Anyone out there willing to double check my math to see if my ratios and equations seem to make sense.

Makes for some interesting financial decisions. Thanks for any additional advise!


08-14-2002, 01:02 AM
That toro is an EXMARK. It is a metro with tbar. Toro now sells pistol grip metros. It is made by exmark and just given different handles. All parts will match exmark it sounds like a deal to me.

Richard Martin
08-14-2002, 03:00 AM
I'm not going to do therest of the math but a 48" deck is 50% bigger than a 32" deck.

32 x .50 = 16
32 + 16 = 48

Have you given any thought to putting a Flex-Deck on your 32? Since you do a lot of limited access back yards the Flex-Deck seems like it might be the thing you're looking for.

08-14-2002, 08:07 AM
I agree with the above, I think you need to look into the flex deck first. You would then have 50" to cut with. Flip up, go thru gates, and then 50" again in the back yards. Also, no lost time going back to the trailer to change mowers.

08-14-2002, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by Doogiegh
What's the easiest way to check the tranny? I heard of driving forward into a fixed object like a tree and then slowly going forward to see if the machine has the power to spin the drive wheels when put against a fixed object.

If the wheels don't turn, then you could have transmission slippage problems, correct?


That would be for a hydro, since it is a belt drive, and has been desinged to have belt slipage, they will slip when put under an extreme load like this.

To check you simply run it and listen for gear grinding noises or ruffness, or even missing spots when moving. Check all gears.

But as been said before the Flex-Deck for a little bit less money would be the better route to go.

Richard and Hoss have disribed how it would increase your mowers capasities, and how you would cut close to 50% off everything vrs half your lawns.

Carry one mower.

Pay insurance for one mower.

Gas for one mower.

Maintenance for one mower.

Repairs for one mower.

08-14-2002, 03:48 PM
LGF is right, ONE rig is some times better.

I like the Flex Deck idea a lot. After seening one at EXPO I would be interested in having it if I needed it.

08-14-2002, 08:22 PM
As long as you can demo the unit for an hour or two, it's a good deal from the info you provided.

08-14-2002, 08:37 PM
Flex deck would be a good deal if you had a hydro, but I am not sure about how efective it would be on a belt drive. Don't forget about the difference in striping!

08-15-2002, 01:04 AM
I highly respect the opinions of a number of you that replied and quite honestly, the whole deal comes down to money. What
doesn't? <G>

First off, the basic idea of the deal.. Do that many mowers get repo'd? and do the shops put them back together using different engines on decks, etc and then re-sell them at what seem to be good prices?

I am not thrilled with the Flex-Deck idea because it appears the price is $1495..

As quoted from the flex-deck web site directly:



Add the 21" Flex Deck Trimming Attachment to your existing 54" Mower Decks,
60" Mower Decks, and 72" Mower Decks on John Deere Tractor and Front
Mount lawn mower decks and like magic you will have the most versatile trimming
and mowing machine available. (With blade overlap it adds 18" of cutting width)
54" Mower Deck + 18" Flex-Deck = 72" Flexible Deck
60" Mower Deck + 18" Flex-Deck = 78" Flexible Deck
72" Mower Deck + 18" Flex-Deck = 90" Flexible Deck


End of Quote.

So for $5 additional dollars, and tax on $1500, I can have a whole seperate machine that would serve as a primary machine for 50% of my accounts and would be used for the front yards only on the remaining 50% of my yards.. So all in all, I'd use the machine 75% of the time, with the 32 being a "backup" machine, only used for the smaller properties that have gates that a 48 can't get thru.

I also recalculated my labor savings from my previous message since a 48 is 50% more effecient than a 32.. It comes out to what would be 10 hours of cutting would be reduced to 5.5 on paper.

I also know alot of you guys say that your business only grows as you have the equipment to grow. All of us could still be running around like 12 year olds with 21" mowers, but is that what we really want to do?

In starting out, I thought it was great to go from a 28" John Deere GX-75 rider to a 32" exmark.. Now it's getting to where I can upgrade again...

That 72" Dixie chopper will be here soon enough! <G>

Thanks for any other advice or warning signs to check on..


08-15-2002, 01:27 AM
I too like the Flex Deck idea on a 32" machine. I would offer caution buying a 48" machine that is a belt drive.

I look at it this way, if it was only to do ditches and be a small back up, gate only and not used a lot mower, then belt drive would be fine. As a primary mower no way. Hydro gives you instant reverse. No knee knocking into reverse or pulling by hand to get it back and around objects. Plus the advantage's when attaching a sulke with the hydro, no belt slipping even when wet.

If you can demo it and you like it, then do what you need to do. I would wait and get a hydro machine myself. But I offer this as my opinion only and not trying to tell someone else what to do. Let us know what happens!

08-15-2002, 02:32 AM
FYI deals don't do repo's unless the dealer financed the mower. The finance co would do that, and inturn sell at an auction to get what ever they can back out of the machine.

This sounded more like a trade in they gave little to nothing for, and dropped some parts on it and are reselling.

48" eXmark metro belt drive is about $2400 brand spankin' new.

Call this mower FRANKENTORO

08-15-2002, 04:41 PM
Are you sure its a 48" deck? If that is the case, it will be a fixed deck (the same as an exmark metro and viking). Since that is the case, it either had a 14 Kaw of 15 Koh originally. Now that it has a 15 Kaw and ECS, it is exactly an eXmark. No ifs and or buts. Its an eXmark. Everything except engines and handlebars are the same on eXmark metros and Toro fixed deck walks. I think you should grab this mower quick.

There is no problem with having a 48" belt. If you dont lock up the inside tire on turns, you wont scuf the turf. Keep the belts adjusted and it will drag you arround on a Velke.


Darryl G
08-16-2002, 01:55 AM
Doogiegh - Your math is still wrong. 10 hours would be reduced to 6.67 hrs in your calculation (10 divided by 1.5), not 5.5hrs, if you're going from a 32 to a 48 inch machine.

08-17-2002, 01:07 AM
Yes, it's definatly a 48 cause that was the next mower I was looking to get into. I knew I'd be looking at either a 48 or a 52/54 soon. I was toying with the idea of getting a ride-on (ZTR), but quite honestly, for the accounts I have right now, I couldn't use a ZTR to the full benefit and I'll have to get a couple leaf seasons under my belt first to see if I need the ultra-vac capabilities of a ZTR or is a mulching/gator blade (doubles) combination good enough for the fall.

So, yes it is definatly a 48".

I guess it's a 48" TORO Deck, with a 15 HP KAWI engine, which I saw and it's brand new, shiny black right out of the crate. I also saw they put on the ecs controls. So it is all exmark machinery on a Toro deck.

The only part that problems me is the transmission and I know they aren't cheap to replace or repair if something goes wrong.. And it appears that is leftover from the original parts..

So to some degree, I still wonder about getting a 48" hydro brand new.....

I dunno. I gotta see if i can demo it first from the dealer.