View Full Version : Helping a friend with mower choice!

09-16-2002, 06:10 PM
Here's my situation. A friend of mine....let's call "Walt". Walt has been in business for 3 years now and wants to move up to a commercial ZTR. He has the cash and ready to spend. he wants the mower in the next couple of weeks to get practice before spring. I thought I would post this thread and poll and later print this out for him to read. I have already gave him my opinion on what I would buy. His choices has narrowed down to Grasshopper, John Deere and Exmark. His interest being in that order. Local service dealers are being equal. He wants to stay in the $5500 to $6500 range. His deck choice will be either 44" or 48", this size fits his applications the best. Engines of the 3 are going to be either Kohler or Kaw. Engine brand does not seem to be a deciding factor. Please take this poll. Words of wisdom would be fine also. I will print this out for him in the next couple of days.

Thank you for your time

09-16-2002, 08:19 PM
57 views and only 11 votes (and one of those being mine). Wish I could get more votes.


09-16-2002, 08:34 PM
I own the eXmark Lazer HP 52" with 23 kawi. I would suggest for him the 48" HP due to trim side ability. The 44" deck is even with the tires. I would prefer the Kawi based on it makes more torque and in thick stuff it makes it very nice.

The eXmarks use Mobil 1 in the hydro and you need (i think) 1 qt of Mobil 1 15w-50 and an eXmark hydro oil filter when you change it. Unlike the Grasshoppers. Have him check the price of their hydro oil and filters.

The HP's mulch very well if he wants a mulch kit. If not, side discharge and then an ultravac for leaves. Ultravac is off in 15 seconds without any tools.

Exmark is on this site and avaliable for any problems or questions. Unlike the other brands mentioned.

The HP's will go anywhere a w/b will. They have a low center of gravity that makes them great on slopes. They are basically the same length as a w/b. Except you can cut much faster in certain situations. I have some properties that are cut weekly that are smooth enough to cut at full speed. Even with the mulch kits on I can run at full and still cut like I did it at 2 mph.

Guess thats all I can think of right now.

09-16-2002, 08:50 PM
we own a 48 hp and it cuts really good and stripes great.

It has a 19 horse kawi, and it has plenty of power. I dont think they put a 19 horse on it anymore i think the choices are a 21 horse kawi and 20 horse kohler.

Ultra vac if he wants a collection system works excellent .

But the trimm side hoss mentioned aint gonna be much.
It really aint got enough trimm side but its a lot better then a 44 im sure.
For average city lots the 8.1 ground speed is good thats all we use it on now .
This machine has over a 1000 hours and not one problem .
Nearest thing to a problem we had with it was a plugged up gas cap.

visions landscape
09-16-2002, 09:10 PM
Why are you not pushing him to a walker? Isnt that what you use.

Ryan Lightning
09-16-2002, 09:59 PM
I dont know any of these machines, but the Exmark sounds good.
But a Walker would be better.:D What price range would a 16hp Walker fall under?

09-17-2002, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by visions landscape
Why are you not pushing him to a walker? Isnt that what you use.

Yes, I did try to talk him into a Walker, but would not bite. I sent him over to Carl at Maximum Tractor, but they are out of his price range and he has no interest in collecting grass. He like the
Grasshoppers over there and that is what he was steering towards. He would really like a front deck mower. Looks like we are both from Wichita.

Oh, by the way, I showed him the poll last night and he is now considering an Exmark. I guess my little persuasion tactic worked. Thanks for the help.


09-17-2002, 02:33 PM
The Walker isn't a GHS only machine. You can buy them as a mulch/side discharge only unit.

Personally I would go Walker, JD, Exmark, _______, _________, _________, Grasshopper.

visions landscape
09-17-2002, 06:54 PM
Hey matt send him to Andover auto Kenny is the best to deal with on a walker.

09-17-2002, 07:24 PM
Both of my Exmarks have been VERY good to me! :)

When it's time to buy another machine...it will also be an Exmark.

Good luck to "Walt" in his search for the right machine for his needs. :D

09-17-2002, 11:00 PM
Whoa - I gess that eliminates the tractor - 25HP diesel John Deere

09-17-2002, 11:16 PM
Whoa - I gess that eliminates the tractor - 25HP diesel John Deere

Yeah, and at 10 grand, I'd say I'd eliminate it too! LOL.

09-18-2002, 10:50 AM
I sent him over to Andover Auto to see Kenny. I think personally if I was in the market for a mulching mower, I would lean towards an Exmark. Walker was designed to catch grass and they do that better than anyone else in the industry, but just my opinion. I really think that he will go with the Exmark. He was very impressed with the poll and I thank everyone that participated. I think that if saved "Walt" from making a big mistake.

As most of you all know, this is a great site for learning.

09-19-2002, 02:00 PM
44" to 48"? don't have himn get a ZTR, have him buy a Stander a Super Sufer or a w/b then. If you have the need for a mower with a small deck, that usually means that you mow in small areas, and a ZTR isn't very good in those areas. A hydro w/b or compact standing mowers work best and still fit in his price range.

Cut 2 Please
09-19-2002, 04:43 PM
Summitgroundskeeping said it best. I can speak from experience because I have had a 48" Z. A 48" wb is much more manuverable and versital than a Z. If you are wanting a fast mower, then get a Z with at least a 60" deck that way you have an oustanding trim side and you are cutting an extra foot every pass. Anything less a WB is the best bang for the buck. My 48" Ferris SD has been great. You can buy one new for around $3400 which is great for a hydro WB. Secondly the mower is extremely light so it does not compact the soil. Finally the 13hp Kaw engine has plenty of power for the 48" deck with mulch kit and gets incredible fuel economy. I find I use my WB more and more everyday in places that I was useing my Z. Amount of time spent on smaller places is almost the same and the cut looks much better. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't give up my Z for anything because it has it's place also. Have him demo a WB and a Z before he spends his money. FWIW I would buy a WB first and save the money to buy a 60" Z later. Next to Ferris the Exmark would be my second choice.

David Shaw
09-19-2002, 06:28 PM
I bought a Walker this summer. My first commercial mower and my first ztr. I have to say I didn't like the looks of them at first. BUT I LOVE my Walker . Wouldn't by anything else.

09-19-2002, 07:01 PM
Cut 2 Please,

Before I recommended anything else, I told him to check out the Ferris Z. If I am not mistaken, I saw one in the spring at a power equipment shop for $5400. I am sure of the price, but I think it was a 54" with a 23hp Kaw. He went there and they were closed. Then we found a great deal on a Lazer Z for the same price, but smaller deck and smaller engine (48" with 20hp Kohler).
I have heard good talk about Ferris. I have given him the resources, it is his decision now. I just wanted him to stay away form the Grasshoppers'.


09-19-2002, 07:32 PM
Dixie Chopper

09-19-2002, 10:14 PM
Walker-talker. That sounds like a residential mower (48" 20hp). But since I didn't think Exmark made a res. Z it isn't. Man, seriously have him get a w/b or a standing mower b/c they are way more manuverable than a tiny lil Z, and cheaper in some cases. Stay away from a Z unless you're getting a 60"+. Or if you're getting a Walker b/c you need to suck stuff up.