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View Full Version : New Zero Turn - Which One?


rcav8er
10-21-2002, 04:04 PM
:dizzy: Hi Guy's , Please pardon the questions of a newbe, but I'm in the market for a new Zero Turn as I'm just getting started. I have just signed some larger accounts (4 acres +) and I'm in need of a upgrade. I have looked at the Toro 44" compact and I'm going to look at the Lesco 48" or possible larger. My question is reliability and overall reputation of these two mowers? I can't go to large with the deck as the majority of my accounts are small residential (less than 1 acre). Is anyone mulching or is that even an option with this type mower?
Thanks in advance, this site has allready been a great help !

Piedmont Lawn
10-21-2002, 05:30 PM
Hi,

I just went through the same thing buying my first ZTM. I did some searches can came up with this, some cuss at one brand that another loves but in the end that all love commercial mowers. I went looking around at several brands eXmark, Toro, John Deere, Great Dane, Grasshopper and Gravely. I bought a Gravely because they are close to me 6 miles, they only sale Gravely. They have been in business a long time, have excellent mechanics and a large parts department plus I got a very good price. If something is wrong with it they will come to my house pick it up fix it and bring it back. Gravely is not the popular brand on this forum but several are around. Do some searches on this forum about the mowers you are looking at and you should come up with a lot of info about how users like them and problems they have had.

Look for:

Parts
Service
Dependable reputation
Fair price

Buy the mower you are comfortable with and you like. Iím not sure about dealers in Gastonia didnít look there but you have Green line on NC27 just east of Lincolnton The have JD and something else, Bobcats ? There is a Hustler dealer over around Rutherfordton and you should be able to find just about anything else in Charlotte.

Kelly

rcav8er
10-21-2002, 07:44 PM
Thanks Kelly, I worked for Gravley many years ago and had a chance to work with the Product Testing. If there equipment is anything like it was 25 years ago it's hard to beat. The only reason I'm looking at Toro and Lesco is as you said there close by and accessable. I just don't want to make a uninformed purchase and end up with something thats going to more trouble than help.
Thanks Again,
Bryan

Envy Lawn Service
10-21-2002, 09:03 PM
Is there another Lesco that is closer to us than the one in Winston Salem??? You say it's close to you being in Gastonia. Which one?

rcav8er
10-21-2002, 09:45 PM
Yea, theres one in Charlotte at 1501 Industrial Center Circle.
Take 85 to Sugar Creek to North Tryon and Rt. on Old Concord Rd.
Check Lesco on the Net and do a store search for Charlotte it will give you directions and a map. Very helpful group of guy's at this location:)

Envy Lawn Service
10-22-2002, 01:39 AM
Thanks, I'll map it out and see if that one is closer to me. I bet it is. I live up HWY 321 north of I-40.

Mowwithhustler's
10-24-2002, 05:21 PM
i live in maiden and the best mowers are hustlers to me my dad has 2 shortcut 1500s 48 inch cust and a 54 inch cut rear discharge but they quite making the shorcut casue they came out witha new zero turn and there really isnt no where around to get hustler they have a place in kernersvill he has one 48 inch hustler shortcut 1500 left he woants 5200 dollars for it thats a good deal but exmark is the best selling mower on teh market they are fast reliabel and easy to use

Bill Davis
10-24-2002, 08:28 PM
Exmark 52" HP its the best money i have ever spent. Take a good look at them before you buy.

Old 5 LawnCare
10-24-2002, 08:49 PM
Yes, by all means go look at the Ex-Mark, Then if you want 2 buy 1, Purchase a TORO, as it's the same machine, just $2,000 LESS.

rcav8er
10-24-2002, 09:31 PM
I've noticed allot of the guy's on this site run Exmark's and seem to have very good luck with them. I looked at Exmark's site tonight but there does not seem to be a dealer anywhere in my area of NC. Does anyone know of a Exmark dealer in NC or SC, preferably close to Charlotte?
I looked at the Bobcat 52" with a Kaw. 23 today but was concerned about the nonlubed spindals. The Lesco Z2 54" still seems to be the best deal in the Charlotte area at $5700.
Has anyone run the Lesco Z2 and what did you think?:confused:

65hoss
10-24-2002, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by Old 5 LawnCare
Yes, by all means go look at the Ex-Mark, Then if you want 2 buy 1, Purchase a TORO, as it's the same machine, just $2,000 LESS.
Same drive system, different deck and different company. You will not get the support from Toro like you do eXmark. Also, if you want a really great mulching mower, vac, and awesome cut, you need the eXmark. Anything else, just isn't an eXmark.

grasscutter
10-25-2002, 05:13 AM
there is an exmark dealer in clover sc. it is boyds. it is located on 321. the lawn and garden is on the left between boyds furniture and boyds tire and appliance(seems this guy owns the town ). it is hard to see from the highway as it is much farther off the road. i dont know anything about his prices or service though.

Equipguy
10-25-2002, 06:14 AM
You may want to consider taking a look at the Hustler line of ZTR's before you make a final decision.

TotalLawn
10-25-2002, 07:15 AM
I am currently using the Toro 62" liquid cooled (Kawi 23 hp). After demoing the Super Z (Hustler) and a Dixie. I am thinking my next Z will be the Super Z. I have not used the Exmark, but as said before, they are very similar to the Toro.

LKNServices
10-25-2002, 01:02 PM
There are reasons the Toro is less expensive. Just take a quick look at the deck on the eXmark. I can say from experience the eXmark cuts better than the Toro. Much better. I know a lot of people run Gravely around here because the dealer(Shubert) is so good with giving out loaners when equipment is down. However, that has never been a problem for me. I have several back-up mowers, and my eXmarks don't break down(knock on wood). However, I do feel that eXmark is way ahead of Gravely in the ZTR market. I guess it boils down to a decision between quality and service. :)

LKNServices
10-25-2002, 01:40 PM
There are reasons the Toro is less expensive. Just take a quick look at the deck on the eXmark. I can say from experience the eXmark cuts better than the Toro. Much better. I know a lot of people run Gravely around here because the dealer(Shubert) is so good with giving out loaners when equipment is down. However, that has never been a problem for me. I have several back-up mowers, and my eXmarks don't break down(knock on wood). However, I do feel that eXmark is way ahead of Gravely in the ZTR market. I guess it boils down to a decision between quality and service. :)

LAWNGODFATHER
10-25-2002, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by Mowwithhustler's
i live in maiden and the best mowers are hustlers to me my dad has 2 shortcut 1500s 48 inch cust and a 54 inch cut rear discharge but they quite making the shorcut casue they came out witha new zero turn and there really isnt no where around to get hustler they have a place in kernersvill he has one 48 inch hustler shortcut 1500 left he woants 5200 dollars for it thats a good deal but exmark is the best selling mower on teh market they are fast reliabel and easy to use

Why would anyone want to buy a mower that is not in production anymore?

Hey PJ, did you guys quit making this mower?


There ya go Hoss!!!!

Scotlawncare
10-25-2002, 04:38 PM
IMHO, NEVER and i say NEVER get a ztr mower that has a deck less than 52" if you want have any type of trim edge to go around tree's or other obsticals. a 48 is pushing it but most have a 44-48" wheel base on the rear. that doesn't allow enough room for the deck to stick out to trim without the tires hitting anything esp on round beds or trees.

And another thing, Small Residentual in my book does not equal yards that are 3/4 to 1 acre. small res to me is 1/4-1/2. almost anything that is 1/2-1 acre would allow a 52" deck to fit on very easy.

And on the brand, if you see an exmark dealer near you. Stop by and demo one. Very nice cut and AWSOME support from the manufacturer. You will not see that from Toro.

Scot

odin
10-25-2002, 04:46 PM
Right on scot that why we got a 48in ztr up for sale now.

Thats not to say our 48 hp dont cut good it does cuts and stripes just as good as the big lazers.

Around walls and lawn edgeing it is a pain in the *****

mowerconsultant
10-25-2002, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
Why would anyone want to buy a mower that is not in production anymore?

Hey PJ, did you guys quit making this mower?


There are plenty of Shortcuts to be had, we have new 23 Kawi's available at the plant.
Pick your deck 48", 54", 60".

Later
Pj

rcav8er
10-25-2002, 04:55 PM
Thanks for all Advice guy's. I'll have to check out the Ex-Mark dealer in Clover, they are only about 20 miles from the house. How does the Ex-Mark compair as far as pricing for say a 54" 23 HP?
I've gotten prices of 5700 to 6000 for both the Bobcat 52" with a 23HP Kaw. & the Lesco 54" with a 23 HP Kaw. Can Ex-Mark compeat with these prices or are we forced to pay more due to the popularity. Don't get me wrong I understand that it does appear to be a very good product, I'm just wondering about price verses value.

Thanks again you guy's have been a big help! :)

MacLawnCo
10-25-2002, 06:14 PM
who cares how much money you will save in the initial purchase if your machine breaks and you dont have a dealer or manufacturer that stands behind you. There are only a handful of mfgs that will stand behind their product in the way exmark does. You will get what you pay for with an exmark.;)

LAWNGODFATHER
10-25-2002, 06:53 PM
Here we go again!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's talk pricing of 100% TAX DEDUCTABLE DOLLARS.

Who cares how much it costs, if you can't afford it FINACE it. it is all 100% tax deductable.

If you don't catch this statment, go back to work for the "man" or corprate burocricy, you have no business being self employed.

Point Blank................................

Does Exmark compare in cut and quality with thos 2 mowers mensioned, NO.

The price of the main tool in your trade, and you want to pinch pennies.

So you would buy that 3lbs sledge hammer instead of the 5lbs sledge because it was cheaper?

So you are telling me you "want" to work harder then.

rcav8er
10-25-2002, 08:01 PM
It's not that I want to work any harder, god knows I've worked hard enough over the years. I'm just trying to educate myself and make a wise business purchase that will make me money instead of lossing money in down time. Everyone on this message board at one time or the other were financially strapped and starting out. The ones of you who are still here were smart enough to be able to wade through all the hype the mfr's through at you about why there product is superior.
Survival in business is all about making informed decissions and not throwing good money on top of bad. This board is a great resource for informing and promoting the LCP. I know allot of you guy's who have been around for years are tired of hearing the same questions from new comers, however what better way to assure this profession stays at a professional status we can all be proud of, than to give sound advice and guidence to the next generation coming up.
Thanks again for all the good advice !

LAWNGODFATHER
10-25-2002, 08:08 PM
I am glad you didn't take it as I was straight out slamming you.

You did get the point I made though.

Wise choice is to get what the majority have in your area, that was the biggest reason I went to Exmark.

There is a reason there are many out there.

rcav8er
10-25-2002, 08:18 PM
Godfather, It does sound like Ex-Mark is the top of the line as allot of LCP are running them and seem to be very loyal to the brand. I appeciate your postings and I will make it a point to check them out. I was just concerned, as I've noticed in my short time looking into the purchase of new equipment, theres allot of snake oil salesmen out there looking to make a buck on a uninformed consumer.
Thanks!

Envy Lawn Service
10-25-2002, 11:05 PM
Hey hey!!! I got somethin' 2 say!

First off, I went by the Toro dealer just to see how much they were like Exmark. I only did it for this purpose. I wouldn't by from this dealer if they had a buy on get one free sale.

Yes the Toro is similar and it's cheaper. But there is a reason for that. I will say that the deck is NOT up to par with Exmark IMHO. It's quite shallow even in the back. Really it reminds me of a lawn tractor style deck. The way they went about renforcing it looks cheesy and weak to me. I believe problems would result from this after any abuse. Also, it doesn't have the same trim ability compairing 52" to 52".

Now for the other guy on here trying to save a buck. I feel your pain too. Believe me!!! It's kind of hard to go along with owners that may be somewhat partial to there machine. I got a price today of $6750 for a 52" Lazer. It does seem somewhat hard to justify forking out another grand plus tax for the Exmark over similar other brands.

That's just one of those things a man has to weigh out for himself I guess. You hate to spend the extra, but you hate to think you might loose it right back and then some on repairs or down time.

All I can say is DEMO. Find out what you like personally and what fits your needs. Then before you buy, ask those uncomfortable questions. Put the dealer on the spot with your questions. By all means take your time buying and see how they react. You find out a lot about them this way. Also ask if they mind to show you there service area. Tell them you'd like to see where this expensive piece of equipment is going to be cared for in the event it does brake. They all eventually do.

Dealer support is going to be important someday unless you have great luck. Maybe that's the thing that will help you make the decision.

LAWNGODFATHER
10-25-2002, 11:22 PM
I could care less if they fix mine in a hole in the wall.

On the other hand we have one place that has 10,000 sq/ft of floor space for repairs, they are $98 an hour. Ghee I wonder why?

What questions can you ask a dealer?

I want to know, this way if I ever change I will know.

Mine just has a sign that says Exmark, I walked in, asked a price for 4 mowers and wrote a check.

BTW the Toro deck will cut the grass and discharge it. It won't mulch the grass up in the process. You will see the long stands of unmulched grass when you look.

The only difference between a Z-Master and an Exmark is the deck and some stickers. Far as service goes, Exmark demands more out of their dealers.

Price difference between the Toro and Exmark, they are almost exactly the same here. I got a Toro dealer 1/2 mile from my Exmark dealer.

Went to him to fix what the Exmark dealer wouldn't under Kohler warrenty. Stater (not starter) was occasionally shorting out, via phone one call to Exmark guy off the forum. Hummm what a way to give support.

Envy Lawn Service
10-25-2002, 11:52 PM
LGF,

You might change your tune if yoou saw some of the sevice areas I've saw in doing this. I talking places that you be afraid for them to take an engine apart for fear of more damage being done from grit and grime getting on interal parts.

Also in getting in the service dept, you get to see what's in there being fixed. I'll ask whats being fixed too. Peep at the hour meter. Stuff like that. You also get to see if tehy are overrun with one guy trying to keep up back there or if they have a team. That's when I ask questions about avg. turn around times on repairs, what kinds of parts they keep on hand and if they provide a loaner during repairs. Also I'm hoping the salesman leaves me with a repairman that's not busy so I cn pick his brain a bit too.

But hey, I guess if you just walk in and write a check for 4 mowers, you really don't have to be conserned with such petty things. Having more money than sense does have it's advantages!!!payup

LAWNGODFATHER
10-26-2002, 12:12 AM
I live in the county that is pretty large. It is a suburb of St Louis.

Not many dealers or repair shops around here, but over the years of having the other brand mowers and having this dealer bail me out, I saw the sign on the door one day that he got Exmark, and whamoo I bought some.

He is not the best dealer but he is fare. I don't get a loaner, he doesn't have one to loan.

Another place that I frequent, the one that has the huge repair area, does not have a loaner either, but I sure enjoyed the demo they have. Man I put some hours on it. They sure didn't like it when I brought it back. BTW they had one of my mowers for 5 weeks. I had their once was brand new mower for 5 weeks.

Shouldn't have said anything they wouldn't have noticed.

Lets put what I am trying to say like this, no matter what the dealer says, shows you or what, he has to stand hehind it period.

Envy Lawn Service
10-26-2002, 12:32 AM
LGF,

All I try to do is see how often I might have to have him stand behind his product. I also want to try to judge how hard it might be to get him to do it. A dealer having to stand behind there product and the ease of how they do so is 2 entirely different things. It can sometimes be a real headache, I've been there before.

I've got a top notch dealer here around 20 miles away. He carries several different lines but only has Husqvarna ZTR's in stock at the moment. I'd really like to by from him if possible. I got a few months to figure things out and see what kind of "in stock" choices I might have there.

Old 5 LawnCare
10-26-2002, 12:47 AM
Unless Toro or Ex- Mark changed something this year, SAME.
My family and I have dealt with this same dealer for years, bought our share of there tractors over the years, He is a Ex-Mark dealer, he pointed everything out, Differance: Seat, stickers. He told me to go down the road to the Toro dealer, Dam, he was right!

LAWNGODFATHER
10-26-2002, 01:28 AM
Which mower size are you referring to?

rcav8er
10-26-2002, 09:37 AM
I agree with what you are saying about Toro. The deck is what turned me off about buying the 52" Toro Z Master. It's just simply not heavy enough for me. The Toro deck is a stampted deck for anything less than 64". My lawn tractor has the same deck. It looks to me that for a commercial application the best money is in a welded construction deck that will take the abuse.

65hoss
10-26-2002, 11:30 AM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
Here we go again!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's talk pricing of 100% TAX DEDUCTABLE DOLLARS.

Who cares how much it costs, if you can't afford it FINACE it. it is all 100% tax deductable.

If you don't catch this statment, go back to work for the "man" or corprate burocricy, you have no business being self employed.

Point Blank................................

Does Exmark compare in cut and quality with thos 2 mowers mensioned, NO.

The price of the main tool in your trade, and you want to pinch pennies.

So you would buy that 3lbs sledge hammer instead of the 5lbs sledge because it was cheaper?

So you are telling me you "want" to work harder then.

I thought everyone should read this again.

brucec32
02-28-2003, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by Scotlawncare
IMHO, NEVER and i say NEVER get a ztr mower that has a deck less than 52" if you want have any type of trim edge to go around tree's or other obsticals. a 48 is pushing it but most have a 44-48" wheel base on the rear. that doesn't allow enough room for the deck to stick out to trim without the tires hitting anything esp on round beds or trees.

And another thing, Small Residentual in my book does not equal yards that are 3/4 to 1 acre. small res to me is 1/4-1/2. almost anything that is 1/2-1 acre would allow a 52" deck to fit on very easy.

And on the brand, if you see an exmark dealer near you. Stop by and demo one. Very nice cut and AWSOME support from the manufacturer. You will not see that from Toro.

Scot

Now now, not every mower is right for everyone. The bigger decks trim better, but some of us may not need that all too much. I can trim fine with my 48" lazer hp, it just takes a watchful eye to avoid crunching stuff behind me . There are a few gates my 48" fits in, but a 52" won't. So I have to measure the time cost of slower trimming to that of having to pull a 36" mower off the trailer to do the gated and narrow spots. Actually, my preferred deck size is 44", but they don't offer the bigger engines (on Exmark) and there is really no trim edge there. I have more gates my 48" just barely won't clear. But past a point, you just need a 2nd smaller mower, I realize.

I also am 200 lbs or so lighter on the turf, though slightly wider tires on the 52" might mitigate this some. Every bit counts.

I can roll my ZTR up into the bed of my truck when I don't want to haul it on a trailer and it fits between the wheel wells. Great for taking it long distances (to inlaws house to cut) where a trailer is a drag, or for when you're servicing properties hard to get in and out of. A bigger deck might not fit.

The smaller deck mower is usually 2-4" shorter, which might fit on more trailers w/ other mowers, and I can park a 21" mower next to a 48" mower on the trailer, but a 52" maybe not.

To get similar torque/weight/deck size ratios on a bigger mower, you have to spend $2000 more to get the same 'mowing power" as a big engined 48" like my 21hp Kawi/48" lazer hp. So the big mower is faster on flat open areas (less than 10% width bonus) but might be actually slower in tall grass. Tradeoffs.

:D :D

barryd
02-28-2003, 07:49 AM
Old 5,

Your family dealer told you WRONG!!!
There is a huge difference between the Exmark and Toro. Just because they are both red, have grey seats and fuel tanks, and are both owned by Toro doesn't make the mowers the SAME!
Exmark's have a far better deck design, a heavier deck, harder grade bolts...................
Did you really look that good?
I doubt it.
You saw the difference in price, and a red mower.
They ARE NOT THE SAME MOWER.
If they were, don't you think everyone on here would be raving about TORO!