View Full Version : 8 acre advice

common stock
01-19-2003, 03:31 PM
I'm in the market for a zero turn mower and have been reading as much as possible at this site the past week. Thanks to all of you who have assisted me in learning about them as quickly as I have. What a resource !!!
I have 6 pretty smooth and 2 pretty bumpy, rolling acres to cut. I would like to cut them quickly with a durable mower with as little maintance as possible. I have about 35 trees to cut around along with the house and a couple out buildings. I'm leaning towards either an Exmark 52 Lazer Z HP with 23 Kaw or Kohler or Exmark 60 Lazer Z with 27 Kohler. I have about 4 acres that are currently overgrown .
Any advice on mowers ?
Any reccomendations on Exmark dealers in the Indianapolis area?

I dont have access to a trailer. Will dealers pick up and deliver for repairs ?

Will I be able to cut the overgrown area down with my new mower or should I have it bush hogged ? Thank you in advance for your help.

01-20-2003, 04:37 PM
I'd at least demo another brand before shelling out the dow.

Brush hogging the overgrown area will work, what are you mowing with now? If it's something old and beat up, I'd just put that to use.

Any dealer I talked to here will deliver your mower, pick it up and return it for repairs/ service AND will bring you a 'loaner' to mow with if he thinks he can't get the unit fixed fast.
This, I would make sure of. I mean - what good does a warranty do you if you still can't get your grass cut while it's being fixed?

There's a guy a few countryblocks down the road from who's got the best deal:
He mows the perimeter, fences and around trees with a little rider. There's a farmer nearby who'll cut the rest for the hay.

The Mowerdude
01-21-2003, 06:58 PM
I agree with Catcher in that, I wouldn't use my new Exmark to do anything other than what a finish mower is designed to do. You should only want to use it to manicure the nicest parts of your yards.

That's not to say it won't do bush hog duty. It will. It's just that you'll pay for it by not getting the service life that the mower is designed to deliver. And it kinda sneaks up on you. For those of us who do this for a living, if we start bush hogging with it, the first season and everything's ok. But then trouble starts the 2nd or third and we were expecting to get 5-8 years out of our investment. I'd definately look for some other way to take care of the rough stuff.

BTW, the Exmark is a SUPERB machine and will serve you very well in your application. However, if the dealer doesn't offer to pick-up or deliver, I'd look for another dealer.

The loaner thing is a little different. Usually, the loaners are offered to the professional LCO that is under pressure to finish his customer's yards and is losing money every minute his ailing mower sits. Obviously, these guys are going to get first preference receiving loaners, and that's the way it should be. They're the guys that are also buying multiple mowers and it makes good sense for a dealer to help out in those instances. However, with a homeowner, if he breaks a mower, he's usually not under the gun to get his lawn mowed like yesterday. In your case, I can't even see the Exmark giving you any trouble at all for years unless you really abuse it. Most LCOs will run that Exmark in one month more than you will all season.

common stock
01-26-2003, 03:32 PM
Thank you both for your help. I have been cutting with a 48 inch craftsman and a 8n with a bush hog, but the 8n died this past year so I just have the craftsman left. I may just hire someone to bushhog the 3 acres that need it before I cut it this spring with the new mower. Will the 60 inch mower be worth the extra quickness vs. a 52 inch that will be easier to cut around the house/trees ? thank you

01-26-2003, 04:24 PM
Give me a call at 352-0288. Maybe I can help. Russ

The Mowerdude
01-26-2003, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by common stock
Will the 60 inch mower be worth the extra quickness vs. a 52 inch that will be easier to cut around the house/trees ? thank you

I really think only you can answer that for yourself. How much is your time worth. However, I will say this. The 52 will probably give a better cut IF you have a yard with a number of dips and humps in it. The 52 will conform better to irregularities such as that.

01-30-2003, 01:01 PM
I agree totally with Mowerdude - I have a 62-inch but sometimes wish I had the 52. It would be best if you could demo the unit after getting the overgrown stuff knocked down - the roughness will determine your mowing speed.

01-30-2003, 09:14 PM
I'd have to say, get a 60-62 inch cut. I guarantee that if you get a 52"er, after a few cuts, you'll be wishing that you'd gotten the 60+"er.

01-31-2003, 01:06 AM
The Exmarks that you are considering are excellent LAWN mowing machines, and do a great job of maintaining fine turf - and are as highly regarded by the pro cutters as anything in the market today. There - I said that in the hope that you all don't take this and get all inflamed on me for recomending that you take one big long hard look at a Scag Turf Tiger before you get committed to an Exmark on this property.

I'm only saying this because the description of your property as being in part so rough, and that its become so overgrown that a bushhog needs to be brought in to tame it.- In all it sounds pretty bad, and the roughness and bumps are not going to be fixed by the bushhog, you and your mower are going to have to survive years and years of this rough ground.

Just for giggles - at least go to a Scag dealer [may be same dealer that sells Exmark- like it is here] and see how the Scag Tiger is built.

Scag - double,double boxed tube frame-much stronger than Exmarks single tube frame.
Scags front wheel spindle arms are heavier -yet easily removeable to fix or replace - Exmark is lightly made and is yet neither removable or repairable. Scags front wheels have Timken tapered bearings- Exmark have much lighter ball bearings

Scags mower deck weldment is up to 1/2inch thick in layers of steel in the top of the deck, Exmarks deck while quit well built is not as heavily constructed.

The most telling thing about the two is that the Exmark is just over 1000 pounds and the Scag is about 1300 pounds - This is a stunning difference and certainly points out the wide difference in strength of construction.

The Exmarks mower spindles are aluminum with sealed Ball bearings - the Scag has cast steel housings with more Timken tapered bearings. The Scag spindles are much stronger and will not be ruined or broken by hitting the ground or sticks and stones like the Exmark spindles are subject to do.

The Scag uses a drive shaft to power the mower deck - [like a bushog mower is driven] they never break and the universal joints in the shaft allow it to move up and down with the deck and not bind.The Exmark twists a vee belt around idler pulleys in the back [like a lawn tractor] and this belt is the drive to the deck. The belt has to be pulled out of alignment with the deck pulley- it can't stay aligned through its full travel up and down.This uses power and wears the belt out. The Exmark drive belt to the mower will not give nearly the reliability or the low cost that the Scag drive shaft will give you in your rough mowing.

I've only really hit on a few of the high spots- so you need to really GO LOOK ! See it yourself ! The Scag will hold up far better on your rough ground and your tall grass and weeds.


02-11-2003, 04:50 PM
Just because it is heavier in weight does not mean that it is a stronger machine!

common stock
02-11-2003, 11:24 PM
I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of your help. I made my first visit to the emark dealer and they suggested a full size lazer because of the bumps on my property. I'm leaning towards the 60inch 23 horse kohler because of the better time I could make in getting the 8 acres cut. After I got measuring, there are only a couple places I would need to use something smaller than 65 inches to trim up with.
One concern is the engine. I havent read the best stuff on the kohlers, but kawasaki isnt avaliable. Should the kohler concern me ? thank you

02-12-2003, 02:25 AM
I'm sure you will be very pleased with kohler. Kal's are the standard for walk behinds. Kohler is the standard for ZTR's.

02-13-2003, 08:08 AM
common stock:

I have 1000 trouble-free hours on my Exmark's spindles...and I have hit more than one immovable object with the blades. Let's see...is the steel ring that holds a manhole cover in place (set in concrete) immovable enough? Or how about one of those concrete property markers with the rebar running through the center? "Ground, sticks, and stones" a worry? HAHAHAHA! Not on my Lazer! :laugh:

Ok, the blade that made contact was trashed...but it didn't phase the spindle. Tuff stuff, they are!

I replaced the mule drive belt once (at around 700 hours of hard and sometimes wet use). It took two sockets and all of 20 easy minutes.

I have had ZERO problems with the frame or welds. You would have to drive the Lazer over a big cliff to screw that up...so no worries there either. I mean you would have to REALLY ABUSE that machine to cause structural damage to the frame and deck.

I too have a 23 hp but it is a Kawi. Also ZERO problems in the first 1000 hours. Several years back Kohler had a head gasket problem that made for a lot of bashing but that has been taken care of. I think the Kohler you've picked will serve you well...and for a very long time.

The only mechanical issue I have encountered is a tiny seep in between the two halves of one of the hydro pumps at about 800 hours. Took it to my dealer and had it back in less than 24 hour...NO CHARGE due to the 2 year warrenty. Remember...I use this mower HARD. You probably won't see 800 hours until 10 years from now...and they will probably be a much more pampered 800 hours if you are the only operator and just using it on your own property.

You have made the correct decision by investing in an Exmark.

The dealer and factory support are second to none. Plus, if you ever have a question about your machine the "Exmark Forum" is right here at LawnSite...and they are more than happy to answer your questions in a fast and friendly manner.

Best money I have ever spent. :)

02-21-2003, 12:25 PM
I am also in the Indianapolis area. I own my own lawn and irrigation service company. I specialize in lawn applications on larger lawns. Feel free to email me if you would like a quote on treating your lawn. I offer custom programs to keep the cost down on larger lawns. Thanks.

Jud Canada