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DanThe Grass Man61
02-16-2004, 08:37 PM
I am looking into getting a zero turn mower and want to know what you guys think ,I can get a new Lesco 54" with a 23 HP Kaw
for 6,300 + tax or an Exmark for 6,845 +tax with same engine ,is the Exmark worth the extra $550?.

overrated
02-16-2004, 08:49 PM
i like the exmark better we only run grasshopper butwe have always liked exmarks but its all in what u like
just my 2 cents

Turf Technologies
02-16-2004, 08:57 PM
Well we have two Lesco Z the old Viper 48 and the new z2 60, no complaints in my mind.A good looking machine and few problems.

sproutlscape
02-16-2004, 09:00 PM
Before you chance it for $500. Check the warranty, commercial service @ the dealer. I would say go with a Exmark or Scag but thats just me.

geogunn
02-16-2004, 11:45 PM
for a low budget WB I say lesco.

but for a ZTR, I'd want to ride with pride. that is if I had one.

I think I'd do a lazer over a viper. JMO.

GEO

65hoss
02-16-2004, 11:45 PM
Your brother "Dan the mowing man" just bought the eXmark.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=62358

BULLGRAZER
02-17-2004, 12:31 AM
The difference between the eXmark and the Lesco - Well, there is nothing really to compare between the two other than the basic ZTR design -----eXmark man - exmark!!!

-=KC=-

Danimal
02-17-2004, 01:04 AM
My experience has been EXMARK has better people behind their machines.Lesco is a good mower but some locations have just one mechanic and they might just work a few days a week. Anytime I have had a prob with an EXMARK they have put me on another machine the same as or better than mine and get mine fixed super quick. Thats just my exp your delearers may be different.

brucec32
02-17-2004, 01:29 AM
Hmmmm....Lexus or Kia? Ok, maybe that's not fair. But the price difference will more than be made up come resale time. Factor in the proven designs, dealer network, and proven great cut quality of the Exmark and it's not that hard a choice.

I would go with a "discount" mower brand only if it was a mower I only used as a backup or for specific small tasks so that whatever choice I made wasn't that important. I would also want a more significant price discount to go with any mower that isn't considered one of the best. Lesco may well be a great mower, but I don't see how it's superior to the more proven Exmark. When thousands of dollars of productivity over its life are involved, I would make sure I had the best unit possible.

energy
02-17-2004, 02:44 AM
Lexus to Kia? Are you crazy? It's more like Kia or Exmark. All these people talking about proven design, what proven design are we talking about? All these mowers are essentially the same, minus some speed here and there, some accessories, colors........but they are essentially the same. They all perform the same tasks you require of them, they are all commercial quality. The problem is with the service and parts. If you can get the parts you are good, if you can get the service too, it is great. If you are mechanically inclined, service is not an issue, just get the parts. I had a Lesco Viper, the only complaint was the weak deck (at the time). Now they got the heavy gauge deck like everyone else. Mower is beautiful (Z-Two) much better looking than an exmark in my opinion. $500 in savings is spectacular. With $500, you could get 3 new spindles, 1 set of rear tires, belts, blades and some miscellaneous items that will make your Lesco outlast your exmark after they need to be replaced. Or you can get you the Redmax 7001 BP blower. I think both are great machines, cant go wrong. I just think the people that attack Lesco is because they know no better. Saving money makes sense to me though.

Turf Technologies
02-17-2004, 08:23 AM
I agree Energgy, I cant see how Exmark ihas more features then the Z two. Ive looked at Exmark and there equal in bells and whistels as the Z2.

sbvfd592
02-17-2004, 09:20 AM
go for the exmark dont look back dealer suport

snowbound
02-17-2004, 09:31 AM
The neat thing about this industry like many is that you have the ability to pick and choose what you feel would work best for you. Around this neck of the wood it is all LESCO there are not many LCO that do not have at least one piece of LESCO equipment on their trailer. When you ask them why they went with LESCO the answer is most often "GREAT SERVICE". Reading over most of the post on this subject it just seems to come down to service and how you are treated. Sure cost is an issue upfront but service is the real driving factor.

germann
02-17-2004, 10:09 AM
I think you should go with the dealer that is closer and better. Which can give you a loaner when yours goes down. Which stocks parts-do you want to drive 45 min for service? Who is friendlier and more helpful. I would take the exmark.

qualitylandscaping
02-17-2004, 10:54 AM
snowbound is about 40 miles from me and I can say the same thing about Rochester... The dealer support around here is excellent!!

go with Lesco!! You won't regret it.. But then again, you won't regret buying an eXmark either. In my mind, they are both great machines.. Just ask other people who live around you, how good the dealer is..

J&R
02-17-2004, 12:57 PM
Yes the eXmark is worth it.

brucec32
02-17-2004, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by energy
Lexus to Kia? Are you crazy? It's more like Kia or Exmark. All these people talking about proven design, what proven design are we talking about? All these mowers are essentially the same, minus some speed here and there, some accessories, colors........but they are essentially the same. They all perform the same tasks you require of them, they are all commercial quality. The problem is with the service and parts. If you can get the parts you are good, if you can get the service too, it is great. If you are mechanically inclined, service is not an issue, just get the parts. I had a Lesco Viper, the only complaint was the weak deck (at the time). Now they got the heavy gauge deck like everyone else. Mower is beautiful (Z-Two) much better looking than an exmark in my opinion. $500 in savings is spectacular. With $500, you could get 3 new spindles, 1 set of rear tires, belts, blades and some miscellaneous items that will make your Lesco outlast your exmark after they need to be replaced. Or you can get you the Redmax 7001 BP blower. I think both are great machines, cant go wrong. I just think the people that attack Lesco is because they know no better. Saving money makes sense to me though.

Not sure I follow your logic with the Exmark to Kia thing. I'm not sure you get the way analogies work. That's like comparing apples to plywood.

But as far as "proven design", have you owned an Exmark? How long have you been mowing for a living? Have you ever mowed fine textured turf that requires the best cut available at 2" or even less, and requires that you disperse clippings on dense textured turf where large clippings will look unsightly, or are you just hacking down St. Aug and Bahia at 4"? The difference in a great mower and a mediocre one is obvious. I've owned both.

All mowers are not basically the same. Any reader of these boards who's been here a while can testify to that, just from reading the complaints above various designs. Some are reliable, some aren't. Some have better little features than others. Some hold hills better than others. Some are easier to service. It's no "bargain" when you mow some tall grass and see clumps on the lawn when you're done instead of beautifully dispersed small clippings. Not saying the Lesco will do that, but many mowers will. That costs big money in lost productivity. My exmark will mulch clippings to dust, I KNOW that. No idea on Lesco. What's that cheaper mower worth to me if it doesn't mulch well in all conditions? Nothing. That's what I mean by PROVEN design.

As far as service goes. Does Lesco pay for a forum here to help with problems and answer questions? Exmark does. Will Lesco stand behind you if you have a problem? I got a new 23hp engine from Exmark to replace a problematic 21hp kawi on my Exmark. And free loaners for nearly a month while kawasaki and exmark reps tried to figure out the problem. There is a lot more to service than just parts availability. The Lesco dealers I've been to are metal sheds with a few mowers outside and lots of fertilizer and pesticides. The Exmark dealers have dozens of units available to demo and inspect. That's their main business, not selling mowers manufactured by other companies as a sideline.

Go to the Exmark website. Notice that it's polished and full of information and photos. Note the easy links to get more information and brochures. Then go to the Lesco one. Note the difference. Note the typos, dead links, and wrong information there. And until recently Lesco barely even had a website worthy of the name. Exmark is just a more professional outfit with a more businesslike presentation. I take that as a hint that they just might have their act more together in terms of design assets, dealer network and service, too.

Better looking? I choose cars and women based on looks, but I'venever considered that for my mowers.

$500 of savings is "spectacular". Let's see, over its 2,000 hour life, that's a whopping 25 cents per hour, or about 10 cents per typical residential lawn. Way to see the big picture there. LOL.

Nobody's "attacking" lesco, but unless it has some special advantages why should someone risk their profitability over $500? These machines can produce $250,000 of income in a lifetime.

Not all ZTR's are created equal. The Lesco might even be superior for all I know, but unless that can be established I wouldn't choose a mower over $500 difference in price.

brucec32
02-17-2004, 01:09 PM
Originally posted by brucec32
Not sure I follow your logic with the Exmark to Kia thing. I'm not sure you get the way analogies work. That's like comparing apples to plywood.

But as far as "proven design", have you owned an Exmark? How long have you been mowing for a living? Have you ever mowed fine textured turf that requires the best cut available at 2" or even less, and requires that you disperse clippings on dense textured turf where large clippings will look unsightly, or are you just hacking down St. Aug and Bahia at 4", which is much more forgiving of cut imperfections that a grass like hybrid Bermuda. The difference in a great mower and a mediocre one is obvious. I've owned both. Even the cut difference in a 36" Exmark deck and a 48" one is noticeable in some situations.

All mowers are not basically the same. Any reader of these boards who's been here a while can testify to that, just from reading the complaints above various designs. Some are reliable, some aren't. Some have better little features than others. Some hold hills better than others. Some are easier to service. It's no "bargain" when you mow some tall grass and see clumps on the lawn when you're done instead of beautifully dispersed small clippings. Not saying the Lesco will do that, but many mowers will. That costs big money in lost productivity. My exmark will mulch clippings to dust, I KNOW that. No idea on Lesco. What's that cheaper mower worth to me if it doesn't mulch well in all conditions? Nothing. That's what I mean by PROVEN design.

As far as service goes. Does Lesco pay for a forum here to help with problems and answer questions? Exmark does. Will Lesco stand behind you if you have a problem? I got a new 23hp engine from Exmark to replace a problematic 21hp kawi on my Exmark. And free loaners for nearly a month while kawasaki and exmark reps tried to figure out the problem. There is a lot more to service than just parts availability. The Lesco dealers I've been to are metal sheds with a few mowers outside and lots of fertilizer and pesticides. The Exmark dealers have dozens of units available to demo and inspect. That's their main business, not selling mowers manufactured by other companies as a sideline.

Go to the Exmark website. Notice that it's polished and full of information and photos. Note the easy links to get more information and brochures. Then go to the Lesco one. Note the difference. Note the typos, dead links, and wrong information there. And until recently Lesco barely even had a website worthy of the name. Exmark is just a more professional outfit with a more businesslike presentation. I take that as a hint that they just might have their act more together in terms of design assets, dealer network and service, too.

Better looking? I choose cars and women based on looks, but I'venever considered that for my mowers.

$500 of savings is "spectacular". Let's see, over its 2,000 hour life, that's a whopping 25 cents per hour, or about 10 cents per typical residential lawn. Way to see the big picture there. LOL.

Nobody's "attacking" lesco, but unless it has some special advantages why should someone risk their profitability over $500? These machines can produce $250,000 of income in a lifetime.

Not all ZTR's are created equal. The Lesco might even be superior for all I know, but unless that can be established I wouldn't choose a mower over $500 difference in price.

odin
02-17-2004, 02:07 PM
ive owned exmark and love the mowers ...never owned lesco so it wouldnt be fair for me to judge a product ive never owned .

i got a flyer for the lesco open house here and the prices certainly are good.

6o ztwo 6295
54 z two..6095
48 z two 5695

Jason Pallas
02-17-2004, 04:43 PM
I've owned both. I was one of the happiest days of my like - the day I sold our last Lesco. These machines may look the same BUT go and cut with them for a while, repair them, and then compare them. There's too much for me to really go into here but take my advice, I sold all of our Lesco mowers - (some were still even under warranty) to buy Exmarks. In my opinion, I had heard so many good things about the Exmark design, it was time to try them. I'm happy I did.
In short, Exmark has alot more inpput in the deisgn and fabrication process. They've been making mowers for years and they know what breaks, how it breaks and how to make the part either better or easily repairable. Lesco doen't bring that type of design and experience.
Two things - compare the way the mowers discharge grass and cut and look at the axles of both units. Exmark wins hands down in each category. Those are just two of many important areas that Exmark's products far outwieght the Lesco's. The $500 savings is not wirth it at all! You'll be kicking yourself for not spending the extra $ a few months into the season. Do YOURSELF the favor, buy the Exmark. It's well worth it. Good luck.

locutus
02-17-2004, 04:47 PM
What kind of question is this?

The Lawn Boy Pro
02-17-2004, 04:52 PM
Well, I wonder which mower will have the higher resale value? DUH!!!!!!!!! I dont think Lesco would resale for quite as much as an exmark in my personal opinion. From what i hear lescos are built well and run fine and all, just think the exmark has the "john deere" name in this case.

Dstosh
02-17-2004, 06:03 PM
Quality and Snowbound, I couldnt agree with you more, Every one in our area uses lesco, If they were that bad, no one would have them. I am just about to purchase a new w/b from lesco, and they have been very helpful. One time I went in there to buy trimmer racks and they were a bit more money than i had(just a few bucks) but the manager just bumped down the price for me and we were able to make a deal. All of this was for a kid who only had bought 20 bucks worth of rinky dink parts, filters, plugs ect. As far as customer service, Thats pretty good. Dont get me wrong I havent made any huge purchases there but they've helped me out. Lesco Is a good machine, for me at least...im not going to have employees using it, mowing 75+ lawns a week beating the crap out of it. For the price I dont think you can beat it. Im not trying to open a can of worms here JMO

floridalawncare
02-17-2004, 08:32 PM
i just posted on exmark vs. scag. i know i'll get bashed there and here too. but alot of people ask honest questions and get opinions. these name brand hardliners have no clue of to what they're talking about. i do like scag. but if you read my posts, i never bash other manufacturers. there are some things i do question. one is exmark's sealed spindle. but people seem to not have consistant trouble so maybe it's ok. but i wander who has 2000 plus hours on one? but it comes back alot to dealer service. if i owned exmark, i'm sure it'd do the job. grasshoppers have done it for me, dixies, and some others. i'm not going to get into comparissions right now, but i believe that a lesco would be just as capable, with it's own pros and cons.

energy
02-17-2004, 11:10 PM
bruce32 think of the analagies a little harder. The topic is about price, mower or KIA about the same. Someday bruce32 you will understand, in the meantime stick to the topic. Everyone here thinks that $500 is little money for future insurance on Exmark's behalf. Who actually has a track record of these mowers compared side to side? Oh you dont, i know i dont so how can you judge? Obviously this guy is venturing into his first ZTR rider, that is why he is asking. Needless to say, most of us when we started were not outfitted with large budgets or incomes to brush away the value of $500. We are talking a large percent difference when dealing with the cost of these mowers. Why not steer the guy into the most bang for the buck? $550 can almost get you two handheld equipments, a pole saw, a used belt walkbehind, or a small trailer. With the money he saved to buy any of the above i just mentioned might bring him some extra income on the side. Go ahead, buy your Exmark if you have the money, but if you are on the lower end of the budget, there is nothing wrong with a Lesco. Heck, you could pick up some much needed herbicide, insectide, fertilzer, or fungicide while you are there. Does Exmark provide that type of service?

Haley Lawn Care
02-17-2004, 11:35 PM
In my part of the woods Lesco will not stop working on other mowers to help you out and they dont have enough mechanics. However the Exmark dealer will do his best to get you up and running the same day. He even offers while u wait service. So I will go with the dealer who is offering the best service.

David :)

65hoss
02-18-2004, 10:32 AM
Originally posted by energy
Everyone here thinks that $500 is little money for future insurance on Exmark's behalf.

Obviously this guy is venturing into his first ZTR rider, that is why he is asking. Needless to say, most of us when we started were not outfitted with large budgets or incomes to brush away the value of $500. We are talking a large percent difference when dealing with the cost of these mowers.

Why not steer the guy into the most bang for the buck? $550 can almost get you two handheld equipments, a pole saw, a used belt walkbehind, or a small trailer. With the money he saved to buy any of the above i just mentioned might bring him some extra income on the side.

Go ahead, buy your Exmark if you have the money, but if you are on the lower end of the budget, there is nothing wrong with a Lesco.

Heck, you could pick up some much needed herbicide, insectide, fertilzer, or fungicide while you are there. Does Exmark provide that type of service?

Initially its easy to agree with you. All this sounds good on the surface. Problem is, with my knowledge of accounting, cost accounting, budgets, depreciation, cash flow, long and short term planning, and daily expenses, I can see past the surface.

1. If someone is venturing into the Z market and $500 is a problem, then they shouldn't be in the Z market. Get a 36" w/b that will be needed anyway down the road for small or gated areas. Start with that and save the money up.
From a cost perpective, a w/b is pretty cheap and they are tried and true machines. Very little downtime and very little operating cost. Don't chase money with money. All you do is spend a lot of money. Meaning this, don't keep buy equipment over and over because you didn't buy the good stuff all along. That is a business tactic and financial disaster waiting to happen. Maybe a short term small benefit, but a long term costly mistake. Not to mention the difference in production that can mean short term benefits over that cheaper unit.

2. If a person truely believe the LESCO or any other brand is the one for them, great. I support that decision and say go get it. Its your money. But making decisions based on $500 isn't going to cut it. That may sound like a lot on the day the check is written, but it may very well fly out the window in a short time.
If my machines go down and I have no backup plan I can lose that easily in one day. Can a person rely on Lesco to have them back up and running in an hour? At a Lesco dealership equipment sits for days sometimes weeks waiting to get fixed. I see it 2-3 times a week. I spend a lot of money at Lesco weekly and see the problems they have. Was that then a good decision? If the good machine can give you even a slight advantage over the ok machine, is the $500 worth it by the end of the season?
Oh, and if he's thinking about a Z, I would be that chemicals is the last thing he should be getting. :)

Can $500 be a lot? Sure it can. Or at least seem like a lot.
In view of :
downtime
maintenance
cut quality
production differences
parts avaliabilty
With all the above, it can nullify the $500 pretty easily. We are not just talking day one. Not even the first year. Over the life of the mower it could cost you into the many thousands when you figure in everything, not just money spent.

Mike Fronczak
02-18-2004, 01:20 PM
I'm not going to get in on all the bashing, just tell my experience. We (my Company) runs only Lesco mowers (1 belt 36 WB, 1 hydro 48 WB, 2 60 Viper Z). I had the first Viper the second year out, had stamped deck. Did job, but had it's flaws, then they went to a fabed deck the intial cost skyrocketed.
At the time I owned the 60 & I belive the 48, and a Encore 32. I was kind of disapointed in Lesco because in my eyes they knew of the problems with the stamped deck, but never offered to give a new deck to correct these problems. I went shopping:
First stop Exmark, went to the dealership closest to me, talked directly to owner, attitude was arrogant were the best basiclly. Cincher was when I asked about loaners.....he acted like he was doing me some great favor with your machine won't be down more than 24 hrs, we'll take parts off another machine if we have to, etc.......
Bottom line, I got all that already plus:
If I have a problem, Lesco mechinic is on phone with me before I leave site helping me diagnose problems, if the know it's not a "quick fix" 30 min or less, I have a loaner till mine is fixed. Under warranty or not. At that point in my business these items were critical, if your a small operation & loose a 60, your screwed.
I have now had Encore(48 & 32), which dealer lost my business, not product line, Lesco (36,48, 2-60), dealer continues to keep my business, if that support fails or I feel uncommfortable, I will look elsewhere. To this point I am still satisfied.
My advise is this interview the dealer and pound him with questions, all these products (mowers, trimmers, etc.) are all pretty much equal, all have good & bad points. ALL WILL FAIL, wait till you wife runs over a grill grate in the lawn with grass growing up through it, or you hit that stump you've gone over hundreds of times, it happens. .
The support that comes behind them is what counts, when you need it and it's there it's great, if it's not look out. Unfortunatly that support comes at a local level, not a national, not a web site, not literature. It should not matter how much you are spending at that time some years I have droped 20 K on equipment at dealer, last year I'd be supprised if I spent 2K. The support should be there either wayI'm not saying in any way that Lesco is a better product or carries a better product than Exmark, Scag, or any one else. Just giving my advise from my experience.

Lux Lawn
02-18-2004, 01:48 PM
I own 1 LESCO w/b and have had very few problems with it but when I did they always fixed on the spot when I took it in.They might not be as big as some of the other dealers out there mechanic wise but it can't hurt talking to them and seeing what they have to offer it all comes down to who you feel comfortable with in making a large purchase.Also who is closer for when you need parts it seems like both are good mowers.

Gabriel Turf
02-18-2004, 03:03 PM
Hmmm, I have some Lesco equipment in my shop so let's see:
I sell my echo 2400 string trimmer used on ebay for $150.00.
I sell my Lesco string trimmer, which is an Echo 2400 made for Lesco with a green case instead of a gray one, for maybe $30.00?

Another,
I sell my Classen aerator for $1500 used.
I sell my Lesco aerator, made by classen, for maybe $750 used??

I think you don't get near the resell value that you would if you would just have bought the original manufacturer's product.
The Lesco brand name on a maintenance product is one issue, the comparison to a machine like an exmark is quite another.

See, IMO, I think the extra $500 for the exmark buys engineering precision. Sure, same engine, same wheel motors, etc., etc., etc. If you think all mowers are the same, chances are you have only ever owned one mower. I think Exmark is dominant in my personal market because they make the best machine at this point in time. Not too long ago everyone had Scags(which is still a great machine). Next they may be Hustlers(which is also a great machine). Who knows. People will find a way to like what they currently use and will swear by that brand, but I am going to have to stick with the folks who speak from experience and explain in detail why their machine is better than the other guy's.

You see it all over this site. Exmark. I don't have one, but I can read and research. Which raises another question.....

Haley Lawn Care
02-18-2004, 04:21 PM
Okay I have 3 mowers. All of them are different brands. However my hydro is an Exmark and the saying--see it to believe it cut-- is true. When I first used the Exmark and stood back to look at the yard I saw the difference the mower made.

David :)