View Full Version : Advice on Toro v Exmark deal
05-08-2004, 06:14 PM
First, I am not a professional but a home owner with a little more than 2 level acres to mow. I've lurked here for a while and would like whatever input any one can give.
I have been shopping for a ztr mower and have the following quotes from two competing local dealers. A) Toro Z500, 27 KOH, 60" deck and DFS vac system B) Exmark LazerZ efi, 28 KOH efi, 60" deck and UltraVac QDS. Neither dealer knew I was talking to the other (separate towns 15 mi apart) Both quoted me $10.5k. Frankly I'm stumped. I've dealt with the Toro dealer before and have always had good service. I've never dealt with the exmark dealer before but he has a good reputation. Bagging systems aside, the exmark seems like a better deal if there is any real bevefit of "efi". (The toro dealer had some reservations about the KOH efi when I inquired about a Toro with the same engine sitting on his lot...was I being "steered" or are there real issues?)
I liked the DFS Vac system (although it did seem very heavy and bulky) but haven't found much written on it here on lawnsite.com. My seat of the pants evaluation has the machines dead even but
my gut tells me that the efi "intangibles" (if real) ought to out weigh a bagging system. I know that both of these machines are more than I need (but not more than I want <g>). My last lawn tractor lasted me 17 years so resale value doesn't affect the decision much. I know that Toro owns exmark. Can the Toro's DFS Vac be attached to the Exmark? Am I missing something or is this really just a coin flip? Sorry this is so long. Thanks for any advice.
05-08-2004, 07:54 PM
There has been some problems with the Kohler engines with EFI but it is not Kohler's fault. Kohler only makes the engine not what it is used in and there is the problem. EFI systems senors use REAL low voltage to sent singles to the ECM (control box). We are talking in 100ths of a volt here. GROUND is as important on a EFI system as fuel and air. Equipment manufactures it seems thank you can ground though paint. I know for I have had to strip more paint for grounding problems than I want ot even thank about. Now as for you question on ZTR machines you should ask about taking a demo test on them.
05-10-2004, 12:36 AM
Unless you're intent on mowing all 2 acres during halftime of the Super Bowl, both machines sound like serious overkill for homeowner use. Check out the Country Clipper JAZee. A 48 or 52" deck with 19/20 hp Kohler/Kawi should be plenty for you (and available in the $4-5k range). It will be more maneuverable, the flip-up deck makes for easy clean-up and it is also available with a simple-to-use single joystick. If you still prefer a heavy-duty commercial ztr, their new Charger starts around $5550 (similar features plus 24x12 tires and pivoting front axle) but is still more than you really need. But who am I to lecture (mow my own pretty rough 2 acres with a 23/52 Charger)? Other similar-sized commercial makes should be in the $6-8k range. Good luck!
05-11-2004, 07:34 PM
EITHER ONE WOULD BE FINE, BUT YOU DIDN'T MENTION IF YOU ARE GOING TO BAG EVERY TIME YOU CUT OR JUST FOR LEAVES. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SERVICE YOUR MOWER YOURSELF, YOU ALSO NEED TO LOOK AT THAT ASPECT. THERE IS NO HARM IN LETTING THE TWO DEALERS KNOW YOU ARE LOOKING AT OTHER MODELS AND THE OTHER PRICES QUOTED. IF YOU CAN WAIT, YOU WILL SAVE HUNDREDS IF YOU BUY AT THE END OF SEASON. SELECTION WILL BE MORE LIMITED, BUT MONEY IS MONEY.
05-11-2004, 07:38 PM
SORRY, I FORGOT ABOUT THAT BAGGING ISSUE. MY LOCAL TORO DEALER (WHAT I RUN) SAID THAT THE EXMARK AND TORO ARE IDENTICAL FROM THE SEAT BACK. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT THE TORO HAS A THICKER FRAME. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN SALES PITCH, BUT MORE THAN LIKELY, THE UNITS ARE BASICALLY IDENTICAL. ALSO, ONE REASON TORO BOUGHT EXMARK WAS TO USE THEIR DESIGN, SO MANY PARTS WILL BE INTERCHANGEABLE.
05-12-2004, 12:26 AM
I'll back up the deck size comments. My yard is around 10 acres, and I keep it up with an old 60" hydro drive Dixon mower. If all you have to mow is 2 acres, a 42" mower will do you just fine.
I have noticed that on my rolling and somewhat uneven yard, the 42" mower seems to cut a bit more evenly than the 60". It looks to me like the smaller deck follows the waves in the yard more closely, so if your yard isn't completely flat, a smaller mower might do a better job, not just a more cost effective job.
05-26-2004, 10:44 AM
jsandy, I also have a lot of grass that I mow and have been looking at the Toro and Exmark. Do not let any one talk you out of the 60" if I were you and you have the room to I would get a 72" as some one who needs the time more than the money savings I can understand were you are coming from. The only real difference I have found on the Toro and Exmark is the Toro's Quill assembly has tapered roller bearings like the front wheels of a 2wd truck and are greasable. If you keep them greased the Toro should last longer. You should be able to find these bearings at an autoparts store for about $10 an assembly the Exmark uses is a sealed ball bearing and the bearings are not replaceable or greasable as far as I know the cost of the assembly is around $130 each. Water Kills these bearings when you wash your mower and then let it sit until next week. If you were to mow every day this is not an issue. You can get a striping kit for an exmark that you can not get for most Toro's. An EFI engine will get better fuel economy and start easier with more torque than a carb motor. That said a mower takes a lot more abuse than the average Z71 with leather. If you plan to service the mower yourself I would buy a carb engine. The EFI engine will probably cost you more to repair in the shop as well because it is more complicated. I plan to buy a carb engine. I plan to keep my John Deere for a bagging mower and a backup mower. I would look at the parts departments of the dealers an let that make my decision as far as brand of mower. Dealer with the most parts wins. And yes guys I know a 60 or 72 is overkill I make my living at the office and not on the mower. Every time I use a lawn service my wife says "you know I do not have a maid". My cost analysis is that a new zero is much cheaper than a maid + lawn service also if she is cleaning she cannot go shopping.
05-26-2004, 10:48 AM
Sorry I forgot buy a set of Gator blades and you will not need to bag as often
Others have asked, but why would you want to bag?
I say to go for a 27hp 60" cut Lazer. Slightly cheaper than the EFI.
Go with 60", it's simply the perfect size for your needs.
I'm thinking about buying a Kubota ZTR with 23hp & 52" deck. I mow 5 acres with approx 180-200 trees to mow around. I was impressed with the kubota because it is shaft drive to the trans and to the deck. Plus I have a 5 year old 2710 hydro that is a great machine.
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