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View Full Version : best finish mower, walker excluded


ScCo
08-30-2004, 12:32 AM
what in your opinions are the best 48" finish mowers?

by that I mean that if you had to choose 1 48" machine to give the best quality cut and finish on properties with several rolling hills and dips (prone to scalping with midmount ZTR's) what machine would you choose?

I've excluded walker from the possibilities because of the only dealer in my area being a dealer that doesn't have a very good rep.

Basically I need to know which machines to look into/demo to see what gives me the nicest finish cut, especially at fairly short cutting heights in warm season grasses. Again, these are properties that are very prone to scalping with midmount ztr's (even my super z which is generally really good about not scalping) unless I cut them higher than the customers want them cut.

Example being: one of my properties is tifway bermuda and it is being cut at 3" which is WAY too high, but any lower setting on the super z will produce scalps, no matter how much I work the deck lift pedal.

What 48" machine would each of you go with and why?


Thanks
ScCo

P.S. Fixed decks are excluded too, as I'm in a transitional zone and have to frequently change cutting heights.

grasssin
08-30-2004, 01:14 AM
Not sure about many other machines since I havent used them but I have an Exmark lazer hp 48" with mulch kit installed and I LOVE IT.

I use the Extreme blade with it and have hardly any scapling issues unless it is an extreme hill that tops out quickly.

Or being an idiot and mow something that I should trim, like a a transition on the begining of the driveway

About to get the anti blowout for it so I dont have dust blowing at me...

65hoss
08-30-2004, 01:17 AM
eXmark---nothing but great experience with them.

2nd choice would be Hustler.

Floating deck on either of them in 48" for the scalping.

grasssin
08-30-2004, 01:18 AM
Here are some pics I took whhttp://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=66682en I got my new mower this spring...

grasssin
08-30-2004, 01:25 AM
here is one of the pics for you before

grasssin
08-30-2004, 01:27 AM
and after, this was done in spring with rye grass

BCSteel
08-30-2004, 03:35 AM
Your only handicaping yourself by not even considering the Walker. Not that it may really be the best for your aplications but, why not even consider it? Take care of it and you will never have to see the dealer again anyways.

vipermanz
08-30-2004, 05:09 AM
Originally posted by ScCo


P.S. Fixed decks are excluded too, as I'm in a transitional zone and have to frequently change cutting heights.

i think you might have this confused, a fixed deck's height can be changed

ScCo
08-30-2004, 04:18 PM
i know fixed decks heights can be changed....just nowhere near as fast as floating decks.

it's pretty common knowledge that we should avoid bad dealers, so going and buying a walker with the hopes of never having problems out of it, would not be a smart decision.

yes, the walkers cut great, but the hassle of dealing with the dealership that sales walkers makes them a no go.

ztrlvr
08-30-2004, 04:24 PM
Thats like saying best presidential canidate, bush excluded

CJ GreenScapes
08-30-2004, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by ztrlvr
Thats like saying best presidential canidate, bush excluded

A little off topic, but I do agree!

I know exactly how you feel about dealer support. I wanted to demo the Toro and the Hustler, so I headed to this particular dealer and left there pissed. After checking them out, I started hearing horror stories. Now I only deal with one dealer who sales Walker and Exmark only. I have already bought a Walker and am looking to add Exmark soon. I am sure the other mowers are just as good, if not better, but why take a risk with a sorry dealer.

Just my .02

ProStreetCamaro
08-30-2004, 06:01 PM
Well for one stay away from Scag. The finish cut on scags is terrible IMO. In all honesty the BobCat we had was the best cutting machine I have ever used. So I say BobCat, Exmark and Gravely. Those 3 will give you a very nice cut.

ScCo
08-31-2004, 12:23 AM
I agree that by excluding the walker i'm leaving out an awesome, and possibly the best machine for finish cut quality. Making all the little comments to reiterate my initial statement of knowing such information is a waste of time and simply beating a dead horse.

I am going to contact walker tomorrow about a different dealer than my nearest dealer, which is also the only dealer in the area that I know of, and see if there is another dealer that I could deal with.

If not however I guess I'll be checking out the hustler, exmark, gravely and bobcat walks and seeing if they can provide the finish cut needed at the cut heights needed.

Thanks for all your input,

ScCo

cantoo
08-31-2004, 12:33 AM
My Walker Dealer is 80 miles away one way. It's never been a real problem. Anything that has ever happened has been something we could schedule to repair. It has never left us stranded but we do have back up equipment. I have closer dealer but have no intention of dealing with them. Next day shipping if I need anything.

Tonyr
08-31-2004, 01:17 AM
not sure if I'm the right track here but....

If you want to pick up grass as good as a walker, mulch with same deck, have a stronger, beafier frame with less maintenance than a Walker, check out a Toro Z355, a new one, not old as early ones were not as good.


Or are you looking at midmount styles?

BCSteel
08-31-2004, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by Tonyr
If you want to pick up grass as good as a walker, mulch with same deck, have a stronger, beafier frame with less maintenance than a Walker, check out a Toro Z355, a new one, not old as early ones were not as good.


Or are you looking at midmount styles?

This is what I was thinking as well.

ScCo
08-31-2004, 02:50 AM
front mounts and walk behinds are what I'm looking into Tonyr.

I'll look at the toro outfront bagging mower as it looks pretty nice.

Cantoo, I'm also going to look for a walker dealer outside of my immediate area to see what they can offer me. Like it appears that you have done yourself. I have other machines that would prevent me from being stranded, I just don't want to give the local walker dealer a penny of my money.

all the input from you guys is appreciated,

ScCo

dkeisala
08-31-2004, 02:55 AM
Look, if the dealer doesn't have a good rep and you end up buying a Walker and don't get the service you think you deserve simply call Walker Manufacturing. I did it and they couldn't have been more responsive and helpful. They made a call to my dealer and now the dealer AND Walker are bending over backwards to take care of my problem.

ztrlvr
08-31-2004, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by Tonyr
not sure if I'm the right track here but....

If you want to pick up grass as good as a walker, mulch with same deck, have a stronger, beafier frame with less maintenance than a Walker, check out a Toro Z355, a new one, not old as early ones were not as good.


Or are you looking at midmount styles?


I am very familiar with Walkers frame, it is about 97% solid steel stock and about 3% tube steel. I looked at the Z355 frame online and it is mostly tube steel. Just wondering how the Z355 is stronger and beefier. For the record they both look pretty strong for a lawn mower

mkwl
08-31-2004, 11:50 AM
Bob-Cat mowers definitely have the best quality of cut and the best striping!!!! I have a Bob-Cat Walk behind,48" fixed deck,belt drive, w/ 15 HP Kawi engine on it and I love it!!!!! It is built like a tank!!!!! Get a Bob-Cat mower and you will not be dissappointed!!!!!!

The C Man
09-01-2004, 02:33 PM
Don't listen to anything mkwl has to say, he's the biggest jack*ss on this forum. He never backs anything up he says, just spouts off at the mouth. If he's right about anything it's pure coincidence. If you're ever in need of exclamation points though, he's your man.

Tonyr
09-01-2004, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by ztrlvr
I am very familiar with Walkers frame, it is about 97% solid steel stock and about 3% tube steel. I looked at the Z355 frame online and it is mostly tube steel. Just wondering how the Z355 is stronger and beefier. For the record they both look pretty strong for a lawn mower



OK....Walker has changed it's frame design then...

I owned a 2000 48'' 25hp GHS Walker.

Then I bought a Toro Z355.

From owning both machines and comparing them on the same jobs, I can surely and honestly tell you the Toro is a lot more robust beafier and stronger in every way.

The cut is as good, catching grass is as good if not better, larger wheels for better floatation, excellent on hills, where Walker ain't as good.

Lift ya catcher up, now rock the Walker....does the frame twist?
The ones made around when I had mine did, and they crack....many second hand walkers have welded up frames.

I'm not saying they are a bad machine, they are great at what they were designed for, but the toro is a lot beafier, better catcher even, packs in a lot more too!

Many walker owners hate it when I post my opinions like this becaue everyone wants to think they have the best and everything else is crap, but the funny side is those who object to me comparing the walker to toro like this so much have never used or bette,r owned the toro, but are willing to say the toro can't be better than their walker.

Bit like the guys that say Toro can never be as good as Exmark....yet they clearly are now....hmmmmm.

Jump back here and critisise me if ya want, but until you have owned both, you can't put in valid argument saying ya walker is the ducks nutz and nothing can top it.

I know a lot of walker owners don't believe me, go ask some big dealers about chassis repairs, axel bearings collapsing internally etc....I know a big dealer who says he has like a wrecking yard behind his shed of old walker frames etc , they are meant to be a lightweight mower guys, they are a finish mower, the toro offers a finish mower with a 2 way deck with a true commercial frame. And heavier, this is good and bad....can't have both ways, weight is better on slopes but not as good when turning a lot on small manicured jobs.

I can feel the knives already, before anyone gets upset, please go and look closely at ya walker, then drive to the toro dealer and have a good look over a Z355....


I'm not trying to tick anyone off, walkers are great, mine had the highlift which made it even better, my point is simply they are not a rugged as the toro, and was never designed to be for obvious reasons, they have better steering than toro, lighter is good and bad, but the toro frame is far superior and you can't compete with toro's larger wheels.

go see for yourself, you will see my points...

mkwl
09-01-2004, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by The C Man
Don't listen to anything mkwl has to say, he's the biggest jack*ss on this forum. He never backs anything up he says, just spouts off at the mouth. If he's right about anything it's pure coincidence. If you're ever in need of exclamation points though, he's your man.

I am correct about everything I say. I can backup every thing I say. Bob-Cat mowers are far superior to pos toro, exmark,scag,jd, and ferris.

absolutelawnman
09-01-2004, 11:18 PM
My SCAG has treated me fine and we cut the same stuff.

cantoo
09-01-2004, 11:52 PM
Just curious mkwl, how many of each machine have you owned? I have quite a few different brands of equipment and I can actually say that every one has their strong points and bad points. My Walker is the best for cleanups and small detailed properties. My Bobcat ZTR is the best for wide open mowing and side discharging. My JD front mount doesn't cut worth a crap but it works great with the sweeper on the front for cleaning gravel from lawns in the spring. My Steiner and Ransomes 4x4's do an okay job at cutting but do an excellent job using a wide variety of attachments like, sprayers, leaf turbine, overseeder, wire plow, push blade and poly brush. My Bunton reel mower is pretty much useless other than I will rob the diesel out of it someday to mount into something else. My Ransomes electric greens reel mower now minus the reels makes an excellent drive around the farm gocart for my daughter. My Mtd Pro Z midmount was my best wide open area mower until the Bobcat came onboard now it justs sits in the barn beside my ole Yazoo waiting for a new assignment. I have a few other pieces too but now it just sounds like I'm bragging.
I think we made a rule here a long long time ago "If you don't own it or haven't run it then shut your mouth"

dishboy
09-02-2004, 12:13 AM
Originally posted by mkwl
I am correct about everything I say. I can backup every thing I say. Bob-Cat mowers are far superior to pos toro, exmark,scag,jd, and ferris.


How do you figure, the Bobcat deck design is at least 25 years old. I do own a Bobcat, excellent mechanicals, outdated deck.

I am waiting eagerly for your response.

chuckers
09-02-2004, 12:16 AM
i love my scags i have ran a exmark for a year and i traded on a bob-cat i didnt really like that and then i am on scags now.... and it runs like a solid mower as a matter of fact i hate my bobcat skid

mkwl
09-02-2004, 12:49 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by dishboy
How do you figure, the Bobcat deck design is at least 25 years old. I do own a Bobcat, excellent mechanicals, outdated deck.

I am waiting eagerly for your response. [/
QUOTE]

Bob-Cat's deck gives a far superior quality of cut, and they just updated their deck design a year ago!!!!! Even if they hadn't updated the deck, which they did, if it works and gives a far superior quality of cut, why change it? Scag changed their deck a few years ago and now scag decks cut is terrible. If it works, don't fix it. I love my Bob-Cat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ScCo
09-02-2004, 12:52 AM
between my demos I have lined up for my next big, haul a$$ midmount zero turn, and a finish type mower like the ones listed in this thread, it appears that I'll be spending more time working with demo machines than I will spend working with my own machines.

cool....saves on wear and tear.... :)

The C Man
09-02-2004, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by mkwl
I am correct about everything I say. I can backup every thing I say

Really? Then why don't you? Why don't you act like the 43 year old man your profile says you are instead of some snot-nosed 13 year old? Every post you make is the same - you say the equipment you use is the best.... and that's it. These forums are supposed to be about helping people, so if you can back up your statements, do it. At least offer SOMEthing in your posts that resembles evidence instead of your pointless rants. Turn over a new leaf and help other people when you can.

PMLAWN
09-02-2004, 02:08 AM
My Z is a Toro with the 60" Turbo Force deck and it cuts great. Most of my WB's are Exmark and they cut great. Be sure to get a floating deck. I think a WB will be the best in your situation. I would be looking at a Exmark tthp but that is just me.
I would ask one thing-- If you are having such a scalping problem at your cut height might you be better with a 36" deck. I do not know how many mowers you have and that might kill production on other jobs but if this mower is just for that area than will the 36 fly? I got a job this summer for that reason. The last guy was scalping the swells at the bottom of the hills and yet would not use anything less than a 52" deck. I used my 36 and it fit great. The job is 22 hours a week and I only use the 36 for about 2 of it but I charge for it and the customer knew that going in and they are now happy with the landscape. Sure it may not be as fast as a bigger mower but if it does the job right and you charge for it than you should be OK. (I do have mowers of all different sizes, which works for me, but you will have to make a desision based on you needs and finances.)

ScCo
09-02-2004, 06:37 PM
PMLAWN,

The majority of lawns around here, even the nicest ones, are on rough and rolling ground. The particular jobs that I'm having trouble with are 1 acre estates with emerald zoysia turf. They all have to be bagged, and all of the owners have read to many articles where the writers of the articles talk about zoysia needing to be cut no higher than 2".

There are 12 of these properties, all in one edition that we maintain, and I've been doing so with the 60" super z and a lot of working the foot pedal. The end results are better than what the other local LCO's had produced, but still not good enough to make me happy. Haven't had any customers complain, they are all very happy when I talk to them. I just know that the properties could look better, which would in turn make me look better, so I'm trying to figure out what will give me the best finished results without having to be there for part of a second day to do so.

If there is a 36" machine that will get me on and off those properties in the time I need to be on and off of them, then I'd definitely consider it as an option.

Thanks for your time and input,

ScCo