Originally Posted by ExmarkBoy
Like you basically said, to each his own. I think that all the dealers they have is a BIG reason to buy exmark because of how easy it is to get warranty work done. For warranty work you need a certified repair shop, and I have (what I think is) one of the best dealers in Indiana. This is unrelated, but even during the wet season, their handheld turnaround is about 3-4 days instead of 6-8 weeks. John Deere makes pretty good stuff, but the decks don't give as good of a cut. Dixie-Chopper isn't nearly as good (relative to the industry) as it used to be. And I can't comment past cut quality on Hustler. Still not quite as good as Exmark.
It's funny you say that about John Deere. Their deck is known to be one of, if not the best in the industry. It produces a much better cut quality then that of an Exmark. As for warranty warranty work, almost all manufacturers require a certified repair shop for warranty work. That isn't so class exclusive Exmark. The boom with Exmark started when Toro purchased them. Any dealer that stocked Toro commercially had to stock Exmark, and vice versa. Dealer support is a big up sell, but "warranty work" isnt what makes a dealer stock a brand, trust me. What makes a large dealer stock a brand is what sells the best for them. The largest dealer in my area sells John Deere and Exmark. The second largest sells Dixie, BobCat, Toro, and Exmark, and their BobCat sales are double their Exmarks. A good example of why Exmark drowns the competition in sales is this; if the largest dealer in your area only stocks Exmark, or that's their best seller, then right out of the gate you are drawn towards that machine. And the same goes for any other brand, it's just that Exmark is one of the biggest commercial mass produce machines. If you actually talk to people in the industry with experience running multiple brands, you'll see that a lot of other manufactures make machines just as good, if not better. As far as the perfect mower, I would say a John Deere deck on a Scag or Hustler frame would beat an Exmark any day.
As far as the Dixie Chopper, the only thing that detracted people away was the electronic deck lift, and the large expense that was caused if it broke. However now that Dixie has gotten rid of that, you'll see a lot more Dixie's being run in industrial situations.
They all make a good mowers, no doubt about it. And you aren't wrong to choose one or the other. It's like a Chevy, Ford, and Dodge debate. But until you get out and actually use them sun up to sun down, it's hard to say what's the best reading out of a pamphlet.