Advice on Walk behind mowers

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by deerslayer, May 29, 2004.

  1. deerslayer

    deerslayer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    I am going to purchase a walk behind mower for personal use, and maybe a few side jobs to help pay for it':rolleyes:. I have decided on a 48" gear drive mower with a sulky. I am leaning towards an Exmark with ECS controls and 15 HP Kohler. I have looked at a Yazoo/Kees but due to the ECS controls on the Exmark, I believe I will get that one. Is it worth paying extra for the Kawasaki V-Twin over the Kohler? What is the advantages of one over the other? Would this be a good mower for me? I am mowing a little over two acres with some steep hills.
     
  2. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    should be a fine mower for you. the kawi is a great motor, makes more torque than the kohler. the kohler is a good motor too though. the only trouble you might run into is belt slippage on hills or wet grass with the sulky, this is where the hydros really work good on wb's. also a belt drive uses more hp than hydros also. exmark is built exceptionally well so you should have many years of use (with the proper care). also if you are going to be doing any mulching, the mulch kit is an excellent option. jump over to the exmark forum and ask for a comparison between them and any others you are considering. they can usually help with more info.
     
  3. deerslayer

    deerslayer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Thanks MikeLT1Z28 for the info. The price I got was with the Kohler and I didn't see any reason to pay extra for the Kawasaki, but I wanted to get other opinions first. The dealer told me the hydros would do better on hills, but I cannot justify paying the extra $1500 unless I started mowing a lot of yards besides my own.
    I may get a mulch kit later on, but I was hoping that this mower with the fast blade speed might do well without it I had one on my previous mower and loved how it cut (when the grass was dry and I didn't let it get too high).
     
  4. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    the cut will still be great with the factory excalibur blades, the mulch kit will just make it looked bagged and it helps to control clippings getting in beds, mulch, etc...
     
  5. spigeez

    spigeez LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 6

    Just bought a Husqvarna 48" gear drive w/ ETS controls and a 15 hp Kawi twin. So far I have just played around a little with it because i'm waiting for my new lawn to get strong and healthy before I knock it down. The fit-finish and initial quality looks really good though. I'm putting a Velke two wheeled sulky on it this week. The ETS controls seem to work really well and are much more comfortable than pistol type. The Husky is the same as a Yazoo-Kees I believe, but YK doesn't offer a walkbehind with the ETS controls. I also looked at the Exmark Metro 48 and that was a slick mower IMO. The Husky dealer is 1 mile from my house so I went with him. Anyhow, if you lean toward the Yazoo, maybe check the Husky w4815ets and you can get the Kawi twin and ETS another $200. Have fun!
     
  6. deerslayer

    deerslayer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    I agree with you on the comfort of the ETS over the pistol style grips. That eliminated the Yazoo. The Husky dealer was about 25 miles away, had already sold all their commercial mowers and weren't interested in ordering any more. The exmark is in stock at a dealer less than 5 miles away. The Yazoo dealer priced a Kawasaki but without the ETS grips, so I wasn't interested. Hopefully the Kohler will be a good engine. I am getting a single wheel sulky and will be picking it up the mower tomorrow. My grass really needs cut now so it should be a good test for the mower.
     
  7. spigeez

    spigeez LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 6

    Good deal. I don't think you can go wrong with an Exmark. I was torn over the decision and I still like the Metro's design alot. Hopefully I didn't get the wrong mower. Time will tell. Give a shout after you have used it a while and let us know what you think of it.
     
  8. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Deerslayer,as an exmark guy you already know my answer on wether it's a good machine or not.
    As far as the Kawi over the Kohler..............don't mean a hill of beans for a homeowner...............or a comercial cutter for the most part.It's just a matter of preference.
     
  9. deerslayer

    deerslayer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    I put about 2 1/2 hours on my new mower yesterday. The cut is top notch. There were several spots in my yard that hadn't been mowed in almost two weeks (since my old lawn mower died). The grass was very thick but with the discharge chute up, the mower did an excellent job that didn't require raking. My only complaint with the mower is it doesn't do very good on the steep hills that make up my yard. If I could have afforded it, I would have got a hydro with bigger drive tires. Oh well. I will just have to walk it across the hills and get some exercise. The controls will take me a little while to get adjusted to them, but I actually look forward to mowing my yard again. Now it's going to be like NASCAR. I'm going to be checking each time I mow to see how my lap times improve :D
     
  10. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    Enjoy....................
     

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