Another...You build it...We'll Buy it !

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by TLS, May 4, 2004.

  1. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    I've been hearing a LOT of GOOD things about the new TORO 500 series. As it stands right now, if I were in the market for a new ZTR, it would most likely have to be the TORO.

    Things that TORO has OVER the eXmark at this time:

    2"x 2"x 3/16" frame.

    Very nice and strong blade spindle housings.

    ALL 7 gauge high strength steel deck with the adjustable baffle.

    Will any of these features be introduced into the eXmark line?

    The frame has me curious, as why should one company make two different frames?

    Spindle strength is always a good thing, as is a STRONG deck.

    Here is what I'd like to see you, eXmark make......

    TORO specs as above.

    30hp air cooled gas 60" class
    35hp air cooled gas 72" class

    26x12-12 Drive tires
    15x6.00-6 Front tires

    13-15 mph top speed

    15.5 gal fuel tanks

    45" Overall Height (totally removable branch

    80" Overall Length

    1100 lb Max weight

    Less than $10K price tag

    Sell these as the "Magnum" line. Built for speed and performance.

    What do you factory guys think?
  2. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    I say don't change a thing. I have a 2002 EPS model and have absolutely no complaints. NO frame problems, no spindle problems, and no need to adjust a baffle that is in the optimum position.
  3. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258


    Thanks for the suggestions and as always we are working on a number of things for the future.

    As with anything there are always pluses and minuses and there are many new designs available that were not a few years ago. Please remember however that not all new designs are necessarily better just because they are new.

    We do use a smaller tube with the same wall thickness as some of our competitors however we add a great deal of steel at the stress points. We also cut and miter the "caster arm" or "Y" of the front frame. We believe this is much stronger than the "bend" used by many manufacturers.

    I believe that you'll also find that while we do not use a 7 gauge top sheet we do use more steel in our mower deck than some of these manufacturers. Often the thickness of the steel in certain areas isn't where you gain the strength it's in the gusseting and re-enforcement. Just as an example which would be stronger a 1" wide 1/4" steel plate or a 1" wide 1/8" "T" or a 1" wide 1/8” "I" beam. You'll also notice that our deck is nearly 1/2" thick around the spindle. Often a lamination of materials is stronger than one solid piece. I would also like to point out that all decks have the potential to bend no matter how thick you make them. In the event you should bend our deck the top sheet and the top reinforcement sheet must "slip". Once straightened you can simply drill a hole through both sheets and plug weld the hole for a stronger deck than it was the day it left the factory. How do you reinforce a deck if it is one solid piece? You'll also notice that most fabricated decks do not have fully welded seams where the side skirt meets the top sheet. All Exmark mower decks have fully welded seams in this area rather than “skip” welding them.

    There are several manufacturers that do not use ball bearings for their blade spindles most. Most of them spin the blades much slower with other types of bearings. The majority of our customers prefer the higher blade tip speeds we offer compared to some manufacturers. We also use aluminum to dissipate heat much faster than cast iron or ductile iron. This again helps the bearing survive at higher revolutions. One other added benefit of aluminum housing is that it can from time to time break. As a general rule when you hit something hard enough to break a cutter housing that was a good thing because something must give. Which is more cost effective to replace an $80 housing with bearings or an $800 deck shell. To be honest I often wish the housings were a little more fragile for this reason.

    I can not tell you how the various baffles in different decks function or what their purpose is but I can tell you about the benefits of our “Flow Control” baffles. The “Flow Control” baffle helps to “clean” up the air flow under the deck and reduce the size of the clippings that are discharged. By re-directing the airflow through the deck we require less horsepower to cut the same amount of grass when compared to some decks and baffle designs. We also have the added benefit of increased lift to stand the grass up taller before being cut. The redirected air flow helps carry the clippings through the deck where they can be re-cut and then discharges them out the deck much quicker. To phrase it more simply the combination of deck depth, flow control baffles and blade tip speed help to stand the grass up taller, cut it off cleaner and get it out the discharge chute faster so more grass can be cut. The reduction in clipping size often helps allow the clippings to be disguised or hidden in the turf rather than lying on the surface. Often when large clippings are discharged from a deck they can wind row, then turn brown and hide the lush green grass below.

    In addition to items already covered such as a deck design, front frame and blade tip speeds we also offer many features that few other manufacturers can offer.

    When you first see an 04 model Lazer you'll notice the new fuel tanks and relocated controls. You'll also like that the controls are mounted on the discharge side rather than the trim side like many machines. When the controls are mounted on the trim side it is logical that they may be more susceptible to damage from trees and shrubs that you may be trying to trim near. The gas gauge is also a nice added feature that I’m not sure is offered by every competitor. A closeable storage compartment and other convenience items are nice features as well.

    Some of these features would include the new contoured drive levers which offer better hand position and more “hip” room for larger operators or operator who prefer a more relaxed seating position. The new seat is also more comfortable. The extended seat back with side bolsters, contoured and molded seat cushion as well as the electrometric band that replaced the steel springs are all nice comfort items. These features can easily be overlooked on the showroom floor on in a brief demonstration but I think you’ll appreciate them after an 8 or 10 hour day.

    On the maintenance side we’ve changed the front caster wheel bearings and caster pivots so maintenance is only required annually. The new bearings also feature a new dust/debris guard to protect the seal and prevent premature replacement or service.

    In the past 3 years alone I have seen at least seven new decks come onto the market. I have yet to see one that offers so many features and functions so well in such a wide variety of cutting conditions. Some cut great in wet grass and some cut great in dry or on northern grasses vs. southern grasses. One of the things I like most about our deck is that it functions well in nearly any cutting condition. This often means changing to a different type of blade or some other slight change but as a whole it should cut well just about anywhere in North America.

    Dealer support is often overlooked as criteria when buying a new lawnmower and should be very high on the list. Manufacturer support is also important as well.

    We are currently working on several projects right now. Some of them may improve the products we have, some may help us design completely new machines and others may be utilized in other ways. I do want to thank you for you product suggestions. All of them will be considered and presented to our product development team for potential use on our current products or future ones. You might be suprised one day what we come out with.


  4. scottishmaximus

    scottishmaximus LawnSite Senior Member
    from ohio
    Posts: 286

    I have been comparing the Toro Z and the eXmark Lazer. I liked the rubber discharge chute on the toro. I find the metal chutes a waste since they tend to clump grass and drag on uneven terrain.

    Another plus for the Toro was the jack (z stand) that is mounted on the front. Just a nice feature for cleaning decks and changing blades.

    The Toro also has the adjustable deck baffle. In all honesty I don' think I'd ever change it from wide open, but I really do not know unless I tried one.

    There is a lot of hype about the Toro blade spindles. To me this is actually a drawback because they have grease fittings, making another maintenance point. And who cares how big and massive they are, as long as they do the job. I have never had problems with a blade spindle anyways.

    The Toro seems to have many of the same features that the eXmark has. Thank you Terry for pointing out some of the less obvious ones such as the handles and control locations. The thing that gets me is that the Toro z of equivilant horsepower and deck size as the Lazer is at least $500 cheaper at my local dealers.

    The Toro being $500 cheaper and having the usable discharge chute and usable jack seems to make more sense to me. The only other variable I see is dealer support. Am I missing something. I am a big eXmark fan, but am not quite convinced.
  5. Potchkins

    Potchkins LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 570

    how about a lazer z with a cab and a/c.
  6. Potchkins

    Potchkins LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 570

    diesel powered lazer z w/21 or 24hp
    52" cut
  7. Potchkins

    Potchkins LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 570

    diesel powered lazer z hp w/19 or 21hp
    48" cut

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