Convince me

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by watatrp, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. watatrp

    watatrp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 496

    I'm in the market for a new riding mower this year. I'm looking at the Exmark 60" Lazer with a 25 hp Kohler. I have a few questions. Which engine is better? The Kohler or the Kawasaki? My dealer sells Exmarks and Scags. I'm also looking at the Scag Turf Tiger. I also have a Scag SSZ. You must look at your competition. Why should I buy an Exmark over a Scag? Service would be equal, engines are the same. Scags have drive shafts. What is the warranty on the Exmark deck? As I look at the two machines they seem equal. Small details coud sway me either way.
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Watatrp

    Thank you for the questions! Grab yourself a comfortable chair and something to drink because this one might take a while.

    I’ll start with the simple question about deck warranty. The mower deck itself has a 1-year warranty and the spindles have a 3-year warranty. The 3-year warranty covers the bearings and housing, first year parts and labor second and third year parts only.

    Now to answer why Exmark. First let me say both machines are good and since your dealing with the same dealer I’ll concentrate on the machine, the distributor and Exmark as a company. I hope you got that chair and some refreshments. You may even want to have a pizza delivered.

    1. You mentioned the gearbox on the other machine. Please remember with that gear box design you still have a belt driving a pulley which then drives a drive shaft with a universal joint on each end and a slip yoke in the middle. This then drives a gearbox, which in turn drives another belt, which drives the spindles. (disclaimer, it’s been awhile since I looked at one this particular competitors mower, the configuration may have changed) With the Exmark you also have two belts. The difference is that you don’t have the gearbox, universal joints, slip yoke etc. in the middle. There is a lot to be said for simplicity, especially when something goes wrong. We’ve used gearboxes in the past and while they do certain things well. We feel that a belt drive system is not only simpler but also more reliable in this application and less expensive as things wear or if a failure should occur.
    2. Mower deck design. You’ll notice that our deck is 5.5” deep. This allows for better airflow, better discharge and better vacuum. You’ll also find that when mulching the extra depth of the UltraCut deck pays even greater dividends in mulch quality as well as quality of cut. You need good airflow to get a good quality of cut. With the increase in quality of cut we can also cut grass a little faster. I always say “there are several products that can beat us across the parking lot but get’m in the grass and that is where we shine”. You really need to try one for yourself and then you’ll understand why our customers refer to it as the “see it to believe it cut”.
    3. You’ll also find that we have a much higher blade tip speed. This again not only improves the quality of cut but it allows us to cut grass a little faster and maintain that quality of cut. We use aluminum cutter housings with ball bearings in the spindles. Ball bearings are designed for speed, with a relatively low side load and the aluminum dissipates the heat that is created the faster you spin a bearing. Tapered roller bearings are designed for high side loads and relatively slow rotational speed and cast iron does not dissipate heat at a very high rate. I wouldn’t want a ball bearing in a trailer wheel hauling heavy equipment but then again I also wouldn’t want to run a trailer down the highway at 180 + mph. Each bearing type is designed for a specific application. If you don’t utilize the right bearing for the right application you can see an increase in failures.
    4. You’ll also notice a ½ thick solid bar stock running the width of the mower deck. The trim side bar stock is also ½” thick but is made of an abrasion resistant alloy. This not only strengthens the mower deck but is also for those customer who mow near curbs and often times use the mower to clean debris away from curbs and gutters. When using the mower in these applications often they would make contact with the curb and over time this could cause excessive wear.
    5. All seams on the Exmark deck are fully welded for not only strength but to prevent moisture from entering the seams a causing rust. I would also recommend that you look at the type of welds on an Exmark mower deck. They are generally wider, thicker and stronger because they ensure good penetration on both pieces of metal for a solid joint.
    6. Standard on ALL Exmark mowers is the Warner MS200 electric clutch which we’ve found in our testing to be the most reliable clutch in it’s class.
    7. New deck lift mechanism is not only the strongest and most consistent system we’ve ever offered but it makes leveling the deck much easier.
    8. Kohler engine. Standard on all Exmark mowers with V-Twin Kohler engines come standard with canister airfilters as well as clean out ports for the cooling fins. Dirt ingestion is the single largest cause of engine failures on a lawnmower. With the canister air filter you dramatically reduce the chances of dirt getting into the engine. The clean out ports simply allow you to clean out the cooling fins without removing the engine shrouds. On many mowers if you want to clean out the cooling fins you must remove the shrouds. To remove the shrouds you must remove the engine. To remove the engine you need a well equipped shop and a lot of time on your hands. (again I’m not sure if these items are standard our competitors mowers)
    9. Cup holders are now standard.
    10. Center console mounted controls prevent damage from shrubs and other foreign objects. Incidentally it also prevents shrubs from turning the blades off or moving the throttle and choke levers.
    11. Standard seat is one of the most comfortable in the industry. The optional suspension seat gives you added comfort when operating in rough.
    12. Uniquely calibrated steering dampners allow for smoother control of the hydraulic drive system. This means more precise maneuvering and straight passes in rougher conditions.
    13. Amerseal tire sealant in all front caste tires to help prevent caster flats.
    14. No maintenance spindles and only annual maintenance required on front caster tires and front caster pivots.
    15. You may also make a note of the new striping roller that is available. This allows you to leave much more defined stripe or lines in your customers lawns for a more “manicured” look if you so desire.
    16. I think you’ll find that we have a philosophy of treating our customers as we would treat ourselves. We believe that selling a customer his or her first mower is rather easy compared to selling them a second one. It is more difficult to sell you a second one because that one must be earned. We try to earn this business with service after the sale, constantly evolving products with innovative features and performance enhancing technology while still keeping the mowers easy to maintain and reliable.
    17. We also offer “Parts Plus” which is a parts supply program that guarantees parts over night for down units and is available only to commercial cutters. There are restrictions so please consult your local dealer for details.
    18. Technical service is another area we take pride in. Our Customer Service and Customer Support departments work extended hours to ensure that your dealer can get assistance when needed.
    19. We also try to spend several months in the field each year conducting service and maintenance training. Not only do we offer training to or dealers and distributors but to the owners and operators of Exmark mowers. Our goal is to keep you up and running as much as possible. All machines break down but if we can do something to help you reduce as many of the preventable failures as possible you will be more profitable.
    20. I think if you compare the two closely you will also be able to recognize the amount of pride that everyone here at Exmark has in the manufacturing process of our lawnmowers. We are focused on commercial lawnmowers and that is all we do so we try to do it better than our competition. Only you can decide if we are successful at it or not.
    21. Another advantage we feel we have is our distributor. The distribution company responsible for you region has been with us for several years and does a wonderful job. Their service and support to your dealer is exceptional and that translates into better service for you.
    22. Last but not least demo the two machines side by side. Then spend your money where you feel your best investment is. We’ve found that demos are our best selling tool and if you demo an Exmark we are confident which machine you will choose.

    You’ll find differences between all manufacturers. In some cases it is not a case of right versus wrong but what works best for that manufacturers system. Brand X may have this type of a blade or bearing or handle and brand Y may have another type. Each may work fine in their application but may not work if reversed.

    I know I got a little long winded but we are proud of what we do here at Exmark and feel our products offer you things that nobody else can match. Our goal is to offer the most “bang for your buck” and to support our customers after the sale better than anyone in the market place. I don’t know that we are successful at it but we certainly are trying to be the best at what we do.

    Thanks for you time.

    Terry
     
  3. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Terry, I know how long it took me to read that, so I feel sorry for your hands after typing all that.

    I've been running eXmarks since 2000. I've had great results from them. They have been very good machines and the cut is awesome. Anytime I have ever had a question, I just pick up the phone and call the company. Anyone who answers the phone willl go out of their way to help you. The people at eXmark have been the biggest reason why I bought them in the first place. Heck, 2.5 months after I bought my 1st metro, I turned around and bought a 52" Lazer HP with ultra vac. If I didn't like the cut or the people at exmark I would have kept my $$$$.
     
  4. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    I absloutely love my Exmark Lazer Z HP 52"!! Wouldn't trade it for anything:D
     
  5. thfireman

    thfireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 541

    I only have walk behinds but here is my 2 cents worth in short! I own an Exmark gear drive 48" and a Scag Hydro 52". I like both in different ways. I like the Hydro Scag because it is Hydro. If I had not gotten this Scag nearly new from another Fireman for almost half price I would have probably bought an Exmark Hydro. The Scag has a lower handle bar than my Exmark and that makes it a little more difficult to use with a Velke. Love my Scag because it cuts great.

    My Exmark is more comfortable with a Velke but because it is gear drive I only use it to get where the Scag wont go. I love the Kawasaki engine on the Exmark and the fact I rode in a tank in the military (Go ARMY) that would have been shamed by the tank like construction of my Exmark. The cut is fantastic but I wish it stripped a little better. I might add chains to help the striping.

    All in all I wouldnt boot either to the curb but if I were going to purchase all new equipment I would have to go with Exmark at this time if for no other reason than the value for the dollar.

    Exmark Rules! Scag is still near to my heart. Both companies build a kick butt mower!!!

    Roger:blob2:
     
  6. Pacific Nursery

    Pacific Nursery LawnSite Member
    Posts: 114

    I have questions along this line. I have several clients with very hilly properties. Currently I use gear drive 36" or 21" on these slopes.(very steep). Last season I demoed a Ferris 52" hydro and it performed very well on these slopes. Because, I think, of the wide wheel base. A friend of mine uses exmarks and said that they would do as well on the slopes. I need to go side to side on these slopes and occasionally up and down. My question is will exmarks (48" or 52" hydros) handle these jobs?
     
  7. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    Pacific Nursery

    I have the turfg tracer hp, hydro, 48inch deck. The hydro drive system is the only way to go for hills!!!!! I also have customers with rather hilly terrain. I can cut from side to side with no problems. Going up and down is ok, but if it is rough, then you can get into problems with saftey.:eek: I have found that every once in a while I will cut on angles from side to side. This works good so you can cut a different way sometimes.The 48 inch does well, and I would think the 52 inch would do even better because of the wider wheel base.:D
     
  8. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Pacific Nursery:

    Thanks for the question. It's hard for me to say whether or not it would handle this hill without seeing it firsthand. If you can put a 36" or 21" on the slopes, I would think that you wouldn't have any problems with a 52" Turf Tracer, which is heavier and has wider tires for increased stability.

    The 2002 Turf Tracer has the same size rear tires (18 x 8.5-8) as the Ferris unit, and the unit weights (720 lbs.) approximately the same as the Ferris (660 to 700 lbs.).

    I would recommend the Turf Tracer for the best hillside hugging performance. The Turf Tracer HP wouldn't be bad either. It does have a slightly narrower drive tire (1" narrower), and it weights 595 lbs. for the 48" and 629 lbs. for the 52". The total weight of the machine isn't as critical as the width of the tire and how the weight is distributed over the length of the walk-behind.

    Either of these choices would be a good fit for you. The Turf Tracer is the more expensive of the two, but you get more power, the UltraCut deck, canister air filter (Kohlers only), larger tires, an electric blade clutch, and an electric start. I believe it's the best walk-behind on the market; however, I am a little biased :D. Feel free to respond to this post if you have any other questions.

    Thanks again for contacting us!

    Dustin
    Exmark Customer Support
     
  9. watatrp

    watatrp LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 496

    Just wanted to update everyone that was interested. I made my decision last Friday. I had both machines side by side and talked to both reps at length. I agreed on several points. The engines are equal, the cut was pretty much a draw too. My dealer sells both Scag and Exmark so that wasn't an issue. Price was within $200 for the units. What swayed my decision was the fact that the bagger for the Scag was easier to take on and off, the Scag just seemed slightly more engineered, the Scag didn't have two huge plastic gas tanks but one tank mounted under the seat. I like the being able to grease my spindles. My original 36" walkbehind still has the original spindles after 10 years! I've had Scags for 10 years now and had very few problems. I know this is a small detail but the Scag rep even went and got the Exmark rep to come out and talk to me. Talk about confidence in your product. My decision was based solely on a few small details and my past experience with Scag. I would've had no problem buying and Exmark and salute their product. This was a very tough decision.
     

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