eXmark lazer mulching

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Envy Lawn Service, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I've been thinking of buying a Lazer Z HP. Although the mulching system looks like it would be far superior to any other design, occasionally I have to switch from mulching to discharge in the field.

    Seems to me it would be a good bit of work to switch back and forth. Please tell me it I'm wrong about this.

    One thought I had was how much would it kill the performance if you left out the baffle that makes each blade in it's own chamber? Running only the mulch blades and discharge block off.

    The UltraCut deck on the Lazer Z looks to have a pretty good baffle in it already. That brings me to my next question, what's the difference between the design of the UltraCut and TriVantage deck?
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Envy,

    Thanks for the questions.

    Generally we get pretty good comments on the performance of the mulch kit. Personally I don't like the way any multiple blade deck mulches with out individual chambers for each blade. Truthfully with out the baffles you’re probably not mulching at all. With out the baffles you can chop the clippings up to a fine consistency however that is only part of the mulching process.

    In order to truly mulch you not only need to chop the clippings into smaller particles but you also need to deposit them as deeply as possible into the turf. If the clippings are left on top of the lawn they don't decompose very quickly. When deposited down low the clippings help retain water, and decompose at a higher rate to become nutrients for the lawn.

    Without the baffles most of the clippings will transfer from one blade to the next until the reach the discharge block off plate when they create a pile of clippings that is usually very visible to the customer.

    You’re right about switching back and forth. It's something that does take time but once you've done it a few times you can swap one out in about 20 minutes or so if the hardware isn't too rusted. Generally if your going to be swapping the kit off and on a lot I'd recommend stocking up on the appropriate nuts and bolts and fasteners for the kit. The most difficult part of swapping the kit on an off is going to be fighting with rusty bolts from all of the grass, fertilizer and moisture they are exposed to.


    The TriVantage deck is really our claim to fame. It's what has make Exmark so successful, quality of cut. The basic TriVantage deck is now used through out our entire line up (or UltraCut) and allows us to side discharge, mulch and bag effectively from the same deck. With most deck designs they may bag well but don't mulch well or don't discharge well etc. Some may perform 2 of the 3 functions well but the TriVantage was the first to do all 3 and is still in the eyes of many the industry standard today. The UltraCut is just the next generation of the TriVantage deck.

    The UltraCut deck is a little deeper and a little beefier to handle the higher ground speeds of the Lazer series.

    Both are great cutting decks and both fit the machines they are on well. The big differences are in the characteristics of the machines each deck is attached too.

    Demo both the Lazer and the Lazer HP and you'll see what I mean.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. Ssouth

    Ssouth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 437

    Envy Lawn Service,
    I have the mulching kit installed on all of our ExMark mowers(5). I can take the baffles off in less than 5 mins. and put them on in ten(10) mins. There has been seveals times that I switch several times per day. Each property has its own need. I think you will find with ExMark, that it's very simple to change from side discharge to mulch or to vac. All are simple and only take a few minutes. Each has its own purpose and all of these techniques work well with the ExMark system.

    For any specific questions e-mail me:
    Ssouth11@bellsouth.net
     
  4. Grasshog

    Grasshog LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 270

    i just bought the mulch kit today for my 60" LC Z. I"l let you know how easy it is to change around. I was planning on buying the stripe kit too but man o man. Its made with gold. Cant swing for that right
     
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Grasshog,

    Thanks, keep me informed! As far as the striping roller, have a welder fab you one for a fraction of the cost. Maybe if the rollers don't sell, they'll realize they are too expensive.
     
  6. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Envy,

    Now you went and opened a can of worms. I've had this itch to sell rollers for a while now and have just been looking for a chance to step up on a soapbox.

    For some cutters it can take significant time and energy to land one of his/her better contracts and as we all know time is money. We also know that the time spent on a trailer is time spent not making money. Some of you are even battling companies that sell their services for less money than you do. Often times they don't do the quality of work that you do and the customer ultimately ends up getting what they paid for.

    If for your $350 dollar investment someone sees your work and that lands you one of those premier accounts for a season that was a good investment. If that investment in the roller lands you one more job in a given neighborhood eliminating some trailering time between jobs that was a good investment. If that same roller leaves the lawn looking more professional, more manicured and more to the customers liking that may allow you to not only hold you current price and fend off the price cutter but maybe even raise the price as expenses go up each year. If you've got employees that maybe are not as particular as you are the roller can certainly take the customers attention away from the flower bed that may not have been cared for as well as you would have done it. If the wide roller in the back prevents you from scalping the lawn when you back out of a tight spot you may have avoided an unhappy customer. $350 for the roller is better than money in the bank if you accomplish even one of these.

    I know that $350 sounds like a lot but if you look at what you have to gain, it's an easy choice. Price vs. value makes for good investment choices. Heck that sounds so good I should see if I could get a percentage.

    That's may pitch. I like the rollers; I like them a lot. The feedback we've gotten from the field and from our dealers has been wonderful. Thanks for listening.

    Terry
     
  7. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Terry,

    You're right, I'm reading between the lines of course, but you're right. We in the lawn care biz can be pretty brutal in our complaining about customers who are always trying to talk us down $5, but we browbeat our dealers and suppliers to death about .50 cents on a mulching blade.

    What comes around goes around.........or
    Do unto others what you would have them do to you.

    Scott
     
  8. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Green Pastures,

    Yah, I guess cost is an issue but I was really trying to focus more on the benefits of the EZ striper.

    I got a call from a large cutter who had a very profitable account at some corporate headquarters. This guys sends out several crews each day and the account ended up on the route of one of his less experienced crews. After we talked he ordered the roller. Turns out that the CEO was the one most upset about the grass. He likes to look out his big picture window at the lawn and it gives him a break from what ever pressures he is under at that moment. Now he looks out at a lawn that reminds him of the country club that he doesn't get to spend much time at now that he's at the office doing CEO stuff all the time. Customer happy, account saved and well worth the 350 potatoes. For this cutter it not only saved the account but he didn't spend hours on the phone or in person trying to smooth everything over and he wasn't forced to go out and find a replacement account. That's a major reduction of the stress and hassle factor, which is worth a lot to some of us.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  9. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    Envy Lawn -
    They speak the truth on the mulching system, it is second to none. I have customers swear that the grass is bagged. There is some getting used to the amount of power that it takes to run this system. You can't go into a 2 week growth lawn and expect to run full blast. I have learned (with great advise from this forum) cutting the grass low and working it back to a uniform height is critical. In other words, you have to "train the grass for the mower". This system does not like tall, uneven grass. This system works at it's best when you are cutting weekly, well established lawns

    Terry,

    You said earlier that the ultra cut deck is deeper and beefier built. With this added depth of the deck, will this add some volume inside so that the mower will be more productive?
    What immediate differences do you see?
     
  10. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Deason,

    Personally I don't see that much difference. Some of the guys see a greater degree of performance separation than I do. What I see is that the full size Lazer is generally used at higher speeds in areas with more open space. I see the Lazer Z HP used on smaller properties that allow you to mow at full speed for short bursts rather than long high speed passes. The real differences lie in the machines each deck is attached to.

    Please also keep in mind that we're talking about some fairly smooth mowing conditions. More often than not both machines are limited only by the amount of abuse you want to put yourself through while sitting in the saddle. The mower can quite often handle more grass than bumps your willing to take. Throw in operator ability to make turns, stops and maneuver with out damaging the turf and it really becomes unclear what the advantages of each machine are.

    If you take terrain, and operator ability out of the equation you should find that the full size Lazer with the UltraCut deck should cut a larger volume of grass than the Lazer HP in large wide open areas. The Lazer HP should have the advantage on smaller tighter areas with large numbers of obstacles to trim around.

    Both deck designs fit the machines they are attached to extremely well. Both also utilize the same TriVantage technology we've used for several years, which includes the ability to bag, side discharge and mulch well from one mower deck.

    Thanks

    Terry
     

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