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Exmark Lazer Z HP 48" maintenance- beware

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brucec32, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I'm on my second Lazer Z hp. I have the 48" deck version. I'm not sure why but their '03 design engineers have obviously never turned a wrench in their lives. The engineering is abysmal when it comes to the ability to service the mower efficiently.

    I just spent 3 hours changing the pump and deck belts, something I've done on the previous lazer and many other mowers over the last decade plus in far less time.

    For some reason, every single nut you have to reach on the machine is blocked by something else.

    It takes someone with a child's hands to reach the grease fittings for the idler arms. So, commonly, people don't do it and the belt wears prematurely.

    The spring on the idler arm of the deck is blocked by the battery. The nut on that arm is blocked by other objects.

    You have to remove 6 nuts on two shrouds just to get the belt off/on.

    You have to remove the clutch retainer bolt (reasonable) but also loosen the idler arm bolt to get the pump belt on/off.

    One of the pulleys underneath is so close to the frame that you have to strain and risk damaging the new belt to get it on the pulley.

    The room you need to apply leverage to the deck idler spring (very strong one) is blocked by the battery and the battery carrier. The carrier is WELDED to the frame, so you cannot remove it to get at the spring easier.

    I had the mower on a hoist. This means a deck or pump belt repair is virtually impossible in the field.

    I think Exmark has been a steady downward trend in terms of engineering. Their complete lack of innovation and imagination tells me they are arrogant and self satisfied with their current market share and huge profits. How many times have you seen other small companies come out with the really good ideas, while Exmark's "redesign" of their lazers a couple years ago was 95% cosmetic (oooooooo...a cupholder moulded in!)

    Ideas they didn't come up with, but if they would just get off their duffs, could use their quality control and resources to make better

    - Stander type mowers (license the technology, buy the company if you have to)

    - convertible mower (ztr to walk behind)

    - gate access mowers like Cub Cadet and Great dane. Cub's in particular is a mower I would buy TODAY but I want one with a better track record and resale

    - decks that convert quickly from mulch to discharge. I know it can be done and how. I hear JD has recently come out with this feature on some mowers. Even if it's not perfect, it beats having to buy and load an extra mower to discharge tall grass when you're set up to mulch.

    - gear drive walk behind with decent (t-bar) steering system. It's positively criminal that they purposely use an inferior system just so Toro can sell some otherwise inferior mowers. (I have two toros, btw). Go check ebay and see all the pistol grip and ECS belt drive Exmarks for sale if you doubt this. People starting out buy them and sell them fast.

    I want a simple mower than does what I need and has had at least some thought put into making maintenance easy. I don't have to service it often, it's reliable and cuts well, but if my belt had broken in the field today at the bottom of a hill it'd probably have to be disassembled and hauled out in pieces!
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    You ought to consider the Toro proline 30197, 48" 15hp gear-drive, 6+ mph Wb with a velke, $3,300. That's all I've used for the past 3 years and I just bought another one and they're awesome, outrun your ztr with it lol
  3. milo

    milo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    hi yes i have a zhp44 and they are tuff to work on. and the grease fitting under in the middle there is so hard to grease that i cannot even pump new grease in anymore. yea the belt system sucks to. to get to pump belt you do got to remove that arm. and mine also cuts like crap. so much for exmarks and there great cut. i never see one. only way i will buy another one is if i get a great deal..
  4. dvmcmrhp52

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

    No innovation from Exmark eh?
    If you needed a hoist to change a belt you actually need to learn some mechanical skills rather than beatching about a company in which you have no real clue what you're talking about.

    As far as the other "ideas" you speak of.......Go buy from the people that make those machines. It's really quite simple.
  5. dvmcmrhp52

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

    Learn how to keep the deck properly maintained and it will give you a great cut.
    The two of you ought to learn how to use these machines first before you belly ache.
  6. SpudsM15

    SpudsM15 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 627

    I will admit some of the grease fittings are a pain but, the fittings on my vehicles are a pain also....

    The cut quality of my laser is unmatched...The quality of cut starts to crap out after the blades have 35 or so lawns under the belt. But, that is expected
  7. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,004

    thats why i use walker
  8. milo

    milo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    well then my exmark dealer has no clue either. i just paid $98.00 for them to make sure it is adjusted right and new blades. after picking it up and using it. it cut not much better. i called them back and they told me that. oh well you are cutting to early in the morning when the greass is wet and on exmarks with decks smaller than 52 inches they clog up and fold the grass over. so i guess this is a magic mower that does this right???? all my other mowers have no problems like this. let me ask you to, did you ever own a exmark zhp 44 or 48 inch??? why are they coming out with a new style deck if there one now is so good???? i like the feel of exmarks and think they are good mowers but there 44 inch lazer zhp cuts bad. and if not the mower the exmark dealer who did the work and then told me that exacuse really beleave in there product. front of mower deck 1/8 inch lower than rear and new blades and they are exmark blades. so tell me then whats wrong with it??? my dealer told me it is right.. so you must work for exmark help me out then
  9. dvmcmrhp52

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

    Did you check it yourself or were you just told that it's O.K.?
    44 inch decks suck. period. They can run well if MAINTAINED properly, as well as RUN properly.
    If you sincerely believe that Exmarks don't produce a quality cut as you've stated earlier then you have no idea what you are talking about.
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Hehe... Welcome to the Lazer HP... although it's really no laughing matter.

    I have a deep appreciation for the design and performance of my Lesco Z-Two.
    It's not near as "pretty" to look at though.
    But functional is not always pretty.

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