Exmark vs. John Deere ZTR

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by trebie, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. trebie

    trebie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    I have 2 acres to mow with lots of trees. Have had a Snapper ZTR but may be buying more acreage, so am going commercial. Considering Exmark Lazer ZHP 48" deck (20 hp Kohler, or the new John Deere ZTR 717 (19 hp KAW) JD touts their 7 ga. stamped deck as much better than Exmarks..better warranty, etc. JD is about $400 more. I'm choosing these 2 because of service availability, etc. Tried an Exmark demo..was great except in areas where ground was somewhat uneven..dealer suggested that the uneven cut might have been caused by mowing at too fast a speed. ?? Any advice ??? Thanks
     
  2. HOWARD JONES

    HOWARD JONES LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    I'm not knocking the John Deere product, but I do disagree with their highly touted 7-iron deck claims. They say a hydroformed deck is smooth and does not collect grass - you would have to prove that to me with a demo. Their deck is the heaviest hydroformed deck in the industry, I believe, but that is why all other commercial mowers use welded decks - they double up with more layers of steel where it is needed - often almost 1/2 inch on top. Why on top? Because when something like a tree limb comes through, it tries to pull the spindle down through the deck; that's why you see brush hogs cracked on top. Now, if you have a clean property maybe deck durability is not an issue. As far as quality of cut, the Exmark has as good a reputation as anyone on this website (I don't own one). Uneven cut: speed would affect it due to bouncing; when bouncing the deck cannot stay consistent distance from ground. You also need to remember to mow with a significant contour (lengthways with a ditch, not across it) but you can still get uneven cuts from pass to pass, this is worse if the mower has a lot of overhang but that, too, can be an advantage for mowing under fences, trees, etc.
     
  3. trebie

    trebie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thank you..for the reply. I have a choice of buying the Exmark demo w/40 hours and saving $850..or buying the new one..I really cant see a reason for not going w/ the demo, as long as repairs were done on the exhaust system(recall on Exmarks manufactued up to Dec. 2001..when this demo was made)Do you agree ? I'm buying before Saturday ! Cant wait to mow !
     
  4. TALLEY-HOE

    TALLEY-HOE Guest
    Posts: 0

    DO YOURSELF A FAVOR---GO WITH THE EXMARK. YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID.
     
  5. HOWARD JONES

    HOWARD JONES LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    The discount is probably fair for the demo - while you are asking about the exhaust, look at the blades. Most commercial cutters sharpen every 8-10 hours. Mine were sharpened and completely worn out on the trailing edge after 80 hours (sandy conditions, though). Blades only cost $40-60; they will probably throw in a set to keep from sharpening.
     
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Probably the reason the grass was cut bad in the rough areas are due to the anti-scalp wheels not being set correctly.
     
  7. trebie

    trebie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    ..I did buy the NEW Exmark ..(Demo was not available after all) I LOVE it..but..TO 65 HOSS..did a bit of scalping on my uneven areas..what are your suggestions for setting my wheels correctly.? This dealer is great ..he's going to stop by next week to make any adjustments I might need. Thanks to all who posted. I might have paid a premium of $6,250 for a new 2002..BUT he picks up & delivers..repairs AND gives me a demo to use when mine might be in service. Thats what sold me ! I could have saved $300 from another dealer..but he did not give me any confidence that he could pick up within a 5 day time frame, etc..for repair. SERVICE sells..(for me at least ! ) Trebie
     
  8. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Look in the owners manual, there is a section that tells you how to set the wheels based on the cutting height you will be using. I forgot the actual numbers based on I set them 1 time 2 yrs ago. Never touched them again.
     
  9. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    Trebie - congrats on a good purchase - sounds like you may be mowing short - like 1 1/2 to 2" if that is the case, scalping with a wide deck is probably going to happen - if you are mowing in the 3" area, it probably is your antiscalp wheel settings. Good Luck
     
  10. I`ve never liked john deere whether its tractors of other wise. From experience all the JDs (garden tractors and commercial ) i have seen do a terrible job cutting, take a drive though the city and see how many LCOs are using john deere, u`ll find that there will few if any. (ecept the WBs witch were made by bunton)
    go with exmark.
     

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