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Question on 48" Metro

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by rghash, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. rghash

    rghash LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Note: I posted this to the Homeowners Assistance Forum some days ago, but am hoping for more information here since I'm asking about a specific eXmark model.

    Short story: I'm thinking of selling a brand new riding mower and replacing it with a 48" Metro (fixed deck, gear drive, 15hp Kaw), but I'm trying to get some firsthand information/opinions on whether or not it will improve my clippings ejection problem.

    I have a practially new Husqvarna GTH2548 'garden tractor' (25hp Kohler, 48", hydro). I have no problem with the machine itself, my problem lies with the decks inability to eject clippings in even slightly heavy grass and/or damp conditions.

    I have a 2-acre, virtually flat yard (ditch is only exception, not a problem). I'm not looking for golf-green look, and will never bag. Basically just want to keep the weeds chopped low ;-) Residential use only, estimated at 90-100 hrs/year.

    The deck on this machine accumulates a ton of clippings, and I cannot mow more than an acre before I have to shut it down, get down on my hands and knees and spend 10 minutes scraping the 3-blade deck clean. Fire-ant mounds and crawfish mounds accelerate the problem, coating the deck with a thick plaster of dirt/grass (yes, I try to knock them down first, but there are always a few). After an hour the belts starts to squeal and I know it's time. After a mere 21 hours on the machine I managed to break one of the idler pulleys, just too heavy a load I think. I run it (gasp) with the deflector strung up about half way (these things eject on the curve of the top of the deck (as well as the side), so you would be nuts to take it off all the way), which helps a little, but not much.

    I'm cutting at about 3", roughly once every 7-10 days (max this year has been 13 days, that's when I broke the idler pulley). It's hard to say how much I'm taking off because I have sparse weeds that can grow up to 9-12" in that time, but I would guess I'm taking 2" (3" max) off most 'grass' (it's mostly a field, so 'grass' is being generous).

    To be honest, I don't mind clumps on the yard nearly as much as having to unclog the deck every hour. It's a real time-killer to have to get down on the ground and stick you arm way into the deck and scrape blindly...

    Now the question: I am now wondering how much of difference I could expect with something like a 48" eXmark Metro (fixed deck, gear drive, 15hp Kaw). This appears to be the machine of choice of a great number of commerical lawn services in this area, and my casual observation says that it appears to manage high grass with a much improved spray out the side of the deck over what I'm currently experiencing. And I'm thinking that when the deck loads up, and least I can tilt the deck up to clear it out...

    Admittedly we have had a pretty wet year down here (Houston) so far, but I'm also pretty unhappy to have broken off an idler pulley on a brand new machine when the grass wasn't *that* high (I was pushing it, but didn't think it was that much).

    What say ye?
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258


    Ironically I'm in Houston tonight. We were cutting today on some really tall overgrown stuff and while it was thick all went well. I also watched a large landscape company in the Cinco(?) cutting and discharging without any proglems with both Lazer Z's and fixed deck walk behind similar to the unit your looking at. None of the side discharge machines were having any problems in these conditions. One unit was taking 6- 7" tall St. Augustine down to abuot 3" with no problems at all at a much higher speed than I could have operated the machine in such tight confines. It's pretty cool to see someone on these machines that does it day in and day out. Kinda like poetry in motion.

    From what I observed today the Metro shouldn't have any problem and the discharge quality was excellant. The clipping size was also very fine so as the clippings were discharged they disappeared into the turf rather than staying on top of the lawn.

    I must say I was even impressed with the cut quality in these conditions.

    I would recommend visiting your local Exmark dealer for a demo to see what a difference the Metro can make in the appearance of your lawn.


  3. rghash

    rghash LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Thanks for the opinion/advise. Anything to improve the time it takes to clean out the deck will be an improvement over what I've got now. I'm also finding out the hard way how valuable product support can be, I've been waiting 13 days (and counting) for the deck belts to come in (out of stock).

    I must say I'm impressed with the level of support eXmark appears to supply to their customers...

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