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Toro, ExMark, or John Deere?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by TrpD345, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. TrpD345

    TrpD345 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    I am new to the forum and have been doing alot of reading lately. I am in the market for a ZTR mower. I will be mowing about 8 to 10 acreas with it. In my area the big 3 that you see everybody using are Toro, ExMark, and John Deere. Are you just paying for the green paint with JD and higher repairs? Please give me the plus and minus of each. I have it down to a 52-54" deck and want a 23 hp motor. Please help me out. Also what would you choose Kohler of Kawa? Thanks in advance for the help!
  2. CBB

    CBB LawnSite Member
    from MS/LA
    Posts: 147

    I would look at dealer support for each of the mowers. I would then ask to demo them, and that will help make the decison. My personal preference would be Exmark because of their durability and great quality of cut, plus they have the best customer support after the sale. But all mowers are designed to make tall grass short, so it really comes down to which one will best suit your property. As far as the Kaw or Kohler option I think that they are pretty even. I would ask the potential dealer which one they can service easier.
  3. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    Are you mowing commercially or is this for just your home? ;)

    RKISTNER1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    Welcome to the site. Got my new ZTR 3 mon ago. Ck it out you will love the flip deck. :waving:

    RKISTNER1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    ck out JD G110 vs L130 Thread.
  6. TrpD345

    TrpD345 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    It will be for my home, parents, in-laws, and 2 aunts. I am leaning towards the Exmark Lazer HP 23 hp 52". Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    I own both an Exmark and JD 737, and I will take the JD anyday over the Exmark. Dont get me wrong, the exmark is a good machine, but my 737 beats it hands down in every catagory, from great cutting to smooth hydros. Also they are quite a bit cheaper in my area than the toro and exmarks. With that being said, dealer support is very important, I dont care what you own.
  8. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,223

    I don't run ZTR's, I run garden tractors, but from my experience, Deere is the only way to go as far as new machines. Deere has the best dealer network, parts can be had overnight, ANYWHERE in the country. Not only that, but they have the 90 day same as cash where if you don't like your particular model you can bring it back within 90 days and get another model and figure out which one you like the best.
  9. RichmondR

    RichmondR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 106

    For what its worth, I considered a Lazer HP and Toro Z-Master z-453 last summer, as well as a JD 727 (which I always thought was more the equivalent size/price to the others rather than the 737). As between the Exmark and the Toro, which are very similar machines that share many parts (including part of the chassis, hydros, wheel motors, etc), I gave a slight edge to the Toro due to the newer, deeper Turbo Force deck design which has gotten a lot of good reviews on this forum. Bear in mind this is mostly on a paper comparison -- you are in rareified air with any of these mowers. On the other hand, Exmark is simply known to generally have great customer service given that they are usually working with commercial customers. Depending on the dealer you are working with, Toro and John Deere tend to be more residential oriented, so you have to build in a different expectation on customer service. All things considered, I ended up going with the Toro, but the 737 wasn't in the mix; I'm not sure if it would have changes the final result or not.

    The JD 737 also has the equivalent or better deck in the 7-Iron (except for the adjustability feature on the Toro turbo Force), but I was comparing the 727 which seemed to be an older design where you actually almost seem to sit higher than you do on the 737. The 737 is a newer design. The warranties on all three are similar I believe.

    A couple basic advice points: First, JD is pricing a bit more competitively (at least they were last season) IMO to gain a bigger share of the commercial market, which may mean you can get a better "deal" than you could on a Toro or Exmark. FYI, I paid $7,000 for mine including the mulching kit.

    Second, not to complicate things, but based on your description, another brand you may want to consider is Hustler, specifically a Super Z. They have a great following on LawnSite as well as a manufacturer-sponsored forum here. The seating position on the Hustlers felt the best to me of all the mowers because I felt closer to the ground.

    Third and last, even if you look like an idiot, spend about 30-45 minutes just fooling around with one on the showfloor. Consider what you will need to do (changing the oil, greasing, access to things that need adjusting) and compare the ease of doing it on each mower. For instance, I seem to recall the process for adjusting the tracking on the 727 was much more complicated than on the Exmark and Toro, both of which have a single adjustment knob under the seat (I dont know if this is true of the 737). You can also read the operators manuals for all these units online by downloading them from the manufacturers websites. And, dont forget to ask for a demo!

    Sorry to be so long-winded and good luck.
  10. TrpD345

    TrpD345 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    Ya'll have been a big help. Keep the comments coming!! Thanks!

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