who has an exmark viking?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by snapper, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. snapper

    snapper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 399

    I finally broke down and got me a hydro mower. If you have seen my other posts my belt gravely was totaled I bought an old john deere crank deck, used it a while but didn't like it. I was looking at the metro but decided if i bought the metro i would just be wanting a hydro again. So i just went a financed me a new 48 viking. I don't really have enough paying yards to justify it, but i guess i will have to add a few. I love this mower. I see what all the hoopla is about hydro mowers. It blows belt drives out of the water. The cut is very good, the blades sound like a jet, and it throws the grass out far and wide. So far and wide i might have to get a mulch kit. It makes me wish i had gotten hydro first. Oh well live and lean. Now to go make the money to pay for it over the winter. I financed it through the dealer, not sure if it was exmark or what, but it was ge financial or sumthin like that, at 1.9% for 36 months. So i figured what the hey only live once might as well have what you want. So theirs my story. What do you all think about the vikings?? It is my new favorite mower. I have run quite a few walk behinds old and new, and this is my favorite...

    LAter!! chris
     
  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    I have a 36" Exmark Viking, and have run it for eleven seasons. It has no hour meter, but it must have at least 6,500 service hours. It has been repowered one time (15hp Kohler, ProCommand). Downtime has been next to nothing.

    Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I had to replace one of the hydro pumps. But, for all the hours, I believe the original pumps have provided excellent service. The spindle bearing were greasable on the new mower, and lasted for a few seasons. Since that time, I have replaced them with non-greasable ones, and don't get the same life span. However, replacing the bearings is a minor task, even if it has to be done every 500 hours or so. But, nothing in the traction unit, engine deck, mowing deck, etc, has been a problem. To be sure, some of the linkages are loose from wear, but the mower goes to work nearly every day, many hours per day when out.
     
  3. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 392

    I've got a 52" viking that is around 14 years old...it does a better job cutting than my new mowers...
     
  4. Rhett

    Rhett LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,071

    I have a 36 viking 2.5 seasons old with approx. 1800 hrs. Have replaced front bushings on arms and nothing else. Belts are still in decent shape. Ooops forgot third set of tires. Still have 36 metro in shop but is there just for looks. Never want to touch a belt again
     
  5. snapper

    snapper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 399

    bump any one else? MAn these get buried fast..

    chris
     
  6. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,466

    I have a 36" Viking... I like it..

    I don't like the fixed deck though...pain to change cutting heights.
     
  7. CGlisson

    CGlisson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 158

    Same here. Cuts like a beast....but adjusting height is another kind of beast
     
  8. Groh's Mows

    Groh's Mows LawnSite Member
    Posts: 155

    I bought an Exmark this spring. It is actually the tthp with the 36" deck. This is the same basic deck design or at least it looks like it to me. I know I am in the tiny minority here, but I still like my 36 Scag belt drive better. Guess it is just what I have gotten used to. The Scag had a little more power (it is the 16 hp KAI vs. 15 hp KAI on the Exmark). The one thing that is a vast improvement is the quick change deck. The Scag has the same height adjustment as your Viking, so it is time consuming and a lot of work if you go beyond just the front casters to adjust the height (changing blade washers or god forbid changing the back of the deck where it bolts to the power unit). I do like the ECS system over pistol grips for not skinning knuckles and my hands don't get quite as tired. Still, overall I think Exmark is a little over hyped on this site.
     
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,927

    I have an Exmark 36" Viking, as mentioned above. I've heard the complaints about changing cutting heights before, and repeated here again. For me, that is the least of my concerns. I have never touched the mounting brackets, mower deck to engine deck. It is the same as when I brought it home 11 years ago.

    After some experimenting, I run two washers above, two washers below on the blade bolt. If I need to cut an extreme high (such as knocking down an overgrown area), I will change, and put all the washers on top, moving the blade as high as possible under the deck.

    The caster spacers are my primary method of changing heights. I keep changing them all day, sometimes as many as three times on a single property. The three placements are 0/4, 1/3, 2/2 (spacers above the caster sleeve/spacers below the caster sleeve). I know that this changes the pitch of the deck, but I have not found any difference in cut quality. The process is pretty simple: Pull out latch pin, take off washer, lift deck with one hand allowing the caster spindle to slip out of the sleeve, move spacers as needed, lift deck to allow caster spindle to slide through the sleeve, mount top spacers, replace washer, replace latch pin. The whole task takes 15-20 seconds.

    I have looked at the floating decks on a TTHP and tried to work through a deck height change. Moving the deck up looks easier than moving it down. Moving it down looks like both hanger pins must be unlatched before one of them is reset with the lock pin. There are four pins to move, not just two caster spindle spacers to move like the fixed deck. The hassle of the height adjustment on the TTHP is one of the reasons I have never changed from my Viking to a TTHP. Maybe I'm missing something, or just lack of familiarity.
     
  10. Mowerboy04

    Mowerboy04 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,445

    i have a 48in its 13 years old no problems still mows and runs great.
     

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