Why Do some hate Exmark???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AMW Landscaping, May 23, 2013.

  1. gdguth

    gdguth LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 436

    I don't have much experience with ztr's so I can't really say how the exmark compares to others. I strictly run commercial walkbehinds. I can say, the exmark walkbehinds are by far the best walk behinds that I have ran. If you are comparing cut quality, durability, fatigue (ecs is great), etc. The turf tracer wins hands down. [
     
  2. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,010

    I've seen some of the pictures posted of single cuts..... I could never leave a property with long clippings on top of the lawn. I don't double cut but I will go over the areas with long clippings to chop them up usually with deck one notch higher if I'm not already cutting in the top position which I am a lot of the time.
     
  3. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Long clippings have a lot to do with the deck and cutting conditions and even the blades being used. Some decks hide clippings better than others. Bi weekly lawns are more likely to have longer clippings as well. I dont like the look of long clippings and still rarely need to double cut.
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  4. yardguy29

    yardguy29 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    I use exmarks and toros.

    one pass is all I need wet or dry in normal conditions to make an excellent cut.

    personally I won't spend the extra money the other brands I have access to cost.
     
  5. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    I have heard the Toro Turbo Force is a much more versitile deck than the ultra cut. I would like to demo one someday.
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  6. Snapper Jack

    Snapper Jack LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 525

    The few Exmarks that I've seen being used,the cut quality isn't nothing to really brag about,as I have a very old Snapper pro WB from the "80's" with the right blades,speed and throttle control"Will Not Clump" in any condition and will lay down a cut just as good as a Exmark,if not better IMO and stripes amazedly for such an old machine.
     
  7. yardguy29

    yardguy29 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    I get great results from both the toro decks and the exmark decks.

    as for the other brands. haven't seen anything on the market with bragging rights when your comparing brands. they all have pros, cons and features. but they all produce similar cuts. all depends on what your looking for in a mower.
     
  8. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    They are different discharge philosophies with the decks. The Ultracut is a high vacuum recirculation style deck that will discharge much smaller pieces. The downside is that with the recirculation and vacuum it tends to stick together when wet and can clump more than one with a lesser lift. Now the Velocity deck is a lower lift fast discharge deck. It's design is to evacuate the clippings as quickly as possible. The downside is that the clippings will be larger and will leave more on the surface. The upside though is that it will discharge wet grass better (loosely used) and process more grass faster which could mean faster travel speed or taller grass before bogging.

    Because of the Ultracuts high vacuum it will pull the grass vertical, then slice it, and then lay it slightly forward upon leaving. What this translates to is an extremely even cut and thorough consistent striping. The Velocity because of it's lower vacuum tends to not pick up the grass as vertical which has both benefits and problems. The benefit is that the grass will actually stay longer because it does not lift it as much before cut. This translates to a greener and sometimes healthier lawn. My experience though is that this can actually lead to increased fungal problems. The downside is that it will not pull the branching grass pieces out of the turf as well and will result in more stragglers and less consistent stripe.

    So is a non double cutter a hack? That is hard to say. This time of year in the east coast the rule of third is not really realistic where the grass is growing 1/2"-1" a day. No deck regardless of make will process and "hide" the clippings with one pass on a manicured lawn. So on a cared for lawn it must be double cut most of the time for at least 6-8 weeks. This double cutting assumes tip top shape decks and really has nothing to do with them is has to do with getting the clippings off the top. Can you single cut, sure you can if your blades are sharp and the deck tuned right, but the real question is will your customer accept it? Single or double the lawn will look the same in a few days regardless. From personal experience though the real world result is that with red decks the double cut results in a very even surface height where every blade is vertical and exactly the same length. Again from experience the orange decks do not have the vacuum to do this and will result in an even surface height but uneven length blades at different angles.
    If the grass is wet enough to clump on both decks than the red one will second cut much cleaner, where the orange one will usually not pick up the larger chunks. No deck is perfect and I have spent a lot of time scraping the bottom of both styles in wet conditions.

    So It really depends on what you are cutting and the customer. If you need to mow tall fescue that grows 10"+ a week and do it efficiently than orange is your color. If you are more on bluegrass/new TTTF than red will give a better cosmetic appearance. In my mind a hack is someone that leaves clippings in the street, doesn't blow off the lawn if it clumps, rips it down to 2" when it's 90* all week, obvious signs of dull blades and clogged decks, etc. I do not consider double cutting in that thought process. You can be a hack with any machine.

    Someone else asked about the Turbo Force. My experience is that it is not as strong as either in their respective areas. However it is a good universal deck. I find the newer ones to be much better than the old. I find it to be closer to it's red cousin, but shares some wet discharge traits with it orange friend. End result cuts well, not as dark a stripe as an Ultracut, but a higher lift than Velocity, less clumping than a Ultracut, but no where near the material handling capacity of the Velocity. We like our red Exmark and Toros, but if we had to cut large expanses of tall fescue than I would still have a Velocity and deal with the added maintenance and repairs.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
  9. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,316

    I'm pulling off 5-7 44 gallon barrels on some of my lawns that are under 8k sqft this week. But it never fails someone who hasn't any clue what that translates into will spout off a scag can mow that in one cut. NO they can not iv used them, they failed me in mid summer here I don't even want to think about spring. I let about half my lawns fly but I am still getting 20 plus cubic yards of grass clippings a week now.

    As for the price the top brands are all almost identical here. When your talking 12-15k for a mower a few hundred even 800 more one way or another is meaningless.
     
  10. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,613

    the long clipping thing can be fixed on a scag or deere or other fast discharge deck. if you use G6 blades you get the best of both worlds. small clippings like an exmark and fast discharge of the high velocity discharge decks.

    i've seen it on my deere mower firsthand. with the stock blades the clippings were real long and sat on top of the grass. i switched to G6 blades and now even on bi weekly cuts the clippings do not sit on top of the grass.
     

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