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20 hp Exmark Vantage - Please Help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Norway11, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Norway11

    Norway11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24


    My son has been mowing lawns with a Toro walk behind and wants to grow his business. We looked at the Scag Freedom Z, Grandstand and Vantage. I found an extremely low hour 20hp Vantage with a 52 inch deck and put a deposit on it pending financing.

    I heard the 19hp Grandstand is underpowered. Is that true of the 20hp Vantage with a 52 inch deck? Will we notice a difference in thick wet grass, I won't let him do hills with it.

    Will this machine be maneuverable for smaller residential yards with trees. Would a 48 inch really be any better?

    He does not want a walk behind and will not use my old 36 inch Toro which has held up well. I want him on something safer and this seems better than a ZTR. He drove a 23 hp Grandstand and it did not intimidate him, the price intimidated Dad.

    Will this machine leave ruts. One of his yards is always wet way in the back or can this be avoid with care.

    Is this really the same as a Grandstand or do they use different components.

    They said the machine was traded because it couldn't't bag. I've got to wonder though as they took a hit when he traded this machine. Thoughts here or is it a solid performer?

    Is there a good used market for a low hour machine like this.

    The kids very young but works really hard. Sometimes I have to help him but he is doing well. It is a time issue since he does this in the evennings and on the weekend.

    A lot of questions, but I'd appreciate help and suggestions. This is a big purchase and we can't afford to get it wrong.

    Greg and Scott
  2. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    Greg and Scott

    Interesting conundrum--I do not own a vantage but we demoed one to see if it would be a good fit for our business. First, I ll just comment a little on the machine--we used the 24 HP/52" cut and had no problems. As I understand it the Vantage was really the rework of the initial grandstand. It uses the basic design from the grandstand, an exmark deck, and linkages in place of cables for certain controls (this is a big deal--I believe Toro has revamped all the newer grandstands this way)
    cut quality = excellent
    maneuverability = good
    visibility = good
    accessibility = excellent- for a commercial operator best setup for getting on/off the mower for trash debris etc, wonderfully intuitive OPC
    Trees = rough for mowing around trees--due to excess height of operator your head and torso seem to be in the lower branches
    hills = marginal--I only had the machine for a few days, but my experience with all standers on hills has been marginal
    bagging = not going to be a bagging all star--currently only side catchers available
    ruts--machine weighs ~800# + operator ruts are definitely a possibility (less than a Z)

    We thought that the stander would be a great replacement for a Z and a walkbehind and would fit well on our residential properties--the demo showed us otherwise (remember this is only one experience) We found the stander was too awkward for our mix and did not speed up our times. We ended up purchasing two turf tracer S series walkbehinds and haven't looked back. I really think the walkbehind--with a sulky if necessary would be a better choice for the money. Hills wouldnt be an issue, the turf tracer is comfortable to run, great cut quality, less expensive to purchase, and less expensive to operate. Bottom line 20 HP on the vantage 52" would be adequate. Cutting at speed may result in lack of cut quality under heavy growth conditions. But, since you only have one shot at this point I would lean towards the quality hydro walkbehind.
  3. RodneyK

    RodneyK LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    I think a 20hp 52" mower is a little under powered. I think you will notice it although it may be slight.

    Having used both 48s and 52 standers I think there is more difference than most would think. I like the 48 much better for small to mid size properties with obstacles.

    I think this would be safer than a ZTR.

    Ruts can be avoided easily. Rutting has not been an issue for us. Not sure exactly how identical the machines are. Decks are the most different.

    Seems like only the really good deals sell on eBay but it is still winter. For the right price anything will move. Not a huge market but there is a market.

    For me it would all come down to what the price of this 52 is. If it is a smokin deal I would pull the trigger. If not I would hold out for a 24hp 48". I would avoid 09 Grandstands.
  4. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Messages: 4,143

    I never knew the 52" vantage could come with a 20hp engine. Are you sure on the engine size and deck size .
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. stonebridge

    stonebridge LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from NEW PALESTINE IN
    Messages: 888

    i had a 19/52 everride stander and it did struggle in the spring growth but did just fine in the summer and fall. 23hp is the best bet for a 52''. does cut fine you just need to go alot slower with 19hp
  6. Quix

    Quix LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Could it be the 20 hp is the old 23 hp but with the new rating system?
  7. stonebridge

    stonebridge LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from NEW PALESTINE IN
    Messages: 888

    20 replaced the 19 and the 24 replaced the 23hp
  8. Norway11

    Norway11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    We put a deposit on the machine but didn't sign yet. It is one year old and has 34 hours on it. The price was $5850 including tax and the the operator controlled discharge. It is definitely a 20hp with a 52 inch deck. We wanted a 48 Grandstand with a 23hp but it would be alot more.

    If we work slow can we be as maneuverable as the 48 inch deck. Is the price reasonable. The machine looks clean but was left out all winter.
  9. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    okay price. the demo we tried with 13 hrs 24 HP 52" was $6K and change and we got full warranty
  10. RodneyK

    RodneyK LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Maneuvering the 52 is not a problem. You have to watch for scalping more with the 52. But, and I just remembered this, the 52 is easier to cut around obstacles as the deck hangs out an extra 2" on each side. With the 48 you have to get used to keeping the rear tire out ot mulched tree rings when mowing around since the edges of the deck are so close to the rear wheel width. Minor pros and cons for each size. Price is ok. The OCDC is a great add on. There was one on eBay with 26 hours 24/48 OCDC that sold for right around 5100 a few weeks ago. That was a great deal.

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