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best overall 36" walk behind mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by onebladetwoblade, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. onebladetwoblade

    onebladetwoblade LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Messages: 30

    I know it has been debated before but I am in need of a 36" w/b and I can no longer search the equipment forum or craigslist waiting for a deal. With that being said I have only used a Toro Proline belt driven with Tbar controls several years ago that I no longer own. Dealer support not an issue as most are fairly close by. I haven't demoed any brand but from reading, reading, and more reading I think I have narrowed it down to either exmark or scag. Will pay cash and if money is not an issue what would you buy? I have postage stamp yards and future accounts will be the same. My wants out of this mower as I will use it until it falls apart 1. easy to use 2. great cut with grass catcher 3. durability 4. nice stripes 5. easy height deck changing if that's an option. And yes I bag grass, my customers want me to and I charge accordingly and I get paid to fertilize (yes I am licensed- business & pesticide & insured) Thank you in advance for your responses !
  2. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,270

    For the money the bob-cat 36" classic is hard to beat.
  3. MrRob

    MrRob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    ferris/snapper pro dual hydro.
  4. bigorange03

    bigorange03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    have you looked at the hustler trim stars?i plan on purchasing one next week.I have not found an easier to operate walk behind yet.be sure you get the striping velky.you will like the strips it lays and the deck adjustment is awsome.Trust me you will not be disapointed.they are also priced verry reasonable.
  5. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,390

    I just sold a 36" Exmark turf tracer hydro that was an awsome machine. It had the factory mulch kit on it and did great. Personally having owned both the 36 hydro Scag and the 36 hydro Exmark both are awsome machines. The Scag striped better even though the Exmark had a stripe kit and the Scag didn't. Also the ECS after being used to the Scag pistol grips was a bit to get used to, but after you use it for a couple of hours you won't want anything else. My opinion the Exmark Turf tracer would be the best 36" hydro mower on the market right now.
  6. onebladetwoblade

    onebladetwoblade LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Messages: 30

    mike, i am sorry I missed out on your sale. My child was sick that night and I was having trouble pm you. But my child is more important than any deal so I will buy new now. I can't wait any longer, going to buy one on friday. I'm sure any hydro will be better than what I've had in the past but I just wanted some more input from LCOs that have their own experiences with a machine. I know I will make plenty of money with it to justify the cost and I take care of my equipment so it should last. I can't remember who bought your machine but they got a great deal!
  7. Shasta Lake Landscaping

    Shasta Lake Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    Took the words right out of my mouth, our 36" sw20 has been great. Awesome at bagging too.
  8. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,390

    I wish I still had the Exmark to use it on my own yard if nothing else. That seemed to be the only place I really needed it so it was time for it to go. It was a great machine. It cut awsome and ran excellent. I will probably never find another one like it. But I have realized that I don't need a walk-behind no matter how much I want one on my trailer. So I will continue with my Turf Tiger and 21 Honda. Good luck with your new mower. Get the Turf Tracer you won't be sorry.
  9. Groh's Mows

    Groh's Mows LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    I'm going to differ with Mike Blevins and 95% of lawnsite here and say I would go with a Scag over the Exmark. I currently have a 2006 Scag SW36 with the 16 horse Kaw and a 2007 Exmark 36 TTHP with a 15 horse Kaw. I bought the Exmark to replace the Scag or move it to back-up status. Like you, the majority of my lawns are small and a 36" is the biggest mower that would make sense for the most possible lawns. I'm also part time and mow from the back of a pick-up with a lift gate to avoid parking issues and trailering headaches so a 36" is handy. Long story short, the TTHP never moved up to primary mower. It is a nice machine and some rave about the ECS but the Scag is still out there cutting. The advantage deck cuts well on bermuda, fescue or just weedy crap lawns and leaves a nice cut with gator blades not needing a mulch kit. I actually like the belt drive better for the ability to muscle it in turns or tight spots and not leave divots or tear turf like a hydro will do in some conditions.

    Part of my bias is the toughness of the Scag. The thing is over-built in almost every way and just looks and feels more solid to me. I would go with the SWZ or SWZU if I wanted a hydro. The advantage deck with no striping kit leaves a nicer cut than the TTHP with the striping cut in my opinion. Also the 16 hp vs. 15 hp thing may be all in my head but the Scag sure feels more powerful. The TTHP being a hydro is faster.
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    exmark tthp

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