Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stoneseller, May 13, 2004.

  1. stoneseller

    stoneseller LawnSite Member
    from MD Z7
    Messages: 84

    I've been trying to decide on a 36" Hydro WB to replace a bunton bullet belt machine. Over the last week or so I pretty much narrowed my choice down to either an Exmark Viking or Exmark Turf Tracer, and was just about to place an order.
    Then my blade belt on the Bunton broke, so I made a trip to the closest Bunton dealer for a replacement. Told him of my intentions to buy Exmark, and he pulled me into his showroom & showed me a 2003 model Bunton 36" Hydro with a fixed deck. That thing looked to be built like a tank! He's asking $4100, and it has the older style side control handles/grips, which he would upgrade to the newer center controls for about $300. That brings the Bunton right up to what I was quoted for the Exmark TTracer with floating deck, and about $500 over the Viking.
    No dealers near me stock the Exmarks in Hydro, so I have not been able to inspect the construction quality of them in person. I read the recent thread started by an unhappy Emark owner, so now I'm really having second thought about the Ex, and better thoughts about the Bunton.
    Any of you have both machines, and would care to give me your pros/cons on the units? Most likely I'd stick with the Viking if I go Ex.
  2. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    I had a bunton bullet 48" as my 1st machine. Everyone told me to buy a bunton, best machine in the world. Well since textron took over, they suck. My bullet keep falling apart on me. I bought a 32" eXmark as a back up. The sold the bullet when i bought a ferris. I would go with the exmark. Very well built, But also check out the velke mower by wright. That i can tell you is built very well also. I am going to replace the eXmark sometime with a velke 32" mower.
  3. metro-hp_48

    metro-hp_48 LawnSite Senior Member
    from TN
    Messages: 874

    Think itsgottobegreen said it all, " Well since textron took over, they suck"

    Textron owns Bobact, too. LOL.
  4. PCLL

    PCLL LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 96

    Bunton owner here and very pleased with it's performance. I had a scare with the plugs early on, but that was my fault for not keeping the filters clean.
  5. naturescape

    naturescape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,696

    Has anyone used the rider type steering levers on the Bunton hydro walkbehind. If so, how did you like it?

    Don't answer if you haven't tried it.
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    If you let a few threads from people make your decision you need to do a search. Look up the other brands.

    Some people make these threads because of lack of experience with setting up or properly maintaining the machines. Some do it trying to play hardball to get their way. You must look at the entire situation and industry.

    I've bought 3 new eXmark mowers and all 3 cut second to none. The most recent was bought last summer and now has just over 200 hours. 1 clutch failure on 3 mowers in 5 years is pretty good for reliability.
    Any mower will cut different or bad if setup is wrong. The setup can change without you knowing it. 1 tire can leak a small amount of air out and change everything.
    When you sell as many machines as eXmark a few bad ones will always happen. With the volume they sell and a majority of buyers are happy and usually buy more machines should tell you something.
  7. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370


    You can't let that one complaint sway your decision. That is the first complaint that I have ever read about eXmark mowers being bad. All I ever hear is good good good about exmark. We have a 36" metro and it is amazing. Next year we're probably gonna get a 52" TT. Exmark makes a great mower and like 65hoss said you're gonna get a few bad machines in the bunch.

    Go with the eXmark.........you won't be dissappointed! :D
  8. stoneseller

    stoneseller LawnSite Member
    from MD Z7
    Messages: 84

    For your feedbacks.

    As I understand it, Bunton & Bobcat are basicly the same machine, made by the same parent company, with a different paint job. This may be oversimplifying the truth of the matter. What I don't like about both B manufacturers is the apparent sloppiness of the control levers & associated linkages. The Exmark linkages seem like a better design to me.

    Almost all have have read up on the Exmarks, and the few belt models i have seen in stock here locally, they seem to be the cat's meow of a machine. Since I have not yet demo'd a hydro, I have not yet made my final decision. I really like the controls on the Exmark best.

    65hoss: Do you run floating decks Exmarks? If so do you see a huge advantage over the fixed deck style of the Viking?

    lawnranger: I won't be swayed by one or two bad reports on a machine, thanks for your advice.

    Thanks again to all who replied,

  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    All my w/b mowers are fixed decks. My riders are floating. On a 36" mower there is little need for floating. Some like them better because its easier to change cutting height. The bigger decks you will see a difference in cut quality with a floating deck.
  10. mkwl

    mkwl LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,700

    I wouldn't buy either. Get a Bob-Cat Wb I love mine.

    If you get a Bob-Cat, you won't be sorry

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