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exmark AS vs. TORO Estate

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by duckspuddle, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. duckspuddle

    duckspuddle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Hi Folks
    THis is my 1st post. I'm about to buy a ZTR to use on my 4 acre property. I'm also hoping the purchase will give my son an opportunity to make some money by cutting a couple of yards. I'm obligated to buy from a local dealer who has exmark and toro.(I'm trading in my old Encore Z52) My budget limits me to $7700. I'm looking at the Exmark Advantage series 25hp kohler/60" "ultracut" deck. The mower is $7700. It has 12 cc pumps, and a heavier PTO clutch than the Toro, but sealed wheel bearings and spindle bearings. The Toro has a 25hp Kawasaki with a 60" non-turboforce deck. It has 10 cc pumps and a lighter pto clutch (175 vs the Exmarks 200). The spindles on the Toro are greasable, cast iron, and the mower is $500.00 cheaper at $7200. I know both manufacturers make better decks on their more expensive models...but I can't afford them without going to a smaller mower. I see the decks are constructed differently. Is one better than the other? Are sealed spindle bearings a good thing? Which is the better motor? Kawasaki vs. Kohler. Are the exmarks bigger pumps important for a 150 hr/year mower? I also see that the toro has one long belt, where the exmark is a mule drive. The exmark has more reinforcement on the leading edge of the deck, and has anti scalp wheels on the back of the deck. Any opinions? Is the exmark worth $500 more? Which should I buy?
  2. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    All I can tell you is I had an AS series with a 60" Ultra Cut deck and a 23 hp Kohler and it was a great mower overall. A little underpowered in the thick stuff but your looking at a 25 which should be plenty. You will probably want to spend the extra few dollars and buy the foot pedal option. I have no big complaints about my AS. The controls are between your legs instead of on the gas tank, the rear tires are not as good, my air filter was not the larger double filtration. But for the Money not a bad mower. Should do all you want and more. I can vouch for the Ultra Cut deck. Great smooth cut. I think the deck would make me lean hard toward the Exmark. Just my opinion.
  3. DJL50

    DJL50 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    I take it you are looking at the Toro 500 Estate model. I just purchased a Toro 400 estate model for my 2.5 acres and like it a lot. It has a 19hp Kaw and 52" deck. I was told that model was good for around 15 acres or more so I would guess the 500 series would be way more than you need. One difference I found on the Toro deck vs the Exmark was the Toro was all made of 7ga steal where the Exmark was made with 7ga sides and 10ga top. The Toro has 10" more leg room up front. Also the Toro deck was offset to the time side, Exmark was in the center. But if you are going for a 60" deck that may not be a problem.
    I went with the Kaw because my last mower I owned for 20 years never gave me a problem. I hear a lot of people say my 19hp with the 52" deck is underpowered but in fact I forget to turn the throttle up most of the time because power has never been an issue for me. Some people think if an engine bogs down a little that is a problem. My last mower was 17hp and I would bush hog with that thing at times. Like I said before Never a problem in 20 years.
    I would get the one you like the best. The ones you are looking at are made to run full time. For what you are going to do it is more than you need. I to fret over what one to get but in the end they are all built very well. One may be better but the lesser unit is still built like a tank. In the end it’s only a lawn mower for god sakes.
  4. duckspuddle

    duckspuddle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks, I appreciate your thoughts. Your right, only a lawn mower, albeit a $7500 lawnmower. I paid less for my car!
  5. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    The Lazer AS is a REAL commercial mower....it's just a reissue of the technology they had 10 or so years ago. AN As will be just as just as productive as a standard lazer in most applications. The frame and pumps are alittle bit lighter, but you should still get 2,000hours out of the machine with no problem.
  6. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    I agree with that as well....the AS is the only Lazer left with the Ultra-Cut deck on it, it was a great deck and with all the problems with the triton models, i think that may be your best bet. Sometimes, newer isn't always better
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Me, too :laugh:

    Toro makes the best mowers, I wouldn't even consider Exmark which is just an aftermarket wannabe that went bankrupt trying to beat the very company that ended up buying their salvage.

    Sealed bearings are convenient, but open ones hardly ever need replacing and bearings are not cheap (especially high speed sealed).
  8. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    #1 -Do you, or have you ever owned both Z-TURN's, have you ever even laid eyes on a Exmark? Guess what ******, the fixed deck Toro walks are nothing but a Exmark in Toro clothing ..We own both brands, and only switched to the Toro 500 series because our dealer had a falling out with Exmark.Exmark is a top quality mower that has given us many hours of top quality performance over the years.

    #2 Toro bought out Exmark because they were getting their asses kicked in the commercial mower market.

    #3 This post is a classic example of what happens when somebody full of **** uses alternative methods to work himself out. Instead of using normal conventional methods, like laxatives or caster oil, he became a contortionist , just to stick his own head up his ass to use unconventional methods to work himself out and retype it back on lawn care forums as diarrhea in type.

    Now to the Toro 500 estate Z-Turn.Looking at the specs it has 10cc hydro pumps, The Exmark AS 12cc pumps.There is no adjustable baffling on the Toro deck, but it is still 5 1/2 inches deep and all 7-gauge.The Toro has 8.5 mph Ground speed which is a half mph less then the Exmark AS 9.0 .The electric clutch is 175 ft-lbs.on the Toro,200 ft-lbs on the Exmark AS.

    We have on various mowers both engine options,the 25 horizontal Kawi and the Kohler 25. The Kawi will out torque and is a better engine then is the Kohler 25 command on the Exmark AS.
    Looking at other as well as the specs above , Id say they both compare well, either would be a good mower for you that would last for the rest of your life.
  9. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    6'7 330 is right, toro was getting thier A** kicked by Exmark and so they bought them and copied the design. The toro salesman that stopped me admitted that the comercial Z's are basically the same machine. I've never used the toro you speak of so all I can comment on is the Lazer which has a great deck and the Kohler is a good engine. Should be good for a couple of thousand hrs or more if you take care of it. Kawsaki is usually rated better but Kohlers no slouch. The deck on the Exmark is the main reason Exmark moved to the top of the heap. I would take the Ultra Cut deck over a slightly better rated engine. After 2000 hrs you can always buy a new Kohler for a much lower price than the Kaw. Drive them both and make up you own mind. These opinions should help you though. You will probably want suspension seat add on eventually for either.

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