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Exmark demo observations.......

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Joel B., Jul 28, 2002.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 458

    Have been demoing an Exmark Lazer HP 48" w/Kohler 18 this weekend and I have to say the quality of the cut was about the same as my JD lawn tractor. The Lazer was obviously much faster and more maneuverable but I was disappointed with the cut quality. From all that I've heard, I guess I was expecting an absolutely perfect cut.

    I did notice that the quality and type of grass affects cut quality.
    For example, I mowed for a funeral home last Friday and their grass was very thick and beautiful. The quality of cut (using my JD tractor) on that lawn was better than the quality of cut on my yard (pretty decent grass I had let grow quite long) using the Exmark. I also noticed some of the same places on my yard where the tractor missed some grass, the Exmark missed too. Comments?

    How long does it take to catch on to the turning of a ZTR? I know the trick is to keep both wheels moving, but I've found that you have to also start moving both wheels at the same time and stop both wheels at the same time. I'm sure this just takes practice. Any tips?

    How do you spin around at the end of a row? If you spin around 180 degrees at the end of a row, you will be facing the row you just cut. You also need to be over a mower width to line up with the next row that needs to be cut. I guess what I'm asking is how to turn 180 degrees AND move over a mower width in one motion at the end of a row.

    This website and the people who use it have been an incredible wealth of information for me. Thank you.

    Joel B.
  2. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    You don't actually spin around. You use a three point turn, like you learned in Drivers Ed. As you approach the end row you would make a 90 deg turn towards the next row going slightly past the center of the next row. Then back up making a second ninety and you are lined up for next pass. The trick is to always have both wheels rotating at all times so the stress of twisting on the grass is spread out on a larger area of turf. It is tough to do only when you are tring to go real fast and you get sloppy (guilty).

  3. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 458

    I thought the advantage of a ZTR was that you didn't have to make a three point turn, thus saving time. I use the three point turn with my lawn tractor (which I can do pretty fast) AND I don't have to worry about tearing up the grass. So, what is the advantage of a ZTR (as far as turning)?


    Joel B.
  4. Belive it or not you have to train the grass to be cut with a specific mower, at specific heights..

    You cannot just take a mower into tall grass and expect it to be perfect.

    Were the blades sharp? Is the deck pitch set correctly? It it running at the propper RPM's? Is it wet? Is it extreamly dry?

    Come on now, think!! This is like saying I demoed a corvette and it didn't go fast enough.

    I will let the others give you pointers on how to turn.
  5. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 458


    OK, maybe perfect was expecting a little bit too much, but I thought it would at least be better than my tractor.

    The dealer went through the mower before I picked it up. The grass wasn't extemely wet pr dry.

    Bottom line, I mowed with the Exmark and my tractor side-by-side and couldn't tell a difference in cut quality.

    Joel B.
  6. You don't have to make a 3pt turn that is a suggestion for beginners.

    Once you learn the 3pt turn technique you will be able to do the normal extreamly fast ZTR trun, wiht out tearing up the turf.

    You must learn it first.

    This is like saying I demoed a corvette and it handled like a chevette.
  7. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 458

    So what is the "extremely fast ZTR turn"? How do you turn 180 degrees AND move over a mower width in one motion at the end of a row?

    Joel B.
  8. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 961

    Alot of the quickness isin the manuerverability (SP?) of a Z.

    It should lay the grass over ..."stripe" better than the JD. My 345 48" always gave a great cut....contrary to popular opinion JDs aren't junk.

    If your gass will stripe, you'll be able to make straight runs with that Z, that are not possible with a sloppy tractor.

    IMHO...running a Z is fun, I have around 75 hours on mine, and I still make the turns slow, K turn ...like 1grnlawn described.
  9. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    1st if they havnt changed the motors now u can remove a limiter screw and adjust the gov. slot and u have a 20 hp
    as they have had the same specs and in the past,everything else was the same.
    this made a huge difference in mine.
    2nd out of the door your rpm may
    be 3600 or even lower. these motor love 3750. and i run mine at 3800 and better
    blades engaged. sounds like shes just up to speed..
    now my dealer told me what to do . but yours may be concerned with warranty or something.
    with doubles and these changes,u are talkin a cuttin machine. of course
    pitch and all the other factors need to be rite,but a good dealer is gonna send u out the door with deck set right.
    good luck ,its a good machine.
    ps i do use mobil synthetic
  10. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943


    You didn't mention what type of JD tractor your had, so I cant comment on its ability.

    Generally modern JD Tractors cut very well. They ought to, as JD spends much more money on R+D/Engineering than all makes of commercial mowers combined (not positive on that, but I bet its pretty close!) Where your going to come out on top is in higher cut heights. My old JD tractors (I WAS a BIG tractor guy!) would cut terriffic at 2", any higher, and things went downhill faster than......Well, you know! :eek: The Lazer will cut higher, faster, and better than just about any mower out there, and do it for thousands and thousands of hours! I have yet to look over a 48" Lazer HP closely, but with shorter blades (16.25") than a 60" Lazer (20.5") they have to spin those shorter blades FASTER than the engine RPM to ensure 18,500 fpm. To do this they must use different size pulleys on the crank and deck. I'm hoping they do. If they dont, your not going to get the quality of cut that we 60" ers do. The longer the blade the higher the fpm. My guess though, is low engine RPM's. Many mowers come out of the factory set entirely too low. All manufacturers suffer from this, and I've been a victim of it many times. Get a tach (every mower SHOULD have one IMHO) and tach it up, tach it up.......baby gonna......Oh nevermind! :D

    ZTR turning is something that you just have to get used to. You'll get used to it, and wonder why your getting done SO much quicker than with the tractor! Just the simple ability to go from 4mph to 10mph in two seconds is reason enough for a ZTR! How about trimming around a 2' diameter tree ring. Cant do that with most tractors!

    If your seriously looking, consider a 52" Lazer HP, they're faster, wider, have a better trim side offset, and not much more money. I still feel however, that the 60" Lazer is about as perfect as you can get for residential/commercial cutting.

    Good Luck

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