eXmark or Dixie Chopper?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by WStringer2, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. WStringer2

    WStringer2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I'm looking for a commercial grade ZTR to cut 3.5 acres of Bahia. As far as yards go, it's closer to a pasture than a golf course so I'm looking for something that can take a little abuse. My neighbor's are buying $3000 ZTR's and I don't think they're going to last very long.

    I'd like to get at least a 52" deck eXmark or Dixie Chopper. I'm even considering a 21HP Kubota w/ a diesel engine but that's about $9500. My concern is that if I'm out of town for a week or two during the summer the grass gets pretty thick. Can commercial ZTR's handle that or do I need to stick w/ a tractor? Is it worth paying the extra bucks for a diesel engine?

    Thanks for your input,

  2. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    For your purpose, both are probably equally the same. The DC might be faster, but both are going to give you quality cuts. If it's just pasture, consider just discharging your clippings.

    Use the search feature in the upper right hand corner and I am sure you will find literally thousands of threads debating the two. Expect to find little to nothing negative of the two. Most will probably tell you the Chopper is better for open areas.

    Good luck
  3. UGA

    UGA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    I don't own either of those you are considering but I wanted to ask you if you had considered a 60" deck or even a 72" instead of a 52. You won't believe the time it will save you on 3.5 acres. I'm not a big fan of 72's since most are underpowered or if they arent underpowered they can be hard to manuever around if you have any obstacles at all.
  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    Demo both the DC and the Exmark while seed heads are present. When I first got my Lazer it cut St. Augustine great and it cut bahia grass great, but it had a hard time with the stalks. When I had an area full of bahia stalks, I often took my Kees ZTMax to do the job. However, I found Exmark's notched Excaliburs (as opposed to the solid foils) just about took care of all of them. This is contrary to what many people locally had told me. Seems the problem may be the baffling that causes it to cut so well in the first place, may keep the stalk pushed down as you roll over them. Just make sure when you demo the Lazer to ask for notched Excalibur blades be installed. Just my opinion.

    Also, seriously consider the 60". The 27 hp Kohler should do just fine.
  5. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Messages: 1,878

    Hi Walt! Welcome to Lawnsite.( It's Stephen) Let us know what you decide, what you demo, or if you have any more questions. Some of these guys are the best of the best, and will not steer you wrong. John Gamba has a 52" eXmark he got for $5900.00, 60" be a bit more $, and a little quicker, but I think the 52" would suprise you in it's quickness and ability. Also, you mentioned on the phone ( Walt is my cousin ) that the ZTR ( or something similar ) you tried hurt your back. Maybe another option would be a large walk behind. They come in 52" sizes, and I know personally I'd rather stand all day than sit and have to take the abuse that some of my accounts throw at me. Been there, done that. Though not with the latest of machines with new seats and such, but, I think standing would give you more agility to use your legs to roll with the bumps. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in my experience, seats mean more back pain (for me at least), which is a big issue since I broke my back years ago. Only thing sore on me when I use a walk behind for a few hours is my hands because I don't wear gloves.

    Just some more food for thought.

    Call, post, or email if needed. Take care.

    ~Nest ( Steve)
  6. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Heres The 60"

    turf tracer 2 resized.jpg
  7. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Heres the ECS.


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