1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Exmark question

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Goodaaron, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. Goodaaron

    Goodaaron LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 16

    I have about 30 residentials that I mowed last year with my dads craftsman. I made good money and am looking for a quality walk behind this year.What would you recomend? I have about 3000 dollars to spend. I am looking for durability and dependability. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Most yards are about 1/4 to a 1/2 acre..
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258


    There are a couple of options but the first thing I would recommend is looking at production.

    That being said I'd first look at what I've been using (what is the cut width of your rider) and then do a quick walk through on your current accounts to verify which properties you can use a 48" on and which ones you can not. If you find that you can use the 48" on most of the properties I'd seriously look at a 48" model rather than a 36". The real advantage in terms of production has as much to do with trim capacity of the 48" as it does the added 12" of cutting width.

    I'd probably look at the Metro with the Kawasaki or the Kohler with the ECS controls. I'd lean toward the twin cylinder (kaw) over the sinlge cylinder (Kohler) just because the twins are smoother, easier to start and seam to have a better torque curve. The Kohler however is an excellant engine. In either case I'd recommend the ECS controls. The MSRP of the 48" with ECS and the Kawasaki is $2999. The 36" models are around $300 less. You may also consider the Metro HP if it's pretty hilly or if there are a large number of burms on the properties. The Metro HP has a floating deck, more positive blade engagement mechanism, quick height adjustment and larger drive tires. The MSRP is around $3899.

    For the money though you may want to look at the Viking Hydro. It has a MSRP of $4499 which is a little out of your price range or a lot maybe..........but the hydro's are nice.

    As I've said many times the ECS control are awesome. Any one of these machines will give you years of service. The simple truth is that if your cutting highly manicured lawns with a great deal of tight confined beds I'd strongly recommend the Viking hydro. It'l eat a belt drive for lunch in the tight twisty stuff.

    Also keep in mind that the money you've saved now is money you've earned. Moving up to a commercial walk behind from a lawntractor changes everything. Most of the time if it takes you 4 hours to cut a series of lawns with the lawn tractor you can figure it'll take you 1.5-2.0 hours with the walk behind. That means you can realistically cut your mowing time in half with the same lawns or add more properties. Even a belt drive will smoke a lawn tractor. Maybe some of the guys have some recommendations.

    These are just my thoughts.


    PS: I corrected a pricing error. The MSRP on the Metro 48" ECS with the Kawasaki is $2999......good catch guys
  3. beransfixitinc

    beransfixitinc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    You SHOULD be able to get into a 36" with a 13hp Kawasaki Twin with the ECS controls without going over your price limit. You MIGHT be able to get into a new 48" with a 15hp Kohler or a Kawi Twin with the ECS controls for under your price limit.....but it might be a couple hundred over with sales tax... unless you find a pre-season sale.
  4. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Excellent advice from Terry. My first commercial mower after using a lawn tractor was a 48" belt drive. The next year we got a 36" belt drive. For a small operation, having those two sizes was great for residentials. 90% of the time the 36" mower will take the place of a 21" mower, and it is big enough to help the 48" finish jobs.

    Also, you will find that a sulky (either stand up or with a seat) will also increase your productivity. The belt drives are perfectly capable of pulling a sulky, but if possible hydros are certainly better.

    I am one of the many who prefer Kawasaki engines (!).
  5. s and s mowing

    s and s mowing LawnSite Member
    from ky
    Messages: 241


    I Just Bought A 36 Metro,kohler Ecs Contols.mowed With It Two Days ,and Season Was Over.i Must Tell You I Have A 60 Lazer On Trailer Too,but First Day I Went To 4 Properties And I Mowed Them All With Metro,just As Fast And Oh How Sweet The Cut.now You Are Looking For A Main Machine,and Im Using For A Trim Mower,small Properites Machine But You Will Be Well Pleased.but I Think You Would Really Like The Hydro Viking,but You Could Get Metro And Make Some Money For Year Or Two Then Move Up To Maybe Tthp And Use Metro For Backup And Trim Mower.
  6. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    This is tough call...If I were you I would spend time more on finding a used TTHP. I got a 52" TTHP for $ 2500 with sulky, and the 17 Kawi is not even 300 hrs on it. You have to look hard and spend more time searching if you want the best. I also have a 36" Metro, but I would not recommend you to buy a belt WB as primary mower based on my 2 full seasons with Metro...it will do the job but it is not a match with the TTHP, you will understand the zero turn and "productivity" once you are on sulky riding an ECS/TTHP.

    best of luck on buying.
  7. K c m

    K c m LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,331

    What do you guys find so appealing about ECS(not being sarchastic)?
    I realize that it is the natural arm position however pistols you can do more.
    for example a very steep hill with pistols you can hold the unit basically on the hill without it falling over.(i do some steep steep hills) it seems that ecs would only work well on semisteep hills? just cause of the position.

    Just wondering. not trying to insult anyone or you guys at Exmark,

    just curious.
  8. MTR

    MTR LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,280

    It is great you asked. I can answer that cause I have both pistol and Ecs, and in summary, the ECS is the way of future and the pistol is the way of the past. I have hard time cutting hill that have bottom gates or fence and the extending arms of pistol always try to scrap fence and trees, let alone my fingers, I have to stay away at least 1 ft or more from the perimeter but with ECS I can cut as close as I can, ECS eats pistol up anyday on the hills, the contours of pistol is not designed to cut 8 hrs a day, but the ECS is. I can spend the whole day cutting with ECS without hurting my hands and arms, but not with the pistol which will give you a sore at end of day that is why eXmark comes up with ECS solution.
    It is hard to explain, nothing substitute for real experience, you have to try it out.
  9. Goodaaron

    Goodaaron LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 16

    After reading most of the posts I think I will just tuff it out a couple of months with the craftsman and try to buy a Viking if I can raise the funds later in the year. 4000+ dollars is alot of money for me. Is the hydro model really that much different is it worth the wait?
  10. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258


    If your only cutting an hour or two per day the differences are noticeable. If your cutting 8 hours straight I have yet to meet anyone who would not rather have a hydro. The hydro will make you more productive and less fatigued at the end of the day.



Share This Page