Exmark Viking- Advice needed

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Grizzly290, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. Grizzly290

    Grizzly290 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Gentleman, I want to buy a 48" walk behind hydro. I work for a Golf course full time, and mow approximately 15 lawns part time after work using an old(15 yrs. old) Gravely Pro 40 (40 inch cut) belt drive walk behind mower. Any way, I was looking at an Exmark Viking at a turf show, and was pretty impressed. Here are my questions.
    1. I'm afraid that I'm going to have a problem with scalping, but I can't really afford the TTHP.
    2. Is the 15hp Kawisaki enough power for a 48 Hydro. What if I wanted to pull a Velke or a sulke?

    What are your general opinions of this mower in a 48 inch deck. I would love to buy the TTHP, but its about $1000 more. The price on the 48" Viking is $4000. Actually, I was going to buy the metro 48" belt drive for $2599, but then started thinking about the Hydro. Its been a long time since I bought a new mower.
    I appreciate any information.
    Thank you,
  2. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,981

    I have a 48" hydro wb and it works just great with a 14hp so, I don't see why a new 15 wouldnt work just as good mine is 6 years old and still running. :)
  3. ple_1969

    ple_1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 204


    Check your email....

  4. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,445

    if it were me--I think I would get a price on the 17hp kawi--that 2 hp makes a difference. I have a scag 48in 15hp hydro and, while it is not really underpowered, I can see why a more powerful engine would last longer on this unit(and perform better in thick grass)

    By the way--both of mine are fixed deck and it does take a little more effort not to scalp--I just push down on the handlebars and lift the deck a little whenever necessary--it is not too strenuous.
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Actually, I checked the specs on the 15 and 17 hp twin kawasaki engines. peak torque looked to be about identical, so I'm not sure how big a difference it would make.
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I have a 36" Exmark Viking, with a 15hp Kohler. I've put six seasons on the machine (600-700 hrs/season). Obviously, a 48" may scalp -- I stayed away from a 48" deck when I bought mine for that reason. But, in hindsight, the issue is not the width, but rather the length. I'm mulch more apt to scalp front-to-back, than side-to-side. The distance between the front casters and the drive wheels is longer than the machine is wide.

    I use a single-wheeled Velke and have plenty of power. My machine is a bit light on the front. A 48" fixed deck is a bit better balanced machine overall.

    The machine has been very solid, no problems at all. I'm a solo operator, so don't have any others to tinker with the machine (this is good!). I replaced the 15hp Kohler last Winter, after about 3,500 hours of service. Also, I replaced the deck bearings. I felt that the life was acceptable and should not have expected more time. The hydro pumps and wheel motors have been no problem. The hydro oil gets changed one time per year at the end of each season, along with a new filter. I've used OEM parts for hydro filter, as well as belts (changed each season too).

    For me it was an excellent choice, at a time when I had no experience, and didn't know much about what I was buying. I don't think you can go wrong.

  7. Grizzly290

    Grizzly290 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Guys, Thanks for all the responses to my post about the Exmark Viking. One of the local Exmark dealers is having an Open House next week. Probably get a good deal there.
    Thanks again, Grizzly
  8. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,845

    Grizzley - Here is a Viking Hydro 36" with a Flex-Deck - 54" cut

    36x-between wider stones-.jpg
  9. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I own a 1998 Exmark 48" Viking. It came with a 14hp recoil start. I recently had it replaced with an 18 Kohler e/s. While the 14hp was OK, the 18 Kohler is much better suited for that size deck, IMHO. I also own a 2002 Exmark TTHP, 17Kawi, es 48". I was going to get another Viking but I didn't because it only came with a 15hp, recoil start. I personally think the 48" should come standard with a 19 Kawi, but that's JMO. I feel the difference in price for the TTHP is worth it, again, IMHO. Good luck.

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