Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sharpcutter, May 2, 2004.

  1. sharpcutter

    sharpcutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    For my solo owned lawn service ( I cut on the side because this is the one thing we dont do at my regular job ), I bought an Exmark 27 Kohler 52" deck. Absolutely love the machine. My opinion is that this thing can cut anything, and still do it well. Only problem I have had so far, is that it gets a little squirrly in wet grass especially when there is a slight hill involved.

    My full time job is a landscaping outfit. I have been with this company for 14 years now. We offer a full line of install services including landscaping, pond, waterfalls, patios, retaining walls, and irrigation systems. But we are a little different. We are a 90 acre tree farm growing shrubs, christmas trees and shade trees. We have 2 hot greenhouses, and 2 cold houses. We also have a complete retail store and wholesale to other contractors. So believe me when I tell you that I know a little about mowing. At the farm we have always used tractors with belly or 3 point mowers, and small garden tractors to fit in between the tree rows. Well, our single biggest problem is toget the tree rows mowed and its not as easy as you may think to find appropriate equipment ti fit and still do a good job. With that being said,....

    When I bought my Xmark, the owner was convinced that a smaller version of my machine would be perfect for tree rows. So I picked up our new Toro 44" z master. Its got a Kowasaki 17hp which feels like a very good engine. Seems to have plents of power for the size of machine considering its turning the blades as well as keeping the hydraulic pumps fed. I have noticed thqt it will bog in high grass though, requiring a second pass. Operates nicely, but seems like it wont stick to any kind of slope at all. What I was most dissapointed in was the deck. It is 44" and appears to be stamped with some reinforcing welded along the edges. However, they did something interesting with this deck. There is a large angled v shape welded across the nose. so id you run into anything, you cant kink the deck, good idea for the farm, dont know if its neccessary for lawn use. I think they did this to help the otherwise thin and lacking deck. Also, when I cleaned the deck the first time, I noticed that the deck is shaped very differently from my xmark, not as smooth or discharge freindly. Also there are a bunch of boltheads and fabrications for the grass to start collecting on. The deck spindles also have grease fittings whereas my xmark areall sealed. This equally more maint. for the toro.

    I know I am comparing a 44" vs. 52" model, but for $2000 difference, I think the xmark is he better of the two. I like the Toro, but will have something to say now when someone says to me, Oh they ae the same, come from the same manufacturing line.

    Just my 2 cents, thought someone may benifit.
  2. CNE

    CNE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    I have a 60" Lazer and it does the same thing on wet hills. I slid down a 6' ditchbank once. Once it starts sliding, you just have to hang on and ride it down.
  3. sharpcutter

    sharpcutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    My Lazer z seems to do ok until I get into the steep stuff, but the z master seemed much worse. Maybe I just wasnt used to the different machine. I was talking to another lco the other day, and he said that he dhanged the tires to quad tires. Same size, but he said ha can stick like glue to the hills. I asked about turfing up the grass, he said if you were careful, they were no worse than the stock ones. That may be something to comsider.
  4. mtnlawn

    mtnlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    FYI- Exmark IS Toro- Toro is the parent company of ExMark.
  5. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    When going down a steep hill on your Exmark I found if you try to slow down it will slide out of control. But if you let the wheels roll faster you can control it. But you need to be sure you have room at the bottom of the hill to stop. To steer it if it turns abit I speed it up and straighten it out. But never point it downhill if there is a retaining wall, or dropoff at the bottom............ouch
  6. soccerlawn

    soccerlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 379

    Hey Sarpcutter, what are quad tires.
  7. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    You know a sentar will glue its self to a hill on turfs. Might want to check one out. I would get a eXmark it you are stuck on toro vs eXmark. I have a 32" metro and it holds up very well.
  8. sharpcutter

    sharpcutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Tires that are used on quads.

    I`m not stuck, I own an eXmark, but also got to use the toro, I was simply comparing the two.
  9. sharpcutter

    sharpcutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87


    Yea I know. Exmark was their own company until they were bought out by Toro. I was just talking to my local Toro dealer today, and he said that Toro planned on keeping the two lines running independently, offering different products. Although he said that the engineers were working together. Also as a side note, the reason Exmark was giving all the roller kits away with new purchases, was to reduce the inventory. On both the Exmark and the Toro it is planned to replace the ss roller with a piece of heavy rubber bolted on across the rear of the deck.


    I have found the same to be true. Pushing through a slide was easier to control than trying to slow down, that always seems to make it worse.
  10. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    What he is trying to say is ATV tires.

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