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Groundmaster vs. Zero Turn

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Pete B, Aug 18, 2004.

  1. Pete B

    Pete B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I work at a maitenance facility for a large park department in MD and recieved funding for mowers this year. I have not purchased mowers in several years, and in the past we always purchased Toro Groundmasters 328-D's, 72" diesels, and have been VERY hapy with their performance and LONG TERM dependability. I have been doing some research, and many other maintenance facilities in my department have begun purchasing eX-mark zero-turn mowers with 72" decks and the 27hp w/c Kaw engines and been extremely happy. However we have only been using these machines for two years, and I do not know of the long tern dependability. I realize the 27 hp gas engine may not last as long as the 3 cylinder diesel, but as you probaly know the eXmarks are about half the price of the groundmasters, which is a major factor with limited funding these days.

    My question is: How do the exmarks stack up to the diesel groundmasters? I am looking for a super dependable machine that can handle wet conditions, tal grass, a great deal of abuse.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Pete B
  2. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    Yes ditch the TORO's.

    Limit your zero-turns to 60" The increased manueverability and better positioning ability outweighs the extra width in most situations. A 72" will get banged up more and will scalp more.

    We have identical machines with 60" and 72" decks, and we ususally leave the 72" at the shop because it is aggravating to drive...requires too much attention to avoid crashing/scalping.

    Plus, if you go to a 72" your ground speed will probably be slower because you will be short for power. And wet grass will be more problematic for the 72"

    Avoid liquid cooled...more to go wrong. If radiators get plugged with dry grass, etc you have a problem. Air cooled engines are more idiot proof, and no offense, but, idiot employees do gravitate toward park departments where profit is not a factor.

    We have handled parks on bid jobs...our most successful mix for schools and parks has been a pair of 60" mowers plus a John Deere 1600 WAM.

  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    We have 3, 325D's (4 wheel drive, 72" decks) Toro Groundmaster btw.

    We also have 2, 61" Z's (Ferris).

    Personally, I prefer the Groundmaster. They use far less fuel, will outlive the Z's by years, and NEVER bog down even in the highest grass I have mowed with them.

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