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HP -vs- AS

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Ga Road Hawg, May 21, 2006.

  1. Ga Road Hawg

    Ga Road Hawg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I'm about to buy my first ZTR this week. I've decided on Exmark because of a good local dealer and recommendations by friends. I can't decide between a 50" HP or a 52" AS. This is for homeowner use. I have 6+/- acres I cut plus 1 acre rental property. Terrain is mostly flat with a few small rolling hills. I have 75 3 year old black walnut trees planted on 10 ft centers on the property. Right now about one acre near the house is very nice with few if any weeds, the rest is "pasture grass" that I want to replace so the entire yard looks like a ball field. I will cut at 3-3.5". Pasture was previously cut with an 8' Finish Mower (5 hour job, mostly from turning tractor around)

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of one of these vs the other? I haven't priced the HP yet but the AS with mulch kit, striper and lift assist is going to run me about $8100 with tax. Should I expect the HP to be more or less?
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Messages: 4,258

    Hello Ga Road Hawg,
    Thanks for considering the Exmark product line. The price between the two units will be close, the AS will be $100 more list price comparing the 23 hp Kawi to the 23 hp Kohler Command. One of the main differences is the HP will have the Triton deck and the AS has the Ultra Cut deck. I will let the members fill you in on their experiences with the machines.
  3. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230


    For the size of property you are cutting, I would definitely move up to the 60" Lazer. I would hesitate to got o the 72", but the 60" would be a must. 60" is an excellent all around. My 2 cents.
  4. Ga Road Hawg

    Ga Road Hawg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the reply. While I am cutting mostly flat to rolling areas, there are several areas that I am worried about a wider deck either scalping or cutting much closer. I am thinking that with a 50 - 52 inch deck I can compromise on size and gain maneuverability.

    I have been reading older post regarding the Triton deck, (mostly positive), and the Kawasaki engine, (not many new posts). I read a lot on here about the HP but not to much about the AS. Anyone have comparative experience and an opinion on each.
  5. 3Bladz

    3Bladz LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 166

    I really like the compactness of the HP, but I dont think the triton deck cuts nearly as well. If you could find a left over 23/52 HP that would be a good choice. My first choice would be the 60 inch ultra cut lazer w/ 27 kohler, you will learn to keep from scalping and save about a half hour of mowing a week. It will also ride smoother. Maybe look for a low hour (3-400) trade, it would last you a long time. Also my experience w/ the triton deck has been that it has way more (too much vacuum) and you would be chucking walnuts everywhere.
  6. DEEJ

    DEEJ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    And to further the comment above about the 60" decks. I have what sounds to be similar terrain, mostly flat. I can't say I have ever had the 60" deck scalp. At the moment I have a 2001 Lazer 60" 26HP EFI and a 2003 Lazer 60" 28HP EFI. Both have the UltraCut decks and full suspension seats. I am most impressed with the cut of both of these machines. They both run mulch kits year round (except for spring and fall cleanups when the Accelerator bagger is on).
  7. blackandgold

    blackandgold LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    Comparing the Ultra Cut deck vs the new Triton deck, is the blade tip speed on both decks at or near 18,500 fpm? I was told the new Triton deck was built to have blade tip speed more like the John Deere deck-- in the 16,500 fpm range.
  8. Larry1

    Larry1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    16,500 fpm.

    I have a new HP with a 50" Triton and 20HP Kohler for residential use (the 20hp kohler has never bogged down on me and I have hills). Never had the previous deck so I can't compare, but the Triton is working great for me. I cut at full speed (9.5 mph published) and get a glass smooth lawn. This last weekend was the first real test. I was on vacation for ten days and my over fertilized Connecticut lawn saw nothing but rain the whole time. It looked like a hay field, at about 6 inches long. I didn't even need to slow the ground speed to get a glass smooth cut. I don't have a mulching kit or a bagger so I went over it at 90 degrees to get rid of clippings (only necessary in some locations). I don't know where they went but they disappeared...truly amazing. I'm not used to that. Before I got the HP I would have had to bag it which would have taken the entire day, maybe two.

    I have heard people say that the Ultracut deck gave a better cut and I'll deffer to experience, but I'm not sure how it can be that much better than what the Triton will do. I think the area where the Triton shines is productivity. I don't know anyone that cuts at the ground speeds that I do. The only possible down side is the dust. I figure the engineering that went into the deck increased the suction which is pulling the grass into the blades, improving the ability to cut deep grass fast. But now it is part vacuum cleaner and creates quite a bit of dust on dry bare spots (regular healthy grass is fine).

    I mow my 2 acres in about 45 minutes, but I don't really have many open spaces and I'm pretty picky. I would figure around 2 to 2.5 hours for your 6 acres mowing like I do with a 50" Triton. Hope this is helpful. Let us know what you decide.
  9. Ga Road Hawg

    Ga Road Hawg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Just a follow up. Finally made my decision and went with the AS 52/23. Picked it up yesterday in a downpour. Used it today for the first time. What used to take me 5 hours took 3 and had a gorgeous yard. As I gain experience using the ZTR I figure I will cut the time down even more. I was extra careful after reading all the posts about newbies like me tearing the turf while turning. I only had one small spot I tore on my first turn so... I'm happy.

    I do have a problem with the mower creeping to the right when both controls are out in neutral and the brake is off. Also if going forward, the right control does not push forward as far as the left causing a slight turn to the right. Today I just made sure to hold the left back a little, but tomorrow I'll have to reread that section of the manual and see if I can fix it.

    Thanks to all for the responses.

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