I have a JD 425 - I want a Exmark ZTR

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by ezdrive, Jun 14, 2001.

  1. ezdrive

    ezdrive LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I am a homeowner who loves equipment and I love cutting grass. I currently own a John Deere 425 All Wheel Steer with 54" deck. This mower cuts good, but my yard has a slight incline and large unobstructed areas to cut. I like a good strip pattern. 1)Some of my straight runs are over 400 feet, and I have a problem getting straight line patterns. 2)This mower tends to have uneven cuts on turns and when I trim. Dealer says the machine will tend to lean on turns and recommended lowering the mower deck wheels one notch. This works but I am still not satisfied with the cut. 3)Turn arounds require turn-stop-backup-turn to get to the next run.
    I said all this to ask if anyone can give me a testimonial on the Exmark or Toro Laser Z units. I test drove one at the dealer. They feel great, but the dealer tried to down sell me to a small JD Consumer ZTR. I test drove that and it gave me a headache after five minutes. I am looking at a Exmark Lazer Z 23hp liquid cooled. with a 60" deck. I would love to be able to cut at higher speeds, and possibly cross-cut in the same time as a single cut on my current mower. As for smaller tighter areas, I am looking at the Exmark Viking Hydro 36". The combination of these two machines cost about the same as my JD with all the accessories. My wife will probably kill me, but I feel this would be the ultimate on lawn care equipment.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. leasen

    leasen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    hi ezdrive that sounds exactly the same situation i was in i had a j.d. tractor for 10 years and i loved it but the cut on the corners was terrible.so i decided that the next machine i would get would be designed to cut grass only so i checked out these commercial ztr units i never new there is so many differnt manufacturers of lawn equipment. i researched them for about 4 monthes, this was a blast i love yard equipment to i took many out for test rides the one i liked best was the kubota but at 10 grand that was to much to spend to cut 1 acre. after 4 months of looking talking on the phone and test riding it came down to 2 machines the exmark and the ferris, both machines were about the same price,h.p,and deck width .so i bought the ferris because it has independent rear suspenstion it was about 7500.hundred dollars and worth every penny.i allways liked cutting my grass but now its a blast driving this thing, befor it took 3 plus hours to cut , now it takes less than a half hour to cut one acre if you are thinking of getting one of these machines, go for it.- don
  3. ezdrive

    ezdrive LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10


    Thanks for your reply. I see I am not the only one who enjoys equipment and yard work. I had not thought about the Ferris machine. Looks like the suspension is a nice option. I see they now have all-wheel independent suspension. The only problem I see is that there is a limited number of dealers near me. One is 6 miles, and carries a limited inventory and the others are over 25 miles away. That is not that far, but I can's stop by after work...

    If you have the time, what is your opinion on the following:

    - How is the Ride?
    - Quality of Cut?
    - Engine performance?
    - Maintainance Issues like ease of Oil Change, Size of Hydro Reservour, Blade access and ease of blade height adjustment?
    - How is the feel and sensitivity of the controls?, are they dampened?

    I know I sould go for a test drive but, user opinion means alot.

    Again, Thanks for your reply


  4. leasen

    leasen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    hi ray, dealer location was a factor in my decision also. i only have about 12 hours on my machine so i cant tell you much about ease of maintinance, one thing though the ferris has only one belt to worry about. blade hight ajustment is ajusted by your foot and is very easy and the feel of the controls was identical to the exmark i test road them both at the same dealer one after the other ,the ride feels very good. my yard feels very differnt at 10 m.p.h. verses 3-4 m.p.h. on the jd. engine performance is good, i cut the grass when it was very high and wet and it cut with no problem. i got the 23 kawy with a 61" deck, the deck is so wide that it tends to scalp on hilly eares i think the ferris is a great machine it was a toss up between the ferris and the exmark .if your exmark dealer is convient i think the exmark is an exelent choice. i thought i had a fairly large yard to cut, but with this machine it is so fast that sometimes i double cut or cut the neighbors yard, just to get more time on it, also i keep my machine very cleen and armerall the tires and the engine, do you do this to or am i just a nut, good luck-don
  5. mowin'man

    mowin'man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    A ZTR won't necessarily give you straight lines, you have to
    drive straight.
    Other than that, I wish I had the money for two machines for my yard!
    Oh well, maybe someday.....
  6. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    I agree with mowin'man, the operator has to make it go straight. I feel a ZTR will is easier to keep straight once you learn to run it with one hand. Here is a picture of a lawn cut with my 430 JD that has sloppy steering, but the lines are fairly straight under the conditions I had.

  7. little green guy

    little green guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 955

    the 23 kawi lc 60" is a great machine, I use it almost everyday.
    I can't see a homeowner needing such a big machine though, I think that a 52" lazer hp with a 23 kawi air cooled would be better, then you would not need the smaller walkbehind. I would recomed exmark riders and scag walkbehinds, Thats what I use. Anyway if you got the money and realy want both mowers go for it.
  8. Spurgeon

    Spurgeon Guest
    Messages: 0

    I too had a JD 445 the fuel injected model of the 425. Had nothing but problems from new. Finally had enough of paying for that nothing runs like a deere and bought a Toro Z Master. I love it. Just got through putting lights on and making a hitch.

    The Exmark and Toro are the same machines with the exception of the deck. The Exmark is about 700.00 higher in this area and I just could not justify the additional expense. I am getting a good cut with the exception of the the white clover and from what I understand everyone is. Its tough to cut clean.

    Dump that JD as soon as you can. It may have the plastic cam shaft and that is a 1000.00 repair when it goes and at some point it will go.
  9. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 870

    New Toro's (23/62) can be bought for 6100.00

    3 hour drive from OH.

    HOWARD JONES LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I just purchased a Toro Z-master 62 inch this year - on my own "yard" (5 acres, I can testify that it will cut in excess of 1 acre per hour - I was suffering with a low-end "homeowners" 46 inch model before - have cut my time from 10 hours to 4! My suggestions are to take a test drive; when the grass is real light, you will indeed cut at full speed - and I was surprised at how rough it can be. I considered the Ferris but information and dealers were hard to find, so I passed it up. Also talk to the dealer or research this site more on comparing the Toro to the Exmark - I believe the decks are totally different; Toro designed to blow the grass out quickly, which is supposed to be better for speed or wet cutting, while the Exmark runs the clippings from one blade to another - more like mulching - am I right, guys?

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