John Deere vs Exmark?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MowCo, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. MowCo

    MowCo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I'm looking at the John Deere 717A Z-Trak 48" 19hp, and the Exmark Z HP 46" 19hp. Prices are close to the same. There's a lot of talk on here about Exmark but not much on John Deere. Is the John Deere an inferior mower, and why?
  2. D and H Seasonal Services

    D and H Seasonal Services LawnSite Member
    from SE, Pa
    Messages: 68

    All my equipment is JD and I have nothing bad to say about their products. I have a 727A and I love it.
  3. Charles Odell

    Charles Odell LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    John Deere the last 8 years.:usflag: In my opinion they
    are the best mowers you can buy. Check the resell
    value on 2 to 3 year old JD's vs 2 to 3 year old X marks!

    TOOMBSTONE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Hey MowCo, you Live close to me, I live in Murfreesboro, I would go with the Exmark. This is because I have used just about all of the mowers out there, and Exmark is the best I have found. E-mail me your phone number and we could chat about the business. My e-mail is I would be gald to talk to someone in the area.
  5. southernlandscapespecial

    southernlandscapespecial LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    If you are going to compare John Deere to any of the other mowers compare it to Hustler. I will admit that I don't know much about exmark, but in my own opinion I think Hustler and JD or close. I am on my fourth John Deere and the only reason is I trade them in at 200 hours. My last trade in was a month ago, I went from a 727 to a 757, the 727 was a 2004 with 189 hours on it the dealer gave me 5300.00 (I paid 6400.00 for it new)and sold me the 757 for 7750.00. The trade in or resale value also counts when making a buying decision
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,949

    Earlier this week, I ordered a JD 717A. I had researched the 19hp/48" mowing deck market extensively. In the end, I narrowed to Scag Tiger Cub, and JD 717A. Even though I have an Exmark w/b, nine seasons and can speak very highly of reliability, quality of cut, etc, I wrote off Exmark pretty early because of price.

    I lined up the Hustler SuperMini next to the Tiger Cub, and chose the Tiger Cub between those two -- when I say "lined up," I mean almost next to one another. My exclusion of Hustler was with the shallow mowing deck and small discharge opening. Maybe my criteria was flawed -- many here on LS speak highly of Hustler and are very happy.

    My decision between Scag and JD came to dealership. The Scag dealer is about 1.5 hour drive away, but, in my opinion from a visit there, a very good dealer. They only sell commercial equipment, including golf equipment. I thought they really had their act together. On the other hand, the JD dealer is much closer, but doesn't deal much with commerical mowing equipment. I never see a JD commercial mower on any truck/trailer in the neighborhoods I work. This dealer is primarily an ag equipment dealer, and does not stock much mowing equipment (mostly 737, 60" decks for larger operators and estate owners). So, even though the dealer is much closer, I don't have the same level of confidence than with the Scag dealer. I'm sure anybody can shoot my logic down with these arguments.

    Oh yes, I'm within a few blocks of a Toro dealer -- but I do not do any business with them. Therefore, Toro wasn't even in the consideration tree.

    Just like a few of the previous posts, rarely does anybody have negative comments regarding JD ZTR mowers. Rather, quite the opposite, people speak highly of them. Clearly, other parts of the country, they are very popular. The 7 Iron deck gets good reviews, but I don't know how it will perform in this part of the country.

    As you can see, my process was primarily one of exclusion. I think any of the primary brands, Scag, Toro, Exmark, JD, Scag, Hustler, Gravely (I'm sure I left out somebody, sorry) would have done the job for me. Also, I think there is too much emphasis placed on price -- how many times, "... how much did you pay?" A few hundred dollars on a piece of equipment that should produce revenues in six figures isn't a big deal (... says he, who excluded Exmark!). I think everybody has to buy what is in their comfort level, even though the factors to develop that level aren't always so objective.

    Also, I know that many on LS say, "demo," "demo," and "demo" again. The JD dealer has no demo units. The Scag dealer is 1.5 hours away, effectively killing a day to get the mower, mow for a couple of hours and return it. I didn't even ask them about a demo model. Again, many here will shoot my thinking down on this point.
  7. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    . I am on my fourth John Deere and the only reason is I trade them in at 200 hours.

    Why do you trade them in @ 200 hours? Not even broken in yet Or did you mean 2000 hrs.........
  8. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    The dealer support for the JD comercial mowers is almost non existant around me. If it was a green mower you want, BOBCAT is the way to go. Exmark also has very good dealer support around me!
  9. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I owned a 717, and now have a 737 and an Exmark and I will take the JD hands down over the Exmark anyday. I actually liked my 717 better than the 737, would fit anywhere I wanted to go, cut great and was the best mulching mower I ever used. Wished I had the 717 back instead of the 737.
  10. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,949

    QualityLawn ... Your comments about the 717 are good to hear. I hope that I can make similar ones in a few weeks after I get started using mine!

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