My new Exmark 26" mower has arrived.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by joed, May 28, 2005.

  1. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,196

    I finally got my Exmark 26" metro mower and thought I would share my findings for those who are interested in the machine.

    1. Cut Quality
    Maginificent, stunning, stupendous etc. I have used JD, Honda and Toro proline 21" units along with Toro 32" units and this machine leaves the best cut I have ever seen. The grass is left like a carpet and it does have a bit of a striping effect too. You also don't seem to get as many of the wheel mark lines as you do with the 21" mowers.

    2. Productivity
    There is definitely an increase over the 21" unit. I would, conservatively estimate q 20-25% time savings and the biggest advantage is the fewer times who have to empty the bag when you are bagging. I would guess that the bag on this unit holds approximately double the amount of grass that the toro proline holds and it is much easier to empty.

    3. Power
    What everyone was worried about, so far, has turned out to be a non-issue. At one account, where my client has the sprinklers going all day, the grass is always very thick and overgrown. The machine had no problems cutting through it and did not bog down once. There is so much air flow and power created by the engine that you would think that it sounds like a helicopter. I don't know how the engine functions in mulch mode because the mulch kit for the unit is on back order. However, I would imagine that it would work very well. The engine also seems to be very fuel efficient.

    1. Quirks
    Although the unit is very well built, there are a lot of little annoying quirks. Here they are:
    Rear Wheel Adjusters.
    Very simple to use but it keeps popping out of place. On 3 seperate occasions, it popped out from 2.5 inches to 1 inch and scalped the grass before I realized what was going on. I finally had to keep the adjuster in place by using a bungee cord. The front wheel adjuster is also loose.
    Oddly, at times, no grass goes into the bag or grass escapes from the bag, even though, it seems to be secure. I can't figure this one out.
    The lever that engages the BBC is, at times, difficult to engage.
    Drive Lever
    Finding 3rd gear is a hit and miss affair. Sometimes, the unit can't find it at all, sometimes it rattles when engaging 3rd gear and sometimes it feels like it is slipping and not engaging.
    Weird Rattles and Squeaky Noises occasionally pop up.

    2. Weight
    The unit is a beast and the manual has the weight listed at 160 lbs. When you first use it, it will be tiring to turn it, especially if you do it all day. However, like anything else, you get use to it. The heavy weight also causes some difficulties in ditches, on hills, etc. since it causes the machine to be a bit difficult to manuever. This is especially true, when the bag is on. Personally, I think there is too much weight on the back end. It should be more evenly distributed. On flat terrain, there are no issues.

    Despite these kinks, I am quite pleased with the unit. It would be an excellent investment for an individual or company who primarily services smaller lots with small gates where a 21" mower is the best option to use. I would still hold on to your 21" mowers for the ditches and hills and leave this big boy for everything else. If 21" mowers are not your primary machines and are rather simply used on an infrequent basis, you would not go wrong with this unit but you may decide to save your money and stick with the 21" mowers.

    I hope this review has helped those of you who were interested in purchasing the machine or finding out more information about it.
  2. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    thanks for the info... I was/am considering getting one. The price seems too high considering all the little quirks you point out.

    In some ways, you make it sound cheaply made and with some questionable design... I don't think you should have to use bungee cords to hold a $1500 machine together. What happens when its a yr old??
    The cut sounds great though. I'm not as concerned as most on the power end, but if its a treemendous amout more to handle than a 21", then maybe they missed the mark??

    Just for curiosity, how would you rate it next to a 36" walk behind with regard to handling/turning etc????? Thanks again.
  3. mkirby

    mkirby LawnSite Member
    Messages: 95

    maybe the spring is broke on the hieght adjustment. I have had no problems!
  4. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    Thank you for the post, its very helpful. I think the question above would give us an idea about its ease of use. Would you rather run the 26 or a 36 hydro for a long day? -- slight hills, smaller props ---
  5. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,196

    I can't really compare the exmark 26" to a hydro 36" because I have never used one. I have used 32" and 36" belt drive units and they are easier to turn, that's for sure.

    As for the quirks, I have to take the machine back into the dealer to have them look at it but the machine is not cheaply made, that's for sure. It is very well built.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,041

    Thanks for your review, did you order the mulch kit at the same time as you ordered the machine? My machine should be here this week and I was wondering if it will arrive minus the mulch kit also.
  7. joed

    joed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,196


    The mulch kit for the 26" Exmark is included with the price. Unfortunately, my dealer told me that they are on back order from Exmark. They have no idea when it will arrive. It supposedly consists of a plug and blade.

    I hope you enjoy your mower when you get it this week. Let me know how you make out.
  8. luv2fly

    luv2fly LawnSite Member
    from ATL
    Messages: 46

    I picked mine up on Friday. I will get my first chance to use it Monday morning.

    Joed thanks for the update.

    Luv2fly :waving:

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