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Need Help - Exmark or Hustler

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by CincyWolf, May 8, 2005.

  1. CincyWolf

    CincyWolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    This is my first post but I've been lurking for a couple of weeks and am impressed with this site. I'm considering Exmark HP and Lazer AS and also Hustler Z/Super Z and Mini-Z/Super-Mini. This is for my own home so I think a 52" deck is about right. Most of my yard is sloped - from the street to my house and from my house to the top of the property with a couple of terraces. I currently mow with a Toro Lawn Tractor and mow up and down the back yard hill because it is too steep. I have mowed the yard with a Toro 100 series ZTR and when wet the main hill was tough but doable. The yard is just under an acre.

    Here are my questions:
    1) In the Exmark line - The full size Lazer AS with the deeper Unicut Deck seems to be a better deal than the HP. I don't need the built in cup holder and I plan to install the $29 lift pedal. I'd like to hear opinions between these two machines. Capability on hills, reliability and cutting performance. My dealer has a 2004 with the 20hp Kohler for $6000 until he sells it. Is 20hp too small? Dealer says that many commercial guys actually liked the older style controls between the legs because limbs don't knock the throttle down to idle, etc. Also said he had had fewer issues with the older Danfoss wheel motors than the newer Parker Ross ones. Any opinion on this?

    2) The Hustler line seems to be an outstanding mower from all indications. Seems to be lots of bang for the buck. I've heard good things about hill holding but would like to hear more and how it compares to each of the Exmarks. I've also heard the cut quality isn't good compared to Exmark but would like an honest evaluation from several of you. Is there a difference in cut quality between the full size hustler deck and the mini-decks? I don't need the speed of the Super Z but like the idea of the better pumps, coolers and suspension seat. The minis with the 52" deck look strong too. Any downsides to drop to the mini vs. full size? Before doing a demo, my only reservation about Hustler is with cut quality. I'd hate to spend so much money and be disappointed with the cut quality.

    3) I currently mulch so would like to understand mulching performance between these two. Yard is a bluegrass/turf fescue mix.

    4) I do plan to demo but will probably only get to try one Exmark and one Hustler.

    Thanks in advance for your insights. Having the braintrust of the commercial mowing industry to give advice is good thing since I need to make a decision soon.
  2. CincyWolf

    CincyWolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    back to the top
  3. bigz1001

    bigz1001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Is it one acre of turf, or one acre minus house? Given your concern over the steepness of hill, I have to ask if you have considered a commercial walk-behind. Are there other reasons that you have already ruled this out? With a 52in. deck that you are considering, an assumed average speed of 3 mph as well as 80% efficency, you should be able to mow this property (1 full acre of turf) in about 47 minutes, not knowing the number of obstacles you have to compete with, I would say 45 minutes-1 hour is a safe assumption for cut time. If no underlying reasons exists, I would seriously suggest looking at a commercial walk-behind.
  4. CincyWolf

    CincyWolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    One acre minus house.

    I'm interested in a ztr. If it doesn't work out I'll just stay with my lawn tractor vs. going the commercial walk behind.

    I'm really interested in opinions on:
    Exmark Lazer AS vs Lazer HP - pros/cons
    Hill holding between Hustler and Exmark - actual experience from forum users
    Hustler vs. Exmark cut quality - how different and is it that noticeable
    Hustler full size vs. mini
    Which deck is best for mulching.
  5. Advance The Man

    Advance The Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    You're posting in the homeowner area of LS. You will get some responses on people who have tried both in the commercial area. Not many of us have the Super Z's or commercial Exmark's.

    Regarding the FasTrac cut quality, it's great. I have probably about the same sized yard (net) as you. My best time was 21 minutes and worst was probably around 30 minutes. It all depends on how many dog and kid toys have been left in the yard.

    Regarding grade, I have a 20-degree slope. I have learned to make the turn onto it slowly. I put the mower in the pond my second time using it, but only one rear tire made it in. Had to pull it out. It does fine on the slope. I now leave a 20" swath of grass untouched just to be certain that doesn't happen again. I never feel like it's gonna roll over, and it doesn't slide.

    There must be a reason why Exmark is a little more expensive than Hustler, I just don't know what that reason is.
  6. CincyWolf

    CincyWolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Advance the Man - Thanks.
    I originally posted on the Commercial page but the mod moved it to here. I may ask the specific Exmark HP vs Lazer AS question there again.

    How do you like your cut quality on the Hustler? Have you cut with an Exmark to compare?
  7. Advance The Man

    Advance The Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    No I've never seen the Exmark. I ruled it out early on b/c of the price. I had already nearly doubled my budget and wasn't going to spend another $1000 for the exmark. I don't think you could go wrong with either one. I sure haven't noticed a cut quality problem. I am assuming that would be an uneven cut? The FasTrac has enough wheels on it to avoid scalping with the floating deck, but then again most in this price range does. I actually feel a commercial model is way overkill for your .75 acre lawn. You could save $1500 - $2000 and buy a FasTrac like mine and go on a vacation. I went from 55 minutes to the low 20's. I don't think a Super Hustler would save but maybe another couple of minutes.

  8. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Both those companies have representatives on this website, just scroll up from the home owners section. Ask the same questions there as you did here. Especially ask about the mowers stability on hillsides. I know Ex-Mark has some guidelines, but I don't remember just now what they are.
  9. SPO Tim

    SPO Tim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Like yourself, I am not a professional mower. My yard is 60'x105' :). Last fall my father purchased a Super Z 25/60 for his 1+ acre. We researched every brand and nothing compares to the quality and support you get with a Hustler. He used it once in Oct to try it out and due to his health problems now, he has to sell it. It has just over 4 hrs on it..... it is brand new sitting in my garage now. If you or anyone else are interested in it, just let me know. The dealer will provide a letter regarding the warranty, I have the owners manuals, service manual, parts manual, and the receipt. I live in Flint MI. Im sure I can send pics too if you are interested. If not, I'd still recommend a Hustler ZTR over any others or a walk behind.
  10. CincyWolf

    CincyWolf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Tim - I tried to send you an email but it was bounced. Is that your current email address? Any other way to contact you?

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