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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, my name is Scott Campbell and I have just become a member. I have been reading the site over the past few days and I am very impressed at the layout and the communication that Lawnsite delivers. I would like to bounce some questions off of you if I could.

I am interested in feedback on some equipment that I am looking to purchase. I am new to the commercial mowing, but I am not new to the residential mowing. I currently use a 13hp 42" Dixon ztr(along with a an 8N w/5' deck at home on 9 acres). I am now ready to buy an additional ztr, I prefer to stay with the mid mount's in the 20 to 27 hp range(Liquid Cooled if I can get it) and with 52" to 61" decks. I have looked at Scag's TT, Grasshopper's 200 & 300 series, Dixie Chopper, Snapper's pro cruiser zm2501kh, MTD's mmz25560, Dixon 7025 and the BobCat 200 series.

I have been on the Dixon, Scag and the BobCat. The others I have not run. I am unsure of the joystick on the Snapper, I am unsure of the MTD from performance (mfg bias, I guess). The Grasshopper I know nothing of their mids.

I have been trying over the last few days to go over previous discussions to find some of this info. I am sure that you have probably covered it before to some extent, but on the ones I did find there were some equipment names that I am not familiar with. At least not around my area. I am located in East Central Indiana, and I thought that maybe some of the ones I read aren't readily available around here.

Like the Lexmark, Lazer, Lesco and so on. I believe these are some of the names. Some maybe strictly wb, others may be both wb & ztr. That is why I am asking.

Any input on the ones mentioned would be of great help.

Thanks for your time.

Scott
 

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Scott,

Maybe you should take a trip to Indy and look at Toro and Exmark (Lazer). Are you able to get the free Indiana Auto & RV weekly mag? It is full of rural dealers as well as a few in Fort Wayne and Muncie. I have a Indy Phone book if you would like some phone numbers for dealers there. I deal with the Mower Shop on the North East side just off hwy 69.

Is there someway I might know you? Your name is awfully familier. I am originally from Indy but have lived in Lafayette for last 15 years. Did you go to school in Indy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Scott,

Thanks for the reply.

I will go out and pick up one of the RV mags tomorrow. That is one of the few that I have not been looking at.(mostly wheels & deals, and the local papers) I take it you do not care for any of the other equipment that I mentioned before. I was concentrating on equipment that I knew had local serviceability. Maybe these others do too, and I just haven't turned down the right country road yet.

Are the Toro and Exmark that much better than the others? If so, in your opinion what makes them that way?

You may or may not know me, I didn't go to school in Indy though. I graduated from a county school down from where I live. I did work in Indy for about 10yrs on the North side(Fishers) and the East side (Post Rd).

Since you are living up in West Lafayette I thought I would let you know, that I never played football in W Lafayette either. (I get that sometimes too.)

Thanks,
Scott
 

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Scott, If you go to the middle link on my signiture, I have a whole page of topics that you can just click on and read thousands of posts that have been posted here on Lawnsite. Each of those machines you mentioned are on this list. Just click on the brand name and it takes you to threads on that brand and there are 66 topics there now.

After reading, demo the ones you think you would like to possibly purchase. If your going to do this for many years, get a good ZTR and as wide as you can use on your properites.

If you want to talk to other owners about their mowers, I have 3 chat rooms on my website. All you have to do it have AOL Instant Messenger to access them and that can be downloaded on my site too. It's free to download and use.

BTW everyone, I'm glad to see you are using the Search pages I did. There is also one for the Snow Forum too.

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Eric. Your links have made for some very interesting reading over the past few hours. I am so glad that I found this site.

Appreciate all the help

Scott
 

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Scott

I just mentioned the Toro line because you did not. I do use Toro mowers and I like them alot. If you have never tried Toro's T-bar steering, you should before you buy a walk behind of any kind.

Exmark is owned by Toro now, so they are starting to mix and exchange components on their new models. Both companies are big in the green industry and have great reputations. I just wanted to make sure you did not over look them since they are available around here in Indiana.

As to knowing you, sounds not likley, huh, but is strange. I grew up and ran around all of the east side around post road. My family owns a Lumber Yard in Cumberland. I went to Warren Central, just off of post road on 16th. Anyway, name was real familier.

But, do check out that Auto & R.V., I know I have seen dealers for both Exmark and Toro over on your side of the state. Also my offer still stands if you need a few dealers numbers in Indy.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Skookum thanks for the info. I am heading up to Anderson today to have a look at some Exmarks. Now that I have seen their web site, I remember seeing them before. It was very early on when I was considering an upgrade, and I didn't realize who the mfg was.

Hey, I will drop out another question while I am thinking of it. Do any of the higher end mid's have additional attachments like aerators, rakes, blades and such? I know most of the front mounts do, but I still think I am going towards a mid. Also are the mountable aerators worth the money, or are stand alone units better?

Thanks,

Scott
 

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JRCo makes front Rakes and Aerators for mid mounts. I use the front mount rake on my Dixie Choppers and you can get snow blades and snow blowers for them too. I read on some other post that some company makes after market snow blades for Exmark.

I use a pull behind Lesco/Classen spit axle aerator which I feel is one that would last for many years the way it's built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Eric, how much did the pull behind aerator run? Also, how do you adjust the depth, add-on weights, adjustable wheels...? I have never seriously looked at aerating, in my own case, but I know that it is big for others. Especially in town. My mother-in-law pays about $75 a pop for someone to do her yard, she has less than a 1/3 acre. If they get that kind of money for just aerating, then it is another piece of equipment that I want to consider. If, the additional equipment isn't to outlandish in cost.

Like with the ztr's, I want to start off as right as I can in the equipment area. Even if it costs a little extra up-front. I want to bring exceptional quality with my work, not just quantity of clients being done.
 

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I have 2 exmarks, and love them both. The only mower that seems to cut as good is the choppers. But they don't have a real mulching system. Thus the reason I will continue to buy exmark equipment.

I have a walkbehind aerator and will probably get on to pull behind my Lazar this year. Good money in this service. Just need to learn how to price the jobs. A lot of info here on this topic.
 

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Scott,

Eric already nailed that attachment issue to the point I would have made about JRCo. I have no idea why these manufacturers do not get into the full game with good quality useful attachments.

I do not have any attachments that fit my older Toro Zmaster. It is a midmount, which I like for trailer space reasons, but the frame is not like today's ZTR units so I do not have a way to mount up such attachments.

My opinion on a aerator would be to get a pull behind that way you could use it with about anything in the future if you no longer have the ZTR. Eric mentioned one, I have a inexpensive 48" Ag-Fab model that works just fine on large properties. I wish I had a little bit better one, but I could not find any others at the time and I was not yet aqauinted to Lawnsite and I do not need to get another. So, mine works until it dies, which I think is why a good pull behind is a better choice since I feel most will last a very, very long time. I have seen a company called Millscreek that makes one that looked good also. They make it so all models can also be used as a 3 point hitch style.

Good hunting in Anderson, hope you find some deals.
 

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The Lesco/Classen is a Classen built aerator that has a split axle so you can make tighter turns without tearing up the turf. It is heavy enough to you can aerate without weights when the ground is soft, but you can safely add up to 700 lbs. if needed, probably more. The most I have had to add was 400 lbs. when the ground was rock hard. It cost $1299 and it should last you forever the way it is built. I made enough in 4 days, just using it in the evenings to pay for it. I have fixed mine so it will only go in 2" at one setting, 3" at another and 4" at the deepest. It is a tow aerator or a 3 point hitch model, either or. The tongue hitch hooks up to where the 3 point would go. I use mine on my JD 3 point, but I can tow it with a ZTR. If you want to see it, go to my equipment page.

I also use the JRCo dethatching rake on my Dixie Choppers. When your out shopping for mowers, take a test on the Choppers. You are in the heart of Dixie Chopper land being in Indiana. You said you want good equipment, the ones I've had have been good ones.

I hope this helps
Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey Skookum,

Got back from up North earlier, looked at a few of the attachments that you and Eric mentioned. I agree that the pull behind appears to be the first choice for convenience and longevity. One of my stops, like I mentioned before was to check out the Lazers.

This guy had a 2000yr LazerZ EPS 26hp(Kohler) 60", asking $8600. He hasn't got any of the new 01 models in yet. Said they wouldn't start showing up until mid to late March, to beat the tax man you know. Looks and feels like a very solid machine.

I asked him about his opinions on the Kohler vs. the Kaw's. He liked the Kaw engine, but he did have problems with the product support lines. From the distribuitor side mostly. He said that there was only one distributor in this area, and that he was located in Illinois.

He also felt that the LiqC engines were more trouble for the money. He stated more or less, which I have seen, that they are salty dogs when it comes to sticker. His thought was, with most operators there was just too much extra maintenance to do, that most did not do. Causing them problems down the road. I think that it is true with almost anything, isn't it??

Anyway, thought I would throw that nugget out there for everyone to chew on, and see what everybody thought.

65hoss, I definitely agree on the biding/pricing of the jobs. Something that I am reading as much as I can here on Lawnsite.

 

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EngMwrGuy,

I thought you worked for Gravely?

Scott,

Sounds like Anderson was a good trip.

Call "The Mower Shop" in Fishers at (317) 849.9500 This is where I have bought my Toro's. I am not sure if he sells Exmark, but if you are looking at buying a 2000 model and not a 2001 to save a few dollars, this is the guy to see. I purchased my Toro's all at this time of year, but bought the previous years models. This guy is less than most on new models, but is even better on old models. I saved $900 on my 44" walk behind -vs- buying the same model year from guy here in Lafayette. My Zmaster, I saved about $2,500. Dealer here in town still has my Zmaster model(1998) on the floor at $1,500 more than I paid two years ago.

Also, I know Eric's aerator is a good one, I have seen them a while back, but. But, food for thought I only paid $160 or so for mine. Depending on your accounts, it will take a while to recoup $1,200. I make more by renting a walk behind one for all the small yards that I cannot get the tow behind to fit.
 

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yes sir, I do.

I am not on the 260Z though. I am the commercial walkbehind guy.

Everything I hear from end users/dealers is the 260Z is fantastic. I can not say though because I have not looked too closely at it or even cut with it.
 

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Have a friend who bought a Gravely 260Z just for his home use. He mows 7-8 acres which includes a rather sloped pond dam. He demoed several, and felt the Gravely, with it's pivoting front axle, gave not only the smoothest ride, but also held the dam the best. He also doesn't understand why all mowers don't have hydraulic deck lifts like the 260Z has. The price wasn't bad either, I believe he paid ~$7200 for a 25HP, with a 6' deck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Skookum,

Made it over to Fishers today to visit the Mower Shop. You are right, they do have very resonable prices. The one thing I was wondering, was about the service on the equipment. Do you travel to Fishers each time, or do you take care of that locally? I would hope that you could do it closer to home, but I wasn't sure.

The Toro looks and feels real nice.(looked at the Z283L & the Z287L) The other thing that I was wondering has to do with the new thread I just started about fab vs. formed decks. Toro's being fab'd, and the Exmark's being formed. I was asking everybody's opinion on that issue.

Also wanted to know if you had, or know anybody that has a Toro with the Z stand feature. Seems to be a pretty handy idea.
 

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Scott,
I don't know how far you are from Westfield, Indiana but there is a dealer there "Northside Kubota" that has good prices. Phone number is 888-849-8488, very accomidating people and very helpful. They carry Exmark, Ferris, Kubota and probably a few others.
 
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