Pulled the trigger/ New Exmark 30 for me...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by rbljack, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,566

    Not according to Jason's eXmark pic; just the "Flow Control Baffle". Doubtful, on the Turfmaster, too, as the bastards were too cheap to put anything on the Timemaster. :hammerhead:

  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I wonder if this will work on the TimeMaster 30...? Or is it even remotely compatable...? Doe this block the discharge chute in any way...?

    I'm under the impression that the stock pseudo baffle that is standard on the commercial Turfmaster is what in fact a few users of the consumer TimeMaster have added to their mowers.
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  3. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,566

    Absolutely! Everything perfectly lines up.

    Yes. It'll end up ~1/2 blocked, along the top of the opening.

    I'm really curious to see how it'll mow, with the discharge chute opened and closed. Also, the difference between types of blades, with the mulch baffle in place, and discharge opened and closed.

    I believe so, too. Since those users seem to indicate some kind of change in QOC or airflow and material management, I didn't feel the need to experiment with what has already been done. I've always felt compartmentalizing is the only way to get proper mulching performance. It seems this baffle "may" still allow some versatility between mowing configurations/modes.
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I've followed this thread from the beginning -- lots of posts and discussion. I never thought I had an interest in the machine for myself, but was interested in the piece of equipment.

    Now, I may be rethinking my position. From all the posts, the only one of interest is the Exmark 30. Both are discussed in the thread, but the Exmark is the only one I would consider.

    One of my intial concerns about this mower was the ground drive system. Some 21" with "variable ground drive" use the belt slip method to control ground speed. But, I think the Ex 30 does not.

    After so much discussion about many features of these mowers (including faulty transmissions), I don't think I've heard negative comments about the operation of the variable speed transmission.

    I spent time on the Exmark web site, looked at the operators manual and parts diagrams. I see nothing that would indicate a belt slip procedure. Can somebody confirm, please?

    If not belt slip, then apparently the "variable" features in integral to the transmission. Without trying to dissect the mechanics of how the transmission is built, my question is how well does it work? Does the "bail squeeze and hold" procedure work well? Pitfalls? How easily is it to manage going across sloped properties? Can it be handled with one hand, or must the operator be directly behind the handles? (My 21" machines are often handled while walking downhill from the path of the mower - one hand on the controls).

    Comments, thoughts ...?

    Obviously, there are many who posted in this thread who have much experience with the Ex 30 by now.

    I posted another thread recently regarding a 36" w/b, but now am wondering if I would be nearly as well served with an $1800 Ex 30, over against a $4300-$5600 w/b. I know, different machine entirely, but the result isn't that much different, and the places where they would be used would be the same. My 48" ZTR would be used elsewhere, as it has been. And, some of the 21" uses may be able to done with an Ex 30.
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    When using the same blades on both the consumer level Toro TimeMaster and the Exmark 30 have you noticed much cut quality differences...? Same blades would have to be used and the other persistent question I have does the Toro Personal pace climb hills easier than the Exmark 30...? Also on tiny lawn where there is a fair amount of obstacles do you find the TimeMaster easier since it's personal pace vs bail engagement lever of the Exmark 30....?

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  6. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I have about 200 hours on mine, with only some belt adjustments needed, which are routine maintenance, plus the Kawasaki engine oil filter adapter that leaks when the bolts come loose (not the mowers fault), then the recall on the bolt and washer deal which I had done last week. The only real issue I've had is the blade drive belt slipping this past fall. I adjusted it a couple times and it continued to slip. They were supposed to check that at the dealer, and I'm just hoping they did fix that issue. Overall, I'd buy a 2nd one in a minute if and when I have the need for one.
  7. rbljack

    rbljack LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 731

    The bail system works well on the exmark 30 for me, but one thing I did notice is the hand position is a bit different. When the drive cable is adjusted properly I have to use somewhat extended fingers instead of a wrap around grip around the handles. Hard to explain, but hope that helps. On a STEEP sideslope, this mower is a dog, and will not track well, and Im referring to steep side slopes here. For a gentle slope, no problem at all.

    I did have to have the drive cable adjusted twice last year, and I also had to adjust the belt tension once. The drive cable is a snap to adjust, the belt tension for the blades is a bit more work. Another tip is to clean out under the black cover from time to time, because junk WILL accumulate in there. I also had a drive cable break last year, and the dealer replaced it at no charge. Another thing to watch for is the carb leaking gas. I learned that its very important to shut the fuel off after each mowing when traveling. If not, the problem I had was that the needle valve would not close, and it would actually Hydro lock the piston with fuel. When you went to unload at the next stop, the pull cord would NOT budge. The only way to clear it was to remove the spark plug and let the fuel out. Another problem ive noticed with the pull cord is that sometimes it will not engage. I attribute this to the dusty dirty conditions here in West Texas. When this occurs, each time ive been able to correct the problem buy either using my back pack blower to blow out the dirt, or wash the mower and do a good clean up.

    I typically mulched most yards, and did NOT install the mulch baffle even though I purchased it initially. This allowed me to use a bagger on demand when necessary. The one problem area that I see with the Exmark 30 vs a full size walk behind would be the sheer power difference. I don't own a large walk behind, but its clearly obvious that the larger WB's with more horsepower will eat the exmark 30's lunch is tall grass and weeds. For maintained lawns that are getting regular mowings, Ive been happy with my 30. Now, I do have to get the recall done, and the other thing Im unhappy with is that I lost my bag in the fall, and have been waiting on a replacement from my dealer for almost 3 months now. The dealer is blaming someone else for the problem, but I don't see how that particular part could be so hard to obtain??

    I know this sounds like a lot of problems, but overall that mower saved me a lot of time and improved my efficiency. When it wasn't available, I felt that I was putting myself at a severe disadvantage, and kept hounding my dealer to give me my mower back...LOL. Hope this helps. Oh, would I buy another one? ABSOLUTELY

    I think its great that so many people have posted in this thread that I started back in the spring of 2013. Amazing responses, and overall I think this thread has (and will continue to) provided a TON of great opinions, facts, and comparisons. It gives plenty of valid information for someone to make an informed decision on whether this is the right mower for them. This mower is definitely NOT for everyone, and the info within provides PLENTY of pros and cons...LOL. I guess I need to apologize for never giving a review of the mulch kit that I purchased compared to without the baffle, but I just couldn't justify loosing the capability to bag. I had NUMEROUS customers request bagging this year that was unexpected, so off it stayed. I guess if I had a second exmark I could keep one set up for Mulching if someone can convince me that the extra baffling is a huge plus....anyone?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Thanks Jason and Rbljack -- great responses and exactly the kind of info I was seeking.

    I realize an Ex 30 and a 36" w/b would be dramatically different powered. But, nearly all uses would be routine weekly work, with no need to knock down overgrown areas. I still would have my old machine for spot work.

    Yes, you are right about the thread. Oft times, threads get derailed, and sharp barbs are exchanged, unnnecessarily. But, this thread is a good example of healthy exchange and learning.
  9. ducnut

    ducnut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,566

    I'm pretty sure you have me confused with another member. I only have a TimeMaster.

    The only question I can answer is the personal pace is absolute crap on hills. I do have to assist the thing. I haven't had the recall done, but, plan to ask about this thing's lack of drive. The engine doesn't even pull down, so I'm wondering if there's an adjustment somewhere that needs tightened up. If not for the recall, I'd planned on taking a look around the machine.

    Given we've had single-digit days and negative-digit nights, it may be a while before I can give feedback. I'm so ready to leave IL.
  10. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    Not an owner, but still intrigued to a degree.
    Having to cope with this ~170 lb 'commercial' mower going downhill is another concern since it has no brake of any kind. Just seems like a 3 speed tranny would be a better approach to these uphill issues...though this would not affect downhill issues...though I could very well be wrong about this.

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