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Walkbehinds: Exmark, JD, or Toro

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FrankenScagMachines, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    I'm 14 yrs old, starting out on a limited budget and I'm looking at 32"-36" walk behinds. Narrowed down to eXmark, Toro, and John Deere. JD and eXmark dealers are 3 miles down the road. Toro is about the same in the other direction. Not any big deals as far as that goes. I called about a eXmark and JD. The 32" eXmark Metro (12.5hp Kawi ) was quoted for $2995 and the JD place said $2549 for a 36" one. Both are gear drive. Can't afford hydro. Now here's another thing to consider: last summer i worked part time for the JD place and got a 15% discount. I could work there again this summer and get the 36" mower for $2167 or so. But then I'd be stuck makin minimum wage sweeping the floor and cleanin the toilet... half the time, the other half mowing their spacious 5 acres. (that's a full 8 hour day endeavor after moving all the equipment outta the way and trimming alot of fence and building) so here's what it's down to (not counting the Toro):

    1) 12.5 hp eXmark 32" for $2995
    2) 13hp JD 36" for $2549
    3) or get job at JD and put in 16 hrs a week and get the 36" for $2167

    right now it seems like 2 or 3 is best option and at this point maybe 3.. i don't mind minimum wage even though i can make alot more mowing, but I don't like doing cleanup work. which is only one 8 hour day a week but still... I could make a lot more mowing. so what do you think about it?
    anyone had bad experiences with any of the mowers mentioned? do they both stripe good? I know they cut good but I really want it to stripe good too. Is one easier to use than the other? I know I need to test drive them but they don't have them here, both have them 45 minutes up the road though and will gladly bring it down for me but I want a second opinion first.
    Thanks alot for bearing with me here.
  2. JJOHN22042

    JJOHN22042 LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 159

    Looked at J/D, Scag and Exmark. I have been sold on Exmark due to the Service and also due to the fact they are on the Lawnsite for Questions and Help.

    Passed on the J/D due to slow for parts and lack of service

    Passed on Scag due to only one Dealer in the Area and Prices just too High.
  3. johnhenry

    johnhenry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Exmark & Toro will last alot longer for you as long as you maintain it. Though I can see your reason with the deere.You might be better off now with deere but in the long run you would be alot happier with the other two Also exmark and toro are the same company
  4. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    First off, I am just starting out myself, but am very impressed being that you say you're 14 and I'm twice your age, and I'm considering also buying a Scag, Exmark, or other brand right here in NJ, also a 32 or 36 inch mower..

    I need mine to be able to fit through all the gates around here, and I know a 48 wouldn't be able to. I also, like you, can't afford or justify a Hydro, especially since I am just starting out.

    Now, I would find out if there is another John Deere dealer in your area.

    If there is, the American thing to do is get the JD mower for the cheap price of $2100. Work with the guy for the first 2 or 3 weeks then quit. This way you got the mower at the cheap price, and he's out a part-timer. Oh well. Now of course you won't be able to go back to him for service, but if there is another dealer in your area, no problem..

    JUST KIDDING!!! ;-)

    What I WOULD do is check with each dealer on their service time-tables for how quick they get parts and how well each machine is backed up by the manufacturer. I bet you're going to start out agressive and with alot of hours on the machine yearly, so get the best service and dealer behind you that you can.

    You already know from the JD Dealer to some degree how he operates, if it's a legit or a "shady" shop (overcharging customers for things they don't need, etc).

    Oh well, gotta go. Best of luck with it.

  5. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    the exmark price is too high. here a 32 metro 12.5 kawi is about $2000, the 36 with 12.5kawi is $2400 with the 15 kawi twin it is $2600 which is the same price as the 48 metro with 15kawi. for ecs add $100.

    when i was 14 i bought my first walkbehind and it was a toro 36 fixed which is an exmark with the tbar since i did not want the pistol grips. It has the 12.5 kawi which can be a real pain to pull compared to the new twin engines. I paid $2572 for with the $250 bag. Very solid machine only had one problem in almost 2 years and about 300hrs. The blade clutch was off but was fixed under warranty. What i can tell you is start off with a 36 unless you really have gates. That 4 inches doesnt seem like much, but the 32 machine is really smaller than the 36 in all aspects. The wheels are thinner, deck smaller etc. I work with a guy who has a toro 32 fixed and 2 exmark 32s. He got the exmarks with 9hsp briggs on them for $450 each with bag and little use (5yrs old). You might want to check used. He has had to do nothing to either of the machines and the engine handles all types of grass including wet and thick without stalling but it will clump a lil. Shop around and if you can't get used, get machine you like best after demoing. take a look at ecs or tbar.
  6. E-man

    E-man LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 136

    If you go with the JD why worry about the discount if you can make more mowing than working for him for minimum wage.I think you should be able to make up the four hundred rather easy, with mowing rather than having to work for him and maybe loose out on other jobs you could get, but now dont have the time to handle.

    just my 2 cents
  7. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Messages: 278

    I have the proline 32 deck with a T bar and it really is a very versatile machine, very durable, great cut, and I do have a sulky on it that comes off easy. the sulky works great on flat, smooth yards and the mower pulls me just fine though I do have to replace belts a little more frequently( I weigh about 230). I personally beleive the toro will hold up better than a JD, I personally don't care for JD though it could be due to the fact that they wouldn't give me 5.9% financing but toro did give me 1% financing on new mowers so you can see why I liked toro. Not to mention the quality, the nice thing about the 32 is that I can get it up in the truck without the use of a trailer.... I just need ramps.
  8. leeslawncare

    leeslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    well.guy. I started out with a gs 30 deere belt drive36".got it 4 yrs ago.All that haswent bad was a timeing belt"in the field" It suxed.Where i live J.D.dealers come an go ,well as i can say my belt went out last year an my dealer was gone.If you know the right places you can get ANY parts you need.Deere"s are good .I just Got a used Ex-mark52" tracer from a friend for 3k nice machine,Haven't used it much (4x's) but just in serviceing it i found they are alot of folks that carry STUFF!For it . My nearest dealer is like 50 miles away ,But to make a long story short these mowers from what i see are about the same .If you find any kind belt or bearing shop in your town ,you will find what you need .Hope this helps you You DON"T need to wrk for the dealer for your discount you will make it up in the long run ! Good luck Lee
  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I'm not sure what they priced you, but the price on the eXmark doesn't seem correct. That mower is not that high. We just picked up a new 36" metro with 15 Kohler about 3 weeks ago for $1999. Distributor here still has them on special. You should be able to get the 32" for much cheaper than $2900. Find out from eXmark what the suggested retail price is and then go from there. Post it on the eXmark forum.
  10. goodbeus

    goodbeus LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Go with a 36" Exmark...I run Exmark and so do a lot of other people..it's hard to beat the quality of cut and the dependability...and why a 36" to a 32"...the 32" will only save a few extra minutes from a regular self-propelled 20" and it's not worth the money...for a few bucks more, the 36" will save you more time and still be able to go through gates...

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