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Who makes the best zero turn mower?

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I voted for Ferris. Back in '02 my first mower was an Exmark Viking for $4200.00. I bought it brand new. In '16, I sold the Exmark and bought a very lightly used Gravely hydro Prowalk (had only 82 hours on it) for $3999.00 with the balance of the factory warranty. Part of my reason for buying used was because a new mower would have ran me about $6200.00 and I couldn't justify spending nearly an extra $2200.00 to save a month's worth of commercial use.
The Exmark put down a better cut, but the Gravely is better built. In '16 I went to GIE and tried out a dozen different mower brands--Ferris was my favorite. If you look at the current specs of a Ferris FW45 vs. any other hydro walk-behind, you will see that it is the best value on the market dollar-for-dollar. It is the only hydro mower on the market running Hydrogear 3400-series transmissions (save B&S twins Snapper Pro, and now Stihl--walk behinds will likely be released in a year). I am currently debating repowering my Gravely with a new engine for $2000.00 vs. buying my dream mower, but that will be next spring. I will have to demo the Ferris for a few days on warm-season turf before I commit to making a purchase.
 

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Mulching Walker B27i is unbeatable. It's fast, doesn't make a mess, and is so light. Fuel efficient and time saving. Beautiful cut. Have no problem on heavier sod lawns. Any issues under the deck are fixed within minutes. The smooth control and agility is really impressive. Also, without the GHS, you cut underneath so much more and not worry about knocking into something with the bulky backside.
 

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What is so bad about the Staris series? I hear a lot of insults, but not any specific reasons.
I asked my EXMARK dealer about buying a Staris and he said , "DON"T"! He says they're in for warranty work frequently. The deck also has to be adjusted by hand, 4 pins! He mentioned other issues dealing with comfort level and that some folks don't have a job at Exmark anymore!!! He said to wait for them to fix it!
 

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What is so bad about the Staris series? I hear a lot of insults, but not any specific reasons.
I bought a 52" Staris in Oct '20. $1500 off retail. Didn't realize it was being phased out. Two years usage and no problems at all. It hugs/climbs hills excellent- no regrets so far.

As you say: lots of insults with not a lot to back it up. I know there were many complaints about the looks of the machine (battlestar galactica), but I actually like its looks. Engine right over drive wheels gives it extra stability. I'm thinking the machine did not sell well due to looks...
 

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I asked my EXMARK dealer about buying a Staris and he said , "DON"T"! He says they're in for warranty work frequently. The deck also has to be adjusted by hand, 4 pins! He mentioned other issues dealing with comfort level and that some folks don't have a job at Exmark anymore!!! He said to wait for them to fix it!
The 48" & above Staris do not have hand pins. They are adjustable by lever. It's the 32" & 36" that use pins like the Turf Tracers do. Exmark can get away with those pins because the engine does NOT move up/down with the deck and therefore the deck is easily liftable by hand (just like on a Turf Tracer).

Everything I've read about the new Vertex says it basically a copy of the Wright painted red. Ed Wright even says so... :(
 
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