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  1. #1
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    JD 3520

    Default Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    I'm hoping some of you have experience with ZTR mowers. I used an Exmark LZ27KC605 mower today and was very impressed. It has a 27hp Kohler engine and a 60" Triton deck. They tell me I can ask for a Kohler or Kawaski engine with no diffence in cost. So if I go with the Examark, which engine is the better choice?

    The other machine I'm looking at is a John Deere 757. It also has a 60" deck and a 27 Hp engine. The Deere is significantly lower in price (more than $1,000) than the Exmark and I'm wondering why there is such a difference.

    Both come with a 2 year warranty.

    Any knowledgable folks out there that can help me make an intellignet decision on this purchase?

  2. #2
    Elite Member coobie's Avatar
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    S.Michigan
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    Kubota RTV 900, JD 740,Kioti DK 40 with KL401 loader .

    Default Re: Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesdor
    I'm hoping some of you have experience with ZTR mowers. I used an Exmark LZ27KC605 mower today and was very impressed. It has a 27hp Kohler engine and a 60" Triton deck. They tell me I can ask for a Kohler or Kawaski engine with no diffence in cost. So if I go with the Examark, which engine is the better choice?

    The other machine I'm looking at is a John Deere 757. It also has a 60" deck and a 27 Hp engine. The Deere is significantly lower in price (more than $1,000) than the Exmark and I'm wondering why there is such a difference.

    Both come with a 2 year warranty.

    Any knowledgable folks out there that can help me make an intellignet decision on this purchase?
    I would go with the exmark.There is some good reading here also www.lawnsite.com

  3. #3
    Silver Member jeffmazz's Avatar
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    Cumberland County PA
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    Kubota BX22--Wheel Horse 520H

    Default Re: Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    The Kawasaki engine almost always brings a premium price over a Kohler. It seems odd that they would give you your choice of engines without some sort of price difference. You might want to price the same machine elsewhere to make sure. They may have given you a price based on Kawasaki power. You can usually save several hundred dollars going with Kohler power.....this would put the price of the ExMark more in in line with the Deere.

    IMHO the Kawasaki is a better engine. This is not to say that the Kohler is not a good engine......it is a good engine. I like Kawasaki better.

    I can't answer you on which machine is better because I haven't owned either of them. I do know that in my area ExMark pretty much owns the commercial mowing market. I know they are good machines and have a good reputation. I don't see many Deere zero turns but I'm sure they are good machines as well.

    A few things you can compare on the two machines are:

    1. Horizontal or vertical engine? Horizontal engines last longer.
    2. Mower deck spindles....Cast iron or aluminum? Tapered bearings? Cast iron spindles are more rugged than aluminum. Tapered bearings make for a heavier duty spindle assy.
    3. Shaft or belt drive mower deck? Shaft drive is the cream of the crop....although I wouldn't discount a belt driven system, they work well.
    4. Wheel motors and pumps...what size (capacity) and what make? Parker (wheel motors) has an excellent reputation and is used in most of the bigger machines. I can't comment on other brands.
    5. Stamped or welded deck? Stamped decks are cheaper to build and lighter duty than welded (fabricated) decks.

    There are many other things that could be compared but these are probably the most important.

    If all of the above are equal on both machines I would say you couldn't go wrong with either machine.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by jeffmazz; 10-08-2007 at 08:37 PM.

  4. #4
    New Member bulletproof1510's Avatar
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    Central GA
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    Deutz D3006, 1944 Allis Chalmers B

    Default Re: Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    I have used an Exmark for approximatley 3 years and did like the mower. The only way to go engine wise it the Kawasaki. I replaced my scags and Exmark with the newly designed Ferris mower. This is the only mower that has independant suspension on each tire. Meaning when you hit a dip or small stump hole the tire gives but does not scalp like most other mowers no matter if it has a floating deck. Do no get me wrong a Scag or Exmark or Deere cut well but myslef owning 2 of 3 would have to recommend the Ferris models. How many acres are you going to cut or is it for commercial?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    Thanks for all the specific and helpful information!

    To answer your question - I probably will be mowing about 5 -6 acres. Much of it is not level and has many small trees planted. This is not a commercial situation.

    After trying out the machine yesterday, I found at least a 50% reduction in time - and that was with my learning curve running one of these machines.

    I was very impressed with the cutting capacity of the mower. Much of what I cut was well maintained lawn, but a couple of times I went into grass that was about 6 inches tall. That thing didn't even slow down and still cut wonderfully.

    The decks on both mowers are welded and have significant braces.

    The Ferris sounds like a great design, but I don't believe we have any dealers in our area, so I believe these are my two choices.

    I'll keep this board posted as I move towards making a decision. BTW - I am told there will be a price increase on the Exmark line on November 1. Not sure that is true or whether they are just trying to high pressure me. Everything else has been low pressure, so I'm guessing they are telling me the truth.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Cleveland, Georgia
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    Kubota BX2660 Ansung B2504 FE loader and Kubota MMM

    Default Re: Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    I would go with a Kawasaki.

    FYI: Research the Triton deck alot. There's been alot of problems of the Triton decks in Northern turf with leaving uncut strips.

    I would go with the Ultracut deck. The Exmark AS with 28 KAWI and 52" Ultracut is about $7800 here. I'll be replacing my Hustler next Spring with either this mower or a SCAG Turf Tiger.

    Good Luck.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    Thanks for the information on the Triton deck. I hadn't heard about any problems.

    You mention a 52" deck and I'm looking at a 60". I mowed a lot of uneven grass on Monday and didn't observe much scalping. My objectives are to have an excellent cut and spend the least amount of time. I have a large number of hardwood trees planted and want to keep grass down around them. I also have a rather large lawn and keep the ditches mowed around the entire place.

    After getting some accurate prices, I find the John Deere 757 to be a little more than $2,000 less than the Exmark. I'm wondering if the Exmark name is worth that much more?

    Thanks for your insight.

  8. #8
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesdor
    Thanks for the information on the Triton deck. I hadn't heard about any problems.

    You mention a 52" deck and I'm looking at a 60". I mowed a lot of uneven grass on Monday and didn't observe much scalping. My objectives are to have an excellent cut and spend the least amount of time. I have a large number of hardwood trees planted and want to keep grass down around them. I also have a rather large lawn and keep the ditches mowed around the entire place.

    After getting some accurate prices, I find the John Deere 757 to be a little more than $2,000 less than the Exmark. I'm wondering if the Exmark name is worth that much more?

    Thanks for your insight.
    JD has a very good name. I just have no dealers within a reasonable distance to me. Exmark has IMO one of the best if not the best cut out there. I like the 52" for me because I can use it on residentials also. I've used a 60" and on my accounts I had a lot of scalping.

    Good luck

  9. #9
    Silver Member jeffmazz's Avatar
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    Kubota BX22--Wheel Horse 520H

    Default Re: Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    Quote Originally Posted by Wesdor
    Thanks for the information on the Triton deck. I hadn't heard about any problems.

    You mention a 52" deck and I'm looking at a 60". I mowed a lot of uneven grass on Monday and didn't observe much scalping. My objectives are to have an excellent cut and spend the least amount of time. I have a large number of hardwood trees planted and want to keep grass down around them. I also have a rather large lawn and keep the ditches mowed around the entire place.

    After getting some accurate prices, I find the John Deere 757 to be a little more than $2,000 less than the Exmark. I'm wondering if the Exmark name is worth that much more?

    Thanks for your insight.
    Wow!! The John Deere at $2,000 less. I would go with the Deere. I looked into the John Deere and it seems to be a nice machine. Kawasaki power and horizontal engine. Everything else seems to be comparable to the Ex-Mark. It will serve you well.

    As far as the Ex-Mark and the Triton deck.....I believe they solved the poor cut quality. It didn't effect all of the decks but the few that it did I think was corrected on the new machines.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Exmark vs John Deere ZTR

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmazz
    As far as the Ex-Mark and the Triton deck.....I believe they solved the poor cut quality. It didn't effect all of the decks but the few that it did I think was corrected on the new machines.
    I'm still reading posts every day on Lawnsite.com about continuing cut problems with the Triton.

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