Posts Tagged ‘Productivity’

Is a Wide-Area Mower Right for Your Business?

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

As a lawn care professional, you are likely looking for ways to increase the number of lawns you are able to mow, with an eye towards greater profitability. Investing in larger, more powerful equipment is one way to increase the amount you can mow, but how large can you go? Would a wide-area mower be right for your business?

They cut more at every pass and are designed to mow efficiently at higher speeds. Propane or diesel engines can increase fuel efficiency, reducing operating costs. Sounds great, right? But before you invest in one, think about what you mow.

What are Wide Area Mowers?

Wide Area Mowers are walk behind or riding lawn mowers that have decks that are larger 48”.  Generally, wide-area mowers work best on flat, open ground.  If you have a lot of large commercial properties and level, park-like terrain, a wide-area walk behind can be the right solution. But on rolling terrain or uneven ground, a smaller sized walk behind mower might be better, as too wide of a mower can scalp areas of the lawn, and it will be more difficult to mow around trees, flower beds and other obstacles.

What Size Deck is Best for Large and Small Properties?

If you don’t mow a significant number of large properties, a wide-area mower may not be worth the investment. On lots larger than a football field (1.63 acres), deck sizes of 48” and up may be a good fit.  If the bulk of your business is residential lots smaller than an acre and a half, you may be better served by a smaller mower with deck sizes in the 36”to 42” range with more powerful engines and slightly faster speeds.

Is a Wide-Area Walk Behind the Right Choice?

You might think a zero-turn mower with a larger deck is always the right choice. But advances in Exmark walk behinds, like hydrostatic drives, more efficient engines, Enhanced Control Systems (ECS), and improved ergonomics that reduce operator fatigue make a wide-area walk behind like the Turf Tracer X-Series worth test driving. A sulky can transform it to a stand-on mower for those extra large properties. And a wide deck on a walk behind may handle hilly terrain with less scalping than a ride-on with a similar size deck.  Walk behind mowers are also recommended for any hilly terrain or near or around potential hazards.


Another issue to consider is whether a larger mower will fit on your existing trailers; if not, you’ll need to factor an additional trailer into your cost-benefit analysis. A full-width ramp trailer is required for trailering any product.

New for 2018

If, after running the numbers, you find that your business could support the additional expense of a wide-area mower, and you have the terrain that would make a wide-area zero-turn mower feasible, Exmark is releasing a new diesel Lazer Z with a 96” flex wing deck. Find your local dealer to get a preview.

The Advantages of Stand-on Mowers for Lawn Care Businesses

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

All the landscape training and experience in the world won’t matter if you don’t equip your team with the right tools for the job. Lawn grades, landscaping, and other factors you can’t control will always have an impact on your job, which is why you need the equipment necessary to handle each challenge that comes your way. Not only is it safer to match the right mower to the project, but choosing the best equipment can also be more cost-effective overall.Vantage X-Series stand-on mower

Depending on the type of business you run and the volume of clients you serve, a stand-on mower could be the best investment in your future. Here are the main considerations:

Property Size: The number one factor in determining which type of lawn mower to invest in is the size of the property (or properties) you tend. If you serve lots that are more than an acre in size, a push mower will take hours to get the job done. For lots that are half an acre or smaller, a riding mower will lose its precision. That’s why people who tend variable-sized lots often go for stand-on mowers. They get the job done faster than push mowers but also allow for precision in those hard-to-reach areas.

Property Type: Wide, open spaces are often best served by a riding mower, but when you’re working with tight spaces, small lawns, a lot of landscaping features, like shrubs and irregular plantings, a stand-on mower provides better maneuverability.

Transportation Needs: Traveling with one (or more) riding mowers can be a logistical nightmare, especially if space on your trailer is limited. Stand-on mowers are smaller and easier to transport, making them ideal when you don’t want to spend too much time figuring out how to get from one client’s property to another’s.

Less Turf Damage: Although zero-turn mowers have come a long way in detailed turf care, many pros prefer stand-on mowers for their precision. When a picture perfect finish is your goal, you may want to downgrade the technology for more user control.

Visibility and User Control: If you ask your team, you might find that they have a preference for stand-on mowers because it gives them more control over their work. Not only does a standing position offer better visibility, but the ability to quickly hop on and off can be instrumental when working around a large number of obstructions.

Safety: Although there is always a possibility of falling off of a stand-on mower, many businesses prefer them over riding mowers for safety reasons. This is especially true if you’ll be working with steep or slippery grades that aren’t ideal for riding mowers.

Steep Lawn Grades: Most stand-on mowers have greater hillside stability than their riding mower counterparts. Not only do stand-on mowers have a lower center of gravity, but users can shift their weight in order to counteract a slope’s incline.

Price: Money is a consideration for any lawn care business that wants to stay in the green. Stand-on mowers tend to be 10 to 20 percent less expensive than riding mowers, which can make a big difference to your bottom line—especially if you run a fleet of lawn care specialists.

While stand-on mowers can provide greater flexibility, you should remember that they typically require greater strength in the legs and back, and they tend to be slower than riding mowers. If stand-on mowers fit your business model – mainly small to mid-sized properties, hills, or yards with a lot of features — an Exmark Vantage stand-on mower offers industry-leading options in a variety of deck-sizes.

Why Switching to Propane Mowers with EFI Could Boost Your Bottom Line

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
Exmark Lazer Z S-Series Propane

State-of-the-art Exmark EFI-propane mowers offer increased fuel economy and performance, with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

If you’re looking for ways to increase profit margins for your lawn care business, one option might be to consider switching to propane mowers. On average, it is said that about 9% of production costs for landscape professionals goes toward fuel. Therefore, a move to propane mowers regulated with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), could help cut your fuel costs and improve your bottom-line.

Increased efficiency — The propane engines on Exmark mowers can increase fuel efficiency by up to 40% for extended runtimes, compared to traditional gasoline-powered mowers. At the same time, historical prices for propane run about 30% less than gasoline. With gasoline prices still low, this may not seem crucial – but if there’s one rule of gasoline prices, it’s that eventually, they always go back up.

EFI with E-Gov technology plays a big part in the efficiency of propane mower engines. Electronic Fuel Injection and E-Gov keep fuel flowing to your engine at a steady rate, even when your mower revs. This prevents engine drop-off when you hit a rough patch or tackle a steep grade. Gasoline mowers with mechanical regulators can be slow to respond to increased demand on the engine. Just as when you drive, an engine that runs at steady rate performs better than one that continually revs up to work harder.

Cleaner and Greener — Propane is remarkably stable over time, and can be stored for long periods. It also burns cleaner than gasoline, reducing build-up and engine maintenance. This means less mower downtime to have your machine in the field longer, and more profit. Another added benefit is lower emissions, which has become more of a selling point with customers.

Quieter — Propane mower engines are quieter to operate than gasoline or diesel mowers, which could let you start earlier and work later than competitors, and reduce the potential for noise complaints from neighboring properties.

For more information on switching your fleet to propane, see Exmark’s whitepaper, or talk to an Exmark dealer near you.

Measuring Mower Productivity

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016
Exmark Pioneer S-Series zero-turn riding mower

Exmark engineers its machines to deliver a better finished quality of cut in less time. Win-win.

The productivity of your mowers and lawn care equipment matters, perhaps more than you think.

Whether you’re a landscape maintenance professional, or an acreage owner looking to spend less time mowing and more time enjoying your lawn, speed and efficiency make a big difference when it comes time to getting big jobs done quickly.

Of course, speed isn’t the only factor to judge when it comes time to select a new mower. Qualities such as cut quality, durability, ergonomics, comfort and dealer support, among others, are important as well. But any business owner will tell it to you straight — time is money, and by choosing your tools wisely, you can save a lot of both with the right mower(s).

How to Determine Mower Productivity

Exmark mower productivity chart

Click the photo to visit the mower & equipment productivity resources at

While there are a lot of variables that can impact the productivity of a mower or piece of lawn care equipment, it’s fairly easy to determine the potential of a machine if you know the cutting/application width and the speed at which it’s designed to run.

At, you can find productivity charts for mowers and turf management equipment that can be useful for determining a machine’s potential, or the gains you can expect from a new mower or piece of equipment.

You’ll find Exmark publishes productivity numbers at two efficiency levels: 100-percent; and 80-percent. That’s because, while 100-percent efficiency numbers may look impressive on paper, in the real world, most landscape professionals operate at closer to 80-percent efficiency. You can’t mow at full speed all the time, and the 80-percent figure more accurately reflects that everyday reality.




The Value of Propane Mowers in Today’s Economy

Sunday, March 20th, 2016
Exmark Lazer Z Propane

The reduced greenhouse gasses propane mowers produce isn’t just good for the environment, it’s a great marketing advantage.

Each day, a growing number of landscape professionals open their eyes to the potential of modern propane-fueled commercial mowers. Even as gasoline prices have come down in recent months, propane is still extremely price competitive and the environmental benefits of propane mowers are in-line with what the majority of landscape maintenance customers say they’re looking for in a landscape contractor (see first bullet point below).

Exmark’s white paper, Transitioning Mower Fleets to Propane, has a number of compelling reasons you should consider propane mowers for your business. Following is an excerpt from the Executive Summary.

  • 2013 market research conducted by Lawn & Landscape magazine revealed that 63 percent of homeowners responsible for decisions related to some or all landscape contract services are influenced by a sense of environmental responsibility.
  • Propane-fueled commercial mowers and equipment produce significantly fewer greenhouse gasses (GHG) than those fueled by gasoline.
  • PERC, Kohler and Exmark partnered on development of the industry’s first EFI-propane engine for commercial mower applications. The engine is the industry’s first OEM-level EFI-propane engine, offering full commercial warranty and support. The EFI design increases fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent, and coupled with the typically lower cost of propane, reduces overall fuel costs by up to 40 percent compared to carbureted gasoline engines. Uptime is also improved since the EFI engine solves startability and performance issues frequently encountered with engines using aftermarket conversions.
  • Exmark introduced a Kohler EFI-propane powered version of its Lazer Z S-Series zero-turn riding mower as well as two Turf Tracer wide area walk behind models in 2013. The EFI-propane Vantage S-Series stand-on riding mower followed in 2015.
  • Propane is widely available nationwide and is used in an estimated 12.6 million U.S. households for heating, cooking and recreation. It is a fossil fuel derived from the refining of oil and natural gas. It is a very safe fuel for commercial mowers, with an ignition temperature that’s nearly double that of gasoline (900 deg. F vs. 495 deg. F). In addition, robust, sealed containers virtually eliminate the opportunity for fuel spillage.
  • The selection of a retailer and the negotiation of a seasonal contract are two important aspects of a switch to propane for landscape maintenance professionals to consider.
  • Exmark propane mowers deliver industry-leading performance, productivity and durability.
  • Incentives from PERC, as well as a number of state marketing associations can mitigate some or all of the increased up-front cost of propane mowers. Combined with the EFI-related fuel savings and the lower cost of propane, Exmark mowers powered by Kohler propane-EFI engines can save up-to $2/hour, or more depending on duty cycle and other factors. This allows pay back of the added investment in one to two seasons.
Click the image to download the complete Transitioning Mower Fleets to Propane white paper in Adobe PDF format.

Click to download the complete white paper.

Download the complete Transitioning Mower Fleets to Propane white paper in Adobe PDF format.

Learn more about Exmark’s complete line of EFI-propane commercial mowers at

See the average fuel prices in your area:


New Product Showcase: 2016 Lazer Z E-Series Zero-Turn Mower

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Exmark now offers 72-inch versions of its Lazer Z E-Series commercial zero-turn mower. The wider cutting deck – available in side- or rear-discharge configurations – delivers maximum productivity to make short work of large mowing jobs.

Lazer Z E-Series

The Lazer Z E-Series is available with a choice of rear-discharge cutting decks in 60- or 72-inch cutting widths, or side-discharge decks in 48-, 52-, 60-, or 72-inch cutting widths.

“The Lazer Z E-Series is a great choice for professional landscape contractors who keep a keen eye on the bottom line, but understand the value of the innovative engineering and commercial-grade quality of a Lazer Z,” said Exmark Director of Marketing, Daryn Walters. “It strikes a perfect balance of value, productivity and performance.”

With the same welded, heavy-duty tubular steel unibody frame found throughout the Lazer Z line, the Lazer Z E-Series machine is built to stand up to years of tough commercial use. The simplified hydro drive system uses Exmark-exclusive Parker unitized pump and wheel motor systems with no hoses to leak and just two easy-to-change belts.

The 72-inch Lazer Z E-Series models are equipped with a twin-cylinder Kawasaki FX801V powerplant. Designed specifically for commercial mower applications, the engine features a heavy-duty dual-stage canister air filtration system, cast-iron cylinder liners, pressurized lubrication with high-efficiency oil cooler, and a heavy-duty shift-type starter.

UltraCut Rear Discharge

Rear-discharge models are equipped with the UltraCut Rear Discharge cutting deck in a choice of 60- or 72-inch cutting widths.

Side-discharge models are equipped with Exmark’s UltraCut Series 4 cutting deck in a choice of 48-, 52-, 60-, or 72-inch cutting widths. The 5.5-inch deep UltraCut Series 4 deck features Exmark’s patented flow-control baffles optimize air and clipping flow to maximize cut quality. Formed and welded 7-gauge steel reinforcement rings on top of the deck to provide superior strength and durability, while sealed, non-greasable spindles and patented spherical bearings on the idler arm pivots minimize necessary maintenance.

Check out special offers on select Lazer Z E-Series mowers at, or locate your local Exmark dealer at

Lawn Tractor Zero Turn Comparison: Other Considerations

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Quality of Cut: A professional’s calling card

Exmark Pioneer E-Series zero-turn riding mower

An Exmark zero-turn mower makes it easy to achieve a professionally maintained appearance.

Landscape professionals earn their living delivering a consistently superior cut quality for their customers. That’s why Exmark has worked hard to engineer the best cutting decks on the market.

The patented flow-control baffles and exclusive blade designs featured on Exmark cutting systems deliver an unmatched quality of cut that’s optimized for the increased cutting speeds Exmark ZTRs are capable of achieving. When it comes to quickly making tall grass short, with a beautiful finished appearance, no lawn tractor can match an Exmark Lazer Z zero-turn mower. That’s one reason landscape pros choose it two-to-one over the next leading competitor.

Durability: The definition of commercial-grade

One thing we’ve learned in our more than 30 years of building mowers for landscape professionals is that stamped steel decks just don’t cut it when it comes to the demands of mowing sun up to sun down. That’s why every zero-turn mower we build comes standard with a heavy-duty fabricated steel cutting deck. Each of the lawn tractors in this comparison feature stamped steel cutting decks.

Exmark UltraCut Rear Discharge cutting deck

Exmark UltraCut cutting decks use high-strength steel that’s fabricated and welded for unmatched durability.

Fabricated decks are stiffer, stronger and more durable than stamped decks, even reinforced models. And with features like no-maintenance sealed bearing spindles and hex-style blade drivers, the Exmark durability advantage extends to the components as well as the cutting deck itself.

Exmark zero-turn mowers feature state-of-the-art powerplants with gasoline, diesel and propane fuel options. With commercial-duty features such as multi-stage canister-style air filters, pressurized lubrication, oil coolers and cast iron cylinder liners, the engines powering Exmark zero-turn mowers are as cutting edge as the mowers they power.

Our exclusive unitized hydro-drive components and welded, heavy-duty tubular steel unibody frames are two more features that help Exmark mowers deliver the durability landscape professionals need to stay productive and profitable season after season.

Bottom Line: Choose the tools the pros use

When comparing lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers head-to-head, it’s clear zero-turn mowers offer the most compelling combination of productivity, maneuverability and quality of cut available today. And while innovations such as four-wheel steering and four-wheel drive have helped to increase the productivity of high-end lawn tractors compared to earlier models, at every price level examined, Exmark zero-turn mowers are clearly more productive machines.

When it comes to durability, Exmark scores big with true commercial-duty frames, cutting decks, drive systems and engines designed to stand the test of time.

Bottom line: an Exmark zero-turn riding mower very well could be the last mower you need to buy.

Dig Deeper at

  • Learn more about the advantages of an Exmark zero-turn mower.
  • Learn more about how to determine mower productivity.

Zero-Turn Mower or Lawn Tractor: Productivity Comparisons

Sunday, January 10th, 2016


EX16_Quest_S-Series_InUse_1web72Whether it is a zero-turn mower or a lawn tractor, most mowers in this price range have 48- to 54-inch cutting decks and top speeds of 6-7mph. As a result, the raw productivity numbers are fairly similar in this category, but in reality, the differences in maneuverability are greatest in this price range. That’s because lawn tractors in this category don’t offer maneuverability-enhancing features such as four-wheel steering. On the other hand, the Exmark Quest S-Series is a true zero-turn mower, with the ability to quickly make 180-degree turns. This not only lets you maximize productivity, but also create the distinctive striped appearance that’s the calling card of a professionally maintained lawn.

An Exmark Quest S-Series zero-turn rider with a 50-inch cutting deck is capable of cutting approximately 2.8 acres per hour, or roughly 1/2 acre more per hour than an X320 lawn tractor with a 48-inch cutting deck. Even when you bump up to a 54-inch cutting deck, the X320 is still about .2 acres per hour less productive than the zero-turn machine.

See the productivity chart for these mowers at


EX16_Pioneer_S-Series_InUse_6_web72Raw productivity numbers for machines in the $7,000-8,000 price range jump roughly one acre per hour for ZTRs, and one-half acre per hour for lawn tractors, when compared to the lower priced mowers. Within the category, the most productive machine – a 60-inch Exmark Pioneer S-Series zero-turn rider – can save homeowners about 23 minutes when mowing five acres, compared to the lawn tractor example.

Similar to the lower price category, the majority of lawn tractors in this price range steer with the front wheels only. This compromises productivity due to reduced maneuverability relative to zero-turn riding mowers. The Pioneer S-Series zero-turn rider offers true zero-turn maneuverability, making the real-world productivity gap even greater when compared to a lawn tractor.

For example, and Exmark Pioneer S-Series zero-turn mower with a 52-inch cutting deck is capable of cutting about 3.35 acres per hour. The same mower equipped with a 60-inch cutting deck can mow up to 3.87 acres per hour. When compared to a similarly priced lawn tractor (an X540) with a 54-inch cutting deck, the 60-inch Exmark zero-turn mower is nearly 3/4-acre per hour more productive.

Check back for our next installment of this series on Thursday, January 14. We’ll compare the productivity of $13,000-14,000 mowers and dive into some other factors to consider when choosing the right type of mower for your lawn.

Dig Deeper at

  • Learn more about the factors to consider when choosing a zero-turn mower or lawn tractor.
  • Learn more about how to determine mower productivity.

*Productivity rating in gross acres per hour is based on the published specifications for each product. Actual performance may vary from specified performance based on conditions.
Formula for calculating acres per hour at 80% efficiency: (MPH x width of cut in inches)/124

Snow Removal with the Exmark Rotary Broom

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Exmark Rotary Broom, studioHere at Exmark, we work with a lot of folks that maintain landscapes for a living. That much is no surprise. But what do landscape professionals do when the grass isn’t growing? A lot of them make money moving snow!

Exmark Rotary Broom, snow removal

Snow and ice are no match for the Exmark Rotary Broom. It makes quick work of clearing virtually any concrete surface.

While it may seem logical that a traditional two-stage snow thrower, or a truck-mounted blade, would be the tools of choice for these guys, many are finding more versatile, productive equipment is available. So now, they can clear more properties and make more money when the snow is falling.

For a growing number of these pros, one of the most effective snow removal tools in their arsenal is the Exmark Rotary Broom. The 36-inch wide brush makes quick work of snow and ice removal on virtually any concrete surface, from walks, to drives or patios. Bristles are designed to minimize surface contact, so material can be cleared to the surface without damage to the surface itself.

Exmark Rotary Broom snow cab

Accessories including a snow cab (above) and tire chains enhance performance and operator comfort in winter conditions.

Exmark’s patented power steering delivers pinpoint control for maximum maneuverability, and it’s easy to optimize broom height for the conditions. Available accessories including a snow cab and tire chains allow the Rotary Broom to be further optimized for winter use.

For as great as the Rotary Broom is at snow and ice removal, Exmark designed it to deliver value in all four seasons. Accessory turf bristle discs make short work of dethatching in the spring and fall, while the standard black bristle discs are optimized for hard surfaces. The black discs can be used for a wide variety of clean-up, from snow and ice removal, to dirt and yard debris.

Learn more about the Exmark Rotary Broom today at


Exmark Spreader-Sprayer: Spray System Advantages

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Kent Harlan of Kent’s Lawn Service in Beatrice, Nebraska, discusses the advantages of the spray system on his Exmark Spreader-Sprayer. With both narrow- and wide-spray systems, fingertip controls and Exmark’s Lean-to-Steer controls, the machine offers the ability to spray properties with unmatched speed and precision.

View additional Spreader Sprayer videos on the Exmark YouTube channel, or learn more about the Exmark Spreader Sprayer at