The Exmark Turf Tracer is by far the most popular walk behind mower on the market… but is it the best? Many would say yes and many would say no. We are going to dive into the nuts and bolts of this popular mower.
First thing's first, we can't take away from the fact that this is a great walk behind mower. There would not be so many owners of a Turf Tracer if they weren't great. They are solid built and very simplistic. The controls are really what set this mower apart from other walk behinds. They are very easy to use and feature their ECS controls!
There are two difference models of the Turf Tracer… the S-series that comes in a 36″, 48″, or 52″ deck and the X-series that comes in a 52″ or 60″
All the Exmark Turf Tracer S-Series walk-behinds have the same features and the same Kawasaki V-Twin engine. The only difference in the lineup is the deck sizes and the X-Series. Each S-series walk-behind mower comes with deck widths of 36-inches, 48-inches, and 52-inches. The X-Series has 52″ and 60″ decks. Both resemble each other and have the same qualities. However, the deck sizes and the prices are different with a more powerful engine in the X-Series. The engine in the X-Series is a 726cc with a 22HP motor.
|Specs||Turf Tracer S-Series||Turf Tracer X-Series|
|Engine Type||Kawasaki FS V-Twin||Kohler Command™ EFI, Kawasaki FX691V|
|Engine Displacement||14.5 HP, 15 HP, 18.5 HP||21 HP and 22 HP|
|Deck Sizes||36″, 48″ and 52″|
52″ and 60″
|Speed||0– 6.2 mph forward, 0–2.2 mph reverse||0– 6.75 mph forward, 0–2.25 mph reverse|
|Fuel Capacity||5-gallon fuel tank||5-gallon fuel tank.|
|Blades||2 Blades at 18.00″ Length, 3 Blades at 16.25″ Length, 3 Blades at 18.00″ Length||3 Blades at 18.00″ Length, 3 Blades at 20.5″ Length|
The S-series Turf Tracer only offers a Kawasaki engine ranging from 14.5hp to 18.5hp. The X-series offers a 21hp Kohler Command EFI engine on both the 52″ and 60″ The X-Series also offers the Kawasaki FX691V on the 60″ deck.
Comparing these to other mowers their engine choice is a little small. They still have enough power but tend to slightly bog if put under a fairly big load.
The Exmark Turf Tracer operates off a Hydro drive system with an enhanced control system that allows full function with a zero-turn radius. It has hydraulic pumps with rear-drive wheels. The speed ranges from 0 to 6.2mph moving forward and in reverse speeds of 0-2.2mph. It also has a drive wheel release which allows the mower to move when the engine is off.
The transmission is a twin Hydro-Gear with variable displacement hydraulic pumps. It has twin high-efficiency Parker/Ross wheel-drive motors. They come with 1″ tapered shafts with ECS for easy maneuver in forward and reverse.
Each feature makes the Exmark Turf Tracer stand out as a favorite among the walk-behind mowers. Listed below are the special features.
- New Electric Clutch: This feature makes it easier to replace the belts.
- Forget Flats: Standard 9” x 3.5-4” semi-pneumatic, smooth-tread front caster tires eliminates flat tires.
- Hour Meter: Keeps track of all maintenance records according to the hours.
- Propane: Operates on propane at a lower fuel cost with optional EFI.
- Floating Deck: The deck floats as it is locked into place, allowing for better quality cuts. It follows the ground.
- Enhanced control system: A patented ECS keeps the operator's hands at a comfortable level to operate the machine without fatigue.
- Height Adjustment: New “Deck Latch” cut height adjustment
Other features include:
- Recoil start, no battery, starts with five amp clutch coil
- Safety package
- 16 x 6.5-8, 4-ply Turf Master® drive tires
- 9 x 3.5-4, semi-pneumatic, smooth-tread,
- .38″ thick caster yoke arms casters
- The parking brake with mechanical lever compression
- Hydro Drive
- Electromagnetic 105ft-lbs clutch for the PTO engagement
The cut quality of the Exmark Turf Tracer is outstanding. These decks are especially good at mulching. They do struggle a bit with wet grass but most other decks struggle with this as well.
Mulch kits and bags are other options that can be added to add for better, cleaner quality cuts. The deck is constructed with a ten gauge top with a seam weld. It has a seven gauge side skirting with a seven gauge welded mounting for the spindles. It adds to the durability. The cutting heights range from 1″ to 4.25″ for the desired cut.
There are no cons to this deck, and all the features are an added plus to the deck's design. Two of the best things are there is no maintenance to the deck, and the deck has the floating option. All the spindles are sealed with a 25mm” spindle shaft and 7.75″ cutter housing.
The UltraCut Series 4 Deck, found on the X-series, is a great cutting deck. It is primarily built of 10-gauge steel with a 10-gauge top reinforcement plate. It also has 7-gauge side skirt and 7-Gauge reinforcement rings around the spindle assembly. The Series 4 deck also has 4-point suspension allowing the deck to float.
The UltraCut Series 3 Deck, on the S-Series, is similar in features. It is also built with 10-gauge steel with 7-gauge side skirt. The big difference is the Series 3 Deck does not have 4-point suspension and is not a floating deck. It is a fixed deck. This could cause it bit more scalping on certain terrain.
Both deck options for the Turf Tracer are very good. They are great cutting decks that will hold up for a long time. The only real pain is the height of cut adjustment being pins.
All of Exmarks mowers are built to last. The Exmark Turf Tracer comes with a limited two-year commercial warranty. One of the most talked about in the pros is the heavy-duty construction with the structure and quality of parts. There are no weak points when it comes to durability due to the design, build, quality, and materials used in manufacturing.
When it comes to comfort, as mentioned earlier, there is a patented Enhanced Control System (ECS) which makes it easy to control without hurting the arms, hands, or wrists. It eliminates fatigue in the user as it cuts down on the vibration and allows for the natural flow of where the hands control the machine. Every control is within reach and easy to use.
The Enhanced Control System (ECS) controls is probably one of the main reasons why this mower is loved by so many. These are controls are extremely comfortable and make the mower very easy to drive. There have been several other mower manufacturers in the past couple years that have released similar designed to compete with Exmark.
The rest of the mower is overall comfortable for a walk behind. It will greatly depend on the sulky/velke you decide to use. Most will go with Exmark's one wheel “StandOn” velke.
The design and look are built for comfort and quality. With the larger tires in the back and small one's upfront, it is easy to control on hills and curves. Having the deck in between the front and rear tires adds to the cutting quality. The controls at the back with the gas tank and engine exposed make it easy to maintenance, control and operate. It has an overall professional and commercial look.
Walk behind mowers in general are some of the safest mowers on the market. This is also true for the Turf Tracer. It does incredibly well on hills. You can basically mow with this mower anywhere you are able to walk.
The operator presence is located on the handles. This is typical across most walk behinds and adds another layer of safety especially if you are using a velke/sulky.
Pros / Cons
The most liked and disliked areas of talk can only come from the users who operate the mower daily or weekly. Listed below are the pros and cons of the Exmark Turf Tracer.
- Easy to operate
- Easy to maintenance
- The engine performance and brand name are trustworthy
- Cut quality is a professional grade
- Heavy-duty constructed
- Performance and limited availability of accessories
- Poor zero turning radius
- Poor fuel efficiency
- Lack of speed while cutting
|Performance:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Cut Quality:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Durability:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Comfort:||(4.5 / 5)|
|Price:||(4.0 / 5)|
|Overall:||(4.4 / 5)|
The price of the Exmark Turf Tracer starts around $6,699. The size decks only differ by a couple of hundred dollars depending on where the mower is sold. This walk behind is on the higher end of the price spectrum when compared to other similar walk behinds. Exmark can command this price because of the mower's incredible reputation and popularity though.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the Exmark Turf Tracer is of the highest standard walk-behind mowers. They are affordable and worth every penny for all of the benefits. Commercial and residential users can enjoy the power and stride of the Exmark Turf Tracer.
What Do You Think?
What's your thoughts on the Exmark Turf Tracer walk behind mowers? Let me know in the comments!
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Images are from Exmark.