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Zero Turn Mower recommendations needed!

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  • Zero Turn Mower recommendations needed!

    We need to buy a zero turn mower for mowing along driveways, fence lines, barns, etc. 60 inch deck. Should we consider paying extra for a diesel? Anyone have any experience with Grasshoppers vs Dixie Choppers?

    I think we have narrowed our choices down to a Diesel Grasshopper 727DT front mount (priciest), a gas Grasshopper 727K front mount (less) or a gas Dixie Chopper Silver Eagle 2760KW mid mount (least expensive).

    Any help or feedback is appreciated! We want reliable and efficient and trouble free
    Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!

  • #2
    Love our Grasshopper !

    Love our Grasshopper !!

    Does a great job ~ but I never get a 'try' !

    I believe it is just regular gas

    but again I just really see it from a distance or the result of it's work !

    It's in action right now ~

    I'll ask for some details and post them tomorrow ~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


    • #3
      Kubota all the way 72" diesel

      We have two for our 40 acres. ZD-31 is the model #. Diesel engine, water cooled. Will hang on the side of a hill, mow over stuff you shouldn't mow over, survive a complete submersion in a lake (I told DH the side of that hill was still a little slick) and generally take total abuse and keep on ticking.

      We have a local dealer, who picks them up for service late fall, beat them to death all spring summer and fall and we've had them 10 years with no problems. DH has 3 sets of blades for each mower (did I mention he runs over stuff he shouldn't?), easily changed by picking up the front of the mower. DH just runs his into the bucket on the front of the tractor and lifts the front up, wheels don't move, blade switch, go destroy another patch of helpless young trees and brambles, stumps, whatever. When building our indoor, there were, after construction, great big basketball sized clumps of clay/dirt/rocks that needed to be smoothed out/crushed before putting down any sand. I came home from work to see what I thought was smoke billowing out of both ends of the arena. DH had the mower deck as low as it would go and was just obliterating everything he could. Worked just fine, not recommended by manufacturer.

      We have a diesel tank on the farm, both mowers have dual tanks, seem to run quite a while before you have to switch. Easy to operate, not too uncomfortable to ride around on either, doesn't beat you to death too bad, very very stable on hillsides.

      Do not skimp on $$ at the beginning, there is nothing worse than having it be a weekend, your mower is down and there isn't anywhere close to fix it. Also be aware that while TSC and Lowes, whoever will SELL you the mower, ask who is going to have to fix it and see how problematic that may or may not be. And while it's tempting to go with turf tires, don't, they slide a bit more than you'll like on the side of a hill. Our back 40 looks like a golf course, so do our pastures. These things aren't cheap, but we absolutely have gotten more than our money's worth.


      • Original Poster

        We have a Kubota diesel lawn tractor at home and love it---but a Kubota diesel zero turn may be out of our budget- I will have to go back online and price them.
        Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!


        • #5
          Skag. I looked at a bunch of different brands, but kept coming back to the Skag. It also got heavy recommendations from a number of my online friends in another forum.

          (I'm a Kubota diesel guy when it comes to tractors, but their ZTR was way out of my price range!)


          • #6
            OK OK now I know ~!!!! Diesel Grasshopper727 DT ~ front mount !

            Ok OK ! now I now ~

            Diesel Grasshopper 727DT ~ front mount !

            Best thing about it " it cuts up a storm'

            Used for the 50 acres ( not pastures) around the barns and house and in the backyard area from :
            the manicured apron around the house
            the semi wooded layer next (where I jog the ponies ``various carts)
            and inbetween the more wooded layer that buffers = backs up to the deep woods ( where I trail ride )

            * hope this helps ~

            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • #7
              We have a Bad Boy 72" gas. It's been great for the two years we've had it, and I definitely mow stuff I shouldn't! My husband takes care of all the maintenance so I can't give any details in that department, but it's very easy to use.


              • #8
                I wouldn't worry about buying diesel, and if you're looking at new ones the latest emission standards make diesel brutally expensive.

                How many acres do you need to mow each week?


                • #9
                  We've run a John Deere 757 for 10 years and expect to get another 10. We have 70 acres, use the 757 to trim fences & between paddocks with bulk via mx 10 mower. Highly recommended.


                  • #10
                    I friend of mine had a landscape business. Part of the deal was that her father would buy the zero turn for her if she mowed his pastures.
                    She no longer has the business and DH & I have been maintaining it and using it. (Plus throwing her some cash and mowing her yard)

                    I is a lovely machine. A gas Skag Turf Tiger. It is so much fun. Great cut. I am the daughter of a golf course superintendent and worked on golf courses for years, so am picky about grass. I know a good cut when I see it. If she decides to sell it we will likely buy it.

                    We also have a zero turn Exmark walk behind, I would certainly consider their riding zero turns.

                    Go a commercial one, even if it a used one with low hours. Do not go for the residential version or a residential brand.

                    We used a lot of Toro brand on the golf course but not a zero turn. I see some nice ones for sale occasionally on CL. Toro likely produces a nice robust zero turn. Golf course equipment takes a beating. The Toro's held up to that very well to the abuse for many many years. The oldest equipment we had on both courses I worked at were Toro's and Oliver tractors.

                    Added: The Skag has a roll bar that is the only thing about it that I don't like about it. It can make working around trees with lower branches hard. If I bought one other than my friend's I would get it without the roll bar.
                    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                    • #11
                      There's a good forum online Lawnsite.com, which is where I check before buying any mowing equipment. It's members are mostly commercial lawn people who discuss the pros and cons of all brands, models, etc.
                      "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                      • #12
                        If you are looking at Kubota also look at Bobcat (they bought Bunton who was on the leading edge of zero turn)



                        • #13
                          Don't let the numerous brand name-dropping dissuade you - there are literally dozens of brands making good quality zero-turn mowers. Off the top of my head, you will see in the commercial ZTR market: Exmark, Kubota, John Deere, Hustler, SCAG, Dixie Chopper, Grasshopper, Mantis, Gravely, Walker, Ferris, Bad Boy, Bobcat, and Toro. They each invented the zero-turn and they all have the latest, most perfect design.



                          • #14
                            After running a continuous lawn mower graveyard for many years, we just bought an Exmark riding zero turn a few weeks ago & hubby LOVES it. I think buying it has turned him into a Lawn Monster - lol! He can't wait to go out & mow the property these days.

                            We purchased it from a small independent dealer & got a good deal ($500 off), as they were running a sale during May on all their Exmark & Skag mowers. Dealer allowed hubby to give it a test run (dealer is on a fairly large piece of property); and it was prepped, fully gassed up, & delivered to our doorstep the same day. In fact, it was there before we even returned from shopping! They also offer free pickup & delivery for any/all service calls, & offered us a discount on their end-of-season service (tank draining, blade sharpening for next spring, etc., etc.). We were quite pleased with their friendly no-hard-sell service, & so far the mower itself is great.


                            • #15
                              Ask the pro grass cutters in your area, or look to see what they are using. Buy what you have a dealer close to you, who has a great repair reputation, sells. If you are going to work on it yourselves, brand doesn't matter, other than parts availability.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Tom King View Post
                                Ask the pro grass cutters in your area, or look to see what they are using. Buy what you have a dealer close to you, who has a great repair reputation, sells. If you are going to work on it yourselves, brand doesn't matter, other than parts availability.
                                Definitely. That's how we ended up at the local independent guy near us - via a top-notch recommendation from our hay/feed guy, who also has a small-engine repair & lawn/landscaping business. He recommended this particular place highly & we weren't disappointed.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Tom King View Post
                                  Ask the pro grass cutters in your area, or look to see what they are using. Buy what you have a dealer close to you, who has a great repair reputation, sells. If you are going to work on it yourselves, brand doesn't matter, other than parts availability.
                                  I absolutely agree with this...


                                  • Original Poster

                                    We have 160 acres and a batwing to do the majority- we need a mower for fence lines, along the road and drive and around the houses. We are definitely going with a reputable independent dealer- is it worth an extra $5k for diesel?
                                    Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!


                                    • #19
                                      IMO, no.

                                      The vast majority of commercial landscapers don't invest in diesel mowers, and if they can't justify it, I don't see who possibly could.



                                      • #20
                                        I thought about the diesel option when I was buying my ZTR and honestly, no, it wasn't worth the extra cost given the relatively low number of hours that would be put on the mower in the larger scheme of things. So for my tractor...yes, diesel was the ticket, but for the ZTR, the gas version was much more economical to buy and honestly, it goes a LONG way on a single tank of fuel. I get at least four full cuts of my several acres of lawn on a single tank and I don't move at top speed, either, due to the terrain and trees.

                                        I only paid about $5K for my beast of a ZTR from Scag and going another $5K just wasn't in the cards!