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View Full Version : Help me, Done with Dixie!


chipk1
03-23-2007, 08:40 PM
Ok guys, I need a 50" ZTR that is reliable and mows/mulches well. Budget is 8-10K. Anything but a Dixie. I have had a very bad experience with thier X2503 and need to get something more reliable. Downtime is killing me.

valleylawn79
03-23-2007, 09:18 PM
demo a grasshopper or hustler; i too had a bad experince with a dixie; try a 52 grasshopper or nrw 54 hustler; the hopper is the most comfortable mower we demoed; not as fast as hustler but gives a good cut

Tom c.
03-23-2007, 09:22 PM
Hey Hustler has spring promos going on now until May. Go on their forum on here and it lists the discounts on the different mowers. I got 600.00 off a Mini Z check it out!!

Tom c.
03-23-2007, 09:29 PM
check out Hustler they got a spring promo going nice discounts I got 600.00 off on a mini z. they list the discounts on the forum on this website

chipk1
03-23-2007, 09:57 PM
demo a grasshopper or hustler; i too had a bad experince with a dixie; try a 52 grasshopper or nrw 54 hustler; the hopper is the most comfortable mower we demoed; not as fast as hustler but gives a good cut

Speed is not that much a factor to me because most of accounts are smaller lots and can't go that fast anyway. Dependability and quality is what I need. On sale is what got me into trouble the first time. My customers can only be expected to tolerate, "I am going to late this week because my mower broke down again", so much. I paid 7500.00 for my Dixie 2 years ago and have had to give that excuse way to much. This is why I need a dependable quality cutting machine.

Hustler, is that who makes the Super Z? I see allot of commercial LCO's use them lately.

Duekster
03-23-2007, 10:00 PM
Ok guys, I need a 50" ZTR that is reliable and mows/mulches well. Budget is 8-10K. Anything but a Dixie. I have had a very bad experience with thier X2503 and need to get something more reliable. Downtime is killing me.

Really that scares me. I have that same machine. Do tell please. Outside of a broken belt every 80 hours it has been solid.

It is a little too big for a big tex trailer.

ed2hess
03-23-2007, 10:03 PM
Go look at Scag......very very reliable and built heavy in all aspects. Hardly ever hear complaints on Scag reliability on this forum.

tacoma200
03-23-2007, 10:04 PM
Hustler, Toro, Exmark, Grasshopper or a JD would be sweet

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
03-23-2007, 10:13 PM
Scag turf tiger a 52 inch cut 16cc pumps 27 Kohler try one there are several mowers buy what you want the first time.

chipk1
03-23-2007, 10:16 PM
Really that scares me. I have that same machine. Do tell please. Outside of a broken belt every 80 hours it has been solid.

It is a little too big for a big tex trailer.

Multiple starters
Multiple Solenoids
Blown read valve
2 blown head gaskets
cracked exhaust manifold
defective valve lifters
New shortblock and head
Broken Deck pedal
Blows hydraulic fluid like crazy
broken deck links
2 deck belts
3 deck spindles
Both brake cables
cracked fuel tank
replace choke cable

I am sure there is more that I am not recalling at the moment.

Very disappointed, I did allot of research before buying this machine and thought I was getting a good deal. I don't know if I just lemon or what. But I live by the saying, "Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice and I am an idiot." I will not buy another Dixie. I only use this machine in small to mid sized residentials. It is not like I am pounding the machine for hours on end. 500 hours in 2 years and 4 months is not excessive.

Only 500 hours on machine.


Question about Hustler, who warranties the engine? The engine manufacture or Hustler?

tacoma200
03-23-2007, 10:25 PM
Don't feel bad I've been stung after doing a lot of research. As far as repairs go though I've owned Grasshopper, Exmark, Hustler, and now Scag. They all seem reliable on average. The Hustler wouldn't cut well in our grass but I hear they do great in Florida. I'm not familiar with the smaller Scags but everything they build is heavy duty. Exmark has a lot of the market share down there also.

snowshreadr4ever
03-23-2007, 10:40 PM
honestly man, if you go with an exmark you will never go back!!!

Duekster
03-23-2007, 10:46 PM
Multiple starters
Multiple Solenoids
Blown read valve
2 blown head gaskets
cracked exhaust manifold
defective valve lifters
New shortblock and head
Broken Deck pedal
Blows hydraulic fluid like crazy
broken deck links
2 deck belts
3 deck spindles
Both brake cables
cracked fuel tank
replace choke cable

I am sure there is more that I am not recalling at the moment.

Very disappointed, I did allot of research before buying this machine and thought I was getting a good deal. I don't know if I just lemon or what. But I live by the saying, "Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice and I am an idiot." I will not buy another Dixie. I only use this machine in small to mid sized residentials. It is not like I am pounding the machine for hours on end. 500 hours in 2 years and 4 months is not excessive.

Only 500 hours on machine.


Question about Hustler, who warranties the engine? The engine manufacture or Hustler?

The biggest complaint I have is the machine is massive and does not roll up on the trailer all the way because of height. It has broken two belts but is that not expected.

I have only about 160 hrs on mine in 12 months and it seems like I use it a lot.

We abuse the heck out of it.

The other is the lack of parts but it seems Bob Cat has fixed that.

I don't have a husler eng.

Metro Lawn
03-23-2007, 11:15 PM
honestly man, if you go with an exmark you will never go back!!!

I ran all Exmark equipment for years and dropped them overnight after trying Hustler.

JKOOPERS
03-23-2007, 11:17 PM
wanna sell that dixie?

Mowman16
03-23-2007, 11:34 PM
Try an eXmark, it is the best out there.

chipk1
03-23-2007, 11:42 PM
wanna sell that dixie?

It will be on the market as soon as I figure out what I am going to replace it with. I live in the Florida around the Tampa Bay Area though, you kinda far from here aren't you. Anyway, will probably sell for around 4500.00. Just got it back today. New short block, head, lifters and valves. Seems to run good now. But for how long? That is the question!

snowjeep
03-23-2007, 11:49 PM
I never used one but see a lot of larger lco's using cub cadet tanks in WNY. It was out of my budget the first year, so I have a z-force high end residential and no break down first year 380hrs.

dhardin53
03-24-2007, 03:13 AM
Sound like you had a bad Kohler that was not right from the get go or was not maintained properly.
Sorry to here you not happy, I'm sure every manufacture has a few lemons. But I have used the heck out of my DC in the 3 years I have had it and replaced on beck belt and a small problem with the carb that was a easy fix.

Frosty03
03-24-2007, 07:08 AM
Hi Chip,

I live/work in northeast Florida, so I can speak a bit about mowing in our conditions. You probably mow primarily St. Augustine grass right?

Go find and try/demo if you can, this model from Exmark:

LaserZ HP, 50" deck with a Kawasaki 23 hp engine. It has the Triton deck and here in Florida, it really rocks. You can get through some thick stuff with that and it is not too large for residential. They list it as a more compact model than a full-size.

In the summer I am mowing 4" to 5" a week off of St. Augustine. I know about some problems with northern grasses when the Triton deck was introduced, but in Florida, that has never been an issue. It also does pretty well on Bahia if you mow it at 3". I only have two Bahia yards. However, on St. Augustine grass the cut is superb as Exmark has that reputation for leaving about the best looking cut. I just got a new account from across the street just because the other guys cut did not look as nice as the one the Exmark left.

You will love it. Go take a look.

Hope that helps.

chipk1
03-24-2007, 09:19 AM
Hi Chip,

I live/work in northeast Florida, so I can speak a bit about mowing in our conditions. You probably mow primarily St. Augustine grass right?

Go find and try/demo if you can, this model from Exmark:

LaserZ HP, 50" deck with a Kawasaki 23 hp engine. It has the Triton deck and here in Florida, it really rocks. You can get through some thick stuff with that and it is not too large for residential. They list it as a more compact model than a full-size.

In the summer I am mowing 4" to 5" a week off of St. Augustine. I know about some problems with northern grasses when the Triton deck was introduced, but in Florida, that has never been an issue. It also does pretty well on Bahia if you mow it at 3". I only have two Bahia yards. However, on St. Augustine grass the cut is superb as Exmark has that reputation for leaving about the best looking cut. I just got a new account from across the street just because the other guys cut did not look as nice as the one the Exmark left.

You will love it. Go take a look.

Hope that helps.


That is one that I am looking at. Seem to see allot of those on the road lately. How well do they mulch the grass? How well do they handle wet grass? My Dixie tends to through allot of clumps with damp grass, also doesn't mulch worth a crap unless you run backwards:hammerhead: .

Duekster
03-24-2007, 09:38 AM
Multiple starters
Multiple Solenoids
Blown read valve
2 blown head gaskets
cracked exhaust manifold
defective valve lifters
New shortblock and head
Broken Deck pedal
Blows hydraulic fluid like crazy
broken deck links
2 deck belts
3 deck spindles
Both brake cables
cracked fuel tank
replace choke cable

I am sure there is more that I am not recalling at the moment.

Very disappointed, I did allot of research before buying this machine and thought I was getting a good deal. I don't know if I just lemon or what. But I live by the saying, "Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice and I am an idiot." I will not buy another Dixie. I only use this machine in small to mid sized residentials. It is not like I am pounding the machine for hours on end. 500 hours in 2 years and 4 months is not excessive.

Only 500 hours on machine.


Question about Hustler, who warranties the engine? The engine manufacture or Hustler?

Which engine on the Dixie Chopper?

Duekster
03-24-2007, 09:42 AM
Hi Chip,

I live/work in northeast Florida, so I can speak a bit about mowing in our conditions. You probably mow primarily St. Augustine grass right?

Go find and try/demo if you can, this model from Exmark:

LaserZ HP, 50" deck with a Kawasaki 23 hp engine. It has the Triton deck and here in Florida, it really rocks. You can get through some thick stuff with that and it is not too large for residential. They list it as a more compact model than a full-size.

In the summer I am mowing 4" to 5" a week off of St. Augustine. I know about some problems with northern grasses when the Triton deck was introduced, but in Florida, that has never been an issue. It also does pretty well on Bahia if you mow it at 3". I only have two Bahia yards. However, on St. Augustine grass the cut is superb as Exmark has that reputation for leaving about the best looking cut. I just got a new account from across the street just because the other guys cut did not look as nice as the one the Exmark left.

You will love it. Go take a look.

Hope that helps.

You are taking 4 to 5 inches of grass off a St. Augustine Lawn? How high are you trying to maintain it?

chipk1
03-24-2007, 10:22 AM
Which engine on the Dixie Chopper?

It has a Kohler 25

Flex-Deck
03-24-2007, 11:01 AM
Ok guys, I need a 50" ZTR that is reliable and mows/mulches well. Budget is 8-10K. Anything but a Dixie. I have had a very bad experience with thier X2503 and need to get something more reliable. Downtime is killing me.

I am sure that most Dixie's are as reliable as any other commercial mower, and I am also sure that you can get a "lemon" once in a while no matter what brand you buy.

lawnMaster5000
03-24-2007, 01:36 PM
I have to speak up for the gravely crowd here and recommend that you look at the Gravely 252M.

http://www.gravely.com/products/zeroturn/252M/

Duekster
03-24-2007, 01:38 PM
It has a Kohler 25

Oh good I bought the other engine on mine. Generac.

topsites
03-24-2007, 02:14 PM
Everride Warrior

Frosty03
03-25-2007, 09:33 PM
You are taking 4 to 5 inches of grass off a St. Augustine Lawn? How high are you trying to maintain it?

I never go below 3.5 inches. However, take a "Truchem" yard where they pump it full of nitrogen, you will be taking off 4 inches a week in the summer around here.

Obviously, not everyone goes the Tru-you-know-what on their yard so this doesn't pertain to all yards. However, those customers that use that company you will quickly find out. If you get a couple of rain days and are behind, you get some thick stuff to get through.

Duekster
03-25-2007, 09:37 PM
I never go below 3.5 inches. However, take a "Truchem" yard where they pump it full of nitrogen, you will be taking off 4 inches a week in the summer around here.

Obviously, not everyone goes the Tru-you-know-what on their yard so this doesn't pertain to all yards. However, those customers that use that company you will quickly find out. If you get a couple of rain days and are behind, you get some thick stuff to get through.


I would have a talk to the client about their fertilization program. Then again I offer it myself. :rolleyes:

Taking off 1/2 the blade is hard on the lawn.

I plan on keeping my mowers set at 3" for a St. A lawn and hope it is only 1/3 taller than that when I get back to it. I keep my Bermuda at 2 to 2.5.

Frosty03
03-25-2007, 09:41 PM
That is one that I am looking at. Seem to see allot of those on the road lately. How well do they mulch the grass? How well do they handle wet grass? My Dixie tends to through allot of clumps with damp grass, also doesn't mulch worth a crap unless you run backwards:hammerhead: .

I don't have a mulching kit, but a friend of mine does and he really likes the way the Triton deck mulches St. Augustine.

Wet grass is wet grass. It does as good as any i've seen and IMHO, it leaves a better cut (to me) when the grass is wet. Maybe I am crazy there, but it just seems that way to me. It leaves minimal clumps.

I have only seen one Dixie Chopper in my area.

If you see a lot of those (Exmarks) on the road in your area, it just might be telling you something...

Good luck.

Frosty03
03-25-2007, 10:05 PM
I would have a talk to the client about their fertilization program. Then again I offer it myself. :rolleyes:

Taking off 1/2 the blade is hard on the lawn.

I plan on keeping my mowers set at 3" for a St. A lawn and hope it is only 1/3 taller than that when I get back to it. I keep my Bermuda at 2 to 2.5.

If it gets really thick, I will go 4" or 4 1/4" on St. Augustine depending on conditions. I merely said my minimal height is 3 1/2 inches on St. Augustine. If you went below that around here, you would get some flak from the customers and probably lose that account.

Interesting on how different regions maintain lawn differently. I will take a picture of one such lawn in the next few days and email it to you. It hasn't really started-up full steam yet, but I am going to weekly cuttings on April 1.

I would have a talk to the client about their fertilization program. Then again I offer it myself.. :rolleyes:

Send me some business cards, you are welcome to come fertilize for me anytime! :D

ALarsh
03-25-2007, 10:24 PM
I would highly suggest that you demo a Toro Z with the turboforce. I have been extremely happy with mine. I have 400 hours on it and had two small warranty issues, haven't seen an issue in 300 hours. I will be keeping it for a long time and will be getting another when the time comes.

valleylawn79
03-26-2007, 07:53 PM
Speed is not that much a factor to me because most of accounts are smaller lots and can't go that fast anyway. Dependability and quality is what I need. On sale is what got me into trouble the first time. My customers can only be expected to tolerate, "I am going to late this week because my mower broke down again", so much. I paid 7500.00 for my Dixie 2 years ago and have had to give that excuse way to much. This is why I need a dependable quality cutting machine.

Hustler, is that who makes the Super Z? I see allot of commercial LCO's use them lately.

yes they make the hustler super z; as well as the regular hustler z and mini z; dealer support is as important and which ever one you like or feel comfortable on; try to demo both the hustler and grasshopper if both are available in your area as well as any others you see; if you find a great dealer that wants to earn your business and he has something you like then ask him to demo the unit.

Duekster
03-26-2007, 08:00 PM
If it gets really thick, I will go 4" or 4 1/4" on St. Augustine depending on conditions. I merely said my minimal height is 3 1/2 inches on St. Augustine. If you went below that around here, you would get some flak from the customers and probably lose that account.

Interesting on how different regions maintain lawn differently. I will take a picture of one such lawn in the next few days and email it to you. It hasn't really started-up full steam yet, but I am going to weekly cuttings on April 1.



Send me some business cards, you are welcome to come fertilize for me anytime! :D


I be there every Wednesday at 12 Noon. :walking:


Here is what TAMU says:

Mowing heights may range from 1 to 3 inches depending on the frequency of mowing and the degree of shade present. At mowing heights below two inches, St. Augustine grass should be mowed every five days during late spring and summer. At a 2 1/2 inch mowing height, a 7-10 mowing schedule is adequate. Above 2 1/2 inches, St. Augustine grass should be mowed at 10 to 14 day intervals. In moderate to dense shade, St. Augustine grass should be mowed at about 3 inches at 10 day intervals.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/turf/publications/staug.html

Not arguing here because most of our lawns are Bermuda so I am really just comparing notes. But based upon this and your statement, it sounds like the chem guys are laying the wood to the grass.

Sounds like 3" is a good height in both sun and shade.

Anyway you can throw a stick on the ground in Florida and it will grow. Not so much in this irrigated desert.

thestripmaster12
03-26-2007, 10:03 PM
hustler, lesco, scag and toro are all excellent mowers

DJL50
03-26-2007, 10:04 PM
Sounds like most of your problem is with the engine not the mower. I would be looking for anything without a Kohler in it.

Frosty03
03-26-2007, 11:01 PM
I be there every Wednesday at 12 Noon. :walking:


Anyway you can throw a stick on the ground in Florida and it will grow. Not so much in this irrigated desert.


No....you throw a stick on the ground in Florida and the TERMITES will eat it. After that, it will rot in about 5 weeks and then sprout some weird looking fungus. From there you get compost.

Richard Martin
03-27-2007, 05:47 AM
So the bulk of your problems were with the engine and not the actual mower itself. I've owned 2 Dixies and seen a whole lot more and you have had more problems with the most bizarre parts than I've ever seen on Dixies combined.

You broke a choke cable? How?

I can see breaking a brake cable if you're setting it too tight.

3 spindles? I don't think so unless you're not greasing them.

Broken deck links? I have been extremely abusive to the links and none have ever broke.

How did you manage to break the deck pedal? I've seen them wear out but never break.

Did you take the mower back to the dealer and get the hoses tightened up? Blowing fluid like crazy? I can see it seeping some and mine does it. Hydro systems do that after a while.

This mower sounds more like you have just beat it to death and ignored the maintenance.

chipk1
03-27-2007, 09:32 AM
So the bulk of your problems were with the engine and not the actual mower itself. I've owned 2 Dixies and seen a whole lot more and you have had more problems with the most bizarre parts than I've ever seen on Dixies combined.

You broke a choke cable? How?
Cable froze after 150 hours



Almost all Dixie's have that problem. Every loaner the dealer has given my had no brakes due to broken cables.

[QUOTE=3 spindles? I don't think so unless you're not greasing them.

Greased them religously.



Deck Links broke at 30 hours. Master Links popped.

[QUOTE=How did you manage to break the deck pedal? I've seen them wear out but never break.

Deck Pedal Bracket Broke due to bad design at 100 hours. Dealer even admitted it being a porblem but they replaced it with a redesigned reinforced version.




Blows from the cap. Another bad design. Has leaked from day one. Have to add fluid all the time and pressure wash crude off of pump and frame every couple of weeks. Dealer said there is no fix.

[QUOTE=This mower sounds more like you have just beat it to death and ignored the maintenance.
Used on small to midsize residentuals and maintained to Dixie recommendations from day one.

Most of these problems occured with the first year of use. I am not as unhappy with the Dixue unit as I am disgusted with the Kohler 25 POS engine they used on it which is plagued with defective design and parts issues.

martinfan06
03-27-2007, 10:37 AM
Multiple starters
Multiple Solenoids
Blown read valve
2 blown head gaskets
cracked exhaust manifold
defective valve lifters
New shortblock and head
Broken Deck pedal
Blows hydraulic fluid like crazy
broken deck links
2 deck belts
3 deck spindles
Both brake cables
cracked fuel tank
replace choke cable

I am sure there is more that I am not recalling at the moment.

Very disappointed, I did allot of research before buying this machine and thought I was getting a good deal. I don't know if I just lemon or what. But I live by the saying, "Fool me once shame on you, Fool me twice and I am an idiot." I will not buy another Dixie. I only use this machine in small to mid sized residentials. It is not like I am pounding the machine for hours on end. 500 hours in 2 years and 4 months is not excessive.

Only 500 hours on machine.


Question about Hustler, who warranties the engine? The engine manufacture or Hustler?

Ran a lot of dixies,know a lot of people who run dixies, dont perfer them myself but never heard of anything like that must have been a lemon. Cant blame ya though I wouldnt buy 1 ethier IMO compact bushhog is all they really are Ive seen those things mow down small trees, but cut nice not really.

tinman
03-29-2007, 11:41 PM
Really that scares me. I have that same machine. Do tell please. Outside of a broken belt every 80 hours it has been solid.

It is a little too big for a big tex trailer.

same problem here, bout every 100 hours deck belt breaks.

chipk1
03-30-2007, 11:25 AM
The Dixie always had a good even cut, but did not mulch any clippings on the way out, even when I tried gators. It ejected mostly long blades of grass. I would have grass everywhere and would have to use the blower to disperse the clippings in areas.

I will tell you that this new Exmark has a very nice cut and almost magically disposes of the clippings. Hardly anything left to blow off sidewalk or street after cut, and what is left to blow is pieces of grass averaged in size of around 1/4", almost powder. No long uncut blades. This new machine also mulches leaves better. It is saved me a lot of time in a few days by cutting my blower time almost in half. This is with factory high lift blades and no mulch kit!

Also IMHO, the myth about not getting a good trim pass out of this machine is false. I can make tighter turns without damaging turf like my Dixie did.

One other thing that I have noticed, This machines footprint is way more stable that Dixie. This is great when running around lakes embankments. I used to be scared that my Dixie would end up in the water because the back end would always slide lower than the front. This exmark runs effortlessly on the same situation. I feel I have much more control on hills. No back end slippage at all!

The deck height controls are not as quick as Dixie's but have many more intervals for height settings and seem much more solid and stable. I see the new Dixie's have an electric height adjustment but I have not tried it yet.

The OCDC systems are totally different. The plus for Dixie is the ability to set how far you want the shoot to open. The plus for Exmark's that it is foot controlled and much easier to open and close while moving. Because of the mulching ability of the Exmark deck, I have had no reason for a partially opened shoot.


This is a comparison between Dixie's X2503 50" w/25 Kohler and Exmarks Lazer Z AS 52" Ultra Cut Deck w/KAI 28hp. I have used other 50" Dixie's and they all seem to be about same. This is the first Exmark I have used.

I guess every machine has it's purpose, but for my situation EXMARK ROCKS!:weightlifter:

Duekster
03-30-2007, 01:26 PM
The Dixie always had a good even cut, but did not mulch any clippings on the way out, even when I tried gators. It ejected mostly long blades of grass. I would have grass everywhere and would have to use the blower to disperse the clippings in areas.

I will tell you that this new Exmark has a very nice cut and almost magically disposes of the clippings. Hardly anything left to blow off sidewalk or street after cut, and what is left to blow is pieces of grass averaged in size of around 1/4", almost powder. No long uncut blades. This new machine also mulches leaves better. It is saved me a lot of time in a few days by cutting my blower time almost in half. This is with factory high lift blades and no mulch kit!

Also IMHO, the myth about not getting a good trim pass out of this machine is false. I can make tighter turns without damaging turf like my Dixie did.

One other thing that I have noticed, This machines footprint is way more stable that Dixie. This is great when running around lakes embankments. I used to be scared that my Dixie would end up in the water because the back end would always slide lower than the front. This exmark runs effortlessly on the same situation. I feel I have much more control on hills. No back end slippage at all!

The deck height controls are not as quick as Dixie's but have many more intervals for height settings and seem much more solid and stable. I see the new Dixie's have an electric height adjustment but I have not tried it yet.

The OCDC systems are totally different. The plus for Dixie is the ability to set how far you want the shoot to open. The plus for Exmark's that it is foot controlled and much easier to open and close while moving. Because of the mulching ability of the Exmark deck, I have had no reason for a partially opened shoot.


This is a comparison between Dixie's X2503 50" w/25 Kohler and Exmarks Lazer Z AS 52" Ultra Cut Deck w/KAI 28hp. I have used other 50" Dixie's and they all seem to be about same. This is the first Exmark I have used.

I guess every machine has it's purpose, but for my situation EXMARK ROCKS!:weightlifter:

When I get ready for a new mower I will try one based upon that description alone. I don't think the Dixie is a dog by any means but if you can get better results then I am all for that.

Anyone else use both and have an opinion?

chipk1
03-30-2007, 08:53 PM
IN the words of a recent response when trying to decide which mower to by for replacement.

"Buy an Exmark and you will never go Back!"

So for that is very true for me.