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ZTR_Diesel
09-18-2008, 03:42 PM
Hello all -

I just found this forum, I have a smaller yard of my own to mow, but am considering taking on a few 1 -4 acre commerical properties next year in addition to my current job. This would help pay for a good semi-commercial mower and provide a little more income overall. I'll have many questions related to this in later posts. I've already started searching in this area.

Now - the unit I have in mind. A local Grasshopper/Ferris/ExMark dealer has a used Woods 6250 with around 1100 hours on it. It's a little older, probably a '94 or '95, (metal fuel tank, not plastic) seems solid but isn't perfect cosmetically. All the filters have been recently changed, the engine runs well but was a little rough on a cold start - it was a few weeks since anyone had run the unit. 61" deck, bar tires, and avaliable for just under $2k. I would prefer a diesel (6215) but I've not found one of those (Or a Grasshopper 721D) for under $4k.

For perspective, he also has a slightly older 5140 with the 16 HP Briggs and no hourmeter for $100 less. I think the Kubota 3-cyl water cooled gas would be the way to go, unless it's hard to get parts for this unit. How are they overall for servicing?

In the past, I have owned two cone-drive Dixon ZTR's and have run Briggs powered Grasshoppers on occasion. Driveline problems on the Dixons aside, I don't think I could bear to own a Non-ZTR mower again.

Allamericanlandscaping
09-18-2008, 03:57 PM
I would highly advise you not to purchase that mower. My friend was in the same scenario with a great deal on a used commercial mower and got screwed. Commericially used mowers especially ones with 1100 hours are always in need of major repairs or engine work.

ZTR_Diesel
09-18-2008, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the tip - if I were to check into it a little further, what would you suggest looking at with this unit? I will say the engine needs plugs and general maintance, but seemed solid overall. I wasn't able to mow with it due to rain, but may have that chance soon.

How about the Briggs unit for 1895? Would that also be considered too much of a commercial machine with something about to go wrong? Whattever I buy, it will not see over 200 hours per year, and I would test them out thououghly on grass first.

fool32696
09-18-2008, 04:55 PM
Find something that you can afford with less than $500. Mowing grass is hard enough without equipment problems.

ZTR_Diesel
09-18-2008, 05:48 PM
Did you mean hours - perhaps?

I work in product development, understand that equipment can need repairs, and am not afraid to repair one myself. I would prefer to puy an older commercial machine such as a grasshopper or woods verses a new "consumer oriented" model that's built light & cheaply. Guess that's the reason for the question in the first place.

fool32696
09-18-2008, 06:06 PM
$500:hammerhead: I've gotten to where I only consider a purchase that's in like new condition but would feel comfortable with a mower under 500 hrs. After you hit 1000hrs stuff starts to go wrong little by little.

Mowingman
09-18-2008, 07:32 PM
That is a fair price for that mower. A Woods of that vintage is most likely a Grasshopper in Woods paint and with Woods decals. Grasshopper made Woods mowers until sometime in the mid 90's. That machine has pretty low hours for it's age, so, it should still be pretty solid, if maint. has been done as suggested by the manufacturer. You can test the hydro trans. by doing the following. On a paved surface, find a post, pole, or solid wall and edge the machine up to it. Then, at full throttle, push against the wall with steering levers in full forward. If both tires will spin good, transmission is probably good to go. If one side or the other stalls out, or whines really bad and slows down, walk away from that machine. Other than that, most parts are not that expensive to change, as needed.

ZTR_Diesel
09-19-2008, 12:07 AM
Thanks for the updates and info. I will try that little push test - it's probably best to do that with the salesman not too close by! This is a grasshopper unit with woods paint, it's identical other than orange & black. Interesting that Grasshopper hasen't changed thier essential design since the '80's...why mess with something that works fine? :usflag:

There's a full-line Woods dealer near me with a '95 6182 with 1146 hours, an 18hp Kohler engine, a 48" deck, and needing a little engine work for $2950, so this tends to make me think the 6250 for $1995 is something of a steal. But it's true that one could expect to have to work on it a bit as well. Maybe I'll save up a while instead, there's an '02 Grasshopper 721D with 500 hours, a 61" deck and a 48" snowplow for $4000 about three hours away. Maybe it's worth a little extra invested for a better long-life machine. Gosh, that 721D could well be the last mower I would ever have to buy...? :dizzy:

PLM-1
09-19-2008, 03:45 AM
That Wood's machine sounds fine if the hydros check out. My next concern with that machine would be the deck. Otherwise, that L/C Kubota is pretty darn near bulletproof.

davidcalhoun
09-19-2008, 12:13 PM
Mowingman is right on with his advice.

The Grasshopper 721D is a nice machine for larger yards. Just make sure you get use to turning the mower near other objects. Once you get accustomed to turning with the "rear end" of this type of frontmount, you'll like it.

ZTR_Diesel
09-19-2008, 02:35 PM
Mowingman is right on with his advice.

The Grasshopper 721D is a nice machine for larger yards. Just make sure you get use to turning the mower near other objects. Once you get accustomed to turning with the "rear end" of this type of frontmount, you'll like it.


While a very different outfit, I tould think that adapting to the "rear end" of one of these is similar to a JD 935 or 1145, both of which I have operated about 300 hours on each. They are nice machines too, but I would prefer a zero-turn for this application.

Thanks for your help.

Mowingman
09-19-2008, 08:33 PM
Grasshopper, (and woods) front deck machines are "zero turn". They will turn within their own length. That is what zero turn means. Some of the other front deck machines steer with the rear wheels and will not turn that sharp. They are not true zero turn machines.



While a very different outfit, I tould think that adapting to the "rear end" of one of these is similar to a JD 935 or 1145, both of which I have operated about 300 hours on each. They are nice machines too, but I would prefer a zero-turn for this application.

Thanks for your help.

davidcalhoun
09-19-2008, 09:19 PM
One quick example. Let's say you are right next to a building or wall, If you do a sharp turn with a Grasshopper or Woods frontmount ZTR, your "rear end" (the portion of mower that is behind the two drive wheels) will pivot right into the building or wall quicker than a rear steer unit.

ZTR_Diesel
09-20-2008, 12:05 AM
Grasshopper, (and woods) front deck machines are "zero turn". They will turn within their own length. That is what zero turn means. Some of the other front deck machines steer with the rear wheels and will not turn that sharp. They are not true zero turn machines.

Thanks - I've owned two Dixon ZTR's, so I'm aware of what they are.

But you're right, the out-front deck could be a double catch when against a wall or making a sharp corner. I think overall I could get used to it quite easily.

PLM-1
09-20-2008, 12:55 AM
One quick example. Let's say you are right next to a building or wall, If you do a sharp turn with a Grasshopper or Woods frontmount ZTR, your "rear end" (the portion of mower that is behind the two drive wheels) will pivot right into the building or wall quicker than a rear steer unit.

You will hit it with a mid-deck too. It all comes down to learning how to run your machine. I about can run a mid-deck efficiently anymore because I don't use one very often.

ZTR_Diesel
09-25-2008, 12:09 AM
Well, I'll drag this back up again as I've taken the time to mow some with the 6250, and it worked very well considering the old, rusty blades it has on it presently. The drive units seem sound, strong and smooth, the levers could be held equally and the machine would drive straight forward.

Now - tonight I drove and mowed with a 1996 Woods 6180, which has a B & S 18 hp engine, 955 hours, and it wouldn't drive in a straight line unless one held the left lever back a good bit. It mowed fine, (dealer claims new spindle bearings and belts) but the drive seemed stiff, cumbersome, and it refused to operate smoothly. The engine also seemed a little jumpy at less than 1/2 throttle. The price? $1950. I actually stopped by a third place that had two similar-vintage Woods (I can't seem to find many used Grasshoppers locally) one a 20 hp and the other a 16 hp, both in worse (apperance) condition than the 18 hp I had just driven. They had both been sitting in the dealer's front yard so long they had grass gowing over thier decks - yet again, $1800 for the one, $2000 for the other.

I guess the point I'm headed toward it to go make a deposit on the 6250 this weekend. One of my co-wokers father's is a dealer for Woods & Kubota products down south. He mentioned that they see these gas engined units getting nearly as many hours as the diesels, provided they aren't abused. If nothing else, at least I would probably be able to re-sell it for close to what I paid for it, since older, much more basic machines are selling for the same price. Hope it's a good decision overall.