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keepoffthegrass
04-26-2009, 10:29 AM
I just bought a Toro Z597 as some of you know. Its the 27hp diehatsu (sp?) diesel. Its got the biggest hydro pumps out of all the toros and is very well built.

What do people get out of their diesel ZTR's 4000 hrs? 5000 hrs? 6000hrs ?

Also, what do people run their gas mowers (25+hp / Liquid cooled) too?

I can see running a HIGH HR mower as a backup or to speed up production but as far as your primary steak & potatoes? This mower cuts 90% of my municiple contracts im trying to figure out at what point i would replace it and move it down the line to "backup" status. It will get 1100hrs/yr and i have a 3 yr contract. Do i replace it if i sign again in 3 years or do i run it to 6600 hours and hope for no break downs? (an extra 15g in pocket or 5g a year)

Looking for opinions, facts, or experiences with ZTR's gas or diesel.

nosparkplugs
04-26-2009, 11:05 AM
I run my Gasburners until they blew up or needed engine replacement's for some that was 700 hours. Diesel is the only way to go when mowing commercially.

I know when I was researching the diesel ZTR's before our purchase the Kubota/Emark/Toro dealer said that the Daihatsu diesels were "higher maintenance" vs the Kubota diesels. Most of the Daihatsu reliability issues were self inflicted, so I would think if you keep an eye on the Toro with that diesel engine, you will get thousands of hours of use. Assume your guys are not going to keep up with fluid checks etc

Now that Dealer sold some Daihatsu diesels because of the cult following of the Toro guys, and he could not get them to run the Kubota's. So each LCO to their own powerplant poison.

jkilov
04-26-2009, 03:06 PM
What do people get out of their diesel ZTR's 4000 hrs? 5000 hrs? 6000hrs ?

Also, what do people run their gas mowers (25+hp / Liquid cooled) too?


Air cooled gas : 2,000-2,500hrs
Liquid cooled gas : up to 3,500hrs
Diesel : 6,000hrs

Those are the expected figures, weather you reach that is a different story, depending on manufacturer, maintenance and operation. I know a guy with a scag STHM 2700+ hrs air cooled kohler, but he does baby it.

Lehighlawnpros
04-26-2009, 04:28 PM
Hi KOTG,

I'm in a similar situation, as follows;

We run about 900 hours per year total.

I have a small fleet of Grasshoppers;
"M1" 2004 722D (liquid-cooled Kubota diesel @ 1500 hours)

"M2" 1998 725 (liquid-cooled Kubota gas @ 7,050 hours)

"M3" 1993 721 (liquid-cooled Kubota gas @ 5,000+ hours)

So I can only speak for the Grasshoppers with L/C Kubotas, but hopefully your machine will have similar durability.

Here's my plan;

We work five 5-hour days for each mowing "evolution",
and approximately 36 evolutions per year.

We use "M1" four out of five days per evolution.

We use "M2" one day per evolution.

"M3" is just a backup-backup, I run it at home occasionally
and change fluids/filters yearly just to keep it in good running condition.

Using this operating schedule I plan to;

run the newest machine for 10 years/7,000 hours
in the "M1" primary role;

then, run the same machine an additional 10 years/2,000 hours in the "M2" secondary role;

for a total of 20 years 9,000 hours in service before it gets
"retired" to the "M3" backup-backup role.

I've already proven that the Kubota L/C gas can go
10 1/2 years/7,050 hours and it still runs great.

The diesels are reported to be even more durable and have the added benefit of about $750 in fuel savings per 1,000 hours,
so $750 x 9(thousand hours) = $6,750 in fuel savings during the 9,000 hour expected primary and secondary service life of the diesel.
That's comparing the Kubota diesel @.6 GPH to the L/C Kubota gas that consumes 1 GPH using current local fuel prices,
many gas engines consume even more so the difference would be even greater.

Following this plan I'd only need to buy one new (or low-hour used) machine every 10 years.

Granted, my plan is optimistic, but I think it's do-able and I maintain my machines very well.

I just don't see a problem getting two more thousand hours from the 725 and the diesel should do even better.

To help maximize your engine longevity (especially a diesel) consider installing a bypass oil filter, it's easy to do.
I'm using Amsoil products and have had excellent results confirmed by oil analysis.

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

4.3mudder
04-26-2009, 04:38 PM
I have a Lazer Z full size 60 inch, 25 horse Kohler at 2959 hrs. Engine runs strong, 165-170 compression. Burns a little bit of oil though.

Kelly's Landscaping
04-26-2009, 07:29 PM
My first lazer got 3130 hours on the 27hp kholer before I replaced it. She was burning a lot of oil at the end but i would say it got to 3000 hours safely again depends on the guy using it and the repairs and maintenance they do not go over that magic line for free. Off hand I had replaced a hydro pump 3 or 4 clutches a starter a few switches and wiring oil changes ever 75-125 hours airl filters 2-3 sets of tires tons of blades and 3000 plus gallons of gas. But she has made me about 100 dollars for ever hour of use.

hitechlm
04-26-2009, 07:40 PM
why do you guys keep these machines for so long with all these hrs. I only keep a mower for 2-3 yrs depending on how many hrs are on the machine, then i sell them. Its alot cheaper to buy news ones every couple of years versus reparing the old ones, i.e spindles, motors, or hydro's. Also when you buy a new one you get a warrenty

Mowingman
04-26-2009, 07:47 PM
The Kubota diesels should be good for 6000 - 7000hrs. Same for the little Cat diesels.I don't think the B&S diesels will do much over what a similar size gas engine will do. You will probably be lucky if you get 3000 troublefree hours from that B&S diesel. I have not heard much good about them. They seem to self destruct quite often at fairly low hours.

nosparkplugs
04-26-2009, 07:48 PM
Some of use don't have issues with Spindles, or Hydro's only motors. I Have a JD f-680 that is ten years old over 3,000hours Never a hydro issue or spindle failure. Frame & deck look like it's only 3 years old. I only sell equipment if it is "nickle & diming" me or It becomes unproductive, never becuase of age or hours. The best warrenty is the one you NEVER use. I have lucky and never had major issue's with any of our ZTR's.

So my theory is go diesel since my equipment will be in great shape with years of hard use. I just don't agree that a commercial ZTR frame, deck, spindle & hydro's will be junk before you get your money back with a diesel.

You could say your theory/rational is part of this economic crisis, why NOT KEEP your equipment longer is it really necessary to purchase New every three years:). Look at what purchasing new vehicles & house's etc year after year got us in debit. Our economy is going back to the good old days, gone are the days of only keeping cars or equipment for 3 years when it's still has plently of life yet.


If it an't broke keep it, if it's broke fix it. When it die's time for a new machine.:walking:


why do you guys keep these machines for so long with all these hrs. I only keep a mower for 2-3 yrs depending on how many hrs are on the machine, then i sell them. Its alot cheaper to buy news ones every couple of years versus reparing the old ones, i.e spindles, motors, or hydro's. Also when you buy a new one you get a warrenty

Kelly's Landscaping
04-26-2009, 08:12 PM
why do you guys keep these machines for so long with all these hrs. I only keep a mower for 2-3 yrs depending on how many hrs are on the machine, then i sell them. Its alot cheaper to buy news ones every couple of years versus reparing the old ones, i.e spindles, motors, or hydro's. Also when you buy a new one you get a warrenty

Well for starters the hours I rack up a year now would be around 2200 hours in only 3 seasons so its not like my mower fleet is all that old. I just think it makes more sense to get the life out of it you paid for rather then dumping it for a fraction of what shes still worth to you.

Lehighlawnpros
04-26-2009, 10:07 PM
why do you guys keep these machines for so long with all these hrs. I only keep a mower for 2-3 yrs depending on how many hrs are on the machine, then i sell them. Its alot cheaper to buy news ones every couple of years versus reparing the old ones, i.e spindles, motors, or hydro's. Also when you buy a new one you get a warrenty

Hi HiTech,

It's just something I've decided to do and have had good results so far,
plus I enjoy maintaining and repairing my own machines, so that helps a lot with the repair costs.

Like "Nosparkplugs" I have relatively few major breakdowns, it's a testament to the reliability of the Grasshoppers;

i.e. I've had no spindle failures of any kind in over 13,550 hours of combined machine time
(I give them one pump of general purpose lithium grease every mowing day)

I've never had an internal engine problem or failure in the same amount of hours (I've never replaced an engine)
(I'm a fanatic about keeping the oil clean :-)

I have replaced hydros on the older machines but
the newer "G2" hydros are much better and more durable.

So considering all of the above, for me it just makes sense
to get the maximum service life from my machines.

Now there may be some cases where it would be better to do as you describe
(keep them for a few years and then sell them)

i.e. If you use less durable machines/engines (air-cooled).

If you don't maintain/repair your own machines.

If you have careless employees operating them.

If you need the extra tax deductions.

And your right, there is something to be said for being under warranty all the time.

I'd say it's two different ways to skin the same cat :-)

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

Linder'sLawnCare
04-26-2009, 10:10 PM
I just bought a Toro Z597 as some of you know. Its the 27hp diehatsu (sp?) diesel. Its got the biggest hydro pumps out of all the toros and is very well built.

What do people get out of their diesel ZTR's 4000 hrs? 5000 hrs? 6000hrs ?

Also, what do people run their gas mowers (25+hp / Liquid cooled) too?

I can see running a HIGH HR mower as a backup or to speed up production but as far as your primary steak & potatoes? This mower cuts 90% of my municiple contracts im trying to figure out at what point i would replace it and move it down the line to "backup" status. It will get 1100hrs/yr and i have a 3 yr contract. Do i replace it if i sign again in 3 years or do i run it to 6600 hours and hope for no break downs? (an extra 15g in pocket or 5g a year)

Looking for opinions, facts, or experiences with ZTR's gas or diesel.




The CAT diesel is estimated at 6000 hrs. Go to Ferris's website. I would think your diesel will be about the same.

nosparkplugs
04-26-2009, 10:23 PM
Our theory has been studied embraced, and put on the shelf never to be considred again. However these hard economic times have most smart LCO's revisiting their equipment purchase cycle's, and many LCO's are holding onto their equipment longer than normal, and some larger companies are doing repairs in house that once were sent to the dealers. LCO's are embracing diesel over gasoline too, hard times bring out the diesel in many looking to invest in good equipment for the long haul, and can run on biofuel


Hi HiTech,

It's just something I've decided to do and have had good results so far,
plus I enjoy maintaining and repairing my own machines, so that helps a lot with the repair costs.

Like "Nosparkplugs" I have relatively few major breakdowns, it's a testament to the reliability of the Grasshoppers;

i.e. I've had no spindle failures of any kind in over 13,550 hours of combined machine time
(I give them one pump of general purpose lithium grease every mowing day)

I've never had an internal engine problem or failure in the same amount of hours (I've never replaced an engine)
(I'm a fanatic about keeping the oil clean :-)

I have replaced hydros on the older machines but
the newer "G2" hydros are much better and more durable.

So considering all of the above, for me it just makes sense
to get the maximum service life from my machines.

Now there may be some cases where it would be better to do as you describe
(keep them for a few years and then sell them)

i.e. If you use less durable machines/engines (air-cooled).

If you don't maintain/repair your own machines.

If you have careless employees operating them.

If you need the extra tax deductions.

And your right, there is something to be said for being under warranty all the time.

I'd say it's two different ways to skin the same cat :-)

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

keepoffthegrass
04-28-2009, 09:53 AM
Does anyone know of a website to get cheap parts. I want to get a case of oil filters and a few odds and ends. Thanks

Linder'sLawnCare
04-28-2009, 01:38 PM
Does anyone know of a website to get cheap parts. I want to get a case of oil filters and a few odds and ends. Thanks

j-thomas.com or mowpart.com

Weedas_Lawn_Care
04-28-2009, 03:44 PM
i have a 1004 hours on my diesel kubota now and iv never had a problem out of it and i wouldnt trade it for anything i love it the only thing i would say about it is the wieght of the diesel but its not a problem with ruts or anyting :D

kaferhaus
04-28-2009, 04:00 PM
We run our ZTRs until they're worn slap out and that takes a vey long time. We only run air-cooled Kaw engines and we've only had one fail before 3000hrs. We have one currently in daily use with over 4,000 hrs on it. It doesn't smoke or need any oil between oil changes (100hrs). We run Dino oil and change the filter every other oil change.

When an egine does fail or start showing that it's on its last legs, we re-power. Buying a new mower because of an engine failure or impending failure is almost always a bad move financially.


Spindles..... I have serveral on the shelf still in the boxes covered in dust..... rarely have we ever had to replace one. Blades, filters,belts, tires, plugs, carb kits yes.

If fuel ever gets to where it looks like it's going to stay around 4 bucks a gallon I might be tempted to move towards diesels. Until then I'm staying with the gas burners and air-cooled ones at that. Less to go wrong and dollar for dollar better engine life.

Diesels can run a long time but they don't always. i've seen plenty of them at 2500-3000hrs that were worn out and replacing OR repairing one of them is very expensive. The parts are much higher than the gas burners.

Lehighlawnpros
04-28-2009, 08:19 PM
We run our ZTRs until they're worn slap out and that takes a vey long time. We only run air-cooled Kaw engines and we've only had one fail before 3000hrs. We have one currently in daily use with over 4,000 hrs on it. It doesn't smoke or need any oil between oil changes (100hrs). We run Dino oil and change the filter every other oil change.

When an egine does fail or start showing that it's on its last legs, we re-power. Buying a new mower because of an engine failure or impending failure is almost always a bad move financially.

Spindles..... I have serveral on the shelf still in the boxes covered in dust..... rarely have we ever had to replace one. Blades, filters,belts, tires, plugs, carb kits yes.

If fuel ever gets to where it looks like it's going to stay around 4 bucks a gallon I might be tempted to move towards diesels. Until then I'm staying with the gas burners and air-cooled ones at that. Less to go wrong and dollar for dollar better engine life.

Diesels can run a long time but they don't always. i've seen plenty of them at 2500-3000hrs that were worn out and replacing OR repairing one of them is very expensive. The parts are much higher than the gas burners.

Hi Kaferhaus,

That's very good service life from your Kawasaki engines,
and proves the value of consistent maintenance.

What brand of ZTRs do you use?

Good point about the diesels, I'm hoping my Kubota diesel engine goes the distance because it would be costly to repair/replace.

On the plus side, I got a great deal on it from the original owner ($5,500 for a 2004 Grasshopper 722D2 in excellent condition @ 786 hours)
so it won't take long for it to pay for itself :-)

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

puppypaws
04-28-2009, 08:28 PM
We run our ZTRs until they're worn slap out and that takes a vey long time. We only run air-cooled Kaw engines and we've only had one fail before 3000hrs. We have one currently in daily use with over 4,000 hrs on it. It doesn't smoke or need any oil between oil changes (100hrs). We run Dino oil and change the filter every other oil change.

When an egine does fail or start showing that it's on its last legs, we re-power. Buying a new mower because of an engine failure or impending failure is almost always a bad move financially.

If fuel ever gets to where it looks like it's going to stay around 4 bucks a gallon I might be tempted to move towards diesels. Until then I'm staying with the gas burners and air-cooled ones at that. Less to go wrong and dollar for dollar better engine life.

Diesels can run a long time but they don't always. i've seen plenty of them at 2500-3000hrs that were worn out and replacing OR repairing one of them is very expensive. The parts are much higher than the gas burners.

I have to agree with this statement, I personally don't understand the reasoning in wanting to maintain a fluid cooled system. I know people mowing commercially with over 4000 hrs. on Kohler air cooled engines. I would not care for employees having to stare at temperature gages if there was not a high temperature alarm and shutdown feature working. No matter what people may venture to express, there are invariably more complexities and maintenance with fluid cooled systems.

A Scag rep told me a couple of weeks ago his people were moving away from the 29 dfi because they were not seeing enough difference to offset the higher price. He mentioned the a/c engines being easier to maintain which represented more mowing time, which in return denoted more revenue. They were buying the liquid cooled dfi for better fuel economy, quieter running, and for a difference in longevity. He said, in reality there was a distinction in fuel economy but were actually seeing little differentiation if any in longevity.

kaferhaus
04-28-2009, 09:14 PM
Hi Kaferhaus,

That's very good service life from your Kawasaki engines,
and proves the value of consistent maintenance.

What brand of ZTRs do you use?

Good point about the diesels, I'm hoping my Kubota diesel engine goes the distance because it would be costly to repair/replace.

On the plus side, I got a great deal on it from the original owner ($5,500 for a 2004 Grasshopper 722D2 in excellent condition @ 786 hours)
so it won't take long for it to pay for itself :-)

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

We're running Bobcats. Not because they're better than anything else but because they're just as good as anything else and we get a good price on fleet pricing buying 3 at a time. We're currently running 9 of them.

Lehighlawnpros
04-28-2009, 10:57 PM
We're running Bobcats. Not because they're better than anything else but because they're just as good as anything else and we get a good price on fleet pricing buying 3 at a time. We're currently running 9 of them.

Thanks for the reply KH,

I took a look at Bob-cat's website and they look like well designed heavy-duty machines.

Congrats on the fleet of 9, that's impressive!

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

nosparkplugs
04-30-2009, 09:21 PM
Their are several factors that go into choosing a ZTR powerplant, one major factor is price. For the money the air cooled engines are very though to beat, I cannot say I did not like running them on good days, but surly wished I had liquid cooled and more power on several occasions over the years.

Air cooled engines have two means of controlling internal temperatures 1.) ambient air temperature's 2.) engine oil or lubricant. Keeping the air cooled engines cooling fins free of debris is a full time job, and good air circulation is key too. So when the ambient air temp is pushing 90-100 what is the internal temperature of the air cooled engine, you could say their built tough or pushing the envelope of cooling efficiency

Their is less to "worry" about with air cooled engines, liquid cooled engines require more attention to detail that is true; however the rewards out weight any risk once you can justify or afford the switch to liquid cooled or diesel. If the liquid cooled engine is engineered correctly, and the radiator is protected, and large enough. Their is no overheating, and the operator is more comfortable without a hot air cooled engine throwing heat off it.

I have taken great care of all my equipment since day one, and have blown air cooled engines with varying hours of use, all have been Kohlers. Upon repowering the mechanic said my engine failures were solely from overworking the engines, it was their time to go. My solution planning ahead to afford a diesel ZTR:), and run the gasburner ZTR's until that time came.

The daily routine for operating an air cooled engine is very simple I agree, but it also is a crap shoot on what the internal temp of the engine is at all times. Granted I never had any surprises/warnings except for the catastrophic engine failure. The "dummy" light went off, but that was to tell me the engine was overheating damage was already done.

Our liquid cooled Diesel is much easier to operate even with the added guages that give real time accurate temps of the engine. I have two operators trained to run diesels, and have run my air cooled engines before. They prefer the added productivity of the diesels, and don't mind cleaning a screen off from time to time in a 8 hour day of mowing.

When the day is over their is no worry to make sure you get the cooling fins of the air cooled engines clean, or how hot did I get the engine today.

Fuel economy is hands down BETTER @ .66gal/hr 35 hp Cat diesel, Diesel fuel spikes??? diesel is holding at $1.99 gallon here, and is at $2.29 in Arkansas, were we also mow. The fuel savings of the diesel means I can pic & choose were & when I fuel the machine up. When running gasoline air cooled or liquid cooled, your fuel consumption increases, now some have & will argue that diesel fuel costs more, and burning more cheap fuel is better. No matter what fuel cost savings I post the Gasburner Click will attack, so the debate continues on fuel savings, I would say their is enough guys running diesel's on here that agree fuel savings is in the thousands each year



Also their will be no-sparkplugs to change, Cat oil changes are at 500hrs, With synthetic lubricants & Synthetic oil filters, and oil Analysis you do away with "routine" oil changes. Now again the argument can be said that air cooled or liquid cooled gasoline engine's are cheaper, but if you look at the cost to repair each, high hour air cooled engine, your better off to replace the whole gasoline air cooled engine under most cases. Diesel engines are not designed to be replaced, but repaired. A well maintained diesel ZTR run hard will out last any gasoline ZTR, now some just cannot stomach owning a diesel engine that would last 6,000hours I say thats one less thing I have to worry about in life, and should a problem arise I shall deal with it when that bridge comes. Diesel is just a wise business investment


weight of the diesels, the 35hp Cat diesel weights under 300lbs about 275 ONE WEEK, and one account early spring here was my only trouble. So yes I did get stuck once in a large field with my diesel;). I can say that a diesel does not mind the extra growth that you might have from waiting for a certain area or account to dry up. Even in the early wet spring growth I did not think the diesel rutted the turf anymore than a gas powered large frame ZTR.

Lehighlawnpros
04-30-2009, 10:02 PM
Good post NSP,

I agree, in over 13,550 hours of running the liquid-cooled Kubota engines I've had only one issue with the cooling system. A hose developed a small leak and needed to be replaced.

I drain and refill the radiators once per year for preventive maintenance, check the coolant level occasionally, and monitor the temperature gauge during operation, just like you should do for a vehicle, easy.

In other words, you're preaching to the choir :-)

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

nosparkplugs
04-30-2009, 10:21 PM
The cost in sparkplugs alone over a 13,550 hour had that been a air cooled or liquid cooled gasoline engine would have purchased more than one hose:rolleyes: . Now for the air cooled engine LCO's that is just crazy talk, replace water hose,a liquid! brain surgery for them. Darm liquid cooled engine folks, with their added maintenance.



Good post NSP,

I agree, in over 13,550 hours of running the liquid-cooled Kubota engines I've had only one issue with the cooling system. A hose developed a small leak and needed to be replaced.

I drain and refill the radiators once per year for preventive maintenance, check the coolant level occasionally, and monitor the temperature gauge during operation, just like you should do for a vehicle, easy.

In other words, you're preaching to the choir :-)

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

puppypaws
05-01-2009, 12:11 AM
Good post NSP,

I agree, in over 13,550 hours of running the liquid-cooled Kubota engines I've had only one issue with the cooling system. A hose developed a small leak and needed to be replaced.

I drain and refill the radiators once per year for preventive maintenance, check the coolant level occasionally, and monitor the temperature gauge during operation, just like you should do for a vehicle, easy.

In other words, you're preaching to the choir :-)

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

How many mowers did it take to get 13,550 hrs., and what was the hour break down on each mower?

Lehighlawnpros
05-01-2009, 08:34 PM
How many mowers did it take to get 13,550 hrs., and what was the hour break down on each mower?

Hi Puppypaws,

Thanks for asking, we run about 900 hours per year total.

I have a small fleet of Grasshoppers;
"M1" 2004 722D (liquid-cooled Kubota diesel @ 1500 hours)

"M2" 1998 725 (liquid-cooled Kubota gas @ 7,050 hours)

"M3" 1993 721 (liquid-cooled Kubota gas @ 5,000+ hours)

All three machines still run and mow great,
on "M2" (the 1998 machine with 7,050 hours) I changed the out-front cutting deck to a newer flip-up model
on 9-01-2003 @3,100 hours, so the cutting deck on "M2" has "just" 3,950 hours.

The hydros were somewhat of a weak link in the older models and I've replaced several, however the newer "G2"
models (like my 722D) have separate pumps and wheel motors and seem much more durable.

All of the engines are the originals, and I've never had an internal engine problem of any kind.

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

puppypaws
05-02-2009, 12:46 AM
Hi Puppypaws,

Thanks for asking, we run about 900 hours per year total.

I have a small fleet of Grasshoppers;
"M1" 2004 722D (liquid-cooled Kubota diesel @ 1500 hours)

"M2" 1998 725 (liquid-cooled Kubota gas @ 7,050 hours)

"M3" 1993 721 (liquid-cooled Kubota gas @ 5,000+ hours)

All three machines still run and mow great,
on "M2" (the 1998 machine with 7,050 hours) I changed the out-front cutting deck to a newer flip-up model
on 9-01-2003 @3,100 hours, so the cutting deck on "M2" has "just" 3,950 hours.

The hydros were somewhat of a weak link in the older models and I've replaced several, however the newer "G2"
models (like my 722D) have separate pumps and wheel motors and seem much more durable.

All of the engines are the originals, and I've never had an internal engine problem of any kind.

Bob
Lehighlawnpros

That says a great deal about Kubota, 7000 hrs. on a gas engine is truly unbelievable, with 5000 being remarkable. 7000 hrs. is great for a diesel and almost out of the question for gas.

SfTD_service_CENTER
05-02-2009, 01:01 AM
if it aint broke dont fix it or if it works run it! one or the other some people arent that mechanically inclined so when they get a little problem they cant figure out what to do to remedy it and get on with there day. i will say though i do not like deisel in a mower or a truck or a utv i like my gas it gets me to where i got to go and i can buy the engine cheap or rebuild it cheap, no expensive injection pumps and other parts that commonly go bad. but when you mow a certain way i can see a deisel making you more money all the way all day! my new lazer z eats fuel with its 34hp motor at an alarming rate this is i own a gas station so i just dont care lol gravely turbo diesel 272xdz i bet that will run for a while just like those damn turbo dodge caravans lol

David Gretzmier
05-02-2009, 01:04 AM
I'm a big diesel fan, I've run them in kubotas, dixies and grass hoppers, but in the grasshopper and the hustler cat diesel, I seem to remember vibration being the source of other problems. the engine was fine, and would probably outlast the mower, but the grasshopper simply fell apart around the kubota 21 horse diesel. A hustler rep told me they quit the CAT diesel because of vibration issues affecting other parts of the mower.

that being said, it's hard to beat the fuel consumption, and the ability to make your own fuel for a diesel rig. free waste vegetable oil, anyone?

the kubota 21-22 horse diesel consistanly will drink .4 to .5 gallons per hour if you keep the rpm at 3200 or so and fully loaded. consumption goes up to .6 at 3600 rpms and up.

keepoffthegrass
05-03-2009, 12:19 AM
[QUOTE=nosparkplugs;2962993]
I would say their is enough guys running diesel's on here that agree fuel savings is in the thousands each year


QUOTE]

I have done my math and my toro with 27hp diesel will save me 1600-2000$ in fuel each year. I am splitting a parks contract exactly 50-50 with a friend of mine, he does his share with a 27hp gas LC and i do mine with a 27 diesel LC, both 60" cuts.

Its not that his mower has trouble but with the extra torque of my diesel and the AMAZING rear discharge deck i get my mowing done faster as well.

I have not had to scrape my rear discharge deck once this year, doesnt matter how thick and wet the grass is. The traditional decks i find clog up faster.

Overall, I am veryy happy with my diesel investment. both my truck and my mower. I dow believe you have to do a certain type of mowing to justify a diesel, yes. prior to me getting this contract my 48" Z 19hp was perfect for all my residential and a few commercials. Now I run both 12 hrs a day (9-10 run time) and there has been times where i have to let the 19 kawi sit hallf hour and cool down.

nosparkplugs
05-03-2009, 10:47 AM
Just another real world example of the Diesel advantage :):canadaflag:






[QUOTE=nosparkplugs;2962993]
I would say their is enough guys running diesel's on here that agree fuel savings is in the thousands each year


QUOTE]

I have done my math and my toro with 27hp diesel will save me 1600-2000$ in fuel each year. I am splitting a parks contract exactly 50-50 with a friend of mine, he does his share with a 27hp gas LC and i do mine with a 27 diesel LC, both 60" cuts.

Its not that his mower has trouble but with the extra torque of my diesel and the AMAZING rear discharge deck i get my mowing done faster as well.

I have not had to scrape my rear discharge deck once this year, doesnt matter how thick and wet the grass is. The traditional decks i find clog up faster.

Overall, I am veryy happy with my diesel investment. both my truck and my mower. I dow believe you have to do a certain type of mowing to justify a diesel, yes. prior to me getting this contract my 48" Z 19hp was perfect for all my residential and a few commercials. Now I run both 12 hrs a day (9-10 run time) and there has been times where i have to let the 19 kawi sit hallf hour and cool down.

Mike Blevins
05-03-2009, 11:40 AM
I can't say much about the diesels. But I do know with the 29 dfi I am getting better fuel economy than my air-cooled 23 and 25 kawasaki engines I had on my other Tiger and Wildcat. I was seriuosly considering the Scag diesel that is on here in the classifieds. I contacted the owner and realized after shipping or going to get it myself and what he had to have for it I would consider other options. I have aquired a couple of accounts that another mower would be helpful on.

jkilov
05-03-2009, 04:20 PM
I have done my math and my toro with 27hp diesel will save me 1600-2000$ in fuel each year.
You must be working tons of hours per year or have access to cheap diesel.

My kawa LC drinks 1.1gph, maybe 1.3 in thick stuff. If the same size diesel returned 0.65gph with $1.8 (gas) and $2.0 per gal. respectively, I would be saving about $650 per 1000hrs on fuel.

Back to the original question : ZTR life span? Well, it falls mostly down to build quality but also how much BELIEF for the future the owner has on his machine.

dc33
05-03-2009, 04:52 PM
Well for starters the hours I rack up a year now would be around 2200 hours in only 3 seasons so its not like my mower fleet is all that old. I just think it makes more sense to get the life out of it you paid for rather then dumping it for a fraction of what shes still worth to you.

Im in the same boat you are. I put about 800-900 hours a year and depending on how they are holding up get a new one ever 2-3 years. At that many hours its gonna start costing alot with new wheel motors, pump, spindles etc and I usually already go through a few of each under the warrenty. I dont need the headaches and expences of fixing it out of warrenty to the tune of 2k a year or so again.
Plus my dealer takes VERY good care of me anytime something breaks, that alone is worth getting a new one every couple of years.

nosparkplugs
05-03-2009, 07:19 PM
Hell I would take good care of you to if I was your dealer, and your purchasing a new ZTR every two years:laugh: at 3,000 hours my Gasburners had ZERO frame, deck, spindle, pump motors, hydro issue's it was always air cooled GAS engine trouble. Now that i have switched to diesel I am no were to be found, but high productive mowing:walking:. Dealer visits have always been only for consumable's weedeater line, sparkplugs, edger blades etc. I surly would not want to be visiting a dealer every two years for warrenty work or a new gasburner ZTR. To me these statements sound insane, like you need a dealer to function. To me a ZTR dealer is just like a car dealership I purchase, and hope to NEVER need them again. I am not married to these people, nor so I get special treatment, even two years later. I would not sell & purchase every 2-3 years just to get a new ZTR or warranty thats bad business, for me good for the dealer, plus only helps the dealer keep you dependant on them to function, go diesel power breaks the addiction:) their is a reason why diesels are no were to be found in the back being repowered too:nono: cause diesel owners see 10,000 hours easily. It's a love hate for the dealers with diesel they tell you their sales are low, but the end-users will tell you they wish they went diesel sooner, IMO the low maintenace of a diesel cause a dealer to LOOSE MONEY over the life of the diesel vs gas ZTR.
Im in the same boat you are. I put about 800-900 hours a year and depending on how they are holding up get a new one ever 2-3 years. At that many hours its gonna start costing alot with new wheel motors, pump, spindles etc and I usually already go through a few of each under the warrenty. I dont need the headaches and expences of fixing it out of warrenty to the tune of 2k a year or so again.
Plus my dealer takes VERY good care of me anytime something breaks, that alone is worth getting a new one every couple of years.

DennisF
05-03-2009, 08:18 PM
I'm with nosparkplugs on this one. Stay away from the dealer at all cost. I do all the work on my equipment and always have. If one of my mowers blow a hydro or a spindle...I buy the part from the dealer and install it myself. This saves a lot of time and money. The only time the dealer touches my stuff is when it's there for warranty work... which isn't often.

There is no way I would be buying a new ZTR after 3 seasons. That's just plain crazy financially when you can buy a replacement engine for $2k and hydros for $400 each. I run my equipment until it's ready for the scrap heap. When the tractor frame and the deck have worn out that's when it's time for a new one. That's the only way you can get your money out of equipment.

I say run it until it dies...fix it.... then run it some more.

WildLake
05-03-2009, 08:54 PM
Running a machine for 3000 hours sounds good, especially if you don't have to do many repairs. I just plain don't want old inferior mowers. No mower (any brand) that is 5+ years old is going to cut or look or handle as good as a brand new one of the same brand. Manufacturers come out with updated equipment all the time that will do what older models can't or at least do it better. Look at exmark for example. They handle better every year do to small tweeks. The ones I bought this year cut and handle better than anything Ive ever used, which makes my day much easier and my finished product that much better.

When I do the math, there is no saving in running a mower till it is of no value. You may get 1500 more hrs out of it than me, but considering I will sell mine with a little over 1000hrs for about half what I paid for it, everything balances. When you have to start buying hydro pumps and motors or a cam and lifters for $850 out of warranty(which I did last year at 1100hrs), the "buying new" every few years becomes the way to go.

Just my opinion.

nosparkplugs
05-03-2009, 10:35 PM
Their are some ZTR manufactures that stay true to good machine/deck designs , and cut good after ten years of use. Just like anything it's how the owner, and or operators treat & maintain the equipment. If the ZTR engine,frame, deck, spindles, hydro pumps, hydro motors are still in good working order and the machine has 6,000-13,000 hours on it I would keep working it.


just like some folks require a new car or truck every 2-4 years thats silly IMO


Running a machine for 3000 hours sounds good, especially if you don't have to do many repairs. I just plain don't want old inferior mowers. No mower (any brand) that is 5+ years old is going to cut or look or handle as good as a brand new one of the same brand. Manufacturers come out with updated equipment all the time that will do what older models can't or at least do it better. Look at exmark for example. They handle better every year do to small tweeks. The ones I bought this year cut and handle better than anything Ive ever used, which makes my day much easier and my finished product that much better.

When I do the math, there is no saving in running a mower till it is of no value. You may get 1500 more hrs out of it than me, but considering I will sell mine with a little over 1000hrs for about half what I paid for it, everything balances. When you have to start buying hydro pumps and motors or a cam and lifters for $850 out of warranty(which I did last year at 1100hrs), the "buying new" every few years becomes the way to go.

Just my opinion.

keepoffthegrass
05-03-2009, 11:20 PM
You must be working tons of hours per year or have access to cheap diesel.



Both are correct. We put 50+ hours on each machine a week

Over here :canadaflag: diesel is equivelent to $3.00/gal right now with gas about $3.20 ... My loophole for fuel prices is a 100 gallon transfer tank with pump, a 20 min drive across the border and back, fill her to the brim at the duty free for $1.80/gal and get a $5 bottle of wisky with any fuel purchase and away i go. I can also get a case of bud cans for $19 when over here in canada we pay $45-50 for 24 cans. I LOVE THE DUTY FREE (ambassador bridge) :cool2:

Oh... and my transfer tank runs my truck and mower for over 2 weeks:cool2:

add my duty free savings on top of the diesel engine fuel consumption and my savings are paying for my truck payments and most of my insurance!

Green Machine Mowing
05-04-2009, 12:03 AM
only for consumable's weedeater line, sparkplugs, edger blades etc.

I knew it!!! he does own spark plugs:laugh:

J&R Landscaping
05-04-2009, 12:35 AM
With decent maint. being done to a gas powered air cooled ztr, you should be able to see 2700-3000 hours or so out of the engine. It may be worth re-powering the unit. Liquid cooled engines are supposed to last longer but I've never owned one of those so I couldn't say.

dc33
05-08-2009, 09:33 PM
Their are some ZTR manufactures that stay true to good machine/deck designs , and cut good after ten years of use. Just like anything it's how the owner, and or operators treat & maintain the equipment. If the ZTR engine,frame, deck, spindles, hydro pumps, hydro motors are still in good working order and the machine has 6,000-13,000 hours on it I would keep working it.


just like some folks require a new car or truck every 2-4 years thats silly IMO

trust me, I wish my stuff would last long enough to keep it that long, but after 2 years and 1600 hours or 3 and 2400 **** starts to break alot and then I have to pay to get it fixed. In the end its about the same as what I spend on newer mowers. If I mowed less it would make sence to keep em longer, but I buy them and run the hell out of them then trade in before the **** hits the fan.

I will look into the deisels though, then I would only have to deal with replacing the pumps, motors, and spindles and in the long run may be cheaper :)