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View Full Version : Need some opinions on Dixie Chopper...


BINKY1902
05-30-2010, 04:33 PM
I'm looking at a classic 2750 with a Generac 27 hp. Got a quote for 7,995. We have an Exmark dealer and a Chopper dealer in town. The Exmark guy is a POS so I will not buy from him. So I'm either gonna have to go an hour away for an Exmark, or go with the Chopper which the place has an excellent service department. The Chopper place will even come and fix your Chopper on the spot if your ever on a job and throw a belt or something. I really didn't want to buy a rider this year but some bids come through so it's time to expand or die. I'm not familiar with Generac, and can't find many reviews by searching. The dealer told me the classic has hydros rated at 5,000 hrs, so that's pretty dang impressive. It looks well built, and even uses my personal favorite lucas oil products from the factory. Anybody running the classic? My main concern is resale value, I know that Exmark has great resale because everyone is so crazy about them. Anybody ever have trouble selling a Chopper? Also the Exmark dealer in my area will not sell one unless he clears a grand off of it. The Chopper place sells them for a few hundred over there cost and relies on your business for supplies. Also, anybody have problems with the super aggressive tires on the Chopper, looks like they might rip some grass right out of the ground? Thanks and I found some info searching but it was from like 2001 and 2002 so I'd like some fresh info.

rblantonjr
05-30-2010, 04:53 PM
I have a XG2703 which is very similiar to the unit you are looking at. I have the 27 hp Generac with a 60" deck. I have had the mower for two complete seasons with no real complaints. You need to run the tire pressures at the recommended 6 psi, this will help with some traction issues. I have no complaints with the Generac engines, I have heard of problems with earlier models of Generac engines though. I would go with the best dealer, I feel when you are buying lawn equipment the dealer support is one of the most important things. I hope this helps.

BINKY1902
05-30-2010, 05:10 PM
thanks for the info. Heard the Generac has great torque. How many hours do you have on yours?

TMlawncare
05-30-2010, 05:50 PM
My thoughts on Dixie chopper. One of the worst commercial mowing decks ever designed. It will leave an uncut strip of grass between the center and discharge blade. There is no fix for it. It means a double cut no matter what. Contack dixie they say I should cut some of the baffling out myself. They say the deck creates an air vortex and thats what causes the problem. I think they should have cought this during r&d. It is really pathetic that a $800 walmart mower will cut better.

rblantonjr
05-30-2010, 06:41 PM
I have 390 hours with no problems. In reference to the previous post about the deck design causing missed grass. I have not had any problems with that.

Lbilawncare
05-30-2010, 07:09 PM
That is a good price, your dealer is being honest with you. I have been running DC's for 11 years now and I love them. I prefer the xcaliber series, but the classic is great too. As long as your deck is adjusted right you should have no cut quality issues. The Generac engines are great, easy to work on and maintain / lots of torque. I have resold many of our machines, it all just depends on your market. Since there is a great dealer close by you should have no trouble if and when that time comes.

TimsLawnCareVA
05-30-2010, 07:58 PM
We run a excaliber and a silver eagle. I LOVE the excaliber. Excellent cutting deck and lots of power. If you can afford to step up to the excaliber you will not regret it. This is our first year running Dixie's and have no complaints so far.

ajslands
05-30-2010, 08:14 PM
They'd be good for hills with those treads on those tires
Posted via Mobile Device

SchnabelLawnCare
05-30-2010, 09:56 PM
Literally seems that every lco in the area has 2 choppers and an exmark tthp on their trailers! It gets kinda redundant.... But they are very popular here. Never tried one personally, Deere quiktrak for me!
Posted via Mobile Device

BINKY1902
05-30-2010, 11:51 PM
The Chopper place has great service. They had a classic and a silver eagle side by side, both 50 inch with the 27 generac. He told me the silver eagle pumps are rated for 2,500 hrs and the classic rated for 5,000 hours. He told me that the silver eagle would do the job for me, but if I just had the extra money he would go for the classic. He was honest with me and said the the aggressive tires take getting used to, and that you can tear up some ground if you get too aggressive in the turns. Both were good looking machines. I know the guy cause our kids play ball together and all. That thing will sure take some time off of my properties, since I'm using a walk behind and sulky now. My back is about to give out on me, cause I'm riding that sulky on some 3 to 8 acre properties. It just kind of snuck up on me, I started the season with all small to mid size properties like last year, then I picked up five new accounts this April and they are all huge. I wouldn't mind having that 56" Excaliber with the 33 hp Generac, might give that one a look as well. I really don't want to go over 50 inches though because there are tons of obstacles on my properties, trees, shrubs, water fountains and such.

TMlawncare
05-31-2010, 12:15 AM
The new excal. decks don't have the cut problems of the other ones. Of course the one I have is the worst, the 72"

luv2mow
05-31-2010, 10:33 PM
Any time I see a DC thread I am going to give my two cents worth. I dont mow for a living but I mow alot and a good mower is a must. I have a DC Silver Eagle with 120 hrs that has been sitting now for over a year as I refuse to spend another dime on it. I cant tell you the failures I have had every week for going on three years. I have 27hp Generac and that is fine. Its everything else from spindles to clutches to tension springs... Worst paint job on anything I have ever seen. Looks 12 years old and has been kept clean and stored inside. In short this has been the worst purchase of my life. To top it off. I had three dealers nearby. Now I have none. In four months its paid off and out the door.

dbear
06-01-2010, 08:39 AM
Any time I see a DC thread I am going to give my two cents worth. I dont mow for a living but I mow alot and a good mower is a must. I have a DC Silver Eagle with 120 hrs that has been sitting now for over a year as I refuse to spend another dime on it. I cant tell you the failures I have had every week for going on three years. I have 27hp Generac and that is fine. Its everything else from spindles to clutches to tension springs... Worst paint job on anything I have ever seen. Looks 12 years old and has been kept clean and stored inside. In short this has been the worst purchase of my life. To top it off. I had three dealers nearby. Now I have none. In four months its paid off and out the door.

I'll just jump in here to counter, or at least offer an opposing opinion to, everything luv2mow said. I have a DC Silver Eagle 2700-60D, approaching 5 years old now, used in a similar situation as luv2mow, and wouldn't trade it except for maybe another one. It's given me no trouble at all except for the ususal flat front tires encountered with many makes of Z's (both taken care of with a can of fix-a-flat). No belts, no clutches, no springs, no spindles, nada. Gas, grease, oil, and filters have been the only expenses.

TJLANDS
06-01-2010, 09:21 AM
I have owned many Dixie choppers up to about 4 years ago. In my opinion they just didn't keep up with the times, their mower technology is years behind exmark, hustler and others. I am located in an area that has access to every mower known and I use Exmark and Walker.
On the other hand, Service-dealer support is very important but I would rather
the mower not break down. Go with Exmark

dbear
06-01-2010, 01:34 PM
I have owned many Dixie choppers up to about 4 years ago. In my opinion they just didn't keep up with the times, their mower technology is years behind exmark, hustler and others. I am located in an area that has access to every mower known and I use Exmark and Walker.
On the other hand, Service-dealer support is very important but I would rather
the mower not break down. Go with Exmark
I'd be interested in what specifically you feel is behind the times, besides possibly the physical appearance.

Their engines are current and in some cases, arguably cutting edge, wheel motors and pumps are still some of the largest and strongest out there. So what's left? Bearings, belts, clutches, control levers, deck, frame, seat, and tires? Gee, donít all Zís use many of out-dated design features, and some might actually use the very same components. Where's the out-dated technology?

If you don't happen to like them anymore that's fine. But don't try to pass off personal opinion as fact.

TJLANDS
06-01-2010, 02:21 PM
I'd be interested in what specifically you feel is behind the times, besides possibly the physical appearance.

Their engines are current and in some cases, arguably cutting edge, wheel motors and pumps are still some of the largest and strongest out there. So what's left? Bearings, belts, clutches, control levers, deck, frame, seat, and tires? Gee, don’t all Z’s use many of out-dated design features, and some might actually use the very same components. Where's the out-dated technology?

If you don't happen to like them anymore that's fine. But don't try to pass off personal opinion as fact.

Engines are a non issue, they all have the same engines(options).
Hydros, I agree as good if not better than avg.
In all the dixies I have bought(probably 25 or so) we blew 3 or 4 hydros, not bad.

"what's left? Bearings, belts, clutches, control levers, deck, frame, seat, and tires?"

Exactly all of which are basically the same as 10 years ago.
In the last models exmark came out with, they eliminated 25% of their parts
and are always making advances in cutting productivity, maintenance and operator issues. Dixie has basically been on vacation except of course for their price.
In the last year that we had crews running Dixies along with crews cutting with Exmarks the cost per hour to run the machines was considerably less with exmark(down time, fuel costs, "double cutting" , customer complaints.)
That was with 5 dixies and 5 lasers running everyday.(60" 25hp )
My last dixie is for sale at Lakehurst Lawnmower in lakehurst NJ.

And yes it is my personal opinion but it is based on years of real life work situations.

dbear
06-01-2010, 02:53 PM
Engines are a non issue, they all have the same engines(options).
Hydros, I agree as good if not better than avg.
In all the dixies I have bought(probably 25 or so) we blew 3 or 4 hydros, not bad.

"what's left? Bearings, belts, clutches, control levers, deck, frame, seat, and tires?"

Exactly all of which are basically the same as 10 years ago.
In the last models exmark came out with, they eliminated 25% of their parts
and are always making advances in cutting productivity, maintenance and operator issues. Dixie has basically been on vacation except of course for their price.
In the last year that we had crews running Dixies along with crews cutting with Exmarks the cost per hour to run the machines was considerably less with exmark(down time, fuel costs, "double cutting" , customer complaints.)
That was with 5 dixies and 5 lasers running everyday.(60" 25hp )
My last dixie is for sale at Lakehurst Lawnmower in lakehurst NJ.

And yes it is my personal opinion but it is based on years of real life work situations.
I still don't see where DC is using anything that others aren't too. How are the belts, or other parts, exmark, or others, different? Are they not made from the same materials, and are they not a "v" design? These components are all outsourced, and aside from some possible differences in length, blade angle, and color, how can the DC parts be behind technologically?

I've heard that DC's silver deck is not as good a cutter as the black deck in some grasses, but didn't exmark, scag, and toro all change their decks to just as quickly change them back when regional cutting issues manifested?

Your side-by-side expenses comparison would be a good quantitative study, but I have a few questions. Were these machines of the same vintage/hours? Also, did the same operator use both machines? Was the mowing speed for both machines identical? Was their use alternated on the same property? You see there are some variables that might skew the results.

TJLANDS
06-01-2010, 04:00 PM
I still don't see where DC is using anything that others aren't too. How are the belts, or other parts, exmark, or others, different? Are they not made from the same materials, and are they not a "v" design? These components are all outsourced, and aside from some possible differences in length, blade angle, and color, how can the DC parts be behind technologically?

I've heard that DC's silver deck is not as good a cutter as the black deck in some grasses, but didn't exmark, scag, and toro all change their decks to just as quickly change them back when regional cutting issues manifested?

Your side-by-side expenses comparison would be a good quantitative study, but I have a few questions. Were these machines of the same vintage/hours? Also, did the same operator use both machines? Was the mowing speed for both machines identical? Was their use alternated on the same property? You see there are some variables that might skew the results.

First- belts- Not once did I replace belts on an Exmark during the warranty period- 2 years. The Dixies were known(for me) to use up blade belts yearly if not more, they are completely unprotected and would come off on occasion as they were manually adjusted for tension, exmark had a built in tensioner and electric blade clutch.
Silver or black decks, both were OK, and just OK. When we demoed the exmarks we used both the Ultra cut and Triton and the triton was terrible, but didnt cost me anything because we didnt purchase any. The Ultra cut was great for us, and less expensive
All crews used both until they all wanted to use the Exmarks, Then we phased out the dixies. All ZTRs pretty much "cut" the same speed although dixie claims to be the fastest. And on avg the laser AS series that we bought was 1500-2000 cheaper than the dixie and the warranty was better

Richard Martin
06-01-2010, 05:01 PM
First- belts- Not once did I replace belts on an Exmark during the warranty period- 2 years. The Dixies were known(for me) to use up blade belts yearly if not more, they are completely unprotected and would come off on occasion as they were manually adjusted for tension, exmark had a built in tensioner and electric blade clutch.

I'm not doubting your accounts but I've had the exact opposite experience with my Dixie belts. My first Dixie went 1200 hours on the original belts and I'm into my second Dixie now. It has 1100+ hours and it's still on the original belts. In fact, everything on the mower with the exception of the low oil horn and oil, filters and blades is original. I also wouldn't trade the hydro system for any other. The blade spindles are bulletproof. They don't improve much because they don't need to.

groundskeeper4
06-01-2010, 08:00 PM
My thoughts on Dixie chopper. One of the worst commercial mowing decks ever designed. It will leave an uncut strip of grass between the center and discharge blade. There is no fix for it. It means a double cut no matter what. Contack dixie they say I should cut some of the baffling out myself. They say the deck creates an air vortex and thats what causes the problem. I think they should have cought this during r&d. It is really pathetic that a $800 walmart mower will cut better.

We actually had the same situation. We bought a 1999 Dixie Chopper brand new and it was an absolute machine until it finally gave out last year. But in 2003 we decided to buy another DC that was the same size (60"/25 hp) and it was a piece of junk. It had plenty of horsepower but would always leave a strip of grass in between 2 of the blades and had a lot of traction issues. We contacted DC dealer and corporate and they were no help either. Hopefully their building DC's now, like they did in the 90's.

TJLANDS
06-01-2010, 10:05 PM
I'm not doubting your accounts but I've had the exact opposite experience with my Dixie belts. My first Dixie went 1200 hours on the original belts and I'm into my second Dixie now. It has 1100+ hours and it's still on the original belts. In fact, everything on the mower with the exception of the low oil horn and oil, filters and blades is original. I also wouldn't trade the hydro system for any other. The blade spindles are bulletproof. They don't improve much because they don't need to.

Hydros and spindles, yes I agree.
You really never had a belt come off a Dixie? My crews carried spare belts in every truck.

How many different men ran your mowers? Maybe it was I had so many dif
operators. Maybe because they would run 3 -4 hours straight, dont know.
but I dont miss them.

PPS.inc
06-01-2010, 10:16 PM
I got a 2002 DC 60" 25 kohler. 1800 hrs. Cuts awesome. Throws grass 3 stripes all day long. Yes you will always replace spindle bearing once cause you should at some point. A belt here or there but PM is a must with all machines and they should all last a long time.
I also got a 2006 60" as well with the 27 generac. its got 1162 hrs.(looked today) Cuts AWESOME. Engine is great. But i always change oil on both machines @ 50-75 hrs. filter too. both start cold with no choke. I love Dixie cause you can out cut ANY machine out there. I would love a new scag tho. Just dont have 12000 for a tractor. Around here you can almost get 2 dixies for that.

WREBELMACHINE
06-01-2010, 10:47 PM
I posted on this a couple of days ago and my post is no where to be found. Oh well. The dixie of today is not the machine it was a few years back. The hydro's are not as good they are in fact small in comparison to most today. The excalibur has a good deck on it but for me that is about it. It will not mow a hill and at the end of the day actually costs me time because of all the extra weed eating or grab another mower to do the ditches or hills the dixie will not do. The excalibur is also underpowered but when it dries out does decent. I have been using dixie's since 1990 or so now I am slowly switching my fleets over to another make. For some they are good and I think they still have a decent product just not what it was.

luv2mow
06-01-2010, 10:48 PM
I am glad some people have had good luck with their Dixie's. I wish I was one.
I find it ironic that two of the dealers in my area who were big Dixie dealers and doing well shut their doors and said no more. I live two hours from where they are made and have to drive farther for any kind of service. I cant live with that and no one else would either. I think the company kind of lost their way in the past few years. I hope they get back to basics and build the mowers they can build. Not million dollar Bikes from OCC. Lose your dealers and you have lost it all. I am not 100% convinced they will be around forever. This comes from inside and not just my worthless opinion. I will say when mine runs its does cut very well. Just cant keep it running.

as81808
06-01-2010, 11:38 PM
buy an exmark we have the classic 27hp 60inch and it is the biggest pos out there have had older dixies and the new ones perform nothing like the older dixies

bajafx4
06-02-2010, 12:24 PM
BINKY1902,

I just bought a used 2006 Silver Eagle 50" w/ 25hp Generac earlier this year. The reviews I found on the mower before I purchased were mixed just like all the opinions in this thread.

You said your DC dealer is trustworthy. Ask him how many DC's they sell and how often they repair them.

I purchased my DC w/ 201 hours on it and I just passed 235 yesterday... that's only 34 short hours, but I haven't had any issues at all with mine. The original owner was a friend of mine, so I know the history of the mower. He had a hydro pump replaced under warranty before the machine hit 10 hours and the low oil pressure sensor was replaced just short of 200 hours. If you ask me, both needed repairs were a fluke and could happen to any machine... neither item was actually made by DC themselves, but a supplier.

The Silver Eagles sold today do not come with the aggressive tires that come on the Classic model, but in 2006 they did; mine has the aggressive tires. Overall I'd say that they are great tires, but you definitely must master the technique of zero-turning with these tires or they'll tear up turf in a hurry. I use my mower only at my own property, so I can pick my days to mow... for commercial mowing I wouldn't recommend the tires if you're going to be mowing wet grass or very bare/thin lawns... in thick turf they're awesome.

PM me if you have any specific questions.

The Groundskeeper
06-29-2010, 08:35 AM
I have about 1200 Hrs seat time total between 3 dixies and I can't say they are the best but we like them alot. The machines are all Extreme models, two 60" and one 72". I will say the 72 does not cut as good or stripe as good as the smaller machines but with sharp blades and a clean deck it still does its thing. Also had an older Flatlander that was a tank.

Usually you can catch problems before they start if you look at moving parts and look for any signs of wear or change every now and again. Out of the 4000 hrs we have run the machines:

- Only a couple belts have actually broke.
- Two pump failures, between 1200-1500 hrs on different machines
- One or two idler pulleys
- Couple broken pieces of deck lift linkage, I welded.
- Typical routine maintenance
- One deck fan
- Few flat tires

It does not seem like a ton of carnage but maybe other machines require less, I always looked at it as routine thing with commercial mowers that have alot of drivers. We put alot of time in dragging baseball and softball fields with these, which may or may not have contributed to pump failure.