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lawnguy224
03-07-2012, 02:48 PM
I am looking at purchasing a 72" mower and am looking for any advice to consider...should I go with a gas mower or diesel??
Thanks

trooper8870
03-07-2012, 03:04 PM
Diesel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KrayzKajun
03-07-2012, 03:13 PM
I would go diesel for the longevity and torque for a a 72" deck.
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lawnguy224
03-07-2012, 03:17 PM
Is the diesel better on fuel? if so approx. how much?
How many hours will a diesel last vs a gas?
What about spindles and hydro pumps? Better to replace a gas machine every 5 yrs say vs rebuilding the spindles and hydro pumps etc on a diesel after 5 years?

trooper8870
03-07-2012, 03:41 PM
Regarding fuel-- my diesels burn less than 1 gallon per hour.
Regarding spindles and hydro pumps, they are usually no difference between a gas or diesel model in the same make of mower. The longevity of a diesel is superior to gas if properly maintained.

That's just my opinion!!

Fresh-popcorn
03-07-2012, 07:24 PM
After reading on here and other sites the diesel motor will outlast the frame on a ZTR mower. Heard people saying 6000+ hours.
Better fuel economy, Smoother, Much more torque for heavy thick grass cutting and drives like a tank. Negative would be initial cost and heavier.

TLS
03-07-2012, 07:59 PM
Ran a few numbers....

Took a shot at yearly hours on a ZTR being 500 (nice even number most of us have no problem achieving in a good season)

To keep things simple on consumption:

Gas I rounded to 2 gal/hr and used $3.60/gal

Diesel I rounded to 1 gal/hr and used $4.30/gal

I used GasBuddy to get these prices.

GAS = 500 x 2 = 1000gal x $3.60/gal = $3600 annual fuel cost

DIESEL = 500 x 1 = 500gal x $4.30/gal = $2150 annual fuel cost

So, first year, the DIESEL would save you $1450 in fuel.

Now you have to add in the initial upfront cost that a diesel has. This is where numbers will be all over the place.

I was figuring a 1L Big Block gas 72" ZTR versus a same manufacturer 3 cyl Diesel.

Is it safe to say you can get a gas ZTR for $10K ?

Is it safe to say you can get a diesel ZTR for $14k ?

Your looking at close to 3 years to break even.


Today's 1L Big Block gas engines are VERY powerful. Often times MORE powerful than most manufacturers Diesel offerings.

Then you have the weight. A couple hundred pounds at least.

Food for thought and discussion.

Classic Cuts Lawn Service
03-07-2012, 08:14 PM
For something that big I would go diesel

Razorblades
03-07-2012, 08:48 PM
Ran a few numbers....

Took a shot at yearly hours on a ZTR being 500 (nice even number most of us have no problem achieving in a good season)

To keep things simple on consumption:

Gas I rounded to 2 gal/hr and used $3.60/gal

Diesel I rounded to 1 gal/hr and used $4.30/gal

I used GasBuddy to get these prices.

GAS = 500 x 2 = 1000gal x $3.60/gal = $3600 annual fuel cost

DIESEL = 500 x 1 = 500gal x $4.30/gal = $2150 annual fuel cost

So, first year, the DIESEL would save you $1450 in fuel.

Now you have to add in the initial upfront cost that a diesel has. This is where numbers will be all over the place.

I was figuring a 1L Big Block gas 72" ZTR versus a same manufacturer 3 cyl Diesel.

Is it safe to say you can get a gas ZTR for $10K ?

Is it safe to say you can get a diesel ZTR for $14k ?

Your looking at close to 3 years to break even.


Today's 1L Big Block gas engines are VERY powerful. Often times MORE powerful than most manufacturers Diesel offerings.

Then you have the weight. A couple hundred pounds at least.

Food for thought and discussion.

IMO, there are pro's and cons to both.

I've also run those numbers like you did and since I don't put that many hours per year on either of my mowers, it would take even longer for me to break even.

Antoher small difference in the diesel vs gas service would be that the diesels usually hold a qt or two more oil than the gas engine. Plus the filter changes would be more costly, especially when you count the cost of the diesel fuel filter compared to the gas engine fuel filter.

I don't know if you'd want to go any longer than 100 hrs per oil change on a diesel, especially in dusty conditions. I usually go between 60 -80 hrs per oil change on mine depending on the conditions.

TheChiefsLawnCare
03-07-2012, 09:20 PM
diesel. will way outlast a gas engine.

Tizzy
03-07-2012, 10:24 PM
oil changes are a wash. the cat diesel claims service intervals of 500hrs. so for some guys once a season. that is like 6 oil changes on a gas motor.

agent walker
03-10-2012, 12:45 AM
diesel if you can afford it. efi gas otherwise

professional
03-10-2012, 08:39 AM
About the cost of diesel fuel listed earlier. I buy off-road which costs approximately 70 cents per gallon less than on-road. This puts diesel at a little less per gallon than gas. Also, oil changes on my machine are listed at 250 hrs. They were every 50 hrs. on the gas powered machine I had before that.

heather lawn sp
03-10-2012, 09:00 AM
Is the diesel better on fuel? if so approx. how much?
How many hours will a diesel last vs a gas?
What about spindles and hydro pumps? Better to replace a gas machine every 5 yrs say vs rebuilding the spindles and hydro pumps etc on a diesel after 5 years?

Current fuel prices Kitchener ON

gas: $1.34
clear diesel $1.32
marked diesel: $1.17

Can you get marked diesel?
We have re-engined 2 gas engines (20hp and 25hp & 54" decks) at about 1700 hours each. The 2 diesels are still going at over 2400 hours each (31hp, 60 and 72" decks). Diesels are burning about 3 litres an hour. Diesel isn't the bargain it used to be since the sulpher is removed from it. That process raised the cost. Machine costs might be the same over the life of the machine (2 gas engines vs 1 diesel engine). The advantages are:


marked diesel over regular gas prices
diesel consumption in litres per hour is about two thirds gas consumption
So, marked diesel is about 50% of gas in $/hr
The diesel engines have a higher torque allowing mowing through heavy grass easier.

Mowingman
03-10-2012, 09:30 AM
DIESEL! DIESEL! DIESEL!

The above cost calculation is not quite correct. I have owned several 72" ZTR mowers. In day in-day out commercial mowing, the diesel will use about
.5 - .75 GPH. The gas with a big block will use from 2.5 - 3.0 GPH.
Also, if "offroad diesel" is available, you can save big bucks by not having to pay the highway taxes. Down here, this makes the price of diesel about the same as the price of gasoline.
The gas engine will last 2,000 - 3000 hours, maybe. The diesel, depending on make, will go 6000 hours, for sure.

retrodog
03-10-2012, 09:36 AM
If i was considering buying a diesel, i would buy this year before the new clean out system has to go on them. 25hp+ is going to cost an extra 3000 to 4000 bucks. The 35hp 4 cylinder diesel is an amazing machine offered on some $12500 to $13500 machines. If they pass the law i doubt any manufacture will offer more than 25hp....
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scotts lawn care
03-10-2012, 09:38 AM
If you can afford the initial price of 14-15k for the diesel z, that is gonna be nice in the long run. Like others have said the diesel engines are bullet proof compared to the gas. Im hoping my next z will be a j.d. 997 with a 31hp yanmar - 72" deck

retrodog
03-10-2012, 09:38 AM
They have fought it in court in 11, but it just got held off. Looks like it will happen pretty quick. Epa sucks for lawn equipment...
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Mowingman
03-10-2012, 09:39 AM
Very good point there. Similar thing has already happened in the big truck industry.

If i was considering buying a diesel, i would buy this year before the new clean out system has to go on them. 25hp+ is going to cost an extra 3000 to 4000 bucks. The 35hp 4 cylinder diesel is an amazing machine offered on some $12500 to $13500 machines. If they pass the law i doubt any manufacture will offer more than 25hp....
Posted via Mobile Device

KrayzKajun
03-10-2012, 10:18 AM
I'm looking at a 48" or 52" Walker GHS w/ 20hp kubota diesel. The price tag is a lil over $2k more than the 26hp kholer efi. I've got a 40+ year old kubota lawn tractor(12hp diesel) tht has 4k+ hrs on it and runs to this day. I think the lil extra for the diesel engine is worth it.
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TLS
03-10-2012, 03:51 PM
Don't have much time... Just checking in real quick.

You all do know you get $0.183 back per gallon of gasoline used in your mowers, right?

Form 4136

You also can get $0.243 back per gallon of diesel.

It's the FEDERAL tax on fuels you get to write off.

The off highway diesel must have Federal, State, and local removed to be $0.70 cheaper per gallon.

I'd like to see the Diesel ZTR getting .5 gal/hr. I'm not saying it's not possible, but the kind of mowing I do works engines VERY hard and have yet to see any claims over 2 gal/hr on any gas engined ZTR.

Flex-Deck
03-10-2012, 09:11 PM
IMO, there are pro's and cons to both.

I've also run those numbers like you did and since I don't put that many hours per year on either of my mowers, it would take even longer for me to break even.

Antoher small difference in the diesel vs gas service would be that the diesels usually hold a qt or two more oil than the gas engine. Plus the filter changes would be more costly, especially when you count the cost of the diesel fuel filter compared to the gas engine fuel filter.

I don't know if you'd want to go any longer than 100 hrs per oil change on a diesel, especially in dusty conditions. I usually go between 60 -80 hrs per oil change on mine depending on the conditions.

I have the 997 diesel JD Z with a 72" deck with the yanmar 31HP diesel. I change oil as to specs which are 250 hrs. It holds 4 qts. of oil, and it has a very large canister fuel filter with I also change at 250 hrs. Maintainance is terribly easy. Dont even need to jack it up - all drain plugs for hydro system and engine are easy access. GO DIESEL - Yanmar estimates that their engins will go 12,000 hrs or more with maintainance. Thanks, Brad

Fresh-popcorn
03-11-2012, 12:11 AM
Holy smokes... 12000 hours is a lot!!!

JAX76CJ
03-11-2012, 04:15 PM
I'm looking at a 48" or 52" Walker GHS w/ 20hp kubota diesel. The price tag is a lil over $2k more than the 26hp kholer efi. I've got a 40+ year old kubota lawn tractor(12hp diesel) tht has 4k+ hrs on it and runs to this day. I think the lil extra for the diesel engine is worth it.
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I ran 16hp 3 cyl. Kobota Walkers for 15 years. I liked it a lot.... Rock Solid. It ran great for 3990hrs (Crank Bearing went out). There are a few drawbacks though. Changing the Fuel Filter all the time can be a pain, plus we had to blow out the mowers everyday to make sure no debris got into the fuel tank. We also had to blow out the Radiator EVERYDAY. We also used to rip out the gear box (PTO) yearly (even at recommended half-throttle), due to the torque put on the belt.
I've since purchased 25hp / 26hp Kohler Models. They work fine, and are easier to get parts for. If I buy a new one, it'll be Gas / Air Cooled.