View Full Version : New Grasshopper , Every Year!

09-26-2000, 09:31 PM
My friend, Jim buys a new Grasshopper($10,000)every year. The one he bought this spring is for sale right now($8000). His reasoning is that he doesn't want any mower payments over the winter. He doesn't always find a buyer in the fall. Most of the time it's not sold until next spring. Personally, I would hold on to it for at least 2 or 3 years. What would you do?

09-26-2000, 09:39 PM
sell it.

That's me personally 'cuz I dislike wrenching on stuff.

Eric ELM
09-26-2000, 09:46 PM
The Dixie Chopper I bought in 1995 is still used every day. I replaced a 1993 Chopper this year with a 2001 diesel Chopper. I used to replace the John Deeres every year or two, but that's because they were breaking down and I just wanted another one that I hoped wouldn't break down. My opinion is this, it they are running fine and holding together, use them and make money since they are all paid for.

09-26-2000, 10:02 PM
Hold on to that equipment, let it make you some money.If it starts nickel and dimin ya get rid of it then. Ive got a toro 255z, kohler motor, no service calls 3 seasons running.

09-26-2000, 10:50 PM
It's almost like a car, once you drive it off the lot it loses 30% of its value. Why not hold on to it for a couple years and then get rid of it. atleast make the money that you lost in depreciation.

09-26-2000, 10:55 PM
If it's costing him $2000.00 a year to use it anyways, he'd be better off to lease it. Especially if he's still paying for it through the winter.

09-26-2000, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by CommercialCuts
If it aint broke dont fix it!!!

Yeah! Oh, wait a minute it's a Grasshopper...it's broke :D

Mine sits broken right now after dumping over $1000 in it last year and $700 this year....doing all the work myself.

Eric ELM
09-26-2000, 11:06 PM
That sounds like a lot of money being dumped into it. How may hours does it have on it?

09-26-2000, 11:06 PM
Keith, What year is your Grasshopper and whats wrong with it. I've got two 725's, a 97' and a 99'.

09-26-2000, 11:51 PM
I just traded my '99 721D and my '96 725 for a new DC s'burb'n turb'n and could not be happier. I thought my new flatlander could cut grass, but this baby is definitely a nasty cat to clean up after. I mowed approximately 10 acres this evening at an apartment complex is just over 90 minutes. Awesome machine! I've had fair luck with the grasshoppers, but have had my share of problems too. Broken drive shaft on the 721 which wiped out the radiator(warranty thank goodness), regulator on the 725, both final drives on the 725, ignition module on the 725, so when a great deal presented itself I couldn't refuse and also am one happy camper. You need to try one of these beasts and become a DC believer. Lynn

09-27-2000, 12:31 AM
My 721 is a 1994. I bought it new and now has about 2700 hours on it. It has been maintained since day one but Grasshopper's have a lot of wearable parts. I dumped that $1700 basically for maybe 300 hours of use. That is all that has been put on it in a 1 1/2 years. Quite expensive for 300 hours.

The latest expenditure came with replacing the PTO belts, powershaft, powershaft pulley, pilowblocks, the whole driveshaft with the exception of the QD coupler, u joints. Basically everything but the gearbox on the deck. So guess what broke! I also had to replace a ceased rocker on the traction kit. Everything on the mower seems to be fitted with bronze bushings that wear out at about the same rate as the steel parts they are designed to protect.

On top of that, the hydros sound as if they are going south. But then again the Gemini series transmission sound that way anyway.

It is maybe half as efficient as my 61 Kees. No lie. With a top speed of maybe 6 miles per hour, a smaller deck and having to watch the rear of the mower to make sure you don't take anything out on turns.

09-27-2000, 12:59 AM
Gorrell, did I understand you correctly to say that you can mow 10 acres in an hour and a half, which equals 6.6 acres an hour? I've just been searching for a mowing rate chart [I thought there was one on Exmark's site but I can't find it]. I use a 72" deck on a Deere front mower and can't even come close to that. Is it the Chopper? or is it the combination of the site and the machine and the operator. I mow mostly flat stuff but do have lots of fence line, an orchard, etc. and I'd love to get it done in an hour or even 1 and a half, but it's usually wet and thick even when I mow regularly, which I do. What's your secret?

09-27-2000, 01:02 AM
Oh, a couple more things. #1 I don't know if they ever straightened this out, but in the control panel there is a large number of wires. If you ever pop a fuse and replace it and it pops again, look in there. You will likely find a cut wire from metal contact. #2 Check your battery hold down....often. Mine broke. The battery contacted the frame and burned a large portion of the wiring harness by sending power through the ground side. In the process it lit the choke cable cover (that runs very near the fuel tank)

I have told this story before, but for those who haven't heard my Grasshopper rant, here goes :) But my biggest complaint. Support. Don't count on a dealer, a distributor or most importantly, the Grasshopper Company itself to help you out. My machine just sat when the harnes nearly burned the mower up. This was my primary mower and I tried to order the harness from the distributor, to get the ball rolling. They told me the couldn't do that, that the dealer would have to look at it to get the part numbers right (Grasshoppers are not transportable with no power!):mad: I called Grasshopper and I explained this was my primary mower and I needed a harness asap, I didn't have time to go through this bullshit. They basically told me I had to go through the chain of command (dealer to distributor to Grasshopper) to get this part. In the weeks I would have had to wait for this part (which they admitted would have to be made) what would I use? They didn't care :mad:

I then called a outside distributor in Georgia and the guy had the part number (which Live Oak in Florida claimed didn't exist)for the harness. He said he would order it and have it shipped asap. However Grasshopper had something else in mind. When he called to place the order, they (Grasshopper) were very aware that I just called and tried to get it direct. They informed him that he could not sell it to me, because I was out of his sales area. The only guy willing to help me was not allowed to.

Not only are there superior machines, Think about this thread when you are looking at that new Grasshopper.

[Edited by Keith on 09-27-2000 at 04:08 AM]

09-27-2000, 07:59 AM
Mr.Ziffel, yes it's a chopper s'burb'n turb'n. It's the twin engined machine with a 72" deck. This was mostly wide open mowing and I was consistently running around 12mph. Deck width x mph divided by 10 is the formula for acres per hour. 6 x 12 divided by 10 equal 7.2 acres per hour. So it really is possible. I'm bragging a little, but there is currently no other 72" machine that will mow grass with a s'burb'n turb'n. You need to try one and you'll believe me. Thanks, Lynn

Eric ELM
09-27-2000, 08:33 AM
I remember when you joined, it was Grasshopper all the way. I see that Flatlander got you to see the light. :) Congrats on the new DC.

Mr. Ziffel, if you want to get a lot of mowing done, the JD is not the way to go. I've had several JD's and went to the Choppers a long time ago and couldn't be happier. If you want to see what a lawn looks like after mowing them fast, look at the ones on my website.

09-27-2000, 08:49 AM
10 acre apartment complex mowed with 1 machine in 90 minutes?!

That bears repeating.

09-27-2000, 08:57 AM
My accountant told me its not a good idea to buy equipment unless you really need it. These new mowers are built to last along time. I am with eric on this. Pay the mowers off . And enjoy life without making payments. And a moderate amont of maintenance. Unless it starts to break down more than its used. Then it time to trade or sell. But that should be 5 years down the road.

09-27-2000, 08:57 AM
Lazer, as I said in my post it's mostly wide open mowing around only two 32 unit buildings. I'd already trimmed the property and honest to goodness the mowing was completed in 90 to 100 minutes. Lynn

lawrence stone
09-27-2000, 08:58 AM
From where I sit most Apt. complexs could not be mowed with anything bigger than a 52" machine.

Do land developers in your area just waste real estate to make large turf areas or is there a mandated amount of green space needed on new developements per local regs?

09-27-2000, 08:59 AM
I was gona tell yall about how my 718 and 720 ran so good for three years each, but after reading Keith's post, I hope that Lawnsite becomes big and powerfull with a united voice. Customer service is a requirement, not a benifit.
We need a way to comunicate with these companys. Mabey Lawnsite will become that vehicle.

09-27-2000, 12:47 PM
Eric, I've seen your site and been very impressed. There is not a Dixie Chopper dealer closer than 4 hours away from me so I've never even seen one [except yours] but I'd love to try one out. I'm an hour north of Seattle. Read wet!

Can you explain your statement about the Deere not being the way to go? The price was right on it and it does a decent job of mowing except that my bigger fields are not real flat so I can't mow wide open anyway due to bouncing. I use a Woods 72" rear discharge finish mower there. Around my orchards, fence lines, house and outbuildings, the F935 is very manuverable. I have to mow mostly when it's wet and it sure has the power for that, especially if I keep the deck scraped. The state dep't of transportation and many cities use them [F935] so it seems to be reliable. I could use any feedback because I was just offered a used 76" rear discharge deck for the Deere at $750, but I have been researching a new machine because there's a guy who wants my old one. Thanks.

09-27-2000, 07:11 PM
Lawrence, this apt. complex was designed for 3 units and the third one was never built, so there's quite a bit of open area that must be maintained. There are also two lagoons in the complex as it is not in the city limits. In this situation a 60" or 72" is not a deterrent to quality finish mowing. Thanks, Lynn

Eric ELM
09-27-2000, 07:29 PM
Mr. Ziffel,
I have had 5 John Deere mowers and I have had lots of problems with them. I feel they are over priced and not built as good as a lot of other mowers. I used to think they were the best, because they were John Deere. I have been lead to believe that JD was quality, but after owning and using them, I found out different. I grew up on a farm using the BIG JD's which were built good, but they should stick to making farm equipment in my opinion. There are several John Deere dealers in our area, 4 are with in 15 minutes and I don't see any John Deere mowers on any landscape trailers. The closest JD dealer doesn't even sell JD ZTR's, he sells Bob Cat, Standers, and Grasshoppers. If the JD's would have held up like my Choppers have, who knows, I might still be mowing with them, because I probably wouldn't have gone looking for a more dependable mower.