View Full Version : "2 for 1"

10-05-2000, 03:44 PM
After having my new DC surb'n turb'n for a week now I feel more comfortable in trading my two 61" grasshoppers for the one Dixie Chopper. If it won't mow as much as the two grasshoppers do in a day's time, it won't miss it very far. Plus less mainenance and one less operator. I do, however, miss the outfront deck when it comes to mowing under trees, but you can't have everything. I've still got two outfronts for those places though. Long live DC Thanks, Lynn

Eric ELM
10-05-2000, 04:03 PM
It sounds like your very happy with that new Dixie Chopper. Now you know what I've been crowing about for so long. :D

John DiMartino
10-05-2000, 06:16 PM
Cograts and good luck with the new twin engine chopper,A guy i used to plow for has 2 of them and they can cover an amazing amount of ground in one day together.He has done over 100 acres a day with the 2 of them,and still got home in time for supper.

10-05-2000, 06:53 PM
100 acres a day!! come on now. He must be cutting some thin grass with some flat ground. And i still cant see how.

John DiMartino
10-05-2000, 07:01 PM
He is cutting ball fields,twice a week,and he does them at 10-13 mph-mostly 13 mph,they are in a row he does a bunch at a time.I wondered if he was telling a fib,but 50 acres a day is possible with one 72 DC at 10+ mph,so i kinda tend to belive him,he's not the lieing kind.I cut 75 a day with one 15 ft gang mower-takes about 9-10 hrs,depending on how busy golf course is.I mow all around trees and tight spots too,so its not like im crankin ,Im only going 5mph tops.

01-13-2001, 04:24 PM
I was wondering how difficult it is to maintain those gang mowers? Is sharpening the blades yourself out of the question? Is it more trouble than it is worth?

01-13-2001, 07:03 PM
Id like to know ,if you have time.
How fast could you mow flat plush lawn with
grasshoppers.I mean mph.Then with dixie chopper
same everything.Is new mower a 72 or 61.
Not meaning to be in your buisiness just
gathering info.When i was shopping i had
a few problems finding them.The one i did
find was locked in a fence.If its that
much better id fix it my self if service
was a problem.THANKS TM

John DiMartino
01-13-2001, 07:37 PM
Sharpening gang mowers is a PITA,to be honest,but it is required much less than sharpening on a rotary.The Jacobsen's I use are basically self sharpening.I have to get off and adjust bedknife clearance about once every 4 hrs,unlessim going over some rough ground,then its more often.I have 2 sets of 7 gang mowers,the better set has 10 blade reels,and delivers an ultra fine cut for fairways,it is set at 3/4" most of the year.This set gets backlapped,about a 20 minute job per unit,once a yr,unless I have a bad operator,then twice.The other set has 6 blade reels,and they only get backlapped every 3 or 4 yrs,or as needed,you can see when one isnt cutting good,then if i cant adjust it out,ill put a new bedknife on it and backlap it.I almost think maintaining them is easier than rotarty moews,once you know how to set them up properly.You never ever have to scrape,you can let them build up with grass if you want,they cant plug unless you run them thru 12" of grass,then anything will plug.The pull tupe i use are extremely efficient,i can pull a set 15 ft cut easily with my 32hp ford tractor.I have pulled them with my 24 hp Onan Steiner too,in a pinch when the tractor was being used for other things.One thing you cant do with reels is cut tall weeds and let the grass get out of control,you have to maintain the area,no going 3 weeks then cutting a ft of grass.

01-14-2001, 12:39 PM

Thanks much for the reply. I am looking at mowing 60 acres plus at a particular site.

I think I am going to stick to ZTR's on this property if I win the bid. The last contractor bragged he could do it in 11 hours with three ZTRs, a 52", a 60" and a 72". That sounds like a little too much time to me at 1.9 acres per hour. He has Grasshoppers and I have to assume the front mount must not be quite as productive for some reason.

It sounds as if the previous contractor did the mowing when he felt like it, sometimes letting it go two weeks. If cut regularly, I estimate with two 60" mowers we could mow this property in a twelve hour day or less. Am I in the right ballpark, here? This is fairly wide open, flat cutting other than some drainage ditches that surround the property. The terrain includes ball fields, so it is not silky smooth, but it isn't a rock field, either.

Anyone who cuts properties such as these and would care to comment on mowing times, the more input the merrier. I have already searched and read the archives under acre, large, lots, parks, airports, etc. etc.

I would particularly like to hear from those of you who are running 60-62" machines with 22-25 horse gas engines, excluding Exmarks and Dixie Choppers. I've heard what they can do on these large properties. I want to know what to expect out of other 60" mowers since I know <b>I will never achieve 5 acres per hour with any used 60" mower I would add to my fleet.</b> What might be a more realistic figure under the given conditions?

Again, I am assuming you have more experience than I do at cutting large areas such as this. I already have experience with 8 acre and under sites. My largest site is so uneven, it would be an absolute nightmare for me to measure or estimate acreage, so I don't have much of a basis for making estimates other than theoretical numbers. Those are great when backed up by factual data of fellow forum members, otherwise they are useless to me. :)

If you know it takes you 10-12 hours with three 60" mowers to do 80 acres, for example I can estimate that I could produce similar numbers with similar equipment.

Eric ELM
01-14-2001, 03:24 PM
Greenman2000, try going to my Lawnsite post links page and click on Estimating Mowing. Read this post by Chuck Sinclair from Willow Brooke Landscape who wrote a program for this. After reading about it, go to his site and download Mowing Estimator. This is a free download from Chuck Sinclair, a member of Lawnsite. You put in what size lawn your mowing and what size mower you have and it will tell you how long it takes to mow it.

If you figure it out on a calculator, a 72" mower averaging 10 MPH will mow 7.3 acres an hour, so in less than 8 hours John, your buddy would telling the truth on those 2 mowers he is using.

Greenman, why would you exclude the Dixie Chopper or Exmark in this situation? I have mowed 7 acres in 1 hour and 30 minutes with my 60" Dixie Chopper if this helps you. It only goes 10 MPH, my diesel 60" can do it in less time.

01-14-2001, 06:00 PM
I am trying not to restrict myself since I know that I may not have a choice but to buy another brand if the price is right.

I'm wanting to make sure theoretical numbers don't come back to haunt me next season since I have no large, continuous tracts to judge my current production abilities by. My large accounts are broken up areas which really cloud the formula. I might get 2 acres per hour production on them, maximum.

Is three acres per hour on a 60" ZTR unrealistic for park like settings with minimal trees? Again, I know what charts and formulas say, I'm wanting real world numbers like Eric's 7 acres in 1.5 hours. The last contractor was only cutting 1.9 acres per hour (33 man hours divided by 63 acres) and bragging about it to his employees, one of whom is a friend of mine.

Maybe I ought to expect 1.9 acres per hour under the conditions. It may be rougher than it looks. On the other hand, maybe his crews weren't efficient workers, I've not had the luxury of watching them on the job.

Eventually, it seems a 72" with all the horsepower available would be the weapon of choice. It sounds as if it would cut 60 acres in a 12 hour day. Unfortunately, I don't have the account base to justify a $15,000 mower.

A dependable used 60" ZTR (more common than a 72") in the $3000-$4000 range with slightly less production will likely have to do for now. I already have one 60" ZTR, so two machines could be dedicated to that job.