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View Full Version : Grasshopper vs Dixie Chopper


eagle670
10-12-2004, 01:12 PM
I am getting ready to purchase a zero turn and have demoed several. I am down to Grasshopper and Dixie Chopper. The GH seems like a well built machine, but it did leave a few sprigs of grass here and there and I was also very disappointed with it's non striping ability. The DC had a great cut and seemed to handle everything I could throw at it, even at high speeds. It also seemed to have a descent stripe. The only problem is that it seems to be a little cheaper built.
I will only be using this machine as a home owner and not commercially. I thought that I would come to the pro's for some advice.
Thanks!

Travis Followell
10-12-2004, 09:01 PM
Well you couldn't go wrong getting the dixie chopper and then again you couldn't go wrong with the grasshopper. I have never used either one but from what dealers and operators have told me is that both are great machines. We don't have a DC dealer around close but have a grasshopper dealer and are going to consider getting one. We are also going to consider JD and Ferris because of good dealer support.

olderthandirt
10-12-2004, 09:29 PM
These stripes were just made with a grass hopper 725 K. Its all in the way the dealer sets up the deck, cost me $12 more to double the rubber strip in the back of the deck to leave those stripes.

Mac

Lawnworks
10-12-2004, 10:47 PM
I don't think either mower will really truly make you more money. I have beat the crap out of my dixie(including flipping it), and it holds up pretty well. My only complaint is the discharge side of the deck will bend if you run into a brick wall or something. But it bends out w/ a floor jack and some heat.

PLM-1
10-12-2004, 11:00 PM
I have an '05 722d2 and love it. it stripes just like the above pic. my dealer also modified it a bit, no big deal. Some of the guys i have talked to while at my dealer have over 8000 hrs on theirs with no problems...give it a try!

SellPoint
10-13-2004, 12:33 AM
I just got a new dixie this season and man does that thing mow! IMHO the dixie's are simply and solidly built but I wouldn't say cheaply.

Now, that being said I bought it to replace a 1984 model 1210 grasshopper that I used for 2 seasons. It was old and only had a 12 hp engine but it got the job done (mostly) for what I do.

For a homeowner, you wouldn't go wrong with either brand. Compare the Dealer service quality and price.

Envy Lawn Service
10-13-2004, 04:32 AM
What were the specific units of each brand that you tried out?

eagle670
10-13-2004, 09:58 AM
I have an '05 722d2 and love it. it stripes just like the above pic. my dealer also modified it a bit, no big deal. Some of the guys i have talked to while at my dealer have over 8000 hrs on theirs with no problems...give it a try!

What type of modifications did the dealer do to the mower deck? I am really considering the GH, but if it won't stripe I am going to go with Dixie.

Thanks!

eagle670
10-13-2004, 10:00 AM
These stripes were just made with a grass hopper 725 K. Its all in the way the dealer sets up the deck, cost me $12 more to double the rubber strip in the back of the deck to leave those stripes.

Mac
Whatelse did the dealer do to the deck, besides adding the extra rubber strip?

olderthandirt
10-13-2004, 10:30 AM
Whatelse did the dealer do to the deck, besides adding the extra rubber strip?
Nothing More than a double rubber strip lowered closer to the ground, and a set of gator blades. What kind of grass are you trying to stripe? If a grass Hopper wont stripe it chances are a dixie won't either, some grasses gust wont stripe, What was the lenght of the grass? there are alot of questions and answers to what you are asking.

Mac

Fatheroftwo
10-13-2004, 10:48 AM
I just bought a xt3200 Dixie Chopper last month and so far so good. I've run snapper zero turns for over 5 years with no problems either. The DC is strong and has cut everything that I've put it thru so far. The 32hp engine is the way to go, very strong and will maintain rpm's in all aspects of cutting so far. I'd buy another one today with no hesitations. Very Pleased!!

jbequer
10-13-2004, 10:54 AM
I have tall fescue. My problem is that the stripes are very faint. I am using a big league rollong kit, which i have used on my front yard and works great. The problem that i have is that in the back yard the grass does not tend to grow up. it seems to grow side ways in some areas making it difficult to se stripes well. This lawn was put down at the same time as my front. I am not sure exactly why the growth is different. I am cutting at 3 1/2 inch height with a 1/4 front pitch. What are some things that i can do to help stripe. I cut south to north and on the second mow i cut angled to not keep the same tracks. I have noticed that on the south to north cut, striping is much more noticable. On the angled cut no striping is apparent. Should i continue to cut south to north varying my tracks by 5 inches or so, or should i continue cut angled every other time? Please help this is very frustrating. I know i have the correct lawn for striping, but obviously i am doing something wrong. Your inputs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks J.B.

eagle670
10-13-2004, 11:00 AM
Nothing More than a double rubber strip lowered closer to the ground, and a set of gator blades. What kind of grass are you trying to stripe? If a grass Hopper wont stripe it chances are a dixie won't either, some grasses gust wont stripe, What was the lenght of the grass? there are alot of questions and answers to what you are asking.

Mac
Right now I am using a Scag 36 inch walk behind and it stripes fine. I am mowing at about 4 inches. The Dixie seemed stripe ok without any modifications. I find it really strange that a company like Grasshopper has not taken striping into consideration with their deck designs. They are good-looking machine though.

olderthandirt
10-13-2004, 11:02 AM
The n-s stripes are more pronounced looking becouse of the angle of the sun. Does the back yard get air ciculation? how much sun and from what directions, If you could send a pic I'm sure someone could help.

Mac

eagle670
10-13-2004, 11:06 AM
I just bought a xt3200 Dixie Chopper last month and so far so good. I've run snapper zero turns for over 5 years with no problems either. The DC is strong and has cut everything that I've put it thru so far. The 32hp engine is the way to go, very strong and will maintain rpm's in all aspects of cutting so far. I'd buy another one today with no hesitations. Very Pleased!!

How did it stripe for you??

GreenMonster
10-13-2004, 11:06 AM
Right now I am using a Scag 36 inch walk behind and it stripes fine. I am mowing at about 4 inches. The Dixie seemed stripe ok without any modifications. I find it really strange that a company like Grasshopper has not taken striping into consideration with their deck designs. They are good-looking machine though.

My ghopper front mount stripes very well without any modification. Not quite as pronounced as Mac's pic, but very respectable. I think I'm going to implement his mod's over the winter.

olderthandirt
10-13-2004, 11:38 AM
Right now I am using a Scag 36 inch walk behind and it stripes fine. I am mowing at about 4 inches. The Dixie seemed stripe ok without any modifications. I find it really strange that a company like Grasshopper has not taken striping into consideration with their deck designs. They are good-looking machine though.
Each and every mower has its good and bad points. I have a skag 48 walk that won't stripe as well as my gravely walk. How do you know the dixie had no modifications? Just pitching the deck will make a bid diff. I have never had trouble with stripeing with my hopper but I have not used a dixie before before either. If you are happy with the way Dixie stripes then thats the mower you should buy. Just don't make your decision on the bases of 1 cut

Mac

eagle670
10-14-2004, 06:05 PM
Each and every mower has its good and bad points. I have a skag 48 walk that won't stripe as well as my gravely walk. How do you know the dixie had no modifications? Just pitching the deck will make a bid diff. I have never had trouble with stripeing with my hopper but I have not used a dixie before before either. If you are happy with the way Dixie stripes then thats the mower you should buy. Just don't make your decision on the bases of 1 cut

Mac

If all it takes to get good stripes is to change the pitch of the deck then I think that I will go with Grasshopper, if I can come up with the extra grand. I believe that overall it is the better machine.

Travis Followell
10-14-2004, 08:41 PM
You can't go wrong with the Grasshopper.

Mowingman
10-14-2004, 08:49 PM
In 2001, I bought a new 61" Grasshopper midmount ZTR, and a new Dixie Chopper 60" ZTR, only about one month apart. The DC was nothing but trouble, made many trips in for warranty problems, and had lots of downtime. THe Grasshopper performed perfectly, never a minutes trouble, and I used it on rougher properties than the DC.
As a result of my side by side comparison for a full season, I sold the DC, and bought several more Grasshoppers. In fact, I was so happy with the Grasshopper machines, that I have since become a Grasshopper dealer.
I believe you will be very happy with the Grasshopper.

TURF DOCTOR
10-14-2004, 09:08 PM
Can not say about a dc here they get a lot of support on the board. I have 2 gh well built i love my grasshoppers as far as stripes make your own kit.

Shady Brook
10-14-2004, 09:27 PM
I just tested a 26hp diesel Dixie with 60" deck all day today. It cut great, very clean, as good a quality of cut as I have seen on a commercial mower. It discharged well, but did not seem to disperse the clippings quite as well as my Super Z, but acceptable for the conditions this time of year.

The deck adjustment on the choppers is.... :alien: ;) :angry: ...******ed! This mechanism is Fred Flinstone. I had to jack up my trailer with my "thankfully" adjustable hitch to get the machine on. It would not clear where my other riders will. You have to adjust the deck to cut through certain ranges which takes tools and time. The deck goes in 1/2" increments which are not marked at all, just teeth on a gear. The gear would not release without pounding it. The seat did not appear adjustable, and I had a hard time reaching out with my foot to goof with the peddle. It does not have a decent quick deck lift that will clear taller obsticles, or curbs. Frankly it is the biggest piece of crap feature on a commercial mower in my experience. It ruined the machine for me. It also sits very high giving it a high center of gravity which sacrifices your ability on hills, and also sits you high up to get poked by branches.

The results are very good as far as cut quality goes, and likely some of the other features like oil coolers, filters, and manual clutch make it a good machine, but for me, most of the big names make a very good product now and I would opt. for any of them over the dixie as it stands.

PS. I have heard that they did something different on the decks this year, which may nullify my concerns to some degree. The unit I used is one year old, so my comments may not be problematic on a brand new unit.

For what it is worth.

Jay

Richard Martin
10-15-2004, 04:22 AM
Shady Brook, it's too bad you're not a little closer to me, I would let you take one of my Dixies for a demo.

Dixies come from the factory fully assembled. All the dealer has to do is sell and deliver the mower. When I get my mowers home from the dealer I spend about 2-1/2 to 3 hours setting the mower up for my tastes. Everything that you mentioned as being a problem is adjustable from the seat postition to the amount of pressure (foot force) it takes to raise and lower the deck. It sounds like the mower you tried was just the way it rolled off the factory floor.

Shady Brook
10-15-2004, 09:06 AM
Richard

I appreciate that offer. I was really impressed by the quality of cut. The unit in question had 397 hours on it, so there is no telling if the linkage sustained some damage, or was out of adjustment. It still seems like the deck would not elevate through a range that would allow me to cut where I normally do, and also trailer it properly on my particular rig. My gates have a pretty steep angle. I can get my other mowers on, but they don't have much room to spare. Is that seat adjustable front to back?


Thanks
Jay

prostriper
10-15-2004, 09:18 AM
I.......... Should i continue to cut south to north varying my tracks by 5 inches or so, or should i continue cut angled every other time? Please help this is very frustrating. I know i have the correct lawn for striping, but obviously i am doing something wrong. Your inputs would be greatly appreciated. Thanks J.B.



If you want your stripes to be more prevalent you don't want to vary your tracks. Doing this attempts to make a new stripe and will explain the faintness of your stripes. Rotate cutting directions as you are doing but keep the same stripe every cut. Another thing to try is cutting the angle first then north to south. This will help bring out the angle better.


As far as the mowers go, for a home owner I would go with a front deck grasshopper. I haven't had a chance to operate one but a few LCO's around have been using them for years with great results. Not to mention that they have 20 some attachments such as blades and snowblowers making them very versatile. You can't beat a dixie for comercial use but in your case I would recomend a Grasshopper.

eagle670
10-15-2004, 10:02 AM
Can not say about a dc here they get a lot of support on the board. I have 2 gh well built i love my grasshoppers as far as stripes make your own kit.

What kind of striping kit did you make? I'd like to see a picture if you have one. Do you set your decks up a certain way?
Sorry to be asking so many questions about this, but if I am going to shell out $7000.00 for a machine I want to know that I can make it stripe.

Thanks to everyone for the input, I really appreciate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

eagle670
10-15-2004, 12:38 PM
If you want your stripes to be more prevalent you don't want to vary your tracks. Doing this attempts to make a new stripe and will explain the faintness of your stripes. Rotate cutting directions as you are doing but keep the same stripe every cut. Another thing to try is cutting the angle first then north to south. This will help bring out the angle better.


As far as the mowers go, for a home owner I would go with a front deck grasshopper. I haven't had a chance to operate one but a few LCO's around have been using them for years with great results. Not to mention that they have 20 some attachments such as blades and snowblowers making them very versatile. You can't beat a dixie for comercial use but in your case I would recomend a Grasshopper.

So is it safe to say that all mowers will stripe, it just depends on how they are setup. If so let me in on the secret.

eagle670
10-17-2004, 03:28 PM
So is it safe to say that all mowers will stripe, it just depends on how they are setup. If so let me in on the secret.

USNOWME
10-17-2004, 06:15 PM
Olderthandirt Is Right. If Its Not Good Turf, It Usually Will Not Stripe To Well. Especially If The Grass Has Lots Of Weeds. Regardless, If You Want To Get A Good Stripe You Have To Get A Striping Mechanism, Ie.. A Roller Or A Rubber Strip Like The GH. I'm Not Sure What The DC Uses. Exmark Uses A Roller.

Travis Followell
10-17-2004, 07:32 PM
Dixie Chopper uses chains.

Lawn-Scapes
10-17-2004, 08:25 PM
I can recommend DC and have no experience with GH.. good luck with your decision.

No chains on my Dixies...