Originally Posted by arkie_3_fan
I've been hanging around here for a while and doing some reading. Finally decided to ask for some opinions.
My yard is 5 - 6 acres of mostly bahia grass. Currently I mow roughly 1.5 acres once a week (the rest is cut for hay 2 - 3 times a year). This usually takes me at least a full 3 hours of mowing on the 42" Craftsman rider. Sick of spending that much time mowing, I'm looking to get a zero turn.
A friend of mine has a Grasshopper 322D (61" deck) with around 800 hours on it. It's in pretty decent condition and comes with the large Grasshopper powervac with the metal hopper. The price he's asking is $5,000 which seems to be a pretty fair deal. It could stand to have some new tires but that's a relatively minor issue.
The only problem is that I don't even have a trailer large enough to haul the mower if I was to get it. My current trailer (used to haul ATV's mostly) is a 5x14. In addition, the mower is certainly more mower than I'd ever need, if there really is such a thing as too much mower.
With all of that being said, I have Hustler and Exmark dealers locally, and a Bad Boy dealer 20 miles away. All of these have high end residential and/or low end commercial mowers in the $5000 - $6500 range. Would I be better off to get one of these new in a 50" - 54" and have the warranty? The Fastrak with a 54" deck and 20hp Honda would do everything I need in a mower.
Or should I just see if I can talk my buddy down to $4500 and then put the extra money towards a trailer and new tires for the mower? I have access to trailers that I can borrow if I do need transport the larger mower. In addition, I could pick up a little extra cash this fall by picking up leaves with the powervac.
What to do. What to do.
When you get into diesels I couldn't tell you about what that machine is worth. I will say that you'd better be handy mechanically on an 800 hour machine. They don't die, they just start to have little things that need fixing. If you are like many homeowners and can't fix them yourself I'd go new for sure.
If you're just cutting 1.5 acres I'd look at a 52" machine you can haul to the dealer when needed and spend the money on getting newer rather than more powerful and wider machines. $5,000 buys a good bit of used machine. It buys even more in the fall/winter, so if you can wait a couple months you might find more prospects out there. For wide areas I'd go with a midmount 52" like just about every brand puts out.
Going with a low hour true commercial machine vs a quasi commercial has some advantages in durability and ride comfort (usually bigger tires and better seat, good for high speed cutting). I assume the D in the grasshopper is for a diesel model but for 1.5 acres a week you'd be fine with a gas engine. But even those Hustlers that are semi commercial would probably get the job done. Just not the low end fasttracks, which might be a little light duty for wide areas. I'd rather have a new $5500 machine than a 800 hour $5,000 one. There is more to break on a machine than the engine, which would probably be good for many more hours.
21/23hp/48-52" would, in my opinion, handle that fine, and give you the ability to haul it around when needed.
Worth a road trip. This is a great torqey engine and I guess would do 1.5 acres in maybe an hour if it's open terrain.