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  #51  
Old 05-18-2011, 04:23 PM
TWerner TWerner is offline
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Hard to make it pay if you only burn one gallon an hour.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hackitdown View Post
Are they cheaper to maintain?
My tractor's diesel wasn't cheaper to maintain, it was the same as a gas engine. Filters and oil. I can't think of many other costs. It did get an oz of marvel mystery oil in every tank of fuel, but that's like scooby snacks for the dogs and cost a few bucks a year.

I'm curious, before that 2000hr mark where you buy a new gas engine, how much do you spend on engine maintanence? I've had to rebuild a carburetor because I left old gas in all winter, but other than that, I don't know what engine costs there are for you guys running gas mowers hundreds of hours a year.

Todd
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  #52  
Old 05-18-2011, 04:35 PM
hackitdown hackitdown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWerner View Post
Hard to make it pay if you only burn one gallon an hour.

My tractor's diesel wasn't cheaper to maintain, it was the same as a gas engine. Filters and oil. I can't think of many other costs. It did get an oz of marvel mystery oil in every tank of fuel, but that's like scooby snacks for the dogs and cost a few bucks a year.

I'm curious, before that 2000hr mark where you buy a new gas engine, how much do you spend on engine maintanence? I've had to rebuild a carburetor because I left old gas in all winter, but other than that, I don't know what engine costs there are for you guys running gas mowers hundreds of hours a year.

Todd
Not too much really, oil and oil filter once per month, air filters twice a year, spark plugs here and there. I replaced a coil once.
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  #53  
Old 05-18-2011, 04:38 PM
heather lawn sp heather lawn sp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWerner View Post
Sorry for the errors. I did state my assumptions and say I needed more information.

I'm a little confused. You put 112% on fuel consumption, but previously said you were burning more gallons of gas in less hours than you were diesel. How did you come up with 112% fuel consumption? Was the gallons per week wrong? If not, then:

400hours/25weeks is 16hrs/week/mower->32 hours/week total 50gallons/32hours is about 1.6gph
250hours/25weeks is 10hrs/week/mower->20hours/week total. 53gallons/20hours is 2.65gph

Again, I get about 40% less gph.

Given the diesels are bigger and still moving faster, a diesel on a smaller deck mower might save even more GPH. I think $4 fuel savings/hour of mowing is a lot. Even $2/hour is enough to make the diesel pay for itself quickly if you mow large properties. If your mower runs 15 hours a week and rides on a trailer the rest of the time, diesel doesn't make much sense because you'll pay more to haul the extra weight.
We have a large variance in fuel consumption. We can increase consumption 10 and 40% if it is a heavy growth week, such as this spring or if the trimming is falling back. In the middle of a dry summer consumption can fall. The deck loading can drink through more fuel than the mower speed. When trimming time is high in spring, the diesels get less time. In August trim time is minimal and productivity and diesel consumption surges ahead.
The numbers I used are season long, 3779.28 litres of marked diesel and 800 hours. We can mow 25 acres per day per unit, is that a lot?

The Kubota dealership voiced an opinion that gas to diesel of same horsepower might be 30% difference in consumption. Add to that $1.205 gas to $0.9765 diesel, cost per hour could be significant.

marked diesel 0.7 litre @.9765= $0.683
gas 1.0 litre @1.205= $1.205

There's your double factor
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  #54  
Old 05-18-2011, 04:46 PM
hackitdown hackitdown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heather lawn sp View Post
We have a large variance in fuel consumption. We can increase consumption 10 and 40% if it is a heavy growth week, such as this spring or if the trimming is falling back. In the middle of a dry summer consumption can fall. The deck loading can drink through more fuel than the mower speed. When trimming time is high in spring, the diesels get less time. In August trim time is minimal and productivity and diesel consumption surges ahead.
The numbers I used are season long, 3779.28 litres of marked diesel and 800 hours. We can mow 25 acres per day per unit, is that a lot?

The Kubota dealership voiced an opinion that gas to diesel of same horsepower might be 30% difference in consumption. Add to that $1.205 gas to $0.9765 diesel, cost per hour could be significant.

marked diesel 0.7 litre @.9765= $0.683
gas 1.0 litre @1.205= $1.205

There's your double factor
Diesel is cheaper in Canada?
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  #55  
Old 05-18-2011, 04:54 PM
heather lawn sp heather lawn sp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heather lawn sp View Post
We have a large variance in fuel consumption. We can increase consumption 10 and 40% if it is a heavy growth week, such as this spring or if the trimming is falling back. In the middle of a dry summer consumption can fall. The deck loading can drink through more fuel than the mower speed. When trimming time is high in spring, the diesels get less time. In August trim time is minimal and productivity and diesel consumption surges ahead.
The numbers I used are season long, 3779.28 litres of marked diesel and 800 hours. We can mow 25 acres per day per unit, is that a lot?

The Kubota dealership voiced an opinion that gas to diesel of same horsepower might be 30% difference in consumption. Add to that $1.205 gas to $0.9765 diesel, cost per hour could be significant.

marked diesel 0.7 litre @.9765= $0.683 3779.28 litres and 800 hours 4.72 L/hr
gas 1.0 litre @1.205= $1.205 2621 litres and 621 hours 4.22 l/hr

There's your double factor
or close to it
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  #56  
Old 05-18-2011, 04:58 PM
heather lawn sp heather lawn sp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hackitdown View Post
Diesel is cheaper in Canada?
seriously cheaper

$1.205 /litre gas
$0.9765/litre marked/dyed/coloured diesel
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  #57  
Old 05-18-2011, 04:58 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hackitdown View Post
Diesel is cheaper in Canada?
They are refering to off road deisel, which has a different color dye added to it to signify that it wasn't taxed, but it's otherwise the same fuel.

OR deisel is cheaper than gasoline almost everywhere.

You don't want to ever get caught running OR deisel on the road in your truck though. That's one steep fine!
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  #58  
Old 05-18-2011, 05:07 PM
heather lawn sp heather lawn sp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hackitdown View Post
Ok, it sounds like the cost to upgrade to a diesel on a 54" mower is $2,600. If I can save $400 per year on fuel (I am running 52" mowers...close enough comparison for me), the break even point is 6.5 years at my 350 hrs per year, or at about 2300 hrs.

I have to think that a gas mower with 2300 hrs is at or past the end of it's engine life. Assuming a diesel will go a lot more hours, then the payoff is really big after the break-even point. A gas engine swap is a couple of thousand dollars, and presumably the diesel will just keep running.

Or am I missing something?
you're on the right track
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  #59  
Old 05-18-2011, 05:31 PM
TWerner TWerner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hackitdown View Post
Diesel is cheaper in Canada?
off road or farm or agricultural diesel isn't taxed like the stuff at the gas station. they add red dye to it so if you get stopped at a weigh station and they dipstick your tank, you get fined. not an issue for a mower.

I have trouble making the numbers work for you if you only burn a gallon or so an hour. I'd check that number, but there's more to it than just that.

You'll also want to look into whether or not there's a place near you where could buy the offroad fuel and what they price it at for a small quantity.

Figure your time to get there and back, the price of gas you burn getting the diesel fuel ....

I love diesel, but hard to make a case for it saving you money if your mower is that efficient where you're mowing.
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  #60  
Old 05-18-2011, 06:57 PM
heather lawn sp heather lawn sp is offline
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Interesting observation made:
if gas engine is $2,000 plus to replace @ 2000 hours then that would make the cost of the mowers, in this example The Kubota ZD &ZG the same at 2500 hours $7,700 plus $2000 engine and install versus $10,370 for the ZD.Yes newer engine in the gas mower at 2500 hours but diesel saving @ $1.78/hour or $4,400 for diesel ZD221 @ 2500 hours.

So gas mower better residual value by three quarter of an engine life ($1500)
but diesel cheaper operation by $4,400 fuel savings. In line with the $400 a year suggested earlier.

(one of the engine swaps was found at a surplus centre for $975, a John Deere engine in a crate. As suggested the other engine was $2,160 with taxes)

Last edited by heather lawn sp; 05-18-2011 at 07:02 PM.
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