Desperate for help in KC--please don't mow me down!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by KCFilley, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. KCFilley

    KCFilley LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 7

    Hi Folks,

    I apologize to those who might be offended by a novice posting on your forum. I’m a single homeowner who knows nothing about equipment--just watch me try to add oil through a dip stick.

    I have 26 acres of pasture with some woods. My trees are mainly oaks and a few low limbed evergreens. I’ve been mowing with a 36” Honda and my 40 HP JD with a brush hog. I have two very steep pond dams where I either back up with the JD or race down on the Honda. I drive a diesel one-ton and have diesel for my tractor so I prefer diesel.

    I searched this forum for info on the Scag Sabre Tooth vs the Grasshopper Diesel G2 and found more options that has me even more confused. I found mowers I’ve never even heard of and don’t know if they are available in Kansas City. In my area I notice most of the commercial trailers are hauling Grasshoppers and an occasional Scag. What I’m gathering from my search of your site are few mentions of the Grasshoppers and mostly unfavorable mentions of the Scag.

    From reading your posts, I searched and found an X-Mark dealer who I’ve asked to come look at my property first before recommending a machine. In our conversation he’s already recommending the Lazer XP diesel. He said a mid-mount will mow the dams better.

    I tried a year old Grasshopper gasoline front mount that jerked when slowed to a certain speed. When I tried to go slow down a steep hill the GH started bunny hopping. According to the dealer the previous owner was a doctor who just traded it on a diesel. I was surprised that after only a year, it would have any problems so now I’m suspect of its longevity. On the other hand, I tried my girlfriend’s brand new, mid-mount Grasshopper and it seemed very tight and fast but I’m not sure it would do well on my steep pond dams. I had the constant feeling it would tip. It is almost half the price of the Lazer.

    I spoke to someone today about a Walker. They have this rebate program where I would need to remember to turn in some sort of voucher every six months. If I remember to turn it in for three years, I would get back almost half the initial cost of the machine. I can’t even remember to get my license renewed so I’d be the first to forget this one and I won’t buy based on gimmicks.

    I saw a Scag Sabre Tooth at a recent lawn show and it looked really sturdy but not as fine as the Grasshopper. It seemed a bit rough looking to me—the seat didn’t look as comfortable, etc. The Scag dealer is an hour away and wasn’t anxious to bring one out here and he didn’t have a brochure on the 2002 model. A local JD dealer had the Scag last year and told me it mowed circles around his ZTR Deere. My local feed/hardware store sells the Gravely but all they will do is allow me to drive it in their parking lot.

    See, I’m judging this machine on the slickness of the exterior and that’s not what I want to do. I need reliability. I can’t easily load this sucker on my truck when it’s down. I have to beg someone to change a belt on the deck and then silently watch when I know they’re handling it too roughly.

    I’m so ignorant of this and no matter how much I search and look, I don’t know the right questions to ask so I’m going to stick my neck out here and ask you guys who use them every day, which machine would you feel good about leaving with your mom or your sister--not your wife because you’d be there to look at any problems.

    Please help me decide. This is a major, major expense for me. I’m willing to step up to the plate and spend the higher dollars to get something totally reliable. I want it to last and not give me problems and I want to mow those dams with no fear. Mowing is stress relief for me.

    Thank you again.


    P. S. I just went through this with a weed eater. I bought the biggest, most expensive Stihl I could find. It was a 120. After 30 minutes, I couldn't lift it. The second year it wouldn't start. I took it back to the dealer who gave me $100 off a new 85.
  2. captdevo

    captdevo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    i'm not sure of any Walker sales gimmicks, i'm a Walker dealer in Iowa and i've never heard of such a thing, and i know Bob Walker himself wouldn't condone such a thing.

    in fact in my last dealers newsletter Bob Walker mentioned being straight forward to all customers.

    on steep hillsides i have found nothing better than the Walker side discharge mower with a 52" deck and a/t tires.

    if i was near, i would surely prove this to you.

    contact your local Walker dealer and ask them to bring out a MTSD with a 26hp EFI (fuel injected) Kohler with a 52" deck and see for yourself.

    i guarantee you'll be impressed with the comfort and stability of these machines.

  3. andyslawns

    andyslawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    For mowing steep inclines you are gonna want a mower woith a really low center of gravity, and the widest wheel base possible. I belive an exmark lazer Z or the Lazer hp have a real low center of gravity.

    Something else you might want to consider is maybe like a great Dane or a Wright stander, becasue you can change the center of gravity by just shifting your weight. Just my 2 cents
  4. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 542

    Dear KC,

    Thought I would throw this in the mix for you to consider- if your a homeowner and counting your pennies, I'd recommend a Snapper WB w/ a belt drive. They are not the most expensive wb's on the market and they are simple to operate and service. I knew nothing about this business 9 months ago and I'm glad to have a Snapper- they make it very easy to get to something and work on it. They cut very well! For the amount you are going to use this I would look for price points as apposed to productivity.

  5. captdevo

    captdevo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932


    Thanks for the call.

    i inquired with Walker about the "rebate offer" they had no idea.

    i did discover what the dealer is selling is a rebate offer through an outside insurance company to promote sales, whether it's Walker mowers, jet skis, or evan campers.

    i guess they feel that this may promote sales.

    this is not a Walker deal, you are not obligated to this either.

    contact them or another dealer have them bring a Walker out for a demo.

    My suggestion would be a Walker side discharge 26hp EFI with a 52" deck, and add the mulching kit, less the baffles.

    this machine will surely impress you.

    Hope this keeps you interested in trying out one.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give me a call again.

  6. captdevo

    captdevo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932


    BTW....Welcome to!!
  7. mike payne

    mike payne LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    You might be better of hiring the mowing out. Here is my email address Contact me and I will see about giving you a bid.
  8. corban

    corban LawnSite Member
    from K.C. Mo
    Posts: 49

    He might be better off with a professional or YOU might be better off mowing his lot? Sounds to me like he would be just fine enjoying the maintanence of his own land.
  9. KCFilley

    KCFilley LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 7

    Hi Again,

    Thanks Dave for your help. If I can get a Walker out here, I think I should try it.

    Mike, hiring the work done would certainly be easier and it may come to that. For now I love to mow and it's a great stress reliever. Besides, I really did read many of you guys' posts and I'm afraid I have too much dog and horse natural compost for you commercial guys to deal with. I, too, have to be religious about washing my tires and underneath the tractor. Ugh. The thought of that stuff on a new mower is enough to cause all of us to cry.


    I'll keep checking all the replies and soaking 'em up like a sponge.

  10. gorrell

    gorrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 536

    Linda, are you indeed mowing all of these 26 acres, or are some of it something that could be outsourced to someone with a brushhog and maybe mowed 4 or 5 times a year? If that's the case, I seriously doubt if someone with a brushhog would mind a little dog and horse "residue" on their tires. If the slopes are indeed seriously steep, a 72" chopper will go "where others fear to tread". MHO................Lynn

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