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Diesel Vs Gasoline

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    I'm sure this has been discussed on here before, but was curious as to the thinking of those of you who run diesel mowers, and, particuarly, those of you who run, or have run both. Obviously, a diesel has a longer engine life, and lower fuel consumption, but, considering the higher purchase price, and higher (as I understand) maintenance costs, does a diesel really save money over the long haul? Neill
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Yes...I wish my WB's were diesel too...
  3. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    Diesel all the way - I have a 332 JD Yanmar diesel with 5000 hrs on it and it still purrs.
  4. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    I have to agree with Rodfather a 100% on this!
  5. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    If they made a 52" or so diesel that was light weight AND powerful ( as in 25-27hp ) I'd dang sure have one...
  6. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,100

    The thing about diesel is most people do not know as much about it as gas. And not every fuel station sells diesel. If diesel fuel was at every station you would see a lot more diesel cars, trucks and every thing. The only draw back with diesel fuel is when it gets cold it gels up. I am not sure how cold it needs to be before it is a problem but I know up in places like Alaska it turns to Jello and you can cut it with knife. Not much call for lawn mowers in Alaska I would thank.
  7. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    One issue that I have with Diesel's is their WEIGHT.

    On a ZTR, they are between 200 and 500 lbs heavier than their gas powered counterpart. That is a lot of weight if you mow tighter residentials where you are constantly turning. Wide open mowing, weight isn't as big of an issue.

    Then you have the initial investment cost. (Several thousand in most cases).

    Plus, on a trailered mower, (makes a BIG difference in longevity) you'll likely wear out the mower well before the engine. Driving down the road on the trailer induces a LOT of wear that a stationary mower does NOT experience.

    With A/C gas engines now going several thousand hours, and having over 30 horsepower, the only real benefit of a Diesel would be it's fuel efficiency.

    Right now, I have GAS cans. Stop at ONE PUMP and put GAS in the GAS cans. When I was running my JD Diesels, I had to carry GAS (for the WB) and Diesel cans. Plus, jockey around to 2 different pumps.
  8. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,100

    Sorry. made post in wrong thread
  9. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Yes, a diesel is heavier than a Air cooled gas engine, but alot of that is due to the water cooling system. A water cooled gas engine would be better than a air cooled gas engine. They have been making air cooled diesels for years too. But I dont think that would be much of an improvement over a Kohler or Kaw motor. As for it being hard to get diesel, I really dont think that can be an issue for anyone.I bet Most of you guys stop at the same stations every week. And most places have the diesel and gas on the same pump.
    Explain to me how a mower wears out on the trailer?
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well, they have been making one for years and I spent quite a bit of time on one a while back. The mower you seek is the Grasshopper 321D/52" midmount.

    It's the most productive and efficient 52" mower on the market today and you can take that statement to the bank. The way it rides and tracks along with the way it's powered and balanced is a real winning combination. Other 52" mowers just can't hang and that's just the way it is.

    This mower will cut fast, beautiful, clean and straight over places you can't even keep gas mowers tracking straight on at any measurable speed. The engine, pump and wheel motor strenght is literally strong enough to bring the front wheels off the ground at will. And while some might say it's only 21hp I will tell you right now that gas engines are not even in the same league. The continous working power and torque of a 3 cylinder liquid cooled diesel is so far beyond a V-twin gas engine of the same rated horsepower that you have to experience it to believe it.

    You can't even make it labor with the 52" deck in thick tall growth going uphill. It would run a 61" deck without a problem and not strain until you put it in some pretty harsh conditions.

    Bottom line... fuel consumption is about a half a gallon per hour of non-road taxed diesel fuel and per hour of use it will cut way more grass. So the way it stacks up in my area for the non-taxed price of dyed diesel fuel and gas... the cost of fuel per hour to operate the diesel is well under $1 per hour and the fuel cost to operate the diesel is well over $2 per hour. In fact, right down to the cent and over a long average, the cost to operate the gas mower would be 3 times as much.

    The old "extra weight of the diesel" statement is nothing more than pure propoganda, plain and simple. The true fact of the matter is that those diesel mowers that weigh a great deal more than their gas counterparts actually weigh so much more due to piss poor engineering by the MFG... NOT BECAUSE OF THE DIESEL ENGINE. The truth is that most of this extra weight comes from the MFG adding counterbalance weights to the old frame designs, ect, instead of engineering a frame that would house the diesel engine and be properly balanced.

    The fact is, the 321D/52" Grasshopper weighs no more than any other full size 52" gas mower.
    Even if you step down to the compact 52" mowers like the Lazer HP....
    All of them still run between 1100-1200 pounds.

    Frankly, it's just heavy enough and balanced well enough to privide good traction and responsive handling. As far as turf compression and floatation is concerned, it appeared to exert less PSI ground pressure than the Lazer HP due to the larger tires all the way around even though you can see and feel that it carries more weight over the rear tires.

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