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Grasshopper mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brucec32, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I have noticed that I see fewer and fewer grasshopper front-deck mowers out and about these days. What's happened to them?

    Are there disadvantages to the mowers that have caused them to be passed by? Looking through their brouchure, they seem to have a lot of good features that appeal to me

    1. Flip up front deck eases changing blades, mounting/demounting mulch kit, and reduces trailer space required to about that of a mid-mount mower.

    2. A single deck discharges, mulches, and can bag, unlike the Walker

    3. Deck height can be adjusted from operator position, unlike Walkers.

    4. Front-mount deck seems to offer advantages trimming under stuff and getting into tight spots vs. mid-mounts

    5. It has various attachments like the "aerovator" that are cheaper than buying comparable extra single-purpose machines.

    6. It has deep 5.5" decks, how's the cut quality?

    7. Seems affordable vs. Walkers which share some of the features.

    8. I suspect turf damage is a little less with these mowers. Am I correct? It seems the weight is better balanced front to rear than with mid-mounts.

    Walkers seem to give a great cut and are tops for bagging and mowing fine turf. But I don't think that mower is what I need for wide open areas and cool season turf. Getting lots of power on a Walker gets pretty expensive, doesn't it? And I've not heard much about their heavy/tall grass mowing ability at higher speeds.

    I may be moving and will be cutting primarily Kentucky Bluegrass. I want a decently fast mower but don't need to fly at 12mph either. I welcome any comments from users or others who could point out potential pitfalls with this mower. I've used Lazers for years but have always liked features of Grasshoppers, plus sometimes it's good to have mowers with complimenting abilities. I will be using two mowers, one big and one small.
  2. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

    The answer is "voodoo economics"

    Ok, seriously, let me add to the mix the new Woods mowing machine outfront mowers. Their video sure looked impressive. The articulating deck, good ground speed, and suspension seat are good.

    I might wind up living 25 miles from their HQ, too. Plenty of dealers in the area.

    Anyone have experience recently with Woods mowers?
  3. ParkerLawn

    ParkerLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Posts: 497

    I live in Bowling Green, KY and Grasshopper is the main mower around here. It is all I have run and love them. I have tried DC and they just aren't up to par with the Grasshoppers in my opinion. This is my opinion so don't start a new discussion on this please. People around here in the higher class neighborhoods will actually request that you run a Grasshopper if they want you to mow. They stripe awesome, very reliable, superb quality and impress customers. I wouldn't trade my mowers for anything else.
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    I run two Diesel Grasshopper midmounts, two Walkers, and a Dixie Chopper. for large properties, my helpers all prefer the Grasshoppers over the Dixie Chopper. I have found , by doing a demo, that the front deck Grasshopper give a much nicer cut on rough, uneven ground than any midmount I have ever owned. I plan on getting a front deck Grasshopper next year.
    I think a lot of people have switched to midmount ZTR's. However, I plan to go just the opposite way. I do not know who builds the Woods machine now. It used to be built by Grassshopper. I thought that all Woods ZTR's were built by other companies and painted in Woods colors.:)
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    "If" I do decide at some point to pursue some larger properties in the future, I will be taking a very hard look at the Grasshopper outfront for the same reasons already mentioned. In addition, I would be checking out the Ferris IS and a few other mid-mounts, but Grasshopper is the only outfront.

    Just so you know, Grasshopper also has an articulating deck option that allows the deck to float side to side in addittion to the way he deck already flexes.

    The main thing I wonder about them is which drive system unit is best. I hope some owners will chime in about that.

    Now,,,,, who was is that posted a picture of a lawn cut with the outfront?.....I'll have to see if I can hunt that one down.....
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Ah hah!!! Found that pic on another site.

    Photo courtesy of....

    Emerald Greenscapes of Frederick

    gh 725 stripes.jpg
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Thanks for the replies and especially the photo. Looks good to me. The Woods mowing machine video pointed out a few advantages it claims over the grasshopper out-front. bigger tires, front and rear, a standard suspension seat, and a somewhat faster transport speed come to mind, plus they claim their deck articulates in a wider range so that your drive wheels never lose traction in certain situations.

    I'll be sure to check them all out. I think I'm about ready to try a front-mount deck.
  8. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    Just remember, they are a L O N G mower. Not going to be your first choice on smaller properties. The 900 Series is 120" long!!! And their shortest is 95" (44" deck 600 sereis)

    Thats a BIG difference in length compared to a small midmount Z at 75"

    Trim along side a building then turn right. With a midmount, you simply turn. With a frontmount, your damaging the building/mower. You have to do special turns to avoid the back end swinging around.

    This SOLE reason is why frontmounts aren't as popular as midmounts.
  9. LakeSide Lawn and Landscape

    LakeSide Lawn and Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 337

    TLS ..You said what I was thinking grass hopper makes a good mower for 10 years ago but now I think they are a little behind in technology.I have run them in the past and the main thing I disliked about them was they are wayyyyyy tooooo loooong.I think I hit almost every thing when i ran it.I personally WOULDNT buy one.Thats just my opionion.
  10. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    What specifically do you think they lack in technology? They seem to be a well designed, hi-tech machine to me. They use components and designs that are equal to , or better than, (in my opinion),all their competitors, so what technology do you think is lacking in their design?
    I will agree that the front deck mowers seem to have fallen out of favor due to the increased manueverability of midmount machines. However, there is no lack of high tech design on Grasshopper front mount or midmount mowers. My two Grasshopper midmounts have outperformed, and replaced, my Toro, Bobcat, and JD ZTR's.:D

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