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grasshopper owners. how do you like your mower?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TClawn, May 9, 2005.

  1. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    I need to get some feedback on grasshopper mowers. the 18hp 48" deck in particular.

    I am looking at selling my exmark because of poor/dishonest (we won't go there) dealer service.

    it looks like a solid mower, but the hydro setup is a bit different. if a wheel motor goes out, do you have to replace a hydro on this unit too?

    if any of you grasshopper owners could post a pic of the cut, I'd like to see it.

    for the people that use this model, is the 18 hp under powered for the size of deck?

  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    I am a dealer for Grasshopper. The 218/48 has individual pumps and wheel motors for each side. We have never sold this smaller machine to any commercial cutters, as they mostly want 52" or bigger decks on their ZTR's around here. The 218 has smaller pumps and motors, so it is not quite as fast as it's big brothers.
    The deck design and blade spindles are just like it's larger brothers. The homeowners we have sold them to say they really cut nice. We can not stripe our grasses here, so I can not address that issue.
    On the 218, you should have plenty of HP for normal cutting, but in heavy conditions you will have to take it a little slow. On the 218, you will only get a 1 year overall warranty, but you do get 2 years on the hydro drive components, spindles, and engine. I just bought a 618/44, (front deck type machine), to use on about 20 lawns I mow in our neighborhood. Several customers have complimented me on how nice the cut looks. I am running the mulch kit in St. Aug. and Bermuda grass, and it seems to have plenty of power for that. If you have any other questions, I will try to answer them, as I doubt you will find many folks on here running the 218.
    If you are looking at the 618, then the trans. system is a little different. It will have the Gemini system, where you have a one-piece hydro motor/pump on each side.
  3. iluvscag

    iluvscag LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    Get the 327 buddy has one and it's a good machine.
  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    the reason I need a 48" is that it does me no good if I can't get it through the gate.

    the 52" deck would restrict me to using my walkbehind on just about everything except one commercial and two residentials.

    but the components on the 218 are just as heavy duty as the larger models yes?
  5. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    Most of the mower is just like the larger models. However, as I said, you do get smaller wheel motors and pumps, so it will not run qiute as fast. Also, the front wheels are a size smaller in width, and the front wheel bearings are a little smaller. The rear wheels are narrower so they will not stick out past the deck. You get the standard Kohler air cleaner, and not the heavy duty canister type. Kohler does have a kit to convert to the canister type if you want it. The frame and deck are built heavy duty like the bigger machines, just on a smaller scale.
    As I said, I am running the front deck version, and it does a good job. you can also get a mulch kit for the 218/48 if you want to mulch.
  6. yourlawnguy

    yourlawnguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 228

    I used to own a 720k with a 48" deck. It was a great machine with a beautiful cut. I think the 18hp wouldbe a little underpowered for my taste. The 720k was a front deck design with a 20hp Kohler. I now own a 227 with 52" deck, also a great machine with a 27hp Kohler.
  7. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    for the sake of comparison, how would it compare to the 321D 52"? that is the other model that I am looking at.

    my brother went to the grasshopper dealer today and demoed a 428D (oh yeah, the most expensive model) and said it whooped the exmark as far as speed goes. not really a fair comparison considering it's a diesel, but still....

    price wise, how much would I be looking at for a 321D 52"?
  8. hpc

    hpc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I just took delivery of a 928D 60" front-mount, diesel with mulching kit.
    I know it's not the model you're looking for, but I thought maybe
    a little additional input might be helpful.

    Got it on a damp Saturday. KBG Grass hadn't been cut in 10 days -
    Hard to cut in the rain. Anyway, the ground was damp from all of the
    Indiana rain. Grass was damp, but no visible beads of moisture.

    Cut at roughly half-to-three quarters speed because it was so high and

    Bottom line: virtually NO clumping or blowout. The number of clumps
    I could count on one hand with some fingers left over. This is cutting
    slightly more than 1.5 acres. Striping was okay - nothing to cheer about,
    but I thought it was good considering the height of grass and dampness.

    After cutting, rotated deck up and found no buildup except at corners of

    I was disappointed in the fuel consumption. It was more than the JD 4115
    (a compact 4WD tractor) we had used before to cut with. It's hard
    to beat Yanmar direct-injection diesels for fuel economy. About 1 -
    1.5 gallons for both the initial cut and then a second cut of about 1/4 inch.

    I like the Grasshopper a lot. Was looking at the JD 997 ZTR, but
    really like the front-mount.

    It's not the model you're looking for, but hope this helps.
  9. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    Your 928 should see an improvement in fuel use after you get more hours on it. My old 428D,(same engine), needed about 100hrs of use to really break in that diesel. I believe it used between .75 and 1.0 GPH after break in.
  10. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,640

    I've got a 722D. There is a HUGE difference between it and the 721D. Mine is also "kicked up a notch". I couldn't tell much difference in the 928D and mine power wise. It has a really got cut and stripes nicely (after i fixed it up). The only problem i have with mine are the tires. I am going to go an inch narrower on my next set. According to my GH dealer, when they changed decks, LCO's where having a little bit of traction problems and suggested 1 inch narrower tires. What do you think about that Mowingman??

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