Love the Great Dane ZTR

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mow"N"Bud, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. Mow"N"Bud

    Mow"N"Bud LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    From time to time a lot of people bash Great Dane on this site. I can't speak concerning the stand on units, or the walk-behinds, but I can give you a real world review concerning the Chariot model. For 2 years I have owned and operated a 23 HP Kawasaki powered 52" Chariot. Frankly I Love It. I have racked up almost 1000 hours on the unit. It is tough, heavily built, dependable, simple in design and construction, and has a great cut quality. I use all of my equipment, but don't abuse it, nor do I let my employees abuse it. My preventative maintenance routine is rigorous. I run only Castrol synthetic blend, and change the oil, oil filters, and air filters every 25 hours of operation. I have averaged 250 hours on the belts, and sharpen the blades regularly. The spindles are greased with AMSOL synthetic grease at the end of every work day after the equipment is blown off and then washed if there is mud the blowers do get off the machines.

    Being happy with the Dane, earlier this week I purchased a 25 HP Kawasaki powered 61" Chariot, because of getting some contracts for large HOA common areas. We used it today on one of the properties in conjunction with the 52", and the new Dane is just like my old one. I love these Big Yellow Dogs. As long as Auburn doen't mess with the design of the Danes I will be a loyal customer for a long time to come.

    Now for you fellows who want nice amenities like cup holders, cell phone chargers, nifty pockets and holders your out of luck. The Danes are designed to work, period. These ZTR's are not Cadillacs they are work horses. The kicker is they are very reasonably priced, and you get alot for your money. The whole deck is 7 gauge, heavy spindles, heavy framed, engines from Kawasaki and Kohler (I'm partial to the Kawasaki's because I started with them, and they have never let me down). I like the between the legs control. I have used units with the over the lap and my shoulders hurt after some long hours. With the seat positioned correctly you can keep your elbows on the arm rest and relax while cutting.

    I have a bagger unit ordered, and look forward to it coming in. I did install a set of lights for when it gets dark before I am through cutting. I got the kit from Wal-Mart they are nothing more than halogen driving lights and work great. I installed them under the front frame, between the front wheels.

    If you have any questions e-mail me, and if you get a Dane I believe you will be very satisfied with it.
     
  2. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,829

    I've owned about five Dane's. They have beeen great machines. I like their stand on more than Wright's. People do like to bash them though? Usually it's the dealer not the machine.
     
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well, most of the guys here haven't considered them since back when they were the old design with the sideways mounted Kohlers.

    Those machines WERE basket cases.

    I however HAVE considered them since then... since the new engine mounting, new frame and new deck. They are basically a brand new machine all the way around that resembles the old ones and has the same idea in mind.

    Me, I demoed a 61" Chariot LX and liked the new design very much. However, those machines have a defect in the design that inhibits the cutting heights. So I did not buy. Otherwise I loved it.

    I posted a review on it here titled something like "Chariot LX Review"
    Do a search and have a good read.
     
  4. GameDawg33

    GameDawg33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    I have a great dane 36 stander for about a year now and love it
     
  5. Mow"N"Bud

    Mow"N"Bud LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    I read your previous post concerning the height adjustment. I think the machine you had might have been set up improperly. Before I purchased the 61" I checked it out because I had read your past thread. On my Great Dane the deck has full movement of travel from 1 1/2" to 5".

    Conserning the old style Danes I haven't been using them since the new design.

    Conserning the current Great Dane's they are bullet proof IMO. My dealer is really good, and stocks many parts, but as I said earlier I have never needed anything but normal wear items.:weightlifter:
     
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I had one of those godforsaken things. I hope things have changed. The dealers changed almost monthly, part availability was a joke. About the time that deere took them over I would say they lost alot of people forever. Glad it works out for you, but I wouldnt ever buy one again. It didnt matter who you contacted, or what you said, nothing was ever done to help.
     
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Yours is not an LX machine then.

    Every LX machine I looked at from at least 3 different dealers had this issue.

    The issue is that the LX frame is laid out a little different and does not match up to the 61" deck. Dialing in the cutting height on these machines is easy. The issue is, if you dial it in to match the selector, a pulley will strike a cross-piece on the frame once you lift the deck to like 3.5".
     
  8. A.D Services

    A.D Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    I agree IMO Great Dane is the best brand of mower i demoed the 06 super surfer and it was awsome. and a guy i work for bought a brand new 48'' chariot. i love the between the leg steering it is much easier to drive one handed. Ive tried the hustler and exmark and others. but nothing has been easier to use. next year i hope to purchase the 48'' super surfer
     
  9. lawnrich

    lawnrich LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    just dont buy a 48 in gd stander the deck is smaller than the back tires can only go through a 50 in gate. but great dane is the best i have a 52 and a60 stander
     
  10. jameson

    jameson LawnSite Fanatic
    from PNW
    Posts: 7,215

    lawnrich and A.D Services

    Wow, not often you hear people on LS singing the praises of GD Surfers. I have a couple of ?'s:

    1. Did you demo/compare your GD SS's with Wright or even Deere QT's before you made your purchases? If you did what influenced your decision to purchase a GD?

    2. The oft asked ? - How do your GD's hold on hills? (I am assuming you all have the Super Surfers) Any pics of hills you mow with them on?

    3. What are your beefs (we all have 'em with our machines!) with the machines thus far?
     

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