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To diesel or not to diesel

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by integrityman, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,713

    I am in the market for a new or "newer" ZTR. I was sure that I wanted a diesel. Better fuel economy, really manly diesel engine noise and smell. Cheaper fuel (off road diesel).

    Now I'm not so sure. I was at a local dealer discussing diesel ZTR's. The old guy behind the counter said: "diesel's not what you what to do son. It bogs down and looses rpms in heavy growth unless its turbo charged." He said that the gas engines don't loose rpms like the diesels. He complained about the weight of diesel Z's, which I already knew. He then raved on and on about the liquid cooled gassers. Its not that his brand didn't have a diesel option. They do. He just seemed pretty damn thoughtful and caring.

    Decisions, decisions.........

    Ive demoed Toro's, Exmarks, Ferris, Kubota and Grasshopper. Ive enjoyed all of them. The diesel grasshopper especially. Now Im not sure what I want to do.....
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  2. rcslawncare

    rcslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,684

    Diesels are beasts, but for what they cost over a gas model, its not worth it. Its all up to the operator, but I think the diesel can hold its own as they have some torque to turn those blades. I know the Deere diesel, the deck is shaft driven. Don;t know if the brand you are looking at is belt or shaft?
  3. AdamChrap

    AdamChrap LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 937

    We run two Toro Diesels 25hp Kubota engines and they don't bog at all. Fuel consumption is great and torque to spare. We have had some problems but we "Use" our equipment hard. This will sound weird but stay away from the Toro 27hp Dihatsu, we had one and it was not good. It has 2 extra HP but weighs much more and has a way more complicated mechanical system. I swear the 25hp Kubota machine will run circles around the 27hp Dihatsu. We have the 25hp in 60" and 72"
  4. rcslawncare

    rcslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,684

    I talked to a guy working around me, and he had a 52" with the Kubota and it was a tank! Good machines and with the turbo force deck, they can cut some grass!!
  5. AdamChrap

    AdamChrap LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 937

    It works well on our 72" so on a 52" I can only imagine!
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Diesels sure are funny, but not haha funny.
  7. AdamChrap

    AdamChrap LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 937

    Not sure what you mean by that.....
  8. Stephen M.

    Stephen M. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 192

    I was at a Toro Grandstand demo in November at my main small engine dealer in Bremerton, WA and the Distributor rep had a Toro gas and diesel ztr also. I asked the same type of question and his response was:

    1. Pro-- Diesel rpms will slow down in wet/heavy or tall/wet grass, but torque takes over and you can plow through without missing a beat. Pretty much like a diesel truck or tractor--you got the guts to do the job and the fuel economy over gas engine guzzlers.

    2.Con--requires more maintenance and costs an arm and a leg to replace. Generally, average cost to replace a diesel ztr engine is about $5000 vs about $2500 for a gas ztr.

    Various governmental entities will go diesel for longevity of the engine and because they have paid mechanics on duty to service all of their stuff.

    Another observation was that if you run your equipment without an adequate maintenance program, diesel will be wasted money.
  9. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,322

    If you go gas stay away from liquid cooled. Every liquid cooled I have ever owned has had gasket problems. From now on I'm going with air cooled 35hp briggs. They are a great engine, look into them if you havnt all ready.
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  10. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,272

    I have had two Exmark dealers tell me to stay away from liquid cooled engines and diesels, he said the 25hp diesel has no power but I myself have never owned one. I like the gas engines.

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