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Woods Mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Cooter, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. Cooter

    Cooter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Iowa
    Posts: 510

    Has anyone on here used the new FZ Woods front mount mowers? How are they compared to the Grasshopper? They look to be heavier built than the Grasshoppers. The true floating deck also looks interesting. Just wondering as the local dealer is having some good end of season specials.
  2. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,022

    Woods has always contracted the build of the tractor/power units out to other manufacturers. Woods then puts on their own deck that they manufacture.

    The newest FZ series tractor/power unit is made by Encore. The current deck they use is their MX series.
  3. Cooter

    Cooter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Iowa
    Posts: 510

    Has anyone used or owned these machines? It seems that theyre built heavier and cost less than a grasshopper.
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    Yes, and you get what you pay for. Grasshopper made the Woods machines for many years, until they parted ways in the mid 90's. woods has had various companies building their machines since then. It can change from year to year.
    Woods dealers tell me they have had one heck of a time getting parts for any Woods mowers since the split with Grasshopper.
    For homeowner use, they might be fine. For commercial use, where you need good parts availability, you had better think twice.
  5. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,022

    I actually have a 2004 F25 as one of my mowers. I believe Woods had Gravely make the power unit for this F25 series. The newer FZ series is made by Encore.

    Both Gravely and Encore have many years of experiance when it comes to building commercial equipment.

    Like most manufacturers do now days, Woods builds different mowers to both commercial and residential markets. The FZ series will handle commercial duties like the Grasshopper 700 series. The Woods FE series is more of a residential mower like the Grasshopper 600 series.

    Cost is always a factor. You need to weigh out cost VS value along with dealer support and parts availablitiy cutting for a living.

    If you have a good Woods dealer who stocks a certain % of parts for this mower, I would not be too worried.
  6. Cooter

    Cooter LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE Iowa
    Posts: 510

    Thanks for the information, but does anybody know how well they cut and perform? I would really like to know how the new MX deck cuts as this is number one priority.
  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Why take a chance? Just get a Grasshopper. We know for a fact they will hold up, no guessing.
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I see a couple around here and the seem to do OK.
    MUCH BETTER than the Gravely-made midmount versions. (RZ)
    On those it's like a stripped down Gravely 260Z with different deck baffling.

    But the frontmounts seem to do OK.
    To me, the frontmounts look just like what a Gravely frontmount Z would look like if they made one. Frankly I assumed Gravely did make this mower too.

    Mowingman is right though. Overall it was better for them when Grasshopper made their mowers, and I think they made a big mistake parting ways with them. Grasshopper has came sooooo far since those days.

    But anyways, the point I wanted to make is that Woods has now contracted Textron to do the mid-mounts (new MZ series) so those will just be Bob-Cat/Bunton/Jacobsen midmount ZTR's.

    If the money was "really right" and I could demo a Woods frontmount I would give it a whirl.
    Otherwise I'd just get a Grasshopper 722D.
  9. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,022

    Yes, Grasshoppers will hold up. Yes, Woods will hold up too.

    I have nothing but praise for Grasshoppers. I have had many over the years. I have also had a few Woods Mow'N Machines.

    You may pay a little more for the Grasshopper, buy you will probably get a little more for it when you sell it. Both will earn you $$$$$ while working them.

    I do not have any advice on the Woods MX decks. MY F25 has the older flip up deck on it.

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