1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns in the Franchising forum plus sign up to receive a FREE eBook on how to grow your landscape business.

    Dismiss Notice

72" Front Deck - Question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mosmgras, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 270

    I am looking at purchasing a 928D Grasshopper (72") for next season. I have several large (5+ ac.) residential properties that I mow weekly. My question is this: Do front deck mowers ride smoother than mid's? Some of these properties are rough, so I'm looking for a mower that may ride a little better. Thanks guys.
  2. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    A Grasshopper front-mount deck mower may ride a little smoother than say a fixed/rigid 4-point frame mid-mount mower.

    The low pressure tires are one factor. The fact that you are spreading the bumps over other pivot points (the pivoting front deck and the pivoting rear axle) helps also.

    Grasshopper is also supposed to have a new seat (which I have not tried yet). This should also help increase operator comfort.

    There are some mid-mounts out there such as the Ferris "IS" that offer a suspension system.

    One additional question to ask is "how much trailer space do you have"? The front-mounts will take up some additional space.
  3. jkelton

    jkelton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Most definitely it will ride better. The 928 w/72" is a grass cutting machine, esp. since they have the same deeper deck now (like the mids).
  4. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 270

    I use an Isuzu NPR to transport my equipment. At the moment it's full so I'll have to either go to a trailer for the 928 or re-arrange equipment for the large property days. I'm thinking that I can take the 928 and one of my 321's together. The truck has a 17' bed (13' flat plus a 4' dovetail). We'll see.
  5. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    Grasshoppers ride is decent. But the 1 issue I have had with both of mine which are smaller than 72" is the skinny front wheels. I have to cut higher to keep from leaving blade swirls, or gouges when the small tire fall into a rut etc. If your cutting at 3.5 or above it's not bad but when cutting short 2.5 to 3" you may want to reconsider. The larger the deck the bigger the problem on mine. Plus you can only cut at 1/2" increments, unless they have changed that with the hydraulic decks.
  6. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 270

    I agree, the front casters are to small for the weight of the deck. When I went to look at a 928, I measured the front yoke stem diameter and length. When I got home I measured the stem on one of my 321's. They are the same. The difference is the width of the fork. That being said, I believe the smaller front casters from a 928 can be replaced with a pair that fit a 321. This will allow the use of the larger 13x6.5-6 tires. I suppose this will raise the deck a bit so that I can't cut as low as before but I never cut below 2 1/2" anyway.
  7. jkelton

    jkelton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    The newer style 72" decks have the same tires on the front as the midmounts - that really smooths out the vibration on the deck from what I have seen.
  8. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Iv'e spent about 4 to 5 hours straight on one, the ride and comfort level is amazing on those! I equated it to sitting on my couch with 2 control sticks in my hands...
  9. Green King

    Green King LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    I have a friend that looked at all the front cut mowers. He originally wanted 60" cut but decided to go with a 72" and ended up buying a 72" Encore diesel. He told me it was between it and a grasshopper and he liked the lower stance of the grasshopper but liked the speed of the encore. Ultimatly he said the dealer was the deciding factor. The grasshopper dealer was pushy and bad mouthed the other machines. The encore dealer which is the same guy I deal with did not bad mouth the competition or dealership.

    I got to use his machine on some leaves and I am impressed with the ride. I would definetly say the front cuts do run smoother.
  10. mosmgras

    mosmgras LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 270

    Demo'd the 928D today. Awesome machine. jkelton's right, the newer 72" decks have the 13x6.5-6 wheels on them. The front deck wheels and the rear power unit wheels are the same size. Ride quality was much better than my 321's. My dealer is going to get one with the factory installed suspension seat for me to try. He says that's a $400 option. We'll see if it's worth it or not on Friday. Got a price quote of $12,900 with the suspension seat and another $1900 for the 16 cu.ft. collection system. Hmm... What do you guys think? Does that price sound about right?

Share This Page