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Diesel Mower

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnguy224, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. lawnguy224

    lawnguy224 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    I am looking at purchasing a 72" mower and am looking for any advice to consider...should I go with a gas mower or diesel??
  2. trooper8870

    trooper8870 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

  3. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    I would go diesel for the longevity and torque for a a 72" deck.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. lawnguy224

    lawnguy224 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 94

    Is the diesel better on fuel? if so approx. how much?
    How many hours will a diesel last vs a gas?
    What about spindles and hydro pumps? Better to replace a gas machine every 5 yrs say vs rebuilding the spindles and hydro pumps etc on a diesel after 5 years?
  5. trooper8870

    trooper8870 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    Regarding fuel-- my diesels burn less than 1 gallon per hour.
    Regarding spindles and hydro pumps, they are usually no difference between a gas or diesel model in the same make of mower. The longevity of a diesel is superior to gas if properly maintained.

    That's just my opinion!!
  6. Fresh-popcorn

    Fresh-popcorn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    After reading on here and other sites the diesel motor will outlast the frame on a ZTR mower. Heard people saying 6000+ hours.
    Better fuel economy, Smoother, Much more torque for heavy thick grass cutting and drives like a tank. Negative would be initial cost and heavier.
  7. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Ran a few numbers....

    Took a shot at yearly hours on a ZTR being 500 (nice even number most of us have no problem achieving in a good season)

    To keep things simple on consumption:

    Gas I rounded to 2 gal/hr and used $3.60/gal

    Diesel I rounded to 1 gal/hr and used $4.30/gal

    I used GasBuddy to get these prices.

    GAS = 500 x 2 = 1000gal x $3.60/gal = $3600 annual fuel cost

    DIESEL = 500 x 1 = 500gal x $4.30/gal = $2150 annual fuel cost

    So, first year, the DIESEL would save you $1450 in fuel.

    Now you have to add in the initial upfront cost that a diesel has. This is where numbers will be all over the place.

    I was figuring a 1L Big Block gas 72" ZTR versus a same manufacturer 3 cyl Diesel.

    Is it safe to say you can get a gas ZTR for $10K ?

    Is it safe to say you can get a diesel ZTR for $14k ?

    Your looking at close to 3 years to break even.

    Today's 1L Big Block gas engines are VERY powerful. Often times MORE powerful than most manufacturers Diesel offerings.

    Then you have the weight. A couple hundred pounds at least.

    Food for thought and discussion.
  8. LawnGuy110

    LawnGuy110 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,105

    For something that big I would go diesel
  9. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,149

    IMO, there are pro's and cons to both.

    I've also run those numbers like you did and since I don't put that many hours per year on either of my mowers, it would take even longer for me to break even.

    Antoher small difference in the diesel vs gas service would be that the diesels usually hold a qt or two more oil than the gas engine. Plus the filter changes would be more costly, especially when you count the cost of the diesel fuel filter compared to the gas engine fuel filter.

    I don't know if you'd want to go any longer than 100 hrs per oil change on a diesel, especially in dusty conditions. I usually go between 60 -80 hrs per oil change on mine depending on the conditions.
  10. TheChiefsLawnCare

    TheChiefsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    diesel. will way outlast a gas engine.

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