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diesel opinions??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by deereequipment, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. deereequipment

    deereequipment LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Hey there.
    I am trying to find a higher horsepower for my 72" decks.

    I am considering:
    Deere 997 72" diesel
    Kubota 72" diesel
    Gravely 72" diesel/turbo
    Does Scag make a diesel 72"?
    Walker, 72" diesel.

    Zero Turns only, anyone have any comments about what they are running?

    I have Deere and Gravely now, and am leaning towards them, but like what is on the Kubota machine.

    I'm looking for opinions on how the cut, how the power-to-deck seems, and the ease and comfort of operations.

  2. TheOctagon

    TheOctagon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    I am just curious before a big long post comes up.... Why do you want diesel? There are some very good power options outside of diesel if power is your main concern. Some that may even be more powerful than their diesel counterparts.
  3. deereequipment

    deereequipment LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Diesel for the longevity of the engine, and for the low end torque.
    been mowing for a long time, and with my experience, if I could get a push mower with a diesel, I would!

    Also, add BadBoy to the list.

    I know someone that has a Gravely, and the belts can't keep up with the power.
    In thick grass, it will chew up a belt in a hurray rather than spitting the grass out.
  4. TheOctagon

    TheOctagon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    Ha that is pretty much how i feel as well. Love diesel engines! Well i can imagine the John Deere is a good combo. They have a good deck and its a 32 hp yanmar diesel which is pretty much bulletproof.
    I would rule the Walker out just because its only like 21hp.
    Gravely probably has a decent setup but if you already have seen issues with one i would avoid it. Especially because of the diahatsu diesel. Havent heard the greatest things about them.
    Scag is and great contender with them being probably the most heavy duty as well as having a great deck for all conditions. The CAT 28hp diesel is a strong engine but will probably fall short of the big deere and badboy for power. Still as an overall i would probably choose the Scag.
    Badboy is a good good machine with a deck willing to handle heavy conditions as well as an engine that is by far the most powerful i have ever ran as well as smooth. If perfect cut is your main concern badboy may fall a little short in some conditions but overall would work very well especially for the price.
    Kubota i cant comment on i have never ran one, but i know some people who have and say that sometimes even the big diesel seems weak. Like i say thats just hear say though.
  5. deereequipment

    deereequipment LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Thank you for your feedback. It seems like you are run quite a few different ones. THIS is exactly what I am looking for.

    I noticed the Walker only having a 21 hp, but they still have a 72ish inch deck matched to it. I am running 26 hp to my 72, and works great except through thick grass, so I imagine the 21 hp would struggle.
  6. TheOctagon

    TheOctagon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    I think they get away with it because of the low ground speed. I was also thinking that if you have one near by i would check out grasshopper too. I have heard good things about them and they run the kubota also. Dont know about the deck first hand but im sure someone does.
  7. RozarLawnCare

    RozarLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    I have a Woods 6215 with a 61" deck and a 21hp Kubota diesel engine. I cannot imagine not having a diesel. The fuel savings alone will pay for the engine in the long run. I think the power on mine is ok, but Woods did go to a 25hp for the new models and I would think that a 72" would need more HP than that.

    The Kubota's are nice. They had some tranny problems in the first few years, but with the new ones, I think they got it fixed.

    I like the Grasshoppers and If I ever buy a new one, that is probably what I would get.
  8. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    I'm a Gravely guy, and own a 2010 with a diesel, albeit the 60 inch model. This engine is naturally aspirated on my mower, rating 26 hp, but is turbochared on the 72, which boosts it to 31 hp.

    I have no complaints with the power, and especially like the torque, which will handle more grass than my other identical mower with a 27 gasser, but it is possible to lug the engine in thick grass. However, I have had an issue which seems to be caused by slipping of the main serpentine belt. No problem at all on normal terrain, but if you hit a steep grade, or try to pull up out of a ditch, you begin to get wheel "chatter" which can easily cause loss of traction. A new belt made no difference, and belt dressing will help temporarily, but not alleviate the problem totally. My dealer has the mower now, and is supposed to get hold of a gauge to check the hydraulic pressure, because the people at Gravely basically told them they needed to know the pressure before they could begin to address the problem.

    I suspect this is simply a matter of poor type and/or placement of the pullleys, but if it is common to all the diesels, and not unique to only mine, I would not buy another until the engineering is improved. If you have the opportunity to demo one, pull down into a steep ditch, then attempt to pull up and out at the end like you normally would. If the mower has the same problem as mine, you'll see what I mean rather quickly.
  9. deereequipment

    deereequipment LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    bumpity, bump bump
  10. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    I have read some bad stuff about the turbocharged diahatsu motors. I have personally ran the 32hp cat 60" bad boy, 28 hp cat scag 60", older scag 72" diahatsu, john deere 997 with the yanmar, and the walker with the 20.6hp kubota motor. Overall i like the scag the best. It has the best discharge out of all the mowers i have ever used! The motor has alot of vibrations at low rpms such as when idling. I never bogged it down even when i took it though a patch of cogan grass. The bad boy was a beast! It was unstoppable, ran smooth, was the cheapest of them all, but i hated the deck settings. IT is all electric and doesn't have a set 3" 4" so on so forth. It has a gauge with a needle that you lower it until the needle is at the point you want it at. This is leaving some wiggle room for improper deck heights. The cut was probably the third best out of all the mowers listed here. The walker had the best cut but the productivity was low i only used a 52" ghs deck, The speed was slower but with the speed up kit it would be fine. It didn't bog like i would have expected. I am guessing it is because of the torque the kubota motor has. It didn't like slopes it would make some noises like it was trying but didn't want to handle them. The john deere 997 has the worst cut of any mower i have ever used my uncle owns this machine and it is a hoss but is only good for rough cutting in my opinion. This could be due to the fact that his is a rear discharge deck though. It has over 1500 hours now and is 4 years old and he hasn't replaced anything but a couple belts. He services every 200 operating hours. The Older scag with diahatsu had the advantage deck where it mowed nice it came in next to last with cut quality. The mower didn't ever lower rpms which was wonderful. It seems if it tried to fall it would build more boost and pick right back up! However this would be the most expensive mower to mantain and replace parts on. A turbo is easily 1500 - 2000 dollars. And it isn't easy to work on! My number one choice would be the scag with the 28 cat! Where it may be more expensive than the badboy and run a little more rough. It makes up for with cut quality, track record, and in most cases a dealer for bad boy is a tractor supply so they just don't get the service they should. WHat ever option you pick you will be happy with my suggestion is be sure it has a cat motor! The cat motor can go 500-700 hours on a single servicing!

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