Diesel's: How many commercial guy's run them?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by af73bn, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. af73bn

    af73bn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I was curious, how many commercial cutters are running diesels?
    Any things in particular you like about diesels versus the gas counterparts.

    If you run diesels, do you plan to keep them long after the warranty runs out?

    Just wanted to get some first hand advice from folks already using diesels.
  2. capt bob

    capt bob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I cannot comment on long term for I am new to Diesel as well but can give you my Observation's on the limited time I have been using My 997 John Deere , Much Quieter
    than my 28 Kaw and I would estimate about 25% less fuel consumption , Torque of a 3 Cylinder Natural is greater than a gas twin , Speed this by far the fastest mower I have ever been on , Not sure if this is propitiatory to this mower but I have not been able to lug
    it down anywhere as much as I could other mowers in heavy grass being a shaft to PTO deck with only one very thick belt running the blades might help with that , Did I mention how quiet this is more of a low Drone sound operating at a lower RPM than a Gas engine.
    Covered engine with radiator and large oil cooler prob. helps keep the noise down.
    Here in Florida I see these used as finish mowers behind the big Trac mowers and Batwings going around culverts and signs on interstates, the county i live in has several of these they use for their Parks and median cutting with thousands of hours
    seeing minimal service , A mower or at least this mower seems to be heavier duty
    being diesel with larger hydro's and oil capacity for cooling. This mower uses the same engine for the 72 deck as well as the 60 in I have the smaller one .
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

  4. af73bn

    af73bn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Yes capt bob, The diesels do seem a little quieter.
    I drove a Yanmar Ferris and a Kubota powered Grasshopper...liked them both.
    Compaction does not seem to be an issue until you get into the heavy Caterpillar powered machines by Ferris and Dixie Chopper.
    It would be nice to demo a Cat powered Scag.

    I have always been the kind of person who maintains equipment meticulously. I still regularly use a 42 year old John Deere riding tractor for mowing. I have much success running machines for many decades. I was hoping to do that with a commercial diesel ztr.

    On the flip side, people with much more business experience than I have, keep asking me why I would want to maintain a tired old mower. They tell me it is better to write it off on my taxes over 3 years, and then trade up to another new machine with a full warranty.
  5. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,379

  6. af73bn

    af73bn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I think "subscribe" means that I should officially subscribe to this website and pay a small fee or something.
    This helps maintain the website, as well as to separate homeowners from professionals...right?:hammerhead:

    Dang, I'm so simple, I can't even figure out why the other guys are cool and I'm not.

    My apologies if I offended anyone...how do I subscribe?
  7. capt bob

    capt bob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Dang I thought the topic was so Riveting folks were subscribing to follow it lol
    I have no qualms how bout a link , or should i poke around
  8. TriCountyLawn

    TriCountyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,517

    I believe the guys are subscribing so that they can follow this thread.

    Personaly I have always wanted a Cat powered mower. But I have been looking hard at grasshoppers.
  9. Tizzy

    Tizzy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 383

    i personally am going to start buying grasshopper mowers with the kubota diesels. i have demoed a couple and they are the best the problem is the price. the good thing is longevity. a good friend of mine has 2 grasshoppers. one of them has 4500 or so hrs on it. and the other just recently rolled over the hour meter. he has been waiting for the thing to die so he can replace it but it just wont kick the bucket.

    i mean i run diesel trucks for all the benifits. why not diesel mowers?
  10. rreyn1812

    rreyn1812 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 444

    Bought my ZD326 from Kubota last fall and I have 131 hrs on it today. The comments above about noise, fuel useage, longevity, etc. are right on. I use off-road diesel at $3.29/gal now so fuel costs are lower, too. It is my main mower now that I use whenever possible. The others are used for backup or when I have special needs, i.e., real small yards, need to mulch (I have a mulch kit on my JD Ztrak 830) or the ground is soft. Of course not everyone needs one. I have some field mowing, and very large properties to mow so the diesel fits the bill to a "T."

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