Grasshopper 428D questions & Info

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mickhippy, May 10, 2005.

  1. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Im trying to line up a demo but its very difficult so just trying to get as much feed back as possible before I really push for the demo with a 61 deck.

    Anyone know what sized pumps and wheel motors it has. How do they compare to other brands like Parker. Grasshopper uses Gemini dosnt it? If so how do they compare?

    What troubles have any of you heard or know about. Hows the cut? Can it cut real long stuff like 2' plus occasionally. I know the engine should be able to do it but what about belts, pullies, spindles etc.

    I know theres alot of questions but its not like I can go to a dealler here. There aint one. Just a rep to deal with. Not the best scenario but this is why Im asking the questions.
    Just need as much info as I can get on all things.

    Hope someone can help. (MowingMan) hehe Your a dealler aint ya? :help:

    Cheers guys!
  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    Yes, I am a dealer. however, I am also an LCO. I bought one of the very first 428D machines off the assembly line, and used it for 3 years before I downsized my mowing operations.
    The 428D is one heck of a mowing machine. It will mow anything you can run over with it. Even manhole covers. Of course, the spindle did not like that cast iron manhole cover.
    I did not have a brush hog mower, so when I got calls for pasture and field mowing, I did it with the 428D. I often mowed Bermuda grass that was almost knee high. I would run over it with the deck up, then go over it a second time at about 3". It left a beautiful cut. I mowed several properties that only got service every two weeks. The Grass would be very overgrown when I showed up. That 428 would plow right through it at 2.75" setting and the place looked like a park when I got done. It never clumped or plugged in wet grass.
    The 428D does NOT have the Gemini trans. It has big 21L pumps and seperate wheel motors. The pumps are Hydrogear, and the wheel motors are Parker/Ross.
    I put nearly 1000hrs on mine, and never replaced a belt. The guy I sold it to has not replaced any either, and it must have about 1200hrs on it by now.
    A friend of mine who has one has put a couple of PTO belts on his. He said his helper pushes it too fast in really tall stuff, and that can cause the blades to try and stall, and the belt will slip. It is just common sense that you need to slow down if the grass is 2' deep. Now, these two machines have the 72" deck, so you might get even more life out of the PTO belt if you only run the 61" deck.
    The spindles on mine have never been replaced except for the one where I hit the manhole cover with the blade. We have sold 5 to local towns here, all have over 500hrs, and no one has had to replace a spindle yet.

    Any other questions, just ask.
  3. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Thanks mate, I was hoping you'd reply. I read some of your past posts (did the search) on your 428 and it really does sound a good machine.
    There only new over here it seems and there isn't even a dealer to go through. I'm going directly through a rep just trying to get prices etc. I'm just a little sus on weather or not he'll look after me properly or not if I buy one. Its a big risk not even having a dealer as you would know! There worth about $23000 here so its a huge purchase, hench my research! :dizzy:

    Anyway, I do have a few more questions if you dont mind...

    I would be cutting heaps of Couch (Bermuda) here also, so its good that it mows that fine. Some dont as you'd know! How does the deck go on very long stalky grass (Green Panic for instance. very spindley tall 3" horrible stuff)). Does it leave stringers? I think every deck does here so not a big deal.

    I dont know what its called but, the pulleys under the engine that the PTO belt runs over, is there any type of protection for the belt? Some Toro owners are getting some sort of plate made up because of sticks and branches getting caught and pulling the belt off!
    It is one belt to the deck and another for the blades isn't it. Not like Toros 1 long belt!

    Is it true that theres only one fuel tank under the seat. I personally think (from my very limited experience) this is the best way to have it for center of gravity. Greatdane and Scag also use this method dont they? My area is full of, occasionally very steep hills so C of G will play a huge factor on any purchase. How do they run on hills? I see your from Texas, from the pics I've seen its pretty flat ain't it? :p

    Hows ease of maintenance? I'm a bit of a shocker when it comes to maintenance so I'd like to keep it quick and easy. From memory, how many grease points are there? Are they easily accessible?

    What tires did you run. I think I might like the bar type but not real sure.

    What seat did you have. You can now get an adjustable tension seat, is it worth it or what? The grasshopper has the spring from the frame to the seat or something dosent it? What are your thoughts?

    I'm real sorry for all the questions. Its just that I need to find out as much as I can before I sort out a demo, or even if its right for me and my business.

    Do you have any pics of yours at work or anything? Glossy pics in brochures dont really show what thing looks like in real life. I really appreciate anything you have. I'll pm you my email just in case you have!

    Really appreciate it mate!
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    Let me try to answer your questions in order.
    1. I have mowed tall Johnson Grass that is very tough and stemy. If you go slow, it will mow it very well. If you try to hurry, the stalks will lean over flat, then stubs will pop back up after you pass over them. you then need to run back over the stubs in the opposite direction. I have had this happen with many brands, not just the Grasshopper. I have never seen any rows of stringers, just these random stubs.
    2. The pulleys down in the back are what I call mule drive pulleys. They do set low, but I have never seen a problem with them picking up sticks or other trash.
    3. You will have 3 belts. One runs the hydro pumps, one is the PTO belt up to the deck, the third is a deck belt that runs the blade spindles.
    4. Yes, there is one, 10 gal. tank under the seat with a fuel guage on it. This helps keep the center of gravity low.
    5. The 428D is excellent on hills. I used it every week on a 1 mile long hillside the seperates a landfill from a highway. The wide track, low center of gravity, and weight of the diesel engine right over the tires, make is a real hill hugger. Best traction of any machine I have ever used on that property, and I tried a lot there.
    6. Maintenance is very easy. Machine has a total of 5 grease fittings that get greased about every 25hrs. One fitting on each front wheel, and one fitting on each blade spindle. The spindle fittings are easy to reach from on top of the deck. You can change any belt on the machine in less than 10 minutes, with no tools required. You can change out an entire spindle assembly in about 30 minutes should it be necessary. You can rebuild a spindle assembly with new shaft and bearings for about $30.00, and it only takes about 5 minutes to do it. The engine has an excellent canister air filter that requires very little maint. This machine is very well designed to keep maint. to a minimum.
    7. I ran turf tires on mine. I never found the need for the bar tread tires.
    8. The standard seat is really nice and has good lumbar support. I see no need for the more expensive seat. You will have plenty of legroom, and the steering handles can be adjusted to fit your arm length, so there is no need to slide the seat forward or backward.
    Hope this helps.
    Grasshopper has a large amout of machines all over the world. They ship container loads out of Houston, Tx. year round. I would think you would have good support ove in your part of the world, as they ship parts world wide every day.
  5. finmower

    finmower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

  6. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    my brother demoed a 428D yesterday and loves it. he says that the torque and power behind it is unreal compared to a gas engine.
  7. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Wow! They do seem like fine machines alright!

    Ok, Im sold. Just need a good demo and see what happens. Had a go of an Exmark the other week and it was a fine machine. Problem is its sold as a Toro! And Ive heard some less than gratifying things about Toro! Actually, if I was to get a Toro, it would be a real one and not the Exmark it would be Toro! Confused? ;) You dont wanna know! :dizzy: haaaaaa

    Give you an idea on some prices and why Im looking at Grasshopper...
    Real Toro Diesel... $23000
    Hustler... $29000
    Ferris... $30000 +
    Scag... $34000
    SuperZ...(other contender) $18500 or so

    Grasshopper, straight, no options and without haggle... $22000

    So can see why I'm interested in them! hehe

    Thanks guys (Jeff) for you input/help. Really appreciate it!

    Anyone else?
  8. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    are those prices in US dollars?
  9. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    No mate, Aussie $$$$.
    I dont wanna start whingeing about it either but I will say you lot over there are laughing when it comes to buying machines. We have import duties, quarantine, tax's etc etc. And we get paid less than you guys for any given mowing job! Sorry, did that sound like a whinge! haaaaa
  10. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    aren't there any good aussie brands?

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