Great Dane Surfer owners please read.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Green Pastures, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    I'm in the market to replace a gear drive w/b. I had a Toro 44" and am looking at a Toro 52" Hydro with a 17 hp Kawi. electric start........$5400.00 This price includes a Tru-Trac.

    I thought about the Surfers after I got home and looked them up on the net. There is like a 3 minute demo video on the Great Dane site. They are fast....8.5 MPH opposed to the 6.5 of the Toro Hydro w/b.

    Surfer owners, how do they compare? Reliability? Quality of cut? Production? Any suggestions, comments appreciated.

  2. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    How do they compare to a 52" walk behind? It's night and day. Three years ago I sold the 52" gravely walk behind and went to a 52" surfer......ended up letting an employee go because of the increased productivity.. A mower shows up everyday! The only thing I would say is that don't skimp on the HP....we have one that has an 18HP...the others have a 22HP and there is a difference in heavy and wet grass...basically the skinny & light guy gets the 18HP...
    NIGHT AND DAY vs the walk behind..... small residentials 6k and lower have no problem with it on their property either...
  3. EHesseyLawns

    EHesseyLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    i own a toro wb and a gd super surfer. i'm planning to use toros till the day i die.

    i am/would NEVER buy another GD, especially the surfer. it's been a rock in my shoe. when it's running it's great but it's just problem after problem with that thing. transmittion belts go, air filter is crap, and they are pretty damn easy to flip. ive nearly killed myself a few times. scag does manufacture GD but they're just lucky they dint have the scag name on that thing. the surfer has been nothing but a disappointment for me. they dont call em GD for nothing. i would not buy it.

    with the toro belt drivens they are really easy to maintain and fix if somehting goes wrong. only downside to the hydro is that when those pumps go they are pricey to replace. but tor makes an awesome mower, super dependable. their biggest hydro comes with a 17hp engine. engines are kaw and kohler i believe. i have never been disappointed with my toro. i run em day in and day out and they've never disappointed me. stick with toro!

    just my two cents worth. have a good one
  4. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    Transmission belts are supposed to wear, and an air filter is replaceable, these are minor points. What has gone wrong with it that cost you big $$ or has kept you down for a substantial time? What about the warranty, shouldn't it cover the major stuff?

    I have two Toro hydro w/b's and a 52" Z-Master already, so I know of the reliability and the available engine combos. My question was this......

    Toro 52" Hydro w/b 6.4 MPH top fwd. speed $5400.00
    Great Dane Hydro 52" Surfer 8.5 MPH top fwd. speed $5200.00

    It's obvious that the Gread Dane will cut more grass per hour, and it costs less, how does it hold up uder commercial usage????


    The one at my local dealer is only a Kaw 17hp and it's on sale for $5200.00 I think I could offer $5K cash and take it home. It's a 2002 model. That's it he has in stock, should I wait and look at one of the 2003's with a 22 hp Kohker or 23 hp Kawasaki? I was wondering about that myself. The surfer is considerably heavier than a w/b and the Toro has a 17 hp Kaw. I thought I might need more Hp in the Surfer.

    Thanks to all so far for the replies, I'd like to hear more form some others.

  5. EHesseyLawns

    EHesseyLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    i had 2 belts go out in 3 days, not even 15 hours of use. it's not more than 140$ repairs but it's sumthing every week, i kid you not. it's just a major annoyance.
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457


    What engine do you have and what size deck? I've been told to avoid the 52" with the Kawi. 17 hp, for just these reasons. Not enough power to run the mowers weight and turn the blades.

    How many hours are on the machine now?
    How many hours on the machine when you first had problems?

  7. EHesseyLawns

    EHesseyLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    ive got the 52' 17 horse...ha what a concept...i have no idea how many hours are on it now, i wanna say it's up there around 1000+....
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    It's a good thing I saw this on here today! Someone new bought a duplex behind one of my accounts. There crew rolled in while I was cutting it this morning.

    They were running a small surfer. I stopped, watched and listened for a while. I heard it bog down quite a bit with a smaller guy on it. It must have been a lower HP unit. The quality of cut was poor. There were clumps left behind everywhere and the grass wasn't high at all. It also seemed very jerky operating and not real quick. Maybe it was the operator, I dunno.

    I wasn't impressed at all, it just seemed underpowered. That my be why it left clumps everywhere, clipping visabile at 100 yards or more. On the back edge of the property, the guy mowed some higher stuff down that the old owner left behind. I saw him run it over 1st with the blades off. Then he went back over cutting. I'd seen enough!

    If you are sold on these, I'd go with high HP and smaller deck if I were you. Just my 2 cents, don't you surfer lovers bash on me now! :blob2:

    I just hope the new owners come by to collect rent while I'm cutting sometime. I bet I'll get a new job!
  9. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Stick with your belt move ....isn't the idea to increase productivity and efficiency? You'll get left in the dust if you don't.

    Regular maintenance or lack of is probably to blame for your problems...there are also specs that tell you how tight the tension should be..

    You need to be smarter than the equipment.... I've seen guys flip a walk behind going up a hill..

    The 52" with 18HP cuts grass just fine in the spring....Sometimes we have to double cut as with any mower in tall grass...

    An inexperienced person will drive it very "jerky" in the beginning (2 days at most). Kind of like the first time you went from belt drive walk behind to hydro..

    Green Pastures
    That's what they are going for around here...
  10. cnflawn

    cnflawn LawnSite Member
    from tn
    Messages: 55

    and just to keep the record accurate scag does not build gd. gd built gd in their own factory in southern indiana untill john deere bought them and moved them. seems like it was ohio or pa. the same gentleman started both companies. his name is dane scag. he sold gd to john deere after losing the patent rights infringement case with wright manufacturing.
    just fyi.

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