Homeowner seeking a sanity check -- need a new mower for three acres

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Corn-Picker, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Corn-Picker

    Corn-Picker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I should have said mowing speed rather than mowing ability. The Ventrac 3200 is clearly an able machine, it just did not ride nearly as smooth as the grasshopper at top speed, and it takes longer to turn around because it isn't a zero turn. Neither of those are a big deal if you have relatively smooth property or don't have to reverse direction every ten seconds like I do. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Ventrac to someone under the right conditions, but my property was more efficiently and quickly mowed wit the grasshopper, your mileage may vary.

    I wish I had one of those flat properties without obstacles, then I could have got some SCUT/CUT with a BH and FEL. As it is I will have the grasshopper for mowing, and I may buy an old used terramite t7 for my FEL/BH work.
  2. Corn-Picker

    Corn-Picker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    It finally stopped raining long enough for me to mow. I mowed my entire property (3 acres) so I could get an "apples to apples" comparison between the Grasshopper and my Craftsman LT.

    Total riding time on the Craftsman was 5.0 hours
    Total riding time on the Grasshopper was 2.3 hours

    That's a time savings of 54% on my first try with the Grasshopper. I suspect that I can increase that to 60%+ time savings with a little more seat time on the Grasshopper. An hour in the Grasshopper seat is a lot less fatiguing than an hour in the lawn tractor seat as well. I can now mow grass after work on a weekday, as opposed to taking the better part of a Saturday or Sunday. And to boot I am much less fatigued after getting off the Grasshopper.

    As far as I could tell, very little of the time difference was due to the difference in cut width between the units (42" for the LT vs 52" for the Grasshopper). It seems that most of the time savings were from 1) being able to mow at full speed without compressing a vertebrae, 2) being able to turn around in under two seconds, 3) being able to cut around trees/obstacle with in a single pass, and 4) being able to mow cross slope.

    There are a few disadvantages to the Grasshopper though: 1) I now have a lawnmower payment of $200/month for the next four years and 2) It's takes about 20% more fuel to mow my three acres as compared to the Craftsman (3.5 gallons for the Grasshopper vs 3.0 gallons for the Craftsman). Both are well worth it from my perspective though; I'll gladly pay $7,500 extra (over a nice LT) in equipment costs and $1,000 extra in fuel costs if it saves me 1000 hours (50 hours per year) and a lot of fatigue over the next twenty years (Assuming that an LT would last as long as the Grasshopper, which is highly doubtful since they are so cheaply built and would accumulate twice as many hours mowing the same amount of acreage...)
  3. geminibuddy

    geminibuddy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    I have zd326 - took it on heavy slope- tip meter cut it off. So now, no power, no fun, nose pointing down hill, slid down with parking brake.

    any of the caster front wheels have trouble holding a slope.

    I will vouch for my machine over most on most terrain. The Kubota is a horse that has never bogged down, but I don't like it on a slope- and it may just be my scaredy cat factor. On the real steep slopes (think slope so hard to walk) I use a Honda propelled with oil pump. it is mac daddy.
  4. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    Tip meter? Ive never had mine do that and I've put her on some scary steep slopes. I had her on 3 wheels the other day.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. dboyd351

    dboyd351 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Now that sounds like a well engineered piece of machinery. When you hit a slope sufficiently steep to be dangerous, it kills the power so you are left completely without control. Wonderful idea!

    Maybe that's what happened to the previous owner.

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