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How about Grasshopper?

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by palmtree, May 12, 2005.

  1. palmtree

    palmtree LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    I really haven't read/heard anything bad about them. In fact the little that I have read/heard seems quite good. As I was reading through the posts on here I just don't see much mention of Grasshopper. I looked at the 223-61" with the Kohler 23hp at a dealer and it looks great. I haven't driven it yet but it is about $1000 cheaper than the John Deere 737. I have 8.5 acres with plenty of trees to mow around. Would you reccomend it?
    Brett (the new guy)
  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,717

    Here at our store, the 223/52 and 61 are our best sellers. Unless you are constantly cutting in very heavy conditions, the 23hp is plenty on the 61" deck. This "more horsepower is better" fad is nuts, now, with the high gasoline prices. If you can get a demo, give the 223 a try. They are a solid machine that requires very little maintenance.
  3. J.Gordon

    J.Gordon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 674

    I Guess I’m nuts then:dizzy: because I would not want to mulch or mow thick grass with a 23/61. I have a 25/54 Walk-behind and have needed more power when mulching and cutting thick grass. As far as fuel cost goes, a smaller engine will consume more fuel when overloaded than the larger engine that’s not.
    I do have a friend that has a 21 Hp or so diesel 61’’ that has plenty of power for him and that mower gets awesome fuel mileage. I would see if your dealer would let you demo both- the 23/52 and the 23/61 and see which one you like the best. Grasshopper does make good equipment and if you have a good dealer to back it up it’s a win-win for you.
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I agree with J. Gordan. The dealer I demoed my Hopper from was talking down the horsepower deal as well. I have 23 hp Kohlers on my 50" machines with blower assist catchers. Many times a week I really push the engines for power. I had an exmark 52" with a mulch kit on it and I honestly, without meaning too, killed the engine a few times. Even the 23 hp was no match for wet grass... I feel that for bagging or side discharge 23 hp os good for 48" to 52" but you really need to step up to 25 or 27 hp when getting into a 60/61" cut. The more times you bog an engine down due to it being underpowered the shorter time it is going to last.

    As for Grasshopper as a machine, I didn't really care for the 52", due to the lack of trim on the left side, but since you are talking a 61" that's not an issue. High lift blades are going to improve the cut, mine had standard lifts and I was not impressed, but I KNOW Grasshoppers can give an awesome cut. Plus the machine is built really well and Has been built the same for a few years now. Unlike other brands that change designs every year... They found what worked right the first time.
    Agreed as well about the 21 hp diesel, tons of torque, don't let the 21 hp label fool you. It easily replaces a 27, maybe a 31 hp gas engine anyday.

    On an unrelated note, I have seen 25 hp 72" machines before. Totally worthless unless you are mowing dry and every few days. Even still, just the weight of the machine taxes the engine when operating at higher speeds.
  5. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,717

    I like more HP on a machine just as much as anyone else. Before downsizing, I was running 21hp and 28hp Kubota diesels on my Grasshoppers. However, for about 6 years, my first, and only ZTR, (at that time) had only 22hp on a 60" deck. I mowed one 8 acre property that was fertilized, and only got cut every other week. It was always a mess, but with a little patience, I got it mowed with only 22hp, and it did not take too long and looked good. All my other properties got mowed on a regular weekly basis. So, for 6 years this little 22hp engine did all I needed it to do, and I do not recall that it used very much fuel to get the job done.
    I just think the manufacturers have sold us a bill of goods on this horsepower thing. These bigger engines suck fuel, and I bet overall we do not cut our mowing time enough to ever recover the added cost up front, and the cost of increased fuel consumption/hr. I will get off of my soapbox now. :)
  6. wushaw

    wushaw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Brett, if you want this mower to last many, many years then upgrading to the Kubota diesel engine would be a worthwhile investment.

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