Lesco vs Dixie Chopper

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by crossboneracing, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. crossboneracing

    crossboneracing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    So I am trying to decide between two mowers right now. Both seem priced well and adaquate sizewise. I am trying to decide between a 50-60" dixie chopper ZTR or a Lesco 54-60" ZTR. I was curious as to what people have for experiences with each and what each of them cost wise are or what everyone else has been paying. I am looking to purchase the bagging kit for either of them with the induction unit. I have heard the lesco induction kit isnt that great with leaves and havent heard about the dixie. I will be doing allot of cutting and in the spring and fall plan to use the mower for sucking up leaves. I want to know how either collection units fair in wet grass, and leaves as I am in the northeast. I also am curious about how they each are as far as customer service and parts availability. Also how easy the basic maintainance is as well as if something breaks. Also if anyone knows of any problems with either that would be helpful also. Also anyone have a price on the dixie collection system or experience with it? It seems high up and that it would be tipsy when full? I dont know any information would be helpful! You guys are always an awsome library of information! Thanks again! Happy new year!
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well... just to be honest here, I considered Dixie Chopper very early on and passed.

    Later on I became friends with a Dixie tech and considered their machines again.
    Frankly the only one that interested me was the 60" Silver Eagle.
    When I found out it did not have a commercial warranty I moved on again.
    (this may or may not have changed)

    I do however own Lesco and I put them bar-none behind nothing I've used.
    And I've ALMOST used them all.

    Primarily I like the fact that they cut clean and beautiful the first pass and I don't have to make a second pass to get something missed, re-chop clippings, re-scatter windrows, or bust clumps. This is a MAJOR productivity factor.

    The deck is also not picky about what it cuts or what the weather conditions are. I can cut the perfectly manicured lawn, or I can take it out on acreage estates and commercial locations too large for full turf maintenace to be practical (pre/post weed control apps, etc). Various types of grass, weeds or grassy weeds don't pose a problem. Plus I don't have to pack it up immediately if it rains, and I don't have to stay on the poarch until it drys up.

    I also like how they are pretty much trouble free and very easy to service. Once you pay close attention to all the design features you'll realize they put a lot of effort into making them ultra-simple to do routine service and repairs.

    The Lesco has the Dixie all tied up when it comes to slope performance too.
    That was a huge deal for me.

    As far as the Lesco 3-bagger with induction is concerned.... I have read mixed reviews. So it's hard to know since I don't own one. But for the price differential and my limited useage, I would be tempted to try it at $1,050. But that's only me.

    As far as the collection system Dixie uses... it's just the old style Protero brand catcher with the aluminum hopper. You could get those for the Lesco's too. A member here 'wriken' has them on his Cubs. The newer version of the Protero has a new plastic hopper and appears to be a little lower.

    I have no doubt at all that the Protero type is probably a lot stronger, meaner collection setup. They also cost around $2,500 as opposed to $1,050 so they should be. And since they are available for both brands it's not really a deciding factor.

    The only thing Dixie has on Lesco is ENGINE CHOICES. You get no choice with Lesco. They only use one standard engine for each model. You would have to slide over to a Cub Commercial TANK (same machine) in order to get more engine selection.

    Oh... and Dixie does have that bypass oil filtration stuff and whatnot.
    Nice I guess, but not a must and something that can be added to anything.
    Lesco deleted their "less technical" bypass filtration on their hydros for '06.
    I like my '05 setup.

    With either brand I recommend going with the 60" cut.

    Lesco 25/60 = $6,899 less any specials or promotional deals.
    Commercial Grade Dixie = not sure what they go for now, but likely a lot more.
  3. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    9 more years to go on my dixie and it will have given me 20 years of service. everything except belts,blades.tires and filters are original oops I changed the spark plugs twice. Im sure that bypass oil filtration stuff and whatnot have helped
  4. Duekster

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

    Bless my heart- I thought Lesco was just a private lable of some other company like Toro.

    I'll look closer.
  5. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    As far as the collection system Dixie uses... it's just the old style Protero brand catcher with the aluminum hopper. You could get those for the Lesco's too. A member here 'wriken' has them on his Cubs. The newer version of the Protero has a new plastic hopper and appears to be a little lower.

    My dealer has a 72" cub, with a plastic hopper on it, probably made by protero, but says cub on it. Looks nice.
  6. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    I make a habit not to run anyones mower down. So I wont comment on a Lesco, but to hight light the + & - of each from my experence.

    I do not own a Lesco but have test run one. I do own a Dixie Chopper.
    I will have to say I perfer the DC hands down.

    Every one has aceess to great commercial motors, there are 3 or 4 grades of hydos, most use the top 2. Make shure your looking at a hydro that can pull a load. (like 2000#) theses are the top of the line. Also a hydo with plenty of coolent capscity and filtration. Most the decks under these two and many others are compatiable. But some are more suted for collection/baggers and better striping than others. So it really boils down to the finer enginereing and handling, Costomer service, Name recognition, and local avalibility, did I say coustomer service. Yes I did...

    The bagger for the DC is the best made and a little pricie. but everyone that I know that has one ether loves them or did not really need one and wish they had not payed out the extra money.

    Dixie Chopper was one of the originator of "more power" and "heavy built" mower for the commercial LCO.

    When your looking at two comperable machines and prices about the same ask each dealer this question. I mow commercially, If your mower bracks down (and they all can) can I call you, and will you bring me another mower and fix mine? This is a true test for a dealer.

    You spend 7 8 or 9 grand you need to keep it making you money not the dealer. So i reallly can not experss the need for SERVICE. Even if you do a lot of your own service as I do, Its still very need to know up front.

    You get a DC it will be the last mower you ever need.
  7. Sir mowsalot

    Sir mowsalot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 310

    I would listen alot to what Envy has to say on this matter. I kknow he is not just telling you a bunch of smoke based on the fact that he owns lesco, but he is telling you true real life experience.

    Now, as far as what i think, i owned a dixie chopper. It cut real nice, it was durable, and it could cut threw wet thick grass awesome, and i never had to clean under the deck. However, i got rid of it because it was to dangerous on slopes, even little ones. The final straw for me was, several years ago i ended up in the woods, becuase i lost it on a rather steep hill. I happened to hit a tree which stopped me or i wouldve went down farther and probably wouldve rolled it. I know all ztr's arent the greatest on hills but dixie chopper seemed to be real bad.

    Another problem i had with the dixie was how hard it felt. It just felt like you would feel every little bump, maybe i just had a crapper seat, i dont know, but it used to hurt riding that thing all day long.

    Remember also to consider dealer support. That is a HUGE part in the decision making.
  8. Turf Technologies

    Turf Technologies LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 587

    I own all Lesco machines, including a Ztwo 60. Parts can sometimes take a while to get, but depends on your service center. If they dont have a mechanic there then forget it. Most of the reps only know about the chemicals, and very little about the machines. If something went wrong they would have to send it to another service center and without talking to the mechanic in person I wouldn't be happy.
  9. Grass-Masters

    Grass-Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    I agree, I liked my Z Two but sold it because there was no mechanic at the service center, and parts are a pain to get. Otherwise they do cut real nice.
  10. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Lesco needs to crack the whip at some of their locations.

    They really need to get with the program. There is no excuse for such in my eyes. In these situations, it's not Lesco's fault... it's the fault of their local people.

    I live in North Carolina, and when I bought my first Lesco it was from a service center 80 miles away. Most of them on this side of the state keep some items in stock. If I need something they don't have on hand, it doesn't matter at all. They ship it to me all the way from Ohio and it arrives to me in the same amount of time.

    Anything that is critical I can have tomorrow.
    I call today, the UPS man drops it at my feet in the morning.

    The longest I've ever waited on anything was I think 2 or 3 days for a non-critical oddball part... so odd I think it was pulled from the parts bin on the assembly line at the factory, packaged and shipped to me.

    Lesco has never let me down.
    If this can be done all the way down in NC, it can be replicated at any other location.
    People on the local level in some areas are not doing their job.

    If you are having this problem in your area it's certainly on the local level and my advice is to just pick up the phone, call Lesco in Ohio and tell them what you want yourself, or order it at Lesco.com.


    As far as service is concerned, I understand that Lesco is doing all sorts of things with that in different parts of the country. I can't say I agree with it or the lack of uniformity... but I can't say that without also saying I understand why the don't have a staffed repair shop inside every Lesco location.

    The reason is that if they did, it would be their top 'loss leader'.
    They just don't encounter the volume of repairs to justify it.
    They would be paying a lot of people to sit around polishing wrenches most of the time.

    In my area, they have one tech who works part-time, and he covers the repairs for like 3 or 4 stores... part time.

    Mine has never been in for service, and will not unless it is something major, complicated and technical that I don't have the time to deal with. Personally, I don't LIKE wrenching on anything. But there really is not all that much to doing the upkeep on these machines.

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