Replacement for Grasshopper 725

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by sgbotsford, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    I currently am using a Grasshopper 725 to maintain my tree farm, in combination with a Deere MX-6 (bushhog) for larger areas.

    The tree farm is all edges. Trees are grown in pots on tarps or in growbags on the earth. (Feeder roots can go through the bag to anchor the tree against windthrow.)

    So: Two rows of trees are just far enough apart to run a riding mower through them -- 6 feet. Row pairs are 12 feet apart so that a truck pulling an 8 foot wide flat deck can pass between them. A row is 200 feet long. At present I've got 40 rows.

    In addition I have a sample fruit orchard and display area that has a couple of everything I grow. Lots of trees to go round and round.

    Also I have 1 mile of walking trails in my woods, and 5 miles of pasture trail that is gradually getting converted into a Christmas Tree Maze. At present the 1 mile is done with the grasshopper, the 5 mile with the Deere. The Deere (attached to a Deutz 6250 utility tractor) is faster, but generally much less manoverable. It's also easier on my back on the irregular pocket gopher textured pasture.

    At present to mow everything takes about 15 hours, however, large parts of that are only done once a month. It takes about 8 hours with the grasshopper to do the tree yard, the demo area, and the residence.

    1. Is the Kubota ZD the right machine for this use? If not, then make suggestions.

    Pocket gophers are endemic. Generally if I mow at 4 inches fairly consistently, there aren't enough roots to keep them happy, but whatever I get is going to hit pocket gopher hills, and be used on rough pasture.

    Finally, it will be used for my residence yard. That's about 3 acres, but the part I mow is only 1 acre, done as two mower width trails through trees and gardens, with some wider areas near the house.

    The country is gentle rolling hills. Most of it is no worse than 5% slope.

    A local dealer has a 2006 ZD series (don't remember which one off hand) with 300 hours on it for 8400 with the current Kubota financing deal. I have a 1970 Kubota B7100 garden tractor that's still going strong, so I'm giving serious consideration to this beast. I have a good working relationship with the Kubota Dealer.

    A newer Grasshopper is aslo a possibility. The G. dealer is 45 minutes further away, and while my relationship with the owner is great, he had one heart attack this spring. Not clear if the business has a good succession plan in place.

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