Review: Dixie Chopper Extreme MowSCREAM!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnSmith, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. LawnSmith

    LawnSmith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 389

    this post is entirely based upon opinion and observation of myself, employees, and the friend that was demoing the machine.

    yes, thats right, i am re-naming this dixie chopper the Extreme MowSCREAM because thats all i wanted to do while using it.

    the machine itself was a 60" 30hp Generac w/ silver deck unit and the "low profile" tires. a friend and fellow LCO was using it as a demo while his other chopper was in the shop(24 honda w/ 60").

    aside from the seat pad, the comfort of machine was awful. the re-designed handles are waaay to far away and i found myself reaching for them all while having to "hold" my arms up. the controls are extemely touchy and take some getting use to although they are very smooth and easy push/pull. the combination of short armrests and the distance of the handles from the seat led to fatigued arms. im 6'1" w/ long arms and i couldnt get my elbows to rest on the arms of the chair.

    i figured w/ the new low pro tires it would hold hills much better than previous years. in short, i was DEAD wrong. myself and anyone else that used the machine were sliding all over the place on hillsides and felt very unstable in general. the center of gravity on these machines needs to be lowerd almost a foot it seems when compared to others. side hilling capability was damn near impossible w/out some severe turf damage. we had to bring in the '02 and newer Turf Tigers to finish the hills that were impossible to traverse on the chopper.

    the engine was very loud and ran quite rough for only having 8hrs on it. it also smoked upon startup wether it was cold or warm. it also was not very fuel efficient compared to comparable sized engines.

    the ground speed is very good even though its the same as the other choppers i have been on and only a clocked 1mph faster than my personal '03 Turf Tiger w/ 29 DFI Kaw and 16cc hydro pumps.

    the attempt to get over a curb resulted in a stuck chopper. the deck can not be raised high enough to get over even an average sized curb. it took 2 people to muscle the machine off of the curb and once again had to bring the Tigers in to take care of that part of the property. the deck would also bounce around from side to side in uneven terrain and leave an undesirable appearance on the turf.

    the front casters would not stop wobbling on pavement no matter what tire pressure. we even tried running them completely flat and they still did it. on the lawn, they were fine and this would only be a problem in large paved areas from one point to another(to the trailer/truck, or anothe part of prop).
    the cut of the machine on flat smooth ground was very good and it striped decent as well. we found the amount of clumping in wet grass to be excessive as well as the amount of under deck "caking". this left us cleaning the deck out every 30min or so, something we are not used to. also, the deck height according to the gauge did not match that of our measurement from blade tip to level ground. speaking of deck height, if it raised farther than 5" it would be possible to clear curbs better as our longer wheelbased Turf Tigers have no problems even w/ the deck only 1.25" higher.

    the price of the machine was outrageous. $9200 for this particular unit and its very surprising. we paid $8800 for a machine w/ 1 less hp, fuel injection, liquid cooling, 1" larger deck, and in our eyes, much greater capabilities.

    the shortness of the machine i loved. for going up and down hills that end in a ditch line, it was nice not worrying about the rear of the machine digging into the ground. this short wheelbase also became a plus on the trailer. we had much more room to spare w/ this machine on the trailer when compared to our Tigers.

    by the end of the day, the parking brake cable was broken although we suspected it to be to tight from the factory.

    the worst news of the day was when an employee managed to stand this machine up on its rear "bumper" while trying to scale a hill we usually cut w/ the Tigers. he was almost to the top when the front end raised up and kept going until the rear bumper stopped it by digging into the ground 6+ inches. the front casters were pointing skyward and the user got off the machine by rolling backawards out of the seat. his feet landed square on the ground if that tells you how tipped the machine was.

    overall, we were not impresed w/ this particular dixie chopper whatsover. by "we" i mean myself, staff, and fellow LCO/current chopper owner.

    i have my flame suit on and am prepared for backlash, lol, as this isnt the first post in regards to dixie chopper(s). the only thing that makes this one(post) different is i had other peoples opinion including that of a current chopper owner. we are all in agreement w/ what was said here.

    EDIT: i didnt proofread so bare w/ me on the spelling, puctuation and grammar.
  2. So you were saying their fun to ride? Do wheelies on hills?

    Sounds cool...

    The seat does have fwd adjustment to it and that will change the whole layout of the machine, other than that, the gas sucking generac engine, the mower hasn't gone through much improvement in design.
  3. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    Good review. That is what these forums are all about, getting other peoples impressions and opinions. I really like my XW2500-60 D.C. However, I demoed a Generac-powered Extreme machine and was not too impressed. I only differ with you on two points.
    The height gauge has numbers, but on the D.C.'s I have used, they do not relate to your actual cut height. They are just a guideline . Like 2 1/2 setting is a cut setting of say 3".
    I have never found it to be a problem to get over high curbs with any D.C.'s. In fact, seems to me like they are easier to get over curbs than any other ZTR that I have ever owned. Perhaps the deck has not been set up right by the dealer. There is an adjustment that will change the max. height of the deck.
    Thanks for your informative review. :)
  4. LawnSmith

    LawnSmith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 389

    thanks for the input and compliments.

    as for the deck, i didnt dwell on it too much because as you said, it could and probable was, set up wrong by the dealer. im not familiar enough w/ the dixie machines to know who does the actual "setting up". i do know w/ scag machines, they come in a big crate partially disassembled. the dealers have to finish up w/ simple things but the deck is already set from the factory.

    i know what your saying about the "guideline" deck heights as the fellow LCO says the same thing about his other dixie. but, i'll be honest, my scag ZTRs have always been dead on w/ deck height settings. i dont want guidlines, i want dead on settings w/in a 1/16th of an inch of actual, not 1/2" and i hope most people would. i guess it wouldnt be a problem for someone that mows every prop at the same height. for us though, we mow anywhere from 3.0"-6.25" and a 1/2" difference can go a long way so to speak.

    im glad we agree for the most part on this particular dixie and im also glad your current dixie treats you well.
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Dixie has had a few "woopsies" with the Extreme Mowchine and it is being discontinued in favor of the Supreme Mowchine or so I'm told.

    The front wheel wobble is the result of a larger front tire.

    The Generac engine is just junk and everybody knows it. The Generac engines were designed to be used in a stationary position, not a mobile position being bounced around. Get the Kohler 28 EFI.

    Dixies arrive at the dealer setup and ready to go.

    The best way to deal with the height gauge is just to take it off and throw it away. It's useless anyway.

    The last great Dixies were the 2001s. In 2002 they went with the "improved" silver deck that is causing them a lot of grief even to this day. They also stripped off the turbo precleaner and the extra oil cooler. They changed the wheel motors and that is causing a lot of burnouts when you back the mower up because they are too sensitive.
  6. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    I demoed a Dixie this spring. What I didn't like.
    1. Between clicks in deck lift is 5/8 " needs to be 1/4" like every other contender. (this was the clincher for me)
    2. cant stand on deck without it lifting up other side severly.(mine was delivered with deck chain off its gear)
    3. Really tore up the turf on hilsides with the paddle tires.
    4. They stripe great but so would all the rest if they were running blade tip speeds faster than OSHA specs, Plus the engine was running 2800-2900 rpm.
  7. Lawn Tek

    Lawn Tek LawnSite Senior Member
    from u s a
    Messages: 457

    I have one , and have some issues with the motor . But have to say I still like it because its a real production king on large properties .No one elses has an aircooled , gas motor in the 72 inch class that will mow with it .
  8. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,143

    I was talking to my Uncle that lives in Indy last night. He mentioned that he's having problems with his LCO.

    His # 1 complaint, "That large mower is tearing up the grass when they turn."

    I asked what type of mower they are using, and he described it as a DC.
  9. LawnSmith

    LawnSmith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 389

    its a shame to hear they got worse after '01. i dont know enough about the history of the machines, i just know what i have been on personally.

    its always troubling to find out companies arent trying harder to move forward instead of staying idle or moving backward.
  10. Lawn Tek

    Lawn Tek LawnSite Senior Member
    from u s a
    Messages: 457

    Its the L C O who screwed up not the mower .
    sounds like L C O has some problems , choosing the right equipment for the job

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