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Sold Husqvarna ZTH....bought Grasshopper ZTR...

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Sonnie Parker, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. Sonnie Parker

    Sonnie Parker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    It wasn't by design or intentional but it happened. It just all fell in place like a simple 10 piece puzzle.

    I had spoken with another fellow who had bought a Husqvarna ZTH similar to mine from a dealer in Opp, Alabama (J.R.s). With my Husqvarna dealer being across the street I didn't pick up on this dealer during my previous review process several weeks ago. He had told me what he had paid for a 25hp 52"....while I had paid several hundred more for my 23hp 52". The Opp dealer was actually selling the 61" Husqvarna's for about the same as my dealer across the street was selling the 52". I just thought I had gotten a good deal.

    Friday afternoon the commercial lawn maintenance man that takes care of our business lot was in my office. He had just came from across the street talking about how high the Husqvarna's were. He wanted the one that was priced at $7995 but thought it was a bit high. So I'm sitting here thinking in my mind.... what if I offered him my unit for $7000 (I had $6831 with tax, in mine + the mulching kit which I wasn't using - $143 with tax...my unit had 14 hours on it so it was practically brand new)....then I could go purchase a 61" from the Opp dealer. Of course I was concerned about how far the dealer was from me (30 miles). But, I was willing to live with driving the short distance for warranty service if I could get the larger machine for almost the same money. So, I made the offer to my lawn man and he took it off my hands that day. $7000 and it was gone. He is a very happy fellow.

    I get up Saturday morning and ride over to J.R.'s in Opp. Met the dealer (Joe). I couldn't believe the business this guy has. Remarkable to say the least. At any rate, I'm looking at the Husqvarna 61" and see a 61" Grasshopper sitting over at the end of the line. I had considered one of these in my initial review but it was priced too high from another dealer. Considerably higher. So just for curiosity sake I ask him to give me a price on it. He quoted me $7100. I took it home with me. $7330 tax included. So I end up with a 25hp Kohler Command Pro with a 61" Bahia cutting deck for $330 more than what I collected for the Husqvarna. Ultimate cost=$7305 tax included.

    Now in comparing the GH with the Husqvarna....realizing this really isn't comparing apples to apples because the Husqvarna was only 23hp and 52" cut.

    The GH has a coil spring suspension seat with more padding. (Nicer cover too!) After using it for a couple of hours Saturday afternoon I could quickly tell the difference between the rides. It's amazing what you can find out about these ZTR's just by getting them home and using them on your own property. I was amazed at how my 225lbs glided on the GH. A much better ride. This was the biggest difference I noticed. The springs make a huge difference not to mention the side panels on the seat itself.

    Naturally the GH cut more area since it was wider. The quality of cut was comparable. I can't say one is significantly better than the other. Suffice it to say, if it cuts bahia respectably then it cuts very good. Both units leave a good looking and very satisfying cut.

    The discharge chute on the GH is tapered better so that it doesn't scrape the ground as much at a slight angle like the Husqvarna did when cutting at 2.5". However the GH chute is fixed and does not give as the Husqvarna did. It would at least flip up if you hit something with it.

    The standard blades are thicker on the GH at .250 vs. .203 on the Husqvarna. Maybe they will last a little longer, I don't really know.

    The GH is more aggravating to adjust the neutral position than the Husqvarna was. It is more complicated to me.

    It appears the deck adjustment on the GH will be easier to adjust than the Husqvarna was. Actually I don't even know if the Husqvarna was adjustable. I haven't adjusted either so I can't for certain verify this but the GH looks simple.

    The GH is not as fast as the Husqvarna. Don't know if it's just my unit but I could definitely tell it was not as fast at wide open. Not that I use wide open that often.

    The GH seems like it steers differently on any kind of slope. If I'm sloping left then I have to compensate and vice-versa for right sloping. (Maybe better explained in if I'm on a straight line and go into a slight slope the GH will pull left or right with the slope.) The Husqvarna steering did not do this. Again it may just be my unit needs better adjusting, not absolutely sure yet. However all in all the GH seems to steer smoother than the Husqvarna on flat ground.

    The GH has a foot assisted deck lift. Didn't really realize how nice this feature is until I used it several times.

    The GH parking brake is next to the drivers seat instead of down beside the deck.....while the controls are next to the drivers seat instead of down between my legs.

    The GH's Kohler 25hp is a little quieter than the 23hp Kawasaki to my surprise.

    The GH has a hinged flip up foot rest vs. the Husqvarna's 2 thumbscrews.

    The GH has only one gas tank while the Husqvarna had 2. I like the 2 better. If I ran out of gas I could flip the lever and go fill up the empty tank. Now if I run out I'm walking to the gas tank we have. I will have to make sure I fill up each time before I cut to make sure I don't run out of gas.

    Parts and service for both are about the same cost according to the dealer.

    And finally the GH requires less frequent user servicing than the Husqvarna.

    All together I learned I can't really compare models unless I bring the unit home and use it for a couple of hours. Testing at the dealership is not the same.

    Oh yeah, I forgot the most important part. The color! hee hee lol
    The big orange is gone! No more Tennessee orange, or Auburn orange, or Florida orange, or Tony Stewart orange. Thank goodness. My wife ragged me about this. You see, she's a big Jeff Gordon fan and we are both B I G BAMA fans.

    ROLL TIDE ROLL !!!!!!!!!
  2. What is the model number of the GH? Have you talked with your dealer about it pulling, if so what did he say? Also, did your dealer across the street notice yet? Sounds like you got a decent deal though.
  3. Sonnie Parker

    Sonnie Parker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    The GH is a 225/61.

    I haven't spoken with the dealer about the pulling yet. It's not a big problem to me but if it's not supposed to do it then I'd like it fixed. I plan on calling him tomorrow. I'll post his response. I wanted to ask him about the neutral adjustment anyway to make sure I'm doing it right.

    The dealer across the street from me is across the street from my office so he won't know until I tell them.....it's not across the street from my home. I'm in the boondocks! lol

    I plan on telling them what I did just so they will know what they are up against price wise. Plus I'd want them to know the differences so maybe they can relay the info to Husqvarna....especially the seating and ride difference. While I didn't think the ride on the Husqvarna was that bad, it's noticeably inferior to the GH. I don't know if that would be as noticeable just giving it a spin at a dealers business. Only when I got it home and used it on my bumpy ground did I start to realize the big difference.
  4. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,717

    I have two Grasshopper midmount ZTR's, both diesels, and love them. About that discharge chute. You can order a replacement chute that is made of rubber and flips up. That's what I did. Can't remember the cost. Congratulations on your purchase. You came out ahead with the Grasshopper.:D
  5. Sonnie Parker

    Sonnie Parker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    Thanks for letting me know about the rubber chute. I'll have to order one of those.

    Update on the steering. I talked with the dealer and he stated it shouldn't be doing this and might need some adjusting. He suggested checking the air in the tires first. They appeared to look low. I checked and they were quite low. Neither of the rear tires would even register. I inflated them to the recommende 9 psi. It now steers better, much better. I was happy with the way it handled today. It no longer pulls one way then another. With both levers forward it pulls just slightly to the left. Over a long run it doesn't get off track very much though. It might still need a hair of adjustment.

    I love this machine. And I'm glad I got the 61" deck now.
  6. tim cooper

    tim cooper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    I too have a grasshopper. 721D Kubota diesel and I love it. Only things that perterb me about it is....

    1. Temperature guage out of line of site. Mine has overheated a couple of times due to chaff in radiator screen... It would be nice if it had a buzzer alarm.

    2. PITA to grease the alamite on gearbox under the deck....

    3. Those tires that come on the gh 721. Man if ur not careful, it will burn a major hole in the turf, especially during spring when ground is soft.

    p.s. anyone got any comments on the mulch kits for a gh? I am thinking of getting one....
  7. Sonnie Parker

    Sonnie Parker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167


    I'm still quite happy with my GH. It has been a good machine and has provided me with a good cut for my bahia grass.

    I finally got the rubber chute. I believe all the newer models now come standard with the rubber chute.

    Haven't experienced any of the problems which you mentioned. But the GH dealers seem to be helpful.

    I did not like the mulching kit on the Husqvarna I had, but I don't need mulching anyway. In dry weather it created way too much dust vs. using the side chute. Not sure what it would be like on the GH with a kit but would guess the same.

    I have been using gator blades on my GH and they do a fine job. Almost as if I had mulched.
  8. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    If the GH has the outfront deck it will not track on hills like a mid mount (the Husky) will. I tried a GH before I bought my Lazer and there was no comparison on sidehhill performance between the two.

    The geometry of the front casters and drive wheels is such that there is a lot more tendency for a out front deck machine to want to track downhill.
  9. Sonnie Parker

    Sonnie Parker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 167

    I purchased the mid-mount GH and have no problems with tracking on a hillside. I use it on one very steep slope that is right up next to a hot fence. I also use it on our pond dam which has a fairly steep slope down to the water (just enough room to get the GH between the top of the dam and the water). Knock on wood, I haven't went boating with the GH yet.

    I can't speak for the front mounts. Never been on one.

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