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Taking the 72" plunge?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gravedigger5, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Hey, guys/gals just looking for some opinions about stuff I might be over looking here. I went to Louisville this year and looked at and drove just about everything there. Even though I have been a dedicated Toro man, I was really impressed with the Ferris 72" z's. Had a demo out today with both a 3100 32hp Briggs big block and a 5100 34hp Caterpillar. For all the hype the diesel just did not have the lugging grunt power they always brag about. The 32hp Briggs kept up with the diesel without much trouble. I tried to run these mowers in every condition I could throw at them (5 week growth tall thick grass, hills and levies, tight areas, rough areas and wide open spaces) and they both did rather well. I was concerned about the scalping of the 72" deck but did not see much more of a problem over my 60" and 62". The price for the gas is $11000 with tax and they throw in a $500 gift card for their store. So that makes the price $10500. Marc
  2. TNT Lawncare

    TNT Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    From my experience using a 72" Dixie, I would go for it. They don't scalp any worse than a 60" and you get another foot of cut per pass. Also, prices are so close. Now I know you are going to look at my equipment and see a 48" Ferris. A buddy of mine has 2 72" Dixies and that is what I have used in that size. I love the ride on the Ferris with the suspension. My whole body hurts alot less after a long day on that compared to the Dixie, although a Dixie is about 1/3 faster or so it seems.
  3. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    TNT Lawncare, Yeah the Dixies are fast, and the new ones I drove at Louisville with the springy:confused: front forks rode good but they seemed to dip alot Including the deck when you stopped some what fast. The Ferris's I drove advertise a 12 mph speed but running them next to my 8 mph toros they did not go any faster. I think the dealer might have adjusted them back a little for demo's, but I am not sure. Marc
  4. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,085

    If you get a rough yard and need to make good time.. I can develope a hatred for my Dixie, between the ODCC falling down every bump, and then on the big bumps the decks bouncing up levels...

    wow I would might even finance if Dixie put suspention on the 2007 models...
  5. TNT Lawncare

    TNT Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    So many LCO's in my area use 60" mowers whether it is a Dixie, Toro, Hustler, or whatever. Aside from what my friend uses, I have not seen one other company with a 72" and it seems silly not too. I laugh when I see a trailer with 3 60" mowers on it knowing that 2 72" mowers can do the same amount in the same time. Give that 3rd guy a trimmer and get going. Oh well, its not me so why do I care.
  6. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    TNT Lawncare, everybody you see has a 60" and they are good mowers, but one of the things I really noticed at Louisville driving all those mowers around in those tight obstacle courses, was that the 72" mowers were easier to get the decks up in corners better than the 60" mowers. Does that mean a 72" mower is a better trim mower than a 60"?:confused: That wider deck does seem easier to trim with. :) Marc
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087


    You are overlooking a BIG thing.....


    You are likely going to run either machine thousands of hours. I'm guessing here, but I figure the diesel might burn 1 gallon an hour or a little more. I love the briggs engines, but I'd bet it burns 2 gallons of gas an hour, maybe more pulling such a heavy machine and a 72" deck.

    You do the math if you have some ratings or demo tracking numbers to go by. Saying you run the machine 2,000 or 3,000 hours... that's a lot of immediate savings/payback for going diesel.

    In addition, with a diesel you can also just buy off-road diesel, and avoid ever having to pay the road tax on it in the first place (immediate operational savings) and you don't have to fool with trying to get that back at the end of the year either (less red tape).

    Also, like I told someone else, if you are financing the purchase... heck what is the difference in the monthly payment? You'll save the difference in the payment over a month of operation I bet.

    I was under a little pressure once with some CRAP mowers and almost got pinched into financing one mower at one time... and at that time I was like you, but looking at Grasshoppers. Kohler twin v/s Kubota diesel. The difference in payment would have been like $40 a month(?)... and the diesel burned half the fuel, and I was going to be able to escape like 60 cents a gallon road tax..... It was a no-brainer....

    Monthly payment + operating expense = less overall

    Plus I was getting diesel reliability, ect, ect....
  8. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    72" Guess you could say I have DECK envy...lol GET IT??!! :laugh:

    Sorry couldn't resist!
  9. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Envy Lawn Service, I did consider fuel economy, and that is important, but with the machines I was demoing yesterday, overall the 5100 ferris diesel did not impress me over the 3100 ferris big block. The price diff was about $5000:dizzy: plus the thing weighed about 500lbs more. If I was mostly doing fields the diesel would be the way to go. I am only doing 80 to 90 acres a month of LARGE properties and the rest is small to medium(10000/12000sqft) residentials. If I was mowing that much in large stuff a week I would rather have the diesel. but for trailer space, weight on the trailer, and residential yards, the 3100 just seems to fit me better right now. But thanks for the opinion, thats why I posted the question. and now you are making me ponder the diesel vs gas even more. Thanks Marc
  10. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    Have you tried the 66" deck's that are out there.

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