Jeff, we use a Howard 727 with 45 HP Diesel, extra wide drive tires, 72" mulching deck. Mostly cutting Kiku Grass. Has about 1900 hrs. Have had problems with; Deck starting to get thin, Air seat scissors break 4 so far, Time delay switch for safety interlock goes bad used 3 so far, Had to replace bushings in drive line (this was a real Tuff Job), bushings front deck casters wear out fast, Spring on clutch lever breaks frequently, Misc bolts break and some welds break, muffler mount weld cracked, grease fittings on rear wheel suspension break off and are pressed in so dificult to repair, bearings, deck replaced two switched over to synthetic grease havn't had to replace any since then. uses about 1.2 gals fuel per hour, does a great job of mulching in all conditions. (if you have ever cut Kiku you will know what I mean.) For the mulching to work correctly have to use Howards wave blades, I have not found a replacement for these. The last price we paid for these $35.00 each. and hard to sharpen. Average operating costs to date including depreciation $18.90 per hour. Jeff even with the above this mower replaced a Hustler 400. and has cut my mowing costs in half. a lot of it from not having to catch. but also the hustler 400 had many more break downs. Any thing else you would like to know? Darrell PLM
PLM wrote:<p>>Average operating costs to date including depreciation $18.90 per hour. <p>That is real high equipment cost per hour just to mow 6 feet of turf.<p>I have a Toro 62" walk behind that can use<br>a stand up turf rider sulky or a standard<br>toro sit down sulky. The 18hp carb certified<br>Kohler V-Twin uses about 3 quarts per hour.<p>My actual costs to run this unit is about<br>$3 per hour. The 80% production rate is about<br>2.5 acres per hour so my cost per acre mowed<br>with that machine is $1.25.
Jeff,I have a 727-104" cut.I bought it from a golf course to mow just my lawn,8 acres.It is a 1988 and has the 40hp 4 cyl Yanmar diesel.It has a 60"outfront,and 2 batwing 24" decks on both sides.It is always broken down,I spent twice what darrell has an hour.The parts are super expensive,and hard to get.Problems include drop box rebuilt twice,radiator cracked,front wheel bearings went out and hydro oil leaks all over the place.brake shoes glaze and E-brake wont hold(new shoes 149bucks),still wont hold,new cables and backers,still wont hold.Deck bearings wear quickly,injection pump has an oil leak from throttle shaft(I havent fixed it yet,but will before season)deck is thin and cracking all over.deck casters are 120 a piece and they made them oddball so you cant go aftermarket.PTO saft bearings burn up fast and are a pain to change.I am tired of working on this thing,If I can get one mowing in without a breakdown it's a big deal.I run a gof course and never had anything break this much in 10 years.I figure it cost $100 everytime I mow,not including labor.Anything this big is 30,000 new,so I will buy a little 72 ZTR,probably a chopper,but it will take forever to mow it.<p>----------<br>John D<br>
Wow...that doesn't sound very good. I picked one up pretty cheap (I have about 3 acres to mow) & the hydrostat is weak. I can see where repairs have been done in all the areas you've talked about. What'll it cost to rebuild/replace the hydrostat? How do I know if it is actually the hydrostat or something else? I guess if it's a lemon it's one of those live & learn things! Jeff
Jeff,cut your losses and sell it now!this is the time to sell,it is not worth the time it will take to keep it running.Mine is gone soon,it'll go cheap too.I have spent more in parts in 1 year than this thing is worth,not to mention labor and downtime.Buy anything else,you'll be glad you did.BTW,these things scalp aweful on the slightest humps and knolls unless you cut at 3 1/2 " or higher(I dont).A new set of blades(5) set me back 189.00 from dealer and they aren't availible aftermarket.A spindle is 85 bucks,bare.The main belt is 100 bucks and slips in tall grass,no matter how tight it is,to tight then it wont disengage.This whole machine is a joke,the only thing good on it is the Yanmar diesel,its bulletproof and starts instantly even at 0 degrees,with no glow plugs.The whole electrical system is junk.All safetys have broke so many times I bypassed them all with a new harness(It is just for my lawn).The shame is that it flys and will cut my lawn in about 1 1/2 hrs.Now if I could get it to run that long without a failure,Id be OK.<p>----------<br>John D<br>