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Gas vs Diesel zero turn lawn mower

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Gas vs Diesel zero turn lawn mower

Old 06-29-2018, 08:24 AM
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Default Gas vs Diesel zero turn lawn mower

I know this topic has been beat to death lately but I value the opinions on here.

I'm in the market for a 60" or 72" mower. Between my land, parents, and in laws, I have about 25 acres to maintain. My heart is set on a Kubota diesel but I'm finding they are about double the cost of a comparable gasser. I've had a toro walk behind with kohler for 16 years and has never missed a beat (kinda partial to that combo) Not opposed to scag or exmark, etc...

So, question is do I bite the bullet and buy a "forever" lawn mower or save money on the gasser?
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:36 AM
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For that much acreage diesel is the way to go. 60” if you have a lot of slopes to contend with, 72” if flat. Smaller deck is easier to avoid scalping on profiles.

My dad, brother, and two cousins share a ZD326 60”. They maintain 6 yards all 3-5 acres each. I get my turn running it quite frequently as well. Standard practice is to buy a new one every 8-10 years. No major issues, other than an operator error inspired head gasket, which was completely preventable. Tried cutting broom straw like the thing was a bush hog and the tassels clogged up radiator. There are other good mowers out there. Dealer support capability and quick parts availability separate Kubota and John Deere from the rest in our area.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:20 AM
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That Kubota diesel is one hell of an engine. That said as you pointed out, is it is crazy expensive. I just replaced the gas engine on my friends 72'' lazer, I found it deleiver to my door for $1900. The old Kohler had almost 3000 hours on it.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:23 AM
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I want the mower you want! Fell in love with the 60" diesel motor and only 1, short fan belt while looking at tractors at the local Kubota dealer. I HATE fan belts on mowers! I'd echo autpbaun70 on the 25 acres and diesel thing. Hell, with 25 acres I'd be tempted to do a small ZTR and a tractor with a bush hog.

Another you may want to check out is Spartan mowers. They make a diesel ZTR with a CAT motor.. https://spartanmowers.com/mower/heavy-duty-cat-diesel/
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:28 AM
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Main advantage I've found on the diesel is they just grunt through thick grass without losing blade speed. You can press them fairly close to full ground speed through some really thick stuff without them slowing up or losing much cut quality. The longevity/durability of the motor is just one factor.

Another thing I like specifically on the Kubota's is they are designed to run sun up to sun down without refueling. They run a pair of tanks. Combined capacity is just shy of 13 gallons. Probably not a huge concern for a home owner, but for a commercial operator, not having downtime is huge. Even bigger is avoiding a crew from stopping off at a fuel station mid day and wasting 45 min buying smokes and red bull, and flirting with the 200 lb cashier. For those guys having fuel jugs on their trailers can also open up scrutiny from OSHA folks. Start out the day full of fuel, and only keep 2 stroke gas for the small equipment on the truck.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:29 AM
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Look at this beast, 96'' cut.

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Old 06-29-2018, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Back-in-Black View Post
I want the mower you want! Fell in love with the 60" diesel motor and only 1, short fan belt while looking at tractors at the local Kubota dealer. I HATE fan belts on mowers! I'd echo autpbaun70 on the 25 acres and diesel thing. Hell, with 25 acres I'd be tempted to do a small ZTR and a tractor with a bush hog.

Another you may want to check out is Spartan mowers. They make a diesel ZTR with a CAT motor.. https://spartanmowers.com/mower/heavy-duty-cat-diesel/
My folks yard is 5 acres. Used to cut three with a 60HP tractor and 7' bush hog, and mow about 2 acres around the house. Last mower was a Kubota GH1800 (front deck ground mower, and actually my preferred style, but they have gotten stupid expensive). When we went from mowing with the tractor to doing everything with the big mower, time was cut significantly, just due to the increased ground speed. Granted, when we bush hogged the 3 acre portion, it only got cut about every 3 weeks.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:40 AM
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I think pops is getting ready to add one of these to his. Only downside is the 13 amp permanent magnet alternator that is stock on most of the small kubota applications (and kubota powered applications) isn't enough to keep up with its 11 amp power draw. No issue though....that's an easy upgrade and will have minimal impact on engine performance.

http://www.cooltops.com/specs-colors.htm
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Look at this beast, 96'' cut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cpPn77MVS0

I saw this thing on display at the local shop. $39,999.00. They've sold 5 so far mostly to golf courses
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:54 PM
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I have a Kubota L series tractor with a 72" deck and a Ferris commercial ZTR with a 61" deck.

The Ferris has a suspension and is much more comfortable, it also cuts the lawn better than the Kubota mid mount mower.

The Ferris has a 30hp Vanguard engine and it uses a lot more fuel.....like 3X the fuel of the 32hp Kubota.
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:59 PM
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My experience has nothing to do with that brand, but I looked at Kubota when I was shopping for my ZT mower. Internet had a LOT to say about the Kubota financing arm being Mafiia or similar if you were one minute late and at the closing end of the loan term. Don't know if that's still the case, or if you plan to finance....but I found that dis-concerting that so many people would speak about the nasty merthods that Kubota used.



Originally Posted by Dillard88 View Post
I know this topic has been beat to death lately but I value the opinions on here.

I'm in the market for a 60" or 72" mower. Between my land, parents, and in laws, I have about 25 acres to maintain. My heart is set on a Kubota diesel but I'm finding they are about double the cost of a comparable gasser. I've had a toro walk behind with kohler for 16 years and has never missed a beat (kinda partial to that combo) Not opposed to scag or exmark, etc...

So, question is do I bite the bullet and buy a "forever" lawn mower or save money on the gasser?
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:49 PM
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Hey man.

i had a 60 inch exmark gasser. It was a really good mower. Keep sharp blades and you can get a good cut at real close to wot on lawn type grass.

good friend has the Kubota 60 diesel at his place. Cuts about 4 acres and only about .75 of that is Bermuda sod. The diesel Kubota really shines when cutting higher, thicker type grass. The diesel just doesn’t hardly ever bog down.

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Old 06-29-2018, 07:21 PM
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I mow probably close to the same amount of acreage and have a gasser and wish I had a diesel engine. I'm to the point with the engine that I'm looking at figuring out a excessive oil usage problem. I don't think that would be the case with the diesel engine.
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Old 06-30-2018, 02:19 AM
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I've got two 72" Gravelys, one gas, one diesel.
Even though both have the same horsepower rating and gas model is 8 years newer there is no comparison between the bog-resisting grunt of the diesel vs the gas..... with that said I would still go with the gas model unless youre gonna be doing commercial mowing.
The expense of the diesel is almost prohibitive to the guy mowing his own yard once a week.

Example: Last time the diesel was in the shop I had to replace the turbo cooling lines... that repair alone was $1800
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Old 06-30-2018, 04:55 AM
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I have a commercial John Deere Z series 60 inch zero turn mower. We mow about 5 acres. We get it done in about 2 hours. It has a Kholer Command Engine and I am happy with it.. The mower deck is solid as a rock. It's their 7 Iron or something. I have had it for about 6 years now. Great mower.
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:58 AM
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I have a 61" front deck Kubota diesel powered Grasshopper. That thing is unstoppable and fast. I even mow the fence lines of my pastures with it since I can get closer than with the tractor and bush hog. Going on 900 hours on it and not a problem except one pto clutch.
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Old 06-30-2018, 07:04 AM
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Scag also has the Turf Tiger with a 28 hp CAT Diesel option. Don’t know much about the combination but it sounds like a beast. Maybe someone here has experience with that model.
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:25 PM
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I looked at the kubota real hard. They had to lower the hp on the newer one so the EPA crap would work out. No def. They also made some changes to the deck but haven't found any real good reviews on the changes. See if you can demo one before making a purchase. I think our local dealer had the 1211 models for 14,000. Just about anything you buy will be close to 10,000. I decided on a John deere gasser. Also the kubota looked to have some beefy drive train. Let's us know what you decide.
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:54 PM
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Kubota ZD326 here. Worth every penny.

disclosure : I own an orange tractor and UTV, so I might be biased. Or, very satisfied with their quality.

Big Al
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Old 07-01-2018, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by skedaddle View Post
I have a 61" front deck Kubota diesel powered Grasshopper. That thing is unstoppable and fast. I even mow the fence lines of my pastures with it since I can get closer than with the tractor and bush hog. Going on 900 hours on it and not a problem except one pto clutch.

Heck, I got 900 brutal hours on the 22 hp Briggs & Stratton in my Exmark ZTR., 2 coils and 4 spark plugs. That diesel prolly ain't even broke in yet. Got 11,500 hrs on my duramax and it still purrs like a kitten.
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