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Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs, Buy or Sell Outdoor power equipment discussions. Questions on commercial lawn mowers, lawn mower, mower parts, lawn tractors, engines, edgers, trimmers, pole saws, aerators, hydro seeders, snow plows, chain saws, stump grinders, trucks and trailers?

Diesel Powered Mowers


Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs, Buy or Sell

Outdoor power equipment discussions. Questions on commercial lawn mowers, lawn mower, mower parts, lawn tractors, engines, edgers, trimmers, pole saws, aerators, hydro seeders, snow plows, chain saws, stump grinders, trucks and trailers?
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:33 AM
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Default Diesel Powered Mowers

I have a 2005 diesel truck that has a 140 miles on it and it continues to run like a charm. I also have a 2011 diesel that is just bar none the best diesel truck out there. I love diesel because they last forever and that is why I only buy diesel trucks. I think all gas trucks should go away and make everything diesel.

But to get to the point. I have heard about diesel engines in mowers and I only know of Grass Hopper having a few diesel but there are no dealers in my area. I wanted to ask you guys a few questions regarding diesels in mowers.

What companies are using diesel mowers?
Is diesel in mowers a good choice (as I'm guessing they will last forever)?
Are they comparable in price of gas mowers?
And in general what are all your thoughts or experience using diesel powered mowers?
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:45 AM
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kubota makes some nice diesel equipment ,and anything diesel is more cash just like when you bought your trucks .
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:09 PM
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Both Toro and Exmark sell diesel zero turns.

I don't know anything more about them.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:16 PM
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I run John Deere, the most amazing GT is the X749, all wheel drive and all wheel steer, has a 3pt hitch, rear PTO, you can use the thing for anything including a small loader, 72" deck, bush hog, finish mower, tiller etc.

They do however have a steep price tag, the engine is a Yanmar, they can't be beat, most of the fishing boats here run these engines also, I also had them in the excavators, never had an issue.

I did however start with the Diesel ZTR, 997 model, excellent machine however mowing was a small fraction of when we did so I traded, spraying is very big for us and the X749's have 40 gallon sprayers on the read, air ride seats mean you can go across really bumpy ground and it's like riding on air.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:31 PM
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it really boils down to personal preference and for lawn mowing it really does not add much in the form of savings when it is said and done with.

diesel fuel is usually 75 cents a gallon more and throw in the fact that the diesel option usually results in at least a couple thousand dollars more for the unit not to mention they need the oil changed more frequently and when they break they cost 10 times more to fix.

in the end, it really don't save much as well as most diesel mowers are liquid cooled and in the past i have had seperate issues with that and in my opinion radiators on a machine like a mower in a dusty enviroment don't mix too well if the operator is too lazy to clean it out daily.

my f-550 ford needed a new injector pump as well as the injectors themselves and a couple of other fuel system parts and just the cost for the parts i could have put a new motor in my truck with the gas engine without even getting into the labor.

years ago the diesel was a good option when it was half the price of gasoline and in my area only one out of every ten gas stations have diesel so it can be tiresome going out of the way to fuel up.

when you add up the initial cost of ownership the extra cost for fuel and then throw into repairs are a lot more it really does not provide a savings and then in the winter the warm up time is extended as well as you got to plug them in and the fords and the dodges are horrendous to start if it is not plugged in and it is 15 degrees outside.

the exaust is nasty and when i have to go out in the middle of the night to plow in the winter i wake the whole neihborhood starting the thing.

if it is a big truck in the 26,000 gvw range or bigger or a piece of equipment like a loader or excavator then yeah get a diesel but if it is a lawnmower you will never recoup the cost.

but either way it boils down to personal preference and no matter what you say if someone loves it you probably won't sway their opinion on it anyway.

just my two cents after 23 years of being a business owner and pretty much having tried them both.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:07 PM
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You sound about right. I was doing some personal research on them and everyone just says they are expensive. However, I do like them for my trucks. I guess it just isn't necessary for a mower. Thanks for the advice guys.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:27 AM
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A full answer to your question from a mechanical standpoint is this. Run a diesel engine on a mower and you will find it sounds like it is redlined. Guess what in a lot of cases it is, that is why they do not seem to hold up really any better then gas engines in this application. Overall my diesel customers have higher repair bills then my gas customers, so I do not recommend them. As for the brands that run diesel engines almost all of your top commercial lines do. You will find the choice of engines limited to Yanamar for John Deere, Kubota, Shibaura, and Cat(from what I understand they do not produce this engine though they just rebadge it)
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:50 PM
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Do any of you guys that run diesel equipment know about off road diesel? It is significantly less because the highway taxes are not assessed because the equipment is not used on the highway. Most of the time they keep people from cheating the system by putting red dye into the fuel.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cleaning Doctor View Post
Do any of you guys that run diesel equipment know about off road diesel? It is significantly less because the highway taxes are not assessed because the equipment is not used on the highway. Most of the time they keep people from cheating the system by putting red dye into the fuel.
off road diesel is the same as home heating oil and it has the dye in it as well as it is not nearly as clean as the diesel fuel plus home heating ol cost about the same so combine that with running dirtier fuel through your machine you are better off running the real diesel fuel.

until i switched my home over to natural gas i only used diesel fuel for my furnace over the conventional home heating oil and as a result i got double the time per tankfull as well as my furnaces efficency was a lot higher and my maintenance was almost eliminated compared to the crap they sell as #2 home heating oil.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cleaning Doctor View Post
Do any of you guys that run diesel equipment know about off road diesel? It is significantly less because the highway taxes are not assessed because the equipment is not used on the highway. Most of the time they keep people from cheating the system by putting red dye into the fuel.
Yes, some of the service stations here sell it and it is marked or you can go to a depot and buy it which is what I do.

Was reading some of the other comments and while I agree older diesel engines may have been loud, may have sounded like they had to be red lined to get the RPM required for the mower or the smell, this is not the case with the newer engines.

If it is really cold outside then for about 1 to 2 min you can sometimes smell the diesel, in the summer you never smell anything, there is zero vibration and I run our gear around 1,800 RPM, super smooth and quiet.

I am surprised diesel at the station is more expensive than gas, I run a diesel Jetta and diesel is generally $0.40 less a gallon (US)

As for repair costs, there are far less pieces on a diesel that can go wrong vs gas, I have been running diesel's since the late 80's along with gas, my experience is the diesel will not only outlast a gas engine, the overall maintenance cost is far less, like anything it depends on how well you take car of the equipment.
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