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  1. #1
    Gold Member ToolcatWonka5610's Avatar
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    Default Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    Well looks like my dads need for a CTL is met since his friend he works with has a John Deere 5310 Cab and a lot of attachments. But we still need a tractor to mow with. Were looking at a Grasshopper 725D or 928D with a 61 deck or a Demoed Ventrac 4000 series with a 26.5 hp Diesel and a 60 or 72 deck

  2. #2
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    S. IN
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    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    I know nothing at all about a Ventrac, but I have a Grasshopper 928D that has had just over 1800 hours on it that I bought new. It's not had a single repair and is even on it's original deck belt. I've mowed everything from extremely rough terrain to extremely steep slopes with it. I've owned 7 different zero turn radius mowers and the front mount Grasshopper mowers ride better than any other I've owned or used, including the Ferris mowers with 4 wheel suspension. The only thing I suggest is changing the $5 neoprene bushings where the deck attaches to the mower each spring. That assures zero slop in the mower deck and the mower continues to feel brand new year after year. Good luck.
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    I bought a mower last year and after looking at most of them, talking to the dealers, reading posts here and on other sites, I bought a 50 inch Skag with a 26hp Kawasaki gas engine. The extra money for the diesel just didn't add up when you figure out how many hours a year it's used. In my case, I'm thinking about 100 hours a year. My water cooled gas engine should get 2,000 hours out of it, or 20 years of use. My guess is the engine will still be working long after I have other failures from normal wear and age. The diesels should get 3,000 hours, so my question was if the extra $3,000 for the diesel engine justified the hope that I'll still be using it thirty years from now compared to 20 years. I'm 43 years old and the idea of keeping any mower going for that long just seemed silly.

    I also have the 60 inch deck. I like being able to cut as much as possible, but that deck is a little on the big side for tight areas. It also scalps on uneven terrain. I don't think I'd ever go bigger, but might consider a little smaller if I was doing it all over again.

    Talk to both dealers and decide on who you like better. Check to see that they carry parts and that you can get things like belts and blades if you need them.

    I started out with a $2,000 budget, then doubled it and ended up doubling it again. I got what I wanted, it's truly a dream mower, but it's funny how much I spent compared to what I was planning on spending.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Ohio
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    Case DX55, Ford 850

    Default Re: Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    I bought a GH 722D, after researching a lot of brands. It came down to me liking a front mount better since it floats on my lawn's contours better, has more trim ability with deck overhang, and mows up under evergreens. With Dargo's experience and reviews posted here, the choice was easy. I test drove several and bought the brand/style that fit my needs best. I couldn't be happier with the performance of the 722D.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Flatheadyoungin's Avatar
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    Southern, OH
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    New Holland TC45 Shuttle

    Default Re: Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    i think the grasshopper and the ventrack/steiner are worlds apart...

    i see the grasshopper as a fast grass cutting machine...nimble, quick, etc.

    i have a buddy with a steiner- he has finish and brush mowers for it- and while it does a great job at what it does, i don't think it would touch a ZTR style mower.....at least for cutting grass.....what it does do well at is heavy brush, hills and banks, going down in the woods, etc......

    maybe i was a little afraid to push the steiner but it just seemed slow and cumbersome........where as the ZTR i have used, seemed , well, fast.....
    TC45 Shuttle, 270 hours, 758C backhoe, 16LA loader

    Well, I looks like I just bought myself a lot of work.....

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Green Bay, WI
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    Kubota F2400, Kubota F2100, Farmtrac 360, Tool Cat

    Default Re: Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    I could never justify why Ventracs are sooooo expensive.

    I love front mowers as well, as I have a couple of JD's & a couple Kubotas.

    Is the Ventrac closely priced to the grasshopper?

    Yooper Dave

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Kernopelli's Avatar
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    Carterville, Illinois
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    Mitsubishi MTE2000D, Dig It 258 Backhoe

    Default Re: Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    I've had two Grasshoppers and can't say enough good things about them. They are built like tanks, fast, comfortable, reliable. I have had a couple of people (that have never owned one) tell me they don't side hill well but I mow a steep bank regularly and have never had a problem with traction or stability. I quit mowing with the first one when I got my tractor and mowed for 5 years with a rear finish mower. Last year I bought another Grasshopper and love it. It mows my place in the same amount of time as the tractor/RFM, even though it is 12" wider, no trimming and about the same cost on fuel. I definitely prefer the front deck over mid mount models. You can get under things that a MM won't let you and as was mentioned before, they ride better.
    Darryl

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Flatheadyoungin's Avatar
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    Southern, OH
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    New Holland TC45 Shuttle

    Default Re: Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    i had a articulating mower (bolens) that had the deck on the front....loved it!
    i like being able to reach out over things, up banks, under bushes, etc...however, it was a fast cutting machine but it won't hold a candle to the mide mount ZTR's......

    how do these front mount grasshoppers compare to mid mount ZTR's? speed of cutting, comfort,

    say a flat, relatively smooth 5 acre lot....square, a few trees to cut around.....all else is equal....which one finishes first....
    TC45 Shuttle, 270 hours, 758C backhoe, 16LA loader

    Well, I looks like I just bought myself a lot of work.....

  9. #9
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flatheadyoungin View Post
    how do these front mount grasshoppers compare to mid mount ZTR's? speed of cutting, comfort,

    say a flat, relatively smooth 5 acre lot....square, a few trees to cut around.....all else is equal....which one finishes first....
    The biggest advantage of the front mount is the ride. There is positively no comparison between the ride of a mid mount zero turn mower and a front mount mower. I've owned several mid mount mowers and they were built like tanks. The problem was that they'd absolutely cripple me by crushing my back when I'd hit bumps if I tried to mow very fast. I hit ruts with a mid mount mower several times that jarred me so bad that I had to stop because my vision was so blurred from the jolt. Of course mowing slowly would stop that problem, but my whole idea is to get the mowing done as fast as I can while still doing a perfect job.

    The next difference between a mid mount and front mount ZTR is their ability to mow on slopes. I can easily maneuver around on steep slopes with a front mount Grasshopper that I can't even mow with a mid mount mower. The mid mount would either slide down the hill sideways or flip backwards if I tried going straight up the hill.

    I have a lake to mow around and I have zero trimming to do if I use a front mount mower. I can actually sweep out over the water with the deck and not miss any grass along the shore. I can't tell you how many times I put a mid mount mower in the lake trying to get as close as possible to the edge. The same goes for mowing under the hundreds of pine trees I have around my property. I can sweep under them with the front mount where I can't with a mid mount.

    If you have a perfectly smooth, fairway like, lawn that is relatively flat a mid mount zero turn mower would be exactly the same as a front mount mower. It wouldn't be any faster by any means, but it wouldn't be any slower either. My issue is that my lawn is a far cry from being a golf course fairway. Add that to the fact that I have a lot of inside corners (where a mid mount leaves a lot of grass uncut), a lot of pine trees, steep hills and a lake to mow around, I ended up getting rid of all of my mid mount mowers when I got out of the mowing business. I guess a couple advantages of a mid mount mower would be that you can get more of them on a trailer and they are less expensive. They still beat the heck out of any garden tractor for productivity, but they fall far short of the front mount mowers in the circumstances I listed.
    1982 18" Murray push mower (B&S industrial 8 hp engine!) custom deck, new blade - became unbalanced when one side old blade broke off!
    HF moving dolly - high torque! Dogbone multi-wrench too..wait, it split on first use.
    My trash man is the greatest. No matter how bad the economy gets and how bad stocks drop or how bad home values drop, his business is always picking up.

  10. #10
    Gold Member ToolcatWonka5610's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ventrac or Grasshopper?

    Quote Originally Posted by yooperdave View Post
    I could never justify why Ventracs are sooooo expensive.

    I love front mowers as well, as I have a couple of JD's & a couple Kubotas.

    Is the Ventrac closely priced to the grasshopper?

    Yooper Dave
    Ventracs are really versitale and can a lot of tasks, which is why we're considering it. But I don't know why their that much other than that. The on we'd get would be a Demo with 40+ hours if they still have it. If they had a Yanmar or kubota Diesel over the B&S Vanguard Diesel then they might be a little more worth the $17,000+. We tested a Ventrac and a Grasshopper and their both equaly good in their ways. Ventracs got versatility and the Minute Mount System for attachments andcan do all shorts of jobs while Grasshoppers got zero turns and super fast cutting speed and can do some tasks. Though, I saw a Ventrac Review saying that they mow fast

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