Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn?

   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn? #21  

pgrimes

New member
Joined
Oct 10, 2015
Messages
3
Location
walton, ky
Tractor
Kubota L5030GST
I have a Grasshopper 428D that’s been a good machine. What few parts I’ve needed were surprisingly affordable. But with that being said I like a Kubota ZT better.
I also have a Grasshopper diesel w/62" mower deck. Just make sure to get a 2016 or later Grasshopper--I broke the frame on mine mowing over hills of cow paths on my old dairy farm. The 2016s have the newer frame (engine cage) that was replaced on mine. The Kubota engines and the later T6 transmissions used by Grasshopper are bulletproof with regular maintenance.
I also have a Kubota F3080 w/72" deck. I like the diesel engine and 4WD of the machine, but the deck is driven by an offset PTO shaft that drives a right angle transmission which drives the belts of the mower. If I can get the transmission to hold oil after it is rebuilt with new bearings and oil seals, maybe I will be happy with it--73" is indeed much faster mowing than 60+". However, there is nothing like a zero turn to mow around my 130+trees.
I've finished mowed this place for over 33 years. I've owned everything. I've broken most everything. The Grasshopper will survive me, but the results are not in on the Kubota. Keep your head up and don't let the mower world get the best of you.
 
   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn?
  • Thread Starter
#22  
OP
S

Suburban Plowboy

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
330
Location
FL
Tractor
Kubota L3710
without the problems ethanol gas causes
This was on my mind. The ethanol idiocy has caused a lot of problems with my small engines. It's amazing that Americans put up with it.

Sorry if I seemed irritable. I was really fed up when I posted my question. I was covered in sweat, grease, and grit from working on the tractor and other problems, and I didn't smell particularly good.

I should add that I don't generally smell bad.

My Kubota tractor is down until the guy gets here to put the new front gear case on it, he didn't show up yesterday, I made an annoying mistake on a fabrication project right before I tried to start the John Deere, my grass is almost up to my knee, and I had to redo the plumbing on my well after a sudden blowout the day before. Then I found out a) the $10 voltage regulator was integrated in the alternator, b) John Deere wanted $500 for a part that should cost $100, and c) it's not available. Refurbs go for about $360. Whoo hoo!

I was not in a happy mood. And the John Deere really has been a pain. The hydraulic leak was a bear to fix, and John Deere made the fender deck and high/low shift so stupidly, it was as though they had meetings, trying to figure out how to make the deck impossible to remove. The new seat I bought is junk. The $250 muffler is like something out of a comedy sketch. You can get some Kubota mufflers for as little as $60. Having to take the tractor apart to replace a fan belt...that's like something you would make up to pull someone's leg, but with the John Deere 430, it's fact.

A fan belt costs five bucks. Mechanics charge at least $90 per hour. So the real cost of my fan belt is probably $185.

Sometimes you buy something, and it seems like every time you go near it, you suffer. My 20-year-old Kubota, on the other hand, has never had a real problem except for a worn steering seal and a major part I broke myself.

I hate to spend on a new machine and downscale to gasoline, but it would be so nice to be able to turn the key, mow the grass, and go back in the house, like I used to.
 
   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn? #23  

photog

New member
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
3
Location
Sheridan, IN
Tractor
Kubota L3010
I have a ZD1211 that I bought in May 2020 that's been great. I still have a 2001 ZD28 that I still use also. It has never been back to the dealer. I've just done the recommended maintenance. Same for my 20 yer old L3010 tractor. Never been back for a repair.
 
   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn? #24  

shooterdon

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
3,171
Location
Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
Tractor
2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
How much grass do you cut?

I cut 2 acres in an hour with. 54” ZT. I put 20 hours a year on it.

A decent gas ZT will last 1000-1500 hours. With the $8000 saved over a diesel model, if you mow 100hr/yr, you can replace the engine every 10 years with the return on $8000...say $400/yr....$4000+ over 10 years....and not touch the $8000.

A new engine for my ZT is $3000.
 
   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn? #25  

jyoutz

Elite Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2000
Messages
4,179
Location
Edgewood, New Mexico
Tractor
Kubota MX6000
This was on my mind. The ethanol idiocy has caused a lot of problems with my small engines. It's amazing that Americans put up with it.

Sorry if I seemed irritable. I was really fed up when I posted my question. I was covered in sweat, grease, and grit from working on the tractor and other problems, and I didn't smell particularly good.

I should add that I don't generally smell bad.

My Kubota tractor is down until the guy gets here to put the new front gear case on it, he didn't show up yesterday, I made an annoying mistake on a fabrication project right before I tried to start the John Deere, my grass is almost up to my knee, and I had to redo the plumbing on my well after a sudden blowout the day before. Then I found out a) the $10 voltage regulator was integrated in the alternator, b) John Deere wanted $500 for a part that should cost $100, and c) it's not available. Refurbs go for about $360. Whoo hoo!

I was not in a happy mood. And the John Deere really has been a pain. The hydraulic leak was a bear to fix, and John Deere made the fender deck and high/low shift so stupidly, it was as though they had meetings, trying to figure out how to make the deck impossible to remove. The new seat I bought is junk. The $250 muffler is like something out of a comedy sketch. You can get some Kubota mufflers for as little as $60. Having to take the tractor apart to replace a fan belt...that's like something you would make up to pull someone's leg, but with the John Deere 430, it's fact.

A fan belt costs five bucks. Mechanics charge at least $90 per hour. So the real cost of my fan belt is probably $185.

Sometimes you buy something, and it seems like every time you go near it, you suffer. My 20-year-old Kubota, on the other hand, has never had a real problem except for a worn steering seal and a major part I broke myself.

I hate to spend on a new machine and downscale to gasoline, but it would be so nice to be able to turn the key, mow the grass, and go back in the house, like I used to.
I buy ethanol free gas for all my small engines. The problem is that in my area it’s only available in premium, at premium prices.
 
   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn? #26  

Sawyer Rob

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Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
7,916
Location
Upper Mid West
Tractor
several brands
I buy ethanol free gas for all my small engines. The problem is that in my area it’s only available in premium, at premium prices.
Same here, and I don't care that it cost more, it's worth it!

SR
 
   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn? #27  

Creamer

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Messages
2,811
Location
NE Indiana
Tractor
1710 Ford, Versatile 150
I still have my '97 Deines 60" front deck ZT and use it weekly or as needed. Other than blades and tires I have done almost nothing to it except the electric blade clutch went out so I replaced the main drive belts while I was in there. Oh - I did replace the seat as well - famous vinyl cracking style. This spring I went through some fully headed brome grass with some clover in it. I took it slow and it handled a full swath and laid out a beautiful mat of cuttings. I do not think they make them with Diesel engines though but they are a tough built mower that uses mostly off the shelf parts. The eaton hydros are a standard unit you can buy many places even though I have never even added oil to them. All the rest of it is very off the shelf and their parts are very reasonable - $45 for a three blade set, the drive chain is standard off the shelf but Deines shipped it to me for less that I would have paid at TSC. Technical support is almost always instantaneous when you call with someone who knows the machine inside and out. I had a couple of wiring issues on my larger machine that I had bought used and sent them some pictures and they told exactly what was wrong over the phone. Wonderful service!

BTW - the 60" fits in my 05 Silverado with about a half inch to spare on each side. It also was far from being to heavy for the truck because I carried over 100 miles and it was not down to the overload springs.
 
   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn? #28  

shooterdon

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
3,171
Location
Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
Tractor
2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
I buy ethanol free gas for all my small engines. The problem is that in my area it’s only available in premium, at premium prices.
I do the same. Small price to pay for reducing issues.
 
   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn? #29  

scaredychicken

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Messages
1,569
Location
Salmon Arm BC, Canada
Tractor
John Deere 160 (1988), Arctic Cat 400 ATV (2006), Kubota BX23S (2018), Jacobsen Super Chief 1450 (1969), Cub Cadet RZT S50 zero turn mower (2012) pending
as others have noted, Kubota has a few nice Zero Turns with the 60 inch decks
I have no personal experience with zero-turns yet, as I have been researching / shopping only.
I recently bought a used 2012 Cub Cadet zero-turn (gas), delivery is pending.

IF I could have afforded a new zero-turn, the HUSTLER (commercial ?) brand had my attention, especially with the flip up / tilt deck option.
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   / Who Makes a Trouble-Free 60" Diesel Zero-Turn? #30  

mikester

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
1,895
Location
Canada
Tractor
M59 TLB
I could sell you my ZD326-60P right now for more than I paid for it new in 2010. So far its been bullet proof but its heavy at almost 1800 lbs. I don't know what the muffler costs because I haven't needed to change mine yet. I haven't needed to remove the deck for any kind of service.
 
 
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