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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone!!

I'm trying to figure out what I would like to do with my current setup. I live in the I80 corridor of IL. I have about 2.25 acres that I mow for my lawn. I have a Grasshopper 727K2 with a manual adjust 61" front mount deck. I use a 2009 Polaris Ranger with a steel cab and a manual adjust plow for snow removal in the winter. The mower has about 880 hours on it but still mows well overall, however I don't think the deck was ever setup properly and I don't have a manual for the machine itself since I bought it used. I have changed the head gaskets on the Kohler Command Pro. These are known for doing that.

I would love to clear up some room in my shop and try to find something that can do all I need to do. I don't use the Ranger for much other than snow removal anymore. It rarely comes out at all. The Grasshopper is out for all the mowing needs but thought that it could be used for snow removal as well. The option from Grasshopper that would fit my machine is a 60" wide singe stage blower. Single stage blowers do well enough but I get a couple of drifting spots that can be more than what it could take. I then thought about looking into an older John Deere tractor (400 series, 425, 445, 455, X485, etc). I know the 455 decently as my old land lord had one that I used quite extensively. I know that I can get a nice 47" two stage blower that should eat whatever I throw at it. I know that my mowing time would increase some with a tractor versus a zero-turn tractor but I think that the overall increases in use from the tractor would be better all around and I could get rid of the Ranger as it's not really used currently.

My main question is this, would the Grasshopper be enough for the snow removal or should I look into a good quality older tractor that can do more things (possible tiller, front blade, even loader) instead? I’m really looking for feedback on this as it has been bugging me for a while now. Thanks for any help that anyone can offer!!!


MODS - If this needs to be in another part of the forum please feel free to move it.
 

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I had a grasshopper 725d with a front blade from grasshopper on it and they will move a lot of snow fast. It was the best snow moving tool I've used. I sold it only because I needed the money. Was between jobs. I had bar tires; no chains.
 

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Sounds like you want something, other than a mower to help with around the house work?

For what you mentioned, snow, blading, tiller, mowing, etc type work, I'd be going to a JD, New Holland, Kubota, Mahinda or other local tractor dealer and see what they have in a "scut" or "cut" tractor. At least determine a size that you think would work for the size of not only your yard, but doing extras if needed when the time comes.

With just a mower and then getting what few attachments that would work with it, you could get a much better "used" machine that uses 3-point or front-end attachments.

Then just get a small push mower for all the finer trim work around trees, rock walls and things you can't use a larger tractor around.

I use a push mower, along with using my large front deck or my mid-mount mower around my farm for doing pond bank, small orchard areas, fence line, all time when I mow my yard, my mom's yard, and rural roadside for about 5 acres total. No one can or should have only one mower to do everything when doing acreage. Besides, you will come to a point where one mower is down for repairs, so you really do need backup mower.

Del
 

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Keep the Grasshopper as a mower since you have a large area to mow and with the front deck you will have easy access under and around hedges etc. as you already know!
(I bought used 93 Diesel Hopper back in 2003 and now have over 1700 hours on)


Sounds like you could use a compact 3-point 4x4 tractor which can handle the attachments you want.



Here is my Hopper:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies everyone.

As far as a subcompact tractor goes, that is my end goal eventually. Unfortunately the budget doesn't allow for it currently. My Grasshopper mows very well. The deck is built like a tank. I do need to level the deck, and make the adjustments for the deck height actually cut at what it says, like 3.5 inches is really 3.5 inches. Also, the Kohler engine on it currently has some power issues. It appears that one or both coils are getting weak, like the insulation is breaking down, so I will be replacing those this weekend hopefully. It's kind of a pain to get the cover off that engine since Grasshopper mounted it low in-between the frame rails. The ride on it is pretty rough when hitting certain parts in the yard. I love it otherwise. It's been good to me.

My thoughts on the garden tractor approach is that it will do more for me than the zero-turn can. This would also free up some room in my shop and get rid of equipment not being used.
 

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Re: Keep my Grasshopper or ...?

I had a blade for it once but it was for the smaller 600 series and the drive tires would stick out past the blade. This caused the tractor to sort of float on the outside edge of the tires and I could not get traction for the life of me. :) I too have bar tires but they are more than half wore at this point. I wonder if I could find the 60" blade instead of the 48" and see how it does. I still think that a blower would be a good asset as well since you can only push snow so high with these machines and a blade. I also still wonder if the Deere would be the way to go with a two-stage blower instead of a single-stage blower.
 

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I think a used compact 4x4 tractor with one of these in the back (used, at some dealers lot in the Midwest asking $1500) and accept that you need to drive in reverse when blowing snow would probably be a pretty good all around long term solution!
 

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I think a used compact 4x4 tractor with one of these in the back (used, at some dealers lot in the Midwest asking $1500) and accept that you need to drive in reverse when blowing snow would probably be a pretty good all around long term solution!
Haha!! It definitely would make short work of whatever gets in its way!! :laugh:

If anyone has any real world experience with the Grasshopper snow blower I would love to hear how well it works. Or any other zero-turn with a blower or blade I would love to hear your experience with these. I am still on the fence of what to do.
 

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There is no way I would even consider snow-blowing with a Grasshopper attachment, but here is a link where you can find some info on the subject:



https://www.grasshoppermower.com/snow-removal/



PS. Good thing we really don't get much snow to speak of here, but according to a local chief weatherman it was the coldest October in 50 years so who knows...
 

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I had a grasshopper 725d with a front blade from grasshopper on it and they will move a lot of snow fast. It was the best snow moving tool I've used. I sold it only because I needed the money. Was between jobs. I had bar tires; no chains.


I tried the blade and blower once before on mine however they were both too narrow. They were for the 600 series and not the 700 or 900 series. My drive tires would stick out and “float” on the snow instead of grip. I’m thinking with the right width implements the results would be greatly different. However I’m still uncertain how they would perform in all situations. This is where some input from both Grasshopper owners and garden tractor owners would be handy for their experiences with their machines and snow removal. Thank to everyone so far who has replied.


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There is no way I would even consider snow-blowing with a Grasshopper attachment, but here is a link where you can find some info on the subject:



https://www.grasshoppermower.com/snow-removal/



PS. Good thing we really don't get much snow to speak of here, but according to a local chief weatherman it was the coldest October in 50 years so who knows...

Also got to thinking, how efficient is the single stage blower on a Grasshopper compared to the efficiency of a single stage blower on a John Deere 300 or 400 series? Are there significant differences in weight? Traction? Maneuverability? Etc. :confused:
 

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There is no way I would even consider snow-blowing with a Grasshopper attachment, but here is a link where you can find some info on the subject:







https://www.grasshoppermower.com/snow-removal/







PS. Good thing we really don't get much snow to speak of here, but according to a local chief weatherman it was the coldest October in 50 years so who knows...


Is there a reason why you wouldn’t consider it? Just curious to your thoughts on it.


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Is there a reason why you wouldn’t consider it? Just curious to your thoughts on it.


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1. We don't get snow to speak of where I live! (I have plowed my driveway one time during the last 28 years just for the heck of it)
2. My Hopper is a 1993 721D with the Eaton 751-851-771-781 Hydrostatic Transmissions which have worked flawless so far, but are clearly a "weak link" in the drive system.

(I have changed the hydro oil & filters regularly according to the manual)

You mileage may differ?


:greendr:
 

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1. We don't get snow to speak of where I live! (I have plowed my driveway one time during the last 28 years just for the heck of it)
2. My Hopper is a 1993 721D with the Eaton 751-851-771-781 Hydrostatic Transmissions which have worked flawless so far, but are clearly a "weak link" in the drive system.

(I have changed the hydro oil & filters regularly according to the manual)

You mileage may differ?


:greendr:
I have the G2 hydros which I believe are the heavier duty ones, although I haven't done the research on those as I need to. Maintenance is the key with everything. I keep up with everything and sometimes things happen. :laugh:

Thanks to all who have replied. If anyone else has any input please keep it coming. I appreciate all thoughts on this. Thanks again!!
 

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I don't see the problem here. Keep the hopper for mowing and buy an older Deere for snow removal and other things. You can NEVER have too many tractors unless your wife finds out. :tango_face_devil:

As you can see in my profile I have a few. :tango_face_grin: They all have a purpose and a job to do. If you are worried about space in the garage go get a popup car port to store the "extras" in. :tango_face_devil: My .02$ :tango_face_wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Unfortunately that still takes up room and I’m trying to free some up. I don’t like equipment hanging outside. If I had more room than things would be different.


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If the area that drifts in can be widened out, I see no reason why the Grasshopper won’t suit you. Add the single stage blower and a set of tire chains and you’d be set.
 
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