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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone done a comparison on the fuel consumption while mowing of the two. The 1025r can be operated at partial throttle while the air cool gas is at fuel throttle. I wonder if consumption is about 50%. I remember that the 757 would suck up a 5 gallon can of gas in no time.
 

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My 1025r burns about a gallon per hour on average with typical use, like plowing snow, running the rear RC2048 Frontier mower, etc. Lighter use, a little less than a gallon per hour about 0.9 of a gallon.

My ExMark Lazer S with the 60" deck and I think its a 27hp Kawasaki gas engine, burns about 1.5 gallons per hour, WOT and mowing speed. But the ground the ExMark covers in an hour is likely 50% more than a 1 series could. I would have liked to have gotten the diesel engine on my ExMark, but they start at about $18k, which made it a $7k upcharge from what I paid for the unit I have.

I had been mowing about 200 to 250 hours per season. My zero turn is just 2 years old and has 470 hours on it. This year, its going to be about 375 hours mowing this season (assuming about 10 hours a week)............

Right now gas, is $1.80 per gallon and diesel is $2.80 per gallon in our area. Economically, I couldn't justify the up charge for the diesel engine in the zero turn for fuel use issues. Longevity is another story, but I very likely will be trading up for another Zero turn anyways, so I doubt it will reach 1,000 hours on the clock when I own it............
 

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I have a 2520 and had a 757 years ago at the same time. I never kept records but estimate the zero turn used twice as much fuel or more.

And that is with both running at full throttle. I won’t run a belly mower at less than full throttle.
 

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Longevity is another story, but I very likely will be trading up for another Zero turn anyways, so I doubt it will reach 1,000 hours on the clock when I own it............
Your not buying razor blades 1 at a time yet hopefully!
I would think you have time to wear out 2 or 3 machines still!
 

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My fuel injected Ferris burns about a gallon an hour, roughly the same as the 1026R I had and the 2720. The only difference is the Z will mow circles around them and do it in about 1/2 the time.

Here’s where this saying comes into play for real. “Your mileage may vary.”
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess I wasn't as specific as needed to be. Look at it this way...the Zero turn and I had one 15 years had an air cooled engine that required you to run wide open regardless to avoid overheating. So to optimize my fuel I would need to make the mower run as fast as it could because I'm using the same amount of fuel. I don't see this at all on the 1025r as it is water cooled and in light grass one can run at a lower speed. Naturally in very heavy grass you wouldn't want to lug it so you might go out to max PTO rpm. As a matter of fact mine shows the rpm while using. I'm an older person and I don't plan on scooting across the yard high range wide open anyway. May stay in low and mid rpm on lighter grass. I would appear this would conserve fuel and I don't mean I'm going to chug the mower around either. Also I'm not measuring price of fuel as the Z was supposed to use the midgrade fuel not the lowest octane. This might be why so many blow their engines as most rate midgrade fuel. I suppose I'll just have to run my own test but I believe there is considerable savings in the volume of fuel diesel vs gas or they would not have eliminated gas engines on farm tractors. I do know I like the quality of the 1025r vs the zero turn. I wish Deere would allow the rear discharge units that are present in the European community.
 

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There is absolutely no advantage to running (lugging) your tractor by running it less than PTO operating RPM. You can do much more damage to the machine by doing this.

I know that is somewhat controversial, but there is NO manufacturer that will recommend running it slower. Nowhere. Read your manual(s).
 

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My 1025R burned .79 gph the first 100 or so hours that I tracked it. I ran that tractor a couple hundred RPMs below the 540 mark as it seemed to be happiest right there, but how accurate are the tachs on these?

My Kubota zero turn diesel burns about the same per hour but is ran at WOT. Even at a slow pace it cuts the grass in half the time.

New gas ZTRs are quite efficient, especially the fuel injected ones. A neighbor has the 37hp Briggs FI on a 72" ZTR and it burns less than a gallon a hour.
 

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I don't pay much attention to the fuel use and can't compare it to a 1025R. Compared to my X585 which is EFI, my Z950R consumes more fuel. It is a bigger engine and carbed though. I would run both WOT mowing but it balances out because each mowing session is about 1.5 hrs less with the Z. That makes fuel consumption probably about the same per yard cut and it saves me a ton of time.

Time is more valuable to me at this stage in life.
 

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"" I suppose I'll just have to run my own test but I believe there is considerable savings in the volume of fuel diesel vs gas or they would not have eliminated gas engines on farm tractors. ""

The torque curves and usable horsepower are completely different in gas engines and diesel engines. A diesel engine has the majority of its functional torque in the lower end of it engine speed. There are numerous advantages to the diesel engine when compared to the gas engines and the total transformation from gas tractors to diesel was driven by all the advantages, with fuel economy being just one of them.

Running the engine speed slower will likely reduce the fuel consumption, but running the ground speed slower than designed is likely reducing the fuel efficiency overall. The machines are designed to provide the optimal mowing results at a certain speed, both engine and ground. When the ground speed slows down, it takes considerably more time to mow the same area verses being mowed at a higher ground speed. Slowing the engine down saves fuel to an extent, simultaneously slowing the ground speed down likely negates much or even all of the fuel savings because now you have to run the engine longer to cover the same ground.

That's the nice part about our equipment, we can all use it in the manner we desire and whether its mowing at WOT or mowing at 1/2 throttle, its the owner / operators choice. I do think that machines which are used in the manner they were designed likely provide the best overall balance of longevity, wear and tear, fuel efficiency and machine production results, all of the factors which are part of owning and operating any piece of equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Personally, I feel a lot better going away from the zero turn to the 1025R and I know many folks don't see the need or affordability of a $16,000 tractor to use for mowing. My take is the smoothness of the pto driven mower rather than the belt driven. Somewhat like the chain drive motorcycle versus the driveshaft models. I have previously used several landpride finish mowers and still do and they all used the gear case. Years ago I used a cub farmal belly mower and definintely wasn't a fan of the belt drive. There was always problems with the long belts and they had a design that rotated the belt in different angles. While I can't say why I wondered if that was why the zero turn people went to the vertical engines to eliminate side angles. There is a lot of torque lost with those designs. I've never like the manadory WOT when it wasn't always necessary. I mow with my landprides and several would run WOT as long as grass size was not causing slippage...but anyway why would folks be mowing hay anyway. This is exactly what breaks down the finish mowers.
 

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Personally, I feel a lot better going away from the zero turn to the 1025R and I know many folks don't see the need or affordability of a $16,000 tractor to use for mowing. My take is the smoothness of the pto driven mower rather than the belt driven. Somewhat like the chain drive motorcycle versus the driveshaft models. I have previously used several landpride finish mowers and still do and they all used the gear case. Years ago I used a cub farmal belly mower and definintely wasn't a fan of the belt drive. There was always problems with the long belts and they had a design that rotated the belt in different angles. While I can't say why I wondered if that was why the zero turn people went to the vertical engines to eliminate side angles. There is a lot of torque lost with those designs. I've never like the manadory WOT when it wasn't always necessary. I mow with my landprides and several would run WOT as long as grass size was not causing slippage...but anyway why would folks be mowing hay anyway. This is exactly what breaks down the finish mowers.
Kubota zero turns are shaft driven decks
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good to know...my Daughter's gardener is California uses a Zero turn shaft drive plus rear discharge from a company in Colorado....really smooth machine...
 

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Using the tractor you have vs buying a zero turn can make sense to some. Less maintenance, etc.
But comparing fuel usage per hour is meaningless unless you know exactly how much grass you can mow in an hour with each.
My Exmark has a small deck, 52", but it vs a tractor mowing, the tractor better have a 72" deck, or there is no way its even going to be close.
I can mow clean, in thick grass, at 8+mph. I have mowed sparse areas at 11+ (flat out), and had nothing sticking up the next day. No way to match that with a tractor if you ever have to turn.

But there is a lot more to it than just speed. If time isnt a concern, as I mentioned, you have equipment expense. Even a cheap zero turn will pay for a LOT of extra fuel for the 1025.
If I didnt have the Exmark already, Im not sure Id go get one just to mow with now that I have the 2025. Id have probably gotten different tires and a deck when I bought it and gone that route.
 
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