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Brand U: A piece of cake

November 10, 2020 -  By
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Grasshopper mower (Photo: Grasshopper)

Photo: Grasshopper

Mowing contractors are often loyal to equipment brands, but no matter how much they love their equipment, it’s rare to see a mower make an appearance at a landscaper’s wedding reception.

“My groomsman cake at my wedding 10 years ago was a Grasshopper mower,” says Aaron Godsey, owner/operator of Godsey Lawn in Pittsburg, Kan.

He and Grasshopper mowers go all the way back to his childhood, when he would attend a big farm show in his hometown with his dad and watch Grasshopper mower demonstrations.

Godsey Lawn brings in about $400,000 per year and provides 50 percent mowing, 25 percent leaf removal, 25 percent snow removal and occasional tree work to a completely residential clientele.

Godsey started mowing lawns at 16, and shortly after, he purchased a Grasshopper for his business.

“I started off with a junky old riding lawn mower,” he recalls. “It broke down, and I had a big client that wanted the yard mowed. After seeing Grasshoppers at the show with my dad and seeing a friend’s dad mow their big lawn with it, I decided it was time to get one of my own.”

Godsey has had 15 Grasshopper mowers over the last 23 years, including the 900D and two 930Ds he currently runs. “I’m not going to lie and say I’ve never tried any other mowers,” he says. “But, I’ve only owned Grasshoppers.”

He still has a mower from 2010 with 4,600 miles on it.

One of his favorite features about Grasshoppers? That the decks on some models are front mounted, allowing the operator to get very close to a tree or a fence, allowing for better maneuverability and cut. He prefers a front-mount deck to a midmount deck, where the deck sits underneath the operator.

“To me, I don’t see a big advantage to having the deck underneath you,” he says. “Having it in front of you, you can go right up to a corner of a fence and mow the whole way. You could run into a fence with the midmount.”

If only someone had told the baker of his wedding cake.

“The mower was beautiful, and the cake was so cool,” he says. “But, it was a midmount.”

More to love

  • “We run Kubota three-cylinder diesel engines,” Godsey says. Though it costs more upfront, he says these are simple diesel engines, and he’s had very few problems. “A gas mower, you usually run around a gallon an hour. With our diesels, we can run 1.5 hours per gallon.”
  • Godsey Lawn bags and removes leaves instead of mulching them. The Grasshopper has an impeller that goes on the side of the deck and a vacuum that can pick up pine needles and leaves.
  • In the last 10 years, Grasshopper has come out with a power-fold deck, which Godsey finds useful for servicing the blades. “You just hit a switch, and the deck stands right up,” he explains. “The blades are right there in your face. You can sharpen the blades, access the deck and scrape out the deck.”
  • Godsey Lawn owns several snow plow attachments for when the snow takes over in Kansas. “We buy one machine, and we’re able to use that machine all year around,” he says. The company has a Grasshopper V-plow, a 48-inch plow and a 60-inch plow.
Abby Hart

About the Author:

Abby Hart is the managing editor of Landscape Management. A native Clevelander, she spent 10 years in Chicago, where she was operations manager of a global hospitality consultancy. She also worked as managing editor of Illumine, a health and wellness magazine; and a marketing specialist for B2B publications. Abby has a degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.

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