Dixie Chopper has brought back its Classic zero-turn riding mower of the early 1990s. The reason, according to Indiana dealer Brian Humphreys of Humphreys Outdoor Power, is simple: Landscape contractors have loved it forever.
As the lawn maintenance industry has matured over the past decade and a half, lawnmower manufacturers have incorporated new features and technologies into their mowers. That has resulted in mowers that are oftentimes faster, easier to service, more durable and more comfortable to operate. But it has also oftentimes resulted in more complexity and cost than the average contractor really appreciates.
“When you’re changing with everybody else all of the time, everybody ends up with the same technology,” Humphreys says with respect to lawnmower manufacturers. “Then you run more of a risk of losing a longtime customer who decides he might as well try something totally new and switch to a different brand. Some of our contractor customers were simply saying, ‘I want a Dixie Chopper like my old one.’ Well, this is definitely your daddy’s Dixie Chopper, to some degree.”
With so many zero-turn mower manufacturers out there, it’s really hard to keep the price down, Humphreys relates. “The Classic is a little lower than some of the ‘built up’ mowers out there today. It’s also a little lower than it was several years ago.”
It’s all about giving the landscape contractor what he wants. “Features like electric deck lift might matter to some customers,” Humphreys relates. “But to a 24-year-old contractor who’s young and strong, he doesn’t care about that feature and certainly doesn’t want to pay for it. In fact, to him it’s just something else that can break. The Classic is just a lean, mean fighting machine.”
Learn more about the Classic zero-turn riding mower, which comes in five models from 50- to 72-inch cutting widths.