I would recommend the Grasshopper 227 Rear discharge to any commercial user or anyone mowing large acreages. I have been in commercial lawn care for 14 years maintaining approximately 40 acres of commercial and residential properties. The first three mowers I've owned were all John Deere. Although they have great resale value, I always ran into durability issues and longevity issues. For instance, at about 300 Hrs. with all three mowers I would have a major breakdown, costing anywhere from $1,200 to $1,800.
I had to find a mower that would last longer and I did. Grasshoppers were recommended to me by a family friend, who told me that he had over 1000 Hrs. on his with no major breakdowns. So I looked into them and test drove one for a day and was sold.
First off the handling and ability to mow at full speed is a great feature, but the key is sharp blades.
It's extremely durable. I mow a twelve acre cemetery and a few hog confinements; the abuse that this machine will take is amazing. It has a thick steel deck that in un-phased when a stone or stump is hit.
The Rear discharge option is well worth it as well. It will not blow clippings on stones, sidewalks, drives, etc. saving much time when it comes to having to clean up.
Holds its own on steep side-hills or low-traction situations.
The battery is concealed in the left wheel well, and is only accessible by removing 4 bolts. It wasn't a huge issue but the one time I had to replace the battery, I had to refer to the owner's manual to locate it.
You need a funnel in order to drain the oil. The plug is located in an inconvenient place which without a funnel, the oil will just flow all over the discharge chute.
Besides the two design flaws I have found with the oil plug and battery, I would recommend this mower to anyone. I'm now going on 1000 hours and the only problem I have had was a flat tire. This is a day and night difference from my past experiences with John Deere. It's safe to say that with sharp blades and general maintenance being my only inputs to this 1000 hour machine, I will be with Grasshopper mowers until they give me a good reason to look elsewhere.
Reason of review: Good quality.
I liked: Rear discharge deck.