The founder of Dixie Chopper, Art Evans, created the first model in 1980 from a barn in Greencastle, Indiana. Notably, Dixie Chopper's initial offerings were aimed squarely at the commercial mower market.
Unlike many of its rivals Dixie Chopper is still owned and family run, indeed Art Evans is still the chairman. Evans remains a prime innovator at the company, spending most of his time working with the research and development arm of the firm. Always true to its roots the company is still headquartered in Greencastle.
The company has had several notable landmarks in the zero turn mower field:
- In 1987 Dixie Chopper introduced stainless steel as a feature on all it's production models, markedly improving durability and reliability and turning many heads amongst it's rivals.
- 1987 proved to be a sterling year for the company as it also moved away from chain drives and introduced hydrostatic drives. The introduction of hydrostatic drives meant great improvements in energy conservation, space savings and maintenance costs with very few sacrifices.
- In 1990 the company made further innovations in the hydrostatic drive arena with the introduction of the "Quad Loop Direct Hydrostatic Drive". This advanced drive had previously been found only in industrial machinery with unbelievable price tags.
- Great publicity was generated for the company in 1993 when one of Art Evans' more radical test creations, a ZTR mower with a Chinook engine attached, was featured on the wildly popular sitcom "Home Improvement".
- In 1996 Dixie Chopper introduced the first ever twin-engine ZTR, the curiously named S'Burb'n Turb'n.
- 1990 witnessed the introduction of Diesel power with an extraordinary 50 Horsepower turbo-charged engine.
- Just in time for the millennium DC introduced a liquid cooled zero turn mower in 2000.
- An important arrival came in 2003 with the now legendary Silver Eagle model. Although it was first introduced as a mower for the residential user, the Silver Eagle found favour in the commercial market and became the company's best selling commercial mower. Just to cement 2003 as an important year for Dixie Chopper it also saw the unveiling of the Xtreme Mow-chine. At an amazing 15mph the Mow-chine became the world's fastest mower and won many accolades both in the industry and amongst the commercial users that it was aimed at.
- More important media attention was focussed on Dixie Chopper in 2005 when, to mark the company's 25th anniversary, a custom Dixie Chopper bike powered by a lawnmower engine, was produced by the American Chopper show.
- The next year 2006 saw the introduction of a propane powered zero turn radius mower. This innovative product was launched just at the right time as heavy commercial users struggled with near-record gas prices.
- With an eye to environmental concerns the CNG Eco-Eagle was introduced in 2010. This mower featured the most environmentally friendly combustion engine ever conceived.
- In 2012 the The Xcaliber 4x4 made it's stunning debut. This four wheel drive model was the first ever mower with zero-turn radius capabilities.
- The Zee 2 was launched in 2013 and was aimed at the increasingly demanding residential user who required the power and speed usually reserved for the commercial market.
Overall, perhaps Dixie Chopper's best known ZTR model is the Classic, which has been popular ever since it's introduction in 1990. Like any classic it has never gone out of style. Today the Classic comes in five styles, aimed at meeting the needs of even the most demanding professional users. Today's Classic model can reportedly cut up to 6.5 acres per hour.
Users of Dixie Chopper mowers are often quick to praise the technical support that the company provides (although they are usually keen to point out that they don't need to utilize it very often because of the legendary durability that Dixie Chopper mowers have).