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View Full Version : 36" Walk Behind BobCat - Toro - Gravely


bigtuna
05-31-2005, 01:41 PM
Hi, Looking for a 36" walk behind for my house. This mower will only be used by me for my house (residential use .7 acre). I really don't want anything fancy, I just want a good machine that I will not need to replaced or give me problems. The options I have so far are as follows:

Bob-Cat Gear Drive Classic Walk-Behind 13 HP Kolher ($2,695) w/bag (2 year warranty)
Gravely Pro G 1548 Walk-Behind 13HP Kawasaki ($2,650) w/bag (2 year warranty)
Toro Mid-Sized Walk Behind Fixed Gear 13HP Kawasaki T bar ($2,760) (1 year warranty)

Price wise I'm leaning towards the Gravely with the Kawasaki. Are these quality machines compared with Toro & Bob-Cat or are they lower end? Also, should I stick with the Kawasaki versus the Kohler? I hear they are better engines. I'm located in south of Boston Massachusetts. Any advise on good or bad dealers in this area? Sorry for all the questions Thanks for the help as I'm sick of borrowing my brother in laws 21" mower and spending 3 hours on the lawn each week!!!!!

Mowingman
05-31-2005, 01:50 PM
I am a Gravely dealer. That is a pretty good price on that Gravely. The Gravely is a very solid, well built machine and has many features that are not found on the other two machines. Before I became a dealer, I had a large lawn maint. business, and actually owned a toro and a bobcat a one time. The bobcat was very hard to get parts for, very little support from the manufacturer. The Toro had the "T" bar steering that both me and my helpers all hated. The last crew to load always got stuck with the Toro.
Compare the features, the warranty, and the dealer support, then make your decision. I liked Gravelys so much, I became a dealer.

ted5487
05-31-2005, 02:08 PM
I am also located on the south shore of Massachusetts. I have used BobCats for many years and have been very happy. I have owned 3 of these machines and part time do 12 lawns a week. Mine are all belt drive and one of the things I do not like is the pistol grip controls. The pistol grips work fine but I think that there are better options for comfort as well as some degree of hand protection. I recently purchased a used 37 inch Hustler hydro with the T-bar handle for $2850.The Hustler mower had less than 20 hours and is in excellent condition. The Hustler seems to be over engineered, and by that I mean that the quality of every part of the machine is top notch. I don't have the exact numbers, but the Hustler is far heavier and "beefier" than the BobCats. I think that the Hustler sells for about $5000.00 brand new. I have a good relationship with my BobCat dealer which I feel is important as they usually have my machines fixed quickly when something happens. Where in Massachusetts are you located?

bigtuna
05-31-2005, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the posts so far!!!! I'm in Marshfield & the local Bobcat dealer is ABC Equipment which i've heard great things about.

ensor
05-31-2005, 03:17 PM
Regarding the Gravely, you called it a 1548 G then said it has a 13 hp Kawi. Is it a 36"/13 hp Kawi or 48"/15 hp Kawi? I have the 1548 G Kawi pistol grip and love it. It is very well built and easy to use with a great cut. For home use the pistol grips are no problem. The Gravely's height adjustment is especially good with the spring loaded pins. If I remember right, the Bobcat Classic is not as heavy duty as their other model of belt drive.

bigtuna
05-31-2005, 03:26 PM
I Know, I realized I made a mistake but you beat me to it. I'm looking at the 36" version. That's good info. Thanks. The Bobcat Classic is a smaller less heavy duty version. For me it would be fine (resedential use). I think I'm leaning more toward the gravely.

ensor
05-31-2005, 03:47 PM
I think that you may be getting more value for your money with the Gravely than the Bobcat. Why not get all the quality/durability you can for your money? For a similar price, get the best machine you can. I like mine much more than the Exmark Metro that I had before from a quality of construction/engineering aspect etc.

Tharrell
05-31-2005, 05:08 PM
They're all good machines. Why don't you check out the cut of each one, after all that's what you're getting it for.

MTR
05-31-2005, 05:38 PM
You are not gonna cut down on time that much chasing after gear-drive WB, it is basically a larger, much heavier more physical 21" mower to say, besides you must attach a sulky in order to make WB a true saver.
Think more before spending over 2k on gear WB, been there done that, never again.

ted5487
05-31-2005, 05:56 PM
ABC is where I do business, I recommend them. I am in Scituate. Where is the Gravely dealer? You could also check out the equipment at Lesco in Pembroke. I think on the BobCat classic it comes with the Kohler single cylinder engine with 15?hp. I have had both Kohler and Kawasaki and have had good luck with both. On my two newer machines, a 2001 BobCat and 2004 Hustler, they both have the twin cylinder Kawasaki's which I think will outperform the single cylinder Kohler on the classic.

mkwl
05-31-2005, 07:33 PM
I'd go with either Bob-Cat or Toro Proline, but be sure to get a Kawasaki engine NOT Kohler. Since the Bob-Cat "Classic" only comes with either Briggs or Kohler, I'd either get the Bob-Cat Professional Grade (more expensive than the "Classic"), or the Toro Proline. Both my Bob-Cat (mine is the Professional Grade not the Classic) and Toro Proline mowers give an absolutely fantastic cut and stripe, and are built extremely well!!!

bigtuna
06-01-2005, 11:25 AM
What would be the disadvantage (if any) with going with the Gravely. This will be used for residential use only (.70 acre only every 5-7 days). I bought the house last fall and am getting married this summer so money is a large factor in my decision. I used a neighbors 32-33" 9 HP White and it look me 50 Min versus the regular 2 1/2 hours with the old 21" dog. I'd love to get a top notch Hydro mower with all the bells and whistles, realistically, I'm on a budget and can get into a Gravely Pro G with 13 HP Kawasaki for $2,399. At that price point and for what I'm using it for, I think it might be a better bet than the more expensive Bob-Cat & Toro. Any thoughts?

ensor
06-01-2005, 12:02 PM
bigtuna,

As I said earlier. The Gravely is every bit as good (and in some ways better - height adjustment for instance) as the Toro and Bobcat. The main downside to belt drive is weak reverse and possible belt slippage if the belts get wet. Gravely uses larger rear tires on their belt drives than most manufacturers. That helps keep the belt out of wet grass if you mow when the grass is still wet and since you won't use it commercially you don't have to mow in the rain and can wait until the dew is off the grass (the grass will cut better when dry anyway). If you need to back up a lot then I would strongly suggest a hydro. The way my lawn is laid out I don't have to back up at all and so a belt drive works great. It depends on your yard. If you don't anticipate a lot of backing up I would go with the belt drive and with the prices you have been quoted I would get the Gravely. Have you test driven any of these mowers yet? If not, you should before deciding.

bigtuna
06-01-2005, 12:08 PM
I haven't tried any of these yet. But will do so for sure before the final decision. As for backing up, I will only have minimal need for it so I think the gear drive will do just fine.

ensor
06-01-2005, 12:16 PM
Then go with a belt drive and test drive. Pay particular attention to the smoothness of operation, quality of build, and cut. Cut grass as a part of the test if possible. My 48" Gravely leaves a beautiful cut and the ease of height adjustment of the entire deck, not just the front castors, is a significant plus for the Gravely. One that you appreciate more and more as you use it over time. Can you tell that I like my Gravely?

bigtuna
06-01-2005, 12:42 PM
The passion you have for your Gravely in undeniable. I'd hate to ask you about your car.......

Tharrell
06-01-2005, 08:59 PM
The smaller rear wheels on the Bob-Cat are a factor when the grass is wet, dew or rain. The pulley sits lower to the ground. But if you're just doing your home it wouldn't matter because you could mow when it's nice outside.
I'd still check the cut. I like Bob-Cat and in your position would choose the classic.
Now, in my position I would go ahead and get the pro Bob-Cat because I KNOW how good they are and I have an excellent dealer close by. I haven't any experience with the other brands but most commercial mowers are at the same level. You probably would be happy with any of them.
Confused more than ever, huh? Sorry