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lawnspecialties
05-24-2008, 08:36 PM
As some of you know, I just picked up three Gravelys Thursday. A 260, 252, and a 148. Up until now, I've been running primarily Hustler SuperZs and one Deere 717A. I've had SuperZs for about four years now and before them, I ran Cub Cadet Tanks. I've also used Toros briefly.

Well today I got a very good chance to really see what the 260 and the 252 will do for me. I demoed a Gravely 260 and a Deere 820A a couple of weeks ago and afterwards, ordered the three Gravelys under their fleet plan. Today I (and my wife helping :)) mowed an 8 acre church and two medium sized commercial properties. This church is where the 820A fell flat on it's face which pretty much discounted it in my purchasing decision. There's thick tall-fescue and a few hillsides that although are not rediculous, will definitely tell if a mower is a wimp or not.

Well, after about 3.5 hours on each mower, I am well pleased with my decision.

Here's my unofficial comparison of Gravely vs. Hustler SuperZ.

Design: I give Hustler a slight edge here. The SuperZ has a lower center of gravity making it more stable on steep hills. My wife and I both felt the Gravely had a better ride. That's ironic sense my SuperZs all had flex forks. The Gravely has almost too perfect a balance of weight. I'd prefer a little more weight on the rear for better rear traction but it wasn't bad. When I become more used to the machine, I'll probably be able to handle it better.

Power: Hands down, Gravely. Even though Hustler now shows the 31hp Kawasaki as an option, I've never had a SuperZ that you didn't have to run the throttle at least half to engage the blades. The Gravelys will start the blades with hardly a flinch at idle speed. Mowing thick turf today at around 10mph barely made an audible difference in rpms.

Quality of Cut: Not even close, Gravely. I never knew you could mow large areas of turf with the chute down and get a nice cut with even clippings dispersal. Nobody complained more than me about the SuperZ XR-7 decks clumping up underneath and spitting out globs of grass even with the chute up. In addition, underneath my X-Factor decks right now, they are as clean as when I started the day. I might actually be able to throw away my 5-n-1 painters tool. :clapping:

Two more "additionals" that I just love. When I asked in the Hustler forum a couple of years ago why SuperZs couldn't have headlights and why they don't have places to tie them down, I was told by the Hustler rep "you shouldn't be mowing when it gets dark, it's not safe". What type of stupid answer was that? Anyway, Gravely offers headlights and tie down lugs. :weightlifter:

Again, this is just my opinion and we all know everyone has one. But I've always called it like I see it. Just because it's what's on my trailer doesn't necessarily mean it's the best and I'll sure tell you if I don't like something that I bought. If I wasn't pleased with these units, I'd sure tell you. But I've been in this business now 9 years. New mowers just don't get me excited like they did in the early days. But I must admit, today I rather enjoyed myself. :)

Turf Dawg
05-25-2008, 12:33 AM
I saw pictures of your new "kids" over in the other forum. Cograts on the new purchases, nice looking mowers. When I was trying out a gravely I did not care for the way the levers folded down, but I did think they might be safer if you ever needed to make a quicke exit. I know you are suppost to stay in the seat with the seat-belt on, but i always take the rops and belts off. Looks like you made a great purchase.

93Chevy
05-25-2008, 01:09 AM
The Gravely's seem like real nice machines. Good luck with them.

tacoma200
05-25-2008, 02:00 AM
Glad your happy. Those big front tires have to help the ride.

Big C
05-25-2008, 02:17 AM
As some of you know, I just picked up three Gravelys Thursday. A 260, 252, and a 148. Up until now, I've been running primarily Hustler SuperZs and one Deere 717A. I've had SuperZs for about four years now and before them, I ran Cub Cadet Tanks. I've also used Toros briefly.

Well today I got a very good chance to really see what the 260 and the 252 will do for me. I demoed a Gravely 260 and a Deere 820A a couple of weeks ago and afterwards, ordered the three Gravelys under their fleet plan. Today I (and my wife helping :)) mowed an 8 acre church and two medium sized commercial properties. This church is where the 820A fell flat on it's face which pretty much discounted it in my purchasing decision. There's thick tall-fescue and a few hillsides that although are not rediculous, will definitely tell if a mower is a wimp or not.

Well, after about 3.5 hours on each mower, I am well pleased with my decision.

Here's my unofficial comparison of Gravely vs. Hustler SuperZ.

Design: I give Hustler a slight edge here. The SuperZ has a lower center of gravity making it more stable on steep hills. My wife and I both felt the Gravely had a better ride. That's ironic sense my SuperZs all had flex forks. The Gravely has almost too perfect a balance of weight. I'd prefer a little more weight on the rear for better rear traction but it wasn't bad. When I become more used to the machine, I'll probably be able to handle it better.

Power: Hands down, Gravely. Even though Hustler now shows the 31hp Kawasaki as an option, I've never had a SuperZ that you didn't have to run the throttle at least half to engage the blades. The Gravelys will start the blades with hardly a flinch at idle speed. Mowing thick turf today at around 10mph barely made an audible difference in rpms.

Quality of Cut: Not even close, Gravely. I never knew you could mow large areas of turf with the chute down and get a nice cut with even clippings dispersal. Nobody complained more than me about the SuperZ XR-7 decks clumping up underneath and spitting out globs of grass even with the chute up. In addition, underneath my X-Factor decks right now, they are as clean as when I started the day. I might actually be able to throw away my 5-n-1 painters tool. :clapping:

Two more "additionals" that I just love. When I asked in the Hustler forum a couple of years ago why SuperZs couldn't have headlights and why they don't have places to tie them down, I was told by the Hustler rep "you shouldn't be mowing when it gets dark, it's not safe". What type of stupid answer was that? Anyway, Gravely offers headlights and tie down lugs. :weightlifter:

Again, this is just my opinion and we all know everyone has one. But I've always called it like I see it. Just because it's what's on my trailer doesn't necessarily mean it's the best and I'll sure tell you if I don't like something that I bought. If I wasn't pleased with these units, I'd sure tell you. But I've been in this business now 9 years. New mowers just don't get me excited like they did in the early days. But I must admit, today I rather enjoyed myself. :)

What did you pay for the 148 i am thinking of getting one myself

ProStreetCamaro
05-25-2008, 11:25 AM
THANK YOU for backing up everything I have been saying. I am glad your enjoying your new machines.

As a side note the 100 series has a lower center of gravity than the 200 series. Thats why we bought the 160Z over the 260Z. We just use it for average size residentials so we didnt feel a need for the 200 series mower.

lawnspecialties
05-25-2008, 06:00 PM
THANK YOU for backing up everything I have been saying. I am glad your enjoying your new machines.

As a side note the 100 series has a lower center of gravity than the 200 series. Thats why we bought the 160Z over the 260Z. We just use it for average size residentials so we didnt feel a need for the 200 series mower.

That makes sense.

Tomorrow I'm heading out with the 148 and the 252. I have nine residentials that will be mowed with the 148 so I'll really get a good chance to see how it does. I've only used my 717A for the past year on these lawns so I'll get a good chance to compare the two machines on the same turf.

The 252 gets two commercial properties tomorrow that have very nice fescue but I already know that should go well. :)

M&M Mowing
05-26-2008, 12:37 AM
Im glad you purchased Gravely machines. I have two 260z's and had a total of four over my years of mowing. I know that the x factor deck is probably my top choice of decks on the market. Two of the Gravelys that I have sold did not have the x factor decks but still left a great cut. What engine did you get on your 260? I just bought a 260 with the 31hp kawasaki. My other gravely has the 26hp kawie thats liquid cooled and has plenty of power as well.

lawnspecialties
05-26-2008, 08:16 AM
I put them in my sig.. My 260 also has the 31hp Kawasaki, the 252 has the 27hp Kawasaki, and the 148 has the 21hp Kawasaki.

The last two SuperZs I've had (60" and 66") had the 26hp LC Kawasaki. It really is a great motor. I just decided to do a little something different this time.

M&M Mowing
05-26-2008, 04:40 PM
Do you know if the hustler and land pride are basically the same mower? To aid in better traction I put a set of cleated tires on one of my 260's.

fool32696
05-26-2008, 04:55 PM
I highly doubt hustler has anything to do with land pride. Last July I demoed a 60" Super Z, a Gravely 260Z and a Deere 60" Zero turn (maybe 757?). I preferred the cut of the Deere and Gravely to the Hustler's in thick, lush lawns like St. Augustine. But in stringy Bahia (the crap that is everywhere in unirrigated Florida) the Hustler had a better cut at speed than the other two. I thought that the Hustler had the best ride (and this was on a demo without flex forks). I felt the safest on slopes with the Hustler. When I was on the Gravely it just seemed like I was sitting up high. I liked the feel of the Hustlers controls by far and its speed seemed quite a bit faster than the other two. I kind of felt like the Gravely and Deere were designed to look nice and appealing, while the Hustler was built strictly for work and serviceability with looks as an afterthought. In the end I replaced my 2000 Gravely 250Z with a 2007 Hustler 66" Super Z. That changed has saved me 1.5 hrs a day! Glad to hear you're happy with your Gravelys, they're solid built machines.

tacoma200
05-26-2008, 06:13 PM
THANK YOU for backing up everything I have been saying. I am glad your enjoying your new machines.

As a side note the 100 series has a lower center of gravity than the 200 series. Thats why we bought the 160Z over the 260Z. We just use it for average size residentials so we didnt feel a need for the 200 series mower.

Your saying the larger Gravely's are top heavy in general. I've really never been on one or looked that close.

ProStreetCamaro
05-26-2008, 06:32 PM
Your saying the larger Gravely's are top heavy in general. I've really never been on one or looked that close.



I dont know if I would say top heavy really but they have a higher seat possition than the 100 series but other than that and the floating from axle there really isnt much else thats different from the 100 series. I know I have been able to mow sideways some steep hills that our 48" ztr's were not able to handle.


Here is one of them. If you look close you can see where I hit that rough spot and caused the mower to slide a bit but the rest of it is smooth and doesnt give me any problems. I used to mow this up,back down, up, back down with the 48 tank and 48 lazer.


http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm269/belllawns/lawnstuff012.jpg

lawnspecialties
05-26-2008, 07:44 PM
I just got in from today's 148 and 252 excursion. The 148 did just as well as I expected. Comparing it to the Deere 717A, "there's no replacement for displacement". Since blade tip speed on my 717 is 16,500 fpm from 19hp, the 148 Gravely at 18,000 fpm from 21hp really makes a cut difference. Both mow the fescue well, but the 717's clippings are at least twice as long as what the Gravely spits out. Again, the deck underneath the Gravely is clean as a pin but I must admit, I never had that to be an issue with the 7-Iron II as well.

I mowed two of my medium-sized commercial accounts today. The 252 was flawless but after two days on these machines, I have some things I'd suggest Gravely change for 2009.

1. It blows my mind how many $8000 mowers are out there with no fuel gauge of any type. Hustler's little plastic windows in their tanks makes perfect sense. Since Gravely tanks are shaped differently, that might not work as well but at least go ahead and put a fuel gauge cap on them. :hammerhead:

2. On the 252 and 260, the foot pedal for the deck lift is too far away. Unless you have the seat slid so far up that you have the sticks right against you, the foot pedal deck lift is far enough away that sometimes when you go to lift the deck while mowing, the kill switch underneath the seat will start to activate. Maybe I just have stubby legs. :laugh:

3. Although I'm well pleased with the discharge performance of the X-Factor, there are still some situations where I'd much prefer to have my discharge chute up. One situation was today at one of the commercial accounts I was mowing at. Gravely chutes have to be pulled off instead of flipped up. It's very easy with just the pull of a pin and then lifting the chute assembly, but just bending over while still seated on the mower and flipping up the chute is far easier.

4. Manual deck height adjustment on the Gravelys is in .5" increments. My Hustlers and the Deere were in .25" increments. I much prefer that. When conditions are right with the turf you're mowing, .25" adjustments in mowing height can really help out week to week. You know sometimes when you've had some really good rains and the fescue seemed to really take off that week, mowing at the usual height creates just too many clippings and can cause a mess. Someimes you can go up just .25" and all will be fine. If you have to go up .5", that's just creating a "domino effect" that's going to bite you next week.

These four are just "little" things. Do they discount the mowers? Of course not. I'm still extremely pleased with my mowers and would do it again if I had to. Maybe Gravely will read this post and just add me on as a consultant. :laugh:

fool32696
05-26-2008, 08:36 PM
Something I forgot, LOVE the sight windows on my Hustler fuel tanks

MJB
05-28-2008, 09:04 PM
I just found out I have a Gravely dealer that is 100 miles away and they have a 2007 260 with the 25hp Kawasaki and hydraulic deck lift. Is that enough power for mulching ? I know it's enough to side discharge with but how good a mulching mower are they? Last question is $7300 a good price for this machine. I was really set on a Bad Boy but the price of this mower has me wondering, so I'm gonna demo it next week on my hilly acct.

ProStreetCamaro
05-28-2008, 09:22 PM
I just found out I have a Gravely dealer that is 100 miles away and they have a 2007 260 with the 25hp Kawasaki and hydraulic deck lift. Is that enough power for mulching ? I know it's enough to side discharge with but how good a mulching mower are they? Last question is $7300 a good price for this machine. I was really set on a Bad Boy but the price of this mower has me wondering, so I'm gonna demo it next week on my hilly acct.



I am a gravely man but I honestly couldnt tell you if it mulches good or not or if the 25 would be enough to mulch with because we dont mulch. I have honestly never figured out why anybody would want to mulch? I have actually never seen anybody mulch before in my area. I can see where it would be good in the dry summer months but not when its wet and the grass is going crazy. What I can tell you is the X-Factor deck leaves a very clean smooth cut and it discharges good. Another plus is the deck doesnt get any build up at all no matter what the conditions are (I couldnt tell you if it would get build up mulching). $7300 sounds like a fair deal to me. We paid $6800 for our new 160Z this spring.

lawnspecialties
05-28-2008, 09:54 PM
I just found out I have a Gravely dealer that is 100 miles away and they have a 2007 260 with the 25hp Kawasaki and hydraulic deck lift. Is that enough power for mulching ? I know it's enough to side discharge with but how good a mulching mower are they? Last question is $7300 a good price for this machine. I was really set on a Bad Boy but the price of this mower has me wondering, so I'm gonna demo it next week on my hilly acct.


When I first saw your post, I was going to recommend you get with ProStreetCamaro or Albery. Then I scrolled down. :hammerhead:

I would think that's an excellent price. When I first started talking with my dealer about the Gravelys, we were only discussing the 252. Although we were talking about a 2008 model and it did have the 27hp Kawasaki, it was only a 52" and had the manual lift deck. His normal price (not MSRP) was $7799.

I've heard good things about Gravelys mulch kit. From what I've gathered, it is very simple to put on and remove compared to typical mulch kits. Like ProStreet said, the cut quality is so good and clippings dispersal is so smooth, I don't even consider mulching.

Let us know what you think. :)

MJB
05-28-2008, 11:51 PM
I am a gravely man but I honestly couldnt tell you if it mulches good or not or if the 25 would be enough to mulch with because we dont mulch. I have honestly never figured out why anybody would want to mulch? I have actually never seen anybody mulch before in my area. I can see where it would be good in the dry summer months but not when its wet and the grass is going crazy. What I can tell you is the X-Factor deck leaves a very clean smooth cut and it discharges good. Another plus is the deck doesnt get any build up at all no matter what the conditions are (I couldnt tell you if it would get build up mulching). $7300 sounds like a fair deal to me. We paid $6800 for our new 160Z this spring.

I prefer not to mulch on some jobs I can side discharge. But I have some condos that are very narrow flower beds everywhere and if I tried to side discharge those grass would be everywhere and these people would freak out.
I've found that if I have 1 mower mulching and 1 side discharging on my trailer the same size I can do all my jobs with the 60" decks. But I am looking for a mower that will mulch like the Ultracut so I can make my Exmark a backup. If I like the Gravely I might buy another next year so I can keep my mowers fresh. This spring was a killer when I had a mower breakdown and No Backup mowers, that makes for a long day.

Did you ever demo the Bad Boy and compare it with Gravely? I have no BB dealer here to see for myself.

MJB
05-28-2008, 11:55 PM
When I first saw your post, I was going to recommend you get with ProStreetCamaro or Albery. Then I scrolled down. :hammerhead:

I would think that's an excellent price. When I first started talking with my dealer about the Gravelys, we were only discussing the 252. Although we were talking about a 2008 model and it did have the 27hp Kawasaki, it was only a 52" and had the manual lift deck. His normal price (not MSRP) was $7799.

I've heard good things about Gravelys mulch kit. From what I've gathered, it is very simple to put on and remove compared to typical mulch kits. Like ProStreet said, the cut quality is so good and clippings dispersal is so smooth, I don't even consider mulching.

Let us know what you think. :)

Does it chew up the clipping small enough to not really see them sitting on the lawn ? I'll take some pics of the demo next week, I don't know if it will be mulching or discharging. Does it stripe well?

lawnspecialties
05-29-2008, 12:36 AM
Does it chew up the clipping small enough to not really see them sitting on the lawn ? I'll take some pics of the demo next week, I don't know if it will be mulching or discharging. Does it stripe well?

If the turf is dry, it will spit them out very nicely even with the chute down. If it's wet, I'd recommend taking the chute off.

Although I don't have the striping kit, it stripes about like any other mower without a kit or roller.

tb8100
05-29-2008, 01:37 AM
I just found out I have a Gravely dealer that is 100 miles away and they have a 2007 260 with the 25hp Kawasaki and hydraulic deck lift. Is that enough power for mulching ? I know it's enough to side discharge with but how good a mulching mower are they? Last question is $7300 a good price for this machine. I was really set on a Bad Boy but the price of this mower has me wondering, so I'm gonna demo it next week on my hilly acct.

This 260 is speced in the same class as a Bad Boy Pup. 10cc pumps, 10mph speed, similar sized tires.

Advantages for the Gravely:

*Built decent?
*Nothing really special about this machine

Advantages of the Bad Boy over the Gravely:

*MUCH nicer, gray seat (won't burn your butt off on a hot day)
*1/2" steel caster forks to the 260s 1/4" maybe?
*1.25 gal more fuel capacity
*9qt hydro reservoir to the Gravely's ??? capacity (they don't list so it's probably a secret)
*complete protection of engine from rear
*wider baffling and discharge opening (you'll love the Bad Boy especially in overgrown conditions)
*engine options including the 30hp Kohler Command and the 31hp forced-air cooled Kawasaki in the upper 6s to the low 7s
*beats the pants off that 2007 model Gravely for a 2008 model!

good luck man, the difference is big between these mowers, but go with what feels and performs best for you! :weightlifter:

MJB
05-29-2008, 01:56 AM
This 260 is speced in the same class as a Bad Boy Pup. 10cc pumps, 10mph speed, similar sized tires.

Advantages for the Gravely:

*Built decent?
*Nothing really special about this machine

Advantages of the Bad Boy over the Gravely:

*MUCH nicer, gray seat (won't burn your butt off on a hot day)
*1/2" steel caster forks to the 260s 1/4" maybe?
*1.25 gal more fuel capacity
*9qt hydro reservoir to the Gravely's ??? capacity (they don't list so it's probably a secret)
*complete protection of engine from rear
*wider baffling and discharge opening (you'll love the Bad Boy especially in overgrown conditions)
*engine options including the 30hp Kohler Command and the 31hp forced-air cooled Kawasaki in the upper 6s to the low 7s
*beats the pants off that 2007 model Gravely for a 2008 model!

good luck man, the difference is big between these mowers, but go with what feels and performs best for you! :weightlifter:


I wish I could get a demo on a Bad Boy, but I would have to drive 8 hrs 1 way. They gotta open up more dealers in the NW.