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View Full Version : What are the differences between the Gravely xdz X Factor Deck and Hustler XR7


MJB
06-15-2008, 02:54 AM
I am wondering if anyone else sees a resmblence between the 2 decks ? My Super Z has the same type of cutting issues as the Gravely 260 xdz x factor deck I am demoing. I also noticed both decks are tapered deep in the back to shallow in the front. Super Z 6"back 4 3/4 front without the addons for blowout. X factor deck is 5.5 inches back and 4 3/4 front. Both have the blades lower than the baffles toward the front of the deck.

I'm not impressed with either deck for our northern grasses. To bad I'm running out of mower options up here. I need good mulching mowers.

These are of the gravely x factor deck.

02DURAMAX
06-15-2008, 04:15 AM
What problems do you have with your XR7??..Im looking in buying one and need it to cut good.

ProStreetCamaro
06-15-2008, 08:07 AM
Stop mulching and you wont be having these problems. I know that sounds rude but why the hell do people try to mulch? I just dont understand it. Really whats the point of it? I dont know of any mowers that will leave a clean cut in thick northern turf with a mulch kit. We are in MD and I have never seen anybody mulching before and its likely for good reason. It does not work very well on thick fine blade northern turf.

What is wrong with side discharge? It does not leave much debris as long as the grass isnt super deep. If it does just buzz across a couple stripes that have some debris in them and it disappears. Mulching should be left for the middle of summer when grass is barely growing or in the fall for leaves.

ProStreetCamaro
06-15-2008, 08:33 AM
Sorry about the rant. I just see so many people asking why there mower doesnt cut clean and come to find out they are mulching. What happens is the mulching blades dont create enough lift to stand the fine blades of grass up to cut them clean. Plus all the grass under the deck from not being thrown out the side creates turbulence and excess grass being recirculated under the deck. Its just a recipe for a bad cut on northern grass. I can see it doing ok down south where the grass is so coarse and stiff that a mower doesnt need to create any lift to cut it clean.

TimsLawnCareVA
06-15-2008, 08:35 AM
I have the XR7 and use the mulch kit in the fall on leaves and have no problems. I do not use the mulch kit in the summer and have no problems with the deck unless the grass is very tall and then I just run it over twice.

lawnspecialties
06-15-2008, 10:47 AM
I cut primarily tall-fescue and a few bermudagrass lawns. That is the number 1 reason I switched from Hustler to Gravely.

Do you remember the pics someone posted recently with his Everride deck all clumped up and clogged up underneath? That was my XR-7 practically every day. Especially if it was even the slightest bit wet or moist. I absolutely love the way the X-Factor cuts and stays clean.

Like ProStreet said, side-discharge is the way to go. It discharges clippings so smooth, their hardly noticeable. My XR-7 would spit out clippings like chewing tobacco.:laugh:

MJB
06-15-2008, 11:10 AM
Stop mulching and you wont be having these problems. I know that sounds rude but why the hell do people try to mulch? I just dont understand it. Really whats the point of it? I dont know of any mowers that will leave a clean cut in thick northern turf with a mulch kit. We are in MD and I have never seen anybody mulching before and its likely for good reason. It does not work very well on thick fine blade northern turf.

What is wrong with side discharge? It does not leave much debris as long as the grass isnt super deep. If it does just buzz across a couple stripes that have some debris in them and it disappears. Mulching should be left for the middle of summer when grass is barely growing or in the fall for leaves.

I've been in this business for 17 yrs and I side discharge where I can, but I have well over 50% of my lawns where it is not possible. We have a lot of wind and we have to make the clippings dissapear by mulching them up. If I discharging into the wind the clippings go up and end up in people coffee sitting on their porches, or decks. Then I have about 32 units of a large HOA that has very small front yards with white rock beds and water features in some and I'm not blowing grass in these hoa's thats why I've had these contracts for 15 yrs I give em what they want. Furthermore just because you discharge and blow grass ito trees or off property edges, doesn't mean I have the same type of lawns here I don't and I'm not going to use walk behinds. Also all my competitors mulch with Exmark and Grasshopper mowers. We all have a discharge mowers for those lawns that allow it. I was looking for a mulching mower and I never knew the X Factor deck was designed simular to the XR7.
Both cut the same up here leaving strips mulching but the x factor was worse.

So I'm not sure it would discharge any better than the xr7, because the xr7 leaves the same strips only worse than when I mulch with it. I'm not trying to bash the Gravely I really like some features but cut quality mulching is not where it needs to be.
The pic below shows the best cut I got in 2 days of trying and conditions on the little lawn were cutting about an inch. I think the striping kit would of helped here.

MJB
06-15-2008, 11:48 AM
Both were double cut. Is the striper the only difference ? I have discharged this after fertilizing as long as we had a calm day but way to often we get a 25 mph wind blowing up the hill and I have a lot people frowning and sweeping even though they know I will be around to blow off everything later.
I also have a lot of commercial jobs with people all around and side discharging with wind and people is just asking for problems or complaints.

You guys don't know how often I've wanted or wished that I could just mow and blow......just doesn't fit my customer base.

MJB
06-15-2008, 12:03 PM
Sorry about the rant. I just see so many people asking why there mower doesnt cut clean and come to find out they are mulching. What happens is the mulching blades dont create enough lift to stand the fine blades of grass up to cut them clean. Plus all the grass under the deck from not being thrown out the side creates turbulence and excess grass being recirculated under the deck. Its just a recipe for a bad cut on northern grass. I can see it doing ok down south where the grass is so coarse and stiff that a mower doesnt need to create any lift to cut it clean.

True but if I have to doublecut anyway the finish cut should look better than what I got. Unless the stripe kit is the only difference. But I went back out a day later and looked at the lawns I mowed with the Gravely and they were ok maybe for someone new to the business but were not up to our standards.
The cut was still uneven in places. So I would say the Gravely is overall a very nice mower but is not a fit for my business.

Positives about it:
Pretty color..lol my wife threw that in.
Comfort simular to the Exmark.
I love the open design for the deck pulleys very easy to clean.
A very well built machine.
Customer service.

Negatives:
1/2 inch deck settings instead of 1/4 inch
Poor traction backing up, one of my complaints against the Exmark too.
needs high lift blades to cut cleanly discharging. I've never needed to use the high lifts discharging with the Ultracut deck, just the wavy blades for mulching work fine.
Mulching ???
Can't see front of deck when approaching objects to lift over.

ProStreetCamaro
06-15-2008, 12:57 PM
I gotcha now I didnt realise you guys had so much wind all the time. It sounds like bagging would be the way to go for you guys. I know bagging sucks and I would rather go out of business then I would to bag everything but with the wind you have it seems like the most viable option. You would be happy with a machine that cuts great and the customers would be happy with no debris all over the place and the lawns would always look great no matter what the conditions were.

MJB
06-15-2008, 02:20 PM
I gotcha now I didnt realise you guys had so much wind all the time. It sounds like bagging would be the way to go for you guys. I know bagging sucks and I would rather go out of business then I would to bag everything but with the wind you have it seems like the most viable option. You would be happy with a machine that cuts great and the customers would be happy with no debris all over the place and the lawns would always look great no matter what the conditions were.

It's hard to believe but 10 yrs ago or more I bagged everything with Walker at these jobs but back then they had a place to dump, but now it's all been devloped. They don't ever complain about mulching as long as I doublecut, which is a lot cheaper than hauling 2 or 3 acres of clippings off. Since we started mulching we actually get in and out of these properties in about 8 man hrs with a 60" and 66" deck, averages out to $47 per man hr. Thats really just enough to make ends meet if you know what I mean. But I would like to have a lighter machine like the gravely, just don't know what it is. The Tank was always dependable to you guys that used it, but lately I'm hearing their parts and service is not what it use to be. I wouldn't mind having one for certain properties they mulch as good as the Exmark. Have you heard anything negative about the newer versions?

tb8100
06-15-2008, 05:46 PM
do you have a Scag dealer near you? Get a Scag and dont look back man.

MJB
06-15-2008, 06:40 PM
do you have a Scag dealer near you? Get a Scag and dont look back man.

Hustler dealer is a Scag dealer but does not have any Scags on hand. He sells more Hustlers than anything so he doesn't stock many Scags at all. If I drive 6 hrs I could see a Bad Boy mower and possibly set up a demo but thats a long ride.

ProStreetCamaro
06-15-2008, 07:05 PM
It's hard to believe but 10 yrs ago or more I bagged everything with Walker at these jobs but back then they had a place to dump, but now it's all been devloped. They don't ever complain about mulching as long as I doublecut, which is a lot cheaper than hauling 2 or 3 acres of clippings off. Since we started mulching we actually get in and out of these properties in about 8 man hrs with a 60" and 66" deck, averages out to $47 per man hr. Thats really just enough to make ends meet if you know what I mean. But I would like to have a lighter machine like the gravely, just don't know what it is. The Tank was always dependable to you guys that used it, but lately I'm hearing their parts and service is not what it use to be. I wouldn't mind having one for certain properties they mulch as good as the Exmark. Have you heard anything negative about the newer versions?


I havent heard anything negative about the newer model yet but its still to soon to tell really. Would it be possible to get a demo of the new Tank where you are? Might be worth a shot.

MJB
06-15-2008, 10:48 PM
I havent heard anything negative about the newer model yet but its still to soon to tell really. Would it be possible to get a demo of the new Tank where you are? Might be worth a shot.

I think so it's about 70 miles away. I'll make some calls. I'm just going to have to give up the soft ride of the Hustler I guess..and go bucking bronco , unless I can demo a Bad Boy mower and get decent results. Man I thought I would be done looking by now:cry: :waving:

lawnspecialties
06-15-2008, 11:25 PM
I think so it's about 70 miles away. I'll make some calls. I'm just going to have to give up the soft ride of the Hustler I guess..and go bucking bronco , unless I can demo a Bad Boy mower and get decent results. Man I thought I would be done looking by now:cry: :waving:

You know, as crazy as this sounds. My wife and son help me from time to time mowing a huge church I maintain. There's a large open area that's perfect for her and she probably put more hours on my 66" SuperZ than I did. She's mowed the open area a couple of times now with the 260 XDZ and she says it's actually a smoother ride than my SuperZ. And yes, my SuperZ had flex forks. Go figure. :confused:

MJB
06-15-2008, 11:34 PM
You know, as crazy as this sounds. My wife and son help me from time to time mowing a huge church I maintain. There's a large open area that's perfect for her and she probably put more hours on my 66" SuperZ than I did. She's mowed the open area a couple of times now with the 260 XDZ and she says it's actually a smoother ride than my SuperZ. And yes, my SuperZ had flex forks. Go figure. :confused:

I liked the ride ok, not quite like the super z if running the same speed, but it reminded me more of my Exmark which isn't that bad either. I'm not going to buy the Gravely I thought about for the last 3 days and have to break the news to the dealer. It could be the pitch is still off or something, but also my other mowers are all 1/4 inch deck heights and the 1/2 inch is either to high or to low for what my lawns are used to and my customers. But I'll tell ya, I really think these are sharp machines even though I've heard others say they look a little gay.....whatever that means:laugh: I still like your setup, you mkight be just a little bit spoiled....lol

MOturkey
06-15-2008, 11:58 PM
MJB, have you looked at the hydraulic deck as an option on the Gravely? Height adjustment is in 1/4 increments, and I'll almost guarantee that after using one a day, you won't ever want another manual deck lift mower.

MJB
06-16-2008, 12:03 AM
MJB, have you looked at the hydraulic deck as an option on the Gravely? Height adjustment is in 1/4 increments, and I'll almost guarantee that after using one a day, you won't ever want another manual deck lift mower.
No the only one they had was manual the hydraulic deck would be the way to go sounds like. How much pitch does your deck have in it? This one had 0 and now it's close to a 1/4 but still not right.

puppypaws
06-16-2008, 12:07 AM
You know, as crazy as this sounds. My wife and son help me from time to time mowing a huge church I maintain. There's a large open area that's perfect for her and she probably put more hours on my 66" SuperZ than I did. She's mowed the open area a couple of times now with the 260 XDZ and she says it's actually a smoother ride than my SuperZ. And yes, my SuperZ had flex forks. Go figure. :confused:

Something does not add up about that scenario. Let me ask this question, does she run both mowers at their highest possible speed? The Gravely is a 13 mph mower and the Super Z is 15 mph, that in itself can make a difference people don't realize. The flex seat with the flex forks; I run also makes a tremendous difference by taking all the back-slap out. The flex seat saves my back, when you hit a rough spot you are automatically thrown against the seat and this is a jar to your body. The flex seat has a rocking chair motion so when you are thrown back against the seat it will rock and take the jar out. I will promise if she rode my mower on the same property you would be buying her a flex seat before she cut the property again, she could tell that much difference.

I ran a Ferris IS 1500 about an hour one day, with it being only a 10 mph mower and supposedly a wonderful suspension system, my back hurt that afternoon and the next day. The person running my mower owned the Ferris and said my mower rode much better than his running at a 5 mph faster speed.

I have a friend that owns a Gravely 260 and cuts our church property (several acres). I saw him running one day and stop because I wanted to run the 260 and feel the comparison. I stop him and found out he was running the church Gravely but I don't remember the number. This mower was not as fast as the 260 (I think he said 10 mph) but I made two passes and said to him, "you can have this thing, it will beat your brains out". I hope one day to catch him on the 260 so I can get a comparison.

ProStreetCamaro
06-16-2008, 08:02 AM
I liked the ride ok, not quite like the super z if running the same speed, but it reminded me more of my Exmark which isn't that bad either. I'm not going to buy the Gravely I thought about for the last 3 days and have to break the news to the dealer. It could be the pitch is still off or something, but also my other mowers are all 1/4 inch deck heights and the 1/2 inch is either to high or to low for what my lawns are used to and my customers. But I'll tell ya, I really think these are sharp machines even though I've heard others say they look a little gay.....whatever that means:laugh: I still like your setup, you mkight be just a little bit spoiled....lol



1/2" is really steep for a 60" deck. Did you try making it 1/4" to see if that would fix the issue? The way it works is the more level the deck is the more suction the deck creates to help lift the grass and cut it smoothly.

Our 160Z is very smooth compared to the Tank we had but our tank was a smaller 48" and they are known to be rougher. I think the large front caster tires gravely uses helps smooth the ride some.

MJB
06-16-2008, 09:52 AM
1/2" is really steep for a 60" deck. Did you try making it 1/4" to see if that would fix the issue? The way it works is the more level the deck is the more suction the deck creates to help lift the grass and cut it smoothly.

Our 160Z is very smooth compared to the Tank we had but our tank was a smaller 48" and they are known to be rougher. I think the large front caster tires gravely uses helps smooth the ride some.

Yea I set the pitch on 1/4 inch an ran it friday, it was improved but something still might be wrong. Someone else demoed it before me and after 8hrs they gave it back too.

I started comparing the Gravely deck to the Bad Boy and the deck itself looks almost the same. Hard to tell in the picture but it is very simular, it may be tapered too. Seems like a lot of the companies are coming out with this in their design.