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View Full Version : Gravely Owners - Feedback needed


Gravely Commercial
03-20-2012, 11:21 AM
Are you a current Gravely owner? We'd love to get your feedback on your Gravely. Which machine(s) are you running? Where are you located? What kinds of grass are you cutting? Let us know what you think about your Gravely and how it helps your business.

douglee25
03-20-2012, 02:14 PM
I currently run the Gravely Pro-turn 160 in Northeast PA. The mower is primarily used on fescue lawns. I have about 8 hours on this new mower and I am thoroughly impressed thus far. I gave a review of the machine at the end of 2011. Here is a link in case anyone is interested. The review touches on a little bit of everything.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=363505&highlight=160+review

I got to use the mower for the first time in 2012 this past weekend prior to aerating. My review still stands. This machine is definitely a nice performer. I believe Gravely gives you a lot for your dollar when compared to other machines. The machine is comfortable to ride due to the standard suspension seat. The mower also allows easy access for maintenance. I will forward any additional thoughts I have as the season progresses.

For anyone who is interested, I should be posting a review of Gravely's striper kit once the lawns get going. I will provide some side by side comparisons so you can decide for yourself. I also plan to try out the new Gator G6 blades.

Doug

watsmi57
03-21-2012, 10:50 AM
I am running a Pro Turn 252 and a Pro Walk Hydro 36. The 36 gets the places the 52 can't go. I don't even carry a 21 anymore. I am in south Georgia and most of what we cut down here is Centipede. There is a little bit of St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bahia, Rye, Bermuda, and weeds mixed in there as well. Both of my Gravely's can cut anything and they do it well. They leave everything looking like freshly laid carpet.

I have the OEM chute blockers installed on both mowers. I also got the mulch kits for both mowers. To be honest, the chute blockers have worked so well I have never used the mulch kits. I think the chute blockers should be standard issue on all mowers. Being able to close off the deck on the fly is great.

I would put my Gravely side by side against any other mower out there. I think it is the best machine for the money. Since I switched to Gravely last year. My productivity has increased while my downtime has decreased. Check out the fleet program. It saved me a bunch on two top of the line mowers.

mowerman90
03-21-2012, 02:33 PM
I run a Pro 160 and have about 350 hrs on it. I've been in the business for 23 years and the last 3 mowers I've owned have been North of $10K each. So last June I needed a new mower and decided to take a chance on something a little less expensive than what I had previously been running. I chose Gravely mainly because I could get more for my money. As it turns out I ended up with a highly productive machine that had a cut quality second to none. Mine has the 60 in deck coupled with a 26HP Kawi. I run the OEM mulch kit year round cutting mostly St Augustine and Bahia grass here in Central Florida. I was a little concerned that this mower has no zerk fittings to grease, everything is permanently sealed for life. So far, with 350 hrs on the clock and all I've had to do is change oil and filters on the engine and hydros with no other maintenance to worry about. Would I buy another one? You bet I would, without even looking at any other brand.

mtmower
03-26-2012, 01:20 AM
Bump. Subscribe. Looking at new.

ProStreetCamaro
04-01-2012, 12:36 PM
I have an 08 160Z with the 25hp kohler and 60" X-Factor deck. I now have 1300+ hours on it and it has been relatively trouble free. It cuts great and leaves a very crisp smooth finish cut in our northern tall fescue grass. I do have a few things you can work on improving.

1. Discharge. For what ever reason this mower does not discharge way out the side. It kind of directs the grass out and down. This is not good on those thick lush spring lawns. It leaves heavy rows of discharged clippings requiring a second pass at a higher height to clean it up. If it threw the grass straight out instead of directing it down and out that would solve that issue. I do not run the chute.

2. It is not as easy on the turf when you turn as some other mowers are. It wants to drag one rear tire depending on what direction you turn. It even does it on asphalt. For example last year I demoed a much heavier john deere Z920a 60" and that mower would turn so easy it would not tear up a lawn. I thought being 200+ pounds heavier it would be worse so I was surprised when I got to use it how easily it turned!

3. Please put grease fittings back! I absolutely hate not having grease fittings! I just had to replace the front castor bearings this spring. I am sorry but I am NOT going to disassemble them every year to repack them when all that is required is a simple grease fitting!

4. Please stop with the terrible cheap seats on the lower end models like our 34Z and 160Z. Im not saying you have to put the high dollar suspension seats on the lower end models but the seats you use fall apart WAY to easily. Our 1998 lazer z hp has over 2500 hours on it and the seat is just now starting to have issues. We have never had a gravely seat last more than 800 hours before it starts falling apart.


We do like our gravely mowers but may be switching on our next purchase if some issues are not addressed.

TinMan1
04-02-2012, 10:23 AM
I dont own a Gravely but saw one up close for the first time yesterday at a Bush Hog dealer and was really Impressed with how stout it was built! I dont think there is a dealer in my area Ill have to look, very interested now

ProStreetCamaro
04-02-2012, 04:17 PM
I have an 08 160Z with the 25hp kohler and 60" X-Factor deck. I now have 1300+ hours on it and it has been relatively trouble free. It cuts great and leaves a very crisp smooth finish cut in our northern tall fescue grass. I do have a few things you can work on improving.

1. Discharge. For what ever reason this mower does not discharge way out the side. It kind of directs the grass out and down. This is not good on those thick lush spring lawns. It leaves heavy rows of discharged clippings requiring a second pass at a higher height to clean it up. If it threw the grass straight out instead of directing it down and out that would solve that issue. I do not run the chute.

2. It is not as easy on the turf when you turn as some other mowers are. It wants to drag one rear tire depending on what direction you turn. It even does it on asphalt. For example last year I demoed a much heavier john deere Z920a 60" and that mower would turn so easy it would not tear up a lawn. I thought being 200+ pounds heavier it would be worse so I was surprised when I got to use it how easily it turned!

3. Please put grease fittings back! I absolutely hate not having grease fittings! I just had to replace the front castor bearings this spring. I am sorry but I am NOT going to disassemble them every year to repack them when all that is required is a simple grease fitting!

4. Please stop with the terrible cheap seats on the lower end models like our 34Z and 160Z. Im not saying you have to put the high dollar suspension seats on the lower end models but the seats you use fall apart WAY to easily. Our 1998 lazer z hp has over 2500 hours on it and the seat is just now starting to have issues. We have never had a gravely seat last more than 800 hours before it starts falling apart.


We do like our gravely mowers but may be switching on our next purchase if some issues are not addressed.



I forgot the fuel line setup. That clear fuel line inside the tank is a horrible setup. It drys out and cracks and starts sucking air. Has done it on every gravely mower we have ever owned. No issues with the exmarks, bobcats, cub commercial or scags we have owned. Change that design for god sake!

GMLC
04-02-2012, 06:14 PM
I just ordered a 2012 Pro-Turn 452 with a bagging system and stripe kit. Should have it in a week or two. I will keep everyone up to date as I start to mow.

Here is a link to my 400 series demo review.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=375000

fatboynormmie
04-05-2012, 09:18 PM
2004 Gravely 152z
2005 Gravely 34z
(2)1970ish Gravely 500 series tractors with many attachments

The 152z is my work horse and has been a rock solid performer.I did install wider tires to help on hillsides.The deck does struggle in real wet conditions but I make it work out by double/triple cutting in those conditions.

The 34z has an awesome cut and that unit I also added wider tires .This mower cuts great in wet conditions but can rut due to it's weight and narrower rear tires.

The 2 older tractors are absolute beasts one is a 12hp and the other is the 8hp Kohler.They are dangerous at times to operate but dead nut reliable and will chew through everything you throw in front of them.LOVE LOVE LOVE them.

I have been real happy with my Gravely's and wanted to purchase a new 36" hydro with the new style steering(not the pistol grip) but just fell into a deal on an almost new exmark 36tthp and bought it a couple weeks ago .I'm really glad to see Gravely is really trying to jump into the mainstream and play with the other big boys . My family has owned Gravely's for 50 years and I hope to pass Gravely down to my son.Keep up the good work guys.

higherground
04-06-2012, 07:18 AM
I run a 152Z w/ mulch kit as my work horse - maybe 3 years old now. 3-8 yards a day. Ive also driven hustlers Z and super Zs... so minimal knowledge to compare my 152Z.

relatively speaking:
I love the deck, metal work, ergonomics and Catoes in Columbia SC. I wish y'all made trailers.

gripes:
its too easy to leave tire marks in tight corners. Hustler Z kicks your butt.
the gas tank grommets and fuel line retention springs are problematic.. again.
the seat is falling apart...but no biggie for me.
the blade engage switch is acting up.. again.

douglee25
04-06-2012, 08:58 AM
Out of curiosity, why do you think the Hustler doesn't tear up the lawns vs. the Gravely?

Is it just a tire choice? Tire width? Overall design?

Doug

mtmower
04-06-2012, 09:27 AM
Sorry to tell you Hustlers do tear up turf with their tires. Over 2000 hrs. on them, so I can tell you from first hand experience. It depends more on the driver, turf, and pivot point of the machine. The trick is to have both rear tires turning at all times, regardless of direction. The problem with this is if you reverse one wheel while the other is going forward, you are performing a zero turn and your not lined up where you want to be for the next run. Often I will go with the three point turn, not unlike what one does on a tractor. The ZTR is still more efficient even when doing these. I think a front mount, such as a Walker, some Grasshoppers and Exmarks, etc. may be less likely to tear the turf do to the pivoting point of the mower, which would be under your thigh area instead of behind you. They have a down side as well though. A lot of booty sticking out back there swinging around, that when not use to can cause damage, maybe not turf, but siding, birdbaths, folage, and so on. I haven't run any new Gravelys yet but have a demo in the works in the next few weeks, before deciding if I should go with it, another Hustler SZ, or a Husky PZ.

douglee25
04-06-2012, 02:19 PM
I agree that both wheels need to turn or do 3 point turns instead. Personally, I've never seen a ZTR that doesn't rut up the lawn. It's just the nature of the beast. It really does take a skilled operator to avoid tearing up the ground.

Sometimes if I decide not to do a 3 point turn, I will pulse the inside wheel with the stick several times until I'm lined up. This tends to lesson the rutting.

Doug

higherground
04-06-2012, 03:48 PM
I was running one of the standard hustler Z's - a 48" - it seemed to accelerate slowly and smoothly. I'm guessing it is the slow smooth acceleration. On the downside, it scalped like crazy... no middle wheels.

tires? - perhaps.


Out of curiosity, why do you think the Hustler doesn't tear up the lawns vs. the Gravely?

Is it just a tire choice? Tire width? Overall design?

Doug

higherground
04-06-2012, 03:52 PM
I agree that both wheels need to turn or do 3 point turns instead. Personally, I've never seen a ZTR that doesn't rut up the lawn. It's just the nature of the beast. It really does take a skilled operator to avoid tearing up the ground.

Sometimes if I decide not to do a 3 point turn, I will pulse the inside wheel with the stick several times until I'm lined up. This tends to lesson the rutting.

Doug

I've got much to learn - but those little corner patches up near the pretty front sidewalks are killer. I try to 3 point turn, but I can't back on to the walks.

mtmower
04-06-2012, 10:10 PM
Smooth hydros are a big plus toward lessening damage to turf, but it's all about the 1500 lbs being pivoted on a nice fat wide tire like it were a hinge. Something has got to give and it's not usually the tire. If the tire is turning, even slowly, it is no longer the pivot.

I pivot when ever possible in the street, on the driveway, or side walk. Be careful on concrete as it will sometimes leave rubber marks which are not pretty either.

New verses old tires make a huge difference as well. I try to run mine till there completely worn out. It's rare that worn tires effect the abilities of the mower. I hate new tires. I have to be much more carfull:hammerhead:

Last trick. Most yards I cut in four different patterns, a different pattern each week. There are some properties that this is not possible due to the layout or size. Just do as many as possible. I like to use the house, a fountain, pond or what ever is the main attraction of the property as my guide and mow perpendicular and parallel to it. Then go to 45s either direction. Usually it's the house that I use. This makes the house the focal point or sort of puts it at the center to display it. Usually if they can afford to pay to have their yard mowed then they take some pride in their home. Subconsciously they like their house to be shown off. The different patterns lessen the possibility of rutting or the grass laying down in these areas over the season. It also means less chance of pivoting at the exact same spot each time you mow. To take it another step further. When you come around in the month and repeat a pattern already done three patterns back, don't use the same stripe/path. Instead mow half a stripe over, so you're straddling the previous wheel path. Plus it's better for the grass to be cut in different directions. It makes the yard look more uniform and the best part....it just looks cool. Once you do it long enough it becomes habit and IMO you will get more efficient than mowing more willy-nilly. You'll find nice stripes are the next level and what gets you word of mouth recommendations. It also takes a little of the focus off little problem areas. Your now a professional!! GO MOW YARDS!!!

curtislawncare
04-07-2012, 04:32 PM
I purchased about 2 weeks ago the Pro-24 HWSP to do overgrown residential lawns here in Southern Louisiana.

It cuts high and thick grass as advertised but it is high maintenance. I'm used to working with 21" mowers so the idea of having to actually unbolt the wheels to adjust the height came as an unpleasant shock. It took me about 4 hours figuring out what tools I needed for this and then going to the tools store to buy them $$$.

Today i was cutting a lawn and the drive belt just came off. Besides having to finish the job with all leg power, I was further frustrated by having to remove a stripped nut and bolt to get the belt back on. I have no idea why the belt came off. I hope and pray the belt doesn't come off too often. I have a suspicion it will come off more often than I'd like.

I just bought this machine not even a full 2 weeks ago and it seems that maintenance is outweighing its solution to cutting overgrown grass -although it does cut real thick grass nicely.

twobroslawns
04-13-2012, 08:34 PM
We have a 2007ish 32" walk-behind. Honestly, I am not impressed with it's performance. The mower has a VERY hard time fitting through a 36" gate because of the rear axle/tires, which I suspect share parts from a 36 inch... We mow mostly lush fescue in Atlanta.

The cut looks nice sometimes, but all too often we struggle with a strip of uncut grass between the two blades. We are running a full mulch kit with baffles, and currently gator blades. I am trying different blades to try to perfect the cut.

The engine smokes like crazy. Absolutely unacceptable. Three dealers in Atlanta have not been able to figure it out, and have been no help contacting Gravely or Kawasaki for a solution.

The wheel bearing in one rear wheel seized up, causing the retainer ring to spin in place, which in turn wore the axle out. This caused the groove to wear down, and the wheel fell off many times. After two trips to the dealer (Dallas Mower) without a proper diagnosis or solution, I ended up discovering it was the bearing. A wheel shouldn't come off a mower like this.



Other than all those issues, the machine is great. It's quick, pretty easy to handle, fairly light, huge fuel tank, easy to service (maybe because I'm getting so much practice :hammerhead: ), not too loud, and it is solid on hills. I could handle all the mechanical issues if the cut was better, but I think double cutting a lawn with very little growth is unacceptable.


I really hope the manufacturer reads this and is able to help with some issues.

Mr BC
04-22-2012, 01:54 PM
I have a 2011 ZT42. I'm a homeowner and a bigger machine was overkill and over budget. I really like the mower and the homeowner level seems to fit my needs just fine. I also need to be careful when turning to avoid making divots. I either do 3-point turns or I cut a strip in the middle of my yard work 2 sections one pass at a time each. This way I can make wider turns. I really like the cut quality. I am disappointed that the transaxles are sealed vs. being serviceable. I demo'd a ZT42xl but the tech I was taking to about reliability, etc. didn't realize I was interested in the ZT, I thought I had said that... anyway I thought I was getting the serviceable trannies.

I just do my yard, so many people have said I probably won't have any issues with the trannies. I was dismayed to learn that a blown tranny on a tractor-style hydro (consumer grade.. Lowes, etc.) is basically a throw away mower! I don't want to see that problem with my Gravely. This is why I decided to buy from a dedicated mower/small engine shop as they seem to carry better grade products. I figured it was a "you get what you pay for" situation. I hope this bears out. Friends who have lawncare businesses indicated this same thing.

tjwilly
04-27-2012, 11:52 AM
On my second Gravely - went with the pro-turn 152. Very happy with it. I have 19.5 hours on it over the past month.

pros: smooth, fast hydros. SOLID deck. Soft ride saddle. Fuel capacity. KAWI motor. Overall feel. adjustable operator positions. ENGINE GUARD!

cons: a little heavy for some lawns. my deck does not catch when stowing about 15% of the time (was told this was common). mulching kit not standard :( Stock blades dulled withing four or five hours, but I will say our mild winter and slow to call customers created some really badly weeded lawns.

I am a happy gravely customer and my third and forth mowers will be Gravely as well.

Thanks

mtmower
05-05-2012, 11:30 PM
Looks like I'm going to be a future Gravely owner. I had the chance to demo the 460 and was super impressed. I've been running Hustler SZs for the last 12 years, Exmark, Ferris, and Encore walk behinds, and I recently demoed the Walker Super B, Bad Boy Outlaw, and Husqvarna PZ. Congratulations on making a really nice machine! I only had about an hr to play on it on flat, dry ground but I liked just about everything about it when I demoed it. It road better than any ZTR I've ever been on and was very smooth to operate.

The only constructive criticism I have is the gas tank gauges should be near the front of the tanks to be seen easily from the seated position, pneumatic tires are a must (over 2000 hrs. and only one flat for me so far), ride and handling are much better, COG would be nicer if a little lower, the bolts in the deck for the optional mulch kit stick out under the deck catching clippings and making another obstacle to scrape around when cleaning (these bolts should come with the mulch kit and a shorter set that are flush with the underside should come in the deck from factory), I like the hinged discharge chute better than the manual, I wouldn't argue if you wanted to add a couple mph too, and the bagger system could be simplified even more (see Husky PZ). I'm a picky guy and once I get a season under my belt on one I may have a thing or two to add but well done sirs!

My likes I wrote in my other post. thread #115

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=375000&page=3

They are too many to list again here and I'm sure I left some out.

Gravely Commercial
05-23-2012, 12:43 PM
I dont own a Gravely but saw one up close for the first time yesterday at a Bush Hog dealer and was really Impressed with how stout it was built! I dont think there is a dealer in my area Ill have to look, very interested now

TinMan1 - I sent you a private message.

mtmower
05-31-2012, 10:01 AM
I'm the proud owner of a 460 and have a few good cutting days under my belt. Once again guys, nice product! I didn't think it would be possible but I do believe that the 460 is going to be a more productive mower than my Hustler Super Zs were. I'm actually actively trying to sell my other SZ so I can now replace it with another 460. Shoot I'd even sell my 36" Encore hydro-pro walk behind and replace it if I could.

As I said before I'm very picky and so far my gripes are, as mentioned in my earlier post, optional mulch bolts extended through the deck hanging out under the bottom (I fixed this using nylon bolts and cut them down so they are flush with bottom surface of deck), mounting system of the bagger could be thought out better, and hinged discharge shoot instead of manual.

I would add making the steering sticks longer so they come closer together by about another 1". It's not bad but this would make it a little easier when steering with one hand.

OCDC is very poor design. Hard to function even when loosened up, chute flap is in the way and effects clippings dispersal, and hard to operate due to clippings getting stuck in air holes and being chopped off or forced through the slot when trying to raise/open.

Seat position. I'm almost 6' and need it all the way back. Fine for me but taller folk my like a notch or two more. The bigger problem lies in the throw of the deck lift pedal. With the seat all the way back and pedal in the middle position I can just comfortably get the deck to lock into transfer position. With the deck set a 3" and my foot on the pedal, the pedal is so far back that it puts my knee in the air and my leg at quite an angle. I had adjust the steering sticks down one notch (2nd from the bottom), to get the most comfortable position for my arms in relation to the seat armrests, but had to put them back due to my knee hitting the stick. Even back at the original setting (2nd from the top) if I'm close to full forward stick it will touch. If I move the pedal adjustment to the forward position then I'll have trouble getting enough reach to get into transfer position. I will say I've run into this situation or one similar to many mower brands I've tried.

Rubber flap for striper, IMO, should be thick conveyer material and I think two positions would be enough when it comes to mounting options.

Hitch kit needs hitch hole drilled out to 3/4 to accept a ball hitch.

Again great mower. May I have another please?!?!

mtmower
05-31-2012, 08:35 PM
Thought of another very small thing that would be nice on the 400 series (told you I was picky). The frame channel where the engine cradle sits holds grass clippings. Would it be possible to flip the channel upside down when manufactured to keep this happening? I can see grass staying in there around the 1000 hrs. plus holding water/moisture causing corrosion.

GMLC
06-01-2012, 07:23 AM
I have been a die hard Scag owner for 15 years. Gravely gave me the opportunity to demo the new 400 series. All I can say is WOW! I now own a Gravely 452. The bar has been set for all the other manufacturers to catch up. Gravely hit a home run with this mower. The comfort is unmatched in this industry.

Here is a link to my full detailed review...with tons of pics!

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=375000

mtmower
06-01-2012, 12:22 PM
I have been a die hard Scag owner for 15 years. Gravely gave me the opportunity to demo the new 400 series. All I can say is WOW! I now own a Gravely 452. The bar has been set for all the other manufacturers to catch up. Gravely hit a home run with this mower. The comfort is unmatched in this industry.

Here is a link to my full detailed review...with tons of pics!

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=375000

Super cool pic GMLC! Just to let everyone know Gravely sending GMLC south to demo and his informative review is a good part of the reason for me taking an interest in Gravely. Thanks again.

mtmower
06-01-2012, 02:40 PM
I have a Z Spray fert/sprayer that has a SecDec hr meter similar to the Gravely but it also has the option of showing RPMs. This would be nice to make sure the engine RPMs are always adjusted to the max (3600 in the case of the Kawasaki FX921V).

BINKY1902
06-02-2012, 10:28 PM
I run a Gravely Pro-Turn 152, bought it new in June 2010. It has a 24hp Kawasaki FX engine, and hydrogear 3400 integrated pumps/motors. I used it commercially the past two years, and I never found a property that it couldn't handle. I have 330 hrs. on the machine and I have had no problems, and it cuts great. I've done the normal oil and hydro changes, keep the air filter clean, adjust belt tension every week, and other than that I just put gas in it and go. I have never even had to go back to the dealer or anything, no adjustments, nothing needed. This is probably one of the best pieces of equipment I've ever used, and I've used about everything. The quality control at the Gravely plant must be top notch, because it isn't very often that you run a machine without needing some kind of adjustment or something after a few hundred hours. This is a money making machine that is very low maintenance, and super high quality.

BINKY1902
06-02-2012, 10:42 PM
Oh and I almost forgot, I cut probably 75% bahia, 20% bermuda, and 5% Saint Augustine. This mower shines on all of them. I also run mine alot in the winter mulching up leaves and pine needles. The mulch kit works great on this 152.

mtmower
06-04-2012, 12:04 AM
I had some stragglers with my 460 so I thought I'd check the deck pitch and long story short miss adjusted it and it didn't help things. Got it back in the shop and corrected my problem. With my fuel tanks half full, no operator on the seat, and all four tires set a 12 psi I readjusted the deck for the 3.5" setting putting the front at 3.5" and the rear at 3 1/8". Thought I was done and tried to put the deck in transport lock and it would not go. Played around another hour and came to the same conclusion I've read about with guys running Exmarks and some other brands. You can't adjust the deck correctly and still achieve transport height lock. Backed it off till it will barely lock if I pop it up fast and must mash the peddle and forcibly pull the release loose to drop it. At this point everything is off by 1/8". With final settings for 3.5", with front at 3 1/8" and rear at barley 3.5". Not very impressed but I guess if it's the worst problem I find with the unit I can live with my cut being 1/8" off from the gauge. Gravely is there anything I'm missing?

ProStreetCamaro
06-04-2012, 02:55 PM
I did find something I am not crazy about today with my 460. It never dawned on me how far out the gas tanks sit compared to my 160Z. I like to use the overhang of the mower deck to get under stuff like raised decks on a house. Well I snagged a bolt sticking out of a customers deck and almost ripped a hole in the gas tank. It has a chunk sticking out now but did not penetrate all the way. There seems to be 2 layers to the tank with some kind of white grainy material between the layers. Kind of upset me because the machine is so new and looks so good and here it is damaged already. I know its not gravelys fault. I wish the tanks were a little more inboard so you could use the trim side of the deck to get under stuff. Now I have to make a conscious effort to not do that again.

Other than that I would highly recommend the entire gravely line (100,200 and 400 series) to anybody in the business. The 400 series is so smooth and comfortable it is unreal. Job well done guys and girls!

Gravely Commercial
06-04-2012, 03:58 PM
I had some stragglers with my 460 so I thought I'd check the deck pitch and long story short miss adjusted it and it didn't help things. Got it back in the shop and corrected my problem. With my fuel tanks half full, no operator on the seat, and all four tires set a 12 psi I readjusted the deck for the 3.5" setting putting the front at 3.5" and the rear at 3 1/8". Thought I was done and tried to put the deck in transport lock and it would not go. Played around another hour and came to the same conclusion I've read about with guys running Exmarks and some other brands. You can't adjust the deck correctly and still achieve transport height lock. Backed it off till it will barely lock if I pop it up fast and must mash the peddle and forcibly pull the release loose to drop it. At this point everything is off by 1/8". With final settings for 3.5", with front at 3 1/8" and rear at barley 3.5". Not very impressed but I guess if it's the worst problem I find with the unit I can live with my cut being 1/8" off from the gauge. Gravely is there anything I'm missing?

Something is not set right on your deck as it should not be leaving stragglers. You should contact your Gravely dealer as there are a couple things they can check to fix this for you.

Thanks.

watsmi57
06-04-2012, 04:04 PM
OCDC is very poor design. Hard to function even when loosened up, chute flap is in the way and effects clippings dispersal, and hard to operate due to clippings getting stuck in air holes and being chopped off or forced through the slot when trying to raise/open.



I hate to hear you don't like your OCDC. I love mine! Maybe I can help. I had some similiar issues when mine was first put on too.

I had already removed the rubber chute. That's the first thing to go on all my new mowers. I didn't see ANY use for it anyway since I had the OCDC installed. I find them useful for one thing only, and that's piling up grass. So to the trash it went. Well once I took it off. It caused the blocker to come out of position when I raised it all the way up. It turned out the rubber chute acts as a spacer and without it the chute blocker would get "hung up". I couldn't pull it all the way up or I would have to get off the mower and line it back up to get it to go back down. Well, if I couldn't pull it all the way up the clipping dispersal wasn't as good because the chute was partially blocked. I wound up welding two small pieces of angle iron on either side of the blocker to extend the channel that it slides up and down in. This keeps it in line and allows me to pull it all the way up. I will upload a couple of pics in this message so you can see what I did.

I have thought of a simpler solution since then. I could have just cut the rubber chute off right there where it bolts on and got the same effect. The "spacer" would still be there, just not the rest of the rubber chute.

The only time I can't pull it up is when there is something caught in one or some of the holes. Grass does not seem to prevent it from raising up but a small stick will. I have actually bent my control arm and had to bend it back in place because it was hung up and I tried to force it. Turned out a hole size piece of wood was stuck in one of the holes.

The only complaint I have about the OCDC is it kind of piles grass up on the top of the right side of the deck. That could be my fault though for taking off the rubber chute. I try to blow my deck off at the end of everyday so not a big issue.

As far as blades and stragglers. I loved the stock Gravely blades but they are too high at my dealer. My dealer carries a hi lift blade that is about $11 and they are just as thick. With our sandy conditions down here I pretty much get to run a set of blades until they are dull and it's time to throw them away. I get about 30-40 hours out of a set of blades. I thought about trying the G6 blades but mulching blades last even less time in our sand. I did find out that Agrisupply has G6 blades to fit our Gravely's for about $16 apiece. I don't know what you guys are paying for them???

My mowers do seem to like sharp blades as well. The only time I have stragglers is when I am either going too fast or I have dull blades. If they are new sharp blades I can cut at a faster speed than when they are dull. The duller the blade, the slower I need to cut to eliminate stragglers. This includes cutting bahia. When I find myself going slower than I like to cut and start seeing a bunch of stragglers then I know it's time to change blades. :)

mtmower
06-05-2012, 12:53 PM
I hate to hear you don't like your OCDC. I love mine! Maybe I can help. I had some similiar issues when mine was first put on too.

I had already removed the rubber chute. That's the first thing to go on all my new mowers. I didn't see ANY use for it anyway since I had the OCDC installed. I find them useful for one thing only, and that's piling up grass. So to the trash it went. Well once I took it off. It caused the blocker to come out of position when I raised it all the way up. It turned out the rubber chute acts as a spacer and without it the chute blocker would get "hung up". I couldn't pull it all the way up or I would have to get off the mower and line it back up to get it to go back down. Well, if I couldn't pull it all the way up the clipping dispersal wasn't as good because the chute was partially blocked. I wound up welding two small pieces of angle iron on either side of the blocker to extend the channel that it slides up and down in. This keeps it in line and allows me to pull it all the way up. I will upload a couple of pics in this message so you can see what I did.

I have thought of a simpler solution since then. I could have just cut the rubber chute off right there where it bolts on and got the same effect. The "spacer" would still be there, just not the rest of the rubber chute.

The only time I can't pull it up is when there is something caught in one or some of the holes. Grass does not seem to prevent it from raising up but a small stick will. I have actually bent my control arm and had to bend it back in place because it was hung up and I tried to force it. Turned out a hole size piece of wood was stuck in one of the holes.

The only complaint I have about the OCDC is it kind of piles grass up on the top of the right side of the deck. That could be my fault though for taking off the rubber chute. I try to blow my deck off at the end of everyday so not a big issue.

As far as blades and stragglers. I loved the stock Gravely blades but they are too high at my dealer. My dealer carries a hi lift blade that is about $11 and they are just as thick. With our sandy conditions down here I pretty much get to run a set of blades until they are dull and it's time to throw them away. I get about 30-40 hours out of a set of blades. I thought about trying the G6 blades but mulching blades last even less time in our sand. I did find out that Agrisupply has G6 blades to fit our Gravely's for about $16 apiece. I don't know what you guys are paying for them???

My mowers do seem to like sharp blades as well. The only time I have stragglers is when I am either going too fast or I have dull blades. If they are new sharp blades I can cut at a faster speed than when they are dull. The duller the blade, the slower I need to cut to eliminate stragglers. This includes cutting bahia. When I find myself going slower than I like to cut and start seeing a bunch of stragglers then I know it's time to change blades. :)


Thanks for the info. You must have really been wailing on it to bend it. I gotta say they built them heavy duty. I'm guess they're close to 30lbs. of metal there. I have the same feelings about the rubber chutes. They effect the clipping dispersal too much negatively. When installing mine I also tried installing it without the rubber chute and found the same problem. My first thought was cut the chute, but even though I wasn't going to use it, I didn't want to cut it in case I sold it to someone later or need it for some reason. I was going to take a piece of conveyor rubber and make an identical spacer and then have a metal shop make another upper piece of metal with the slot and holes, but shorter so it didn't turn down at the front and rear or stick out quite as far. I also didn't care for the long throw/travel of the leaver and how far out you had to lean/reach to work it. I called my dealer and he just said to bring it back and he would reimburse me. So now I'm looking at either a Power Chute or Grass Flap. I have run all hand operated OCDCs up till now, including homemade, and manufactured, and I'm going foot operated this time. Glad yours is doing well for you though.

mtmower
06-05-2012, 01:03 PM
Something is not set right on your deck as it should not be leaving stragglers. You should contact your Gravely dealer as there are a couple things they can check to fix this for you.

Thanks.

It was my fault. I messed up the pitch. After correcting the pitch to 1/8" it was much better. Also it was like 12:30 am when I wrote the post and I gave my measurements incorrectly. I now have the deck pitch with the rear 1/8" higher than the front. Talking to my rep he recommended going to 1/4" for the best results. I'm going to try this and see if things get even better. My only beef is this will put my gauge reading off by a little over 1/4" in order to have the deck adjusted to get it into transportation mode. If I go from the humped OEM blade to a flat blade (which also may improve on lift/vacuum) this will counter act the inaccuracy of the gauge reading a little.

At just at 10 hrs. on the machine, when I engaged the deck yesterday at idle my main deck drive belt jumped off. It was easy enough to install and tensioner pulley seemed to have adequate tension so I can't for the life of me figure out why it came off. I went ahead and added a little more tension as a possible remedy.

mtmower
06-05-2012, 01:11 PM
I did find something I am not crazy about today with my 460. It never dawned on me how far out the gas tanks sit compared to my 160Z. I like to use the overhang of the mower deck to get under stuff like raised decks on a house. Well I snagged a bolt sticking out of a customers deck and almost ripped a hole in the gas tank. It has a chunk sticking out now but did not penetrate all the way. There seems to be 2 layers to the tank with some kind of white grainy material between the layers. Kind of upset me because the machine is so new and looks so good and here it is damaged already. I know its not gravelys fault. I wish the tanks were a little more inboard so you could use the trim side of the deck to get under stuff. Now I have to make a conscious effort to not do that again.

Other than that I would highly recommend the entire gravely line (100,200 and 400 series) to anybody in the business. The 400 series is so smooth and comfortable it is unreal. Job well done guys and girls!

I also notice I need to watch the tanks more on this mower more but due their height more then their width. The wheel assembly extends out past the tanks, so unless you have something higher than the wheel, the wheel should contact first. It was the same for the ROPs which magically disappeared from my 460. Height wasn't as much of a factor as width. Most of my issues are around apple trees and such with their low branches coming out at an angle.
I know Gravely states 13.4 gallon tank capacity but yesterday I ran one dry and filling it to where they recommend I only was able to get about 5.5 gallons in one. At 13.4 gallons I should be able to get 6.70 gallons in one. Are they counting the EPA dead space for fumes?????

Gravely Commercial
06-05-2012, 05:00 PM
It was my fault. I messed up the pitch. After correcting the pitch to 1/8" it was much better. Also it was like 12:30 am when I wrote the post and I gave my measurements incorrectly. I now have the deck pitch with the rear 1/8" higher than the front. Talking to my rep he recommended going to 1/4" for the best results. I'm going to try this and see if things get even better. My only beef is this will put my gauge reading off by a little over 1/4" in order to have the deck adjusted to get it into transportation mode. If I go from the humped OEM blade to a flat blade (which also may improve on lift/vacuum) this will counter act the inaccuracy of the gauge reading a little.

At just at 10 hrs. on the machine, when I engaged the deck yesterday at idle my main deck drive belt jumped off. It was easy enough to install and tensioner pulley seemed to have adequate tension so I can't for the life of me figure out why it came off. I went ahead and added a little more tension as a possible remedy.

You mentioned you adjusted the tensioner pulley, but another thing you could check is the spring next to the idler as it may need adjusting. There is a nut on the end of the I-bolt on the spring that may need more tension.

If you still have an issue after adjusting the tension on the spring, it may need realignment.

Thanks.

mtmower
06-05-2012, 08:42 PM
You mentioned you adjusted the tensioner pulley, but another thing you could check is the spring next to the idler as it may need adjusting. There is a nut on the end of the I-bolt on the spring that may need more tension.

If you still have an issue after adjusting the tension on the spring, it may need realignment.

Thanks.

The spring is actually what I adjusted using the eye bolt to add tension to the tensioner pulley. I've mowed a few properties since and no problem yet. Even before I added tension to the spring, the spring was stretched enough that there was very slight spacing in between the coils so I'm not sure adding tension did much. What is the process to align the pulleys if it reoccurs?

grasshopperslawn
06-14-2012, 10:30 AM
We currently run 6 Gravely mowers.

3 pro turn 48" 2 with mulch kits and one with ocdc. 2009,2010, and 2011
1gravely 34"z with mulch kit 2010
1 gravely 36" walk behind with mulch kit (2011)
1 gravely 60" 260z with ocdc 2012
we are in the process of changing our whole fleet over to all gravely machine in the next year.
We cut different varieties of grass.
St Augustine , Cetepede, Bermuda, Bahai
We service Southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We serve over 1100 customers.
Grasshopper Lawns is my company.

Gravely has been good to us no major problems . Just regular maintenance.

grasshopperslawn
06-14-2012, 10:34 AM
When we installed our ocdc we added extra lock nuts . Which acted as a spacer . so we did not need to use the rubber chute. the ocdc works fine with the nuts we added no problems . If we did not install the extra nuts it would come out of place when raised all the way up.

curtislawncare
07-20-2012, 07:27 PM
I posted a few months back about the Gravely Pro-24 HWSP. I've since had a chance to use it over these last couple of months and I must say I'm even less impressed now over it.

I said in my previous post that it does what it's advertised to do. That is, it's touted as a weed and grass mower. I can cut weeds and grass but not much better than the $199 consumer mower that I now use and prefer over the Gravely. I paid $1,260 (including tax) for the heavy for nothing Gravely and yet it doesn't work any better or isn't any more efficient than a $199 mower.

I urge small operators such as myself to not buy this machine because it is not worth the price and in fact is a needless headache in maintenance and upkeep.

This machine serves no practical use, or has no practical advantage over any generic $199 mower. What were the engineers thinking when they designed this machine?!

Franklin51
07-26-2012, 03:42 PM
Looking very heavily at the Hustler Sport and the Gravely ZT42. I am just a little concerned when I hear the words throw away mower associated with the ZT42.

douglee25
07-29-2012, 02:52 PM
Well why not go look yourself before you listen to someone call it a 'throw away mower'?

Doug

Amm0622
08-02-2012, 08:07 PM
I'm currenty running a 452. First off let me tell you how comfortable that seat is. I'm currently having routine maintenace done and using a 152 temporarily and man is my butt sore! Cant wait to get that plushy seat back under me! I'm currently struggling with the 452 with a full mulch kit on it. With the OEM mulching blades it leaves a pretty rough cut and misses alot even when I'm crawling thru the yard. I switched those blades out with the Gator6's and they cut way better with the mulch kit, however they do leave an uncut strip between the center blade and discharging blade that annoys me like no other because I have to mow everything twice. The side discharge chute could be better as seen in previous owners posts as it does tend to throw the clippings downward more than out and leaves heavy clumping wet or dry. I only have about 100hrs on mine and so far I'm not sure what I prefer more...the 452 or the brand new JD925 I ran last year for less than 80hrs. The only reason I traded the JD in was due to constant electrical issues and horrible service from the dealer. The 452 has had zero issues and the dealer has been fantastic in helping out any way he can. Other than the cut issue, my only complaint would be the dang ROPS being located so close to where my elbows are when I turn my body to look behind me when I back up occasionally. Hit my elbows everytime! (A few swear words and I'm ok shortly after.) It handles hills better than the 925 and definitely gets better gas mileage with a comparable engine size. Love the chokeless EFI! Did I mention that seat is worth every penny? Just push a button to put some air in and try not to fall asleep!

mantrep
12-10-2012, 01:55 PM
Maybe its a fluke. Maybe I just got a lemon. I bought this machine back in 2009. Only has about 700hrs on it. Doesnt' get much use. Mainly just backyards.:cry::cry:

Purchase problems with the dealer. Minor engine problems from the start. Had to take to the incompetent dealer for repair. Did I mention he was incompetent? Couldnt properly sell the machine to me. Couldnt fix it when I brought it back.

About 18 months in. Axle broke off. No fault with me. Im careful with all my stuff. I drove into a back yard. Thought I had a sudden flat. Nope! Surprise my axle broke off. The other dealer never heard of such a thing. Neither did I! Took that brilliant repair shop about 10 days to fix it. Is it just Gravely? I dont know.

Seat is supposed to slide back and forth. It doesnt. Never has. Multiple electrical problems. Today, I tried to tighten a loose bolt. It snapped off! Yeah!! I love Gravely. The quality appears to be outstanding.

Im a Grassshopper guy. About 10,000 hrs combined on Grasshoppers and I absolutely love em. Gravely... not so much. Not even the tiniest bit.

There, I vented. Thanks for the opportunity. Now I suppose I'll go fix my Gravely.....AGAIN!

douglee25
12-10-2012, 02:45 PM
It sounds like your issues are more dealer/interpersonal vs. machine related.

If you can't find a good shop to fix your stuff, why not fix it yourself or fine another independent shop/guy? Or better yet, if your shop isn't getting you the service you require on a warrantied machine, get Gravely involved. They should fight on your behalf.

Doug

mantrep
12-10-2012, 04:54 PM
actually, its both.
the quality of materials used in the 34z is very poor. Ive had bolts snap (as today) deck tension springs break. Axles break, etc. Alot of those issues happened while still under warranty. However, to have so many problems with the manufacturing quality in such a short time, leaves me disappointed in the brand.

Im sure Gravely makes quality. Theyve been making machines for so long. I can only assume that the 34z is made with inferior materials since its such a small machine.

Ive never had problems with my Grasshoppers and will stick to those and brands other than Gravely from now on.

Sorry to upset the Gravely owners.

douglee25
12-10-2012, 06:15 PM
I think that's part of the problem which I didn't catch earlier.

You're using a 34z which is a homeowner grade mower and you're expecting it to perform commercial quality work. It's just not going to happen. It is a light duty machine period.

At 700 hours if a homeowner used their mower 1 hr/cut and cuts 6 months out of the year, that's 29 years of homeowner use on that mower.

You're not upsetting me or anyone else who supports Gravely. A legitimate gripe I have no issues with. I still think your expectations are misaligned with what that machine is rated for.

Doug

GMLC
12-10-2012, 06:41 PM
actually, its both.
the quality of materials used in the 34z is very poor. Ive had bolts snap (as today) deck tension springs break. Axles break, etc. Alot of those issues happened while still under warranty. However, to have so many problems with the manufacturing quality in such a short time, leaves me disappointed in the brand.

Im sure Gravely makes quality. Theyve been making machines for so long. I can only assume that the 34z is made with inferior materials since its such a small machine.

Ive never had problems with my Grasshoppers and will stick to those and brands other than Gravely from now on.

Sorry to upset the Gravely owners.

700 hours on a homeowner machine!!! That is a lifetime for a homeowner. Do yourself a favor and buy a commercial Gravely machine.
Posted via Mobile Device

mantrep
12-10-2012, 07:50 PM
its not the cheesy homeowner version. Ive been doing this for over 15 years. I wouldnt buy a homeowner machine for my business. It gets less than 200 hrs per year. My Grasshoppers get twice that with 0 problems.

This machine is the 34Z. Kawasaki 17HP FH541V. The current version of this machine is I guess what they now call the compact pro.

Anyway, that being said. Its crap. Refer to my prior descriptions. It cost over $5000 new. Worst $5K i ever spent. I had to choose between the exmark, the toro and the gravely. I made the mistake and went Gravely.

Gravely Commercial
12-11-2012, 03:58 PM
Maybe its a fluke. Maybe I just got a lemon. I bought this machine back in 2009. Only has about 700hrs on it. Doesnt' get much use. Mainly just backyards.:cry::cry:

Purchase problems with the dealer. Minor engine problems from the start. Had to take to the incompetent dealer for repair. Did I mention he was incompetent? Couldnt properly sell the machine to me. Couldnt fix it when I brought it back.

About 18 months in. Axle broke off. No fault with me. Im careful with all my stuff. I drove into a back yard. Thought I had a sudden flat. Nope! Surprise my axle broke off. The other dealer never heard of such a thing. Neither did I! Took that brilliant repair shop about 10 days to fix it. Is it just Gravely? I dont know.

Seat is supposed to slide back and forth. It doesnt. Never has. Multiple electrical problems. Today, I tried to tighten a loose bolt. It snapped off! Yeah!! I love Gravely. The quality appears to be outstanding.

Im a Grassshopper guy. About 10,000 hrs combined on Grasshoppers and I absolutely love em. Gravely... not so much. Not even the tiniest bit.

There, I vented. Thanks for the opportunity. Now I suppose I'll go fix my Gravely.....AGAIN!

mantrep:

I am sorry you had trouble with your Gravely mower. I sent you a private message to address your concerns. I hope to hear from you.

douglee25
12-11-2012, 04:50 PM
Gravely Commericial -

Question for you..... do you know what the status on the redesign of the striper kit for the riders? Is it even being redesigned at this point?

Thanks again.

Doug

JDGlandscape
02-02-2013, 05:09 PM
Does anyone know when the new xfactor deck with the two upgrades is going to be coming out?

mtmower
02-02-2013, 10:30 PM
Does anyone know when the new xfactor deck with the two upgrades is going to be coming out?

What are these to upgrades you speak of? Inquiring minds want to know.

GMLC
02-03-2013, 08:42 AM
What are these to upgrades you speak of? Inquiring minds want to know.

The X-Factor upgrades are a larger discharge opening and adjustable front skirt!!!
Posted via Mobile Device

mtmower
02-03-2013, 12:01 PM
Great to hear! I've been working with Gravely for a while on and off and have not been told anything about this! Keep us posted as to when this may happen.

GMLC
02-03-2013, 12:04 PM
Great to hear! I've been working with Gravely for a while on and off and have not been told anything about this! Keep us posted as to when this may happen.

I had heard at a Gravely event in NH last fall. Had lunch with some execs. I posted it in my pro-stance review. Should be out this spring!!
Posted via Mobile Device

mtmower
02-03-2013, 12:13 PM
I had heard at a Gravely event in NH last fall. Had lunch with some execs. I posted it in my pro-stance review. Should be out this spring!!
Posted via Mobile Device

Way cool for you. Dude, you are in the loop. Your like the spy at the Detroit Auto Show slipping info on the future concept cars!

JDGlandscape
02-03-2013, 02:30 PM
Way cool for you. Dude, you are in the loop. Your like the spy at the Detroit Auto Show slipping info on the future concept cars!

It is great having him around:laugh: Not sure If i want to wait until this comes out to order it or not... I was hoping to pick one up a little sooner than that but depending on when it happens I may wait

mtmower
02-03-2013, 04:32 PM
It is great having him around:laugh: Not sure If i want to wait until this comes out to order it or not... I was hoping to pick one up a little sooner than that but depending on when it happens I may wait

If you need to get one earlier maybe get in touch with your local Gravely rep and see if some strings can't be pulled after you demo the current one and see if it's falling short or not. The Gravely team has gone out of their way a couple of times for me, more so than other big name mower manufacturers to date.

chuacro
02-10-2013, 11:29 PM
I am confused. I bougth my Gravely compact pro commercial 2/12. You are telling me this is a homeowner mower. I will be calling Gravely tomorrow about this.

GMLC
02-11-2013, 07:11 AM
I am confused. I bougth my Gravely compact pro commercial 2/12. You are telling me this is a homeowner mower. I will be calling Gravely tomorrow about this.

The compact pro is a full commercial machine. The confusion was with a 34z built before the compact pro model was introduced.
Posted via Mobile Device

taterbug
02-13-2013, 12:01 AM
I use a Gravely ZT2352 Home that I got at an auction as a back up mower. Being a home edition I wasn't expecting too much. The speed has to be kept slower to get a good cut but will leave a good looking lawn behind. What is impressive is the rock solid construction and with new aftermarket blades it lifts lawn with good vacuum and discharges decently. I have noticed on this model as well as new commercial units at the dealer that there are very few grease zerks so I drilled and tapped some in places I know needed some. As I am looking for a new mower for this season, Gravely is on my short list, but my choice is up in the air. I have several brands to choose from here in Middle Tennessee and just have a couple of more demos to do. I currently run Hustler and Toro, we'll see.

KCMO95
06-22-2013, 12:12 AM
Just bought my first gravely, a pro turn 152. I can say that if things keep going the way they have, I won't be owning anything but a gravely for quite a few years to come.
Posted via Mobile Device

douglee25
06-23-2013, 08:20 PM
For any of the gravely owners, has anyone done anything to remedy the inability to traverse a hill on an angle?

I can not hold a line at all. Even on a dinky bank on my front yard the mower just goes down. I have tried slow, fast, using more stick on the wheel further down hill. Nothing works!

Is it tires? What is the issue?

Doug

mtmower
06-24-2013, 12:20 AM
If you haven't already set them make sure to check your tire pressures. This doesn't sound like a big deal but it's huge. I'm not sure what model your running or tire size you have, but on the bigger 24" commercials tires I run anywhere from 8 to 12 psi. This can make a world of difference. Some ZTRs are balanced different than other models as well. More weight on the rear wheels usually means better traction but can also me lighter front end which may bounce more over rough surfaces, or feel less stable on an uphill climb, and cause more tearing of the turf turning. Not enough weight in the rear may cause less grip but aid in the said previous things. The only other option I can think of off hand is adding a little weight to the rear and see how it handles. Usually slow smooth movement is what you want with no wheel spin.

douglee25
06-24-2013, 07:37 AM
Thanks for the insight. I have a pro-turn 160 and I run 8 psi currently. I haven't checked the pressure in a year so that might be something to look into. I'll give it a look this weeeknd.

Doug

Dr. Cornwallis
11-18-2013, 10:52 PM
I bought my first ZTR a couple months ago; a Pro Turn 148 and I couldn't be happier. Cut quality is outstanding and the ZT3400 transaxles are smooth. I'm thinking my next mower will be a 460 or 472 diesel for larger commercial accounts and a 34 hydro WB with prosteer controls for backyards. I owned a Gravely 34 WB for a couple years about 4 years ago and that was an excellent mower as well. I sold it when I sold the business but now that I'm back in it I really wish I had kept it.