View Full Version : GRAVELY REP is Crazy?

Green King
12-21-2002, 06:27 PM
As many of you know I have been looking into buying three maybe four 72" diesel ztr mowers. I ran into a gravely rep, who I am not sure how to take him. He asked me what I had been looking at and I told him. Then he tells me that Dixie Chopper and Bladerunner have no liabilty insurance and they do not meet blade safety standards, also they run faster than osha requirments. He also said that no mower was durable except for gravely and all the other machines were a copy of his "SUPERIOR MOWING MACHINE" I watched him demo the machine doing some nice wheel stands with it but I really did not see anything that impressed me about the machine or him. Is there any truth to what he was saying about the safety issues or insurance or about his machine?

12-21-2002, 06:38 PM
Can't comment on Bladerunner.

But have been told by extremely reliable sources that DC exceeds OSHA standards in tip speed and db. Also, they are self-insured, which to me, raises an eyebrow.

12-21-2002, 06:41 PM

Take it FWIW when someone tells you their machine is superior over everyone else's. Guarantee you, there are flaws they are covering up.

just my 2 cents.


12-21-2002, 06:50 PM
On e word would cancel this guy right out.


Green King
12-21-2002, 06:51 PM
Thank You rodfather I did not know that about Dixie. I think I am going to ask the Bladerunner guys on there manufacture forum the same question about product liabilty insurance. Also I am going to ask about the blade speed issue! I have not really seen any gravelys around so I just do not know what to think about them.

Green King
12-21-2002, 06:58 PM

I told him that I had looked at exmark and he just started in on the dixie and the bladerunner mowers. Exmark I think probably builds just as good a mower as anyone does but they just are'nt popular here. Now I also realize that the Bladerunner is probably not popular were you are, also judgeing by some of the emails I have recieved Dixie is not popular in some area's in the country either. This is one thing about this web site that is really cool, because you get to read about peoples experiences with all the brands. I have basically got my mind made up and it is going to be decided by the dealer with service!

12-21-2002, 07:04 PM
There are no OSHA standards for mowers. However, there are standards the industry has developed to try to produce a safe product, avoid safety related lawsuits, and prevent Govt. interference with their products. These are ANSI standards, I think they are called. Compliance is voluntary, and DC does not meet the standards for blade tip speed, and ability to stop the blades within a few seconds. So, the rep. is right to some extent. I do not know about Bladerunner compliance.:)

Green King
12-21-2002, 07:11 PM
Thank You mowingman! I just posted this question on the bladerunner forum but it is a saturday night so I will probably have to wait until monday to get my answer. Now does anyone have on opinion on the gravely mower vs. Dixie Bladerunner Exmark etc. Is it a good machine or is this guy just CRAZY?:confused:

12-21-2002, 08:32 PM
I am not terribly fond of Gravely riders or Dixie choppers. I have never owed a Gravely ZTR but have owed there out front deck 3 wheel rider 60 inch. I currently own a 2002 DC.

The gravely rider I owned was a well build machine and had a nice ride...the quality of cut was terrible though. Alot of clumping and alot of triple cutting. I did demo the Gravely ZTR when it came time for a new machine and was not impressed at all. The cut was better but still not up to my standards. The quality of ride I thought was terrible, very Jerky unsmooth machine.

My 02 Dc probly has the best quality of cut of any mower ive ever used or owned. Very smooth cut, no clumping and awsome stripes. My huge problem with this machine is its inabilty to hold even the slightest of hills comfortably........Hills that my toro always held safly with ease. The weight it not balanced right in my apinion and the machine has very poor traction with leads to alot of ruts on hill that it will hold and alot of tire spinning where it was never a problem with my other riders.

I would stay away from this machine unless you cut only completly flat ground...thats where DC's shine.

If money were no issue to me right now that DC would be sold and would be replaced by a new Hustler Super Z. I have run that machine on several occations and im am thoroughly impressed with everything about it.

12-21-2002, 08:53 PM
I too have a 2002 DC that will be sold soon (I hope). I too have had the same problems as Evan stated about hills. Me and Evan did post some things on the DC forum, and they have not answered us directly about these problems at all. Only putting some blanket statement, not adressing our issues. Plus they wait only until I start a thread over here about my problems and their lack of customer service to put the pathetic statement.....which was around 2 months sitting there with no answer from the DC boys. Oh and get this, they tell my dealer they have sent 2 or 3 email's to me directly and I would not respond. Please stop with the kiddie games DC. Grow up and act responsible with these matters. By sweeping it under the rug they are letting a small problem grow into something that will hurt their business big time, and from the way things sound really soon too!

So I am not happy with the DC either and would advise to stay away, far away. They obviously have some big problems there and show no need to offer customer service.

I will be getting an Exmark for next season, the Lazer HP 52" with 23HP Kawasaki. I demo'd on places the Dixie would skid or slide out and the Exmark stuck like glue. It would even stop and reverse....something the Dixie could not do due to sliding down the slope. Plus I tried the Exmark in places I would have never even thought of with the DC and the Exmark stuck again like glue. Customer support is more than awesome.

So I would encourage you to demo and look at the Exmark stuff. If you have no dealer close email them or post it over on their forum here at LS and they will help you right out. If they dont email me and I will get the right contact for you to help you out.

12-21-2002, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by Mowingman
These are ANSI standards, I think they are called. Compliance is voluntary, and DC does not meet the standards for blade tip speed

What a coincidence, I was at the Gravely dealer last week and he told me the exact same thing! He never mentioned anything about OSHA.

12-21-2002, 09:06 PM
Originally posted by Mowingman
These are ANSI standards, I think they are called. Compliance is voluntary, and DC does not meet the standards for blade tip speed, and ability to stop the blades within a few seconds

This is very interesting. Plus I still wonder how DC gets around all the safety issues regarding their OCDC? I have asked other MFG's if they will make something for their machines and they say "NO. We cant due to safety regulations." So how does DC get away with it then?

12-21-2002, 09:32 PM
I dont have alot of experience using gravely, but I did work a week for another company. All week I was riding a 260Z and Loved it. No problems with the quality of cut, or an extremely rough ride as others have described.

I do know that in the past gravely has had prblems with their anti-scalp rollers coming off, but they reselved that problem with a recall - or at-least at my dealer.

I am not positive on this, but pretty sure that gravely has also redesigned their decks in the last year and a half, so problems with cut should be eliminated.

I also demoed one of their new walkbehinds and i thought it had a superb cut and great suction, and great stripping.

Just like you mentioned I would look long and hard into the dealer and his service to you. If you dont like the dealer dont buy their product.

Just my two cents. Good luck.
and make sure you spend time on the machine on YOUR lawns, not just haveing the rep do tricks for you, I dont think you will be doing tricks on your clients lawns.

Detailed LawnService
12-21-2002, 11:10 PM
The Lazer 26hp fuel injected model will hold nearly any hill.
At full throttle it actually pushes 29hp
It will hold well above the 15 degree max hill warning
more like 20-25 degrees

Detailed LawnService
12-21-2002, 11:32 PM
I will say though if looks mean anything the 260z definately has some interesting features. like the inclosed motor...

12-22-2002, 12:12 AM
If you are looking for a DIESEL powered unit with a 31 hp or more engine, and a 72 inch mower make sure it has a really good strong PTO drive line in it . These units that run a belt 90 deg. around a set of idlers to power this size mower will eat belts.

The diesel engines [31 to 42hp] put out so much more torque than the 25 to 27 hp gas engines do that they will rip those twisted belts to shreds if you try to mow at anywhere near top speed !

Exmark has even gone to running two half inch belts on the super laser, but if one breaks it often tangles and takes out the other one.

If you notice, the mowers that traditionally have used bigger diesel engines all use a DRIVE SHAFT to the mower deck !

Toro Grounds Masters, Jacobsen, John Deere,Howard price, Scag Sabre Tooth, Kubota, etc, etc all the big ones that have high torque engines put on a DRIVE SHAFT to the mower. The drive shaft is much more efficient and ten times more reliable than a twisted belt is. Also a shaft with its universal joints will allow much more up and down movement in the deck. A belt must run fairly straight into the pulley or it will wear excessively or even jump off the pulley, which is why you can't mow as high or low with a belt driven mower as you can with a shaft driven one.

Randy Scott
12-22-2002, 12:21 AM
If his sales approach was as you described, I don't care what machine he sells, because I wouldn't buy a bucket of water from him if I was on fire.
Sales people that badmouth other manufacturers in repeated fashion are worthless crooks. If you cannot professionally point out the qualities of "your" machine in a rational comparison, then they must have none. I have no experience with Gravely products themselves and they may be of great quality. This salesman certainly does no good for their product.
And the fact that he demonstrated a "wheel stand" dots the "i" and crosses the "t" that he is a moron. I suggest hitting the next dealership.


Richard Martin
12-22-2002, 06:21 AM
A couple of things since this seems to have turned into a "let's bash Dixie" thread. I have no doubt that some people are having problems with Dixies on hills but I regularly run mine on 25+ degree hills with no problems.

About the liability issues:

State Farm is probably the largest insurer in the US and they don't have a problem with issueing me liability insurance on my Dixie. If there was a problem with Dixie Chopper mowers State Farm would know it and would refuse to write a policy on them.

There are many, many municipalities around the US which uses or allows the use of Dixie Choppers on their grounds. Anne Arundle County Schools is one of them (where I live). If there was an issue with Dixie Chopper mowers they would not allow their use.

Gator and other blade manufacurers specifically list Dixie Chopper as being a brand that they make blades for. If they had an issue with Dixie Chopper's blade tip speed they would not make blades for them.

About the OCDC:

How many people here operate their mowers with the discharge chute in place all of the time? I'm not talking about the chute being on the mower (I see way too many commercial cutters with the chute removed) but in the down position. With an OCDC you have the option of closing the discharge completely when you are near people and objects. This actually safer than a discharge chute. When you only have a discharge chute objects can still be thrown from the discharge.

12-22-2002, 11:05 AM
I don't want anyone to think I was bashing Dixie Chopper. I happen to own one and like it a lot. I could care less about the safety issues of mowers and wheather or not they meet any industry safety standards. They are all dangerous and need to be operated with caution and common sense.
Sam Ohio, I have a Grasshopper modmount with a 28HP diesel and a 72" deck. I have 500 hrs on it and have not had any belt problems. One reason I did not buy an Exmark was due to that goofy double belt drive system for the deck. Looked like a maintenance nightmare with all those pulleys and belts. Also did not want one with a drive shaft. Drive shafts and especially U-joints, require a lot more maint. than a single belt. Now if you are going over 30hp or so, I would agree with you about getting one with a pto drive shaft.:D

12-22-2002, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by Richard Martin
A couple of things since this seems to have turned into a "let's bash Dixie" thread.

Please Richard. If you think we are bashing Dixie, think again. I was posting things that have happend so people can make an educated purchase. These things I listed are real and I do currently own the DC. So this is not bashing, just informing. Funny how people get upset when opinions and facts are different from theirs.

Albemarle Lawn
12-22-2002, 07:23 PM
We have found the Gravely gassers to be a good value for the money...around $7500 for a 60" to $8500 for a 72"

BUT when you look at the diesel 272z, the price is over $12,000.

KUBOTA makes a 72" diesel, around $10K

I have driven a Kubota ZD21 60" ZTR and it was really smooth and quiet.

Check on Kubota before plunking down the cash or getting that loan.


12-22-2002, 09:39 PM
I have heard this for a long time about dixie, this is the first time that I have heard about bladerunner not having insurance and metting safety standards. Now my question is this if they do not meet the safety then how can they continue to sell machines?

It just amazes me how they always have to find something to say bad about Dixie, and now Bladerunner!

As far as the gravely diesel goes it's ok but underpowered. Also the kubota zd28 is underpowered. If you are mowing every week cutting they should both do fine, but if it is every other week cutting then I would look at something else.

12-22-2002, 10:42 PM
I'm allways suspicious of any samesman who's main pitch is to trash whatever he's not trying to sell.:angry:

12-23-2002, 12:04 PM
I really like the new Gravely machines but I have to say that I do not agree with the sales technique that you encountered. That is just wrong either bend the truth or outright lie to make a sale. The good points and bad points of the competition should be pointed out but only what is factual should be discussed! Please demo any equipment before you make a purchase and make sure you check into how the dealer will support you after the sale.


12-23-2002, 01:25 PM
I don't have a dog in this fight as I currently have an Exmark and a Deere, but as far as the product liability insurance there is a huge difference between not having any and being self-insured. A true self-insurance plan requires reserves to be set aside to pay claims and normally will have an excess policy provided by a large insurance company for claims that exceed a specified amount (such as $250,000 as an example) and financial guarantees such a letter of credit. Self insurance programs are legitimate risk management and risk transfer options for larger companies.

BladeRunner Rep
12-23-2002, 02:05 PM
Ok I answered this in the manufacture forum. I would be currious as to were this guy got his info from. Bladerunner does have product liabilty insurance also we do not exceed 19,000fpm blade tip speed!

12-24-2002, 02:47 AM
I haven't checked with the local Kubota dealers ,but that price of $10000 for a 72 inch , 28 hp ?diesel Kubota is way under the price that a friend of mine paid.

By the way, we have hills around here and he thinks the Kubota is way under powered.

He saw it and bought it without a decent demo - just fell in love with how it looked I guess !
Anyway it sure lugs down when he heads up a hill while trying to mow 5 in grass down to 3 inches at any more than about 6 mph.

12-24-2002, 07:48 PM
I think I know the rep you are talking about. I would not trust him.

The Kubota zd28 is underpowered and I personally do not like the stamped mower deck. However I think they are starting to build a fabricated deck but have not addressed the hp issue. Also to many gadgets for me.

Green King
12-31-2002, 12:13 PM
Well I appreciate everyones response to this, I also would like to thank bladerunner for the post and email to answer this question! Dixie has not responded to me other than a dealer response, which was that they are self-insurred. I do not think the gravely or any of the machines that I have looked at are bad but I just really found this guy to just be in a world of his own! Does he think that we as lawn cutter's are dumb? If he does I guess that would explain the lack of gravely sittings around here.

12-31-2002, 02:22 PM
I hope you don't write Gravely off but their total lack of marketing and this sales person are hurting them. Most people don't even know they are still in business. Just demo everything you are interested in.