Gravely 400 Deck Lift - FINALLY!
I finally got to see a Pro-Turn with an electric deck lift installed yesterday. I've always run Pro-Master 200 series with hydraulic deck lifts, but have been considering the 400 series, primarily because of the air ride seat, the next time I trade. A power deck lift, however is a must because my wife helps me mow quite a bit, and she has arthritis. For some unknown reason, Gravely is not offering the power lift factory installed, only as an add-on, dealer installed option. My dealer called me and said they had installed one on a new 472 they just sold if I wanted to check it out.
The electic motor simply replaces the foot pedal on the manual lift, mounting to the upper side of the connecting rods. As I mentioned, this was on a 72 inch deck, and the motor seemed to handle the weight just fine, lifting and lowering the deck at pretty much the same speed of the hydraulic lift on my 260's. A rocker switch installed in front of the throttle, which is on the right side of the machine, controls the lift. For me, it would take a while to get used to it, because the deck lift has always been on the left side, where the parking brake now is on the Pro-Turn series of mowers.
What I don't understand (Is anyone from Gravely listening/reading?), is why, if you are going to offer an electric lift, a little extra engineering wasn't done so the switch could be mounted on the control handle itself, eliminating the need to let go and reach down to raise or lower the deck. I believe John Deere offers something like this? To me, what would be ideal is for a thumb (or finger) operated switch to be installed on both operating handles. Push the right to raise, the left to lower.
To me, it seems the hydraulic lift available on the Pro-Master series of mowers has always been a great selling point. When you get my age, or even much younger, if you are smart, you wish to do just as little work as possible, and pushing a button or flicking a lever is sure a lot easier than manually raising a deck with your foot or hand. I think Gravely is missing the boat by not promoting theirs and coming up with a mounting location for the controls that is much more user-friendly.
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