Gravely Prostance review (small one)
Today I finally got to demo the 48" Prostance. This is my first time on a stander, so I was a bit clumsy with the controls. I didn't have it that long (only had one property to mow today, but it was the one I most wanted to demo the mower on). Even in only the short time I had it, I was starting to get the hang of it better. The salesman said they tell guys going from a Z to the stander to expect about a month's worth of mowing time to become as proficient as they were on their Z, and that seems about right to me. The machine only had a touch over 3 hours on it when he brought it out to me. It had medium lift blades on it, and was wearing the FX691V which is 22 HP under the new system of rating engine HP. This one is not the new version that is coming out with the wider discharge chute opening, and rubber mounted standing platform.
This thing cuts awesome. The grass wasn't that long, and it has been really dry here again lately, but it left a beautiful cut with zero stringers anywhere
It is short and very maneuverable.
I only had one small hill to try it on, but I have placed my dial angle finder on top of my Z's deck when on it, and know that it ranged from and average of 15 degrees, up to 18 degrees in a couple spots. I mowed across the hill and it was a walk in the park. I know that isn't that steep, but it is at or near, where a lot of manu's say is the limit.
Very comfortable platform, but IMO, really needs the suspension upgrade that is coming.
The discharge on the dry grass was as expected- great. It also discharged all the leaves very well that I had to mulch up in a few places.
The ease of getting to the grease zerks under the front cover, through the top of the belt shields, and any pulley's etc under the cover.
I talked about this one, and a couple others with the salesman and he said he would mention them to Gravely- it only has two adjustment holes for the gauge wheels, and should have at least one more to allow a wider and better range of adjustment.
It needs a much larger pedal area on the foot deck lift pedal. Several times I needed to float it over something, and I couldn't find the pedal pad without either stopping and looking, or just using the hand lever instead. It is very small and on the left hand side, but even though I knew about where I should feel for it, I just couldn't seem to find it easily like I should be able to.
I noticed that once the front end is downhill from the rear, even if it is just hanging it down over a knoll in the lawn, that the rear loses traction rather quickly. Maybe I'm spoiled by my Z950 in that regard, but I did have to be a lot more careful going some of the places I could go with my Z with no problem or worry of lost traction.
One other thing that I pointed out to the salesman- the oil filter is in a harder to access place than it should be, and it is located right above the left drive belt and pulley. No matter what you do, you are going to get at least some oil on either the belt, or pulley, or maybe both. That one really needs a redesign IMO.
Would I recommend this machine to anyone. In a heartbeat based off what I experienced today. I am going to wait on possibly buying one though, at least until I can see the new version. There may be better standers out there, I don't know, and don't really care. This one will do what I want it to, and gravely is really worlds ahead of other manu's regarding customer help and service. They'll go out of their way to see to it that you get a demo if you want one, and they build a very high quality product IMO.
The stripes were excellent BTW, but I took the pics with the sun just about straight over head, and they don't show that well, which doesn't do the stripes justice in the slightest. They really were nice in just one pass.