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Old 04-01-2006, 10:42 PM
padrefargo padrefargo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 19
Aggrevate with Virginia Dealer

Consumers should be able to assume that a dealer is telling them the truth, right? Have we regressed so much that a dealer thinks he can lie and get away with it?

I called around to the Gravely dealers in Central Virginia to see who had any leftover 2005 models. There isn't much, but one dealer had one that they were getting ready to put "up front" in the showroom that met my needs. The dealer is Rowland Equipment Company in Smithfield, Virginia. The mower was, as described by the dealer, a "2005 demo 144Z with 35 hours". When I first called I talked to James Rowland (the father of the father-son business), who is a very nice and genuine guy, who told me that he didn't think that they had any leftover Gravely's from last year. However, he said he would ask his son (Larry) and have Larry call me back, since Larry ran the mower part of the business. Now, to put things into perspective, I'm a homeowner with a lot of land, so my knowledge of these machines is limited, but I research the heck out of things before I buy them, so I actually end up with enough knowledge about the product to make good choices. Also worth noting, I live west of Richmond, and Smithfield is south east of Richmond, and about 1 and 1/2 hours from my home. So I drove down there with my trailer ready to buy this 2005 demo 144Z with 35 hours, for the great price of $5,000. Larry is too busy to see me, so I have the father get me a rep to let me see the mower in the back warehouse. I couldn't believe what I saw, it was not a 2005 mower, and it looked like it had about 1,000 hours on it. I asked the rep, and he said that he didn't think it was a 2005, and that he didn't know why the hour meter was missing, but he did say that the mower was returned by a customer a long time ago. I left the dealer, and then about 1/2 hour into my ride back home I called and talked to James (the father) and told him that he should be concerned that this had happened, that his son had misled me and made me waste a lot of my day to buy a mower that "wasn't". He apologized and said that he thought that the mower was a 2004, and that they didn't demo that mower, he didn't know where it came from.

Obviously, I know that this post won't buy me a cup of coffee, but I posted it to get it off my chest and to warn the probably few folks that read this who might actually be considering doing business with Rowland Equipment Company in Smithfield, Virginia, that they should probably stay clear of the place. And if a reader feels compelled to shop there, then at least ask for the father, James, as the son, Larry, cannot be trusted. Flat out, he is a liar, and he knows it. He didn't even want to talk to me because he knew he lied to me.

So, still in the market for a good deal on a 100 series Gravely commercial -- no frills, just a good solid mower for my 4 acres.
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2006, 01:25 PM
padrefargo padrefargo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 19
Bought a mower... couldn't be happier!

Well, this dealer turned me off to Gravely, so in my new (and broader) search for a good mower for 4 acres, I ended up with a Deere. I should be thanking this guy for pushing me away from the Gravely brand because I love my Deere. I bought a 717A for $6,200 out the door, and Gravely doesn't have a mower that compares for that price. It has the 19hp Kawasaki with a 48" 7-Iron II deck. It is perfect.

I'll send pics as soon as I can find a way to host them.
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2006, 10:38 AM
padrefargo padrefargo is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 19
Photo of Mini Z-Trak

Here is the only photo I have so far. I am installing the mulch kit now, I'll post some close-ups with the kit installed, and maybe some pictures of my finished yard.

BTW, I'm mowing at a height of 3.25 inches. Since both of the properties I mow are my own I can decide what height to mow and how often to mow. My goal is the most healthy lawn possible. With that in mind, what is the optimal height to mow. I assume that the 1/3 rule applies for a healthy lawn (don't cut more than 1/3 of the grass length each time you mow).

Thanks.
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