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Gravely 34Z or Walk Behind???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by sarge38624, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. sarge38624

    sarge38624 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I am about to take the plunge and purchase either a small ZTR or a WB. All of the yards that I have are residential, and over half of them have gates that my 42" tractor can barely squeeze through. I would like to buy a 44" ZTR, but it would not fit into the back yards of most of my accounts.
    A friend works at a Kubota dealership that also handles Gravely. He has quoted me a price of $3900 on a Gravely 34 ZTR, and since the dealership is just over the state line from me in Oklahoma, I will not be charged sales tax (savings of several hundred dollars).
    I have no experience with a commercial walk behind and I would like for you guys to give me your opinions of the 34ZTR vs. a 36" walk behind. Would the 36" walk behind be able to cut as fast as the 34ZTR since I would be on foot behind it? The accounts that I have now are all on level ground, but there are lots of properties in my area that are on sloped ground.
    I know these are pretty elementary questions, but I have very limited experience and I don't want to make a mistake that I will regret later. Thanks in advance for all of your help.
  2. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Seeing how you said that there's plenty of hills in your area, I'd either get a 32-36" Hydro WB, or better yet, a 36" stand up rider, like a Stander or Surfer...
  3. SouthernFried

    SouthernFried LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 273

    You don't have to "walk" behind a walk behind. You attach a one or 2 wheeled sulky and ride...standing up. And you can go as fast as the mower will go.

    But, eventually, you'll get to the point I am...I am sick and tired of standing on a velke...and my knees are not getting any better. For once in my life...I wanna sit down and work!

    The 34z is prolly my next mower.
  4. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    I've been eyeballing the Gravely equipment site as well. A lot less money than an eXmark or Scag, and that's an issue. The only drawback is how far I'd have to go to get to a dealer.

    I'm not sure about the 34 for my operation, though. Might make sense for me to go with something with at least a 44" cut.

    Sarge, how severe are the slopes you'd be dealing with in picking up other work? My guess is that the 34Z is okay on mild to moderate slopes if you can run up and down them, but running across a slope might be dangerous with that narrow a track.
  5. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,177

    I would go with a 36" or 42" stander. The 34Z seems built way to light. Plus has a much higher center of gravity.
  6. Tider6972

    Tider6972 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 649

    The 34Z is built as well as any small frame commercial mower: LazerHP, etc.
    It uses the same BDP10a pumps as well as HydroGear wheel motors, has a 7 gauge, 5.5 inch deep deck...and it has that sweeet Kawi 15 twin ! That is the smoothest, sweetest sounding engine I have encountered over the last month of demoing (except for the Kohler 28EFI !) - the PM34z, Hustler Super Mini 44-19Kawi, Hustler SuperZ 28EFI (King of engines !), John Deere 757 54"-25 Kawi, LazerHP 52/23 Kawi, and Dixie Chopper SP2800-60...all fine machines.

    I haven't decided which mowers I'll buy, I am gonna get one of the 52/54/60 and a small mower, either the PM34Z or the Wright Stander 36.

    The 34Z is a good machine for it's designed purpose, IMO. Contrary to some reports, it rides fine-after all, it's got a 71.5 inch wheelbase and weighs ~760 lbs. It does have a narrow 35.3" overall width, which may cost 'some' ride comfort, but DOES allow it to enter 36" gates...I got two props with only 36" gates (I measured them myself!) to 1/4 acre back lawns. It's fast and fun, too!

    The 34Z clearly does have a limitation when it comes to any slope or incline over 12 to 15 degrees...but it's made for small openings, and for that purpose it is great...fast and good quality of cut, IMO....and built as heavy duty as about any commercial mower I have seen...it's just narrow.

    I ran a Wright last year and really like it too, but it won't pass through a 36" gate...I wish it would...and the fixed deck would be a problem for me, as I cut Bermuda, Zoysia, "and" ST. Augustine...need to change cutting height often.

    Don't fear the 34Z unless you will have to use it on some pretty steep slopes. If you are on slopes the Wright is GREAT...unless you have gate size restrictions under ~39 inches ;)

    Good luck in whatever you choose,
  7. Fareway Lawncare

    Fareway Lawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    from Canada
    Posts: 2,222

    Go w/a hydro Walk over the 34Z...You can put it in more places, it will rut less, will reduce trimming...34" Rider is a Waste...
  8. rlc321

    rlc321 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 45

    I have a 34z and love it, most of my lawns are 1/2 or less. It does a super job and is fast and beats walking or standing on a sulky.
    From the time I pull up to a 1/4 acre lawn I can cut, trim and edge and have the z back on the trailer in 23 min. It took me 30 minute when I had my lawn tractor.
  9. Tider6972

    Tider6972 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 649

    I don't have the experience some others here do, but I just can't see paying as much, or likely more for a WORK- behind :D when I can do the job faster and a heck of a lot more easily with a rider.

    I'll give you that the work-behind may trim a bit better and may go some few spots where the rider won't, but the rider will finish most jobs in time that you and your trusty string trimmer can be leaving before the work behind is finished.

    Your mileage may vary, & I may be wrong.:blush:


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