Gravely 460

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by MOturkey, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,752

    After an extremely slow start to our growing season due to the cold weather, I had the opportunity to put my new Gravely 460 through its paces the past couple of days. Yesterday I only mowed 3 lawns, all relatively small, so really didn't get to try out the air suspension seat all that much. Today, I mowed one of my larger properties, about 2 acres. It is also arguably the roughest lawn I mow. It is a farmhouse, with the terrain itself bumpy, with several rock outcroppings peaking through the topsoil, plus the owner's son doesn't think twice about running a tractor or his pickup across the lawn, so there are also several rutted areas.

    One thing I did when I bought the mower was switch out the OE flat-free tires for pneumatic ones. I was after the best possible ride. The air seat is fantastic! It took a few tries for me to get it adjusted correctly, but once I did, I literally could not believe the difference between it and the mechanical suspension seats I have been accustomed to. I actually fought it for a while, and found myself tensing up when I knew I was going to hit a rough spot, thinking it was going to hurt, until I realized the suspension was absorbing virtually all the shock. I found I could mow at a substantially faster pace than with my other mowers over the washboard like turf, even to the point of making it almost uncomfortable for my feet because of them bouncing off the floor of the cockpit.

    Although it does take a bit of getting used to, I also liked the quicker response of the transaxle systems as compared to the pump and wheel motor drive system on the Pro-Master series. I do think Gravely made a mistake in getting away from the pivoting front axle. Not only does it minimize the "hiking" of one front wheel coming out of ditches, etc, the pivoting front end also does a lot to absorb shock, meaning if it were teamed with the air ride seat, it would help eliminate a goodly portion of the shock caused from rough terrain, making the ride even better, and minimizing the bouncing of the rest of the mower.

    If you are wanting a comfortable ride, you definitely need to give the 400 series of mowers a look. By the way, I also had an electric deck lift installed. It works fine, but the two way switch is a bit hard to activate easily when you are on the fly. I'm sure I'll eventually get used to it, but I wish they had come up with a system of putting the activator on the operating handles instead.
     
  2. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Congrats! IMO the 400 series is the most comfortable in the industry. One thing to keep in mind is Gravely's flat free tires are not solid and actually feel like tires with only about 7 psi in them. Others have switched to pneumatics and in the end went back to the flat free tires. Its hard to beat that 7 psi feel.
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  3. JDGlandscape

    JDGlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 506

    Nice review. Which motor did you get? I cant make up my mind between the kohler EFI 29 or the Kawi 31.
     
  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,755

    There's a big difference in power between those two engines when you look at the true ratings vs what Kohler still tags them as. The Kawi is actual, the Kohler is still over rated. You need to decide what you will need for your properties. If you have hills, thick grass etc.

    According to their spec sheet, down at the very bottom in smaller print, the 29 EFI is only rated at 25.3 actual HP. The Kawi FX921V is actual rated at 31 hp.
     
  5. Mikeyd

    Mikeyd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 159

    I have a 2102 260. Wonder if I can add that seat to mine?
    .
     
  6. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,755

    You mean they still don't use the suspension seat that far into the future on the 260?!? :laugh:
     
  7. Mikeyd

    Mikeyd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 159

    Not the "Air"
     
  8. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 13,755

    No, I was making a joke because you posted 2102 not 2012.
     
  9. Mikeyd

    Mikeyd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 159

    I guess that's what you get when your pounding away on an iPad...lol
     
  10. JDGlandscape

    JDGlandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 506

    Yeah I am aware of the power rating differences between the kawis and kohlers. To be honest I really do not know which engine to get between the 850, 921, or efi 29.. I dont think id be able to demo all three of them either haha

    I know it is nice to have more power but from what I read there is also a significant difference in fuel consumption between the three engines. I do mow some hilly terrain but nothing crazy. I also bag quite often.

    Sorry to hijack the thread
     

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