Gravely X-Factor & Mulch Kit

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by johnwon, Nov 5, 2007.

  1. johnwon

    johnwon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 299

    Hi; I've been using this on my own yard for leaf clean-up for the first time and wanted to share how it works so-far. I have the 60" deck, the Gravely mulch kit and the wavey mulching blades that came with the kit. I have in all past years bagged with a Craftsman mower and bag system made for that mower. The Craftsman system did a good job but took a very long time due to it filling too fast and having to dump so often. I have a mix of fescue grass and so-far not very heavy leaf coverage. The Gravely did its best cutting at 3 inches. I tried at 3.5 inches but it looks like a ragged finish. The 3 inch setting really looks pretty good in fact. I really like the fact of how fast it is compared to my old bagging method. I have used the Craftsman this season too so it is fresh on my mind. So it looks like mulching will be my way of doing this based on what I see so far. I'm not sure if by the time all of the leaves are off if it will be too much leaf for my yard or not?? I'll report back when the time gets here.
     
  2. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,518

    How much was that kit for your 260Z? I have a kit for my 34Z, but I think the 60" deck would have a lot more suction for things like this.
     
  3. johnwon

    johnwon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 299

    I think it was around $150.00 I bought it from Mowerpart.com during their special sale that they had for buying those pruning shears. Plus they offered free shipping on a certain dollar amount. It was cheaper than buying from the dealer who is about 40 min. away. My memory is not too good on the price but it was at least $150.00 and maybe as high as $180.00?? Also my Gravely is the 160XDZ but has the same X-Factor deck as the 260.
     
  4. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    I have the 144z Gravely, an '06, not sure about the deck models they have. I was disappointed with leaf mulching using the stock wavy mulching blades and kit, but when I switched to the Exmark mulching blades which have a higher sail the suction increased and after a couple days of using it on leaf covered lawns I'm very pleased. Not much blowout at all and gets the job done fast. The lawns are so sparse here from a record drought that it makes it a little harder to vac them up, but it did well. Another plus of the Gravely is that the mulch kit comes off so fast it's actually feasible to switch from discharge to mulch one day to the next. I got a air ratchet wrench to remove the 8 nuts and it's off in less than 5 min. Getting it on might take a little longer, but not that much.

    I also have had trouble with Exmark mowers when mulching much above 3". Maybe 3.25" is ok, but above that it is a little ragged in spots, probably due to not being able to keep the grass stood up to cut.

    I discharge on Tall Fescue lawns during the times of year when it needs to be cut above 3", though I must say that the number of nice Tall Fescue lawns around is declining as most new homes go with Bermuda or Zoysia, at least in the front.
     
  5. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,518


    Thanks, I'm sure my dealers can top that:rolleyes:
     
  6. johnwon

    johnwon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 299

    I may give those Exmark blades a try when I go to buy another set. Are you using OEM Exmark blades or an after market blade made for Exmark? Thanks
     
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Actually all but one set are aftermarket copies of Exmarks from a couple of different suppliers. They seem very close if not identical in design. The mower didn't do squat in terms of leaf cleanup before I made the switch, and it's been great this fall so far with them. Some quirk of the air flow, I suppose.
     
  8. johnwon

    johnwon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 299

    Thanks Bruce
     

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