GRAVELY'S NEW X-FACTOR II DECK REVIEW!!! With Pics!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by GMLC, May 4, 2013.

  1. LifeBack Lawns

    LifeBack Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 216

    Gmlc: I am very limited and can see a little. The few I was able to see was the overcast day of the xf1 seemed to appear clumpy when discharging though it dispersed evenly. The grass looked a no higher than the xf2 cut. The xf2 cut seemed to be finer clippings dispersing well also with out looking clumpy comin out. I didn't say either deck led clumps just appeared at certain points and dispersed beautifully. The xf2 was on a sunny dry looking day and lower growth? Hopefully more experienced can chime in and give you some better feedback. Oh Gravely, you are a good looking machine and the cut looks awesome. Stop tempting me ;)
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  2. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Great eye! I noticed the same thing. At certain times I saw bursts of grass coming out. Maybe thick spots or dips in the lawn? But no clumps end up on the turf. Also I cant see this while mowing, just on video?
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  3. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,888

    Looks really good, and Im glad you can actually see the difference. It looks to me like it is doing very good, and better than the XF1 as far as spreading the clippings right out of the chute. The added width to the opening and changes under the deck appear to be doing excatly what they should. I can see the clumpy chunks coming out in the first vid, but when they landed there were no clumps. In the second video, I only saw two clumps come out like that, but again, nothing when they landed.

    With GMLC's approval for me to add these to his thread, here are some pics my wife took of me mowing our property yesterday with my Z950.

    I will say this about the 7 Iron decks- the std deck is a wet grass cutting piece of equipment. The MOD does very well, but not as well as the std deck since the MOD deck is much more tightly baffled. More so than the Exmark UC deck believe it or not. The advantage the MOD has over the UC is with the much wider chute opening and no turbo baffle to collect grass when wet.

    As you can see in the pictures, it was an average of 8" long and was cut down to 3.5", fairly thick, and definitely lush/moist grass blades.

    Here are a couple pics showing the discharge. If you look closely at the second picture, you can see the clippings in the air and spreading out over the next two rows and into the third. You can also see the clippings being spread out in the last two pics. You can also see them in the air in between the camera and the rear tire. This was with OEM high lifts and the adjustable baffles underneath between blades removed.

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  4. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Thanks Ridin! Looks amazing as usuall. Its also good to see others that take good care of thier equipment and do thier homework before dropping serious coin on a machine.

    I think its very important for commercial cutters to know that there are 4 or so decks that cut good in almost all conditions. No need to wait out rain, waiting for morning dew to dry, and almost eliminating double cutting(my pet peeve). It took me years of demos and ownership of almost every major brand to find these decks. A machine could be the best made hands down but if the deck cant cut in adverse conditions its useless IMO. Thanks Ridin for posting these pics which are valuable to LS!
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  5. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,888

    Thanks for the kind words bro.

    The clippings coming out and landing on the lawn were about 1.5"- 2" long, and that was coming from cutting off 4.5"- 5", so it obviously cuts them down a bit more than say, a V+ or VX4 type deck which makes the finish product a bit neater in appearance. I wasn't quite at full sticks plowing through that, but probably at least 9-10 MPH, which is faster than the 6-8 or so MPH I normally cut due to the rough ground or tight areas where there's simply no room for more speed. This is a mix of KBG, several varieties of fescue and a small bit of perennial rye. This type of turf as you well know is much harder to cut cleanly without clumping or windrowing than stiff bladed type northern turf grass like those with a lot of rye grass etc., or southern type stiff bladed grasses.

    I still prefer the std 7 Iron, and wish I had saved myself the extra $800 or so and bought one instead, but the MOD definitely stripes a little bit better due to the added vacuum affect of the extra baffling underneath, and has the MOD benefit that comes in handy in certain areas. The std deck excels in the really weedy lawns because it doesn't cut the clippings up quite as finely as the MOD deck, so it doesn't tend to pack the clippings quite as tightly together, but having that wide open chute on the MOD really makes a big difference in the discharge pattern no matter what. IIRC from actually measuring it, it is just a hair over 18" wide. Knowing how much difference that chute makes is a big reason I am so glad that Gravely made the change to theirs.
     
  6. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,103


    Dang I go to the beach for the weekend and look how many pages I have missed! As far as the front tires I think they are the same. These only have a little over 8 hours on them so far and they seem to be getting softer. My other tires I cant remember if they started out firm and softened up or not. I know they would flat spot very easily. These so far are not getting flat spots.
     
  7. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,103


    I agree they do look kind of "cheesy" but once you have been on one you realize it is actually built pretty stout. The large c channel frame seems strong and the cast iron fork's aren't going anywhere in our lifetime. The stamped deck is excellent. I have demoed 2 of them the last 2 years and have been very impressed with them except for the harsh ride and the lack of power (i demoed 60" lower powered models) and JD's hydro system is power HUNGRY!
     
  8. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,857

    I will agree with you 100%, this is not only a beautiful cut, it is beautiful grass. The only way you will see grass anywhere close to the health and purity of your grass in this area of the country would be under a very regimented irrigation schedule, and this would only be seen on smaller properties. When I speak of smaller properties, I'm talking about less than 1/2 ac.

    It takes a great deal of work to get soil conditioned in our area to support grass such as yours. This is why I keep saying it's a totally different cutting scenario from this area of the country to yours. We have longer periods of direct sunlight in my area than would be found in yours, this is itself creates a different growing environment.
     
  9. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    And this is why a blanket statement like the super z is hands down the most productive, best riding etc. etc. is crazy. It simply isn't fact, maybe in a niche area. Which is most likely from your dealer being so well liked. Around here the largest and most popular dealer sells more of a brand that isn't even the best for our conditions..
     
  10. LifeBack Lawns

    LifeBack Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 216

    Either way, it still looks awesome. I wish I had grass like that. Luckily my ink have dirt in my yard so I can start from scratch. I am lucky there are no weeds and stiff southern grass in my yard. Thanks for the pics and information on your Deere and decks.
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