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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bjbarta, Mar 2, 2006.
How do you gravely owners or ex owners like them compared to other comercials like toro 550s 580s?
I personally own a 2004 Gravely 260Z with a 25 HP Kawasaki engine with just at 500 hours. I also work for another lawn company part-time and they have a 2005 Exmark XS 60" with a 31 HP Vanguard engine which I have spent probably 40-50 hours on. So I have a good feel for both machines. I won't compare power because obviously 31 HP will out power a 25 HP.
Exmark has a better cut quality. My 260 does fine until it gets into taller, thicker grass. The cut quality isn't poor, but it does leave behind a few more uncut blades of grass than the Exmark. The Exmark also leaves a better looking cut, a cut that almost looks like a vacuumed carpet of grass.
My 260 rides much better than the Exmark. I feel that on the Exmark I'm not placed in the right spot on the machine. On my Gravely I can adjust the seat fore and aft to get a better ride, which on the Exmark, the seat travels a less distance fore and aft to achieve the best ride. The 260 has larger front caster tires (15 in. compared to 13 in.) and also the pivoting front axle, which both add to a better ride.
Both mowers have the premium suspension seat, but the Exmark does not have lumbar support. When you're used to having it, and then you don't, it adds some discomfort to long cutting sessions.
The Exmark's controls are more smooth to operate than the 260. The 260's controls are much more touchy. I don't like the distance they are away from your body when traveling at maximum speed or close to it. I feel like my arms are too stretched out from where they are on my 260. I also prefer the 260's controls when getting on or off the machine. I like how just the horizontal part swings up and not how the entire lever swings away from the mid-line of the mower on the Exmark.
I like the Exmark's footplate, it's at a comfortable angle, but I would rather have more positions to choose from for my feet on extended cutting sessions like I do on my 260. I can put my feet in many comfortable positions as to only a limited few on the Exmark.
The positions of the control panel with the throttle, PTO, choke, etc. is too far to the rear of the machine on the Exmark. The position of them on the 260 is more easily and quickly accessible.
The 260 has a step to getting on the mower, where as the Exmark you have to step on the deck. This might not be a bad thing, but it took my a while to get used to. Just like with only things, like the lumbar support, once you're used to it and then you don't have it, it feels like something is missing. I think we can all relate to how that feels.
The Exmark has metal guards along the bottom of the machine at the rear which doesn't provide much clearance and can tear up turf and get you stuck if you're unaware of it or an unexperienced rider.
The engine cowling on the 260 makes for a quieter ride. Even though the Vanguard has a sweet sound, I would rather have a quieter ride and save as much of my hearing as possible.
The storage compartment located just in front and below the seat on the Exmark comes in handy for small items to be stored, such as trash or gloves.
I prefer the hydraulic deck lift of the 260. It raises and lowers the deck more quickly and accurately than my foot can with the Exmark's foot pedal deck lift.
The anti-scalp rollers on the Exmark need to be secured better, on both sides of the roller, instead of just one. I don't have any problem with it because I'm a careful operator, but other, more careless workers have knocked them off by hitting objects, as where on the 260 it would be much harder to do so.
I don't like how the Exmark's deck is not centered with the machine. The left side over hangs the tires more than the right side and this is trickier on uneven ground and sometimes can't be taken places my 260 could because of scalping. The extra few inches of trimming ability is overshadowed by the higher scalping potential, in my opinion.
Well, I think I thought of most things to compare, I probably missed a few things, however. I won't touch on maintenance issues because I don't work on the other company's equipment, only my own.
Hope this helps...
THANKS That sure will help when making final desition. I have a gravly dealer here and i think he can also get toro, but none on hand. I have heard toros deck also cuts real nice.
If there are any other aspects you would like me to compare, just let me know and I will do my best to answer them.