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Ex-mark or Gravely?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dura to the max, May 5, 2008.

  1. dura to the max

    dura to the max LawnSite Silver Member
    from georgia
    Messages: 2,246

    My preferred dealer sells both products and i cant decide which one to use. Any thoughts? I'm wanting a 52"-56" rider.
  2. drains

    drains LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    Gravely 152XDZ here. 23 hp Kawasaki 52" XR7 deck. Demoed an Exmark and the Gravely and several others (Grasshopper, Dixie Chopper, Hustler).
    Bought the Gravely, still pleased with it. My advice is demo...demo...and demo some more. All are good units but some are better for your situation and location and your needs are different than others. Good luck to you. :waving:
  3. Country

    Country LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I demoed all the above and talked to every LCP I would see. Settled on Exmark HP 46" based on a lot of things, but mainly cut quality and how the machine is built (like a tank).

    Keep doing your homework and you'll make the right decision.
  4. bmjones17

    bmjones17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Exmark might be good if you cut fescue but thats it. The worst scalping mower I've ever owned. Completely under powered for cutting thick lush lawns.
  5. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I don't scalp lawns but the Exmark decks are top sellers from Florida, to Texas to the mid west. They are good on a lot more grass types than fescue. You can get up to 31 hp on a standard Lazer, 28 hp on an AS, or 35 on the XS. I mean you can have all the power you want to pay for. All that lift does take some power. What are you scalping in Lexington? Bermuda? I know the grasses change as you go west from Nashville toward Memphis.
  6. bmjones17

    bmjones17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Yes. Turf Bermuda like riviera and princess 77. I guess my biggest grip is the scalping and the under powered kholers that I have always had terrible luck with. The only kholer that I never had trouble with was liquid cooled. I would like to see a cat or a generac on the exmark with a different scalp roller combination.. Then I'd have no beef. I think they are a top notch company but every exmark I've owned (2) or demoed scalped worse than my othher mowers. I bought the second one because of my dealer being local

  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    What about the 28 Kaw? I think it is good in the torque dept? I actually think the 29dfi Kaw would be a good combination with the regular Z but they only offer it on the XS, what a shame. Then again different needs for different regions. Exmark may not be the best for you? They don't like Bermuda here. Fescue stays green all Winter and they hate the way Bermuda creeps into places it isn't suppose to.
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I own both. If you're in Georgia and mowing Bermuda and especially if you mulch instead of bagging, go with Exmark. The gravely is ok on taller grass but on my unit the deck seems heavier and doesn't float on the antiscalps as well. It tends to gouge a little more. It can vary by model and year but my gravely also doesn't have 1/4" increments, which is vital on Bermuda/Zoysia to get just the right look at the right time of year. I am mowing Bermuda this time of year at 1.25" and getting great results with the Lazer HP with the trivantage deck. My gravely also seats the operator up higher and feels less confident on slopes. The Exmark also sucks up leaves when mulching with more force, I assume due to the nuances of the deck design. I find the Exmark deck pedal more comfortable to use, the steering levers less obtrusive and less likely to hang up on branches, etc.

    When discharging the gravely seems to handle tall fescue and weeds better with less clumping, though the Exmark is sufficient on that.

    I'd look hard at 46-48" decks if mowing low turf (less pronounced trim edge helps smooth cut) and especially if you have tight spots. I find the 48" gets through places where even 1" more would shut it out.

    All attributes can vary by model, so test them well. There are a few pros/cons to each. The Exmark will likely cost more but in my experience will return that cost at resale time in our area.
  9. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    What models have you used? My Lazer HP 48's have done great at very low cutting heights on some pretty technical lawns where I used to have to use walk behinds. The Kawi 21/23 on my latest one is super powerful.

    If you're using liquid cooled mowers I'm assuming they're very large deck sizes. IF so, no wonder you're scalping. Those big decks can't handle undulations on low-cut turf. Some may be better than others, but around here unless you're doing fields and other commercial props there's not much use for bigger than 52" decks on residentials if they have Bermuda.

    There are big differences in models within each line. A Turf Tracer 48" cuts nicer at 1.25" on wavy terrain than a 60" Lazer. But the Lazer blows it away on big flat areas.

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