Gravely 472 Demo

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by puppypaws, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,124

    Thank you for your honesty, now with that being said, a Hustler deck if raised up into the 3.5" cutting range will do the exact same thing (not quite this bad), it loses enough suction so as not to stand the grass up to be cut cleanly.

    I would not be able to utilize the Hustler's cutting speed if I cut above 3", it will leave a scattering of uncut grass, meaning if I want to cut a little higher I must slow down. I personally hate to slow down, and the junk I cut looks better when cut at 3" or less, so I lower the cutting height and cut as fast as the ground will allow.
  2. greenology

    greenology LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 816

    This is where the adjustable baffles come into play, if you'd like more suction at the higher cut then you'd lower the baffle I believe... I'm only referring to your VX4 deck, maybe you'd find you can continue cutting higher at the fast speed.
  3. greenology

    greenology LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 816

  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,434


    Bare with me here for a moment while I try to make a point and also make myself clear, and without any personal attack on anyone who owns or operates a Hustler SZ intended, including you. These are just my observations/opinions, but I think they are at least part of what all the controversy is all about.

    I think that at least a large part of this controversy over the various mowers is based on the fact that you mow relatively smooth, flat open spaces covered by course field type turf on your own personal land, while most of us in business normally cut average to well manicured lawn type turf with lots of landscaping etc where QOC is priority one, so you are highly enamored of the SZ's performance in your situation. Therefore, you proudly promote them as being a great machine (or even the best machine made) with regularity on this site. The problem is that this is mainly a commercial cutting forum and the majority of readers are commercial LCO’s looking to learn what works best most places, not just in one area, and most of us need an all around machine that leaves a top QOC in one pass with nothing left behind to clean up or re-cut, like the usual long clippings left behind by the VX4 in yours and other members pics of VX4 cuts. You may be ok with them fanned out like that, even if it is evenly disbursed, but most property owners/clients would be highly upset looking at that layer of clippings lying on their lawn. That, and the fact that the turf in your pics is not normal cutting/turf conditions for most guys who are in business to make money. Sure we all get places like that from time to time, and usually a double cut takes care of things, but very few commercial cutters rely on those types of field mowing conditions for their main sources of income, nor could they remain in business for very long leaving any place looking like either of those two machines did that on that turf in those pictures (accepting the fact that the conditions there were awful, and another reason why so many of us would like to see a more fair, useful comparison on your property, but in more regularly maintained areas with both mowers set up as closely as possible to each other since the Gravely is so easily adjustable). If more guys cut under those conditions regularly, there would no doubt be more guys promoting the SZ on here. IMO, the SZ is just too specialized in the areas in which it excels to be considered for all around cutting anywhere in the country by commercial cutters. Clearly from your past pics it works for you on your property fairly well, but for those of us where a cleanly finished product in one pass is concerned and required, it is also clearly lacking under normal mowing conditions (Mick and green's problems with the VX4 being two quick examples, as well as the pics GMLC posted). I have nothing against the Hustler mowers. I like the look of them, and very carefully considered buying one early last year before buying another Deere, but Mick and greens issues along with the large clipping length left on the surface were too much for me to risk dropping that much coin on a machine that wouldn't leave a top quality cut for me every single time, especially in the springtime rush growth.

    Another problem is, and this goes for anywhere in the country, that when someone offers a lawn care service, speed is important, but to nowhere near the extent that a first pass quality cut is, even if it is made at lower/slower speeds. All commercial ZTR's made today offer more than sufficient performance from a drive-ability standpoint with the drive systems generally used by the majority of manu's while still allowing the LCO to be very productive and show a profit at the end of each day, with the drive system holding up well for high numbers of hours normally while doing it. Some machines cut so well under most all conditions that they can show more profit at the end of the day even if they are a bit slower in speed. Remember, not that many LCO's have properties that allow the use of top speed of even the average ZTR, let alone the speed of the SZ. We all would like to have a perfect machine that cut at high speeds, left no clumps or clippings behind under any circumstance, and rode like a caddy. That beast doesn't exist yet, so we all compromise in one area or another. The fact remains, at least at this point, there are many mowers that do one or two things great, and the rest fairly well, but the new Gravely's come closer to being the all around mower under any condition for commercial cutters better than about any other machine made right now due to their rides, their adjustability, and Gravely's customer service. The Ferris 3100 is right up there too in most ways IMO, and this is all coming from a Deere user. The new flex forks (when they finally become available) and the new suspension seat will make the Deere 900R series right in the middle of the running too, especially with the 7 Iron deck which is extremely hard to beat for all around mowing under any condition for anyone, especially commercial cutters. The SZ simply leaves clippings too long for most of us to be considered acceptable for commercial use when the ultimate goal is a first pass finished QC, especially during peak growing season, and the fast top speed is of little use for most of us as well, again speaking of commercial cutters with normal properties to maintain.

    In light of all that above, I think most of us LCO's would have liked to see you put more effort into making the two machines set up as closely as possible with the understandable exception of the blades, and then do your testing so that we who cut for a living might get a better feel for how the compare when set up at each machines best for the conditions. How they come set up is most likely a function of what is easiest to do at time of manu, but nowhere near ideal as to how they cut when set up correctly for the conditions. The Hustler may very well come set up as is in an ideal fashion for your area, while showing less than its best work like the Gravely did if tried in another area of the country, and visa versa for the 472. I believe you see what I am saying.

    In the end, we need to respect each others opinions and needs, all while trying to learn as much as possible from each other about what works, what doesn't, and why, especially for commercial cutting, since that is what this particular forum is mainly about.

    I hope this makes sense to you and everyone else who reads it, and possibly clears up some of the back and forth that goes on here for those who read along without posting and may well wonder about it all.
  5. CurbAppealKS

    CurbAppealKS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Well said ridin
  6. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,434

    I got a good laugh just now when I saw that you had quoted my long post, but used only three words to reply.:laugh::laugh:
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I might have a ugly mower to some but mine will cut grass. With same Deck design since 1995 and has always left clean cut on first pass. My new mowers runs any where from 15-18 mph that was check with GPS
    I have 3 that's loaded, spring forks, air ride seat I can run top speed and get clean cut on first pass in my area and my grass type.

    All these Mower companies keep changing there decks to get a better cut. Sometimes they will have one and they change it anyway.

    Can any of you do this ,Use parts off a 1995 put it on a 2013 model like a deck spindle. Wait some didn't make there ZTR they have now back 1995.

    That's why I keep buying a DC they made a design right first time and stuck with it. Now with a super comfort ride.

    I know some might say, I had one didn't mow. But did you set it up right. A lot times factory settings isn't the right setting. That goes for any mower on the market. Some are clueless how to set a mower up to cut grass. So they get on here and ask others sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

    Each time I buy a new mower there are 5 things I change to get it cut how I want it at for high speed cutting.

    Now some Companies have other Companies build there mowers. Or a Company will Build High end mower and low end mower like Hustler and Big Dog or Exmark and Toro or Snapper and County Clipper (old news).

    The Ferris mower looks like good idea but its still a slow mower in my mind.
    Ferris and Simpicty is the same mower Who makes it???

    That's why I buy DC its one of a kind
  8. greenology

    greenology LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 816

    Yea Ferris appears to work very well, it has its niche market, ie ppl with back problems or ppl like me with a lot of rougher properties. Whereby I will be able to cut quicker than any other ZTR due to the ind susp, it will ride quickly over ruts where non susp ZTRs will bounce around and wheels leave the ground at speed.

    To some extent its all about finding the ZTR that suits best for your own circumstances.

    The Ferris is made by Ferris Industries, so Simplicity must buy their machines and re-badge.
  9. greenology

    greenology LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 816

    Yea well said Ridin. How many cups of tea or coffee did you go through while typing that out?
  10. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,267

    I agree and it would of taken me all night to write that lot out! Well done Ridin'!

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