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Gravely 472 Demo

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

  1. CurbAppealKS

    CurbAppealKS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    In my opinion none could do what you showed in the video, on your property. I have no problem saying that. Also in my opinion the one that would come the closest both in speed and quality of cut is the ferris 3100 followed in a close second by the Deere 797. The Deere excels in the the cut department over the ferris, but lacks in the speed/comfort department. The ferris has an acceptable cut and faster more comfortable ride allowing it to surpass the Deere in my mind.

    With that being said, none of the stuff I have ever cut or ever will cut has looked like your property. If I still had access to the ferris and had the extra cash I would ship you and your machine up to a property of our mutual approval and kindly hand your ass to you. This is meant in a light hearted, joking manner, I'm on my phone so I don't have access to any of the smiley things. But in all seriousness, unless a property looks like yours the super z is a waste of money for the vast majority of people who cut for a living. The speed simply cannot be utilized.
  2. CurbAppealKS

    CurbAppealKS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Sorry for the double post.
  3. southgagrass

    southgagrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I live in South Georgia and have a exmark x-series 60, gravely pro turn 260, and scag tt 72". We have tons of Bahia grass and the exmark and gravely are terrible at cutting it. The scag I just added does the best so that's what I am gonna use in the future. Exmark is the most popular mower around here even though it is not the best set up in my trials. I love the build of the gravely but if it doesn't cut what I need cut it also does me no good. I average approx 650 hrs per mower each year.
  4. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    I live in a small Community and most lawns/yards around here are predominantly Bahia with some Bermuda and quite a bit of Dallis grass. I cut our church property and have cut our community center a time or two and they have a few areas of Zoysia and St Augustine (at the Church) grasses.

    But the majority of my customers have mostly Bahia. As you know, when it gets hot and dry it is hard to cut clean in one pass. I bought a Lastec in 2007 and it did great on everything but the dryer Bahia (although it does an acceptable job on it with the 3" wide Oregon Super high lift blades).

    After demo'ing an EverRide Warrior in 2009 in Bahia and seeing how well it cut it, I bought a Gravely Pro Ride (same as EverRide Warrior) in 2011. I am still surprised at how well it cuts Bahia, compared to some of the other ZT's around here. (Exmark 52 and 60", Gravely Pro Turn 152 and 260 Z, Bad Boy AOS 72", Bad Boy Lightning 60", Great Dane Chariot 52", Bush Hog 54" Grasshopper 60", JD 920 54" and a few Cub Cadet "tanks". I know a guy that bought a Hustler Super Z last year and another friend that bought a Dixie Chopper 60" (not sure what model) last year, I have been told to try them at any time but have not made any arrangements yet to do so.

    I even tried out a Scag Wildcat 26 hp (old rating) and 60" Velocity plus deck on weekend last year along with my Gravely Pro Ride on some of my accounts. It was in the middle of our drought and heat wave last Summer and the Bahia was very tough by then. I used both mowers on 5 Properties that day and in the greener Bahia, the Scag would cut nearly as clean as the Pro Ride, but in the tougher Bahia it would leave quite a few stragglers whereas the Pro Ride would only leave one occasionally.

    I'm not saying that it is the best all around mower or anything, just making the point that for my particular applications it does the best job that I have found so far.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  5. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    Sorry guys for straying off topic. My mistake, It was late.
  6. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,150

    I love the 3100 Ferris, not crazy about the lesser models, and I have no problem agreeing different mowers can perform more satisfactorily on different type properties. With that being said, I've run the Ferris 3100 side by side with a Hustler Super Z on the exact same area you see in the video. Where you see me turning around we ran the Ferris and Hustler around the corner maybe another 200'. We left at the same time cutting grass side by side, when I got back to the beginning point the Ferris was around 150' behind me.

    The dealer was on his Ferris, and when we came back together he said, "I thought the 3100 was as fast as a Hustler Super Z, but I now see it's not."

    I feel assured the stops had not been adjusted on the 3100 to allow for its maximum speed, and for some reason Ferris dealers seem to forget the dealer is suppose to adjust the stops for the 12 mph advertised speed, otherwise it was shipped as a 10 mph mower.

    I've never understood why they ship them at 10 mph and expect the dealer to adjust for the additional 2 mph. I actually talked with the factory to find out why this was done, and I honestly still don't know, but was told that was the procedure their factory used.

    Where you see me turning around on the left side of the video there is a small road crossing the pond, just on the other side of the road is the roughest property I mow, it washed somewhat before the grass was completely established. I am forced to slow down to a basic crawl when mowing this area due the the really bad washboard effect. This is where the Ferris 3100 really shined, believe me it was still rough but the 4 wheel independent suspension of the Ferris allowed me to cut this at twice the crawl speed I use with the Super Z.

    I've operated the Ferris, watched the suspension, and know it works wonderfully. This small 1/3 of an acre area is the only place the Ferris would excel for me, I'm able to utilize the Super Z's fast speed everywhere else, yes I must slow down in certain isolated spots for a couple of seconds, but once that couple of seconds has passed the sticks are full forward and the mower is moving at top speed again.

    This is a perfect example of why some can use and love one mower, while another person can use and love another.

    I would say if there was no Super Z, a Ferris 3100 is more than likely what I would be running, and that being totally for the comfort, but I would be forced to give a Scag Cheetah its chance.

    I've tried to get my hands on a Scag Cheetah, but so far I've had no luck. I would really love to put the Cheetah and Super Z on the same playing field.
  7. CurbAppealKS

    CurbAppealKS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Yeah idk why ferris doesn't ship their mowers with full top speed either. Doesn't make sense.
  8. greenology

    greenology LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 816

    Possibly in attempt to preserve the hydros, for less warranty issues. That's just a silly guess, probably not the case.

    I noticed how slow the demo 3100 was cutting right away, so stopped and spend 10mins going back to get a shifter to adjust the stops. Made a very noticeable difference in speed. Same thing with the one I purchased, once adjusted I was able to reach 12-13 mph while cutting grass.

    puppy have you ever recorded the SZs speed while cutting grass with a GPS? I know youv done the distance calculations etc & compared side by side with Ferris, however you mentioned above the Ferris most likely didn't have its stops adjusted, therefor it wouldn't have been accurate.
  9. greenology

    greenology LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 816

    Im not suggesting the Ferris would be a faster mower though!

    Just that I think you would be surprised you might actually be reaching the 15 mph while cutting with SZ, I think if given enough time it could prob reach that speed given the power of the hydros, the speed would only be slowed if there was a lack in power to slow it down from its max speed, I don't know that there would be a lack of power in good conditions, ie not up a hill, or cutting thick grass.
  10. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,150

    I can feel the speed change with grass difference, the blades turning while no grass is being cut will pull power. I'm thinking just with the blades running and the deck in transport there will be enough power pulled to slow the mower some, but that is easy enough to check. I know deck drag will slow the mower, I felt it when I was cutting this afternoon.

    I had exactly 1.2 acres left to cut and it was virtually dark, no way to finish with a slower machine without lights. I also had to trim around several trees, and the opposite edge of the lake and field you saw in the video. This was a little more tedious because of the trimming, and I lost cut time from running over areas I had already cut due to the shape of the area, but I was running full stick on the straight-a ways. I looked at my phone when I started and it took me 14 minutes to cut the entire area.

    The dew had fallen, and I was cutting areas of damp crabgrass, you could feel the mower slow what felt like a couple miles per hr., possibly more, when the mower hit the thick, damp, crabgrass.

    I've always felt like when mowing it will slow the mower at least 1 to 1.5 mph in good cutting conditions, as conditions get worse, bigger or wetter grass, the speed loss becomes much more noticeable.

    Do me a favor, since you have a hand-held GPS, check your speed with blades off and deck up, then with blades running and deck up, then cutting grass. I would be real interested in knowing these speeds and differences. I would greatly appreciate you doing this, thanks ahead of time...

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