Gravely Hydro 1548 fixed deck?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Harrity, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. Harrity

    Harrity LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Local dealer has has a dual hydro Gravely fixed deck with about 70 hours on it, looks to be in good condition. 48" deck, 15 hp Kawasaki, pull start. I'm not sure of the year; I'm guessing '05 or '06. He said it was owned by a local guy with a 3 acre yard. If I allow for even 2 hours per cut, that is 35 cuts, so the thing has to be at least one season old (and the previous owner had a sulky, so he may have been even quicker than that).

    It looks to be in good shape. He fired it up right in the showroom. It smoked briefly right on startup (too much choke?), but cleared right up after a few seconds and purred. The tag on the mower said $3500 bucks; he said he'd take $3k for it. Actually, he said $3k when he was telling me about the mower, before we'd made our way across the showroom to see it. I think he had forgotten what the actual number was, because he seemed a little surprised when he saw the $3500 on it.

    I'm a little apprehensive about shelling out even $3k for a used mower, though with only 70 hours it ought to be just breaking in, unless it's got some warranty left...

    In my search on the board here, it seems like this mower is pretty well regarded. I'm a little worried about the idea of a fixed deck that wide (though my current yard is pretty flat and should not be a problem). Also, is the 15 hp Kawi enough to spin those blades and push 600+ lbs. of mower (possibly while pulling me)? Anyone know the blade tip speed on the Gravely walk behinds? What about the casters and spindles? The 2007 brochure I picked up talks about the XL spindles that don't require greasing or replacement for 2 years (of commercial use). Are these good spindles? Or should I stick to something that will let me (require me) grease them? Maybe that is just extra maint. I don't need, and the XLs would last 15 years of homeowner use...

    Is $3K a fair price? I was thinking of seeing if he'd take $2500 or so (partially would depend on what year it is and how much, if any, of the warranty is left)...For those of you who have traded equipment in before, how much markup is typical in trade-ins? Did he give the previous guy $2k for this thing, so he's still got a lot of profit in it at $2500? Or are trade-in values higher than that, typically?

    This would be for homeowner use only, on less than an acre (for now at least). For that kind of money (or less), it is tempting to just get a good homeowner level ZTR or tractor (since I am, after all, a homeowner) and call it a day. But it would be kinda neat to have a beefy piece of equipment like this to use.

  2. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    For all that coin, you could add a little more and get a brand new 42" mini fastrak with a 3 year warranty.
  3. Harrity

    Harrity LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    :dizzy: Tell me about it. Problem is, you can always "add a little more." Good way to talk myself into a Super Z... :jester:

    I went to a Hustler dealer the same day I found this Gravely. Honestly I liked the guy at the Hustler/Dixon/Husq/Dixie Chopper dealer MUCH better in terms of his demeanor and perceived honesty compared to the place where I found the Gravely (Gravely/Deere/Ariens/Land Pride dealership).

    But he wanted $3200 for a 36" MFT and $4000 for a 42" MFT. If I could find a lightly used one I'd consider it, but $4k is just too damn much for me (and quite frankly I think an $800 increase for a 6" wider deck is a bit stiff).

    Maybe the Quick 36 or 44 is what I should get after all...

    On the other hand, I just borrowed my neighbor's Craftsman 42" basic lawn tractor, and my mowing time dropped from about 2 hours pushing to about an hour riding (and it laid some surprisingly decent stripes). And that is without a hydrostat. So riding has its appeal...

    But money I don't spend on a mower is money that gets to go toward a newer motorcycle, or a newer toy car, or...


    I've seen a guy locally selling an '06 Craftsman (Agri-Fab built, I think) 26 hp / 54" deck hydrostat for $1700 asking price. With the wider deck and the hydro, I should be able to cut in less than 45 minutes, and still have money left to play with. Grrrrr, too many cool options...

    Anyhow, no thoughts on the Gravely wb I found?
  4. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,667

    They are great mowers. I have the same mower but gear drive and floating deck. I've had great luck with it for the last 6 seasons. I bought mine new in 2002 for $3k. I'd say that is a great deal on a hydro as it retails for a shade over $5k. The 15 kawi has great power but it may be a bit underpowered for a hydro. I use a proslide on mine and have no bogging issues but I only weigh 180lbs and also don't have any hydro's to power. All in all for a homeowner it should be fine. If you are cutting commercial I'd get a bigger unit with more HP.
  5. Harrity

    Harrity LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Thanks for the feedback, dwost. :cool:

    I took it for a test spin today (just around the dealer's lot and some side grass). It is actually pretty darn intuitive to use. But it is a monster! My wife has said she has no interest in using this type of mower, which means I'd probably be the only one doing any mowing (which is how it is now, of course, with the 21" push mower...). I thought it was pretty kick ass, though. I could have my yard done in no time with this thing. :weightlifter: My neighbors would think I am nuts (and would probably be a bit envious, but that is no reason to get a mower).

    If I get a rider, she can chip in sometimes, and she can mow when I'm on a work trip. I think she is game for going to try it out tomorrow, but somehow I don't see her 125 lbs hopping on a sulky behind this 600 lb walk behind... :(

    One more thing... When you use a sulky, do the wheel tracks show up and spoil the stripes you lay? This Gravely has a striping kit (thick rubber mat along the rear length of the deck), and it laid some nice stripes. Didn't seem like the wide rear drive wheels did much to spoil them, either. But what about the wheels on a sulky?
  6. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,667

    Use a proslide and forget the wheels :cool2:


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