Gravely Owners - Feedback needed

Discussion in 'Gravely (Archived)' started by Gravely Commercial, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. higherground

    higherground LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I run a 152Z w/ mulch kit as my work horse - maybe 3 years old now. 3-8 yards a day. Ive also driven hustlers Z and super Zs... so minimal knowledge to compare my 152Z.

    relatively speaking:
    I love the deck, metal work, ergonomics and Catoes in Columbia SC. I wish y'all made trailers.

    its too easy to leave tire marks in tight corners. Hustler Z kicks your butt.
    the gas tank grommets and fuel line retention springs are problematic.. again.
    the seat is falling apart...but no biggie for me.
    the blade engage switch is acting up.. again.
  2. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 298

    Out of curiosity, why do you think the Hustler doesn't tear up the lawns vs. the Gravely?

    Is it just a tire choice? Tire width? Overall design?

  3. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111

    Sorry to tell you Hustlers do tear up turf with their tires. Over 2000 hrs. on them, so I can tell you from first hand experience. It depends more on the driver, turf, and pivot point of the machine. The trick is to have both rear tires turning at all times, regardless of direction. The problem with this is if you reverse one wheel while the other is going forward, you are performing a zero turn and your not lined up where you want to be for the next run. Often I will go with the three point turn, not unlike what one does on a tractor. The ZTR is still more efficient even when doing these. I think a front mount, such as a Walker, some Grasshoppers and Exmarks, etc. may be less likely to tear the turf do to the pivoting point of the mower, which would be under your thigh area instead of behind you. They have a down side as well though. A lot of booty sticking out back there swinging around, that when not use to can cause damage, maybe not turf, but siding, birdbaths, folage, and so on. I haven't run any new Gravelys yet but have a demo in the works in the next few weeks, before deciding if I should go with it, another Hustler SZ, or a Husky PZ.
  4. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 298

    I agree that both wheels need to turn or do 3 point turns instead. Personally, I've never seen a ZTR that doesn't rut up the lawn. It's just the nature of the beast. It really does take a skilled operator to avoid tearing up the ground.

    Sometimes if I decide not to do a 3 point turn, I will pulse the inside wheel with the stick several times until I'm lined up. This tends to lesson the rutting.

  5. higherground

    higherground LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I was running one of the standard hustler Z's - a 48" - it seemed to accelerate slowly and smoothly. I'm guessing it is the slow smooth acceleration. On the downside, it scalped like crazy... no middle wheels.

    tires? - perhaps.

  6. higherground

    higherground LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I've got much to learn - but those little corner patches up near the pretty front sidewalks are killer. I try to 3 point turn, but I can't back on to the walks.
  7. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111

    Smooth hydros are a big plus toward lessening damage to turf, but it's all about the 1500 lbs being pivoted on a nice fat wide tire like it were a hinge. Something has got to give and it's not usually the tire. If the tire is turning, even slowly, it is no longer the pivot.

    I pivot when ever possible in the street, on the driveway, or side walk. Be careful on concrete as it will sometimes leave rubber marks which are not pretty either.

    New verses old tires make a huge difference as well. I try to run mine till there completely worn out. It's rare that worn tires effect the abilities of the mower. I hate new tires. I have to be much more carfull:hammerhead:

    Last trick. Most yards I cut in four different patterns, a different pattern each week. There are some properties that this is not possible due to the layout or size. Just do as many as possible. I like to use the house, a fountain, pond or what ever is the main attraction of the property as my guide and mow perpendicular and parallel to it. Then go to 45s either direction. Usually it's the house that I use. This makes the house the focal point or sort of puts it at the center to display it. Usually if they can afford to pay to have their yard mowed then they take some pride in their home. Subconsciously they like their house to be shown off. The different patterns lessen the possibility of rutting or the grass laying down in these areas over the season. It also means less chance of pivoting at the exact same spot each time you mow. To take it another step further. When you come around in the month and repeat a pattern already done three patterns back, don't use the same stripe/path. Instead mow half a stripe over, so you're straddling the previous wheel path. Plus it's better for the grass to be cut in different directions. It makes the yard look more uniform and the best just looks cool. Once you do it long enough it becomes habit and IMO you will get more efficient than mowing more willy-nilly. You'll find nice stripes are the next level and what gets you word of mouth recommendations. It also takes a little of the focus off little problem areas. Your now a professional!! GO MOW YARDS!!!
  8. curtislawncare

    curtislawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    I purchased about 2 weeks ago the Pro-24 HWSP to do overgrown residential lawns here in Southern Louisiana.

    It cuts high and thick grass as advertised but it is high maintenance. I'm used to working with 21" mowers so the idea of having to actually unbolt the wheels to adjust the height came as an unpleasant shock. It took me about 4 hours figuring out what tools I needed for this and then going to the tools store to buy them $$$.

    Today i was cutting a lawn and the drive belt just came off. Besides having to finish the job with all leg power, I was further frustrated by having to remove a stripped nut and bolt to get the belt back on. I have no idea why the belt came off. I hope and pray the belt doesn't come off too often. I have a suspicion it will come off more often than I'd like.

    I just bought this machine not even a full 2 weeks ago and it seems that maintenance is outweighing its solution to cutting overgrown grass -although it does cut real thick grass nicely.
  9. twobroslawns

    twobroslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 299

    We have a 2007ish 32" walk-behind. Honestly, I am not impressed with it's performance. The mower has a VERY hard time fitting through a 36" gate because of the rear axle/tires, which I suspect share parts from a 36 inch... We mow mostly lush fescue in Atlanta.

    The cut looks nice sometimes, but all too often we struggle with a strip of uncut grass between the two blades. We are running a full mulch kit with baffles, and currently gator blades. I am trying different blades to try to perfect the cut.

    The engine smokes like crazy. Absolutely unacceptable. Three dealers in Atlanta have not been able to figure it out, and have been no help contacting Gravely or Kawasaki for a solution.

    The wheel bearing in one rear wheel seized up, causing the retainer ring to spin in place, which in turn wore the axle out. This caused the groove to wear down, and the wheel fell off many times. After two trips to the dealer (Dallas Mower) without a proper diagnosis or solution, I ended up discovering it was the bearing. A wheel shouldn't come off a mower like this.

    Other than all those issues, the machine is great. It's quick, pretty easy to handle, fairly light, huge fuel tank, easy to service (maybe because I'm getting so much practice :hammerhead: ), not too loud, and it is solid on hills. I could handle all the mechanical issues if the cut was better, but I think double cutting a lawn with very little growth is unacceptable.

    I really hope the manufacturer reads this and is able to help with some issues.
  10. Mr BC

    Mr BC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I have a 2011 ZT42. I'm a homeowner and a bigger machine was overkill and over budget. I really like the mower and the homeowner level seems to fit my needs just fine. I also need to be careful when turning to avoid making divots. I either do 3-point turns or I cut a strip in the middle of my yard work 2 sections one pass at a time each. This way I can make wider turns. I really like the cut quality. I am disappointed that the transaxles are sealed vs. being serviceable. I demo'd a ZT42xl but the tech I was taking to about reliability, etc. didn't realize I was interested in the ZT, I thought I had said that... anyway I thought I was getting the serviceable trannies.

    I just do my yard, so many people have said I probably won't have any issues with the trannies. I was dismayed to learn that a blown tranny on a tractor-style hydro (consumer grade.. Lowes, etc.) is basically a throw away mower! I don't want to see that problem with my Gravely. This is why I decided to buy from a dedicated mower/small engine shop as they seem to carry better grade products. I figured it was a "you get what you pay for" situation. I hope this bears out. Friends who have lawncare businesses indicated this same thing.

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