Gravely Pro Turn XDZ 252 Review !

cinco1

LawnSite Member
Location
neo
Gravely Pro Turn XDZ 252 Review !


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Disclaimer:
The following is just my opinion as a homeowner with no professional experience. While I am not a professional, I do enjoy researching products and take such an investment (a large one for myself) very seriously. I am not affiliated/associated with Gravely in any manner – just a satisfied customer. I come from a manufacturer/factory operations/sales environment, so I based much of my research with my personal experience in mind.

Specifications:
- Model # 992200 (Serial Number 21,xxx)
- Engine: Kawasaki FX730V 23.5 hp
- Drive System: ZT-5400 with 16cc pumps and 21cc motors http://www.hydro-gear.com/main/products/hydrostatic-drives/single-axle-transaxles/zt-5400
- XFactor II Adjustable Baffle Deck (13” Discharge Chute and “Red” HD Spindles)

Reference Material:
- Brochure http://www.gravely.com/en-us/SeriesDownloads/Gravely Pro-Turn 200 Brochure.pdf
- Specifications http://www.gravely.com/en-us/SeriesDownloads/SellSheet_ProTurn200.pdf
- Gravely 200 Series Video (YouTube) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PfsF7bPS2c


Threads I Referenced and Started In My Buying Decision:
- Scag Tiger Cat vs. Gravely Pro-Turn 152 vs. Grasshopper 223-52 vs. Toro Z Master 3000 http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=405336
- Help Me Pick! - Gravely 252 vs. Scag Tiger Cat 52 (with $$ Quotes) http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=406082
- Outstanding Customer Service – Thank You Mary Lyn! http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=406954
- GRAVELY'S NEW X-FACTOR II DECK REVIEW!!! With Pics!!! http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=403947
- GRAVELY PRO TURN 452 REVIEW!! With Pics! http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=375000
- Gravely Pro Turn 160 Review http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=363505

Background:
- I’m a homeowner with about 3.5 total acres to mow. Mostly native grass, fescue, Bermuda, crab, miscellaneous broadleaf weed infestation and moles (with dogs who love to dig them up) . Sub-divided property with “field-fence” around house yard-to-pasture, 21 trees spaced through-out, 25x100 garden in pasture and 30x50 shop in pasture.
- I had never owned acreage before and made my first “large” purchase with no foresight or real knowledge to what was practical. I ended up purchasing a John Deere LA110 rider with a 42” deck. Amazingly, the unit has lasted me 6 ½ seasons (about 3 ½ hours per mow 3-4 times per month x 7 months) with one replacement deck (spindle area rotted out) and one spindle.
- I admit it – I was a “racetrack” pattern mower AND a scalper – ha. The old mower was so SLOW that I dreaded mowing and just was looking to get it done as fast as possible. This also motivated me to scalp the heck out of the poor pasture so I could extend the duration between mowing. What was once a great native pasture (that any livestock would love to graze upon) is now overtaken in areas of broadleaf weeds and rutted from the same pattern.

Good portion of pasture before mow:

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- It was time to consider a new mower while the old unit still had life. I wanted to use the older mower to mow over a 100+ yard rock drive to my shop and a ¼ mile (x 2) road frontage that could include debris. Thus, my research began. It began with units in the $5,000 range – essentially marginal residential unit ZTRs. Thanks to great sites like LawnSite, I quickly learned a LOT and realized I really wanted to settle only for a commercial grade unit. My list of requirements were as follows: quality/reliability, manufacturer/dealer support, features and lastly price.
- For size/fit reference I’m 6’3” and 230 #.

My Search:
- Budget: $8500 tops
- Units Considered: Grasshopper 223-52, Tiger Cat 52, Toro 2000/3000 and Gravely
- See my thread above for my thoughts.
- Basically, I narrowed it down to the Scag Tiger Cat with 22 hp Kawi and the Gravely 252 with 23.5 hp Kawi

Comparison to Scag and Gravely: I will give initial and final impressions as I go…

Scag Model STC52V-691X:

Very impressed with construction and attention to detail. Obviously a solid machine with a proven reputation for quality and reliability – but also carrying a premium price. Spindles were impressive with grease zerks and pressure release value to avoid blowing out seals by over greasing.

I’m a bigger guy and the fit was TIGHT – the controls would hit my knees even with the seat back. The seat was not roomy width wise (I’m not a heavy set guy) – just cramped and I couldn’t see being comfortable over long periods of time. A lever extension accessory was offered to me for $185 – although I could also fabricate a set from bar stock if necessary.

Overall opinion – what a solid machine – just so well built and very impressed and would be proud to own one.

Gravely Pro Turn XDZ 252 (Model #992200):

As someone with off road frame fabrication experience, I was VERY impressed with how overbuilt the 252’s frame was designed. ¼” tubing for the frame tubes, engine sub-frame (isolated from main frame for ease of service and vibration isolation), huge front caster wheel frames, solid 7 gauge deck with ½” wear bar – tough , tough, tough – I immediately liked it.

Suspension Seat – oh man, oh man – what luxury. This is AWESOME – way, way better than my true off-road “suspension seats”. My property is lumpy, bumpy, and wavy – I could go full stick and was not uncomfortable.

“Fit” – Much more room than the Scag. Seat was wider and the available leg space was impressive. While the Scag could not extend far enough back, I found I would not even push the Gravely's seat all the way back (still have 2 more “notches” rearward) – big & tall guys pay attention.

Gravely apparently is the only manufacturer who has control levers which are two-piece and flip out. The control lever clearance to my knees was excellent. The lever bracket has three (3) notches to allow you to move the levers higher or lower (plus you can reverse the top handle so it “cants” in or out). No expensive accessory fix like the Scag to extend the levers up for big guys.

Bigger Engine – enough said. Scag had the 22 hp standard vs. the Gravely 23.5 hp Kawasaki FX series commercial grade engine.

Drive Gear/Transmission:

- Scag – Used unitized 10cc pumps with top speed of about 8.5mph. Good known system

- Gravely 252 – ZT-5400 unitized transmissions have 16cc pumps and 21 cc motors. The same units on the top-of-the-line Scag Cheetah. Top speed of 13 mph. Talk about overbuilt and sturdy. So smooth with very nice fine controls – not at all “jerky” – very well balanced. Not at all like some hyper sensitive hydraulic steering systems I’ve experienced on off road trucks.

Initial Mow:

Three days after 3" of rain - soft ground. 1.5" perimeter mow and 3" inner mow.

I hauled butt. I laughed like a little kid. I giggled and hooted and hollered a couple of times. It was so much fun.

I wanted to compare the new mower to my old JD LA110 rider. So I race tracked it and mowed in my same pattern. I also wanted to see what it would do at full speed. No stringers – could NOT believe it . The pasture has numerous bumps and such with weeds.- it was not perfect and I did not expect it to be going full speed with the neglected condition of the pasture. But I can say I was almost shocked how well it did speeding along and such. The bumps, dips and holes will cause issues for any mower – however, I am impressed how well it did considering the less than level pasture.

Second Mow: About 6 days after first mowing...

1 1/2" perimeter mow + 3" inner mow.

I slowed down and did a “diagonal” cut and was truly impressed this time to the QOC and striping I could see even in this neglected pasture. I can not wait till this fall/spring to reseed and spray for broadleaf weeds. I plan on now being able to rotate my cut patterns to fix my past mistakes in rutting.


That's the Sugar Bear Cheyenne smilin' at you there :)

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Customer Service:

I have never experienced, or worked for, another manufacturing company who is so “pro-active” and interested in customer satisfaction. When I first posted my first threads asking for advice, I was contacted by Mary Lyn Wininger who is Gravely’s (Ariens) Social Media Specialist. She offered any assistance in my further research concerning Gravely products. Once I was down to my final two (Scag and Gravely) and pulled the trigger on choosing the Gravely, she helped with every step to coordinate between my dealer and the local factory representive, Tom Allen. Together, Tom and Mary Lyn ensured I received the new X-Factor II deck in a timely manner. This was all coordinated within 1 day! I was kept in the loop via phone calls and e-mails.


Only time will tell if I made the correct decision from a reliability stand-point. I feel I made a good decision based upon all available information. One never knows however, we can only analyze and calculate our risks. However, based upon other’s experiences who are truly professionals with much more use (thanks GMLC and Pro Street Camaro – search their posts for great insight – I so much appreciate your personal help in my search!) and the support from the factory – I feel really good about my decision. Thank you all here at LawnSite who have educated me to such a degree!
 

groundskeeperllc

LawnSite Senior Member
Wow, very impressive review. Great looking mower! I've been considering Gravely on my next purchase and follow all the Gravely threads very closely. Congrats!
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watsmi57

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Southern Georgia
welcome to the club my friend... enjoy your new toy. take care of her and she will last you a looong time. I have two, trouble free commercial years on my two now :)
 

GMLC

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
New Hampshire
Nice job getting this review on Gravely's facebook page! I see a lot of LS friends that follow Gravely on facebook! For those who dont you really should. Tons of great info and specials. Plus you get to see some great pics and giant fleet deliveries to some of the biggest LCO's in the country.
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OP
C

cinco1

LawnSite Member
Location
neo
Thanks for the nice words guys. I owe many of you a TON of thanks for the outstanding education you have provided!


Nice job getting this review on Gravely's facebook page! I see a lot of LS friends that follow Gravely on facebook! For those who dont you really should. Tons of great info and specials. Plus you get to see some great pics and giant fleet deliveries to some of the biggest LCO's in the country.
Posted via Mobile Device

Hey sweet GMLC! Thanks for the heads up. I had never visited their FB page before - kinda cool! I owe you a cold beer if we ever meet - you're a great asset here.
 

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