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Northern Grass... Best all around cut?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Shady Brook, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I know this subject gets beaten to death, but I am curios to hear some opinions on the issue.

    Background for my question is I narrowed down my new mower purchase to the Scag Wildcat, the Toro 52" diesel, a Gravely with the new X Factor deck, or the Deere with 7 iron II.

    Over the past week I pretty much decided on the Scag with velocity 2 deck. The only problem is, the past few days I have been reading more and more posts suggesting that the cut quality was not as clean as some other mowers, specifically the Exmark with Ultracut. I am trading a Super Z because the cut of the XR7 has not impressed me with my cutting heights.

    Now I know people I respect have the Velocity and really like it, but even some of them say the cut is not as good as the Exmark. It seems the Velocity is at its best "comparatively" when conditions are bad...tall grass, and wet grass. But then again I read the other day where someone said it will blow chunks as well. Now when I think of a deck that handles tall grass, and wet grass well, I think of the Deere 7 iron II. The only thing I did not like about the 7 Iron was it seemed hard to hide the clippings. Cut was amazing in any condition, but it took a lot of work to hide the large clippings. I am interested if anyone can compare the performance of the 7 Iron and the Velocity?

    I have also heard good things about the X-factor, so it is still in play. I am leaning away from the Toro as I know in past demos I was able to overwelm the deck and get it to clump badly.

    Enough of my rambling. What mower deck setup have you found to be the best all around performer in Northern Grasses? For me, any deck should cut normal growth fine, but what cuts clean, and can really handle bad growth conditions best.

    Maybe this can be the definitive thread on the subject for 07.

  2. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    I've been reading good things about the Dixie Xcaliber.. Have you looked at one?
  3. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I have tried to like the Dixie's on more then one occasion. I wanted one because Eric had one, and had such great results with his, not to mention there is a great dealer the sells a bunch in my area. I just can't do a chopper. I have tried a variety of machines without much success. I have not looked at the new products lately, so they may have a great new cutter on their hands. For me, it would have to leave a perfect cut and never leave a visible clipping even in the worst conditions before I would look seriously at them again. Thanks for the suggestion though.
  4. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,536

    Both of my Gravely's are excellent on the grass around here. Where in IN are you?
  5. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    Gravely guy
    I am in Northwest In, mostly Lake county.

    Can you compare your Gravelys to any other brands that you have tried? Do you have the new decks? Any problem getting parts? I have heard Gravely was not always the best for parts.

  6. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,536

    I demoed a Scag and a Deere before I picked up the Gravely. They were all 2006 or 2007 models so they had the newer decks. MY 260Z has the X factor deck.

    As far as the parts go, I havn't had to get any parts other than belts, filters, and blades. I was able to get them quickly, but they were very expensive. I don't know if this is a Gravely thing or if all brands are like this.

    $33 per blade
    $35 hydro filter
    $55 34" deck belt
  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    I would demo in the Spring. There is just no way to tell right now which would be best for you. Depending on the quality of the lawn, and conditions the Velocity does great over all. But as you have heard me say in the past it does not usually (depending on the quality of grass, lawn) leave as smooth of a cut as the Lazer or some Grasshoppers in this area. But when there is dew on the ground and they are clumping, the Scag never has clumped. The clippings are longer but it has a very good dispersion pattern, it really fans them out and they are usually not noticeable. I have to cut rough area, slopes, wet grass, as well as manicured lawns so that is my reason for choosing Scag Turf Tiger with the Velocity deck. Most of the mowers that cut smoother have problems with clumps here. So guess it depends on whats important to you in your area. I really think you ought to demo next Spring. That's too much money to take a chance on.

    So in summary depending on the quality of the lawn, the Velocity will give a good to excellent cut. I had Lot's of persons asked what kind of mower I used when I used the Lazer Ultra Cut (they were so impressed) it was so carpet smooth but no one has commented on the Scag Velocity but no one has complained.
  8. exmarkdude

    exmarkdude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Hey shady,

    Give me a call tomorrow, I have both Gravely anfd Wildcat. You can use both for a day and you can figure it out. The trim side on a Gravely is non-existant and the front pivoting axle seems cumbersome. The wildcat sems to be a littl light in the rear, but I think it is more nimble and is built like a tank. Spindle bearings are far superioir to the Gravely and Scag parts can be found any where. The Gravely comes with 21 cc wheel motors which makes it very fast and the Scag comes with 10 cc wheel motors. My customers complain of my guys going to fast. I like the Wildcat better! Excellent cut! When you call and decide on the Wildcat I will give you some tips on how to make it cut even better!

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