Seeking Clarification On Gravely X-Factor I & II Deck QOC

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
Having run both an XFactorII deck and now a 7Iron deck for a season, I won't turn back unless the XFactorII is modified, 7Iron beats the hell out of it in the wet, and at least equals it in the dry. And the 900 series Deere machine in general is half step up from Gravely right now IMO. And I didn't mind my Gravely at the time.
 
OP
T

The Swamp Fox

LawnSite Member
Location
Michigan
Having run both an XFactorII deck and now a 7Iron deck for a season, I won't turn back unless the XFactorII is modified, 7Iron beats the hell out of it in the wet, and at least equals it in the dry. And the 900 series Deere machine in general is half step up from Gravely right now IMO. And I didn't mind my Gravely at the time.
Thanks for the feedback! My scheduled test demo of a John Deere 652R QuikTrak fell through this past fall as my local dealer sold his demo unit, so I was unable to give it a run as of yet.

But the point may have been moot regardless, as the JD QuikTraks do not as of yet have the 7-Iron, 7-Iron II, or 7-Iron Pro decks under them and are still using a re-painted version of the Wright AeroCore deck.

My quandary is that my business model dictates a stander is a better fit than a zero-turn, but John Deere's famed 7-Iron is not yet available on a stander. There's apparently been rumors of this happening for several years now, but no such official announcement has been made as of yet.

Should John Deere finally come through on this point, I think they'd have a realistic chance of having the best stander in the industry just due to deck design alone.
 

primerbulb120

LawnSite Member
Thanks for the feedback! My scheduled test demo of a John Deere 652R QuikTrak fell through this past fall as my local dealer sold his demo unit, so I was unable to give it a run as of yet.

But the point may have been moot regardless, as the JD QuikTraks do not as of yet have the 7-Iron, 7-Iron II, or 7-Iron Pro decks under them and are still using a re-painted version of the Wright AeroCore deck.

My quandary is that my business model dictates a stander is a better fit than a zero-turn, but John Deere's famed 7-Iron is not yet available on a stander. There's apparently been rumors of this happening for several years now, but no such official announcement has been made as of yet.

Should John Deere finally come through on this point, I think they'd have a realistic chance of having the best stander in the industry just due to deck design alone.

If I was in your shoes, I would get
Thanks for the feedback! My scheduled test demo of a John Deere 652R QuikTrak fell through this past fall as my local dealer sold his demo unit, so I was unable to give it a run as of yet.

But the point may have been moot regardless, as the JD QuikTraks do not as of yet have the 7-Iron, 7-Iron II, or 7-Iron Pro decks under them and are still using a re-painted version of the Wright AeroCore deck.

My quandary is that my business model dictates a stander is a better fit than a zero-turn, but John Deere's famed 7-Iron is not yet available on a stander. There's apparently been rumors of this happening for several years now, but no such official announcement has been made as of yet.

Should John Deere finally come through on this point, I think they'd have a realistic chance of having the best stander in the industry just due to deck design alone.

Didn't you like the Ferris pretty well (aside from the offset deck)?

Also, maybe I missed something, but have you considered a Toro GrandStand yet?
 
OP
T

The Swamp Fox

LawnSite Member
Location
Michigan
If I was in your shoes, I would get


Didn't you like the Ferris pretty well (aside from the offset deck)?

Also, maybe I missed something, but have you considered a Toro GrandStand yet?
The Ferris 52" SRS Z2 was a Jekyll/Hyde scenario for me. Loved many things about it, detested several others:
  1. Uneven deck offset from the front casters makes taking full advantage of cut width difficult and leads to more variability in stripe width.

  2. The complete lack of a discharge side anti-scalp wheel is a problem for right-hand turns, particularly around obstacles or in hilly areas.

  3. The lack of adjustability in the height of the anti-scalp wheels will likely limit their ability to prevent scalping or uneven cut issues at varying cut heights.

  4. Aggressive front casters which left many divot marks even during careful operation (slow, three-point turns, dry conditions).

  5. Difficult oil filter access unless you opt for the Oil Guard feature.
Despite those issues, the (many) unique and innovative features of the Z2 still mean it's near the top of my list. One problem I've had is that the model is new enough that there aren't many good options on the used market, a con for my start-up equipment roster.

I haven't seriously considered Toro's GrandStand (or ExMark's Vantage / Staris) mostly because it's my understanding that the deck closely models that of ExMark's UltraCut deck. I've read that the UltraCut is such a closely-baffled deck that while it shines in dry conditions, it's absolutely terrible in damp or dewy conditions due to clumping and clogging.

Here in SW Michigan, we get heavy dew all throughout the summer due to the lake effect humidity. It's not at all unusual to still have soaking wet grass from the dew close to noon on a sunny summer day.

I may well end up with a Ferris, we shall see. As of now, I'm holding out till spring to demo a John Deere QuikTrak 652R, Kubota's new SZ26-52, and Mean Green's SK-48 cordless stander before making a final decision.

I actually arranged a demo of the Kubota this fall but got snowed under on November 11th with about 10", forcing me to settle for a detailed once-over of the machine in my garage. The SZ26-52 is chock-full of amazing features, the only question left in my mind is how the deck performs. I shared my thoughts and many photos of the Kubota SZ26-52 some time ago, if you're interested.
 

primerbulb120

LawnSite Member
The Ferris 52" SRS Z2 was a Jekyll/Hyde scenario for me. Loved many things about it, detested several others:
  1. Uneven deck offset from the front casters makes taking full advantage of cut width difficult and leads to more variability in stripe width.

  2. The complete lack of a discharge side anti-scalp wheel is a problem for right-hand turns, particularly around obstacles or in hilly areas.

  3. The lack of adjustability in the height of the anti-scalp wheels will likely limit their ability to prevent scalping or uneven cut issues at varying cut heights.

  4. Aggressive front casters which left many divot marks even during careful operation (slow, three-point turns, dry conditions).

  5. Difficult oil filter access unless you opt for the Oil Guard feature.
Despite those issues, the (many) unique and innovative features of the Z2 still mean it's near the top of my list. One problem I've had is that the model is new enough that there aren't many good options on the used market, a con for my start-up equipment roster.

I haven't seriously considered Toro's GrandStand (or ExMark's Vantage / Staris) mostly because it's my understanding that the deck closely models that of ExMark's UltraCut deck. I've read that the UltraCut is such a closely-baffled deck that while it shines in dry conditions, it's absolutely terrible in damp or dewy conditions due to clumping and clogging.

Here in SW Michigan, we get heavy dew all throughout the summer due to the lake effect humidity. It's not at all unusual to still have soaking wet grass from the dew close to noon on a sunny summer day.

I may well end up with a Ferris, we shall see. As of now, I'm holding out till spring to demo a John Deere QuikTrak 652R, Kubota's new SZ26-52, and Mean Green's SK-48 cordless stander before making a final decision.

I actually arranged a demo of the Kubota this fall but got snowed under on November 11th with about 10", forcing me to settle for a detailed once-over of the machine in my garage. The SZ26-52 is chock-full of amazing features, the only question left in my mind is how the deck performs. I shared my thoughts and many photos of the Kubota SZ26-52 some time ago, if you're interested.

If you're looking to something similar to the ferris, check out the Snapper Pro SS200. Same deck as the Ferris, but a slightly different mower. Also cheaper (I think.)
 

douglee25

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
TX
Mostly Bahia and weeds. So yes. It'll cut St. Augustine and Zoysia nicely, because both of those are fairly rigid and not as fibrous. Anything that's tough and stringy or wants to lay over, you have to do multiple passes to get a clean cut.
I'd say that's typical for any deck. On long stringy, weedy type grasses.
 

danell10

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
saginaw, mi
I will throw in my two cents -

1. QOC is very subjective. What looks good for one person may not look great for another.
2. There's a bunch of folks on here that have a hard on for 7 iron decks or Scag/Wright decks touting their QOC - wet or dry. However, you'll see them demo a mower on youtube and the cut looks no better or worse than others in identical conditions.
3. Wet lawns require a double cut to make them presentable in my opinion. When wet lawns aren't double cut, you're compromising quality in regards to time saved. In other words, lawns that are cut with the best deck in wet conditions will STILL look better if double cut.

Now with all of that out of the way, I had a Pro turn 160 with an XF1 deck that I used in Northern Grass (TTTF) and subsequently moved to the South where I've mowed St. Augustine, Bermuda, Rye, Kentucky Blue, and **** grass/weeds that I still haven't learned yet. My deck cuts well. Period. Most of my backyard is shitty grass. If you haven't been to Texas, it's hard to get good grass to grow. A month goes by and you'll have grass in sections that's two feet tall. You'll see some stragglers after cutting. Is that expected? In my opinion, yes. Mow it again and the stragglers are gone. Any deck would do the same. The grass is too tall and doesn't have time to stand up to be cut.

I think you're reading into things too much.

Folks get a new machine and it's the best thing since sliced bread. Use it for a year and their opinion is bound to change.

Buy something that is serviced easily in your area. Put good blades on the deck. Personally level or check the level of your deck. Run a minimum 1/4" pitch on the blades. Make sure the underside of your deck is clean. Mow for the given conditions (ie don't mow at 10-12 mph in wet grass and expect great results). The mower should perform well for 80-90% of the conditions.
I absolutely agree with your input on the issue. I never saw a mower that didn't cut great if these elementary "rules" are adhered to. I don't give any weight to decks with fancy names!
 

danell10

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
saginaw, mi
I will throw in my two cents -

1. QOC is very subjective. What looks good for one person may not look great for another.
2. There's a bunch of folks on here that have a hard on for 7 iron decks or Scag/Wright decks touting their QOC - wet or dry. However, you'll see them demo a mower on youtube and the cut looks no better or worse than others in identical conditions.
3. Wet lawns require a double cut to make them presentable in my opinion. When wet lawns aren't double cut, you're compromising quality in regards to time saved. In other words, lawns that are cut with the best deck in wet conditions will STILL look better if double cut.

Now with all of that out of the way, I had a Pro turn 160 with an XF1 deck that I used in Northern Grass (TTTF) and subsequently moved to the South where I've mowed St. Augustine, Bermuda, Rye, Kentucky Blue, and **** grass/weeds that I still haven't learned yet. My deck cuts well. Period. Most of my backyard is shitty grass. If you haven't been to Texas, it's hard to get good grass to grow. A month goes by and you'll have grass in sections that's two feet tall. You'll see some stragglers after cutting. Is that expected? In my opinion, yes. Mow it again and the stragglers are gone. Any deck would do the same. The grass is too tall and doesn't have time to stand up to be cut.

I think you're reading into things too much.

Folks get a new machine and it's the best thing since sliced bread. Use it for a year and their opinion is bound to change.

Buy something that is serviced easily in your area. Put good blades on the deck. Personally level or check the level of your deck. Run a minimum 1/4" pitch on the blades. Make sure the underside of your deck is clean. Mow for the given conditions (ie don't mow at 10-12 mph in wet grass and expect great results). The mower should perform well for 80-90% of the conditions.
I agree 100% with your take on the issue!
 

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