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

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by The Swamp Fox, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,633

    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.
    The Swamp Fox likes this.
  2. OP
    The Swamp Fox

    The Swamp Fox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    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.
  3. primerbulb120

    primerbulb120 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    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?
  4. OP
    The Swamp Fox

    The Swamp Fox LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    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.
  5. primerbulb120

    primerbulb120 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    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.)
    The Swamp Fox likes this.
  6. douglee25

    douglee25 LawnSite Senior Member
    from TX
    Messages: 553

    I'd say that's typical for any deck. On long stringy, weedy type grasses.
  7. mowerjockeyFL

    mowerjockeyFL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Can anyone tell me which baffles are people removing? Is it the 2 forward adjustable ones or the circular baffles under the deck? Any help will be appreciated.
  8. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 22,619

    The two removable baffles. Never remover the ones behind the blades under any circumstance.
  9. danell10

    danell10 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197

    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!
    douglee25 likes this.
  10. danell10

    danell10 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197

    I agree 100% with your take on the issue!
    douglee25 likes this.

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