What are the differences between the Gravely xdz X Factor Deck and Hustler XR7

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MJB, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    I am wondering if anyone else sees a resmblence between the 2 decks ? My Super Z has the same type of cutting issues as the Gravely 260 xdz x factor deck I am demoing. I also noticed both decks are tapered deep in the back to shallow in the front. Super Z 6"back 4 3/4 front without the addons for blowout. X factor deck is 5.5 inches back and 4 3/4 front. Both have the blades lower than the baffles toward the front of the deck.

    I'm not impressed with either deck for our northern grasses. To bad I'm running out of mower options up here. I need good mulching mowers.

    These are of the gravely x factor deck.

    hustler vs  Gravely 027.jpg

    hustler vs  Gravely 030.jpg

    hustler vs  Gravely 028.jpg
  2. 02DURAMAX

    02DURAMAX LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,801

    What problems do you have with your XR7??..Im looking in buying one and need it to cut good.
  3. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    Stop mulching and you wont be having these problems. I know that sounds rude but why the hell do people try to mulch? I just dont understand it. Really whats the point of it? I dont know of any mowers that will leave a clean cut in thick northern turf with a mulch kit. We are in MD and I have never seen anybody mulching before and its likely for good reason. It does not work very well on thick fine blade northern turf.

    What is wrong with side discharge? It does not leave much debris as long as the grass isnt super deep. If it does just buzz across a couple stripes that have some debris in them and it disappears. Mulching should be left for the middle of summer when grass is barely growing or in the fall for leaves.
  4. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    Sorry about the rant. I just see so many people asking why there mower doesnt cut clean and come to find out they are mulching. What happens is the mulching blades dont create enough lift to stand the fine blades of grass up to cut them clean. Plus all the grass under the deck from not being thrown out the side creates turbulence and excess grass being recirculated under the deck. Its just a recipe for a bad cut on northern grass. I can see it doing ok down south where the grass is so coarse and stiff that a mower doesnt need to create any lift to cut it clean.
  5. TimsLawnCareVA

    TimsLawnCareVA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    I have the XR7 and use the mulch kit in the fall on leaves and have no problems. I do not use the mulch kit in the summer and have no problems with the deck unless the grass is very tall and then I just run it over twice.
  6. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    I cut primarily tall-fescue and a few bermudagrass lawns. That is the number 1 reason I switched from Hustler to Gravely.

    Do you remember the pics someone posted recently with his Everride deck all clumped up and clogged up underneath? That was my XR-7 practically every day. Especially if it was even the slightest bit wet or moist. I absolutely love the way the X-Factor cuts and stays clean.

    Like ProStreet said, side-discharge is the way to go. It discharges clippings so smooth, their hardly noticeable. My XR-7 would spit out clippings like chewing tobacco.:laugh:
  7. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    I've been in this business for 17 yrs and I side discharge where I can, but I have well over 50% of my lawns where it is not possible. We have a lot of wind and we have to make the clippings dissapear by mulching them up. If I discharging into the wind the clippings go up and end up in people coffee sitting on their porches, or decks. Then I have about 32 units of a large HOA that has very small front yards with white rock beds and water features in some and I'm not blowing grass in these hoa's thats why I've had these contracts for 15 yrs I give em what they want. Furthermore just because you discharge and blow grass ito trees or off property edges, doesn't mean I have the same type of lawns here I don't and I'm not going to use walk behinds. Also all my competitors mulch with Exmark and Grasshopper mowers. We all have a discharge mowers for those lawns that allow it. I was looking for a mulching mower and I never knew the X Factor deck was designed simular to the XR7.
    Both cut the same up here leaving strips mulching but the x factor was worse.

    So I'm not sure it would discharge any better than the xr7, because the xr7 leaves the same strips only worse than when I mulch with it. I'm not trying to bash the Gravely I really like some features but cut quality mulching is not where it needs to be.
    The pic below shows the best cut I got in 2 days of trying and conditions on the little lawn were cutting about an inch. I think the striping kit would of helped here.

    hustler vs  Gravely 021.jpg
  8. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    Both were double cut. Is the striper the only difference ? I have discharged this after fertilizing as long as we had a calm day but way to often we get a 25 mph wind blowing up the hill and I have a lot people frowning and sweeping even though they know I will be around to blow off everything later.
    I also have a lot of commercial jobs with people all around and side discharging with wind and people is just asking for problems or complaints.

    You guys don't know how often I've wanted or wished that I could just mow and blow......just doesn't fit my customer base.

    XR7 Problems 071.jpg

    hustler vs  Gravely 019.jpg
  9. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    True but if I have to doublecut anyway the finish cut should look better than what I got. Unless the stripe kit is the only difference. But I went back out a day later and looked at the lawns I mowed with the Gravely and they were ok maybe for someone new to the business but were not up to our standards.
    The cut was still uneven in places. So I would say the Gravely is overall a very nice mower but is not a fit for my business.

    Positives about it:
    Pretty color..lol my wife threw that in.
    Comfort simular to the Exmark.
    I love the open design for the deck pulleys very easy to clean.
    A very well built machine.
    Customer service.

    1/2 inch deck settings instead of 1/4 inch
    Poor traction backing up, one of my complaints against the Exmark too.
    needs high lift blades to cut cleanly discharging. I've never needed to use the high lifts discharging with the Ultracut deck, just the wavy blades for mulching work fine.
    Mulching ???
    Can't see front of deck when approaching objects to lift over.
  10. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    I gotcha now I didnt realise you guys had so much wind all the time. It sounds like bagging would be the way to go for you guys. I know bagging sucks and I would rather go out of business then I would to bag everything but with the wind you have it seems like the most viable option. You would be happy with a machine that cuts great and the customers would be happy with no debris all over the place and the lawns would always look great no matter what the conditions were.

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