X-Factor Deck QOC?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mtmower, May 3, 2012.

  1. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,829

    I may be wrong about this, and someone can correct me if I am, but I believe that Gravely has had tunnel decks for some time now, in addition to the std X Factor deck design.

    Yes, my CUT has a wide discharge opening, and a deep tunnel. To answer both you and Razorblades (who I knew would post:laugh:), it may be true that you can't say that all tunnel decks are equal, but all you need to do is look at the gravely design to see it isn't much different from the deck on my CUT. BTW Razorblades, I've also owned Toro tunnel decks, so I'm not comparing only Deere decks.

    Maybe I wasn't as specific as I should have been before, so let me say this another way- a tunnel deck can and will cut cleanly, and can handle tall thick grass as long as the power is there to run it, but when the grass is long and/or thick, and especially when damp, the full depth decks just handle the cut material better because there's far more room for it under the deck. You will normally see a much better discharge pattern (ie; even spread out, less to no clumping, and much more finely chopped clippings, though some decks like the V+ send the clippings out fairly long too) with a full depth deck because of the fact that it can handle more material at one time, providing the discharge openings and blades etc are all equal.

    There's a good reason that the full depth deck has become the industry standard on commercial machines. If the tunnel deck were equal to, or superior to a full depth deck for high material volume cutting at speed, you can bet the industry would be using them instead, or at least offering them as an option on commercial Z's, which they aren't outside of Gravely.
  2. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    IMO, the main reasons for the full depth deck being the "Industry Standard" on commmercial mowers is not because they excel at cutting tall,thick grass at high speed, it's because they are more versatile, being able to Side discharge, mulch or use a bagger with. Also because they chop up the clippings more doesn't hurt either.

    What actual percent of Commercial ZTs sold do you think are sold with the MOST important reason being because of how well they cut tall, thick grass?
    Less than 20%, I'd say.

    Why don't you see if you can find an Everride Warrior or a Gravely Pro Ride to demo, use borrow rent etc... next to your JD ZT. That is what I did in the summer with the Scag Wildcat. I know what my experience was between the two. Wouldn't you say that hte Velocity plus deck will discharge as well, if not better in tall,thick grass than a JD 7 Iron. Ive read quite a few pepoles experiences that have used both that have said the Velocity plus discharges a little better than the 7 iron in those conditions.

    I just think that you're wrong to assume that the Pro Ride or EverRide Warrior will perform nearly the same as the other Tunnel decks that you've used in the past. You could be right but until you've tried the EverRide Gravely deck side by side with your JD, you just don't know for sure. I bet the EverRide Pro Ride deck also has a good bit larger opening than the JD or Toro tunnel decks.

    Sorry guys, for hijacking the thread but I will defend my experiences against others that make generalizations about certain types of equipment that my experiences didn't bear out the same results that are claimed by others.
  3. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,829

    I have never once seen either of those two machines anywhere- ever, and we used to do a lot of long distance driving on weekends before it got too expensive. They must not have been popular in this area, or I'm sure I'd have seen at least one or two by now. I doubt a demo is forthcoming.

    BTW- the discharge on mu CUT's deck is very close to the size of the one on my Z. I'll have to measure it today if I get the chance, but it's close, and the Deere Z's have huge discharge openings. I really don' believe that the V+ discharges any better than the Deere Pro deck. It does leave the clippings longer though.

    You may be right about why the manu's use full depth decks, but going by the info they post on either their sites, or in their brochures, they use the full depth decks for the reason I stated above- being able to process large amounts of grass at faster speeds.

    I have had mulching kits for many tunnel decks and still do have one for my CUT deck. I also have had several baggers for them, and they both work perfectly with a tunnel deck. In fact, I'd say that the mulch kit is one area that the tunnel deck is superior to the full depth deck. At least it has been so far IME.

    I would say that you are certainly in the minority in this industry as far as your opinion. If not, like I said, we'd see far more tunnel decks being used by the manu's. Yes, there are always exceptions to every rule, but it would take posting pages and pages of stuff to compare each brand and type of deck in detail, so most of us post about things particular topic like in general, not specifics.

    It's amazing. I haven't seen you post here for quite some time now, but one little mention of a tunnel deck and, POOF!! there you are! Now I know how to get in touch with you if I ever need to.:laugh:
  4. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    I've read where the older EverRide's did pretty well bagging with their setup that was used on the gen 1& 2, which were the ones that used the Kohler 27 and kaw 25 (old rating) hp. Those baggers used a blower setup that was driven off of the pto clutch. In other words, it wasn't mounted at the deck.

    I don't have much experience with mulching with a commercial mower so i can't really offer any useful info about mulching. I do have the full mulching kit for my Lastec, but haven't used it.

    You may be right about the full depth decks with the large discharge openings being able to Process huge amounts of grass at a high speed better than tunnel decks. I just know that I have not experienced the superiority of the full depth deck in my particular weekend of using both side by side. However, I was testing them in the middle of a drought and very hot temps. I wanted to specifically test them in the "tougher cutting conditions" of the hot summer on the bahia I have to cut. I cut some weekly, biweekly and the very overgrown yard that weekend, so as to get a variety of heights and thickness of the grass.

    For what it's woth, I never had any discharge, cutting clean or clumping issues this year with the Pro Ride when cutting at a high speed, even before the drought.

    I'm used my opinion being in the minority on serveral topics. Maybe that makes me wrong on them, huh. It doesn't bother me (obviously) to go "against the grain, or popular sentiment" when I choose the equipment and mower brands/models that I do. Yes, it would be alot "easier" to go with the safe, popular, most reputable brands every time I purchased equipment. But I think that there are less popular brands of equipment out there that will do as good of a job as the most popular brands will do.

    What is amazing is that I was able to buy the Gravely Pro Ride only 9 miles from my house and also be able to demo an EverRide Warrior a few years ago, only 25 miles from my house. It is amazing that there are no dealers around you in a state with a lot larger population than my state for these Brands. I thought i read in another thread that you were going to demo a Gravely Pro Stance. But you couldn't arrange for a demo (not that you should) of a Pro Ride from the same dealer?

    I read threads in Lawnsite every day or night, I just don't post that much unless it is about topics that I have experience with or occasionally just an opinion on or maybe a question. I'm only 52 years old and while I have been cutting "part time" for about 10-11 yrs now, I just don't have the amount experience that alot of you have. So I keep my opinions to myself on those topics that I don't have experience or at least some 2nd hand knowledge with. I like to read you guys posts on the topics of interest to me. I enjoy them but don't always agree, but that's OK.

    BTW, if you need to get in touch with me, there is this great user cp feature called the PM:laugh:.
    Enjoyed the discussion.
    Have a good day RG.:)
  5. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,829

    I did my demo of the Gravely ProStance today, and psoted a review if you care to look at it at all. I may have been able to get a demo on the ProRide, but since I have a fairly new Z, and am only interested in the stander right now, that was all I asked for. I did ask the saleman who brought it out to me what all machines of Gravley's they carried in stock, and he ran down the list and it coverad a lot of them, but IIRC the ProRide was not one of them.

    I'm not very computer savvy. User CP, PM, what the heck are you talking about?!? Guess I'll have to google them.:laugh::laugh:
  6. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111


    Once again Gravely/Ariens exceeds my expectations as a company. Wed. was the third visit the reps made (including the demo) to look at my situation this time bringing the head of commercial development. The second visit they even brought out an identical 460 to do a side-by-side with. We did quite a bit of testing. We reinstalled a front baffle kit that I had tried before, repitched the deck at one point 1/2" just to see (back down to 1/4" now), and tried a sixth blade type, which we spaced down lower in the deck. I've never had a company get this involved to help solve problems. My hats off to them.

    For anyone having less than a perfect cut they introduced me to the most aggressive high lift blade I've seen for the 460. It's a Stens, 2.5", flat, notched, high lift that has even more lift wing length then Oregon's most aggressive blade according to Dennis at Oregon. This blade is aggressive enough I'm actually hearing my FX921V work a little for the first time. My grass is going dormant (may have one to two weeks of cutting left) so I don't have the correct conditions any longer to test thoroughly. I'm now cutting shorter, and with all the above mentioned it is doing somewhat better in the lift department which is to be expected somewhat when lowering the deck. This blade is throwing clippings now like my XR7 with the VX4 high lift blades. The down side I see is that I have more clippings that need blown around after the fact not unlike my XR7. It's not as sever but noticeable. Some of this again is due to cutting shorter and the lifting of previous uncut grasses.

    As far as deck depth is concerned, I brought this up to the reps/development head, and they verified that it's being used now across the board with most all mowers. It provides the needed space for the mass of clippings traveling through the deck to make the trip without negatively effecting the grass coming into the deck to be cut. In a shallower deck the clipping volume may reduce lift and fight the incoming grasses to be cut.

    Depending how things go I've been considering seeing if I could install a set of Flex Forks on my 460. The ride would then be.....
  7. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    I'm not surprised one bit that Gravely is helping you out! Hope you get it all worked out. Did the Rep tell you about the new X-Factor deck coming out in the spring? It will have a bigger discharge opening and adjustable front skirt!!
  8. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    Now that is what you call customer service! Out of curiosity what is the part number to the ultra high lift blade? I have a few lawns including my own that my 160 and 460 simply will not lift the grass in the tire tracks to cut it cleanly. Our grass is still growing well here for now and I would be willing to buy and try a set before everything slows down in a few weeks.

    Its not 355-331 is it? Stens shows 8 blades that are 20.5" long with a 5/8 center hole.

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  9. mtmower

    mtmower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,111

    Sorry to take so long getting back to you. It is indeed the 335331. As of now it's cutting cleaner, putting more clippings out that in some cases is enough of a problem that I need to blow them around afterward, and getting more grass collecting under the deck as a result. It's hard to say how much of the change in QOC is due to the set up now or due to my grass drying up and going dormant, along with cutting lower now.
  10. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,289

    335331 is a 33" long blade for a snapper. ;)

    So it is the one I posted? I might order a set to try out myself.

Share This Page