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Gravely ZT Decision

 
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:01 PM   #1
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Gravely ZT Decision


After looking at other mowers, and ruling out snapper, cub cadet, john deere and ariens, I am settling on the Gravely ZT 42 inch. This three blader with a decent gauge fabricated deck and the Kohler 22 HP 7000 engine.

Lubrication on the wheels are permanently sealed (would rather have zerk) and there is nothing to lube

Will be mowing about a 3/4 to 1 acre lot.

Anyone by chance have one of these? I think this model isn't the one(s) associated with the trouble starting blade and possible choke issues....

Is there another mower in its class that might be better for up to $2800?

A note on exmark - asking a local dealer who makes the exmark engine he said that they make their own. He also told me that they will be no longer supplying their engines in the future, likely using Kohler...




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Old 04-01-2017, 07:05 PM   #2
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Have you looked into the Grass Hoppers?

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Old 04-01-2017, 07:16 PM   #3
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


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Have you looked into the Grass Hoppers?
nice but out of price range
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:51 PM   #4
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Gravely and Ariens are the same basically.

I have a 60" Gravely, heavy use on some acreage, in and out of the shop. Probably go Kubota next time because I have Kubota equipment and I like their service folks locally.

If it was just 3/4 acre I would probably just get a regular mower.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:27 AM   #5
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


I have Gustavo.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:27 PM   #6
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Nice mower the ZTR but went to change the oil and it has the cheapest looking drain plug assembly w/cap that I've ever seen on any engine, wobbles. Female piece looks like cheap plastic too. 24 hp kohler 7000 series.

A little seeping, but the mower is almost brand new. What a place to cut costs...

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Old 08-01-2017, 11:08 AM   #7
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Crappy drains are pretty common. You can spend $10K on a whole house generator, and the $2 drain setup will leak oil all over the place when you change oil.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:01 PM   #8
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Ferris
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:48 AM   #9
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


I have a Dixie Chopper Zee2 5423. 54" cut 23 hp Kohler. It's my first but its been great. Newer models come with Kawasaki or Briggs. Kohler sorted out their issues but I think people were steering clear of the Kohler and it was hurting Dixie's sales. No complaints. Biggest suggestion I hear people give when people ask "what ZT brand should I buy", everyone responds: buy based on the dealer. It will go in for service and you better like dealing with them and the service they provide. I like my Dixie Chopper but not the dealer so much. Xmark is popular here because of Tubb's Hardware. Love the shop and people but not the mowers.
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:26 PM   #10
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


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Ferris
Those are nice, shock absorbers on them too. Dealer down the street carries. They're not cheap either.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:29 AM   #11
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


There is a big difference between residential and commercial grade zero turn mowers, I am thinking in your price range the Gravely is a residential grade which I find odd since it is usually the Ariens that produces that grade mower but if Gravely has a non-commercial Zero then so it is.

Whether I would use a $3000 unit for a 3/4 to 1-acre lot is another story, but with a 42" deck it will likely take you between 1 to 2 hours (1 hour being full stick) as I get an acre mowed with a 60" 25hp in about 30-45 minutes and you might get it done in as little as 45 as well, hard to say.

They're not as easy to operate as it looks, it does take practice. Of importance are the turns, you need to remember to make either 3-point turns (by far the easiest) or to be sure that both wheels are turning (one forward, one reverse) otherwise your inside tire will divot and tear up a spot of turf down to the dirt.

Zeros are best on flat, open terrain. If your yard has steep hills I would opt for something I can walk behind so that if the mower gets away from me I can just step back or aside and let it go. There are few things that allow one's life to flash before the eyes, being on top of a zero turn as it heads for a culvert uncontrolled is one of them. NEVER point a zero down slope, your 'power' wheels are in the back and pointing it down slope shifts the weight to the front and you will have little to no stopping power. ALWAYS point a zero UP slope, sideways may work but it can be tricky as well.

As a closing statement you can get around the oil change issues by doing some research, then running to HD / Lowe's and picking up some short steel pipe extensions in their plumbing department (even with plugs) all for under $10 (picture is of one of my Toros with a 15hp Kohler with just such an extension, these greatly facilitate the dreaded oil change).
p.s.: I believe they are 1/2" extensions but it's been some time since I've done one, they come in various sizes and lengths (and they're not called extensions either, they are "galvanized steel nipples" yes I'm serious).
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:32 AM   #12
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Looking at this ome right now to replace the Gravely. They have good service here and its pretty much an all welded frame, far fewer bolts than the gravely.

My new place has a lot of trees so i am thing of going down to a 54" to get it skinnier. Only 500 more for 60"

Anyone have experiemce with Kubota mowers? I love my 4701

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Old 05-27-2018, 04:56 PM   #13
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


There's a big dealer near me that sells them along with Scag. They sure look heavy duty. My only experience is with the aforementioned Scag. I bought new in 2010 and all the thing has done is start and run. I did have to rebuild the carb once. But that was an ethanol issue and me not using any stabilizer and letting the fuel sit too long.
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:35 PM   #14
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Been almost a year now with about 22 hours and it runs great.

Should last for many years on a residential lot...
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:45 PM   #15
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Quote:
Originally Posted by artinall View Post
Been almost a year now with about 22 hours and it runs great.

Should last for many years on a residential lot...

Good to hear. I hope it serves you well. I personally like Kohler engines. Might sound elementary, but keeping:

-all parts of the mower free of debris(esp the deck)

-Tire pressure

-Well serviced oil

will really make a big difference.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:17 PM   #16
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Quote:
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Anyone have experiemce with Kubota mowers?
I had a Kubota 46" with the Kohler Command engine and it was great. Never a problem over the 6 years I owned it and sold it for about 70% of it's original cost. It was around $6k IIRC, but Kubota's have been great machines for me and I wouldn't hesitate in buying a new one if a good dealer was around.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:26 PM   #17
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumpel View Post
...

-Well serviced oil

will really make a big difference.
Looked at an oil extender for the plastic drain plug at the dealer the other day, that fits in place of the old one and makes changing much easier to get to. Will probably replace on the next go around.

I'm paranoid about the oil drain, and what can happen. Even oil filters these days have such a thin metal skin on them, they tend to crinkle at the slightest overturn.

Last edited by artinall; 06-06-2018 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:27 PM   #18
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


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I had a Kubota 46" with the Kohler Command engine and it was great. Never a problem over the 6 years I owned it and sold it for about 70% of it's original cost. It was around $6k IIRC, but Kubota's have been great machines for me and I wouldn't hesitate in buying a new one if a good dealer was around.
Shoulda hollered sooner. I'm on to doing more rental properties and had my Gravely tuned up

Plan to buy the commercial grade Kubota after this little venture is tidyed away. Thanks for the heads up
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:01 PM   #19
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


Quote:
Originally Posted by artinall View Post
Looked at an oil extender for the plastic drain plug at the dealer the other day, that fits in place of the old one and makes changing much easier to get to. Will probably replace on the next go around.

I'm paranoid about the oil drain, and what can happen. Even oil filters these days have such a thin metal skin on them, they tend to crinkle at the slightest overturn.
Not sure if this relates to what you posted but, I've been using one of these for a few years and love it. Keeps everything oil/mess free.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:55 PM   #20
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Re: Gravely ZT Decision


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I had a Kubota 46" with the Kohler Command engine and it was great. Never a problem over the 6 years I owned it and

sold it for about 70% of it's original cost.

It was around $6k IIRC, but Kubota's have been great machines for me and I wouldn't hesitate in buying a new one if a good dealer was around.
That definately is something to consider about buying a mower that holds its value. Around 1990, my dad bought a G1800 and G1900 mid-mount deck Kubota 3 cylinder diesel for my brother and I to have a lawn business while in middle and high school. The area was rural and not many other ways to learn to work except the grocery store, etc. We put about 1000 hours on each mower between a few accounts in the neighborhood and a few out of the neighborhood. Later he sold them not far off what he gave for them and bought a new Kubota 3 cylinder diesel which he just uses on his 1 acre lot. All three were mid-deck and 54" cut. I have never ridden a ZTR, but if I had children wanting to start a small business or I was going to mow much I would probably get a ZTR. It was a good learning and work experience for us both.

I don't keep up with mowers anymore, but ExMark seems popular for ZTR. A local mechanic for the ExMark dealer said he thinks Hustler are almost as good, though I can neither confirm nor deny that claim

The Grasshopper looks like a good ZTR from what I have seen.

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