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  1. #21
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    158
    Location
    Mid, Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3540 w/ LA514 FEL, 66" QA Bucket, 48" QA Forks, 7' RB, 18" Ripper, Ferris IS2000z ZTR

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    The mower has been great...love everything about it. I got it this past spring with the Kawasaki engine and 61" deck and suspension seat for $8800 with 4yrs and 0% financing. At the time it was labeled as a 27HP, but due to new regs and labeling standards, it's listed as I think 25.5HP now. Either way it's the same engine and has a ton of power. I even got a little hitch to put on the back of it and have used it to haul around an 8 cuft trailer I have. We've got 10 acres here, and it is pretty rolling with about 30' difference in height between the highs and lows on our property. I cleared an acre this past summer and had to collect quite a bit of fist sized rocks and just about filled that trailer. It pulled the trailer around on the hills without any trouble at all. (I've even heard people with my unit say they use it to pull their ski boat out of the water.) The machine ways about 1200lbs and the suspension system works really nice. I understand your point about the extra moving parts as a concern for failure, but it is really quite a robust set up. Only things on the suspension that I could see as being a problem would be the shocks or the ball joint, but this is pretty similar to what is on our vehicles and they go about 100K miles before needing serviced. So, I don't have any concern here. Also, I figure this suspension will save more wear and tear on the machine than it will cause as I said it is quite heavy. My parents have an older JD lawn tractor that weighs about 400lbs and doesn't even go half the speed of this machine and as I turned one time the weld holding the right front tire on split and the tire came right off the rocker arm. I welded it back up so no big deal. My parents yard is smooth and flat, but with how quick these ztrs move and change direction, I wouldn't want to go with just a solid frame. Hope this helps a little. Oh, not sure if the wheel base is any narrower on the smaller decks, but it does have a wide wheel base which can cause scalping and I would think this would be the case no matter the deck width. Either way, I don't have any problems with scalping though and our property rolls a lot. Just have to plan sometimes like how to get in and out of the ditch with it. The ditch is about 10-12 feet across and 4-5 foot deep. With its wide wheelbase I can mow the ditch and drive sideways though it or up and down without trouble.

  2. #22
    Silver Member djdicetn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    181
    Location
    Mt. Juliet, TN
    Tractor
    2012 Gravely Pro Turn 152

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    Quote Originally Posted by RDKLawn View Post
    Hi Djdicetn, I have looked at alot of mower myself and weed some out like hustler due to fact of dealer I bought a snapper from them last year and people must have been messing with self propel handle with not running and screwed and it up I took it in for them to fix iot under warranty and they didn't want to fix it right so I ended up spending another $100.00 on the mower and fixed it myself, and I don't want to have a $5000-$7000 dollar item and have trouble get warranty done on it he also sells Dixon. Also my other dealer that sells kubota and Badboy I can't even get prices out of them for the mower I want and same goes for John Deere dealer here, If I can't even get good service to buy I can't imagine how service would be for fixing a mower. With all that being said I bought Stihl equipment from my Gravely dealer and there very professional and have been in business for a long time and I know there not going no where. I really appreciate your input. How do you like your Gravely? Does the hydraulics seem strong? Motor seem to have enough HP? Are the hydraulics sloppy at all? Thank you again!!

    Ryan
    RDKLawn,
    Like you said at the beginning.....there are a LOT of good commercial-grade ZTR's out there and the other brands being mentioned fall into that category. I did not look at the Ferris line but have heard good things about them(I don't know about the Ferris prices but it seems like they are similar to the Wright's that I did look at, but the Wright's were way out of my "budget"). My Gravely dealer also carries Scaggs which again are top-of-the-line commercial mowers, but they too exceeded the amount of money I was willing to spend. On the spindles....my Gravely's XL cast-iron spindles(with a solid 1" shaft) are NOT greasable(sealed bearings) and it took a lot of discussion to convince me to not look for spindles with grease fittings. But something I learned during the analysis of different mowers was that MANY mowers that have greasable mandrels "have sealed bearings" and the manufacturer gives owners a "placebo effect feeling" that the owners are "maintaining the bearings" by religiously greasing them when in fact they are filling the spindle housing "around the bearings" with grease and none of that grease EVER touches a ball bearing. Ask around while you are shopping and some of the "honest" dealers will "fess up" with a somewhat red face that their "greasable spindles" do NOT extend the life of the ball bearings. After I found that out(and because the Gravely had a 3year warranty on the spindles) I became more comfortable with buying a high-dollar machine without greasable mandrels!!!! Now to answer some of your questions...I've only got 6 hours on my Gravely but so far I absolutely LOVE IT!!!! It is VERY "solid"(hydraulics, deck and mower materials/construction) and has plenty of power with just a 22hp Kawasaki FX691V(horsepower ain't "everything"). Also, my old Craftsman 54" lawn tractor needed a mulch kit to keep from leaving huge piles of grass clippings and I was going to get one for the Gravely. My dealer told me to "wait until you have used it first" because this ZTR is in a different class of machines(blade tip speed) than that lawn tractor. I've mowed my yard(a little over an acre) about 10 times and have yet to see the first grass clipping when done(without a mulch kit). Also, I really HATED having to clean the grass clippings and dirt buildup from under my Craftsman lawn tractor's deck after mowing every time(if I didn't it would most likely throw a belt next time I used it). When I'm done mowing with the Gravely and look underneath at the inside of the deck......I see a "green stain" but not the first sign of clumps of grass clipping and dirt buildup. I love that about it too. Now, the bottom line(which if you are like me is the MOST important)....and that is cost. My 2012 Gravely's MSRP was $7199 plus tax(approximately $7,782.93). I offered my dealer $6,800 "out-the-door" with me picking it up and he didn't even hesitate to accept my offer(that's almost $1,000 off!!!). As I understand it, the 2013 Pro-Turn 152 has gone up to $7,499 MSRP( which even makes my deal $300 sweeter). Of course I was fortunate to have the money to "pay cash" from an early retirement employer buyout that I had set back which helped me "negotiate" a better "out-the-door" sales price. But what I'm saying is don't be afraid to offer a dealer 10-15% less than his first asking price and go from there. Hope I've helped some more with this info.

  3. #23
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    158
    Location
    Mid, Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3540 w/ LA514 FEL, 66" QA Bucket, 48" QA Forks, 7' RB, 18" Ripper, Ferris IS2000z ZTR

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    The bearings on the Ferris spindles are greasable. Pump the grease in and it goes through the bearing. No sealed bearings in these ones.

  4. #24
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    10
    Location
    Fort Myers
    Tractor
    Husqvarna 2454

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeToys View Post
    SCAG I own 2 with 0 problems run them everyday with 1100hrs on 1 and 700hrs on the other and about to buy a third.

    With whatever mower you decide make sure you get it with a Kawasaki. Or a diesel.
    Hi Orange Toys, I did check on the scag but to get comparable to the machines I'm looking at there alot more than the rest. But I know alot of the highway cutters here all they use is scag. Thank you for your input!!

    Ryan

  5. #25
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    10
    Location
    Fort Myers
    Tractor
    Husqvarna 2454

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    Quote Originally Posted by djdicetn View Post
    RDKLawn,
    Like you said at the beginning.....there are a LOT of good commercial-grade ZTR's out there and the other brands being mentioned fall into that category. I did not look at the Ferris line but have heard good things about them(I don't know about the Ferris prices but it seems like they are similar to the Wright's that I did look at, but the Wright's were way out of my "budget"). My Gravely dealer also carries Scaggs which again are top-of-the-line commercial mowers, but they too exceeded the amount of money I was willing to spend. On the spindles....my Gravely's XL cast-iron spindles(with a solid 1" shaft) are NOT greasable(sealed bearings) and it took a lot of discussion to convince me to not look for spindles with grease fittings. But something I learned during the analysis of different mowers was that MANY mowers that have greasable mandrels "have sealed bearings" and the manufacturer gives owners a "placebo effect feeling" that the owners are "maintaining the bearings" by religiously greasing them when in fact they are filling the spindle housing "around the bearings" with grease and none of that grease EVER touches a ball bearing. Ask around while you are shopping and some of the "honest" dealers will "fess up" with a somewhat red face that their "greasable spindles" do NOT extend the life of the ball bearings. After I found that out(and because the Gravely had a 3year warranty on the spindles) I became more comfortable with buying a high-dollar machine without greasable mandrels!!!! Now to answer some of your questions...I've only got 6 hours on my Gravely but so far I absolutely LOVE IT!!!! It is VERY "solid"(hydraulics, deck and mower materials/construction) and has plenty of power with just a 22hp Kawasaki FX691V(horsepower ain't "everything"). Also, my old Craftsman 54" lawn tractor needed a mulch kit to keep from leaving huge piles of grass clippings and I was going to get one for the Gravely. My dealer told me to "wait until you have used it first" because this ZTR is in a different class of machines(blade tip speed) than that lawn tractor. I've mowed my yard(a little over an acre) about 10 times and have yet to see the first grass clipping when done(without a mulch kit). Also, I really HATED having to clean the grass clippings and dirt buildup from under my Craftsman lawn tractor's deck after mowing every time(if I didn't it would most likely throw a belt next time I used it). When I'm done mowing with the Gravely and look underneath at the inside of the deck......I see a "green stain" but not the first sign of clumps of grass clipping and dirt buildup. I love that about it too. Now, the bottom line(which if you are like me is the MOST important)....and that is cost. My 2012 Gravely's MSRP was $7199 plus tax(approximately $7,782.93). I offered my dealer $6,800 "out-the-door" with me picking it up and he didn't even hesitate to accept my offer(that's almost $1,000 off!!!). As I understand it, the 2013 Pro-Turn 152 has gone up to $7,499 MSRP( which even makes my deal $300 sweeter). Of course I was fortunate to have the money to "pay cash" from an early retirement employer buyout that I had set back which helped me "negotiate" a better "out-the-door" sales price. But what I'm saying is don't be afraid to offer a dealer 10-15% less than his first asking price and go from there. Hope I've helped some more with this info.
    Djdicetn, Thank you so much for your input and really am glad you have a pro turn 152 because it gives me a honest review of it. I've learned a while back when I replaced the spindles on my Husqvarna that greasable don't always mean that grease goes to bearing because on those spindles the bearings are sealed and one guy told me the grease kind of helps just keep bearings cooled a little. I really appreciate your input!!!

    Ryan

  6. #26
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    10
    Location
    Fort Myers
    Tractor
    Husqvarna 2454

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilY View Post
    The bearings on the Ferris spindles are greasable. Pump the grease in and it goes through the bearing. No sealed bearings in these ones.
    PhilY, Thank you for the review of the Ferris I'm gonna go this monday and take a good look at them and see. Thank you!!

    Ryan

  7. #27
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    158
    Location
    Mid, Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3540 w/ LA514 FEL, 66" QA Bucket, 48" QA Forks, 7' RB, 18" Ripper, Ferris IS2000z ZTR

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    Your Welcome...hopefully all of our experiences help you out!

  8. #28
    Silver Member djdicetn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    181
    Location
    Mt. Juliet, TN
    Tractor
    2012 Gravely Pro Turn 152

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilY View Post
    The bearings on the Ferris spindles are greasable. Pump the grease in and it goes through the bearing. No sealed bearings in these ones.
    PhilY,
    No doubt that some of the "higher-end" brand ZTR's like the Ferris indeed "grease the bearings"!! But as user RDKLawn eluded to about the Husqvarna(and I also discovered is the same on a Dixon DX100 "Commercial ZTR".....now made by Husqvarna) you have to ask dealers that "tough question" and hope for an honest answer. Also, there is an argument that spindles with aluminum housings are better than cast-iron because they "dissipate the heat that builds up better"....but the consensus of my reasearch didn't support that. Most of the "really good Commercials" always have cast-iron spindle housings.

  9. #29
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    158
    Location
    Mid, Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3540 w/ LA514 FEL, 66" QA Bucket, 48" QA Forks, 7' RB, 18" Ripper, Ferris IS2000z ZTR

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    I would agree the aluminum probably would dissipate/spread heat evenly a little better. (Thinking of how it's used as a center layer in a lot of pots/pans for the stove for this reason, too.) However, I wouldn't think any temps that these spindles would see would be a concern for either type of metal as long as the bearings are still working. As for the commercial guys, I bet they like the cast iron ones for when they hit those obstacles that I am sure are plentiful in the types of jobs they get. I'd much rather mess up a blade then have to replace a spindle because it was made out of a softer metal.

    On another note, one of the main things I learned when searching for a mower was the difference in quality of hydraulic pumps between the residential and commercial models. Usually, the residential ones have integrated units like where you may have one pump and two wheel motors all in the same assembly. Where as, the commercial ones have two separate motors and two separate pumps. I learned the main benefit of this was a reduction in the components' and the hydraulic oil temp, which helps the longevity of the system. In researching who the makers where, I found there are really only two manufactures out there for the hydraulic systems. As for engines, there are only 3 contenders. So, the question I asked myself then is what really is the difference from one brand to the next. To me it seems more like ergonomics and customer service. I think all the commercial mowers are great systems and will take care of someone who's going to just use it at home equally well.

  10. #30
    Silver Member djdicetn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    181
    Location
    Mt. Juliet, TN
    Tractor
    2012 Gravely Pro Turn 152

    Default Re: Need Help new ZTR??

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilY View Post
    I would agree the aluminum probably would dissipate/spread heat evenly a little better. (Thinking of how it's used as a center layer in a lot of pots/pans for the stove for this reason, too.) However, I wouldn't think any temps that these spindles would see would be a concern for either type of metal as long as the bearings are still working. As for the commercial guys, I bet they like the cast iron ones for when they hit those obstacles that I am sure are plentiful in the types of jobs they get. I'd much rather mess up a blade then have to replace a spindle because it was made out of a softer metal.

    On another note, one of the main things I learned when searching for a mower was the difference in quality of hydraulic pumps between the residential and commercial models. Usually, the residential ones have integrated units like where you may have one pump and two wheel motors all in the same assembly. Where as, the commercial ones have two separate motors and two separate pumps. I learned the main benefit of this was a reduction in the components' and the hydraulic oil temp, which helps the longevity of the system. In researching who the makers where, I found there are really only two manufactures out there for the hydraulic systems. As for engines, there are only 3 contenders. So, the question I asked myself then is what really is the difference from one brand to the next. To me it seems more like ergonomics and customer service. I think all the commercial mowers are great systems and will take care of someone who's going to just use it at home equally well.
    PhilY,
    Yeah, the cast-iron spindles also ensure "durability" for potential foreign objects as you eluded to. I was convinced by dealers for several brands that the longevity of the cast-iron with sealed bearings would not be a "shorter lifespan" than the aluminum "greasable spindles" because their construction was designed for commercial applications(very similar to the huge underbelly/pull behind "real tractor" deck applications) and the main benefit was "less maintenance between jobs and being built-to-to-last).
    The big "selling point" I got on the unitized HydroGear trannies versus the separate pump/motor trannies was the absence of all of the necessary hydraulic hoses on the separate units posing more potential for "developing a leak" from hitting something or age. Knowing as much about the evolution of ZTR trannies as I did....I couldn't argue with them on that. Maybe someone with "repair experience" on the two different kinds of tranny setups will chime in and enlighten us. Yeah, I think I saw Parker & HydroGear as the two big players in ZTR trannies.
    On the engines, I consistently got advice that the Kawasaki's were the most dependable, followed by Kohler(except for the Courage line) and then Briggs and Stratton. I was always a big B & S fan(because of a 16hp Vanguard I had on a lawn tractor that lasted 20 years....until the deck fell apart, but the engine was still like brand new). But my next lawn tractor(Craftsman built by Husqvarna) had a 24hp Intek B & S and I wouldn't give you a dollar for a truckload of those.....couldn't hold a candle to the Vangusrd series). So when I bought my ZTR I looked for the Kawa FX series(I learned that the FX=Commercial, FS=Heavy Duty and FR=Residential). Only time will tell(and like you said religous maintenance) to see if I made a good decision on the engine.

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