Your opinion on Gravely 40" or 50" mower decks for older walkbehinds

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Ed K, May 23, 2005.

  1. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    I have a gravely from the 60's with a 30" single blade mower.

    I was thinking of buying a 40" double blade or 50" triple blade mower for it if I can find one.

    Anyone have one of these and if so are they as reliable and do they cut as well as the single blade 30" mower

    Thanks

    Ed
     
  2. cutinpony

    cutinpony Active Member

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    I have a C-10 Gravely with a 40" dual blade mower on it that will cut anything that you can push over with it
     

  3. rr

    rr Active Member

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    A 50" deck would be too much for your tractor both in power requirement and difficulty maneuvering. A 40" three-blade deck would be a pain and would require expensive and hard to find framework to mount it (as would the 50"). If your tractor runs well, a good 40" Commercial deck (two blades) would do a nice job altho it might bog some in high grass or weeds.
    Commercial 40" decks aren't hard to find. Try eBay or ask on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/classifiedgravelyads.
    They generally go for between $200 (rough but working) and $500 (good enough to show).
    Oops, I should say that I'm assuming you have a Gravely-engined tractor, not a C-10 or C-10A. Those have the power, are better-balanced and are a more appropriate height for a Commercial 40" and make a great combination, as cutinpony says. Excellent for both heavy stuff and finish mowing.
    rr.
     
  4. Hurricane Kurt

    Hurricane Kurt Well-Known Member

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    I have a 70's commercial 12-A with the 12hp Kohler engine. I have both a single blade deck and a two blade finish mowing deck and have tried a three blade deck. I use the single blade deck for heavy stuff because I don't want to damage the finish mower not because it won't handle it. The finish mowers do a much better job on lawns and short grass than the single blade decks but I think the single blade decks are easier to handle over the tough stuff.

    If you have the 7.6? horse Gravely engine it will probably labor a bit more with a finish deck but I think it would handle it as long you just used it to cut grass/lawn with. I wouldn't go bigger than the two blade deck though.

    For what its worth, I have used the older models many times and they sure do work ya hard. I would rather have commercial model with a Kohler engine and single blade deck than a gravely powered machine with a finish deck any day, no comparison. Especially if you use it in the garden, the difference is like night and day. I would upgrade your machine before upgrading your deck if it were me, it would be money well spent.

    Kurt
     
  5. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    I have a Gravely engined tractor. Is that the one you're sayi ng would be better for the 40" dual blade or the C-10?

    Thanks
     
  6. rr

    rr Active Member

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    The C-10 (actually Convertible 10) and 10A have Kohler k241s rated at 10 horsepower but often capable of a bit more. They and larger-engined tractors -- 12 horsepower and up -- will operate a 40" commercial deck very nicely. It's a finish deck but some of us use them in pretty heavy stuff.
    The Gravely-engined tractors of 6.6 and 7.6 horsepower, altho balanced much better with a 30" DECK, are a little light in the rear with a 40" In addition, the smaller tires tend to make the 40" run a little high in the front, which you fix by raising the front casters, which can cause the rear of the skids to come into play too much. These things aren't major factors, just reasons why certain combinations work better than others.
    Finally coming back from orbit to your question: The Gravely-engined tractors generally have enough power to run a 40" if you don't let the grass get too high or too wet.
    If your tractor is an L-8, C-8 or LI, you'll be better off than if it's an L or an LS.
    You should probably try a 40" on your tractor. A strong tractor with a free-running deck would probably be very satisfactory, a weak tractor with a more power-needy deck might not.
    Where are you? there are swap meets and the like through the season that you might be able to try a deck at. the Pennsylvania-West Virginia-Ohio area is best for those things but they happen elsewhere too.
    One last thing: Altho I haven't tried it with mine, lots of guys say that a 30" with the crossed lightweight finish blades gives a very nice cut. You don't need the cradle with that setup, incidentally, just tighteh the blades to spec.
    Good luck and feel free to ask anything about Gravelys -- i'll have some answers and know where to send you for the rest.
    rr
     
  7. rr

    rr Active Member

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    Then again, as Hurricane Kurt says, getting a Kohler-engined tractor might be a good idea. They made an awful lot of C-10As anc C-12s. Also Professional 12s. (avoid the C-10 unless you understand the difference and think it would fit your needs)So there are plenty available -- usually several on eBay and others wherever quality iron is sold.
    You'd find each is definitely more pleasant to work with depending on the job.
     
  8. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    rr,

    Thanks for the input. I'm in western PA. my Gravely is an L-8. My 30" deck has the lighter weight criscrossed blades. I hit a buried piece of rotten wood with it this weekend and ended up with a twisted blade. Took it off and continued with one light blade but I plan to get one heavy one.

    I hadn't had the Gravely running in 5 years and had't used it heavily in 20 years. It beat me up pull starting it.

    For now I'm going to fix the 30" deck and use that. If I get a chance to run a 40" I might try it before buying one.

    Again

    Thanks