Gravely Mower Problems

MikeVajdaAugust 26, 2013

Earlier this year purchased new Gravely(Ariens) ZT-34 from local dealer for $2.3K.
Dealer installed Gravely mulch kit sold by Gravely for this machine.

This machine does not mulch or cuts the grass properly. It just mauls the grass.
Large clumps of grass are uncut even after several passes.
Does not develop vacuum necessary for the job, does not even pick up leaves.

Below are excerpts from the VERY frustrating exchange trying to get help.
Net: Machine DOES NOT DO JOB #1, it is MY PROBLEM.

Picture after repeated passes.

Q: (My note to Gravely Customer Support)
The lawn I have is brand new, planted about three months ago.
Good topsoil, well drained, flat, open space.
I have several issues:
1. I mow at mid height-level setting and the grass in the middle of the two blades is not cut, it just gets mangled.
2. The wheels flatten the grass (unavoidably) and they stay flat after I go over them. So most don�t get cut .
3. The machine does not pick up and chop leaves on the grass. I just don�t see any vacuum developing.
4. Even though I only mow when the grass is dry the
cuttings are largely not driven back into the grass.
They just stick to the carriage and eventually are disgorged in big blobs.
5. I drive VERY slow while mowing and go over two to three times in different directions.
The results still look very poor.
6. At the same height setting my Craftsman 22" push ($130 12 years ago) mower does just fine. It just takes forever.

In every other way the ZT-34 seems to be a fine machine except doing Job 1.
To me this is an expensive machine and I expect more.

A: (Response from Gravely Customer Support)
Please remember, even though there is a mulching kit available for this deck, does not mean it is a superior mulcher, but more like a basic mulcher.

Are you recommending that I give up on mulching with the ZT-34?

No, I think you need to try mulching with the original hi-lift blade, that came with the machine. Take the mulch blades off and try it.

As I have it now this machine does not do the job it was sold to do.
Unless you help me with this I fear I have been had.

This mower cannot "by design" be a superior mulcher. We do not advertise it as a superior mulcher.
Please keep in mind, I am here to help you out.
There is no other blade, but the ones you have.

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New grass tends to be sort of limp and flexible, it gets stiffer with age. Maybe the quality of the cut will improve next year.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 2:25PM
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ericwi is wise. New lawn is way different that an established lawn. Look at the bag of seed. Perennials and annuals are in the same bag. I have no clue if the Gravely will meet you needs. How does it do on an established lawn? Are there aftermarket blades available that may help if it still needs help?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 2:17AM
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It may be worth noting, and I'm not saying this is your problem, but if the blades were installed upside down, it could cause your issues.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:45PM
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