Gravely convertable yard thing

A good friend has turned up a couple of Gravely yard tractor things (two wheels like a tiller, with a front PTO for accessories) and a selection of accessories like the cart, a couple of snow blowers a mower and a really amazing tiller driller thing. He’s wondering if I am interested in buying one. These machines are 1957 and 1958 vintage and I am sure they don’t make 'em like this any more. One needs rings because it smokes really bad, and the other has a recently rebuilt engine, but it reportedly jumped time when it was installed to the gearbox, etc. These seem to be pretty powerful single cylinder engines, may be high compression, but I am not sure about the speed and usability of the PTO so do something like power a wood chunker or a generator head… Any ideas or background on this type of yard machine from yesteryear ?

no idea, but depending on price I can’t see why having one around to play with would be a bad thing :slight_smile:

Hi GaryG in NY
Gravely walk behind type tractors are still being made:

The old ones have a loyal cult following:
Be very certain you want to join the following keeping one of the older ones working with it’s special now proprietary engine, magneto ignition versus a newer engine interchangable machine.
Italian BCS’s went through this same transition from their original older now obsolete Acme engines to modern Honda’s, B&S’s and Kohlers.
Engines and even power attchments between most of the older model stuff even within a brand manufacturer will often NOT interchange.
Read, ask much before you leap into this.

Steve Unruh

I checked out the dot com site. Gravely has everything to cut and tend uselessly huge grass patches (lawns) and zip for a productive use of soil- tilling, plowing or gardening.
So typical of some corps idea of survival- send more money, lots more.
Yeah, modern Gravely, hold your breath!
Grab the old ones, at least they have some utilitarian value like tilling, plowing, planting and cultivating. Yes, they also cut grass patches and brush.

Hang on to your hat Pepe,
You can still buy all of these capabilities new today in a BCS or Grillo:

All the digging, plowing, cultivating and harvesting attachment capability is still there.
These are what one of the area rental places rents. One of the local chinsaw shops is always tempting me mightly with thier didpaly unit. Someday after the old Sears chain drive dies.
GaryG the new prices on these will be shocking. 50’s Graveleys and Ariens were the equivilent cost back then in $'s too. A Major decision purchase. I wasn’t trying to put you off acquiring this. Just tring to point out in the last 60 years these types of machines have evolved to be much handier to use, much more economical to fuel and much easier to maintain.

Steve Unruh
PS: Pepe check out the good forged garden hand tools this company has to offer.

Hi Gary, Saw your post on walk behind Gravelys. Let me say, I grew up on them and 50+ years later, I still use them. Your questions also nudged me to put together a video of running my Gravely on charcoal gas. Here is the post I put on my other usergroup and one I’ll also put on the Simple Fire forum.

My air pump FINALLY arrived and with some extra time, I put together a 10 minute video. It shows the Simple-Fire mounted on my Gravely walk behind and the unit that runs it. This was done in one take, so don’t expect much from the filming. The camera is borrowed and not that great, but you should be able to pick up on what is happening. I am really pleased with the battery powered air pump!!! What a great way to start up this style of gasifier. A big THANK YOU to John Rubins who showed me this idea on his Simple-Fire video.
The link is posted on the “Link” section of this forum.

Gary in PA
PS. Pepe, I understand your reaction to mega lawn mowing. Not something I want to spend my time/money doing. Let the trees take over. At least I can enjoy the shade and make charcoal from them!!!

Hey Steve U. I know that Earth Tools guy, he’s in Owenton KY, about 30 miles from here. He exhibited at the KSU farm day where I was showing off the truck. I actually owned a BCS tractor from him until recently. Lombardini diesel, 10HP but really behaved like 13HP it was so torquey. Burned about a pint per hour of fuel at full speed. Had the chipper shredder, bush hog, sickle bar mower, trailer, tiller, rotary plow. Great machine… Much like Gary’s Gravely. Not much use here in town. Sold the attachments back to him, they are practically good as new after 8 years of moderate use. BCS is built to last.

Thanks guys. With the way things are getting in the world, it seems that homestead items will continue to be popular and hold value as long as they are dependable or if you can get parts. I already have multiple yard items but nothing to really do more than cut grass. I could get some use out of a snow blower, a tiller and a blade if they are good in kind of rocky soil I have here.

Gary G in PA, great job with the SimpleFire video and demo. You make it all look so simple. Very capable and practical application. Need to stop for some iced tea every 30 minutes anyway !

Hey Gary. I work on billboards in Florida and we have one of these old Gravelys.It was old when i started there 26 years ago.It needed some repairs off and on, but this is one bad a-- machine! At times i mow weeds 6-8 feet tall and 1"-2" diameter.Parts are around for them.I had a new one in the mid 90’s but it was not the tank the old one was.Very versitile machine.