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View Full Version : Ferris IS1500Z v. Exmark Lazer HP


graystone
04-11-2005, 11:10 AM
Hello everyone. I am new to the site and have a question about zero turn mowers. I own a farm and mow approximately seven or eight acres. Some of the terrain is slightly hilly and bumpy. I am looking to purchase a new zero turn mower to cut down my mowing time and have narrowed the search to two models. I would appreciate everyone's opinion on which is the best option. The two options are:

Ferris IS 1500Z - 52 inch deck with a 25HP Kawasaki

Exmark Lazer Z HP - 52 inch deck with a 23 HP Kawasaki

I was quoted a price of $6800 for the Ferris and $7500 for the Exmark. Do you think these are fair prices? Which is the better machine? The dealer also has a used (90 hours) Exmark Lazer Z HP (52 in /23 Kohler) for $6300. It has one year left on the warranty.

I would greatly appreciate your input. Thank you.

gruberlawncare
04-11-2005, 01:07 PM
hey there i did alot of research i found hat for the money go exmark it lasts alot longer and its realabilty is awsome i bought a exmark lazer and i love it

026TB4U
04-11-2005, 01:09 PM
I just picked up my 1500Z 21hp/48" this weekend for my 20 acre farm. I am using it where my tractor-pulled finish mower can't go, like where I have heavy pines and around trees and to trim along fence lines.

I can tell you mine cuts great including the heavy stuff. I used it on some serious brush/pine needles and it easily chewed it up. I don't have any hills (Florida) but I do have bumpy terrain and it works awesome. The suspension works really well.

I was looking at Exmark as well as Hustler and I think for the money, the Ferris is a great deal. But to me the mower on a suspension to absorb shock makes more sense then a suspension seat absorbing the shock while the rest of the mower gets punished.

Good luck.

TClawn
04-11-2005, 02:26 PM
I would get the exmark with the 23 kohler. my dealer has had tons of problems with kawasaki's. he's done 3 reborings of the cylinders while he's done nothing on the kohlers. also with the kawasaki's you have to bring them in after the first 50 hours to have the cylinder gap adjusted.

the kawi's are really fine tunned machines, but they can't handle any contaminants that get in to the system.

graystone
04-12-2005, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the advice. A dealer is going to drop off the Ferris tonight for me to test. He is also going to bring a one year old Ferris IS 3000 with a 61 inch deck and a 27HP Kohler. It has 115 hours on it. The dealer is asking $6900 for it. Does that sound like a good deal. Should I be concerned about buying a slightly used machine with low hours on it? Why would someone trade in a mower with so few hours on it?

I hope to test the Exmark later this week. Thanks again for the input.

026TB4U
04-12-2005, 12:15 PM
Thanks for the advice. A dealer is going to drop off the Ferris tonight for me to test. He is also going to bring a one year old Ferris IS 3000 with a 61 inch deck and a 27HP Kohler. It has 115 hours on it. The dealer is asking $6900 for it. Does that sound like a good deal. Should I be concerned about buying a slightly used machine with low hours on it? Why would someone trade in a mower with so few hours on it?

I hope to test the Exmark later this week. Thanks again for the input.

When I was looking at mowers, my dealer had a 2003 IS3000 27/61 and it was offered to me at $7099. It was never registered and carried the full warranty. It was stored outside and looked a little rough and had a bad paint touch-up job. The IS3000 was too big for me or I probably would have taken it. $6900 seems high for that machine you're referencing or the one I saw was a great deal.

Why someone would get rid of it is a good question. One you may never find the true answer to.

Keep us posted on what you think of the Ferris. Are they bringing a 52" 1500Z?

Spirit Lanwcare
04-12-2005, 12:36 PM
Buy the ExMark!

Better machine for a little more money. The new Ferris IS 1500 is a homeowner toy compared to the Lazer HP!

026TB4U
04-12-2005, 12:59 PM
The new Ferris IS 1500 is a homeowner toy compared to the Lazer HP!

Have you actually driven and compared the two? The 1500Z is definitely not a homeowners toy.

Also, the HP does not come with a suspension seat and graystone said he has bumpy terrain, so a suspension seat or a suspension would be a must.

Graystone is doing the right thing and testing on site. Please get back to us with your findings. I'm interested to know if the Ferris is a toy. :rolleyes:

Tvov
04-12-2005, 01:26 PM
also with the kawasaki's you have to bring them in after the first 50 hours to have the cylinder gap adjusted.
.

??? I have never heard of that. Is this in the owner's manual? Or did someone tell you that?

Our Ferris 3000IS (61", 25hp Kawasaki) has been great. I think there is 500 hours on it. Full suspension makes a huge difference. I don't think I'll buy another mower without suspension.

Exmark makes excellent machines also.

But the suspension does it for me. And for my guys, they argue over who gets to run the Ferris.

Spirit Lanwcare
04-12-2005, 05:31 PM
Have you actually driven and compared the two? The 1500Z is definitely not a homeowners toy.

Also, the HP does not come with a suspension seat and graystone said he has bumpy terrain, so a suspension seat or a suspension would be a must.

Graystone is doing the right thing and testing on site. Please get back to us with your findings. I'm interested to know if the Ferris is a toy. :rolleyes:

Drove them both and had them side by side.

The ExMark has a stronger frame, bigger tires, better pumps and motors etc.etc. You can add a suspension seat.

The frame on the IS1500 is much lighter and looks like a homeowner mower. You can't put a mower out for hundreds of dollars less than their other models without cutting corners. You get what you pay for!

Overall quality goes to the Lazer HP!

Travis Followell
04-12-2005, 05:44 PM
I think you should get the Ferris. If you have rough ground than 4 wheel suspension is what you need. We just bought a new IS 3000 and the suspension really helps out a lot with the ride and the cut and the IS 1500 is definately not a homeowners toy. I would take one over an Exmark anyday.

TClawn
04-12-2005, 06:29 PM
travis, my dealer told me that. I remember a guy on lawnsite having a question about it either. I don't think you void the warranty, but I'm not sure. the main beef I have with kawasaki is their engines run so smooth they can't handle anything in the fuel system or oil system. really great engines, but their touchy if you get what I mean. if your the only one using that machine and you can make sure that proper maintenance is done every time, it will last a long time if not, the dealer will love you. payup

Spirit Lanwcare
04-12-2005, 07:09 PM
I think you should get the Ferris. If you have rough ground than 4 wheel suspension is what you need. We just bought a new IS 3000 and the suspension really helps out a lot with the ride and the cut and the IS 1500 is definately not a homeowners toy. I would take one over an Exmark anyday.

OK...toy was too harsh.

The IS1500 is a lighter duty piece of equipment with a price that's aimed at homeowners.

Better??

Drew Gemma
04-12-2005, 08:36 PM
go with the ferris with out adoubt i like exmark but ferris ztrs are a bit better

026TB4U
04-13-2005, 07:21 AM
You can add a suspension seat.


That was my point. The HP doesn't come with one and he'll have to add it which costs more money.

graystone
04-13-2005, 11:51 AM
Well, I tested some mowers last night. The Ferris dealer brought over a new IS1500Z and a used IS3000Z (515 hours). In my opinion both are very capable machines and do not appear to be homeowner “toys.” The 1500 is obviously smaller than the 3000, but it is solidly built, has tons of power, and drives quite well. However, after driving the two machines one after another, I have to say I was more impressed with the 3000. It rode a lot smoother and seemed easier to maneuver. The 1500 seemed a little touchy compared to the 3000 and didn’t handle the bumps quite as well. Do you think that is because the 3000 was used and broken in? Overall I really like both machines and feel pretty confident that I won’t be sorry for buying a Ferris. I think I will contact my dealer to find out how much a new IS3000 (61in, 25HP) will cost and to see if they still have the IS3000 with 115 hours on it. I would really like to keep the total to $7500 if at all possible. Do you think I can get a new IS3000 for that price? Thanks again for the input.

026TB4U
04-13-2005, 12:25 PM
Well, I tested some mowers last night. The Ferris dealer brought over a new IS1500Z and a used IS3000Z (515 hours). In my opinion both are very capable machines and do not appear to be homeowner “toys.” The 1500 is obviously smaller than the 3000, but it is solidly built, has tons of power, and drives quite well. However, after driving the two machines one after another, I have to say I was more impressed with the 3000. It rode a lot smoother and seemed easier to maneuver. The 1500 seemed a little touchy compared to the 3000 and didn’t handle the bumps quite as well. Do you think that is because the 3000 was used and broken in? Overall I really like both machines and feel pretty confident that I won’t be sorry for buying a Ferris. I think I will contact my dealer to find out how much a new IS3000 (61in, 25HP) will cost and to see if they still have the IS3000 with 115 hours on it. I would really like to keep the total to $7500 if at all possible. Do you think I can get a new IS3000 for that price? Thanks again for the input.

I'm glad you liked them. As far as the ride, I think the 3000 would naturally ride better over bumps because is has a longer wheelbase and a it's bigger mower. Also, the suspension is probably a little better and more of a true independent suspension than on the 1500.

I'm not sure if the used 3000 was better because it was broken in, but it's possible. The suspensions are also adjustable and that may be a factor. But when a used machine ride better than a new one, that's always a good thing.

Try out a new 3000 and compare it to the used one and see if there are any differences. And if you can't get the new 3000 for $7500, then you can take the used one.

rodfather
04-13-2005, 05:26 PM
I'm at this 11 years full time now and we've had around 20 or so Ferris machines...need I say more?

Travis Followell
04-13-2005, 07:09 PM
You probibly wont get a new IS 3000 for $7500. We priced one with a 27 Kohler and it was $9000 so the 25 probibly wouldn't be much less but they may be a little cheaper in your area because prices vary in different areas.

The reason the 3000 rode better than the 1500 is for one thing its a lot wider. The rear wheels have a width of 59" which is a lot more than the 1500 and the 3000 has bigger tires which definately helps the ride. the suspension on the 3000 is also a little better. It has 4 wheel independent suspension where the 1500 only has rear wheel independent suspension. The front wheels have active performance suspension which uses a pivoting front axle with springs and shocks that are a lot smaller than the 3000 has. I believe another reason the 3000 rode better is because its been broke in. That may sound silly but it seems like our new 3000 rides better every day as it gets used more. Hope that helps.

rodfather
04-14-2005, 07:25 AM
I recently got a Ferris IS3000 with the 27 Kohler for $8100...and another coming next month too.

grassmeister
04-25-2005, 01:27 PM
I just got a 44" 1500z and it's very well made. In fact, I was considering an Exmark HP as well and posted the following plusses/minuses on a very similar post:

+ Ferris: Active suspension
+ Ferris: Cooling fans on pumps
+ Ferris: Maintainable, greaseable spindles (debatable with some)
+ Ferris: Easier height adjustment setup
+ Ferris: Speed (10 mph vs. 8.1 for 44")
+ Ferris: $1000 less for 44" model

+ Exmark: More dealers to support it
+ Exmark: ROPS included
+ Exmark: Bigger gas tank (11.5 vs. 6 gallons)
+ Exmark: Slightly bigger tires (23" vs 22")

Draw: Same Kawasaki engine
Draw: Both have canister air filtration system
Draw: Similar deck configuration and strength

In terms of it being "light weight" or even of somewhat lesser quality than the Exmark, I don't think that's accurate. The Exmark HP of the same size weighs 963 lbs. The Ferris is 945 lbs - almost the same. Though weight doesn't mean a whole lot, it does give you an idea of whether or not they're skimping on heavy duty parts. I was originally looking at a Simplicity homeowner model of the same size, but it was only 670 lbs. Though the Simplicity is a good machine, it clearly used lighter weight components. I don't think that's at all true with the Ferris line. You just get better bang for the buck compared to the Exmark.

graystone
04-25-2005, 03:45 PM
Thank you for all the input. I decided to buy a new Ferris IS3000. It cost a little more than I wanted to spend, but I think it is worth it. I originally demoed a Ferris IS1500 and a used IS3000. Although I liked both mowers, the 3000 rode a lot better and felt more secure on the hills. I was initially concerned about the 61 inch deck being too big, but I found it was the ideal size. The 52 inch was fine, but I wasn’t limited by the 61 like I anticipated. Before I bought the Ferris I also demoed a John Deere 757 with a 60 inch deck. That was also a very nice mower. It even had the mulch-on-demand system which I really liked. If you are not familiar with it, it allows you to transform the deck from a regular mower to a mulching mower by simply pulling a handle. The cut looked good with the mulcher off and great with the mulcher on. I almost bought the JD except the ride was very bumpy compared to the Ferris. After much consideration I decided on the Ferris since it rode the best by far, cuts great, has plenty of power, and seems to be very heavy duty. I cut with it this weekend for the first time and love it. Again, thank you for all of your comments and insight.

Travis Followell
04-25-2005, 08:26 PM
Congratulations on the new machine. Better get mowing :waving:

VSaint
04-30-2005, 11:21 PM
Graystone,
What was your final price on the Ferris?

graystone
05-02-2005, 11:27 AM
I got the mower for $8300. I have two Ferris dealers in the area and that's as low as they would go. It was more than I wanted to spend, but I really like the mower. My grass has never looked so good.