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View Full Version : Help w/ Commercial (Ferris) vs Homeowner (Ariens) ZTR purchase


Kel108
06-23-2006, 01:20 PM
I have a Ferris dealer and Ariens dealer in town...I am a homeowner that has 2 acres to mow - I am looking at a Ferris IS 1500 ZTR 21hp/48" deck and also considering a Ariens HVZ 2350 which is a homeowner grade ZTR - Ferris is priced at about $6000, the Ariens is 23 hp and 50 " deck for about $3300.
Is the additional quality of a the commercial grade Ferris worth the difference in money in the long run. I get different stories from different people. I tend to want to buy quality but I also don't want to overdo things for my needs either. Any advice is appreciated!

From searching the forums the Ferris has excellent reviews. I have not seen many postings on the Ariens though I've heard good things about Ariens/Gravely.

Tremens
06-23-2006, 04:22 PM
Have you looked into Simplicity mowers? Most of the Ferris dealers around here sell Simplicity also. They are homeowner mowers but contain many of the commerical quality Ferris components - commercial deck (on some), dual hyrdos, etc. The price should be between the two types of mowers that you asked about.

ed2hess
06-24-2006, 07:12 PM
Two acres could be easily cut with a 48" WB which you could get around the same price as the cheap ZTR machine. Use the opportunity to get some exercise, and if that isn't good get a sulkie to ride on.

scaper27
06-24-2006, 07:55 PM
Ferris is nice machine. I have the Ferris IS 1000 48" with thw 21 Kawi and love it

Mowingman
06-24-2006, 09:02 PM
I am an Ariens/Gravely dealer. The Ariens you are looking at is really a nice mower for the money. No, it is not built as heavily as the Ferris, but it also is not as pricey. That Ariens, for your 2 acres, could last you a lifetime with good basic maintenance. The Ferris, will probably last you 2 lifetimes.
Which dealer will take care of you best after the sale? If possible, try to get a demo on each one. I am not sure of the Ferris warranty, but, the Ariens has a 2 year warranty for homeowner use. There is no question that the Ferris is the heavier, more solidly built machine. After all, it is designed for commercial use. However, either machine will do a good job for your intended use. How much do you want to spend? That is really the only question here.
I was just in Fairfield a couple of weeks ago for the Vintage Power Wagon Rally. Great town, friendly people. Will be back at the end of July to pick up a couple of trucks I am getting at VPW.

truss-rod
06-26-2006, 09:32 AM
I bought an ariens 2348 home owners model 3 years ago. from the pics on the website it looks like they redid the control sticks, but mine are hinged under the seat, so there is a grove wearing where they come out from under the seat, so the tips are starting to hit each other. Another thing is the tires don't get quite the traction I'd like, and are a little small. Sharp tuns on any slope have to made very carefully and bigger tires would make for a smother ride. My yard is pretty bumpy in spots and the mower can really get bouncing. If your yard is smooth and flat save your money on the ariens. If you have gopher holes like me, you might want to consider the ferris.

Kel108
07-28-2006, 12:01 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice - much appreciated...
I demo'd the Ferris 1500 52" deck and also rode the Ariens around the dealer's lawn but did not mow much with it...the Ferris had a much nicer ride.
I also tried my neighbor's Husquvarna lawn tractor, a 48" deck, the kind you get at sears - what a difference - the Ferris was so much nicer.

While my lawn is getting longer everyday I still have not bought anything but am leaning toward the Ferris 1500 44" as it will fit in my garage with 2 cars as well. It also knocks about 1400 off versus the 52" and $400 of the 48" deck option. The local price is $5600 for the 44" here but it will take a little more time to mow.

My lawn is surprisingly rough in spots, demoing the Ferris on a slight down hill slope at faster speeds ... well I can see why there are seat belts in the thing ;-). So perhaps the Ferris will be much smoother ride.

Mowingman - Dave Butler of Vintage Power Wagons is a good friend of mine. Glad you liked Fairfield - it's a wonderful little town. My home is adjacent to the local park - it's like an extension to my backyard and they have swimming in the lake as well. Pretty nice!

forgop
08-04-2006, 03:54 AM
Here's what I don't understand about people when shopping for a commercial vs. a homeowner mower. You're not comparing apples to apples here.

You said that this is to mow 2 acres for your home. Is it really worth spending almost twice as much for a mower that is OVERKILL in terms of durability for a homeowner? If you're cutting grass for a living and putting 8 hours/day x 26 weeks, I think you can justify going with the commercial. However to cut grass for approximately 50 hours for an entire year of mowing and spend nearly double the money is CRAZY if you ask me. Just think of the extra things you can do with the extra money in your pocket.

FWIW, I have the Ariens 1740 that I bought in spring 2005. It probably is a little overkill for my yard as I don't think I've even got 35 hours on it yet, but I did get it with the intention of picking up some local yards in the future to make a few extra bucks. However, for the money, I thought it provided the best features for a homeowner unit. The Ariens has a higher blade tip speed than commercial Exmarks and puts out stripes as nicely as anything out there. The Ariens mowers are built pretty well and will do very well as long as you maintain it at all.

stryper
08-04-2006, 09:40 AM
Here's what I don't understand about people when shopping for a commercial vs. a homeowner mower. You're not comparing apples to apples here.

You said that this is to mow 2 acres for your home. Is it really worth spending almost twice as much for a mower that is OVERKILL in terms of durability for a homeowner? If you're cutting grass for a living and putting 8 hours/day x 26 weeks, I think you can justify going with the commercial. However to cut grass for approximately 50 hours for an entire year of mowing and spend nearly double the money is CRAZY if you ask me. Just think of the extra things you can do with the extra money in your pocket.
While I agree with the "apples to apples" sentiment, maybe it is worth it to some. I look at it in the same way I look at irrigation: just how important is it to have the lawn you want? How much are you willing to spend? How much work and comfort are you willing to accept/embrace? Those are individual choices...and more logical than they might appear on the surface.

forgop
08-05-2006, 11:41 AM
While I agree with the "apples to apples" sentiment, maybe it is worth it to some. I look at it in the same way I look at irrigation: just how important is it to have the lawn you want? How much are you willing to spend? How much work and comfort are you willing to accept/embrace? Those are individual choices...and more logical than they might appear on the surface.

Easy...buy the homeowner Ariens ZTR and use the left over money you could have spent on the mower to install an irrigation system. :)

tallimeca
08-08-2006, 01:31 PM
We sell both ariens/gravely and exmark......


The Ariens has a higher blade tip speed than commercial Exmarks

hicap
08-19-2006, 08:16 AM
I too was looking at the Ferris 1500. My dealer sells both Ferris and Simplicity, so I got to demo both the 1500 Ferris and the Simplicity Citation, both with 52" decks.
Both are made at the Ferris assembly plant on the same assembly line. Only difference besides the color is Ferris uses the Kawasaki and Simplicity uses the Briggs Vangard.
The are vertually the same other than that, check the part numbers if you dont agree.
I purchased the Simplicity and I have been very happy with the Briggs and the suspension. I also saved money because the Ferris is about 600.00 more.
Good luck on whatever one you pick.

Jasonn B
05-28-2007, 09:08 PM
I am an Ariens/Gravely dealer. The Ariens you are looking at is really a nice mower for the money. No, it is not built as heavily as the Ferris, but it also is not as pricey. That Ariens, for your 2 acres, could last you a lifetime with good basic maintenance. The Ferris, will probably last you 2 lifetimes.
Which dealer will take care of you best after the sale? If possible, try to get a demo on each one. I am not sure of the Ferris warranty, but, the Ariens has a 2 year warranty for homeowner use. There is no question that the Ferris is the heavier, more solidly built machine. After all, it is designed for commercial use. However, either machine will do a good job for your intended use. How much do you want to spend? That is really the only question here.
I was just in Fairfield a couple of weeks ago for the Vintage Power Wagon Rally. Great town, friendly people. Will be back at the end of July to pick up a couple of trucks I am getting at VPW.

I'm moving into a new house and the previous owner has an Ariens 2048 zreo turn mower. It's 2 years old, and he said I could have it for $2k, he said he paid around 4k when he bought it new.

Is this a good deal? Also, how does this compare to the 2350? The one he has is a 2048, is it still built good?

Mowingman
05-28-2007, 09:58 PM
The 2048 is a step above the 2350 in overall design features and quality. With the 2048, you get the heavier, fabricated deck which is a real advantage. You also get better hydro pump/motor system.
Price of $2000.00 sounds very fair if it has been properly cared for.

Jasonn B
05-28-2007, 10:12 PM
Great, thanks for the info. I would definitely want to put a striping kit on this mower. Have you heard of the checkmate roller system? What would you recommend? It does stripe pretty good stock, but I want more definition.

Mowingman
05-28-2007, 10:32 PM
We can not get strips in the grasses we mow here, so, I am not familiar with any striping attachments. Sorry I can't help you on this question.

EMTDUCK1984
05-28-2007, 10:38 PM
While I agree with the "apples to apples" sentiment, maybe it is worth it to some. I look at it in the same way I look at irrigation: just how important is it to have the lawn you want? How much are you willing to spend? How much work and comfort are you willing to accept/embrace? Those are individual choices...and more logical than they might appear on the surface.

this is true it all depends on how much a homeowner is willing to spend. on the other hand a commercial mower is less likely to break down and usually requires less maintenance. in this day in time more and more homeowners are looking at making a somewhat final mower purchase which can be accomplished with a commercial z if the maintenance is done same as a homeowner z.

EMTDUCK1984
05-28-2007, 10:41 PM
We sell both ariens/gravely and exmark......

depending on which model your speaking of b/c exmark did come out with a speed up kit for the triton to increase the blade tip speed back to 18500 fps

tedderoutdoorpower
06-13-2007, 12:39 PM
Compare apples to apples ok? Look at the Gravely 148M $5999
Trying to compare a $6000 machine vs $3300 is like comparing a ford to a BMW. You could look into the IS 500Z, but price wise I'm not sure where it stands. The Ferris will give you smooth as glass comfort!

Gravely/Ariens ZTR's are really nice, but the prices keep jumping way up year after year. I would buy a Ferris far as comfort, but compare the other features between the XL & Commercial line vs Ferris and make a fair comparison. Either machine is great!

Now if you are thinking about buying a box store ZTR, like a Deere, Cub (MTD MADE), Husky (AYP MADE), MTD, Craftsman (AYP MADE), Toro then get the Ariens 2350. If you still demand cheaper then look at the Toro z5000 (50" cut) $2799. Forget the Deere because those Deere dealers charge way more in labor. Most independent Toro dealers will carry that z line for same price and you may get priority service just for buying from them.

http://www.tedderoutdoorpower.com

Jasonn B
06-21-2007, 02:14 PM
The 2048 is a step above the 2350 in overall design features and quality. With the 2048, you get the heavier, fabricated deck which is a real advantage. You also get better hydro pump/motor system.
Price of $2000.00 sounds very fair if it has been properly cared for.

Yea, I heard the 2048 was more like a Gravely, and the newer models is much lighter duty with the stamped deck. I think I will be buying the used 2048.

Jasonn B
06-28-2007, 03:49 AM
Well, it turns out the Ariens needed $700 worth of repairs, so luckily I didn't buy it..

EMTDUCK1984
08-04-2007, 12:44 AM
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