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View Full Version : Taking the 72" plunge?


gravedigger5
10-24-2006, 12:25 AM
Hey, guys/gals just looking for some opinions about stuff I might be over looking here. I went to Louisville this year and looked at and drove just about everything there. Even though I have been a dedicated Toro man, I was really impressed with the Ferris 72" z's. Had a demo out today with both a 3100 32hp Briggs big block and a 5100 34hp Caterpillar. For all the hype the diesel just did not have the lugging grunt power they always brag about. The 32hp Briggs kept up with the diesel without much trouble. I tried to run these mowers in every condition I could throw at them (5 week growth tall thick grass, hills and levies, tight areas, rough areas and wide open spaces) and they both did rather well. I was concerned about the scalping of the 72" deck but did not see much more of a problem over my 60" and 62". The price for the gas is $11000 with tax and they throw in a $500 gift card for their store. So that makes the price $10500. Marc

TNT Lawncare
10-24-2006, 12:36 AM
From my experience using a 72" Dixie, I would go for it. They don't scalp any worse than a 60" and you get another foot of cut per pass. Also, prices are so close. Now I know you are going to look at my equipment and see a 48" Ferris. A buddy of mine has 2 72" Dixies and that is what I have used in that size. I love the ride on the Ferris with the suspension. My whole body hurts alot less after a long day on that compared to the Dixie, although a Dixie is about 1/3 faster or so it seems.

gravedigger5
10-24-2006, 12:49 AM
TNT Lawncare, Yeah the Dixies are fast, and the new ones I drove at Louisville with the springy:confused: front forks rode good but they seemed to dip alot Including the deck when you stopped some what fast. The Ferris's I drove advertise a 12 mph speed but running them next to my 8 mph toros they did not go any faster. I think the dealer might have adjusted them back a little for demo's, but I am not sure. Marc

Josh.S
10-24-2006, 12:49 AM
From my experience using a 72" Dixie, I would go for it. They don't scalp any worse than a 60" and you get another foot of cut per pass. Also, prices are so close. Now I know you are going to look at my equipment and see a 48" Ferris. A buddy of mine has 2 72" Dixies and that is what I have used in that size. I love the ride on the Ferris with the suspension. My whole body hurts alot less after a long day on that compared to the Dixie, although a Dixie is about 1/3 faster or so it seems.

If you get a rough yard and need to make good time.. I can develope a hatred for my Dixie, between the ODCC falling down every bump, and then on the big bumps the decks bouncing up levels...

wow I would might even finance if Dixie put suspention on the 2007 models...

TNT Lawncare
10-24-2006, 12:57 AM
So many LCO's in my area use 60" mowers whether it is a Dixie, Toro, Hustler, or whatever. Aside from what my friend uses, I have not seen one other company with a 72" and it seems silly not too. I laugh when I see a trailer with 3 60" mowers on it knowing that 2 72" mowers can do the same amount in the same time. Give that 3rd guy a trimmer and get going. Oh well, its not me so why do I care.

gravedigger5
10-24-2006, 01:08 AM
TNT Lawncare, everybody you see has a 60" and they are good mowers, but one of the things I really noticed at Louisville driving all those mowers around in those tight obstacle courses, was that the 72" mowers were easier to get the decks up in corners better than the 60" mowers. Does that mean a 72" mower is a better trim mower than a 60"?:confused: That wider deck does seem easier to trim with. :) Marc

Envy Lawn Service
10-24-2006, 01:53 AM
Yeah....

You are overlooking a BIG thing.....

FUEL EFFICIENCY

You are likely going to run either machine thousands of hours. I'm guessing here, but I figure the diesel might burn 1 gallon an hour or a little more. I love the briggs engines, but I'd bet it burns 2 gallons of gas an hour, maybe more pulling such a heavy machine and a 72" deck.

You do the math if you have some ratings or demo tracking numbers to go by. Saying you run the machine 2,000 or 3,000 hours... that's a lot of immediate savings/payback for going diesel.

In addition, with a diesel you can also just buy off-road diesel, and avoid ever having to pay the road tax on it in the first place (immediate operational savings) and you don't have to fool with trying to get that back at the end of the year either (less red tape).

Also, like I told someone else, if you are financing the purchase... heck what is the difference in the monthly payment? You'll save the difference in the payment over a month of operation I bet.

I was under a little pressure once with some CRAP mowers and almost got pinched into financing one mower at one time... and at that time I was like you, but looking at Grasshoppers. Kohler twin v/s Kubota diesel. The difference in payment would have been like $40 a month(?)... and the diesel burned half the fuel, and I was going to be able to escape like 60 cents a gallon road tax..... It was a no-brainer....

Monthly payment + operating expense = less overall

Plus I was getting diesel reliability, ect, ect....

WildWest
10-24-2006, 02:56 AM
72" Guess you could say I have DECK envy...lol GET IT??!! :laugh:

Sorry couldn't resist!

gravedigger5
10-24-2006, 09:00 AM
Envy Lawn Service, I did consider fuel economy, and that is important, but with the machines I was demoing yesterday, overall the 5100 ferris diesel did not impress me over the 3100 ferris big block. The price diff was about $5000:dizzy: plus the thing weighed about 500lbs more. If I was mostly doing fields the diesel would be the way to go. I am only doing 80 to 90 acres a month of LARGE properties and the rest is small to medium(10000/12000sqft) residentials. If I was mowing that much in large stuff a week I would rather have the diesel. but for trailer space, weight on the trailer, and residential yards, the 3100 just seems to fit me better right now. But thanks for the opinion, thats why I posted the question. and now you are making me ponder the diesel vs gas even more. Thanks Marc

John Gamba
10-24-2006, 09:04 AM
Hey, guys/gals just looking for some opinions about stuff I might be over looking here. I went to Louisville this year and looked at and drove just about everything there. Even though I have been a dedicated Toro man, I was really impressed with the Ferris 72" z's. Had a demo out today with both a 3100 32hp Briggs big block and a 5100 34hp Caterpillar. For all the hype the diesel just did not have the lugging grunt power they always brag about. The 32hp Briggs kept up with the diesel without much trouble. I tried to run these mowers in every condition I could throw at them (5 week growth tall thick grass, hills and levies, tight areas, rough areas and wide open spaces) and they both did rather well. I was concerned about the scalping of the 72" deck but did not see much more of a problem over my 60" and 62". The price for the gas is $11000 with tax and they throw in a $500 gift card for their store. So that makes the price $10500. Marc


Have you tried the 66" deck's that are out there.

gravedigger5
10-24-2006, 10:25 PM
Have you tried the 66" deck's that are out there.
If I could have only one zero turn the 66" would probably be the choice. But I already have a 62" and 60", and when I was origionaly looking earlier at maybe getting a good used toro 580d especialy for this one property where the wings could over hang out to the waters edge. But a groundskeeper I know at the area university that runs 580d's told me about how good these 72" ferris mowers would do. So I am already "downsizing" but I did drive some 66" mowers at louisville and was really impressed with the hustlers. Marc

John Gamba
10-25-2006, 07:54 AM
If I could have only one zero turn the 66" would probably be the choice. But I already have a 62" and 60", and when I was origionaly looking earlier at maybe getting a good used toro 580d especialy for this one property where the wings could over hang out to the waters edge. But a groundskeeper I know at the area university that runs 580d's told me about how good these 72" ferris mowers would do. So I am already "downsizing" but I did drive some 66" mowers at louisville and was really impressed with the hustlers. Marc


Good luck on what ever you do marc

Envy Lawn Service
10-26-2006, 01:05 AM
Envy Lawn Service, I did consider fuel economy, and that is important, but with the machines I was demoing yesterday, overall the 5100 ferris diesel did not impress me over the 3100 ferris big block. The price diff was about $5000:dizzy: plus the thing weighed about 500lbs more. If I was mostly doing fields the diesel would be the way to go. I am only doing 80 to 90 acres a month of LARGE properties and the rest is small to medium(10000/12000sqft) residentials. If I was mowing that much in large stuff a week I would rather have the diesel. but for trailer space, weight on the trailer, and residential yards, the 3100 just seems to fit me better right now. But thanks for the opinion, thats why I posted the question. and now you are making me ponder the diesel vs gas even more. Thanks Marc

Well, in the case of the Grasshoppers I was doing the math with a much smaller figure than $5,000 difference. AND the weight difference was also a LOT LESS than 500 lbs.

I see one of the big Ferris machines with the diesel here. It has the most intimidating size presence of any ztr BY FAR. It appears to weigh a ton... and I really do mean that 'literally'.

I'd be the last one to want to steer you away from the Ferris suspension. But if you decide you might want the diesel economy, this particular unit might not be the answer.

The 3 cylinder Kubota 428 Diesel or 432 Gas Grasshopper or some other offering might fit the bill better.

tomo
10-26-2006, 05:19 AM
hello, Envy as u mentioned ,""""fuel economy """.People are forgetting that when the new generation of gasers arrive ,they will be larger in capacity to drive the 60 plus decks and super z style pumps [power hungry ]. It is my feeling that now the diesels will prove themselves probaly 1--1.5 g/hr. New breed gassers 1.5---2 g/hr.
If people took the time to look into the 60 ,66, 72, the answer should be clear ,the closer your selection is to the 72 the higher priority a diesel should be .Beaware that there is only a few brands that are not in the huge section .
[physical size of body work etc]

tomo

LawnMowerBoy48
10-26-2006, 10:26 AM
With the diesel I would think you could rack up more hours on it before any major repairs to it.

David Haggerty
10-26-2006, 03:28 PM
toro 580d especialy for this one property where the wings could over hang out to the waters edge.
I do that. It's not that much more effective than the Toro 325. The 325 has an 18" overhang, where the trim side of the deck extends 1 1/2 feet beyond the drive tire.

THAT's what I'd get. A new Toro 328-D. Kubota motor. Good ride. Excellent trim capacity. Good production. Excellent on hills with individual wheel brakes and 4 wheels. Priced just a little higher than a comparable ZTR.

It ain't a Z but it don't sound like you need another Z.

I think it'd be a good compromise between the Ferris 72" and a 580-D.

all ferris
10-26-2006, 03:52 PM
Gravedigger,

I am in your area and I have a IS4000 72" and a IS3000 61". I can tell you from first hand experience that I can take the 4000 anywhere the smaller 3000 will go. And you are correct that the over hang on the 4000 makes trimming easier. I also think that my 4000 leaves a nicer cut than the 3000. Plus, you'll be able to cut yards that used to take an hour in 45-50 minutes. I do like the bigger frame on my 4000 but I have to be more carefull to avoid scalping and edge dips than I do on the 3000.

I'm assuming you're dealing with Scott's power equipment?? When I bought my 4000 (3 years ago) they talked me out of getting the diesel and I got the 31hp Dihatsu 3 cyl. LC gas. It has plenty of power but it does drink the fuel (2+ gallons/hour).

gravedigger5
10-26-2006, 11:52 PM
all ferris, Yeah it is Scotts I have been talking to. The owner, Scott Muehlhauser is the guy that brought the demos out for me to try. Great guy.
The hills and stuff we demo'ed on even amazed Scott at how well the two Ferris's ran. My employee took both of them backwards up about a 40 foot levee at least 33 degrees or more with no trouble. Said he wished he had his video camera with him. Ask him about it if you see him (especially what he thought about the 72" 3100 32hp big block package). He was impressed (and so was I ) with the fact that the 3100 32hp gas kept up with the 5100 diesel, if not better. We had talked a little about the 4000 series mowers but they are closer to the 5100 in size and weight. I tried the fit of the 3100 on my trailer with a toro z and a walk-behind on it. Length wise I don't think the 5100 would have fit. Would need a 20' trailer (instead of 18') with a little more spring under it. Now that $16000 diesel just became a $19000 mower real quick! Boy price wise, a toro 580D is looking better all the time.:laugh: Thanks Marc

gravedigger5
10-27-2006, 12:19 AM
I do that. It's not that much more effective than the Toro 325. The 325 has an 18" overhang, where the trim side of the deck extends 1 1/2 feet beyond the drive tire.

THAT's what I'd get. A new Toro 328-D. Kubota motor. Good ride. Excellent trim capacity. Good production. Excellent on hills with individual wheel brakes and 4 wheels. Priced just a little higher than a comparable ZTR.

It ain't a Z but it don't sound like you need another Z.

I think it'd be a good compromise between the Ferris 72" and a 580-D.

David, as far as the 580D, it wasn't so much the width of cut as it was the length of reach on the side deck. I have this one job at these sewer lagoons where I have to get all the way down to the waters edge (can you say sewage) and there are a lot of holes, wollered out spots, and fairly steep along the edge. No way you can get close with a Z turn. I have been using a tractor with a 3 point 9' disk mower (kind of like an old sickle bar mower) It works good but I thought maybe I could get rid of that setup (tractor getting old) and go to something like a "good" used 580 D where I could use for more than this one job. Don,t think the 580 d would get all the way but really close and the rest done with a trimmer (appx 20 acres of lagoon= no fun) So with that said I don't think an in-between mower is what I am looking for at least on this job. Plus what about trailer space for a Toro 328-D. That is an issue for a mower that I would use everyday. But I do appreciate yours and everybody's input, cause I am always thinking of better ways for my business and sometimes somebody else might have thought of something better that will work for me. Thanks Marc