View Full Version : Narrowed it down to two: Ferris or Hustler

04-25-2011, 08:44 PM
Eight years ago we moved from 10 acres in Vermont to 1.6 with .5 of yard in NC. So I sold my beloved Kubota B2710 with the mower, snow thrower, tiller, bucket, and rotary cutter. (That still hurts!) We're now gearing up to build on an 11 acre lot we bought, and I was planning to buy a Kubota or Kioti with a tiller and flail mower to cut most of it. It is all field right now, and I thought we'd have a 1/2 acre veggie garden and an orchard like in VT. I also planned to buy a decent homeowner z-turn for the 1.5 acres of finished lawn we are planning on.

Our craftsman lawn tractor died a year too early, so I need something to mow with this year. But this year we'll only be cutting 1/2 acre. It does have lots of obstacles. Next year, as I said, we'll be cutting 1.5 acres of finished lawn, plus this .5 acre lot until we sell it, and 8 acres of field every few weeks.

My wife has informed me that she no longer wants the big garden, so I'm having more and more trouble justifying my monster tractor toy. (I know, a 35 HP tractor isn't a monster to you guys, but I grew up in NJ.) It seems like a better idea to buy a good Z-turn now, and buy a smaller used tractor with 150-400 hours on it to cut the field 10 or so times a year, and to spread mulch. (In eight years I still haven't figured out how to spread mulch without a tractor :rolleyes: ) A used tractor, flail, and used tiller that I'll use to smooth the field and for then will probably sell, will still be a bigger purchase than a Z-turn, but the z-turn is more immediate, and I've narrowed it down to two mowers.

Ferris IS500Z in 52" with 27HP Briggs Pro Series engine and separate pumps and wheel motors. 2 year warranty.


Hustler Fastrak 54" with 24HP Kawasaki FS and the Hydrogear 3100 transmissions. I'd add the $200 suspension platform to this. It has a 4 year warranty.

The Ferris seems to have a better transmission, and the suspension looks really nice.
The Hustler is a Kawasaki, but it's the FS not the FK, so I consider that a wash. However, it has that 4 year warranty. The mower is going to be loafing for this year unless I put off buying until next march and use our 20" push mower this year, so I figure I'll burn a year on the Ferris warranty on only 25 hours of use. Sad that.

So given the price is within $100, and both dealers are close by and respectable, what do you think? I plan to own this mower for 10+ years, so I'll be warrantyless for more than half of them, so it's a really tough call for me. Longer warranty, or slightly more mower.

What do you guys think? Toss up? Strong opinion one way or the other?

04-25-2011, 09:05 PM
I will be interested in this one too. Next one I get will be a Ferris (suspension and 1500 series).
Ferris has residential Briggs,Commercial pump and wheel motors
Hustler has better powerplant, low end commercial tranny.

VanAllen's Lawn Service
04-25-2011, 09:24 PM

04-25-2011, 09:34 PM
My wife would tend to agree with you since she doesn't think either one will break in the first 4 years if we take care of it.

04-25-2011, 09:45 PM
If you buy a ferris it will break within 4 years even as a home owner get a hustler over a ferris any day. I have owned 8-10 ferris mowers and they suck only one that hasnt totally failed me is the DD48 walk behind. NO FERRIS its totally an entry level zero degree.

04-25-2011, 09:56 PM
Hi LawnsRUs,

Why did you buy so many of them if they sucked? Also, which Ferris zero turns did you have that you didn't like, how long ago was it, and what broke?

They do look harder to work on than the Hustler, and there's something to be said for the self contained hydros simplicity, but I'm only comparing these two mowers. Comparing say the Ferris 3100Z to a Hustler X-One would be a completely different question I think, and in that situation, I think I would opt for the simpler Hustler mower.


04-26-2011, 09:46 AM
Both mowers are great mowers. We sell hustler and snapper pro ( ferris without suspension)

Id say that you wont wear out either mower in 4 years time. not saying that you wont have a freak failure on either machine. But whatever decision you make you will be happy they are both top of the line mowers.

04-26-2011, 10:19 AM
Hi Mohustle,

If the SnapperPro S150X or XT were little less money and the dealer were close by, I don't think I'd be looking at these two. But the dealer is 45 minutes drive and even the 52" XT is a lot more money.

Such is life.

ashgrove landscaping
04-26-2011, 10:23 AM
I also have owned 8 ferris mowers. A good mix of walk behinds and ztr's. All of them have handled the worst abuse you could imagine. The highly negative and non informative post by Lawns R Us should be ignored. Of course any product will have a couple minor issues. I have also run scag, exmark and toro. Ferris is on top of them all with ride quality(which will save your back) and durability and now with the new ICD deck design they also have the top cut quality. There will be zero issues with the suspension parts wearing out or failing. Extremely rare! So I believe it's a no brainer if you have good dealer support. Good luck with your decision. Either mower will last you for many years.

04-26-2011, 11:51 PM
I have no doubt that there are lots of people who have had great experiences with Ferris and Hustler and SnapperPro.

I'm also sure that one bad experience can overshadow years of positive experiences, and maybe that's what happened to LawnsRUs.

I won't rule out Hustler because of the guy here who had one catch fire due to a wiring harness issue or something, even though Hustler didn't replace it. I'll take 20 burned out clutches or leaking hydro pumps over one machine fire that could hurt someone, but that one fire doesn't make Hustler a bad machine, and again, I'm only looking at these two machines.

Both frames seem comparably heavily built.
One may have a better if slightly lower HP engine and a great warranty.
One seems to have a heavier duty transmission and a suspension that seems to be very well thought out.

I really don't know which is better. I think both are excellent, and really am just looking for which of the strong points you guys think are more important, or specific weak points you see.


04-28-2011, 09:12 PM
Pretty easy really. Which machine is going to give you or your employees the best ride, which in return will help you get the job done faster because your not slowing down from rough terrain?

Also demo them both. The ICD decks on our Ferris have been cutting flawlessly when we can cut. The grass here is super full of moisture and has been clumping in some of our older Exmarks. The ICD cuts it, discharges it great with no clumpage, and is stripping like a pro. We couldn't be happier.

04-29-2011, 12:23 AM
No matter what I or anybody else says, YOU have to be the one to make the final decision because it's your dollar.

With that out the way, I say definately go with the Hustler, but I am Hustler biased. 2 years ago when I bought mine, I could have got any mower that I wanted. Anywhere from a Yard Machines by MTD to a Diesel zero turn!:laugh:
Ofcourse I like Hustler's products and think they make top of the line equipment, but I mainly went with them because of their Customer Support. I truly think it's the best in the business (although I haven't 'needed' it). Just look at their warranties for example. I've heard of and read many instances where Hustler covered things for customers that was OUT OF warranty! That's almost un-heard of this day and time. Just do a search on here...

Pj, AKA "mowerconsultant", on the Hustler forum here on Lawnsite is the best person (he's an employee on the inside of Excel/Hustler) you could ever talk to about a Hustler mower. He's answered EVERY e-mail I've ever sent him BEFORE AND AFTER the sale. Matter of fact, I don't see how the man ain't totally stressed out with things because I know I had aggravated the he** out of him there for a while. If you have a problem with your Hustler mower and can't get it resolved with the dealer, or anybody else, you just contact Pj and he WILL make something happen I can Guarantee you. He has the power.

God forbid, but if my mower tore slap up tomorrow (and it better not! lol), there's absolutely no question in my mind at all which brand I'd go back with.

Good Luck and let us know what you decide!

04-29-2011, 12:35 AM
I'd personally try to sweat it out a year if I could, because a heck of a lot can happen in 12 months and you'd also be losing a year of depreciation with minimal usage on top of warranty time. (But with plans of having it for 10+ years, is probably not a factor.) But that being said, once you demo them both, it won't be a contest. Ferris all the way. That full suspension is more addicting than playing the lottery while eating bacon. Your rear end will thank you. It's like a Ford Focus versus a Cadillac. Heck, I'd look at a Bobcat FastCat Pro 52 with the 5 yr. 500 hour warranty before the Hustler. FERRIS!!!!!!!

04-29-2011, 12:57 AM
Plus too, put your $5500 or whatever in a 12 month CD (As of right now, you can find 1.26%) and take the $69.30 you make and take your wife out to Sizzler or at least a nice bouquet of tulips or something. You could even cancel the $50 a month gym membership since you'll be 21"ing it for a while and pocket an additional $600 if you get really creative. Maybe even drop back down to sophmore year fighting weight and having the ladies do double takes at the local Wal-Mart. Then come purchasing time, you'll have a happy wife, a brand new machine with a full warranty, and the ladies lingering just a tad longer at the check out lines. It's a win win for everybody. Just please, don't end up getting Hustled. er...I mean a Hustler.:drinkup:

04-29-2011, 01:20 AM
We are very happy with Ferris!!

G. Ramey
04-29-2011, 02:26 AM
They will both suit your needs fine. All it would come down to for me would be customer support from a nearby dealer. That being said I do drive past the Ferris dealer to go to the Hustler dealer. I would say do you like red or yellow?

04-29-2011, 01:52 PM
I'd personally try to sweat it out a year if I could, because a heck of a lot can happen in 12 months and you'd also be losing a year of depreciation with minimal usage on top of warranty time.

The Hustler dealer doesn't have a fastrak in stock. Gonna look at the Ferris this weekend, but waiting may actually be a wiser choice. I can pick up a neighbors old Dixon zero turn for $650 that's in really good shape, or even a walk behind beater, use it this summer, and sell it next spring for around the same price. Could even buy the Ferris or Hustler in the late fall and maybe get a better price. Decisions ....

Thanks for all the advice,