buying a new mower- ferris vs walker??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rmmllc, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. rmmllc

    rmmllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    I am going to buy a new mower. I have mostly residential accounts now, but have some commercial lined up and would like a bigger mower (i have a 36" wright stander that does fine for my residential lawns). I am looking at 2 totally different angles on this. One: get a walker or navigator and use it for residential and commercial accounts. Two: get a ferris or something like it for commercial and leave my residential side as is (wright stander, 26" exmark, and 2 toro commercial 21" mowers). Many lawns on the residential side are in town and on 1/4 to 1/2 acre lots, so not too big. Some res. customers insist on bagging, many are fine with mulching. Commercial don't care as long as it gets mowed. Any thoughts on my options? I liked the Ferris at the dealership. Thanks guys-
     
  2. rmmllc

    rmmllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    also, any experience mulching with a ferris??
     
  3. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    I personaly run 2 walkers and a grasshopper (soon to be ferris prob with in the next yr) i really like ferris. Walkers have their place but they are high dollar to buy and cost alot to run not in parts but they are just slow, but people around here demand them and if you dont have one when they ask they are on to the next guy. If i was in your market which i dont know alot about but from what you have said i would go ferris you can get a is2000 series with a 30hp i think vanguard dont hold me to that for around 9 to 10 grand we are talking 60 in and i think maybe 72 in deck are offered at 10+ mph or if you go walker you will spend about 9-10 grand on the tractor and a bagging deck and then another couple grand at least 2500 probably more on a 60" deck and you will be goin around 5 to 6 mph. This is really a personal evaluation of your market if they will stand for mulching you can keep you prices more compeditive by doin your work faster with a ferris or if you go walker you will have to charge more for the extra time. Will you market hold the higher price or are they going for a chop blow and go job (lowest bid) only you can decide? I have the grasshopper for large areas but do use the walkers almost exclusively on residential. I have been able to get some commercial contracts simply because i have the ability of the larger faster grasshopper since most companies around here only run walkers i can bid lower and still make more money per hour. Hope my endless rambling helps in some way
     
  4. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    Just another thought i had after thinking about you mulching with a ferris. My dealer here usualy have a 25hp kaw on a 61in deck in the 2000 series he seems to like this set up may be just him but i looked at the price list and for about 300 bucks more i could get a 30hp. So dont let the dealer sell you an underpowered machine especialy for mulching the more power the better.
     
  5. rmmllc

    rmmllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    that really helps, and is kind of what I thought- 2 separate markets. Has anyone used the grass collection on the ferris (interested in it more for leaves at the end of the year). How hard is it to remove/install? Maybe one day/week cut out the residential lawns that could be done with the bag on, then use it exclusively for commercial the rest of the week.
     
  6. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    Ya it really depends on how large and spread out that route would be but if you make good money on them and they demand bagging it may be worth a special route. One thing i dont know much about on ferris is the bagging system i know you have to have counter weights that come with the kit on the other side because the extra weight will make the cut uneven to the side but if you only want it for leaves i dont think it would matter how it cut with the bagging system. I would imagine not from personal experience that the bagging system would work pretty good it is basicly the same as all other manufatures are using with the blower that is spindle driven. Again please get too much power rather than not enought. I think the 30hp would be enough for a 61in deck depending on what kind of grass you are cutting 61in of grass is alot of grass coming in to mulch especialy at 10+ mph. I think you would have to go to a 3000 series to get any bigger engine and i think that might be cost prohibative because i think it is atleast 1500+ dollars to the next step but its your call you know your market and your grass better than i could ever guess at over the comp.
     
  7. rmmllc

    rmmllc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    Good advice about the bigger motor if mulching- especially @ 10mph. I was looking at the 2000 series. I have never run such a big deck- are they hard to get in corners? Largest I've run is my 36". Any advice adjusting to the bigger deck?
     
  8. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    You will have have a little more trim work and ya you cant get into some tighter places but i really do like the 2000 series and i think it is the best bang for your buck and the machine i ran i really like it. As for adjusting to running a big machine just be careful around things for a while especialy with a machine that fast things can happen really quick and the corners of that big deck seem to just jump out there and grab things so just take your time dont have to be a speed demon the first time you will get better. My best advice is put some hours in the seat. I dont know the specs on your stander but i know it was a huge jump for me going from a walker 5-6mph to grasshopper 8-9 the walker has very tight precise controlls where my grasshopper and your farris will have slightly looser controls.
     
  9. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 556

    JMO but I would look at a nice scag or exmark with a bagging system. walkers have their place on really nice finish work however I feel they are limited. I feel the scag and exmark have as good of a cut can have a baaging system put on them and will take care of both larger resi and your commercial needs. I prefer the cut of both scag and exmark over ferris
     
  10. pclawncare

    pclawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    All depends on what type of grass you are cutting. If i was cutting cool season grasses i would not have a walker but for bermuda thats the bet of the best.
     

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