Ferris 36" Hyrdrocut Reveiw

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by locallawncare.ca, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 756

    So after much debate I finally pulled the trigger on a brand new 36`Ferris Hydrocut.

    I will give a full review over the weekend.

    For now I will give my first impressions.
    Positive thoughts.
    -machine is very well built, but not overkill to the point of being a tank
    -height adjustment is super easy
    -overall wheelbase is fairly short
    -front casters are fairly close to the deck allowing for better contour cutting
    -machine cuts and stripes great(only got to cut one lawn so far)
    -very easy to operate(i have used a 32 before)
    -machine runs very smooth and basically hums while cutting
    -everything is easy to access(grease fittings, adjustments, etc.)
    -deck sticks out a bit on the left hand nice which is nice
    -machine has a stripe kit/rubber flap standard(very nice, i did not know)

    A few negatives/deislikes
    -discharge chute is ridiculous, it stick out so far and is a stiff plastic material, also the chute bracket sticks out past the deck an inch or two making the machine wider ever if you were able to flip the chute open which you cannot, very annoying. The chute is designed in a way so it cannot fold up on the deck for getting into gates and stuff, although it looks like it can be trimmed so that this could be possible, however the metal bracket that the chute bolts to still sticks out past the deck. So off it went, likely gonna get a powerchute as I had one on my Turf Tracer and loved it.
    -dead-man's switch/control arm had a loose screw and feel off before I got from the dealer to the first house, will have to get a new one, minor issue.
    -that's it

    Here is a few pictures for now, there will be many more to come as I was less than impressed with the information available on this mower. Any questions feel free to ask, I will be sure to update and post pictures, sorry no cut/stripe pictures yet.

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  2. XYZLawnPros

    XYZLawnPros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 398

    Looks real good. Hope you smashed it out of the park on price.

    Thank you for taking the time to post some pictures and your first impressions of the machine.
     
  3. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 756

    Price was $3800 plus tax, I'm sure its more than down in the states, another shop had list $4400, this one was marked down to $4150 from $4350, I think the price was fair. I was looking for a used one but there were only 32" models available, glad I got the 36", plus its shiney and new, lol.

    Some more thoughts.
    -machine cuts and stripes great, used it on a bunch of yards today, wow.
    -height of cut adjustment is amazing, every turn of the crank is probably an 1/8 or 1/4 of an inch, allows for fine adjustment, very nice
    -I sharpened and balanced the blades after today, they were horribly out of balance from the factory, typical, lol.
    -very light and easy to maneuver

    One negative
    - wish the height adjustment had NUMBERS!!!! gotta take some time and figure out what is what, it goes from A to D with marks inbetween, not a huge issue but something I need to get figured out, measured it when I got home and was at 2, 3/4", seemed like a good height

    There will be much more to come, hopefully remember to bring the camera tomorrow.
     
  4. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 756

    Couple pictures from my own lawn today, seems to stripe pretty nicely. It has a rubber flap in between the deck and rear wheels, not sure if it has much of an effect on the striping or not. I forgot to take the camera with me today to take pictures but all of the lawns except for one seemed to stripe very nicely.

    I think I may need to get some gator blades, on a couple yards the clippings were fairly long, but I was cutting a lot of grass down to size and these lawns often have to be double cut with the 21" mower so not a huge issue.

    Overall I am liking the machine a lot, saved a fair amount of time today, it fit on all of the yards I though it would and makes it less tiring compared to using a 21" for the medium/large lawns, now my large lawns are still pretty small by lawnsite standards.

    I think I need an OCDC for this machine, there was a couple times where it would have been very handy, I think for now I might modify the chute so that it is able to flip over the deck and out of the way. I know powerchute doesn't make an OCDC for this machine, it lacks the brackets that the chute would normally bolt to(the deck is completely flat on-top with a couple holes). There was a couple times where I ended up spraying the side of a house with grass, argh.

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  5. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 756

    Some more pictures of the machine.

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    Picture of the cooling fan located above the hydro transmission, a very nice feature.
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    Picture of skid plate protecting the trans.
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    Fuel system evap canister, I think its some emissions thing, it appears like a big filter that takes the fuel vapour and then re-uses or something, I dunno, but there is a bunch of hoses and stuff going back and forth, I know the older Ferris I used to run didn't have this and had a nice contoured gas tank instead of this brick.
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    Height adjustment indicator, currently it is at 2.75", seems like it could go pretty high, maybe up to 5", not sure exactly. I read in the manual that there is 2 ways to configure the deck for either tall/short cutting, not sure what it's set on. I think I'm gonna use a sharpie and make a few marks at 2", 2.5", 3", etc. Although once you have a height determined you can just crank the crank a couple turns in either direction and then just crank it back afterwards. Actually if you look close you can see two quotations on either side, one goes from A to C and the other side goes from B to D.
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    Crank used to change the height of cut, I'm gonna have someone hold a tape measure as I crank and determine how much each rotation does.
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    This is how you disengage the transmission, just push the bar forward, I is currently disengaged because I was wheeling it around the garage to take better pictures, it's spring loaded and returns easily to the engaged position.
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    Another picture of the stripe kit/rubber flap thingy. It is weird that this comes standard, it is however a nice feature in my opinion.

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  6. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 756

    A few more to add.

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    Shot of the belt for the timed blades.
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    Another one with the cover off, there is an adjustable tensioner, the belt is a angled groove style and appears to be very strong and well made(goodyear).
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    Discharge opening without the guard on, there is a small metal bar/piece that connects the opening at the bottom, not sure if this is for strength or to help prevent scalping or something.
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    Underside of deck, appears to be nicely chambered, also the blades have a channel that they sit into, this prevents you from putting them on wrong and potentially having the blades collide, a nice feature. Blades are perpendicular to one another. Also the underside appears to resemble the 30" mowers.
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    Another one of the underside.


    Used the mower a bit more and really like it, I am very impressed with the lack of scalping. When I used the 32" ferris years ago it seemed to scalp often when the front wheel would drop down, I think it had to do with the longer wheelbase and offset blades. This model is 4" shorter and the blades are timed and more chambered than the 32". So far loving this machine. I have heard of people mentioning issues with the Kawi engine air filter design, only time will tell, I am very good about cleaning filters and stuff, however I may consider upgrading to a canister style filter, not sure what that would cost, however it would look pretty bad-ass and also raise the filter up higher which would seem like a good idea. I'm gonna contact Powerchute to see if they have something that would work on this mower(likely not), I'll have to fab up a couple brackets for it to mount to, as you can see there is nothing on top of the deck, completely flat, other than that, great machine.

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  7. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 756

    Little update, gonna pick-up some gator blades this week and likely do the first break-in oil change. Looking into the OCDC as well, also gonna ask dealer about mulch kit but I don't think it would be the best thing, the ocdc will likely allow me to fully utilize this machine on small yards without plastering basement windows, fences, wall, gardens, etc with grass, while allowing the stripes to be consistent and not dependent on the discharge of the clippings. The one I had on my Turf Tracer was great, I should have took it off before sale, but the buyer was very interested in it so I included it.
     
  8. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 756

    Little update, did my first oil change on the machine, manual says after 8 hours, doesn't say whether or not to do the oil filter, so I did it just in case, also the manual says to change the filter every 100 or 200(can't remember) hours and the oil every 50 hours, so I change the oil without changing the filter??? Seems like a bad idea, I know the Kawasaki oil filter from the dealer is $15.00 but to me it seems like it only makes sense to change the filter as well, not sure what others do. Overall the mower is doing great, I love how nicely it starts and the choke has a return spring in it so when I pull it up it automatically goes back down preventing it from staying on too long. The blade engagement is super smooth and the electric clutch is a nice change from the Turf Tracer manual clutch which seemed silly. The mower is cutting great and stiping great too, I'm really happy with my purchase and glad I got the 36" as opposed to the 32", it fits on all of the yards I was hoping to use it on and then some, I'm sure once I get the OCDC it will allow me to use it on even more smaller yards without getting grass everywhere, still figuring out the best cutting height, a couple lawns I change it on and it's nice to just turn the crank a couple times to fine tune the height of cut. I'm amazed at how much a difference even a 1/4" makes, sometimes I feel that jumping 1/2" is too much sometimes, wish my push mowers has 1/4" height adjustments, so to conclude for today, still super happy.
     
  9. Coral Lawn Care

    Coral Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I'm just curious but how is it to turn and navigate? I remember seeing quite a few comments on how it wore people out as they had to muscle it all over. Have you done any hills with it yet?
     
  10. locallawncare.ca

    locallawncare.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 756

    I've done some moderate hills, it holds them pretty well, its hard to describe the way it operates. It's not a dual hydro by any means, it doesn't steer for you at all. It does however provide you with a very smooth flow that is almost like a power assist or something, it's not like you are fighting the hydro, the hydro is actually helping you, I don't know how to explain it really. It can be easily steered left or right with one hand on the controls, the left and right controls are linked together so you can let go of one at anytime, and a bit of effort is required to keep it straight on hills. Overall it is very easy to operate, I'm 6' something and 160 pounds and can manage very easily, I've ran the 32" in the past and this one is just as easy to navigate, expect a shorter wheelbase and a bunch of other things. I'd say if you are skeptical see if you can demo one, you will be surprised how easy it is, now if you have a lot of hills and are used to a daul hydro than this would be a bad switch. The nice thing about this machine is it only weights about 350lb compared to a dual hydro 36 which is closer to 550lb and about double in price as well. Overall great machine, super happy.
     

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