Ferris IS units any good?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jimmie51, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. jimmie51

    jimmie51 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I have seen a few of the Ferris IS units around and have demo'd the 3000 and the 4000. I really liked them, and I have a couple of bumpy fields that I mow that the suspension would come in useful. Anyone have one or any experience with them? It seems like a great concept.
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    jimmie -

    I've got 2, one for me, one for backup. They're IS4000. I've got 1300 hours on one, 2 years old, 200 hours on the second, new last fall.

    I have had problems with them clumping, even with a slight dew, but I'm trying some new "wavey" mulching blades, and they seem to do the trick.

    I agree, the suspension is wonders. In case you haven't seem some other of my posts, I do all commercial, along with a school district, working about 80-90+ hours a week. It's sure better riding the suspension rather than the fixed mounted mowers.

    People always think they scalp on a hill and such, but they don't.

  3. LT01

    LT01 LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Posts: 11


    We have the IS3000Z and like it a lot. We bought it new this spring so I cannot give you a whole lot of useful insight. Will say that it's a very nice machine and the suspension is GREAT. It produces a very nice cut and I agree with LMAN22, it doesn't scalp a hill any more than any other ZTR on the market.

    Can you tell me a little about the "Wavey" blades you're using? I find the same clumping problems with the 61 ztr and the 52 DD and have tried several different blades with limited success.

  4. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    LT01 -

    I THINK they're called raptors. I don't know. My dealer had a set and gave them to me to try out.

    They're not straight across like a regular blade, they're higher in the middle for about 5" on each side of the hole, then drop down 1/2" or so for the last 5" on each side of the hole.

    Do a search on here about raptor, there's a pic of the blades in the 3rd thread or so.
  5. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Posts: 4,739

    I have a new, 04 Ferris IS1000Z 23hp Kaw, 52” deck with front suspension. My Fast-Vac is on backorder, hoping it gets here real soon or I will personally call to the factory and throw a fit! LOL if I paid for it I want it and I need it anyway! (bought the mower May 22 but ordered the bagger a little later than that). Anyway, I love the mower it is real sweet. I tried a couple others before deciding on the Ferris. It has several features I like over others (suspension, heavy duty canister air filter standard, fuel gauge for each tank, controls mounted on top of tank and in convenient and comfortable locations, etc). The suspension is adjustable. I can change the adjustment in 20 seconds from soft to hard to in-between. I really like the IS. It keeps full traction on the drive tires on rough ground, slopes, ditches, etc because it does not torque the frame and take traction away from the drive tires. The deck on it works great. Does not clog up when wet. I read on here where some people said they clump when wet- I have not had that problem really. Unless you are mowing sopping wet grass or have your deck chute in the down position, I don’t see that happening. I use the standard blades that came with it and have no problems with clumps. If you are mowing off LOTS of grass then yeah it will lay thick and occasionally clump, but no more than any other mower. I have noticed no more scalping than other machines either. It does pretty good at not scalping, but anti-scalp wheels on the back of the deck would be good (no room between deck and drive tires for this- I suppose they thought if they put the drive tire close enough that a deck roller wouldn’t be needed). It’s very maneuverable and compact. Goes about everywhere that my walk behind does except a couple of REALLY steep banks (that the eXmark hydro will slide down, yeah real steep).
    My only complaint thus far, is that the deck will tend to leave stragglers (uncut grass) in the thin, stringy grass types. I am going to play with different blade types (high lift). I wish they offered a 25hp engine on it, but the 23hp is plenty of power unless you want to run double blades and expect to mow at full speed with them (this is where a 25hp would be nice). The 23 has gobs of lugging power over my 17 on the eXmark though. I really love this machine and everyone I’ve shown it to that has another machine has been impressed with it. I would recommend it to anyone needing a good Z. They are pricier due to the suspension, but you get what you pay for and this ain’t no cheap junker machine!
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    FrankenScag -

    The problem I've had with clumping is on a 61" deck. Your running the 52" deck may be a better set up.

    It used to be if there was a real heavy dew, I may as well sleep in. Now with the mulching blades I can keep on mowing.
  7. Ursushorribilus

    Ursushorribilus LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    LwnmwrMan22 - Question: What horsepower on your 61" deck. I'm thinking of buying the rear-discharge 61" with the 31.5 Cat. Would more hp reduce clumping? Thanks...Tony
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    Ursus -

    I run the 27 hp kawi.

    I'd be kinda leary about a rear-discharge deck.

    I have NOT seen one yet, however I do run a 12' Bush Hog Tri-Deck behind my 43 hp Kubota. It's rear discharge and quite a few times I've got to go over areas with the regular mower to break up the clumps.

    The problem with the Bush Hog is the blades all push the grass over to the side of the deck, where the discharge should be if it were side discharge, but it's solid, that's when it just lays out the back in a clump.

    Like I said, I haven't seen Ferris' deck design, so I'm not sure how they're going to make things any different.
  9. LT01

    LT01 LawnSite Member
    from MD
    Posts: 11


    Thanks for the info on the blades. I have a set ordered and they should be in Friday. Are you running the Raptors as singles or are you doubling with another blade?

    Again thanks for the info, I'll let you know how they work out on our IS3000Z.
  10. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    FrankenScagMachines, as you know im going to be buying an is1000z this month. i was wondering how they stripe?
    also, i think i am going to go with the 52" deck and the 23 kawa. instead of the 48".

    also, do they have striping kits? how much is the bagger?

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