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Ferris, Scag, or Exmark walkbehind?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by G. Moose, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. G. Moose

    G. Moose LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    I am trying to make a decision on which wb to buy. I've narrowed it down to exmark, scag or ferris. I already own a 48" Scag belt drive and I'm very pleased with it. It is VERY tough and cuts well with plenty of power from the 17 Kaw. The only complaint is that the belts slip when wet and especially when muddy. But I deal with it.

    The short story is that this thing is too big for the residential yards I do. I have a few big properties but 80 -90% are small upscale residential. I need a 32" so it will fit through back gates (they all have fenced back yards). I would like to go with Scag again, but I have two questions about them: 1. The 32" does not come with an Advantage deck. Will the standard style deck cut as well as the Advantage? Will it mulch well also? 2. Does the 32" have double wide drive belts like all the others? If it does not, does anybody know how well it will do in wet or muddy conditions?

    I am considering the other two brands because they are cheaper. But I have questions about them also. Exmark: it only has single belts- will they slip? Does it mulch/cut well? Is it as tough as the Scag? How about spindles- are they greasable or not?
    Ferris: It has the double wide belts but its deck does not look as tough as the Scag. (9 guage steel?) How well does it cut/ mulch?

    Dealers are within 30 minutes for all 3 brands- Scag and Ferris are at the same place. They want $2450 for the Scag- how does that sound? Seems a little high to me but I am willing to pay for it if the other mowers are not as good.

    I will use this mower 6 days a week, many hours each day, so it needs to last a long time.

    If anybody out there has experience with these machines, please fill me in! If there are other mowers you would suggest, let me know- I'm open to suggestions.

    Thanks so much guys!! :dizzy:

    P.S. I'm selling the 48" Its got around 100-200 hours on it and in near perfect condition. Let me know if anybody's interested in it.
  2. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,446

    old school deck cuts very well, mulches very well, stripes better than other wb's. 36 is double belted to the best of my knowledge (ask dealer) I just bought a 48in hydro wb and opted for the original deck as opposed to the advantage. Advantage deck works well on my turf tiger but the old deck is fine for wb. Good luck with the new mower and try to pay for the whole thing with the sale of the 48in--it should have held alot of its value
  3. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Look into the Exmark 32"Vicking HYDRO.
    The hydro sill really help you in the tight spots and increas your prodectivity some. You might even be able to add a flex dexk to it.?
  4. precisionlawn

    precisionlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    Won't 36" decks fit through most gates? Alot of the accounts I have gained this year have gates, and as i was estimating there yard, I measured the gates, and most were over 37". Some bigger.
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    36" will fit through many, but not all gates. I do some cluster home developments with plastic fencing around all the homes and my 36" toro won't fit, a 32" would even be tight, but would fit.

    I'm probably going to get a 32" Viking Hydro to handle these and as a general small area mower. With the hydro productivity, it's probably as productive as a 36" belt drive.

    It's the only hydro 32" I've found. I'll just have to live w/ the fixed deck aspects.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    We have owned 48", 52" and 61" Ferris WB's (I guess around 12 or more of them alone) over the past 9 years. They have to be one of the most reliable pieces of equipment we have in total inventory.

    You can email me at rspronck@aol.com if you have any questions about Ferris. People here at LS will tell you I really believe in Ferris mowers...hands down.

    BTW, eXmark I hear makes a great WB as well. Maybe not as good as Ferris (I'll catch some flak for this), but close. LOL:D

    Good Luck in your decision.
  7. G. Moose

    G. Moose LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    Thanks for your help guys. No, not all of my properties have gates large enough for a 36".

    PaulJ, do you own a 32" hydro exmark? How much did it cost?
    Down here, hydros go for 2x what a belt is. Are they worth it? I mean, I know they are good, but twice as good??:confused:

    Iwill take all this into account. Thanks again.

    Any more suggestions?
  8. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533


    I am from the same area as G. Moose. Around here, the gates in the communities where there is new construction are about 35", so a 32 is needed.

    G. Moose:

    I am also looking at the 32's and believe that I will go with the exmark metro. This will be my 1st year fulltime (have been part time and using Toro 21" prolines thusfar). The 32 will be my main mower for the time being, but I believe that I will save my $$ for a larger hydro hopefully about half way through the season.

    I emailed Exmark about the MSRP of the Viking 32 and they said it was $3800. I talked to a couple of dealers locally and they said that they could order me one for about $3500 (most dealers do not carry them in stock...very little demand in this area, from what they say). I can get a 32" metro for $2100. Tough to cough up the extra $1400 for the Viking when I know that it will be relegated to back yards halfway into the season.
  9. G. Moose

    G. Moose LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    rkbrown, does the metro have single or double wide drive belts? Also, what dealer gave you those prices? They seem pretty competitive. You mentioned wanting a bigger hydro...I'd love to cut a deal with you on my 48 belt. I know you want hydro but maybe it would allow you to see if the 48 is really what you want at a lower price.

  10. rkbrown

    rkbrown LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533

    Not sure of the belt widths. Price of the Viking was from Southwest Mower on 90 in Missouri City. Price on the Metro was from Mowers, Inc. in Pasadena.

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