Kubota or Ferris?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CoyteePrince, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. CoyteePrince

    CoyteePrince LawnSite Member
    from 37742
    Posts: 19

    Hi all,

    My rider is finally breathing its last breath and it might be time for a new mower. I'm not terribly caught up on price so let's keep that out of the equation.

    Scenario: I am a home owner, NOT a commercial business. No tax deductions for the equipment. It will be used to cut my house, father in laws house and perhaps uncle in laws house (let's say 3 acres of lawn total, 1 for each but that's probably a touch on the high side). The terrain is hilly but no hilly enough that I don't comfortably use my Scotts rider. There ARE some places where the rider is used while my body is leaning HARD uphill.

    There is a field that I'd guess...well I have no idea. It takes me about 2 hours on my rider to cut. Field is old pasture land and not golf course smooth (as are NOT the yards). My rider deals with it ok but at times, can become bumpy in spots. Otherwise, the field is relatively flat.

    My desires: I want a diesel first & foremost. I want it if for no other reason than to keep extra tanks of gasoline to a minimum. I also have an industrial sized backhoe so I want to be using same fuel for all toys (and these ARE toys :cool2: )

    I want my father in law (who has had hip replacement) to be able to use it if he wants to, but I doubt that will ever happen.

    Kubota ZD 28 or Ferris 5100?

    I like the suspension on the Ferris. I talked to my Kubota dealer and even HE said they were fine machines "but one thing I'd be worried about is lack of parts & dealer service when compared to the numerous Kubota dealers around here" (which I think is accurate... probably 4 Kubota dealers & 1 Ferris)

    I do NOT like the foot pedal height adjustment on the Ferris compared to the hydraulic adjustment on the Kubota (my father in law will NOT be able to use that at all with his hip)

    I like the size of the Kubota over the Ferris, seems smaller & cleaner.

    I'd never heard of Ferris until I read some places like here. I've known of Kubota since 1980 or so.

    So, I'd like any thoughts/opinions as to how the machines might rate against each other in build quality (I presume they'd be equal)

    Any thoughts on who can outcut who in more rough terrain? (Ferris?)

    Ferris dealer showed me a section of their frame indicating it is like 1/4" steel instead of 1/8" steel "like on other brands" (hmmm... I'm sure other brands might have their own commentary?)

    So, let me put it this way...

    If I were going to buy YOU one of these two machines as a gift, which one would you prefer I buy YOU, and why?

    Just to give my predisposition, I am leaning towards the Kubota but every time I cut that field and finish with my body vibrating...I wonder how the Ferris might compare.

    Thank you for any thoughts.

    Now, for my next book.....

  2. Saxman

    Saxman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    Well I am in a very simlar situation as you and 3 years ago I purchased a ZD12 Pro/60. I also looked at Ferris and others but like you I had concerns with dealer support for the Ferris and there was no concern with the Kubota. I really love my ZD21 but I am sure you will be hit with the other brand loyalist here, you know who they are, they will tell you how the kubota is underpowered, don't cut well, yada, yada, yada. Buy the ZD28 and don't look back
  3. I'd recommend the Kubota for your use. The Ferris is more industrial in nature and is designed more for parts to be replaced when they wear out. The Kubota with it's transaxel/differential thingamabob isn't. It's one big unit. Looks pricy to fix. No concern to you though, you'll never appraoach the hours required to wear out anything. The Kubota will give you excellent service. But DO get the commercial fabricated deck. The old shallow stamped deck doesn't cut tall or wet grass well..

  4. JTF40

    JTF40 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 875

    Never regreted my purchase. If you go with Kubota, you will love it. However, save a grand or so and go with the ZD21 w/60" Prodeck. That is all YOU need. :usflag:
  5. exmark1

    exmark1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Whatever you do don't buy the Ferris! They are the biggest piece of crap I have ever driven and operated, the Kubota's look tough and strong
  6. Toad

    Toad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 443

    Its always nice to know where people are located 37742???
  7. CoyteePrince

    CoyteePrince LawnSite Member
    from 37742
    Posts: 19

    37742 is Greenback Tennessee. It's one of those places where you start in Knoxville go until you can't go anymore, turn left and I'm another 12 miles out in the middle of nowhere. I work in Knoxville but to get to work in Knoxville, I need to go through another city, either Maryville or Lenoir City. I can't get to knoxville from Greenback directly. :walking: :walking: :walking:
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I'd say try and demo both.

    As for Ferris being crap, that is just one opinion. We've owned and operated over 20 during the past 13 years and wouldn't trade them for the world. Extremely reliable machines and the IS sure makes it easier on your back at the end of the day.
  9. Apples

    Apples LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 268

    Like Rod said, Demo them both. I bought a Ferris IS 5000 last year, Cat diesel, with a 72" deck. A great mower,very easy on your back.I'm very happpy with my purchase.
  10. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    Well, I have a Ferris and also a Wright Sentar, and neither mowers are a big piece of crap.

    The Ferris is great and my dealer/service rep has parts on hand but I have yet to need more than a set of blades for rotation.

    The foot pedal for the deck, at least on mine, is NOT the adjustment, but merely the lift. The Ferris has peg/holes for adjustment levels. The foot pedal is actually kind of nice (I wish the Wright had it) because if there is a chance of skimming or working on a slight rise in the ground, you just have to push the foot pedal to raise the deck just a little without locking in the upmost position. When the skimming situation is past just lower the deck and continue. So with the foot pedal that deck can be adjusted on the fly.

    The Ferris is built well and will last a long time.

    The Kubota is also a nice machine. Just go to each dealer and take a ride, and also ask if they have an area to demo mow on. See how YOU FIT on the mower, see how it rides and operates with you at the helm. Listen to see which one is louder. Which one handles heavy grass better, and the list can go on.

    I am not sure if I would like a transaxle. To me you are getting back to either garden tractor or standard tractor type drives, and I personally like hydro pumps better.

    Which brings on another point. How are the hydro pumps cooled. The Ferris has independant fans on the pumps-cool. The Wright has a radiator cooling system.

    AS for the ride and vibration, the Ferris rides like a Cadilac compared to the Wright, but they both have their place. How it compares to the Kubota I do not know.

    Ride the mowers and don't make an impulsive decision.

    Best wishes.


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