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Daily dilemna

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FrankenScagMachines, May 20, 2004.

  1. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Well as you all may have realized, I haven’t been on here very much lately. That’s because I’ve been working myself to death! Work keeps pouring in every day! I’m doing 17-18 lawns a week now by myself. A few times already this year I’ve hired a buddy to help me catch up because of the rain. I was thinking I’ll have to just make do with the ol’ eXmark this year and then next spring I’d go finance a Z to help speed things up. But like I said I’m working constantly lately, every day including Saturdays just to keep up between the rain storms and all. I like my eXmark just fine but it doesn’t have enough power to run doubles and pull a sulky which are both necessary for me (otherwise I double cut and lose all efficiency if I don’t use doubles). There are a few lawns (not too big) that are real lush and thick and I have to bag them otherwise I get gobs of grass all over mulch beds, packed onto the sidewalks by the tires, etc etc. just too messy to not bag. Well my bagger is an old steel hand-me-down that is falling apart every time I use it. My Proslide’s skid plate is worn out and I kept using it anyway and it’s eaten a small part out of the diamond plate skid platform from riding it across asphalt parking lots. Also it is broken where the diamond plate platform is welded to the bracket with the springs on it. So it’s in need of repair and the bagger needs replaced. Then, I still need more power and less fatigue and more productivity but I can’t take on the cost of another machine. The 52” deck size is nearly perfect for me as it fits into most places very well, a couple spots it just sneaks through barely. Could not use a 54” deck size and do not want to go any smaller so Hustler is out of the picture pretty much (54 would not fit through some areas, 48 too small). I have enough big areas that a 60” may make a difference, but it still could not be used on every lawn. Also when I have to bag, it would be too wide with a bagger to be able to use.
    Now, I see Ferris has this new deal and I called a dealer about it. He said it’s 0% interest, and 0 finance charges for 36 months and the cost is divided into 36 equal payments. The dealer I would have to go through is 32 miles away, about 40-45 minute drive. Hate to go that far but the only good dealer here is Scag and I’m terribly cracked up on Scag at this particular point in time. The Ferris IS looks good, I have a somewhat bad back and the springs look nice. Their decks look as good as any also.
    The IS1000Z 52”/23hp Kawasaki interests me a bit. I’d really like to have the 3 bag collection system but budget may only allow for a nice Accelerator. I’m not really sure if I can get the boss to let me get one of these machines but the 36 months deal is hard to beat. If I got one of these I might be able to get rid of the eXmark (would like to keep for backup or second machine, etc) because I believe this Z would go most everywhere I need. I also have the 32” belt drive Gravely that is used for small gates but could be used on steep hills if needed.

    If I keep using what I have I’ll be ok because this is my last week of school and soon the lawns will surely slow down a little bit so the growth will be less and my available time will be more. But if I keep what I have, I’ll need to sink probably $60 into fixing the Proslide and I don’t know how much on a new bagger.

    So, does anyone have any good or bad opinions on the Ferris IS1000Z 52/23? The 2 year commercial warranty looks good too. How do they cut and discharge compared to an eXmark? Does anyone know the going price on one of these?


    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    What bank is doing the deal and will they play with any other manufactures. If this is a new thing maybe other banks will also start doing this too. That may open up the field as to what type of mowers you can look at.
  3. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    I have a thought for you. If your mower doesnt have enough power, maybe you should use a wheeled sulky.
  4. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    The dealer/factory pays the finance charges. Its built into the costs of the machine.
  5. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    PMLawn- I believe it is Sheffield.

    Specialty- the Proslide does not take any noticeable power extra to run vs. a wheeled sulky. The power shortage is not due to a sulky, it’s due to double blades and higher speeds (more grass volume mainly) that is what pulls the power. I tried a wheel sulky on it tonight, a friends. Doesn’t really make any difference at all.

    I think I might be able to get the boss to OK the deal if I can live without the eXmark. That will pay for about 10 or 12 payments on the Ferris I believe and I think I could live without the eXmark.

    I built a vacuum collection system for the eXmark that goes on top of the deck and has a 5hp Briggs vac. It works great but only used it for leaves due to the fact that you have to go slow to see around it and it’s a pain to have the dust in your face, etc. and it really changes the balance of the machine a lot. Basically it’s not good for bagging grass that’s why I used the old beater side catcher. I got to thinking for under a couple hundred bucks I could build a rear mount vac catcher for the rider out of that unit, that would take care of the bagger problem.
    So, I could have the Ferris and a vac collection system for around $5k after selling the eXmark (guesstimate).

    Yes? No? Comments?
  6. TRex

    TRex LawnSite Senior Member
    from DFW ,TX
    Messages: 487

    It sounds like you just need to get a new proslide and buy a new steel catcher for the exmark. I know you said that you can't run doubles and the proslide at the same time, but maybe try a few different blade combos and see if they would use less hp.
  7. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Trex- I can use them at the same time, but I can’t really go very fast in this heavy growth (4 mph about). With the rain, sometimes it’s 1 ½ weeks before I can get to a lawn and by then it’s about a foot high. i need my doubles so it doesn’t look like a hay field but I need power to run them and cut through all that stuff. I am running the least draining combo- low lift with a gator on top. They take the least power but still takes more power than the machine has. It was built to walk behind it and no one intended to run doubles with it. It’s just not meant for all that. It does a great job but I am landing some bigger jobs now and with the work I already have and the high growth, my fatigue is up and my time on the job is way high. I know that is to be expected this time of year and I don’t mind spending alittle longer on a property but it’s hard when you don’t have the time to double cut or go slow because you have a dozen other lawns to do also. I know that this is the worst part of the year and I’m almost through it since school’s out tomorrow and all, but still…. The Ferris deal is pretty sweet. I’d need to upgrade next spring anyway as I plan to take on even more work.
  8. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    The best way to double cut that i found is to cut without the cacher on then put it on and bag. You wont be emptying the bag every pass and you can cut at full speed.
  9. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    If you are mowing tall grass, or damp grass, don't suppose you will see a miraculous change by using a rider. I myself would have a hard time justifying a rider with that few lawns, and if you have it in your mind that it will make all the grass go away on one pass at 10mph, you will likely be very disapointed. You can mow faster, but if you are cutting spring growth, and it is fertilized, you will still have to double cut, and maybe even bag some with a Z, this is my experience with KYB, and Fescue yards.

    A Z will make you faster, but not much in the scheme of things when working alone. You still have to trim, edge, and blow, these varriables will not change. The mowing time will be quicker, but how much if you are mowing 2 mph faster? Is it worth the big dollar outlay? Those are questions you have to answer.

  10. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Hole in one- these areas I can’t do that on but I know that it does work as I’ve done it before. The reason I can’t do that is that there isn’t room to discharge, or it goes into mulch way too much. I can’t mow with the OCDC down because there’s simply too much thick and lush grass for it to do that way and it would just clump under the deck real bad and make a huge mess. Then track it all over sidewalks and driveways and everything.

    Jay- I don’t expect a miracle. I would not have to double cut if I had the power to run doubles, that’s my point. I can use doubles with my eXmark and not double cut but it has to go slow to have power to keep up. I’d be content if I could mow 6 mph with doubles. And, when I do have to bag it would be easier because the bagger would hold a lot more. I don’t mind to bag some here and there because I have the flatbed truck that holds a ton of debris and I don’t have to pay disposal fees. I have some areas that would be faster to bag that I don’t bag now because of my bagger situation. I’m starting to get enough bigger lawns that I am pretty sure I’d see a time difference over the w/b too (discharging). The bigger lawns I spend 80% of the time on the mower and the rest trimming, edging, blowing because there isn’t much of that stuff to do just mostly mowing. When I have had a helper help me, he got done with his part of the job before I did (I mowed he did the rest and that was the off week for edging) and he was sitting there watching me finish most of the time. Only on the smallest lawns did we come out the same times and I know on the smaller lawns the rider would not make any difference in time. Plus, my fatigue is pretty high right now. I’m not lazy but I do try to take care of myself and conserve enough energy to get the days work done. :) I know I am talking myself into it aren’t I? well basically I just wanted to know about Ferris IS1000Z 52/23 machines LOL.


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