Fast-Vac finally arrived!!!!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FrankenScagMachines, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    It finally got here today! The triple bag Ferris Fast-Vac. Due to the fact that the nearest Ferris dealer is 45 minutes away, I had the bagger shipped to my neighbor’s business (farm biz, has forklifts). I ordered it in late May but it’s been on backorder due to lack of weights for the front of the mower (outside supplier). Well, installation wasn’t a “breeze” at all… took a couple of hours. The contraption is very heavy and awkward to install in many ways. It is definitely built heavy duty, too heavy for me but if a fellow had crews running them into brick walls, trees and the like, I could see it holding up well to the abuse, but the weight makes it difficult to attach and detach easily. The blower unit is very heavy and heavy-duty. The bag hood and holder setup is heavy also. I was disappointed at the hardware provided (nuts, bolts and such). They send one bag of hardware for three different mower models and two different bagger models. I had gobs of stuff leftover and was actually missing a few pieces (nothing major, and it was stuff I had on hand, but that’s not the point). The deck pulley cover shield that replaces the original is slightly too big so to get it to fit actually puts a bend in it. the top cover (which I will never use anyway as it has to be removed to take off the belt and nothing gets on the deck there anyway) doesn’t seem like the right one. To make it fit it has to be what I think is upside-down and it doesn’t look right at all, and the wing nut-bolt thing scrapes the cover that way. The instructions aren’t the best I’ve seen either IMHO. But I finally got it done and got to try it. I mowed my two acre lawn with it and only dumped about 4 times (this is the 10 bushel three bag unit). It worked well, never plugged or had any problems at all. The one thing I noticed is since I installed a tachometer about 10 hours ago, I’ve noticed my RPM’s are about 3500 no load and 3350 or so with blades on. Doesn’t seem to slow much during normal mowing. With the bagger fan, it’s slower, maybe 3300 if not in the grass and not moving just sitting still with blades and fan on. When you get into grass it doesn’t take too much extra power according to the tach, but when I mowed on my hills, it really sucked power running the fan and especially pulling all the extra weight (don’t know exactly how heavy it is, but I’m guessing around 250 pounds maybe?). I don’t think the 23hp is enough for doubles AND the bagger, which I was hoping it would be (probably fine if not on hills which I don’t do much mowing on anyway) but I was thinking doubles and the fan for the bagger is probably real hard on the clutch (I always engage at low throttle). With single standard blades and the bagger on, it only ran around 3100 rpm on the hillside (mowing across, but still going up). I wasn’t going terribly fast either. On the flat part its thicker weed type grass and that slowed it down a bit too. In short, I’d say that if a person was going to be bagging a lot, I’d go with at least 25hp on a 52” mower. The 23 will be fine for me, but if more was available I would definitely go for it.
    The blower fan does not stick out too bad… the heavy weight doesn’t seem to make the deck dip any either (and it is heavy). I was hoping the unit would be quicker and easier to mount and dismount. As it is, its not too bad it’s just the weight of the components that deters you from switching from bagging to discharging frequently. I know this fall I’ll get a lot of use out of it!
    Looking to get a lot of use from this unit. I hope I really love it. for $1600, I better!!!!

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