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Ferris 3100 or Scag TT

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JOSLAWN, Nov 7, 2007.


    JOSLAWN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I demoed a ferris 3100 with a 32hp vanguard yesturday on one of my roughest properties. I was very impressed, even the cut was good Ive heard alot of negative things on the cut but this was nice. Currently have scag 31hp vanguard 1500hrs velocity deck. The scag is awesome but the ferris nice ride and cut.Any opions greatly appreciated.
  2. rhalverson

    rhalverson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I demoed two Ferrises: a 44" Z and a 61" Z (3000 series) and was really impressed. Because of their suspension you can mow some pretty rough terrain at top speed (10 mph or more on some models.) This not only creates a ton of productivity, it's also a lot more comfortable for humans who have to ride them!
    I have a Toro Z now and I like it but I frequently have to slow down on bumpy turf.
    There seem to be a couple drawbacks to the Ferris, mainly cut quality and difficulty in cleaning the deck, (you can't hose them down cause water will get in the bearings. The cut looked real nice ont the ones I demoed.
    I would love to hear from someone who has owned a Ferris.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I've had over 20 of them in the last 14 years...what do you want to know?
  4. rhalverson

    rhalverson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    You've had 20 Ferrises?
    O K, you're the guy to ask. I think I'm going to buy a Ferris Z, the 3000. I demoed that and a 44" Z and loved the suspension and the fact that I was going full speed (up to 10 mph) on some pretty rough terrain. That alone would save me many hours a week. My biggest concerns, though, are these: 1. You can't spray the deck to clean it due to water getting into the bearings. I suppose this is not the end of the world and probably worth the hassle, but how does a guy clean it? Do you have to scrape it by hand?
    2. Where I demoed this machine, the grass was pretty short. (It's the dealer's own 3-acre demo area.) They had a lot of bumps and hills so I got a good feel for the handling but I couldn't really judge the cut quality because the grass was already short. Are you pleased with the quality of cut? I do a number of private estates and they demand a pretty manicured look. 3. When I engaged the blades, the motor lost a lot of rpm's. They came back up right away, but I've read a few complaints online about this problem. One guy said he had to choke the engine every time he engaged the PTO or the engine would kill. Again, not the end of the world, all things considered, but it seems like kind of a pain in the butt to have to take this extra "choking" step every time you engage the blades. Or, maybe he just had a quirky machine. Has this ever been your experience?
    Are there any other issues I should know about?
    Obviously if you've had 20 Ferri, you consider them to be worth it, and I tend to agree. I like what I'm seeing. But before I commit hard-won cash to this investment, I'd love to hear about some of these issues from someone who knows.
    If you're ever in Milwaukee stop in for a beer. We have a pub or two.
  5. phntmfoot

    phntmfoot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    As a commercial cutter and a Ferris dealer, I would have to say that the engine choking out when the blades engage is not a Ferris problem. Sounds like something isolated to that particular mower. The ones that I use have a phenomenal cut. Especially on nicely manicured lawns. In regards to the spindle issues, the hercules spindle is designed to last the length of the other critical components on the mower. (i.e. engine, pump/wheel motors, etc.) With that being said, Scag uses a non-sealed greasable spindle also so your worries with hosing down the deck would be the same there. Overall, both are awesome mowers and you wont be disappointed either way. You just cant duplicate the comfort of ride that the Ferris has with any other mower in the industry.
  6. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,446

    General concensus on this board has been---if you like the quality of cut (demo on your lawns) then go for it. The machine quality is good, some are unhappy with the cut quality---many are happy with it.
    We demoed a 2000 series and it was a decent machine. The front forks and caster wheels stick out farther past the leading edge of the deck than most other machines which bothers me a little but really doesn't affect trimability too much.
  7. fishmagnet

    fishmagnet LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 42

    Tough choice as both machines, as stated earlier, are awesome, well built machines.

    We were looking at the Scag Tiger Cub and the Ferris 1500Z, and chose the Ferris because of the ride.

    Both mfrs use quality components throughout and both build a rock solid mowing platform.

    I can't say the Scag or Ferris are any better than the other with exception of the ride, which is important to us as we mow approx 4 of our 105 acres on our property that are quite bumpy and unlevel (esp due to the overwhelming gopher population on our acreage).

    You gotta keep the engine rpms up to keep the cut clean on our Ferris, yet I suppose the same holds true for all of the brands.

    We paid a few extra dollars for the Ferris, but our local servicing dealer picks up and re-delivers the machine at no charge should we ever need service.:clapping:

    Good luck whatever you decide, you'll likely be satisfied with either purchase, though your vertebrae will appreciate the Ferris' suspension! :dancing:
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    I have never scraped by hand (nor my employees). Every mower we have (Ferris and Toro) gets power washed every Sat inside and out.
  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Let me put it to you this way.

    We mow over 500 acres a week total which include private estates in the 5 to 35 acre size and then some with their very own polo fields (which are 10.5 acres) alone.

    You want to meet someone who is demanding? Take on someone who owns a polo field.
  10. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Never my experience Rick...and thanks for the offer for a beer. :clapping:

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