Ferris fire danger

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jimyjon, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. jimyjon

    jimyjon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I purchesed a Ferris 3000 ZTR mower about a month ago I had mowed 5 acres for the 3rd time, I got it stuck in a ditch, I sut it off and walked around it and saw the rear bumper was hi centered and it couldn't move, I thought no big deal, I'll just go get the tractor and pull it out! When I returned about 3min later it was on fire big time, it was a total loss, Ferris replaced it under warranty, when I got the new mower I figured out what had happined, the fuel tanks are not vented properly! The filler is at the rear of the tanks with vents in the cap, there is a fill tube extending down into the tank( a decal warning not to fill above bottom of fill tube is near the filler) with the design of the tank, the large portion of the tank towards the front, if the mower is stopped on an incline with the front end up at less then 30 degree angle and the tanks even near full, fuel rushes the the rear of the tank, rising above the bottom of the fill tube rendering the vent in the cap inop. and on a warm day with sun shining on those black tanks heating the vapor area above the fuel, it takes only a minute or two for fuel to start pouring out the vent, evidently fuel got on the hot muffler and ignited I told Ferris what I had found, they called back, they had tried it, only took 1 min and fuel was starting to run out, they are working on a solution.
  2. j_loppy

    j_loppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    Sorry about your mishap, but it's a good thing you really analyzed the situation and let them know so that nobody has this dangerous problem again.

    I wish more people would be willing to communicate with equipment manufacturers, because it helps everybody. They can only replicate certain things during tests.

    Good Luck!
  3. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    I've always had ferris mowers and I love them but I agree that this is a problem. However, I removed the filler necks that prevent you from filling the tank too full on my 4000 and now I can get 16 gallons in that mower. On the 4000 the muffler is mounted higher than the fuel tanks.
  4. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,098

    I work in a Ferris Dealership. I will print you post and show it to him.
  5. jimyjon

    jimyjon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Carefull guys!! I found on mine , I had an idea, if I drill a small hole thru the filler tube near the top, that would have the same effect as removing the filler tube, it didn't work, I filled the tanks to just below the bottom of the fill tubes, and parked it on a slope less than 30 degrees with the front end up, with the sun shining on it, in 21/2 min. fuel was running out, there would not be a problem while the mower is moving and the fuel sloshing around in the tank, but you park or get it stuck in that attitude, I guarantee fuel will run out in a short while if the tank is even near full, like I told Ferris at the factory, sometime somewhere some is going to need to stop for what ever reason on a slope,if the a tank is near full, guess what!!
  6. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    This is a huge issue. I am bumping this post back to the top to hopefully prevent this problem from hurting anyone.

  7. jimyjon

    jimyjon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    FYI Ferris 3000 is a great mower, built like a tank, does a nicer job with half the effort of my 22hp 50" cut lawn tractor, in half the time, they just need to fix the fuel tank isue, there are other mowers out there that appear to have similar tanks may have same problem, don't know, something to look out for maybe huh?

  8. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    This is something new? No other ZTRs have this problem?

    When we service our IS3000, we try to do it before we fill the tanks. When you lift the front of the mower with full fuel tanks, gas will leak out the gas cap. Not a lot.

    All of our walkbehinds (Exmark and John Deere) do this also, and push mowers.

    I am certainly not dismissing this, but I've gotten used to checking for fuel leaks when lifting/servicing/jacking up mowers and all equipment. It is just something you get used to after way too many years doing this.
  9. jimyjon

    jimyjon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Tove; for this to happen the tank has to be near full and the mower sitting in the hot sun with the front end up on a slope,, maybe it only happins with this 2003 model 3000IS, wont do it in the shop with front end jacked up, (no heat from sun on the tanks) I've tried it several times, happens every time, I told Ferris what I'd found and they said OK we got it to do it too, only took 1 min. for fuel to come out!! (and I don't mean just a dribble it, pours out, the longer it sits like that the larger the stream gets), Ferris also informed me there are other brands out there with similar tank configurations, they are working on a solution, they were working on fuel cap design, don't think that will get it!!
    Love this mower, just dont fill the tanks over 3/4 full, by the way this will never happen as long as the machine is moving and fuel sloshing around in the tank, has to be parked or stuck as I did with front end up, so it gives operator time to get off at least, and it may not always get on the hot muffler, BUT!!!!
    Have a nice day!

    certified GM master tec retired
  10. jimyjon

    jimyjon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    well we find that Ferris in not the only mower out there with this "problem" there are several others with the same fuel tank configuration and evidently not that big of a problem for most, just hope that maybe some one out there is a little safer knowing of my experience, and would encourage any one out there not to rule out buying a Ferris because of it, it is an excelent mower, my neighbor purchased a Ferris 3000 just last week because he liked the one I have even after my mishap!
    Good luck to all and God bless, have a nice day!


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