Ferris IS 1500Z Pro's & Con's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TJS, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Starman

    Starman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    As an 1500z 48" owner, I'll weigh in too. Changing the oil does suck; the dain tube is a bit too short & only drains next to the muffler. Good thing I don't have to change the oil every day. If I was a mechanic dealing with these machines on a daily basis, I too would be frustrated. As with all ZTRs, ya gotta be careful on the hills. They don't have the same (hill) manuverability as tractors or WBs. I mow some 30+ degree slopes & the 1500 does fine. Never experience a pblm climbing slopes with my 1500..unless I push it past its climbing ability. When I do, the machine does a wheelie & I'll invoke an abrupt U-Turn back down the slope. Kind of like being on a snow board sliding down the halfpipe! The machine has never scalped my lawns and I've never experienced lawn burn from its exhaust (and I make frequent stops to pick up dog bones, dog sticks and everything else associated with doggy dogs). I find the cut to be very acceptable for residential lawns. Quality seems to be dependent upon speed and sharpness of its blades. The better the lawn, the better the cut too. Does it strip well? No. But I love the uniformity of its cut.

    I too only have about 15 hrs on my machine and don't relish the though of having to do maint. on it. One sacrifice a person makes when buying this "compact" commercial mower is its ease of maint. The other is its small, 6 gallon gas tank.

    Is the Ferris tough? You bet. With only a few hours on the engine, my wife managed to run the deck into the side of our brick garage. The garage lost.

    I expect I'll be keeping this machine for many years to come.
  2. eclawn

    eclawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I'm Sorry I Cant Let This Go.mowingman Whats The Real Story Here?
    Your Local Ferris Dealer Kicking Your But, Pissed Every Time You See A Former Customer Pull By With A New Ferris?ive Been A Dealer For 15 Years And Have Sold Snapper, Toro, Scag, Country Clipper And Hustler And Never Had As Reliable And Durable Brand To Stand Behind As Ferris. Ive Had Over 4 Exmarks, 2 Dixons, And 1 John Deere Traded In For Ferrises This Year And All That Ive Talked With Brage On Ride And Quality. Ive Got Customer Bring In Customers To Buy Ferris. Now As For Service Thier Not That Bad, All Product Are Harder When Your Not Familiar With Them,but If You Find A 3000z Hard To Service You Better Not Step In To The Automotive World.
    I Will Give You The Fact That The 1500z Is A Little Harder But It Is A Compact With Suspension It Only Has So Much Room.
  3. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,686

    Ok. I have worked with machinery from 200 ton draglines, down to handheld trimmers. I know a poor design feature when I see it on most any type of machine with an engine. I have owned and operated many brands of ZTR's, both good and bad. Now I sell and repair mowing equipment, so I get to work on lots of different brands.
    I have no axe to grind with Ferris. They are a very minor player around here.
    A couple of friends of mine who are dealers near here, tried to sell them, and each gave up the line in a year or two, for varoius reasons. I had heard a lot of hype about how good they are, and how well they ride. I had never had a chance to work on any, or ride any till a few weeks ago.
    Let me tell you, I was not impressed. Everything is too cramed up on the models I worked on. I like machines that are easy to work on, that means no oil from filter changes getting al over the engine platform, no oil drains locared over mufflers, no tearing steel plates off to simply work on deck pulleys and belts. Ease of maint. is a VERY important factor to consider when buying a mower, and I am telling you, compared to 99% of the machines we work on, Ferris is poorly designed in some areas.
    As to the hype about the ride. What a joke. That 1500 I rode around on beat me to death compared to the Grasshoppers and Gravelys we sell.
    I was so unimpressed with the Ferris machines, that I felt i needed to share that when someone asks about Ferris machines. I know what it is to take someone else's word about how good a machine is, then buy it without doing enough research myself, or demoeing the machine. I made 2 bad machine purchase decisions many years ago, and it cost me a bunch. ( No, they were not Ferris).
    So, I am not badmouthing Ferris overall, just offering my impressions of the 2 models I have experience with. Hopefully, someone considering a Ferris will check these design features out. It may not be a problem for them, but it will give them another set of info. to factor into their decisions.
    Oh yes, I will not even get into the potential for wear in all those moving suspension parts WITH NO GREASE FITTINGS.
    Hope this addresses your concerns.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,062


    If you like grease fittings, you would love my new Lesco.
    Everything that moves on it has a fitting.
    Even the anti-scalp wheels have zerks.
  5. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    The suspension parts no longer have grease zerks because they started using rubber bushings just like most autos.

    And if you cry so much because you have to take something apart to work on it then you are a lazy mechanic. Really...How often do you have to work on deck spindles?
  6. mow4fun

    mow4fun LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I tested the Toro 4400, Ferris 1500Z, and Simplicity Citation (same as Ferris with no front suspension. I don't know how you could say that the suspension did not help, I found a huge difference in ride and comfort between the Toro and Ferris/Simplicity. The concern about moving parts is a non factor in my mind, look at cars and truck and how they have been built fo ever. I am not a mower mechanic but did work on many cars that i owned and you just learn the best way to manitain each car after you do it couple of times and I believe the same applies here.
  7. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,686

    I admit it, the easier it is to work on, the better I like it. My customers like it that way too. Less labor hours mean a smaller bill for repairs.
  8. Starman

    Starman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    One reason Mowman's ride might have been poor is because the shocks were not adjusted to accomodate his weight. No implying anything here. Just that like motorcycle shocks, the 1500 shocks should to be adjusted for a rider's weight.
  9. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    Mowingman if you think Ferris's ride rough you should ride an IS 3000 or better yet a IS 4500 and you'll change your mind.
  10. 2004F550

    2004F550 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    We just got one, strikes me as wimpy compared to the 3000. It is the 52" and it has the 25hp Kawi, I personally think the cut sucks. Doesn't strip nearly as well as our JD 7iron deck either. Also, I think the suspension is a joke, it rides the same if not worse then a Turf Tiger I drove that has no suspension. They wanted the 52" deck so they had to buy the 1500 but overall nothing special imo.

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