Ferris IS 1500Z vs. Simplicity Z

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grassmeister, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. grassmeister

    grassmeister LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    I'm looking for a really good ZTR mower for homeowner use (commercial use possible, but not likely right now), but I'm willing to fork over the extra $$ if it's really worth it. I've narrowed down my selection to 1 homeowner model (Simplicity Consumer Z) and 1 commercial model (Ferris IS 1500Z). The prices I got are $4000 for the Simplicity and $5280 for the Ferris (both 44"). It's no small difference in cost, but I'm trying to determine if it's worth it for a mower that I plan to keep forever.

    Simplicity makes the only homeowner model that I'd consider. It's got mostly commercial components, but it's deck and frame are lighter weight. The main advantages that the Ferris offers are:
    - Active suspension (front and rear)
    - Faster (10 mph vs 7 mph)
    - 2 stage commercial air filter
    - Heavier deck and frame
    - Slightly more power (19 hp Kawasaki V-Twin vs. 18 hp Kohler - single cyl.)

    Most important to me are:
    - Cut quality while mulching (particularly when cutting Bermuda grass low and needing to avoid scalping)
    - Speed (at which I can get a great cut)

    For homeowner use, I'm not sure these differences are worth the added cost. I mainly want a good cut at a decent speed and one that will last a long time. I've test driven both, but only on concrete. I was very impressed by both. Any opinions? Also, which deck do you think "floats" better and will be best at avoiding scalping? I'm having a tough decision because these seem like 2 great mowers.

  2. Travis Followell

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

    The Ferris deck would definately avoid scalping as much as possible because it is mounted to the suspension so the deck will not bounce when going fast over rough ground and is less likely to scalp. The 4 wheel suspension on the Ferris will give you a lot better ride than the 2 wheel suspension on the simplicity and if the conditions are right you could mow 10 mph with the Ferris. I would take a 19 hp twin over a 18 hp single any day. In my opinion the Ferris is definately worth the extra cost if your thinking about using it commercial some day. That machine would without a doubt would last you many years with proper maintenance. Hope that helps.
  3. grassmeister

    grassmeister LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    The Ferris weighs about 280 lbs more than the Simplicity. What are the advantages/disadvantages of all that additional weight? I would think that a lighter machine would be preferable in some respects. Would one be better than the other on hills?

    Also, I've been asking dealers around my area and nobody has any info on the mulch kit. I've been told that it's not out yet and will be a while before they even make it. Any experience with how well they mulch? Will the IS 1500Z have a different deck/mulch setup than their other decks?

    A dealer said he can fabricate a plate to cover the discharge opening, but I'm not sure that's the best solution.
  4. Travis Followell

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

    One machine will not be any better on hills than the other. 280 pounds will not really make much of a difference either. I have heard that Ferris has a mulch kit but you have to call Ferris and order one. Try doing a search for Ferris mulch kit and i'm sure you'll come up with something.
  5. Smitty58

    Smitty58 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    This is exactly the question I had when doing a search I found this post. I bought a Simplicity z 50" last year to do part time mowing. I put a approx 100 hours on it ,it performed flawlessly. This year I am expanding so I'm wondering if it would be better to move up to a "commercial" z. I have been studying the Ferris line. The dealer I bought the Simplicity is also a Ferris dealer so that helps. Would it be wise to move up now ,or wait another year? I'm sure trading it in now will cost me a little ,but will it cost me more a year from now if my Simp. has 300 hrs on it?
  6. Travis Followell

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

    It depends on what kind of commercial mowing you will be doing with it. If your just gonna mow a few smaller yards i'd say it would be ok but if your thinking of taking on quite a few and using your mower pretty hard then i'd suggest to go ahead and trade it now and get a 1500 Ferris.
  7. ZER

    ZER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I believe the Ferris 1500 also has the Nelson 2-stage air cleaner and a two year commercial warranty as well.

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