Ferris IS3100Z choices

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by dgeesaman, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Hello everyone, I'm new here.

    I will be taking care of a 15 acre horse property and buying a mower specifically for it. I intend to mow the pastures every few weeks, the lawn and perimeters weekly, and the perimeter of the neighboring farm field if he'll let me (in exchange for the use of said perimeter to access an adjacent riding trail). I attached a picture, keep in mind we're putting horse pasture fencing over the open areas next month so it won't be all open fields. Before long, the pastures will be rough, the lawn perimeter isn't perfectly smooth, and the field perimeter is probably a mess.

    Overall since this is our place I have no concerns about plowing at high speed through 18" grass, since I can slow down when that happens. I mostly want reliable and comfortably fast over the rough ground.

    I've decided that a lightly used IS3100z is within budget and well suited for the task. I'm now faced with some options:
    - 61" deck vs. 72" deck. One dealer told me the 72's are a bit much for navigating and his customers preferred the 61's. Another dealer suggests he prefers the 72" as long as the ground is not too uneven and the mower can fit everywhere it needs to go. In any case, the 72" option I've found costs an extra 2k over the 61's I have an eye on.
    - Engine - keep in mind these are used and 2-4yr old - 32HP Vanguard, 37HP Kawasaki Carb'd (pre-DFI), or 26HP Kawasaki Water-cooled.

    I'd like to hear your thoughts.


  2. R & R Yard Designs

    R & R Yard Designs LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 646

    Get the 61 we have 3 of them. I had a 72 and only kept it for a week. Its just to big for everyday use unless you cut a sod farm
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    I have the 26 liquid cooled Kawasaki with a 61" deck and to be honest at times I would need more power. For a homeowner liquid cooling or DFI is just adding unnecessary complexity.

    61" / 32hp Vanguard is the best combo. Keep in mind, since Briggs & Stratton owns Ferris they can pass their engines somewhat cheaper so with a Vanguard powered Ferris you're getting the best deal for your money.
  4. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,474

    Sorta yes and no there. The Vanguard is a B&S engine in name only. They are built by Daihatsu in Japan, and B&S went in on the building of the factory with them in order to be able to be the sole distributor of them here under the B&S banner. They are far from being like most B&S engines and are a top choice. You pay a lot more for a Ferris with a Vanguard than for one with a true B&S engine like the Cyclonic, which is just a gussied up and rebadged Intek engine.

    That said, I agree- get the 61"/32 Vanguard and never look back.
  5. blk90s13

    blk90s13 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,453

    You run the farm ? or just mow for them ?
  6. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    My wife and I run the farm. I don't mow for anyone else at this point.

    There is a 61" with Kaw 37hp carb'd that sounds like another good option. It happens to have a few more hours and much better price than the 32 Vanguards I've seen.

    There is a 61" with 32hp Vanguard locally but the dealer is not giving a bargain price. I'll make an offer but I'm not paying top dollar for a used mower with no warranty.

  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 17,474

    Just be aware the some of the earlier BB Kawi's (34's and 37's) had valve train/head problems. Make sure this isn't one of them. You can call Kawi and get a serial number range on the defective engines. That same engine is now correctly rated at 35 HP BTW.
  8. greenology

    greenology LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 816

    How many hrs would be on the machines your considering? That looks like a nice open area to me, if you don't have any tight access areas, gates, trees close together etc, then Id suggest the 72" purely because you can if you do have the access & youll save yourself some time over 15 acres.
  9. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Had a look at one 3100 today: 2009 61" with the 26hp Kaw water-cooled. It was in really nice condition with just 250hrs. It ran nicely and didn't stall when I'd engage the blades, although it did drop RPM pretty noticeably.

    I don't expect to plow through heavy grass, so I think this might be a good choice. Once my loan officer gets back to me Mon or Tue I'll probably make an offer.

  10. williams lcm

    williams lcm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    Make sure it had the. Icd deck
    Posted via Mobile Device

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