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Ferris IS5000z vs Dixie Chopper

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rough cut, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. rough cut

    rough cut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    I'm looking at getting a 72" ZTR and have narrowed it down to either a '04 model (zero hrs) Ferris IS5000z w/34hp gas or an '05 72" Dixie Chopper. The Ferris dealer is offering it for 10K out the door (+tax) and the Dixie Chopper is $9,600 (+tax) for the fast one. This will be used at my home on 10 acres, 5 of which is field Bahia and the other is St.Augustine. Lots of room to run between trees but the back 5 is pretty rough with gopher-turtle mounds and holes. My neighbor up the hill has 45 acres and a Dixie Chopper. He says it beats him to death but runs it wide open regardlessly because he can. I need the best of both. Any suggestions?
  2. Travis Followell

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

    Both are good mowers. The Ferris will give you a very smooth ride but the Dixie should also. Demo both machines if you can and then decide. Which engine is on the Dixie?
  3. rough cut

    rough cut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    The Dixie has a 32 hp Guardian engine, while the Ferris has last years 34-hp Daihatsu LC gas. Both are water cooled. One thing I am concerned about is that Ferris changed the size of the spindle shafts (I think) to 1.25" for '05. I'll be putting about 200 hrs a year on the machine and some of the mowing is pretty tough. Can it handle it? Today I mowed the back 5 acre section and the Bahia seed stocks are 4 feet tall! Really!! Too much rain in Florida! I'm also worried about the Dixie's frame durability. It just didn't seem as sturdy as the IS5000. Also is there a big difference in blade speed? I demo'd the Ferris at a lot near the dealer on Bahia that was 8 inches tall with no seed stocks. Went thru it like it wasn't even there. At the Dixie dealer I didn't get a chance to cut anything but did engage the deck, WOW! Sounded like a 'copter taking off! What happens when these two ZTR hit the tough stuff? I know that having more torque would cut wet, thick stuff better and normal grass cutting would be better with RPM. HELP!
  4. 2manymowers

    2manymowers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    The Dixie Chopper 32 hp is a Generac air cooled engine-not liquid cooled. Never have tried a Ferris because there are no dealers anywhere around here. Also, there is a lifetime warranty on the Dixie Chopper frame. Overall I am very happy with my 72" Dixie Chopper. The 32 hp engine has a lot of torque, but still when mowing tall thick grass, or bush-hogging, I slow way down to keep the rpms up.
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Dixie Chopper also has optional springer front castor forks as well as a 15" front tire. These 2 items combined make for a very decent ride even on rough ground.

  6. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810


    This is the first time I'm hearing about and seeing those springs. I assume that is on your machine? Can you tell me a little more about them.. is it quite a noticeable difference? How much were they? Thanks............

    Can you show a better lit picture.. please?
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    No, they're on Bill Parrish's (Fine Lines Lawns) mowers. Retail is about $170 each. Paul Burkheimer can hook you up. Tell him Richard Martin sent you.
  8. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    I don't think you will have a problem with the spindles. Ferris has been using the same spindle since the begining of time with great success. They just started changing over to the new style spindles recently. I run a IS4000 72" deck with 31hp dihatsu and it does very good. If you look at the front lip of the ferris deck you will notice that the blades are lower than the front lip. This really hellps in tall grass. The Ferris does have front baffles in the deck and I'm not sure if the DC does. If you want to use it as a brush hog the baffles might not be good. I really think the decission is up to you. Ask both dealers if they will let you try the machine at home.
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Dixies don't have baffles in the front of the deck, it more of a straight through design. Also the Dixie has an adjustable front lip. I raise it all the way up for cutting grass in the spring and summer and then lower it in the fall for grinding up leaves.

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