Ferris or Dixie Chopper

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TurfTamer, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. TurfTamer

    TurfTamer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I am in my second year and doing pretty well. I am currently running a 48" John Deere with 7-iron deck. I am looking into a 61" mower for some of my larger props. Speed is important, but not at the expense of quality. I have demoed the Ferris with 4 wheel independant suspension, but have not cut with it yet. It does ride like a dream!! The dealer is going to bring it out to one of my jobs to demo when the weather breaks. I am also looking at the Dixie choppers. Also going to demo this week. weather permitting. I don't see many companies running either of these machines in my area. Was wondering if any of you would have a reason why. Also, any input on which you prefer and why would be greatly appreciated.


    Danny :confused:
  2. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    Last year I bought a new chopper. This year I sold it and bought a new Exmark. I will never ever own another chopper. I will always own an Exmark.
  3. TurfTamer

    TurfTamer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    That bad?
  4. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Danny, there are two rules to purchasing equipment; demo and dealer service, if the two mowers are comparable in price and quality of work then the only determining factor is who's going to give you better service. If one cuts a little better than the other then the only decision is; who's going to give me better service.

    You should always shop your dealers as well as the product they sell. I would actually buy a machine that may have a few more things I don't like about it if I know that dealer is going to treat me fairly and stand by his product.

    Hope this helps.
  5. jsr2741

    jsr2741 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Oh yeah, dittos on what crazygator said. Exmark!
  6. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    The Ferris will hold just about any hill you can put it on but the quality of cut is just average. The Dc does not hold hills worth a Sh** but the quality of cut is fantastic. If most of your properties are flat id recomend a good look at the DC. If not....Look elsewhere. I made the mistake of buying a DC last year not realizing how poorly they hold hills. I made a 9,000 Dollar mistake:(
  7. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    The Choppers are fantastic mowing machines. I have owned 6 different brands of ZTR's. I rate the Chopper in the top two. I have no experience with the Ferris. We hardly see any Ferris machines around here as they have a poor dealer network in this area. All machines have limits to what they can do. Like all makes of ZTR's, there will be those who like Choppers or Ferris and those who have had bad experiences with either one. Those who have had bad experiences with any brand, for whatever reason, will usually badmouth that brand of mower.( See above post by Crazygator)
    You need to demo each mower ON SOME OF THE PROPERTIES YOU WILL USE THEM ON. See which works best on some of your toughest properties. Make sure your dealer will give you the support you need for warranty issues, parts, and service.
    Choppers are very durable, dependable machines and provide a great cut in my opinion. Is it better than a Ferris? I have no idea. However, my Chopper is doing a great job for me day in and day out.
  8. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    for a quality mower buy a scag ! they are the best machines on the market hands down !
  9. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    Too funny! How did I bad mouth? Hmmmm

    Funny how when you list your true experience with mowers how defensive others get. Wonder why?

    Email me if you want about the 2 mowers Turftamer!
  10. TurfTamer

    TurfTamer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I agree about shopping the dealer over the mower, but it is'nt always easy to tell what the service is going to be like down the road. My dear dealer tries very hard to keep me happy, but parts availability has become an issue.

    I traveled an extra 20 mile to the Ferris dealer because he was very accomodating on the phone. He is also the one who is going to personally deliver the demo to my site. (over 20 miles of tough roads.) I know he wants the sale, but they also offer a 0 downtime loaner program just in case. This is pretty appealing. I guess I will need to be the judge on the cut though. I don't care how smooth or fast the ride is, if the cut is not A1 quality.

    The Dixie Chopper dealer is also pretty cool, he has a great selection of brands and parts on hand. He even handed me a commercial contract to bid on that he had come by. But again, cut is everthing. By the way, he said the DC handles the hills great.

    I know this is getting long, but there is yet another dealer whom I know offers excelent service from experience. They cary Scag, Hustler, GrassHopper, and yes Exmark. They are less than 1 mile from house. I don't know why, but I realy have never considered exmark as a choice, but maybe I will take one for a spin.

    Thanks for the input.


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