Ferris wins vs Scag, Hustler and Exmark

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Liftman101, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. Liftman101

    Liftman101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Choosing a mower is a tough time consuming ordeal. There is no real adequate comparison between units.

    I mow only a few lawns less than 5 hours per week and do it for fun.

    I bought a used Tiger Cub and had a blast. I can't believe I've been using tractors all my life. I wasn't satisfied with a 5 year old 500 hour mower. I cleaned it up sold it and made a few bucks then went looking. I looked at the following units.

    Ferris 500 44" deck. $4900 8 mph, Briggs motor, smaller tires, wheel motors, ROPS. Add $599 for 52" ICD deck with striper.

    Ferris 1500 52" ICD deck $6499 10 mph with better cooling fans a Kawasaki motor, larger tires, folding ROPS and a Donaldson air cleaner.

    Ferris 2000 52" ICD $6999. 10 mph Bigger 25HP Kawasaki and a full independent suspension.

    Scag Tiger Cat 48" 10 mph, wheel motors, 19 HP Kawasaki, Folding ROPS. Around $7000. Less with a Briggs and no Donaldson. Dealer wanted $400 to add the suspension seat.

    Scag Freedom I just didn't like it. Briggs motor and no Donaldson. Different deck, fixed ROPS and transaxle. It was in the $5500 range.

    Hustler Fastrack. Kawasaki motor, 8 mph, ZT 3100 Transaxle, No ROPS, No Donaldson, Small tires. $5199 plus $200 for flex forks and $400 for suspension seat swap.

    Hustler Fastrack SD. As above except with a Donaldson air cleaner, larger tires and larger motor.

    Hustler Z4. Awesome machine. Had everything including suspension seat except for flex forks. 10 mph. $7499 plus $200 for flex forks.

    Exmark Laser Advantage 48" deck 2009 model, 20HP Briggs Vanguard. Unitized independent wheel motors (dealer claimed this is better). 10 mph and awesome cut.
    $6499 plus $400 for suspension seat.

    Dixie Chopper Silver Eagle 10 mph wheel motors and very quirky but kind of unique.
    $6599 plus $210 for springer forks and $400 for suspension seat.

    I looked at a Gizmower as well and a dealer on Ebay had a 10 mph leftover for $6500. ($9500 list) If I had any sidehills or ditches to mow it would have been number one. It will stop turn and go back up when others just slide. It is just a little too odd for what I need but is certainly an ideal mower in difficult situations.

    Honestly I should be using a Toro big box model or a Hustler sport or an Exmark Quest. I wanted a better mower and the Sport was just too small looking. I am 52, a little worn, 6'2" and 290 lbs. I would buy a Hustler Zeon just to be an early adopter but $6499 was the best price I got and it is basically a Sport at double the price. I was probably their target market mowing 1 acre or so and having disposable cash but it just wasn't as much fun too drive as the fast commercial models. It was quiet but there is not that big a difference when the blades are on. You still need ear protection.

    I liked driving the Z4 the best from a smooth controls standpoint. The Exmark and Ferris were also very responsive, The Ferris was almost too responsive. It would jerk if you weren't smooth. The Scag and the Dixie were sort of crude.

    They all mowed manicured lawns well. I will never cut when wet anyway. The Exmark did seem to have an edge on a perfect cut but the Ferris ICD, Hustler, and Scag were all a close second.

    The Z4 was $700 more when well equipped and still did not have the striping kit other wise I would have bought it based on the high regard Hustler receives on this site. If it had come in a 48" or 52" I might have bought the Super Z for 10K because it was certainly a riot to drive.

    The Ferris IS 2000 is an awesome machine for the money. I love everything about it. The 2000 has a better ride by far than anything else I tested. It can only take the edge off not make a rouch field like mowing on a cloud. It was simply the most fun and only exceed my original budget by $1000. The new ICD deck seems to be like a Scag deck mows incredibly well and includes the striping kit for free. I had wanted a 48" deck but it is not available in the new ICD style yet. The unit has large cooling fans and seems very well built.

    I don't need the suspension but was really impressed. I knew I wanted at least a suspension seat after mowing with the Tiger Cub. I wanted a Donaldson because I appreciate the way they protect the engine and have added them to other off road toys.

    To me, the best value by far was the Ferris IS 500 with the 52" deck and wheel motors for $5499. It met my needs but the 2000 suspension was a big upgrade and I would not have been able to get the fixed ROPS in my shed.

    I would expect any of these mowers to last forever mowing manicured lawns as I am and I just do it for fun. The Ferris warranty was not as good but I did not have a big concern.

    Thanks for all the help and info on this site. I tend to over analyze these types of purchases but it was also great fun reading the site and comparing the comments with my own observations.

    What I also learned is that pricing is very dependent on the dealer. What they have in stock, whether he has leftover units. List price means little with these mowers and you have to work hard and travel to get the best deal. The differential between dealers seems very large considering the small margins they claim. It also seems that better deals are to be had when you find a dealer that trades and looks for closeout opportunities.

    Wish me luck.
  2. kemosabe

    kemosabe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Nice summary for other window shoppers like me
  3. Southern Pride

    Southern Pride LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Memphis
    Messages: 1,382

    Didn't read a sentence :D but highly doubted
  4. demhustler

    demhustler LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,322

    thanks 4 research and sharing
  5. Jake4551

    Jake4551 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    Great post, helps me a lot!
  6. Liftman101

    Liftman101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I have mowed twice now. I can still say this is an awesome mower.It is fast and smooth. The cut with the new ICD deck looks just like the one from the scag and both were better than my JD LA140 with the 48" deck. My suspicion is that any zero turn including a cheap Toro would cut manicured grass nicely when you mow 2 or 3 times per week. The striper seems to work a little but did not have that big an effect when I mowed at 3.75" as I usually do in summer.

    That said, I kind of regret this decision. It is way too much mower for my yard. I measured wrong and it doesn't fit in my under deck storage area.

    I will say that the front suspension and the overly responsive hydro controls make this feel less precise than the older Scag Tiger Cub i used for 2 weeks.
    Stopping too fast will definitely nosedive the front end even on full stiff on the preloads. I blame the 290 lb. driver.

    Not being skilled with this type of mower, things happen fast with this thing. It will surge and spin a tire very easily if you are not very gentle on the controls. I thought the Scag was too stiff but now I think that might have been a good thing.It is way overkill for my 1/2 acre of smooth manicured grass and the neighbors I help out. That being said, when I mowed the undeveloped yard that the builder doesn't take care of this thing was amazing. The scag would practically eject you from the seat at 1/2 speed and the Ferris IS 2000 just cruises.

    If I had to do it over, I would probably go for the $4900 Ferris IS 500 with the 44" deck or the mini fast track with the 42". I realize that the 500 and 1500 with the pivoting bar instead of the independent suspension would not nosedive both at once. I still am having a blast with the mower but it will take longer for me to be smooth. For now, I just have to pay very close attention making mowing a little less relaxing.
  7. TreeDog

    TreeDog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    You definately have to shop around. The same Ferris 2000 you listed above is $9200 down the road from me.
  8. Liftman101

    Liftman101 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Honestly that's why I bought it. At $6999 it was $900 less than I was quoted elsewhere and I always love to get a deal. Basically, I got a 2000 for the price of a 1500.

    I wasn't sure when I arrived to pick it up it would even be there. I bought it over the phone. He is a first year dealer and said he got a special price on it from the factory as it was used as a camera model.

    It was perfect, looked like it was waxed and had zero hours.
  9. nathannc

    nathannc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    You'll love it. If you want to be even more comfortable, put on a suspension seat. You can sail over bumps that would put you in traction with many other mowers.
  10. Jake4551

    Jake4551 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    Anybody know where MSRP can be found on Ferris mowers? Wondering how good of a deal I am getting on a 1500 52 inch deck 22 hp kawi, ICD deck.

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