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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by GMLC, May 4, 2013.

  1. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,148

    I honestly can't tell you what the ride difference may be with the Ferris at the SZ's much higher speed, no way to test. I do know the Ferris gives what I would consider the best ride of any mower in its class.

    When the Ferris dealer cut against my older SZ with his new Ferris 3100; I left him so far in the distance he was totally shocked. We crossed a small ditch and he made the statement, "I had no idea a SZ was that fast, and you never slowed down when crossing the ditch." I showed him the flex forks and explained I only had 8 lbs of air pressure in the front tires. The tires can react and absorb shock faster than any mechanical suspension.

    I can tell you something else that made the SZ look much faster than it actually was when comparing to the 3100. I can promise the dealer had not adjusted the stops on the new Ferris, they are shipped from the factory to run at a top speed of 10 mph, and it is up to the dealer to adjust the stops to let it achieve its advertised 12 mph. I have never understood the reasoning behind this, and most dealers seem unaware of this needed procedure.

    I talked with the manufacturer and was told they shipped their 3100 at 10 mph and it was up to the dealer or end user to adjust for top speed. I don't understand this reasoning and never will. I told the factory most people were unaware of this, and they stated it was in their information, and up to the dealer to make the change.

    I know a dealer one state over that sells Hustler, Scag, and Bad Boy, with the Bad Boy and Hustler SZ being advertised as 15 mph mowers, and the Cheetah at 16 mph. He told me they raced the mowers against one another on occasion, and that the SZ was always the fastest. In all honesty I would have thought the Cheetah to be faster.

    These advertised speeds are based on integrated components, in other words what the book claims the speed should be, not actual timed speed.

    I asked an engineer with Hustler if they ever pulled a SZ off the line and physically checked the speed and I was told no. I then asked him how they could advertise a hard number from something they never tested. That is when I was told they use calculations based on components to list speed.

    I've tried to get my hands on a Scag Cheetah to run it in a side by side comparison. The impression I've gotten is Scag does not want their Cheetah tested against a Hustler Super Z. They know I will state in writing exactly the how the mowers compare, if the Cheetah rides better and cuts faster, that is what I will state, if the opposite is true, that will be what is stated.
  2. greenology

    greenology LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 816

    Sounds like the Ferris may well have been operating at the 10mph speed in this case. But as you say the Ferris gives a better ride, that's not going to change by adding an extra 3mph. Its a no brainer!

    Im sure one day youll demo a Cheetah & Im sure you will notice an increase in comfort over your SZ, you may not agree but I agree, hahaha :> (not that youd be concerned tho,as a rough ride is not an issue for you so SZ suits you very well!) Anyhow Im looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Gravelys ride in due course.

    Racing mowers side by side on a patch of lawn here or there imo is a little irrelevent. A correct way of testing productivity would be to cut a few individual properties entirely, twice (on the correct cutting schedule, ie; weekly or fortnightly) with variations, ie some with a lot of obstacles to negotiate & some with rougher ground & compare this time. For eg a 4 acre lot may be cut on average 1.15hrs on ZTR A & 1.2hrs on machine B. & not just big open football fields.
  3. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,148

    Maybe so, maybe not...If a mower will mow grass at top speed as my Super Z mowers have done for years without double cutting, then yes, whichever mower won the parking lot drag race will be most productive day in and day out. If I can get a 100' straight run and utilize the faster speed; even on small properties I will cut the area faster than will the slower machine. I am at the end of the 100', turned around and coming back before the slower machine reaches the end of it first pass.

    You had to of run your SZ somewhere you could open it up, you know how fast it will accelerate and move through a cutting pass, then think about cutting nothing but one pass after the other with each straight line cut averaging 500'. The Super Z will cover a lot of ground in a very short period of time...I feel assured Mickhippy will verify this.

    This is based entirely on property where the mowers fast speed can indeed be utilized, property that is not in extremely rough condition, such as with many of yours.

    I think you will like a Ferris 3100 on the properties you mow.
  4. greenology

    greenology LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 816

    In those circumstances the SZ will be more productive for sure. No other ZTR can match those Hydros.
  5. mag360

    mag360 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,446

    Top speed on the cheetah is a true 16 mph by all accounts but we demoed for a day and it wasn't as zippy as the hustler. Hustler SZ was more productive on smaller properties. The cheetah would probably be faster on your property with all the long runs but the heavy controls and super smooth zt5400's encourage you to start up slower than the hustler (both styles) does.
  6. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    The super must take off quicker because I watched a you tube video and the super jumped the lead but the cheetah was gaining ground quickly by the end. Of corse they stopped the race before the cheetah passed and claimed the super the fastest.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 16,979

    It is my understanding that the trans on the Cheetah doesn't have any gears. Just two different stop locations for the sticks that limit top speed.

    All this talk about speed is really kind of pointless for the vast majority of LCO's because most of us simply can't use it anywhere to any real advantage, and as GMLC said earlier, if you have to double cut all the time because of the deck design, then the fastest speed is of no advantage at all.

    If you have a wide open flat area where you can fly balls to the wall, and/or customers who don't give a crap what you do, go for it, but I know my own customers would not like seeing me flying across their lawn at top speed (if I even could) for a variety of reasons, and I'd be out of work shortly.

    There's simply far more to mowing and doing top quality work than going full out, hair flying in the breeze behind you.
  8. INlawncare

    INlawncare LawnSite Member
    from IN
    Messages: 44

    All I care about in a mower is QOC and not having to double cut it at all possible! Reliability is also a big deal. Top speed and what "looks" built better, that for other besides myself to worry about comparing them like that. haha I don't mow full time anymore, but like I said when I am mowing, I want something that is comfortable, reliable, and has a great QOC on the first pass! And at this time, my Dixie IS NOT doing any of those!!! And from demo of a new dixie, I won't be buying another one of them because the new ones aren't much change from the one I bought new 8 yrs ago. Gravely will def be my next purchase! That 460 is everything I look for in a mower let me tell ya!
  9. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    I agree 110%. And the 460 goes 13 mph!!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,148

    You don't hear this statement very often, as a matter of fact, I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone say a SZ would be more productive on smaller properties. I do know that even in a 50 to 75' run, I push it to full stick and I'm at the other end ready to turn around in the blink of an eye. I've just never thought about this for the fact of it being such a common practice with me, but in reality I guess it does get to top speed very quickly.

    That was a good point you made...

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