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Hearing bad things about Ferris

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by dathorpe, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    Is this how Ferris addresses problems? By telling customers no one else is having problems? 4-6 horror stories on LS is certainly a good percentage of LS members that own a Ferris, read this one thread and decided to post.
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  2. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,276

    After reading this and related threads, ferris and hustler would be out for me.
  3. aroddy

    aroddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 377

    Every brand has their problems. But I think what Dakota Dog is trying to get across is that people that own their machine and don't post about it much is either happy with their purchase or don't have much to grip about. But if your a customer whom isn't happy with their purchase, then yea your gonna hear all sorts of things they are upset about. Same thing happens in my store all the time. I sell a unit and I don't see they customer again for 8 months or longer. I worry a little that maybe there was something he/she wasn't satisfied with, but they come back with a smile on their face because they haven't had 1 problem or hasn't had a need to come back to my store. But if I have a customer thats had problems, I see them often, and the ones that are mad- you often can't deal with very well cause they walk in with ultimatums and think it's their way or the highway. You can only do the best you can with what you've got to work with.

    I back Ferris because they are a good machine. I get anything I ask for when it comes to getting my customers satisfied. They have their shortcomings, I would change plenty of things about them. But I'm not a engineer either. But overall they have a advantage to everything else out their. Is their better machines out there? Sure. Everyone has different needs, therefor there are 30 different brands of Zeros on the market. They have made leaps and bounds over 3-4 years ago in quality and is getting better every year. Everyone has their flavor- GMLC loves Gravely because he has nothing but good things out of Gravely machines and service. Retrodog is a big Bad Boy advocate because he sells tons of them and gets good service from the manufacturer to take care of his customers. MkHippy and Puppypaws loves their hustlers.

    It just looks like Ferris is on the chopping block right now. Everything on lawnsite has one time or another. Bad Boy, Exmark, Scag, Gravely, dixie chopper, Hustler, all of'em. Some one starts a thread on how they are dissatisfied about a brand and all the haters pile on lol. But you look at all the other threads about Ferris, they seem to be pretty darn positive. Its just like anything else, your either gonna love'em or hate'em.

    Now I don't know how things work for Alaska as far as dealers go- but as far as TPendagast situation goes- I could understand how your upset. I'd be pissed my $12,000 mower started having serious issues within 400hrs. And you found a dealer to work with you. Did you buy these from a dealer on-line or something? It looks like overall you were dis satisfied with it, but you bought two more machines to keep your fleet all one brand. Other than the two new mowers have one slower than the other, how are you liking them? Are they doing everything they should? What about the original machine?
    xjjeepman1 likes this.
  4. JTLarson

    JTLarson LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Shenandoah, IA
    Messages: 274

    I don't mean to sound like a hater, I was just stating my experience. I still really like my Ferris. I had a local dealer tell me he wouldn't sell Ferris because they had too many moving parts, and now he sells Simplicity & brags about their suspension!!!! Those of us that run mowers should be selling them. I have known more about mowers I looked at than the dealers selling them!! Why don't they do any research? I have replaced whatever parts are wearing without crying "warranty" just taking it as wear & tear and maintenance. Ferris parts have been reasonably priced compared to some of the other brands I've owned, but that even varies dealer to dealer. I have encouraged others to buy Exmark when I had mine, Hustlers when I owned them, and have had several purchase Ferris mowers after running mine. They are all good machines. Exmark has improved since my original advantage series, the Hustler controls, speed, & ride seemed an improvement over the Exmark, and the Ferris has the ride & cut I was looking for. I read the posts about others getting 3,000+ hours on mowers and scratch my head. I can't even fathom that! I guess we are always looking for the next "best" thing. It seems like the need for speed has changed everything. Now mowers are capable of 15-17 MPH, engines keeping getting bigger, people try cutting at full speed, and the ride gets rougher. Time is money, but maybe things need to back down a bit. A farmer in his 50's told me that my 32/72 Ferris has more horsepower than his first tractor and is as wide as his first disk!!! But I have also ran other smaller mowers and it drives me crazy not having the speed, power, and width after going big!!
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  5. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,274

    Thats not entirely true! I still have my issues!
  6. aroddy

    aroddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 377

    Ha ha it is crazy what these new big mowers are doing no n days. And now they are costing more than brand new full size trucks did in the early 90s. I mow 20 acres at my dads place. We had to 61" bush hog zeros. When we became a dealer, one ferris 3100z cut the time we were mowing by HALF. Its that productive on rough ground. So I too gotta have the biggest baddest machine
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  7. dathorpe

    dathorpe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    I agree that the 60 is the perfect size for a ztr but I've needed a couple of 72" specialty mowers for some time. I already have several very large properties under contract that are suited for a 72" but I've been making due with 60's. If I can land this new contract, that'll put me over the top to where it'll make fiscal sense to purchase two 72" mowers.

    As for the Cheetah, I might be headed in that direction. I demoed a 60 Cheetah in the spring and really liked it but I didn't like the fact that it didn't have rear anti-scalp wheels. Maybe with the bigger 72" deck they would have rear anti-scalp wheels on the Cheetah. It's the rear outside corners that are a problem and I don't know if a striping roller will help with that.
  8. billc1004

    billc1004 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    i believe Simplicity is made by ferris .
  9. ncknaklawns

    ncknaklawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 379

    I am overall happy with my Ferris mowers. I have Parker and Hydrogear wheel motors and I think hydrogear pumps and the hydraulic hoses are made by some company. "Ferris" bolts them down and screws them together.
    There was a hose problem and a reservoir problem but easily fixed at home. My suspensions have never needed any work 1600 hours. I have both shocks set to their loosest setting maybe less impact on the bushings. Things do wear out since i run the triple bagger. I need to buy belts, idler pulleys, tires. Funny, as I went from 60 to 90 lawns I seem to be using up the tires quicker and adding up the hours faster. Same amount of days but its costing more. I've made some mods to my setup to reinforce a few parts.
    -Idler arm on triple bagger weld on replacement part was weak so added metal brace
    -Frame cracked due to triple bagger load of 300lbs wet grass and hole in yard with speed
    -raised triple bagger up so bags won't fall off when going up hill with bump and near full load

    I'm not crazy about the new FX801 gas usage compared to thr FH721, I think I would have put on something with power in between the two.

    I would suggest you look at the Engine model numbers, not just the horse power and the pumps and wheel motors model numbers not just the flow cc's and get the mower with the higher quality parts.

    I just want reliability , I'm willing to pay an extra $500 to $1000 or even more for this. Note to Mower makers. Throw the marketing people out that tell you to design for a particular price point. We just want quality.
  10. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    As a Ferris owner for quite some time, I can say that a lot of these complaints, though somewhat over-emphasized, hold true.

    When Ferris launches a new model, it's riddled with faults for the first 6 - 12 months of production. It seems to take them quite some time to work out the bugs. A friend of mine bought one of the first Evolutions which was constantly disintegrating.

    Ferris also seems to be incredibly slow to respond to anything. Before the iCD, their decks had one of the worst cut quality in the industry. Yet it took them years and years and years and years to finally fix the problem.

    They also make a few overweight diesel models with tractor engines showed in mower frames that shake themselves to pieces. The local municipality had two IS4500 which disappeared to who knows where (they also had five walkbehinds which seem to run forever). Someone on this forum bought the new IS2500 with similar problems.

    A lot of times when I look at my Ferris mowers, I get the feeling people designing them aren't real engineers but former peasants following instinct.

    That aside Ferris does offer some unique features: first and foremost the suspension, a rubber chute, nice deck height adjusters, anti scalp casters, good range of engines and hydro components, plus the paint finish is really tough.

    Overall I guess you can only expect so much from a company that made milk machines and is owned by Briggs & Stratton.

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