Help w/ Commercial (Ferris) vs Homeowner (Ariens) ZTR purchase

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Kel108, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Kel108

    Kel108 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a Ferris dealer and Ariens dealer in town...I am a homeowner that has 2 acres to mow - I am looking at a Ferris IS 1500 ZTR 21hp/48" deck and also considering a Ariens HVZ 2350 which is a homeowner grade ZTR - Ferris is priced at about $6000, the Ariens is 23 hp and 50 " deck for about $3300.
    Is the additional quality of a the commercial grade Ferris worth the difference in money in the long run. I get different stories from different people. I tend to want to buy quality but I also don't want to overdo things for my needs either. Any advice is appreciated!

    From searching the forums the Ferris has excellent reviews. I have not seen many postings on the Ariens though I've heard good things about Ariens/Gravely.
  2. Tremens

    Tremens LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Have you looked into Simplicity mowers? Most of the Ferris dealers around here sell Simplicity also. They are homeowner mowers but contain many of the commerical quality Ferris components - commercial deck (on some), dual hyrdos, etc. The price should be between the two types of mowers that you asked about.
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,370

    Two acres could be easily cut with a 48" WB which you could get around the same price as the cheap ZTR machine. Use the opportunity to get some exercise, and if that isn't good get a sulkie to ride on.
  4. scaper27

    scaper27 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    Ferris is nice machine. I have the Ferris IS 1000 48" with thw 21 Kawi and love it
  5. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,714

    I am an Ariens/Gravely dealer. The Ariens you are looking at is really a nice mower for the money. No, it is not built as heavily as the Ferris, but it also is not as pricey. That Ariens, for your 2 acres, could last you a lifetime with good basic maintenance. The Ferris, will probably last you 2 lifetimes.
    Which dealer will take care of you best after the sale? If possible, try to get a demo on each one. I am not sure of the Ferris warranty, but, the Ariens has a 2 year warranty for homeowner use. There is no question that the Ferris is the heavier, more solidly built machine. After all, it is designed for commercial use. However, either machine will do a good job for your intended use. How much do you want to spend? That is really the only question here.
    I was just in Fairfield a couple of weeks ago for the Vintage Power Wagon Rally. Great town, friendly people. Will be back at the end of July to pick up a couple of trucks I am getting at VPW.
  6. truss-rod

    truss-rod LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I bought an ariens 2348 home owners model 3 years ago. from the pics on the website it looks like they redid the control sticks, but mine are hinged under the seat, so there is a grove wearing where they come out from under the seat, so the tips are starting to hit each other. Another thing is the tires don't get quite the traction I'd like, and are a little small. Sharp tuns on any slope have to made very carefully and bigger tires would make for a smother ride. My yard is pretty bumpy in spots and the mower can really get bouncing. If your yard is smooth and flat save your money on the ariens. If you have gopher holes like me, you might want to consider the ferris.
  7. Kel108

    Kel108 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks everyone for the advice - much appreciated...
    I demo'd the Ferris 1500 52" deck and also rode the Ariens around the dealer's lawn but did not mow much with it...the Ferris had a much nicer ride.
    I also tried my neighbor's Husquvarna lawn tractor, a 48" deck, the kind you get at sears - what a difference - the Ferris was so much nicer.

    While my lawn is getting longer everyday I still have not bought anything but am leaning toward the Ferris 1500 44" as it will fit in my garage with 2 cars as well. It also knocks about 1400 off versus the 52" and $400 of the 48" deck option. The local price is $5600 for the 44" here but it will take a little more time to mow.

    My lawn is surprisingly rough in spots, demoing the Ferris on a slight down hill slope at faster speeds ... well I can see why there are seat belts in the thing ;-). So perhaps the Ferris will be much smoother ride.

    Mowingman - Dave Butler of Vintage Power Wagons is a good friend of mine. Glad you liked Fairfield - it's a wonderful little town. My home is adjacent to the local park - it's like an extension to my backyard and they have swimming in the lake as well. Pretty nice!
  8. forgop

    forgop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Here's what I don't understand about people when shopping for a commercial vs. a homeowner mower. You're not comparing apples to apples here.

    You said that this is to mow 2 acres for your home. Is it really worth spending almost twice as much for a mower that is OVERKILL in terms of durability for a homeowner? If you're cutting grass for a living and putting 8 hours/day x 26 weeks, I think you can justify going with the commercial. However to cut grass for approximately 50 hours for an entire year of mowing and spend nearly double the money is CRAZY if you ask me. Just think of the extra things you can do with the extra money in your pocket.

    FWIW, I have the Ariens 1740 that I bought in spring 2005. It probably is a little overkill for my yard as I don't think I've even got 35 hours on it yet, but I did get it with the intention of picking up some local yards in the future to make a few extra bucks. However, for the money, I thought it provided the best features for a homeowner unit. The Ariens has a higher blade tip speed than commercial Exmarks and puts out stripes as nicely as anything out there. The Ariens mowers are built pretty well and will do very well as long as you maintain it at all.
  9. stryper

    stryper LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 137

    While I agree with the "apples to apples" sentiment, maybe it is worth it to some. I look at it in the same way I look at irrigation: just how important is it to have the lawn you want? How much are you willing to spend? How much work and comfort are you willing to accept/embrace? Those are individual choices...and more logical than they might appear on the surface.
  10. forgop

    forgop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145 the homeowner Ariens ZTR and use the left over money you could have spent on the mower to install an irrigation system. :)

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