If I trade 2010 Ferris 5100z for new 3200 is it a trade up, down, or sideways?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by twelvefootboy, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. twelvefootboy

    twelvefootboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have a 2010 Ferris 5100z with 6' deck and 600 hours on it. My wife runs it and we mow about 8 acres and nothing beats the Ferris ride. I'm not real choosy about cutting perfection.

    The Ferris is user friendly only in the ride. The deck lift takes almost 100 lbs (but I found out some WD-40 on the pivots is helping). A total PITA to do blades, but I have a tractor bucket to raise it up so I can deal with it. The hydraulic switch has been changed twice, and is acting up again a little. Last change in 2014 and they promised it was better.

    I looked at their new machines and:
    1) they no longer make the 5100 in the US.
    2) OK, but the new 3200 comes with a 6' deck but doesn't have hydraulic deck lift either. I assume the assist mechanism is better than my old one.
    3) They don't have the CAT diesel, but maybe the 4-cycle 37 hp efi is just as good? Diesel is more convenient for me, but I can get over that. 100 hours/year = 100 gallons diesel +/-.
    4) The rear wheels don't have independent suspension, but it is all one axle. I can't imagine a big difference in the ride mowing flat farmland. But baby, we can rock that 5100 at 15 mph and I can't run my golf cart that fast without shaking out my gizzard.

    Who has an opinion, or an attitude about this? I'd hate to trade it out and wish I had the big daddy back. Right now I'm probably keeping it this season unless that damn hydraulic switch bails on me again.

  2. GoPappy

    GoPappy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,260

    I've never driven a 5100, but I've seen one and that thing is a monster! I had no idea how big they were until I saw it in the flesh.

    I've driven the IS3100 (the 3200's older brother), and it is like riding on a cloud. It had the full 4 wheel independent suspension, which they changed with the IS3200. But a few guys on this site have the 3200 and seem to love the ride, so I guess what Ferris did actually works.

    The 37hp EFI Vanguard would be a great engine and very fuel efficient for a gasoline engine, but not as powerful or as fuel efficient as the CAT diesel. So that's probably a downgrade for you, but only a small one since the 37hp EFI is the largest gas engine that is used on zero turn mowers.

    All in all, this would be a tough call. The potential market for your 5100 is small. Nobody is gonna want to put that thing on a lawn. Maybe someone mowing part of their pasture, or someone mowing parks, detention areas, etc. So I'd have no idea what trade-in value it would have.
  3. twelvefootboy

    twelvefootboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks, GoPappy

    We definitely over-bought after 3 years of frustration with bush hogs, finish mowers behind a nice Kubota tractor, and disposable garden tractors. It is a race horse and a tank for sure. We do mow about 5 acres of pasture, but at 2-3 acres an hour, why bush hog? No cows and no rocks and it looks great.

    I'm not a recreational gearhead and prefer to spend my time on other things besides fixing and maintaining. I'm a good Handyman but I like to make stuff, not fix broken crap. The deck switch is probably about to fail and I'm in position to get our last mower before the retirement home.

    I still curse the inconvenience of the deck blade access but you are right about the ride. We test rode a Grasshopper with a fancy seat at a farm show and made a u-turn after 50 feet - no need to go any further.

    Part of my question was about possible buyer's remorse and the other part about seller's remorse since the big mower is no longer available. I found some listed at 10-12K on a tractor site so I guess I can always go back if I have to.

    I may ask separately if anybody has problems with the hydro switch on Ferris as a chronic problem, or maybe they've fixed the issue since 2010/2014. Or is this a problem on all ZTR's in general?

  4. jimSo14

    jimSo14 Banned
    Messages: 1,226

    I have a 2016, 72 inch, 37 efi 3200. The rear is also independent suspension. Mow 16 acres with it. One fill up does the 16 acres. The ride is great. I am very happy with it. I think you would like it.
  5. GoPappy

    GoPappy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,260

    So you decided to go with the 37hp EFI rather than the 32? I think that's a good choice. You'll never worry about a lack of power, and the extra cost of the 37 EFI will soon be forgotten.
  6. jimSo14

    jimSo14 Banned
    Messages: 1,226

    No....I already have a is3200, 72... 37 efi. Was thinking of getting a back up to it and something I can use when need more than 54...but not 72...

    The 32, 61 inch would be an additional mower
  7. SamSausage

    SamSausage LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I hope you haven't sold it yet! :) I don't know your property, but if it's wide open, Keep it!!

    I have a 5100z with 72" deck, it's perfect for my property as it's wide open and flat. I wouldn't consider a 3100z or 3200z unless I couldn't find a good 5100z. The 3x00z series are great mowers, but they are downgrades from the overbuilt 5100z that can take near endless abuse.

    Using diesel instead of Gasoline alone saves me so much fuel, work and fill-ups, I will probably never have a non-diesel mower again. I can mow my 4.25 Acres maybe 7 or 8 times on one fill up, it could be more, I lose count on how many mows I get out of it because I go so long between fill-ups.
    I usually fill it up at my neighbors Diesel tank 2-3 times a year. My old mower I would need to fill up every single mow, dragging gas cans around all the time. (Tank was much smaller and it was Gas)

    It really depends on your property, if it's wide open like mine then you will feel like you downgraded. If you need more maneuverability, or a lighter/smaller mower, then you may like the 3100z/3200z better.

    It took me a long time to find a good used 5100z. They are workhorses and most owners work them as such.
    I finally found one that was used on a residence with 400 Hrs. It looks like new and I have only had one problem: The connectors on the relays under the seat got dirty and would cause the PTO to cut out after about 20 minutes. Then I couldn't get the PTO to turn back on until the mower cooled off. Took a while to diagnose as it was intermittent, but I finally pulled all the relays and cleaned all the connections, it has worked without any issues ever since.

    I now have 660 Hrs on it and have done nothing but normal maintenance to it. I love it, total workhorse. My trusty chore partner!

    I don't see myself selling it anytime soon. I know I would regret it if I sold it because it took me two years to find a gently used unit.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  8. Wye Oak Tree

    Wye Oak Tree LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,853

    Preach brother! :D
    SamSausage likes this.
  9. twelvefootboy

    twelvefootboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks, gentlemen for the feedback. As an epilogue, I still have the 5100z and decided to stay with her. I've made peace with the other issues:

    1) Mine doesn't have hydraulic lift assist, but I did some loosening and lubing and it only takes a man and a boy to push the lift pedal now.
    2) I found I can handle blade changes with a racing jack instead of messing with the tractor bucket to lift the whole machine. I keep the blade bolts in good shape and have a good impact wrench that just barely clears the ground when the racing jack is used. It is still too much of a PIA.
    3) We removed the belt guards on the deck a long time ago to help keep them clear and cleaned after each session.
    4) So far the hydro switch is hanging in there, although it is fickle sometimes.
    5) I think the deck technology is primitive, but, hey, 15 mph in 5" fescue.

    And yes to the diesel worship. It's right about one gallon per hour and I can mow twice with the dual tanks.
    SamSausage likes this.
  10. SamSausage

    SamSausage LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Nice to hear she is still running!

    What problem are you having with the Hydro switch?
    My deck would cut out after the mower got hot and not re-engage. It was a dirty connector pin on on one of the relays located under the seat. I cleaned both sides of the connectors with brake parts cleaner and a brush. Re-applied electrical grease for water repellant/corrosion protection. No problem since.

    Mine also doesn't have the hydraulic deck lift. I don't need it often, thankfully!
    To clean the top of deck I got a 4ft wand for my air compressor, it works pretty well and fits under the belt guards.

Share This Page