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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Outsiders Lawn Artists, Aug 27, 2004.
Just got a Ferris hydrocut 32, does anyone have one? How do you
you like? any tips?:
Ours is in its 3rd season and problem free. Great workhorse; however, it can really wear you out after a long day if its used on most of the lawn. We would buy another if need be. Hope you have as much success with it as we have.
Same for me. It's a very reliable machine. Mine has never broken down in 20 months of use. It gets used on 95% of my accounts.
One problem I have with it is, it leaves a very bad row or spike of grass about 1" wide and about 1" tall with every other pass. When the left edge of the deck is going back on the adjacent row in the opposite direction, such that the left edge is cutting where it just cut on the last pass, it leaves this. The other side (right) doesn't do it at all. Just the left. I've tried overlapping the stripes a little more, but it doesn't help.
The other problem is, it will really wear you out. It's fatiguing to use this machine for a full day. It just won't turn 180 degrees without a wrestling match. Sure, it's easy to turn around on concrete when you're demo'ing it at the dealership, but when you're in 3" grass and it's bumpy or hilly, it's work to turn this thing around. It needs another hydrop pump to make it a real machine, imo. Because of this, it's not any faster to use the Ferris than it is the Honda 21 unless I'm on a really large, open lawn area. I'd guess I save time on a handful of properties by having the Ferris 32. But most of the time, I could make just as good a time, or better, with the Honda 21.
The overall quality of the cut is superior to anything I can dream of getting with my Honda 21". That's why I use the Ferris on all of my properties (unless the gate is too narrow). When using the Honda 21", it's real easy to get those swirl marks in the lawn. It's almost a non-issue with the Ferris 32. Also, the Ferris 32 can be raised up to a much higher cutting height than is possible with the Honda 21". That's a big deal with me, because with bermuda, if you cut too low, the lawn will look more white than green after it's mowed. I want my lawns to look to green when we leave, not white.
The last problem with the Ferris is simply the weight of the machine. If you start using it on certain properties, you'll notice the turf will slowly start to take on a rutted appearance where the back tires pass each week. You can alter your pattern each week when you cut, but in certain areas, it can't be avoided...like the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the curb, for example. I have figured out that much higher nitrogen levels and good watering help a lot. But even with that, the flattening of the stems takes a toll over time. It's not a soil rutting problem or even a soil compaction issue. It's just that the stems get crushed underneath those heavy rear tires. If they don't have enough nitrogen and water, they just don't have the resilience to stand back up.
One last thing: Get rid of the air up tires on the front right now and replace them with solid foam tires. If you get a flat on one of the front tires while working, and you don't have the time available to screw around with getting the flat fixed because you've got 20 properties to do that day, you'll be in pure hell. The machine is bad enough trying to turn in deep grass. Add a front flat tire and you'll wish you were dead by the end of the day.
Just curious, what'd you pay for yours?
DFW Area Landscaper
DFW, are you using a sulky or walking? Since day 1 ours has had the sulky on and often I have wondered if walking behind it might prove easier to turn. I guess I'm just hesitant to try it differently.
I demoed one on my accounts for a few days & Did Not Like it...Mabe I'm Spoiled But I Despise the SD Hydro set-up...Too much Manhandling & not good in ditches & Hills...The guys actually preferred the 21"s on Smaller Props because of all the turning...It will Beat You Up if you use it alot....
Spent the eXtra for DD hydro Units...Viking 32"s..But the eX don't Make them Anymore !?!?!
i payed 2500 new. i am using a 2 wheel sulky w/quick release.
i used it yesterday and it is a beast. but the quality of cut is great. thanks for all the great input.
i know where there is a new one with about 5 hrs on it for 1300.00 or 1400.00,looks brand new,just like you have bought,hydro,32 inch.