Mower technique

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tim01742, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. Tim01742

    Tim01742 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hi all,

    I just traded in my tired old Toro commercial deck for a Ferris 52" SuperBelt. I had gotten used to the Toro T-bar stearing mechanism. Now I have to get used to the Ferris pistol grips. Yesterday was my first day on the new Ferris and I'm beat!

    I think I'm fighting the machine. I'm not comfortable with spinning it around. I have a lot of stone walls to work around. The pistol grips feel like they're on car springs (they're tough to squeeze). I also think the new machine isn't properly adjusted because if I squeeze the triggers all the way, I never get any breaking action which was scary on hills.

    I'm looking for any source of info on how to get use my new machine. Am I nuts to try to run close to the stone walls? Am I supposed to feel the break when I squeeze all the way through the pistol grips? If commercial operators can cut 15 lawns in a day, and I'm beat after 1, then I'm not getting along with this mower.

    Any advice?
  2. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    tim--I hope you made the right decision on the ferris. I don't know anything about that unit, BUT, based on the brake thing you describe, it sounds like it needs adjustiing.

    you are not wrong to expect to be able to cut close to things like walls. with my lesco 48, belt, I lay the side of the deck up against what ever I am mowing. a wall, chain link, whatever. it cuts down on trimming. just remember...don't let your hand get smashed as you turn!!!

  3. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    On my Exmark there are brake adjustments on the sides of the unit. They are simply wing nuts that are on a threaded shaft. They adjust straight to the idler pully and tighten the brake. If you tighten them (equally on both sides) this should help increase the brakes. I dont know if the Ferris is like this, but it might be. As far as driving the unit, some key things to know are....learn how to use the up slopes of hills to turn, squeeze the pistols all the way up and let the hill bring the machine around. Otherwise you will find yourself with a very sore back from pulling on the sucker all day. Be careful going down hills, my Exmark was always wanting to "run away" from me on the steepers ones. Just use those brakes and keep it straight. Good luck.
  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Tim you should be able to have some play with your brakes. I like to have mine adjusted (on the belts) so that they have about a 20% play in them. This way they are not locking up as soon as you touch them.

    I would take your unit back to your dealer and have them demonstarte to you on how to adjust them properly.

    IMHO you went backwards. most of us are changing from the grips to the t-bar or loop handles. Be prepared to notice an increase in operator fatigue as well as a reduction in the quality of cut.

    I used to own the Ferris units and am thankful for changing to eXmark.

    Good Luck with your new investment - I hope you enjoy your machines better than I did. :(

  5. Sorry to hear you just waisted that money. Go trade it in on a hydro Exmark you wont have that problem any more. I had Ferris hydros and had the same problem plus other problems with their mower. I can drive my W/B's with one finger if I wanted.

    Sorry for being rude but your going to kill your self like that every day so have fun.

  6. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    kut--operator fatigue...possibly. but can you explain "reduction in quality of cut"? thanks.

  7. Tim01742

    Tim01742 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    There's something I'm missing here...

    1) I can't trade my Ferris in for an eXmark hydro because hydros are just too expensive for this homeowner. So let's forget about that.

    2) The eXmark Metro series is all belt-driven and from the description, they appear to me to come from the same factory as the Ferris. 15 Hp Kawi, padded knee shifter, belt drives that can be changed without tools. The only difference I see is that the eXmark uses a 9-spline drive coupler while the Ferris uses a 23-spline or some such thing.

    So how come an eXmark is so much easier to use than a Ferris?

    - Tim
  8. the point man

    the point man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79


    I hope that Lawngodfather is wrong...I used a Ferris w/b with
    pistol grips for a couple of weeks this summer, and I was very
    positively impressed with the quality of this product. I too was
    not happy with the controls at first. My hands hurt after one
    lawn, and I did alot of going where no mower should go (up
    trees, across gardens, etc.) but after a couple of weeks, my
    hands strengthened and I had absolutely mastered the
    controls. Just take it slow at first and you'll master them too.
    I predict that you will be very comfortable with your Ferris
    in a short time. There are many members on this board who
    love their Ferrises! Good luck!
  9. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662


    eXmark and Toro have a higher blade tip speed ( they did have anyhow) than Ferris /and/ their decks are designed for better vacuum which creates a better pattern in our Ky Bluegrass.

    Hope this clarifies some. :)
  10. Tim01742

    Tim01742 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks everyone and especially pointman, kutnkru, geogunn and esby. I poured over the owner's manual once again and gleaned much new information. Sadly, the machine was delivered far out of adjustment. I set everything right this afternoon, and I'm much more comfortable with the beast now. I like my Ferris. I appreciate all of the feedback from this forum. I'll be watching this list...

    Rock on,
    Tim :D

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