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Narrowed it down to two: Ferris or Hustler

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by TWerner, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. TWerner

    TWerner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Eight years ago we moved from 10 acres in Vermont to 1.6 with .5 of yard in NC. So I sold my beloved Kubota B2710 with the mower, snow thrower, tiller, bucket, and rotary cutter. (That still hurts!) We're now gearing up to build on an 11 acre lot we bought, and I was planning to buy a Kubota or Kioti with a tiller and flail mower to cut most of it. It is all field right now, and I thought we'd have a 1/2 acre veggie garden and an orchard like in VT. I also planned to buy a decent homeowner z-turn for the 1.5 acres of finished lawn we are planning on.

    Our craftsman lawn tractor died a year too early, so I need something to mow with this year. But this year we'll only be cutting 1/2 acre. It does have lots of obstacles. Next year, as I said, we'll be cutting 1.5 acres of finished lawn, plus this .5 acre lot until we sell it, and 8 acres of field every few weeks.

    My wife has informed me that she no longer wants the big garden, so I'm having more and more trouble justifying my monster tractor toy. (I know, a 35 HP tractor isn't a monster to you guys, but I grew up in NJ.) It seems like a better idea to buy a good Z-turn now, and buy a smaller used tractor with 150-400 hours on it to cut the field 10 or so times a year, and to spread mulch. (In eight years I still haven't figured out how to spread mulch without a tractor :rolleyes: ) A used tractor, flail, and used tiller that I'll use to smooth the field and for then will probably sell, will still be a bigger purchase than a Z-turn, but the z-turn is more immediate, and I've narrowed it down to two mowers.

    Ferris IS500Z in 52" with 27HP Briggs Pro Series engine and separate pumps and wheel motors. 2 year warranty.


    Hustler Fastrak 54" with 24HP Kawasaki FS and the Hydrogear 3100 transmissions. I'd add the $200 suspension platform to this. It has a 4 year warranty.

    The Ferris seems to have a better transmission, and the suspension looks really nice.
    The Hustler is a Kawasaki, but it's the FS not the FK, so I consider that a wash. However, it has that 4 year warranty. The mower is going to be loafing for this year unless I put off buying until next march and use our 20" push mower this year, so I figure I'll burn a year on the Ferris warranty on only 25 hours of use. Sad that.

    So given the price is within $100, and both dealers are close by and respectable, what do you think? I plan to own this mower for 10+ years, so I'll be warrantyless for more than half of them, so it's a really tough call for me. Longer warranty, or slightly more mower.

    What do you guys think? Toss up? Strong opinion one way or the other?
  2. Popeye77

    Popeye77 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 244

    I will be interested in this one too. Next one I get will be a Ferris (suspension and 1500 series).
    Ferris has residential Briggs,Commercial pump and wheel motors
    Hustler has better powerplant, low end commercial tranny.
  3. VanAllen's Lawn Service

    VanAllen's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    FERRIS FTW!!!!
  4. TWerner

    TWerner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    My wife would tend to agree with you since she doesn't think either one will break in the first 4 years if we take care of it.
  5. LawnsRUsInc.

    LawnsRUsInc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 916

    If you buy a ferris it will break within 4 years even as a home owner get a hustler over a ferris any day. I have owned 8-10 ferris mowers and they suck only one that hasnt totally failed me is the DD48 walk behind. NO FERRIS its totally an entry level zero degree.
  6. TWerner

    TWerner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Hi LawnsRUs,

    Why did you buy so many of them if they sucked? Also, which Ferris zero turns did you have that you didn't like, how long ago was it, and what broke?

    They do look harder to work on than the Hustler, and there's something to be said for the self contained hydros simplicity, but I'm only comparing these two mowers. Comparing say the Ferris 3100Z to a Hustler X-One would be a completely different question I think, and in that situation, I think I would opt for the simpler Hustler mower.


    MOHUSTLER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,376

    Both mowers are great mowers. We sell hustler and snapper pro ( ferris without suspension)

    Id say that you wont wear out either mower in 4 years time. not saying that you wont have a freak failure on either machine. But whatever decision you make you will be happy they are both top of the line mowers.
  8. TWerner

    TWerner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Hi Mohustle,

    If the SnapperPro S150X or XT were little less money and the dealer were close by, I don't think I'd be looking at these two. But the dealer is 45 minutes drive and even the 52" XT is a lot more money.

    Such is life.
  9. ashgrove landscaping

    ashgrove landscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,529

    I also have owned 8 ferris mowers. A good mix of walk behinds and ztr's. All of them have handled the worst abuse you could imagine. The highly negative and non informative post by Lawns R Us should be ignored. Of course any product will have a couple minor issues. I have also run scag, exmark and toro. Ferris is on top of them all with ride quality(which will save your back) and durability and now with the new ICD deck design they also have the top cut quality. There will be zero issues with the suspension parts wearing out or failing. Extremely rare! So I believe it's a no brainer if you have good dealer support. Good luck with your decision. Either mower will last you for many years.
  10. TWerner

    TWerner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    I have no doubt that there are lots of people who have had great experiences with Ferris and Hustler and SnapperPro.

    I'm also sure that one bad experience can overshadow years of positive experiences, and maybe that's what happened to LawnsRUs.

    I won't rule out Hustler because of the guy here who had one catch fire due to a wiring harness issue or something, even though Hustler didn't replace it. I'll take 20 burned out clutches or leaking hydro pumps over one machine fire that could hurt someone, but that one fire doesn't make Hustler a bad machine, and again, I'm only looking at these two machines.

    Both frames seem comparably heavily built.
    One may have a better if slightly lower HP engine and a great warranty.
    One seems to have a heavier duty transmission and a suspension that seems to be very well thought out.

    I really don't know which is better. I think both are excellent, and really am just looking for which of the strong points you guys think are more important, or specific weak points you see.


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