Scag Cheetah vs. Ferris

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by mts25, May 19, 2014.

  1. mts25

    mts25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I got a good price on my Kubota, it was a ZG123s so I sold it. I narrowed my replacement choices to:

    Scag Cheetah - 61"
    Ferris IS2100z - 61"
    Ferris IS700z - 61"

    I am a homeowner mowing only 2 acres so honestly any of those mowers would have been overkill. They are each at a slightly different price point in descending order and each is a decent step up from the entry level Kubota. The main concern was comfort as my lot is terribly bumpy and the little Kubota was beating me to death. If my back yard was as smooth as my front yard I would have just kept the Kubota, lots of things I liked about it. However, after filling some spots and rolling the yard last fall, after the beating my area took this winter, the back yard was as bad as ever (if not worse) this spring so I decided to pull the trigger on something else.

    I had demo'd what I thought was an IS2100Z last fall and hated the way it handled so I had crossed it off my list. What I ultimately figured out was it wasn't a 2100z, it was a 2000z. The 2100z has integrated pumps and handles much better than the 2000z in my opinion, so the 2100z got added to the list.

    As far as build quality and cut, I would give the edge to the Scag. It's just a tank of a mower. It's a grade up from the 2100z and two grades up from the 700z so I wasn't surprised to feel that way. However, as far as pure comfort only (my main criteria), I would rank them as follows:

    1) Ferris 2100z
    2) Ferris 700z
    3) Scag Cheetah

    I also had an unexpected problem with the Scag. I have a brick shed attached to my house that I keep my lawn equipment in. I didn't realize it but I have exactly 84" of depth. The 61" deck Scag was 85" deep. The 52" Scag would have fit (I think it was 82" deep), but when I asked the dealer about it, I swear you would think I insulted his mother. "I never sell 52" Cheetah's, no one wants them and they aren't a good deal compared to the 61". I suppose I could order one for you if you really wanted one." That, plus it being the most expensive and least comfortable (though still a huge leap in comfort over my Kubota) caused me to cross it off the list.

    It came down to the two Ferris models. The 2100z rode the best, had front full independent suspension (700z has shocks on a straight axle), had the 5400 transaxles (vs. the 3400 on the 700z) two gas tanks (vs. the one on the 700z) and slightly bigger tires. Otherwise they were pretty darn identical.

    Even thought the 2100z won, it was close enough that I couldn't justify the price difference over the 700z for what I was using it for. If I had a bigger lot or were doing even light commercial I would have chosen the 2100z for sure. But for me, the 700z was good enough. It is one heck of a nice mower for a homeowner.

    Of course, by the time I went to get the 700z, the dealer was sold out. Ferris said it would be another 3 weeks until they could ship a 700z, which meant almost 4 weeks until I could have it. I have had a few bad experiences with stuff like that so I knew 3-4 weeks could turn into double that and rarely if ever was it less. I could have rented a mower or used a service until I could get the 700z in, but that would have put a little dent in the price difference between the 700z and the 2100z. Given the situation the dealer gave me a really good price (at least I thought it was and it narrowed the gap on the 700z) on a 61" 2100Z they had in stock so I ended up paying a little more to get the 2100z.

    I've mowed with the 2100z a couple times now and am very pleased. Some of the spots I would grit my teeth one with the Kubota are hardly noticeable on the 2100z. It's also cut a decent amount of time of my mowing (wider deck plus not having to go so slow in the rough spots). I think this 2100z will be more than I will ever need for sure.
  2. GoPappy

    GoPappy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,138

    mts25, thanks for giving us your thoughts and laying out your decision making process. Good post.
  3. tr1879

    tr1879 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Currently demoing 61 Cheetah and Ferris 2000. Ferris steering is crazy touch! Scag Cheetah steering is beautiful! Naturally tracks straight. My wife mows some as well, so I had her try both. She was not sure she'd be able to acclimate to the Ferris steering and LOVED the Cheetah steering... she took forever to get good with our John Deere, but was immediately comfortable and straight with the Cheetah
  4. mts25

    mts25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Try the Ferris 2100z instead of the 2000z. The steering is much better on the 2100z.
  5. mts25

    mts25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Did this yesterday.

    striping 8-24-14.jpg

    Ferris IS2100z 8-24-14.jpg

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