Ferris was the first zero-turn mower manufacturer to bring comfort to operators man years ago with their suspension technology. At the time of writing and prior to its Australian release I was privileged enough to use the only new generation Ferris ISX 800 in the country.
This mower is the culmination of constant research and development from Ferris, which shows they are committed to evolving their mowers with new and improved technology.
One of the biggest changes is the development of the new ForeFront™ suspension, which sees the front shock absorbers relocated and additional control rods with both top and bottom on each side. This has resulted in an even more comfortable ride for the operator and just as importantly ensured the cutting deck follows the contours of the ground precisely to give an exceptional scalp-free quality cut.
Having previously owned an early model Ferris I have to admit that deck belt changes were more complicated than they should have been. This has been rectified with the new ISX 800 – the deck belt setup has been simplified making changing of belts an easier task and there are now two deck belts. Ferris are so confident with this new system that they are offering an unheard of deck belt replacement warranty for commercial operators of 3 Years or 400 Hours!
Powering the ISX 800 is Briggs & Stratton’s own commercial series 810cc V-Twin engine. This reliable engine produces 27hp, which is ample to provide the power for the 52-inch cut and drivetrain via the integrated ZT-3400 transmissions.
Access for maintenance is excellent throughout the machine because the foot pan removes completely for access to the top of the deck and the seat hinges forwards. Cutting height changes are the same proven and easy to use system as previous models with a foot-operated deck lift and a drop-in pin system to select cutting heights. The fuel tank could be larger with only a 20.8 litre capacity, which seems quite small for such a machine. Large openings on the ends of the spindle covers reduce the amount of debris build-up around the pulleys and easily allow the operator to blow out any accumulations without the need to remove the covers.
Often in all brands of zero-turns there can be problems with the electric safety switches fitted to the control handles, handbrake, seats etc. due to exposure to the elements. The new ISX 800 has a simplified electric safety switch system, which saw the introduction of more mechanical lockout safety mechanism to reduce common and annoying electric problems. Ferris have gone to the next level with the new ISX 800 without resting on their past reputation for operator comfort, but instead opting for improving their product to provide a new combination of comfort and quality cut.