I had the pleasure of giving the new Ferris SRS Z2 stand-on zero turn a workout recently and as expected it did not disappoint, even in the sodden wet conditions we experienced on filming day.
In true Ferris style this new generation stand-on is built tough and not short on power. It is fitted with an 810cc fuelinjected commercial Vanguard™ engine producing 28hp*. The engine is also fitted with Vanguard’s own Oil Guard™ System, which features an external oil reservoir with an oil cooler and easily removable cyclonic oil filter in the neck of the tank. It holds 4.7 litres of oil, which is way more than conventional sumps. This combination keeps the oil in better condition for longer and greatly increases the intervals between services. Five-hundred hours is the recommended oil change interval, although Briggs & Stratton does recommend 250-hour intervals for our harsh Australian conditions. Being a dry sump system, the lubrication is far superior on slopes to a conventional wet sump so it is a huge cost saving on maintenance compared to conventional engine oil sump setups.
Driving the SRS Z2 are integrated Hydro- Gear® ZT-3800® transmissions, also fitted with oil coolers. These transmissions are proven, both for longevity and quality, and provided smooth and responsive drive through the controls, ensuring easy manoeuvrability for the operator at all speeds.
The 52-inch cutting deck is Ferris’s fabricated iCD model, which is also featured on its seated zero-turns. It is constructed of 10-guage steel. Double layered in high stress areas, double reinforced side skirts and overlap welded corners, ensuring it’s robust under contractor punishment.
The easy-access spindles are greaseable and the outer spindle covers are open ended reducing the amount of debris build-up around the pulleys. A neat, even cut was achieved on thick buffalo grass and the cut grass expelled well in extremely wet conditions.
A three-stage adjustable speed control can be set easily without tools from the operator’s position. The front handheld bar moves and locks into place limiting the forward movement of the control arms, which enables the operator to push thecontrol arms against the handheld bar for a secure grip at desired speed.
|Engine||Vanguard™ 810 EFI with Oil Guard|
|Fuel capacity||30 litres|
|Ground speed||16km/h forward and 8km/h reverse|
|Cutting width||52 inch|
|Cutting heights||1.75 – 5” in 1/4” increments|
Operator comfort is a very important factor – and as we would expect the leader in suspension zero turns not only has a suspension operator’s platform, but it is also adjustable and quick, with the removal and reinstatement of a pin in the desired position. This allows the operator to set the suspension to their liking and/or the terrain. Another great feature of the Ferris operator’s platform is an automatic blade shutoff when the operator leaves the platform. This is great when you need to jump off to quickly move an obstacle as the engine stays running, resulting in less engine restarts. Just switch the blades back on and keep mowing.
The thigh pad is comfortable with side bolsters enabling the operator to nestle into a secure, comfortable stance.
The height adjustment is located to the left of the operator – it is a simple drop-in pin system with hand lift and automatic travel position lock in. It is easy to see the desired heights from the operator’s position and the lowering action is smooth.
A fair amount of effort is needed for raising the deck purely because it is a large 52-inch heavy-duty deck.
Handy tie-down points are built into the machine for secure transportation and the front castor wheels are flat free, reducing downtime possibilities.
Overall, the new Ferris (SRS™) Z2 Soft Ride Stand-On Mower is a compact stander for a large cut. It is very comfortable to operate, responsive, manoeuvrable and performed well even in challenging wet conditions. Ferris’s warranty will also not disappoint – the engine is covered by a 3-year commercial warranty with the transmissions and balance of the machine covered commercially for 2 years.
*All power levels are stated gross horsepower at 3600 RPM per SAE J1940 as rated by Briggs & Stratton.