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Replaced my burned mower with a Ferris ISX3300 with a Curtis Cab

Tags :  ferris-landing  | 

Neil from Messick's here to show you a very cool addition to Curtis's air-conditioned cab line for zero-turn mowers. Some years ago, Curtis came out with this cab initially offering it on the Kubota ZD series and moving into John Deere and now into Ferris. This is not the first time that you've seen one of these mowers. For me, however, might have had a little bit of a misfortune. I'll get to tell you about that briefly here today and show you some of the changes that have happened on these cabs over the last two or three years since they've been out and talk a little bit about the application differences, the performance differences that I have found between the Ferris iteration of this cab and the Kubota iteration.
All of last season my mowing chores were done with a Kubota ZD series diesel zero-turn mower with the glorious air-conditioned cab sitting on top of it. Unfortunately, two months ago, I had a house fire. Now we're going to not linger on that here today but suffice to say my ZD series was vaporized by about 40 gallons of burning diesel fuel. I had an electrical fire caused by an HVAC unit. I used the area underneath of my deck here in order to store some of my machinery and that electrical fire got into my bulk diesel tank and literally burned the thing till almost nothing was recognizable. The entire cab structure, everything on top of that thing I couldn't even identify bits and pieces of it anymore. The fire was that hot.
That mower is gone. Today now we're going to spend our time cutting with the new Ferris variant. After a year and a half of owning a cab on a zero-turn mower it is absolutely spoiled mowing for me. There's a lot of things, a lot of benefits that having a cab on a mower brings. There's the obvious climate control portion of it. There's an air conditioning unit here in the back of the cab to help cool that down. I have appreciated its ability to keep a lot of the dust and the blowing grass and stuff out of your face as you're mowing.
I have horrible seasonal allergies and after mowing, I will spend the next hour blowing my nose and sneezing inside. An enclosure like this helps to keep a lot of that dust, the pollen and everything off of you while you're mowing. I also appreciated it in the moving into the wintertime. We sometimes mow here into the end of November and it gets a little chilly at that point. Having an enclosure around you does enable you to go out and mow more comfortably in that shoulder season. You have all those benefits there.
There's the climate control. For me personally, I appreciate the pollen and dust protection that this brings almost even more than that. Now this cab is only offered for three different zero-turn models. That is because every one of these has to be customized to follow the contours of the frame of the machine. One of the Ferris variant they support this on two different engine options. When you look at zero-turn mowers, there is almost a frustrating amount of options out there for machines because they're offered in so many different configurations of engine.
This air conditioning pump system can be run on either the 40-horse EFI, which is the one that I have here, or the 35-horse carbureted version. Either one of those is going to be able to run the air conditioner compressor. In order to get the power from the engine over on this unit, it drives off the top side of the engine with a belt over to a compressor unit that sits off the side. Looks a little bit different than the one that was done on the Kubota diesel with that engine and a horizontal shaft engine rather than a vertical shaft engine.
The configuration of those pieces was done a little bit differently, but this certainly gets the job done. Looking at it, I was a little surprised at first to see a pulley bolted onto the top of the engine and not typically what you're going to expect.
Now as I said, there's a lot of things on these cabs that are customized to this specific machine. There are some differences on this than the Kubota that I had had before. One difference is that you can't really get out the right-hand side of this one where I could on the Kubota. Because the Kubota uses the hydraulic deck lift it doesn't have the pedal and height adjustment system down here on the right-hand side so you can easily get out both doors. This though they almost could have not even had a door over here because you have a large step on this side in order to get out. You're much better off getting out the left-hand side of the machine. Probably the primary complaint that I would have by having a cab on the machine is the lack of rearward visibility. These are now in acrylics so that you're able to see through them.
They did also add these mirrors onto the front of the cab. My original one did not have these. These mirrors though are a complete and utter joke. They are too very little to really be able to improve your rearward visibility. They're not concave at all to give you a wide perspective, and when you're sitting in the seat looking up at this small mirror it's hard to see anything that is really greatly useful to help you when backing up. I do laugh when I look at one of the these and I see work lights on the front and the windshield wiper. [laughs]
It is a cab after all. It does extend the time that you're able to use your machine. You can add lights on to any mower to be able to mow in the dark. In this case, these are going to come along with the cab with some light switches on the inside to be able to flip them on and off. Believe it or not, I have used the windshield wiper before. You can mow in surprisingly wet conditions and get a fine cut in your lawn. You do have to deal with the clumping and sticking grass underneath of your deck.
It's a good idea to wash it or scrape it out after you're done but I mowed in a rainstorm one time. Now mostly to see if I could do it but the cut of my grass was perfectly fine. I stayed dry in the cab. By running that windshield wiper, I can still see out the front. Now there's no dehumidifier in here. For me the inside of the glass was fogging up a little bit but this will keep any moisture, any drizzle that happens on that windshield out there you can clear off with the wiper. While those are the details on the cab itself, you really need to make a selection here of your underlying machine.
Like I said, this is offered today on a Deere, a Kubota, and a Ferris but I can tell you which of the two I prefer. I sell both the Kubota and the Ferris and comparing these two mowers is a little difficult. The Kubota being diesel is several thousand dollars more expensive than what the Ferris is. It's going to be a more costly machine. These two units have some real differences that matter when it comes to the cab. When you go through and you look at the Kubota we really lean on Kubota as being the tank of the zero-turn mower industry.
Kubota builds on our own transmission, they have hydraulic clutches inside of it, shaft drive down the mower deck, hydraulic lift diesel engines. It's a very burly zero-turn mower. It weighs several hundred pounds more than what this Ferris does and that plays into its driving characteristics a little bit. Being heavier, it tends to have a little bit better traction but being diesel, it caps out at 26 horsepower unless you're willing to jump into the machines that have emissions on them at a pretty significantly higher price tag.
26 horsepower in a diesel engine does only go so far. Now, granted, that 26 horse feels like a lot of horsepower. 26 horse of gas and 26 horse of diesel is not equivalent. There is a significant torque difference there. Particularly in a mower that you're loading that engine up as you're tearing through high grass, I can absolutely tell the torque difference from the diesel. It feels like a lot stronger machine than at 26 horsepower leads you to believe.
However, when you're able to get a machine like this in 40 gas horsepower, there is a definite power difference there and this being a lighter machine with a much bigger engine and an air conditioners strapped to it. Overall, this is the more powerful option compared to the Kubota diesel. Now that said while it is a lot more powerful, it is also vastly more thirsty than what the Kubota is. The fuel economy of this engine is terrifying sometimes.
I can barely mow my yard twice on one tank in the side of the machine. I'm constantly pouring fuel into it, it burns well over two gallons an hour versus the diesel that would have been significantly less than one. Probably in the three-quarters of a gallon to one gallon an hour compared to this at over two. The fuel economy difference there is very real but granted this machine is producing more horsepower, it's doing more work and so it's going to need a little bit more fuel.
There's some significant differences there. Also on the Ferris the calling card of this company the one thing that makes them different than most of the other mowers out there in the industry is the suspension and the suspension is important. It actually does work. It's not just some marketing ploy out here. This machine is faster than most because you can sit, stay in that seat, be planted in the machine while the suspension takes up a lot of the bumps and rough areas in your yard. It really does work. Gives you a much better ride. It's not nearly as hard on your body either.
When you're driving along and that wheel falls down into a hole there's a linkage there that lifts the mower deck up to compensate. Now that does help take care of some of the undulations for moving through your yard but I would say that I got a flatter and more consistent cut out of the Kubota than this that was bouncing around a little bit as it goes. Not to say that this doesn't cut well it absolutely does. The Kubota just had a little bit nicer finish to it at the end because of that fixed rigid frame.
Those are some of the differences that I found. I wouldn't say that one is necessarily right for every person. For most of my residential uses. I would say the fuel economy does bug me a little bit. I prefer the diesel for that reason but the Ferris is probably a little bit nicer experience in terms of ride comfort, and overall power and horsepower.
One place this cab is a departure from the cabs that you might be used to and other equipment is the noise. Because this is an add-on cab, the noise level inside of here is quite a lot louder than what you might be used to from other equipment. Adding a cab, particularly a factory cab, onto a tractor will lower the noise of the machine, they can be well insulated in order to keep the noise from the engine and transmission out of your operating area. You're able to run a lot of those machines without the need for headphones because they quiet the machine down.
This though to me does exactly the opposite because this is bolted on top of the machine without any sound insulation underneath of it. To me, the machine feels as loud or possibly even a little bit louder than operating it without the cab on it. I always run this machine with a set of Bluetooth earphones on, listening to music while I drive, but it should be considered a requirement for being inside it here, it does not quiet the machine down.
That's a little bit about putting a cab on a zero-turn mower. No doubt this is a costly venture. The addition of a cab like this can not quite double the cost of a mower like this at the end of the day, but it does bring a number of added benefits that you just can't find in a number of different solutions. We could take a cab tractor and add a belly mower to it and give you a cost-effective versatile machine, but nothing is going to mow your yard as quickly as the zero-turn and the addition of a cab makes it a luxury in doing so. I have really come to appreciate it. You'll see this a little bit more in some follow-up videos. We'll probably get outside and get a little bit more dirty here as the year goes on, but today, just introducing you to my new Ferris with the Curtis cab.

 

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