The IS5000Z has all the features and attributes you would expect of a zero-turner. There are levers instead of a steering wheel, it is nippy, spins on the spot and has an impressive speed on the flat. What makes it stand out from the crowd is its independent suspension. We are talking motor-sport-type suspension. This mower has “bounce” and the benefits of that are many.
The IS system on this Ferris machine is on all four corners so it’s like driving a car. It is designed to absorb the bumps and jolts that cause operator discomfort and fatigue. The Ferris team has also linked the suspension with the deck, so as the wheels read a bump in the ground, the deck is pulled up slightly to avoid a collision.
Independent suspension also maximises ground contact by providing constant downward pressure on the drive wheels. It also allows the deck to float from the A-arms to follow the movement of the wheels and provide a more consistent cut. Mower life is extended too because of the reduced shock-loading on the components.
The Ferris IS5000Z is fitted with an industrial-grade Caterpillar diesel engine. Rated at 31.5hp, the three-cylinder engine delivers plenty of torque and is designed to give 6,000 operating hours before a major overhaul is needed. It is also fitted with Twin A-section hydro drive belts, so if one snaps there is still one left to control the machine.
Fitted with a 155cm deck, the team put the machine to the test. It’s our tester’s preferred choice. “It’s really nippy and very easy to drive,” he says.
Another tester agrees: “Very easy to use, extremely manoeuvrable, easy to maintain and I am happy with the cut,” he notes. “But for me the downfall of a zero-turn is steep bank work.”
Ferris distributor, IPU of Oldbury in the West Midlands, tells us that the IS5000Z can out-perform two-wheel drives on a bank.
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