Outdoor Power Equipment Reviews

Ferris 2100Z ZT Mower Review


The Ferris IS 2100Z Mower Doesn’t Care About Puny Bumps in Your Lawn

The Ferris IS 2100Z mower showed up at the shop not a moment too soon. It had been a few weeks since we had near non-stop mowing for our Best Gas Mower and Best Battery-Powered Lawn Mower shootouts. Quite frankly, the grass had started to get a little unkempt again. The unique suspension system on the Ferris along with its Oil Guard System piqued our curiosity. We first saw this technology at the 2016 GIE Expo in Kentucky. Finally, we could try it out.

Pros

  • Unique suspension makes for a comfortable ride and consistent cut
  • Oil Guard System reduces oil change interval to 500 hours
  • Beefy build quality

Cons

  • None to speak of

Recommendation

The Ferris 2100Z zero turn mower is a really easy recommendation to make. It comes in several flavors, so decide whether you want a Vanguard or Kawasaki engine, Oil Guard, and/or EFI. We’ve reviewed comfortable mowers with really solid builds before, but the Ferris suspension actually feels pretty unique. I’m not sure there are too many mowers that can tackle uneven lawns quite as well as the 2100Z. Finally, the Oil Guard system, with its 500-hour interval oil changes, could save Pros a lot of time and money.

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Talking Points

Suspension

Ferris 400S models and higher include the company’s patented suspension technology. Of particular note, the ISX 800 models and above (including the IS 2100Z, IS 2600Z, and IS 3200Z) use premium adjustable rear coil-over-shocks and front independent coil-over-shocks.

The result of this suspension is a cutting deck that almost floats independently from the mower. The deck stays at a more consistent height, even when you’re driving quickly over humps and bumps in the yard. Did we say quickly? The mower drives along at a brisk clip—up to 10 mph while cutting.

Secondly, the floating suspension seat provides a really comfortable ride. Usually, when hitting uneven terrain at a brisk 7-10 mph, you feel it immediately… so you slow down a bit to compensate. The Ferris IS 2100Z smoothes out those bumps—dramatically. It lets you hold the speed while also maintaining cut quality. More on that later.

Oil Guard

Ferris offers Oil Guard technology on the Vanguard 810cc model. After initial break-in, you can operate the mower for 500 hours between oil changes. This is a huge step from the typical 100-hour oil change intervals other engines require.

What, specifically, are the implications of an engine that increases the time between oil changes by 5x? Ferris claims lower oil maintenance costs of up to 60%. You also get faster and easier mess-free oil changes. Because the Oil Guard engines operate at a lower temperature and offer better filtration (see below), you can also expect longer engine life.

Finally, the less time you have to spend changing your oil, the more time you can spend on the job. The Ferris 2100Z with Vanguard’s Oil Guard increases your overall productivity.

About the Vanguard Oil Guard System
With Oil Guard, oil storage is moved away from the engine sump, protecting the oil from thermal breakdown. A 5-quart volume of oil and the cooling properties of the aluminum bulk oil reservoir work together to disperse heat. This combination extends the oil change interval from 100 to 500 hours. Oil Guard also enhances oil filtration thanks to an 82% larger automotive-style filter and cyclonic filter action that helps decrease oil aeration. Oil changes are easier since you just open the top drain tube and remove and replace the filter right there. The wide-mouth opening also supports 5-quart oil bottles with no funnel required.

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Deck Adjustment

Ferris opts for a foot-operated deck lift on the 2100Z. With deck sizes 61-inches or lower, many Pros prefer the simplicity of manual over hydraulic. The adjustable pedal lets you set the cut height between 1.5 and 4.75-inches in 1/4-inch increments. It also has a travel mode setting to lock the deck into the highest 5-inch position.

Other Features

  • Serviceable commercial Hydro-Gear ZT-4400 transaxles
  • Removable floor pan for quick access to the top of the deck
  • Pillow block bearings on the control mounts
  • Flip-up seat-access to serviceable components
  • 2-position ROPS
  • Cupholder

Mowing Around

I always appreciate when we get a new zero turn mower around the shop because it means I’ll have the chance to spend hours zipping around the yard, go-kart style. For reference, we had our Cub Cadet Pro Z 560 on-hand to compare with along with another ZT from Husqvarna.

Ferris IS 2100Z mower

The Ferris 2100Z ZT mower, with its 28 hp and 810cc displacement, has plenty of power. It can reach up to 10 mph in forward and 6 in reverse. It actually feels a lot smoother than most other mowers we’ve used. We chalk this up to the excellent suspension.

Ferris IS 2100Z mower

The steering feels a little bit tight, which I actually prefer. The mower doesn’t feel like it’ll take off if you accidentally nudge the lap bar. Instead, the lap bars offer enough resistance to mow with some precision. Your “green” employees can get pretty close to corners or obstacles without easily grazing it with overzealous steering.

Mowing Over a Mess

We’ve had flood-level rains here lately. Consequently, we’ve developed some minor ruts in the yard. Were it not for the fact that I could physically see some of these areas, I might not have realized the mower handled them so smoothly. Bumps and ruts just don’t affect you nearly as much on the Ferris 2100Z mower.

Of course, I did all this with the cutting blades engaged. When I circled back, I half expected the lawn to come up half scalped, but it actually looked good. The suspension system combined with the iCD Cutting System makes for a great cut—even when conditions aren’t ideal.

About the iCD Cutting System
The iCD Cutting System includes a reinforced leading deck edge and multi-layer heavy gauge steel construction. Also, a debris shield on the idler pulleys protects the bearings from moisture and debris. A slope nose design and offset center point allow for better airflow and suction. Finally, 6mm Marbain steel blades provide the business for this cutting deck.

Gassing Up

The Ferris 2100Z includes dual 5.5-gallon fuel tanks for 11 gallons of capacity. An onboard switch left of the seat lets you switch between tanks.

Ferris IS 2100Z Mower Recommendation

The Ferris 2100Z zero turn mower is a really easy recommendation to make. We’ve reviewed comfortable mowers with really solid builds before, but the Ferris suspension actually feels pretty unique. I’m not sure there are too many mowers that can tackle uneven lawns quite as well as the Ferris 2100Z. The extended maintenance interval also contributes to the attractiveness and value of this zero turn mower. With comfort and cut quality scoring very high, we’re giving this an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Pricing and Warranties

The Ferris 2100Z zero turn mower retails for $10,799. Given the Oil Guard maintenance advantages, build quality, and smooth ride suspension, we think the price and value are excellent.

The mower carries a 4-year or 500-hour limited warranty with unlimited hours within the first 2 years. Ferris covers the coil-over-shocks and all suspension-related components for 5 years. Coverage on other components vary. For a full list, check the operator’s manual at the Ferris website.

Ferris 2100Z ZT Mower Specs

  • Model Number: 5901578
  • Engine Brand: Vanguard EFI with Oil Guard
  • Engine Power Rating: 28.0
  • Displacement: 810cc
  • PTO: Electric
  • Cylinders: 2
  • Starter: Electric
  • Fuel Capacity: 11 gallons (total)
  • Cut Width: 61 in.
  • Cut Height: 1.5 – 5 in.
  • Spindles: Cast Iron Greasable
  • Deck Construction: iCD Cutting System
  • Suspension: Adjustable rear coil-over-shocks and front independent coil-over-shocks
  • Transmission: Dual, commercial Hydro-Gear ZT-4400 transaxels with 8.3″ cooling fans
  • Drive Tires: 23 x 12 in.
  • Caster Tires: 13 x 6-5/6 in.
  • Ground Speed: 0-10 mph (forward); 0-5 mph (reverse)
  • Overall Length: 82.5 in.
  • Overall Width: 78 in. (Deflector Down); 61.5 in. (Deflector Up)
  • Dry Weight: 1295 lbs.
  • Suspension Seat
  • Certified Roll-Over Protection System: Standard, 180° foldable
  • Parking Brake: Internal Transaxles
  • Warranty: 4-year limited warranty or 500 hours, whichever occurs first
  • Price: $10,799

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