Mowing Comfort: Driving Quality and Productivity
Landscape contractors spend grueling days in the field, and that means many consecutive hours running their commercial mowers to maintain clients’ properties. During the busy season, a landscaper likely clocks more time sitting in a lawn mower seat than sleeping in bed at night. That’s why comfort is king.
Mowing comfort literally can make or break the success of a landscaper—at least in the “back breaking” sense. Steve Bennett, president of Bennett’s Lawncare in Maiden, N.C., runs eight Ferris mowers that feature Independent Suspension (IS), a patented system allows each mower wheel to move up and down independently. Mowing crew members at the company start an average day at 7 a.m. and mow until about 5:30 in the evening.
Mowing comfort is why Bennett chose Ferris, he says.
“Other mowers were beating me to death,” Bennett says. “I was going home after mowing all day and feeling my heart beat in my spine. When I switched to Ferris, I was able to get through the day more comfortably.”
Bennett explains that the mower suspension system “takes the shock out of the ride,” and this is especially helpful during dry mowing conditions when the uneven terrain is not forgiving. Besides, he notes, the commercial grounds his crews mow are generally not smoothly graded. “When you do large, commercial mowing like we do, mowing comfort is critical,” he says.
How Mower Suspension Works
The suspension system in a mower is the underlying factor in mowing comfort. Beyond the comfort of the mower seat cover and the actual style of the lawn mower seat, the mower’s infrastructure actually determines how smooth the ride will be.
The patented IS suspension system on Ferris commercial mowers is unique engineering that allows each mower wheel to move up and down independently. So, imagine a mower deck with its wheels rolling over uneven turf. The wheels would bob up and down, accommodating the terrain, while the deck remains steady. This directly impacts the comfort of the ride because the operator does not feel every bump and rut the mower must negotiate on the property.
Ferris mowers’ suspension system also results in a cleaner, higher quality cut because the mower deck cuts turf evenly regardless of the property’s surface challenges. The mower deck works in conjunction with the suspension system to provide a consistent cut. Operators can increase speeds to improve efficiency, maintain stability while mowing over uneven grounds and stay comfortable in rough mowing conditions.
Comfort Yields Productivity
Fun Fair Soccer in Houston, Texas, manages 22 soccer fields—lots of mowing. John Rowland, regional director, says mowing comfort is critical for staying injury-free, especially after several back surgeries in his life.
“There are some mowers I just can’t get on, and comfort has always been a deciding factor for buying mowers for me,” he says, noting that Fun Fair Soccer runs four Ferris mowers with the patented suspension system.
Rowland says the company still has a few other mowers of a different brand, “but I won’t get on them because they will put me in the hospital,” he says, half joking. “Most mowers are like that, I’d say.”
Bennett adds that mowing comfort makes crews happier in the field, resulting in higher employee satisfaction and less turnover. Keeping workers safe and comfortable pays off, he says, noting that workers’ compensation claims also come into the picture.
“If I can do something that prevents injury and reduces fatigue on my employees, then the happier they will be and they’ll want to stay out in the field and mow for longer periods of time,” Bennett says.