Ferris Industries


5375 North Main Street
Munnsville, New York 13409
Go to our website www.ferrisindustries.com

1909: Ferris Industries began as the Uebler Milking Machine Company in 1909. William Uebler, the inventor of the milking machine and Jesse Ferris, a businessman, saw this venture as an opportunity to serve the many dairy farmers of Oneida county in the rolling hills of upstate New York. For the next 80 years, the company thrived, earning a reputation for producing quality, reliable machinery for dairy farmers.

1986: In the mid-80´ s, the third generation owner of the Uebler Milking Machine Company, Dave Ferris, predicted that the company´ s profits were going to disappear along with the small dairy farmers it served. In 1986, he saw his opportunity. I saw a particular lawnmower, a rugged machine, and I said, “We can do that better!” So we developed our own. We took it to a show in New York City. We pulled into that show and people were all over us. It was unbelievable. It was an old industry, commercial mowing, in the suburbs of New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and other large metropolitan areas. And, here we were with this simple, strong, made-to-last machine. I knew then which way we had to go.

1987: In 1987, Ferris introduced and patented the first hydrostatically driven walk-behind mower. For this innovation, the company was awarded the prestigious Innovation Award at Expo ´ 89. Explains Dave Ferris, “we were using the hydrostatic transmission in our feeding machines, so it was familiar to us. We decided to put it into our mowers. We didn´ t invent the transmission, but until we put it into our machines, all the walk-behind mowers were belt-driven.”

1998: In 1998, Ferris made history with its introduction of IS® — the first ever independent suspension system for the riding mower. Unlike riding mowers with fixed axles which don´ t protect the rider from bumps and jolts, IS® greatly increases operator comfort and allows for faster mowing speeds and increased productivity. This breakthrough development earned Ferris the OEMmie Award for Innovative Engineering Solutions which recognizes products that.”advance the state-of-the-art, provide a unique solution, and offer a significant increase in performance.” Again in 1998, Ferris Industries moved into its current 85,000 square foot facility. The move allowed for consolidation of sales/warehouse and administrative operations, and for the purchase of such state-of-the-art equipment as a $550,000 powder coat paint finishing system and $450,000 Trumpf turret punch press.

1999: In 1999, Simplicity Manufacturing purchased Ferris Industries, thereby committing extensive resources to building Ferris´ leadership position. Jim Wier, CEO of Simplicity Mfg., confirms the positive impact of the acquisition:

“From research and development to sales and marketing, Ferris employees share one commitment: to produce the best commercial mowers in the industry. That focus ensures real continuous product quality above and beyond the promises of competitors. When we bought this company, we made a commitment to continue to nurture that focus.”

Mr. Wier served as president until July 2004.

2000: Within the first six months of its purchase by Simplicity Manufacturing, Ferris began to fulfill its dramatic growth objectives. Sales increased by 40% (much of the growth driven by sales of Ferris mowers featuring IS® independent suspension). The company completed a $300,000 expansion that added 9,500 square feet to its state-of-the-art factory. And, the company increased its work force by 50% and significantly increased its engineering staff to handle new product development plans.

2001: Ferris Industries started manufacturing a new line of mid-mount zero-turn mowers: the 1000Z, a compact unit for tackling tight spaces; the IS 3000Z, featuring two-wheel, rear independent suspension; and the IS 4000Z, featuring four-wheel independent suspension.

2001: Ferris Industries started manufacturing a new line of mid-mount zero-turn mowers: the 1000Z, a compact unit for tackling tight spaces; the IS 3000Z, featuring two-wheel, rear independent suspension; and the IS 4000Z, featuring four-wheel independent suspension.

2002: Ferris Industries announces the promotion of Phil Wenzel to the position of president and chief operating officer (COO) for Ferris Industries. Ferris begins shipping the newest addition to its line of mid-mount zero-turn mowers-the IS 1000Z featuring two-wheel, front independent suspension. Ferris also announced the Fast-Vac turbo collection system for use with its IS 3000Z, IS 1000Z and 1000Z. Another industry first from Ferris this year is the introduction of the IS 5000Z. Boasting an industrial-grade Cat® diesel engine and a newly designed, four-wheel IS Independent Suspension system; this unit is set to deliver unmatched power and performance.

2003: Ferris introduces the Hydrocut 32. This single hydrostatic driven walk behind is the only one of its kindin the industry. This innovative unit combines gear drive features and benefits of a hydro-driven machine at the price of competitive drive units! This is the mower that should be on every landscaper´ s trailer. Ferris also completed another expansion to its Munnsville, NY facility by adding over 50,000 square feet of new assembly area. This latest addition will allow Ferris to continue to grow faster than any other manufacturer in the industry.

2004: In 2004 Simplicity Manufacturing, along with it´ s subsidiaries, Ferris, Snapper and Giant-Vac were purchased by Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group. Joseph C. Wright was promoted to the position of Vice President, President – Yard Power Products Group. This move will give Ferris the resources to continue on it´ s current growth strategy. 10,000 square feet of space is added to the Munnsville, NY location to handle this continued growth.

2005: Ferris introduces four new models for 2005 the IS 1500Z, IS 3000ZL, IS 4500Z and the Hydrocut 36. The IS 1500Z and IS 4500Z boast our newly designed “Active Performance Suspension (APS).” This new suspension system is another step in Ferris´ drive to improve suspension technology for the riding mower. The Hydrocut 36 features Ferris´ exclusive “Torque Tuned Blade” system. This is a timed decksystem that allows the mower to be more maneuverable and easy to handle, while ensuring a clean and precise cut. These 4 new mowers, with more planned for 2006, continue to show that Ferris is the innovation leader in the outdoor power equipment industry.

About the Author

Oakboro Tractor Group

Oakboro Tractor Group Joel Thomas, CEO Oakboro Tractor was founded in 1992 by Mr. Joel D. Thomas. We started out in a small building with a $5000 investment and a few farm implements. Now 20 years later we have 4 locations serving customers throughout the Southeast. We are a one stop shop for all of your agricultural and landscaping needs. We take pride in serving our customers American made products to include Mahindra and Husqvarna tractors and Exmark power equipment – which have been very successful. We are thankful for our customers and partnerships and look forward to expanding our locations in 2014.