Making the Grade With a New Mower at Fremont High School

As the head custodian at Fremont High School in Plain City, Utah, Ryan Wheeler is responsible for tending to all of the maintenance inside the school and on the 50-acre campus grounds. 

During the summer, Wheeler has additional help. But during the school year, the work falls to Wheeler and a groundskeeper. 

Taking care of the sprawling campus, Wheeler would often finish mowing and feel like he’d gone a few rounds in the ring.

“My mower would bounce me up and down and my back would hurt at the end of the day,” Wheeler says. “We were in the market for a new lawnmower.” 

An aging, inefficient mower 

Wheeler wasn’t happy with the performance of the mower he had been using at the school, a diesel zero-turn mower that was 10 to 15 years old. Necessary repairs to that machine would cost more than it was worth. 

“It was slow and just didn’t cut as well,” Wheeler says. “I was in the market to get a totally different brand.” 

He wasn’t familiar with Ferris® mowers, but demoed a new Ferris ISX™ 3300 zero-turn mower powered by a Vanguard engine at Wilkinson Supply, his local dealer. Wheeler kept it for a few days and tested it at the school. 

“I fell in love with it,” Wheeler says. “It was amazing, how fast it was. It did an awesome job cutting.” 

The powerful engine impressed Wheeler on first use. 

“We picked an area of the school that was just a straight shot and engaged the blade. It felt like a car, how fast I was going, and it cut the grass going full speed,” Wheeler says. “The grass was cut perfectly.” 

Quote- We have a fully integrated solution down to our motor controller. - Dave Schulenberg

Improved productivity and reduced downtime 

The Ferris ISX 3300 Zero-Turn Mower is powered by the Vanguard® BIG BLOCK™ 37 .0 Gross HP* EFI engine. The engine’s closed-loop electronic fuel injection (EFI) technology dramatically reduces fuel consumption and allows for easy starting. 

On the Fremont campus, the terrain is mostly flat with a few hills. The Ferris mower gets the job done with high-quality, smooth cutting much faster than the school’s previous mower. The grounds have some thick grass that would bog down the old mower. 

“This is a very powerful motor,” Wheeler says. “It cut right through that grass and never bogged down and never sounded bad.” 

That power translates into time savings for Wheeler and his crew. 

“My groundskeeper did say that usually it took her a good 45 to 50 minutes to mow our soccer field before a game, and now she’s able to do it in 30 to 35 minutes with this new mower,” Wheeler says. “You’re getting a good quality of cut, and you’re able to do it efficiently.” 

The mower also features the Oil Guard™ system, which allows operators to go 500 hours between oil changes. Wheeler expects this to be a feature that greatly improves productivity and reduces downtime for his crew.   

“It’s impressive to see that it can go 500 hours for an oil change,” Wheeler says. 

A more comfortable ride and better performance

Another noticeable benefit for Wheeler is the reduced vibration and noise of the Ferris mower. Compared to the ride of the previous mower, the Ferris is a pleasure to use. 

“The suspension on this is a hundred times better,” Wheeler says. “The ride is so much smoother. My back doesn’t hurt at the end.” 

Wheeler is so sold on the results he’s seen that he would like to purchase another Vanguard-powered Ferris mower next summer for the school. 

“I’m impressed with the performance, the cut and everything,” he says. “I would rate this one a 10.” 

About Briggs & Stratton, LLC:

Briggs & Stratton, LLC, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is focused on providing power to get work done and make people's lives better. Briggs & Stratton is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, and is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of power generation, pressure washers, lawn and garden, turf care and job site products through its Briggs & Stratton®, Simplicity®, Snapper®,  Ferris®, Vanguard®, Allmand®, Billy Goat®, Murray®, Branco® and Victa® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents. For additional information, please visit and