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View Full Version : Scag Freedom Z vs. Hustler FasTrak


slow2spool
03-29-2007, 06:36 PM
I am a homeowner in the market for a near-commercial ZTR. I have narrowed it down to the following:

Scag Freedom Z :
1. 52" w/ 19hp Kaw - $5499
2. 52" w/ 26hp B&G ELS - $5199

or

Hustler FasTrak:
1. 54" w/ 21hp Kaw - $5100
2. 54" w/ 20hp Honda - $5200

Right now I'm leaning toward the Hustler with the Honda.

Does anyone have any opinion on the Scag with the 26 B&G vs. 19 Kaw?
21 Kaw vs. 20 Honda?

I have about an acre. I know it's overkill, but in the not too distant future I most likely will be caring for my parents' and my in-laws' yards as they are getting up there in years.

I plan on making a decision in the next day or so and I would greatly appreciate the advice of the pros here. I know this site caters to the pros, but that's where the experience can be found.

Thanks for any help you can provide

4curbappeal
03-29-2007, 07:04 PM
I would probably go with the Hustler, but the SCAG Freedom Z is probably a very good mower. I would also go with the Kawi instead of the Honda. I have had nothing but awsome results with the Kawi engine. Does your dealer carry both mowers? If you can, go demo both and then decide.

slow2spool
03-29-2007, 09:47 PM
I would probably go with the Hustler, but the SCAG Freedom Z is probably a very good mower. I would also go with the Kawi instead of the Honda. I have had nothing but awsome results with the Kawi engine. Does your dealer carry both mowers? If you can, go demo both and then decide.

Thanks.

I have a couple of options for Hustler dealers. Both have said that they can get both and are happy to get the Kawi if that's my choice. Although they both like the Honda. They say they have not had any Honda motor problems that are notable. The same with the mower as a whole.

roger1
04-03-2007, 04:36 PM
I'm in the same boat as you and just posted a similar question before I saw this posting. I'm looking at the same 2 models as you are.

My dealer said that the Scag was a residential model. Is it really a near-commercial?

Roger

vogler.r
04-05-2007, 09:49 PM
Slow2spool,
Depending on the amount of land you need to mow. I would add Exmark to your short list. Something like a Lazer ZHP with 23HP Kawasaki or a 52" Exmark Walk behind. www.Exmark.com These are the best mowers

slow2spool
04-06-2007, 04:39 PM
Slow2spool,
Depending on the amount of land you need to mow. I would add Exmark to your short list. Something like a Lazer ZHP with 23HP Kawasaki or a 52" Exmark Walk behind. www.Exmark.com These are the best mowers
Thanks for the reply.

I currently have a little over 3/4's of an acre. I have settled on the FasTrak 52" model. So this is probably overkill. However, I want a mower that will last and will get my grass done quickly. I travel alot and when I'm home, I don't want to spend half a day cutting grass. Currently with an Ariens 21" it takes 1.5-1.75 hours to cut, if it's done right. Longer if you need to bag.

I'm getting the Hustler for $4700. $5300 if I take the Bag-Vac for it which I think I'm going to do. The bagger probably wouldn't hold up for commercial, but will be fine for my needs.

I was going to go with the FasTrak 54", but my shed door is 64" wide and the overall width of the FS 54 is 61+". If it was just me, that wouldn't be a problem, but the missus and my kids will be doing the cutting as well. I don't have enought faith they will successfully shoot the gap. In addition, the bag-vac for the 54" was $1299, I believe. It would be a fine commercial bag-vac.

I did like the Scag Freedom Z, but it just came down to the deal. The Freedom Z with a 19hp Kaw was $5499, if I remember correctly. If they would have been priced the same it would have been a flip of the coin. I liked them both.

I did look at the Exmarks, but Scag and the Huslter were better deals from the area dealers. I was also intrigued by the Bad Boy mowers, but didn't have a dealer nearby as they are still developing their dealer network. The closest dealer was a first year dealer and that concerned me a bit. They are well built and have great features though.

Thanks for your input.

slow2spool
04-06-2007, 04:51 PM
Roger:

It looks to me like the Freedom Z is "near-commercial", whatever that is. The main difference from what I was looking at, Freedom Z & FasTrak, was the integrated drive/pumps. The "commercial" units seem to have the pump(s) separate from the drives.

The only thing with the Scag FZ that I was concerned with was the B&G motor. If I would have went with the Scag, it would have had the Kaw 19hp motor. I think in the long run, it was a better motor. I had more than one dealer tell me it had more torque than the B&G, and in this business, torque it the name of the game.

If you're a home owner like me, I don't think you could go wrong with the Freedom Z or the FasTrak.

I am getting the FasTrak 52". It was going to be delivered today, but I delayed it since Mother Nature saw fit to give us a belated April Fool's joke. We have over 6" of snow and it's still snowing. Forecast says it will snow off and on through next week! Lake Effect snow! You gotta love it!

Good Luck,

Mike

roger1
06-23-2007, 10:49 AM
I went ahead and got the Scag with the Kaw.

The decision really came down to the dealer. I don't even have to buy a trailer for it. He said as part of the deal he will deliver the mower. Do a pickup/deliver for any breakdown and a pickup/deliver for an annual tune up and preventive maintenance all for no extra charge.

Also, he told me that he would cover the entire machine for 3 years.

The Hustler dealer while nice and courteous people, were a much bigger dealer geared toward farm equipment could not give me that kind of service.

I do thank you for your input.

Roger

duzzi
08-02-2007, 12:55 PM
The Scag would be my choice, Much better mower, better quality as well.

Capemay Eagle
08-02-2007, 02:26 PM
The Scag would be my choice, Much better mower, better quality as well.
So why is the Scag better??

duzzi
08-06-2007, 09:19 AM
The scag has a 7 gauge deck skirt with a 10 and 11 gauge top, the hustler is 11 gauge. The scag uses Dual Hydro Gear zt2800 trans which is commercial grade where the Hustler uses the Hydrogear IZT trans which is strictly homeowner use. The scag uses 20" drive tires vs. 18" on hustler, this makes a big difference on bumpy and uneven terrian. Scag freedom has an 8mph forward speed vs. 7mph on hustler. The scag also uses an Ogura adjustable clutch vs.Hustlers Non-adjustable clutch. Scag uses rubber mounted foot plate to absorb vibration. The brakes on the Scag uses a lever actuated interlock system that is like a disc brake on the trans where the hustler uses a sprocket and cog system, this system has been known to stick a lot and the cog gets stripped.

cmurf70
01-24-2008, 06:12 PM
I thought the FasTraks had the ZT280 trans???? I think I was told that by a dealer today.

nmurph
01-25-2008, 10:15 AM
I thought the FasTraks had the ZT280 trans???? I think I was told that by a dealer today.

even though this is an older thread, i just couldn't pass on chiming in.

you are correct about the transaxles. i have never read of problems with the integrated brake system of the Huslter. dizzi cited tire size and clutch as differences: correct, though i doubt the differences make much difference in the real world. put a set of flex forks on the Hustler and i don't think the Scag can hang in the ride department. other than that the two mowers are very similar. oh yeah, the Hustler has a 4 yr HO warranty vs 3 yrs HO for the Scag.

93Chevy
07-31-2009, 10:47 PM
Bump...

After using the "search" feature to find some info on the Scag Freedom Z, I found this thread. The dealer I'm spending some time with has a Freedom and a Fasttrack, around the same price, both are on special. The Scag I think I can get a little better deal with than the Hustler.

Money issues aside, I'd like to revive this thread. Any opinions on either mower would be appreciated. :waving:

roger1
08-01-2009, 12:42 AM
Bump...

After using the "search" feature to find some info on the Scag Freedom Z, I found this thread. The dealer I'm spending some time with has a Freedom and a Fasttrack, around the same price, both are on special. The Scag I think I can get a little better deal with than the Hustler.

Money issues aside, I'd like to revive this thread. Any opinions on either mower would be appreciated. :waving:

I have had my Freedom Z (52" deck and Kaw motor) for 2 years now and I still love it. My wife loves it too. As a matter of fact, she has so much fun with it, I rarely have to do any mowing anymore!

93Chevy
08-01-2009, 07:36 AM
I have had my Freedom Z (52" deck and Kaw motor) for 2 years now and I still love it. My wife loves it too. As a matter of fact, she has so much fun with it, I rarely have to do any mowing anymore!

Good deal man, thanks for the info!

La_Cutter
09-22-2009, 12:26 AM
Any problems being experienced with the cable used to raise the deck on the Freedom Z? Between the 52" Scag Freedom Z 19hp Kaw and the 54" Hustler Fastrack 20hp Honda, which would provide the best cut performance mulching St. Augustine? Any difference in durability?

Thanks!

zman2307
09-22-2009, 12:43 AM
The Scags have marbain Eliminator blades on their mulch kits. The Hustlers look like they use a regular low lift blade.....doubt it has the Fusion treatment. So they probably don't hold an edge like the Scag blades.

roger1
09-22-2009, 12:49 AM
Any problems being experienced with the cable used to raise the deck on the Freedom Z? Between the 52" Scag Freedom Z 19hp Kaw and the 54" Hustler Fastrack 20hp Honda, which would provide the best cut performance mulching St. Augustine? Any difference in durability?

Thanks!

In 2 years of use with my 52" Freedom Z, I have had no problems raising the deck.
Also, I mow 2 acres of mostly St. Augustine with the stock blades and cuttings seem to mulch up fine. The only time I really can see any clippings at all is if I let the lawn go too long before a cut.

La_Cutter
09-22-2009, 07:59 AM
In 2 years of use with my 52" Freedom Z, I have had no problems raising the deck.
Also, I mow 2 acres of mostly St. Augustine with the stock blades and cuttings seem to mulch up fine. The only time I really can see any clippings at all is if I let the lawn go too long before a cut.

What would be too long before a cut in terms of length removal while mulching? If you have the 19hp Kawasaki, does it have enough power for the 52" deck?

Thanks!

MOHUSTLER
09-22-2009, 10:39 AM
As a scag dealer the freydom Z is the only mower that we have not had one service bulliten on since the mower came out. Its pretty bullet proof.

On the other side also being a hustler dealer, they are bulletproof mowers as well. Both cut good. And both will last a long time.

The 19 kawi has plenty of power. No complaints so far on that engine. I love my kawis!!

roger1
09-22-2009, 11:55 AM
What would be too long before a cut in terms of length removal while mulching? If you have the 19hp Kawasaki, does it have enough power for the 52" deck?
Thanks!

When the St. Augustine is growing at it's fastest (early summer and lots of water), we mow every 5 to 7 days and no clippings can be seen. I would say if you leave it 10 days, then you will see some clippings. However, going over parts of the yard again will mulch them up no problem.

We cut using the 3 1/2 setting on the mower. I think giving you the answer in terms of time is better but if I had to estimate length I would say that if you are cutting 7" grass you won't mulch all the clippings up on one pass but at 5" to 6" it would be fine.

The dealer I bought the Scag from also told me that mulching blades weren't necessary for this mower and I agree.

Powering the 52" with the 19hp Kaw is not even close to an issue. It has plenty of power.

And, btw, I used a 48" Freedom Z once and the 52" makes more of a difference than you would think. If your yard is big, go with the 52.

mdale
06-21-2010, 04:46 PM
I'm looking at the freedom z and fastrak sd also. I drove the scag it seemed that the back of the seat was too straight ( no recline), how comfortable is this after mowing for a couple of hours? I've set on the hustler and the seat felt better, but have not test drove. When you guy say demo does that mean drive it around the dealers lot, or will they bring to your house to try, and if so do they wait and you try it for 15min or do they leave it overnight? Mohustler have you seen any common problems on the superdutys? I'm leaning towards the hustler because of the flex fork option, over no susp seat or flex forks available on the scag. Which out of the freedom z and fastrak SD has a better ride stock?

Thanks

roger1
06-21-2010, 04:59 PM
I'm looking at the freedom z and fastrak sd also. I drove the scag it seemed that the back of the seat was too straight ( no recline), how comfortable is this after mowing for a couple of hours?
Thanks

I haven't driven a Fastrak.

I have no complaints about the comfort on my Freedom Z whatsoever. It seems to be fine for my back and my wife has no complaints either. I adjust the seat all the way back and she slides it all the forward. However, it takes only about an hour to do our yard.

We also have an old Kubota with a belly finishing mower that we use for a rougher area of our property. My wife really complains about the comfort on that. We are going to groom that area more so we can use the Scag on it and get rid of the tractor.