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View Full Version : Best Zero turn to buy for residential?


joeco129
04-30-2010, 09:24 AM
I'm looking for help/suggestions for a new ZTR for my personal use. I have about an acre of mowable lawn and am tired of my lawn tractor. Doing circles is getting old!

Many landscape contractors around here (Connecticut) have Scags so I have been looking at them. Can anyone tell me how the Freedom Z is? Also keep in mind I am planning on buying property in a few years where i will have 3-4 acres to mow. The Tiger Cat seems much better built than the Freedom Z and looking down the road it may suit me better.

What other brands should I look at? Toro, ExMark, Ferris or others??? What do you guys like about Scags... and don't like? Any help is appreciated. I'm trying to get the best bang for my buck and don't mind spending $$$ for a product that will last me for years...

Thanks!

MS_SURVEYOR
04-30-2010, 10:36 AM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=312336&page=3

DA Quality Lawn & YS
04-30-2010, 02:09 PM
Hustler Fastrack? Toro Titan?

Bluffman
05-02-2010, 08:35 AM
Scag TC is a great mower and truly a "commercial" mower and will serve you well for a long time. Your question is asked all the time and you'll certainly get a lot of recommendations on brands. DA is right, there are many brands which will be excellent purchases but the best advice is what is sold and serviced in your immediate area? You will certainly need parts and possibly service in the future. Do some legwork and shop for your best deal, a model that feels right, has local support and buy the best mower you can afford. I would stay away from "promo" models like the Scag TC. Many people say the Briggs ELS is fine but you do sacrifice things like flat free front tires, foldable ROPS and the adjustable levers but as you are the only one using it you will probably never move them after you get them where you want them. Spring for a unit you won't be disapointed with. After initial "buyers remorse", I've never regreted buying quality. Good luck to you.

joeco129
05-03-2010, 09:49 AM
Scag TC is a great mower and truly a "commercial" mower and will serve you well for a long time. Your question is asked all the time and you'll certainly get a lot of recommendations on brands. DA is right, there are many brands which will be excellent purchases but the best advice is what is sold and serviced in your immediate area? You will certainly need parts and possibly service in the future. Do some legwork and shop for your best deal, a model that feels right, has local support and buy the best mower you can afford. I would stay away from "promo" models like the Scag TC. Many people say the Briggs ELS is fine but you do sacrifice things like flat free front tires, foldable ROPS and the adjustable levers but as you are the only one using it you will probably never move them after you get them where you want them. Spring for a unit you won't be disapointed with. After initial "buyers remorse", I've never regreted buying quality. Good luck to you.

Thanks for your input... When you say "promo" do you mean all the Tiger Cat's are promo models? Do some have flat free front tires and some don't? The one I looked at was a TC 48" with a Briggs and i am leaning away from Briggs. I think the Kohler is a better engine.

Bluffman
05-03-2010, 11:16 AM
For awhile, Scag was offering a T/C "promo" model which had pneumatic fronts (which can and do go flat), a fixed ROPS, fixed levers and the Briggs. It was designed to get the residential/ light commercial market at a low price point. I assume they still offer this machine but can't say for sure. The Kawi and Kohler are the best engine choices to be sure. Don't be fooled by HP ratings though. The torque is what does the work. A Kawi on that mower is 19HP, Kohler 23 and the Briggs a 26. 7 more HP on the Briggs compared to the Kawi means nothing and frankly, the Briggs doesn't even come close to the Kawi or Kohler's quality in my opinion.

joeco129
05-03-2010, 01:05 PM
For awhile, Scag was offering a T/C "promo" model which had pneumatic fronts (which can and do go flat), a fixed ROPS, fixed levers and the Briggs. It was designed to get the residential/ light commercial market at a low price point. I assume they still offer this machine but can't say for sure. The Kawi and Kohler are the best engine choices to be sure. Don't be fooled by HP ratings though. The torque is what does the work. A Kawi on that mower is 19HP, Kohler 23 and the Briggs a 26. 7 more HP on the Briggs compared to the Kawi means nothing and frankly, the Briggs doesn't even come close to the Kawi or Kohler's quality in my opinion.

I agree with you about the engines. What do you like better the kawi or Kohler? I think I am leaning on the Kohler... I have had them on other mlachines and have had no issues besides regular maintenance.

Bluffman
05-03-2010, 01:59 PM
My Scag has the Kawi and I love it. I've had Kawis on other equipment as well and I think they're the best engine out there. I have had Kohlers on smaller equipment and think they are top notch as well. My 19 HP has plenty of power to run the Scag 48". When it came time to put either a clamshell bagger or a tow type collection system on, I did worry about the clamshell as it was what we call spindle driven thereby a power hog on the mower which I didn't want and opted for a Trac-Vac. However, others on this forum say the 19 Kawi with a clamshell works fine. Either engine is going to be excellent especially for a homeowner such as yourself. You're going to get many years out of a good commercial unit like you're looking at. Again, I'd recommend shopping around a bit so you really know what works best for you and your pocketbook. There are LOTS of excellent mowers out there.

Marcos
05-04-2010, 07:09 AM
Only an acre?
Get a 22" push w/ oversize rear wheels.
Just consider every mowing your cardio workout for the week! :cool2:

joeco129
05-04-2010, 06:18 PM
Only an acre?
Get a 22" push w/ oversize rear wheels.
Just consider every mowing your cardio workout for the week! :cool2:

Oh so funny!

kb9nvh
05-05-2010, 09:43 PM
I thought the 19 kaw was just a little underpowered but certainly a capable enginer for the 48. I dont know about a 60" and would probably go with something larger. I've hear the big brigs vanguards are good too and you get more engine for less money that way...I opted for the Kaw but the cost savings of a larger briggs might be a good deal.

Blue97FXSTC
08-11-2010, 02:38 PM
Scag TC is a great mower and truly a "commercial" mower and will serve you well for a long time. Your question is asked all the time and you'll certainly get a lot of recommendations on brands. DA is right, there are many brands which will be excellent purchases but the best advice is what is sold and serviced in your immediate area? You will certainly need parts and possibly service in the future. Do some legwork and shop for your best deal, a model that feels right, has local support and buy the best mower you can afford. I would stay away from "promo" models like the Scag TC. Many people say the Briggs ELS is fine but you do sacrifice things like flat free front tires, foldable ROPS and the adjustable levers but as you are the only one using it you will probably never move them after you get them where you want them. Spring for a unit you won't be disapointed with. After initial "buyers remorse", I've never regreted buying quality. Good luck to you.

Bluffman -

I agree with you in several aspects:
1. There are so many brands to consider
2. There are as many opinions as brands
3. Local support should play a big part in purchase consideration
4. Don't get something you'll regret buying later

I'm a homeowner (3.5 acres) currently looking for my first ZT, and have been doing a lot of research.

After all my internet searching and dealer visits, I think I've decided to up-sell myself on the "promotional" Scag Tiger Cat SS (http://www.scag.com/tigercat-SS.html) with a 61" deck.

About the only difference I find between this model and a non-promo TC (http://www.scag.com/tigercat.html)is the addition of the suspension seat, and a 27HP Kohler instead of the stock 25HP Kohler.

It doesn't have a Briggs, and has the folding ROPS.
Is that the promo model you were thinking of?
Would you see a reason to stay away from this one?

.

Blue97FXSTC
08-11-2010, 02:48 PM
Bluffman - were you talking about the Scag Freedom Z model?
I see they have a promotional 61" cut with a B&S engine, non-folding ROPS.
I'll bet that was it...

Capemay Eagle
08-11-2010, 03:55 PM
Scag is a great mower, Bluegrass rules just bought a freedom, but he has disappeared? If that is the mower you are looking at, that is a nice Commercial Z, Scag just might have one of the best cuts in the industry. Cannot go wrong with that. The Freedom Z is a homeowner commercial grade mower, much different than the TC. You will not go wrong with either unit, it is going to just come down to money, the Freedom Z will most likely be much cheaper.

Bluffman
08-12-2010, 06:27 AM
If you refer to my post way back in May, I stated that Scag offered a "promo" Tiger Cub model...this was NOT the Freedom Z unit as they had that as well. I don't know what they offer now and many dealers don't stock every model anyway. The "promo" models were I beleive about $600.00 less that the model I have with all the bells/whistles and the 19 HP Kawi. Kohler is a great engine. The only thing I'd caution you on on the 61" is whether or not your yard is flat. You do sacrifice cut quality on that big a deck if your area is not flat and open. Being that this is the only cutting you're doing, I would consider going 52" but it's your choice and you know your situation better than I.

BluegrassRules!
08-12-2010, 12:44 PM
joeco129,

I have the Scag Freedom Z with the Kawasaki 19 hp and am very happy with it.
Don't let the horsepower ratings drive your decision. I have mowed some very thick Centipede and the Kawasaki just doesn't even change RPM's.
Scags are really well built but so are a lot of the other brands!!

Don SC
08-12-2010, 04:36 PM
I recently bought an Exmark LazerZ 60 with a 27 hp Kohler and couldn't be much happier mowing my 5 acres. It was pricey at $8300 plus tax, but I'll use it for a long time to come. The zero turn replaced my Simplicity 60" cut diesel garden tractor, which took over 4 hrs to mow the place.

pitchar
08-13-2010, 11:02 PM
Blue,
3.5 acres? I'd get at least a 72" mower. Mowing 2 of my 3 acres with a 60' takes me a couple of hours. Then again, I'm new to all this and I've actually only mowed it twice and the slope is pretty steep.

Don SC,
local dealer in Kingsport had last year's ASX for $8000, regular Z was close to 10k. I would have drove to Columbia to save $1700! I went with a used Kubota ZD 21 60" commercial deck diesel engine, 212 hrs, $6000

Blue97FXSTC
08-14-2010, 11:46 AM
Blue,
3.5 acres? I'd get at least a 72" mower. Mowing 2 of my 3 acres with a 60' takes me a couple of hours. Then again, I'm new to all this and I've actually only mowed it twice and the slope is pretty steep.


Mine is not a manicured lawn - far from it, in fact.
I've got a fine set of Texas Hill Country scrub grass & weeds.
I also have trails that I cut through the back half of the property.

The Scag Tiger Cat (that I've convinced myself I'm going to buy) isn't offered with a 72" deck.
I was considering the 61" deck, but am now leaning toward the 48" due mostly to my bumpy land and the trails.
Plus, I had a dealer tell me that the larger deck may be harder to handle, and that the 61" deck doesn't hang well on the Scag TC.
Sounded odd to me, but like you, I'm absolutely new to the ZT's, so I'll just take that as a data point.

My reference point is a Craftsman 25HP B&S with a 48" cutting deck.
If I cut around the house (2 acres), along the driveway (1 acre) and trails (1/2 acre), it takes about 5 hours with the Craftsman.
That doesn't include the two hours of weed-whacking and cleanup blowing.

I'm expecting that upgrading from a Sears tractor to a Scag Zero Turn should cut the mowing time drastically, even staying with the 48" deck.

Plus, I've decided not to buy until the spring, when the dealers have an open house sale at 10% off.
If I'm about to drop $8500 on a mower, I want to be sure I'm getting the one I really want.
Is it unreasonable to expect to be allowed to demo (on my property) both a 61" and 48" machine - even though I'm a homeowner and not a commercial cutter?

.

kb9nvh
08-14-2010, 11:54 AM
Consider a faster mower than the tiger cat. It will run about 8mph. That much land (if open enough) will be able to cut at top speed with more of a mower and will cut time drastically. Consider the ratio of wide open cutting to the amount of obstacle and tight space cutting you have.

I went from a tiger cub to a BB lightning with suspension and when in the open there is no comparison. Now, around the house and in the tight spaces there is a penalty for the larger mower.

A smaller deck will cut better no doubt but if your just cutting your own grass and you aren't anal about it then 60" is the way to go unless you have places you cant get into with that size.

I'm not sure about this but I dont think to many folks do the 72" thing unless they are cutting wide open fields where every inch counts.

Mine is not a manicured lawn - far from it, in fact.
I've got a fine set of Texas Hill Country scrub grass & weeds.
I also have trails that I cut through the back half of the property.

The Scag Tiger Cat (that I've convinced myself I'm going to buy) isn't offered with a 72" deck.
I was considering the 61" deck, but am now leaning toward the 48" due mostly to my bumpy land and the trails.
Plus, I had a dealer tell me that the larger deck may be harder to handle, and that the 61" deck doesn't hang well on the Scag TC.
Sounded odd to me, but like you, I'm absolutely new to the ZT's, so I'll just take that as a data point.

My reference point is a Craftsman 25HP B&S with a 48" cutting deck.
If I cut around the house (2 acres), along the driveway (1 acre) and trails (1/2 acre), it takes about 5 hours with the Craftsman.
That doesn't include the two hours of weed-whacking and cleanup blowing.

I'm expecting that upgrading from a Sears tractor to a Scag Zero Turn should cut the mowing time drastically, even staying with the 48" deck.

Plus, I've decided not to buy until the spring, when the dealers have an open house sale at 10% off.
If I'm about to drop $8500 on a mower, I want to be sure I'm getting the one I really want.
Is it unreasonable to expect to be allowed to demo (on my property) both a 61" and 48" machine - even though I'm a homeowner and not a commercial cutter?

.

Don SC
08-14-2010, 03:12 PM
One of the things that's generally known by the pro mowers on here is that a 60 inch deck needs a bit more horsepower than 21 hp, especially if you find yourself in wet or high grass. Altho the Kubotas are top of the line, I'd prefer at least 25 hp.
A good dlr ought to be accomodating enough to let ya test drive before you drive...