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View Full Version : Please Help! EX mark or SCAG?


petergrass
01-23-2011, 12:17 PM
I am not a commercial lawn mowing guy -but you never know I could be - I have 5 acres in a class A floodway and the grass grows real quick and thick - our property can also be very bumpy - it is not a suburban yard at all. For 14 mowing seasons I had a John Deere GT 275 Garden Tractor with a 48" mulching deck. When we closed on the place in 1997 I was under alot of pressure and needed a mower fast so I went to the local JD dealership. Now I have time and I can buy what I want like a ZTR - an option I did not have in 1997. I should also point out that I love cutting the grass - to me its fun.

After some research I have narrowed it down to SCAG and EXMARK. I am going to buy a commercial unit just so I can have something rugged that will last me a long time - I have been know to bump into a tree or two when mowing. And I am also tired of large repair bills that I have gotten on the JD in the last three years. How in the world am I suppose to choose between SCAG or Exmark? I like them both and I am only allowed to buy one! And Advise?

djagusch
01-23-2011, 12:19 PM
What dealer will give better service is a big factor. What models are you looking at?
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petergrass
01-23-2011, 12:27 PM
I got the local dealer who sells both - ironically two doors down from the JD dealership! Honestly in 1997 I thought a guy was suppose to buy a JD! Now i know better after talking to alot of commercial guys - its funny you never see a commercial guy with a JD do you? - I am looking at 61" decks - not sure on exact models - but will have it narrowed down to exact models this week.

ohiogreenworks
01-23-2011, 12:28 PM
I've always heard that exmark has a higher blade RPM, which means a better cut! I've also ran scags and they are really well built in my opinion. Around my area we see more exmark then scag.

djagusch
01-23-2011, 12:44 PM
I've always heard that exmark has a higher blade RPM, which means a better cut! I've also ran scags and they are really well built in my opinion. Around my area we see more exmark then scag.

I hear many things and you heard bs!

If you can spend 10k buy a turf tiger with a 35hp briggs. Best bang for your buck and if you get behind in the thick stuff you will have plenty of pwr to cut it.
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Gravelyftw
01-23-2011, 01:07 PM
I got the local dealer who sells both - ironically two doors down from the JD dealership! Honestly in 1997 I thought a guy was suppose to buy a JD! Now i know better after talking to alot of commercial guys - its funny you never see a commercial guy with a JD do you? - I am looking at 61" decks - not sure on exact models - but will have it narrowed down to exact models this week.

we have a big company around here that uses JDs with rear steer.

zturncutter
01-23-2011, 01:15 PM
My dealer of 15+ years sells Toro and Scag. He sold me on Scag from the start, very happy with the machines over the years. They really are tanks and cut well.

Chilehead
01-23-2011, 01:38 PM
In terms of build quality, Scag IS the best product out there. In terms of cut quality, Exmark has that one nailed (Ultracut Series 4 deck). I've cut with both. If you are mowing nice residential lawns weekly you will not be able to tell a difference (especially on fescue), except that the Exmark stripes better. Once you start cutting fields, weedy grass, or overgrown turf--the Scag will stand out as the better machine. Their velocity deck disperses clippings much better. Also, the better build quality of the Scag means a higher weight. It will be more prone to leave ruts on soft ground.

brianslawncare
01-23-2011, 02:02 PM
i have both and i think the exmarks stripe better. in my area their are more scags than exmarks and both dealers are varry close to each other. go and demo each then make youre choice. i think what ever you decide you will be happy with.

por911
01-23-2011, 02:21 PM
I have a similar situation as the original poster. I have my choices narrowed down to a Kubota ZD331 or a Scag TT 28Cat diesel and am having a difficult time making my decision. Leaning toward Scag right now, never considered Exmark.

wisdom
01-23-2011, 03:31 PM
I would not advise buying a Scag. The replacement parts are very expensive, and their customer service on a corporate level is very bad. Scag tries every way possible to weasel out of warranty claims, which is part of their oversall business model. Look into hustler. Their warranty is in my opinion the best, and I cant find anyone that has anything bad to say about the brand.

Gravelyftw
01-23-2011, 03:49 PM
^anyone else have this problem with scag?

SouthSide Cutter
01-23-2011, 04:13 PM
I would not advise buying a Scag. The replacement parts are very expensive, and their customer service on a corporate level is very bad. Scag tries every way possible to weasel out of warranty claims, which is part of their oversall business model. Look into hustler. Their warranty is in my opinion the best, and I cant find anyone that has anything bad to say about the brand.

Dont know where you are coming from but your dead wrong on both your statements.

djagusch
01-23-2011, 04:23 PM
I would not advise buying a Scag. The replacement parts are very expensive, and their customer service on a corporate level is very bad. Scag tries every way possible to weasel out of warranty claims, which is part of their oversall business model. Look into hustler. Their warranty is in my opinion the best, and I cant find anyone that has anything bad to say about the brand.
Really can you give your many examples of this?

With my scag I have had 1 warranty issues and the rep called me to check for a leak in the area, it was and it was fixed. I have owned hustler also the super z I sold after one yr as it seemed like it would hold up over the long run. My trimstar needed a new frame because of bad welding. While hustler covered it, it shouldn't of happened.
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rwaters
01-23-2011, 04:28 PM
Most of the major companies make a good mower and Scag and Exmark do have decent equipment but we do all have our preference I personally do not like Exmark but I am also not a fan of the Drive Shaft of a Scag as I think it is just more mainatance. I suggest going with the unit you like with a better price. I can assure you no mower is perfect, and a good dealer can make a worlds difference as I assure you neither scag nor exmark talk directly to the customer their reps that work for distributors do, and they change based on territory.

por911
01-23-2011, 04:33 PM
Most of the major companies make a good mower and Scag and Exmark do have decent equipment but we do all have our preference I personally do not like Exmark but I am also not a fan of the Drive Shaft of a Scag as I think it is just more mainatance. I suggest going with the unit you like with a better price. I can assure you no mower is perfect, and a good dealer can make a worlds difference as I assure you neither scag nor exmark talk directly to the customer their reps that work for distributors do, and they change based on territory.

I thought all you had to do to the drive shaft is a shot of grease once in a while. Besides that and changing the fluid in the gearbox what maintainence are you speaking of?

DaytonBioLawns
01-23-2011, 04:52 PM
What type of land are you cutting?
For hill-Scag, their big mowers weigh more with big tires and you can't beat 'em on hills

Flat land- Exmark if the deck is set right... my metro is still my best stripe I have ever had.

Now are you looking for a walk behind, hydro, gear, stand-on, mid frame, small, or large? and are you looking for a rider.

To answer some of those.... all 32-36" gear walk behinds are about the same. The scag I had used electronic valve relief for an easier start when pulling the recoil.

The exmark with a good rake and proper cutting height is proven and time tested. I am biased of course but I have had other mowers.

If you want a stander (which is great for productivity and trailer space) just go with wright. If you are going to buy more than four mowers just do the wright fleet buying. No reason to beat around the bush... wright makes the stander.... cut quality is good, but the decks will clog if you don't keep them clean and run the fixed deck wet.

Now to help answer your questions.... both scag and exmark are high off their @$$es on pricing. Hustler is of similar quality if you keep your mower in good shape and is a lotttttt less. The only reason I would get a scag would be dealer support, greaseable spindles, and hilly terrain. Otherwise the Exmark is the way to go...

PM me if you are buying used.... I have a thread because I am in a buyer's market right now and I have been looking at exmark... I have a lot of nice ones under 500 hours that people have sent me PM's and Listings about.

Kirks68
01-23-2011, 05:07 PM
Both are excellent machines. I personally favor Exmark partly because of my dealer but mostly because they are ahead on the research and development end and less maintenanceis required. You will think the machine you buy is the best out there no matter which one goes home with you.

rwaters
01-23-2011, 05:33 PM
I thought all you had to do to the drive shaft is a shot of grease once in a while. Besides that and changing the fluid in the gearbox what maintainence are you speaking of?

thats it but most people do not do that, also you still have a belt that breaks on the deck. I do not think scag mowers are junk just not a fan of a drive shaft on a mower. I personally think the best mower ever made was the Great Dane before Deere bought them. But then again we all have opinions... and that and a $5 will buy me a cup of coffee.

djagusch
01-23-2011, 05:54 PM
thats it but most people do not do that, also you still have a belt that breaks on the deck. I do not think scag mowers are junk just not a fan of a drive shaft on a mower. I personally think the best mower ever made was the Great Dane before Deere bought them. But then again we all have opinions... and that and a $5 will buy me a cup of coffee.

Yes they have a belt that can break but does your deck belts last 1500hrs? That is right my deck belts has lasted that long now. The idea of having fixed positions is less wear and in the tt's case it is less exposed to sticks than the long belts. I needed to replace it because a spindle went out and slashed the belt.
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RTR Landscaping
01-23-2011, 06:11 PM
I'm A Scag guy all the way. You really can't buy a better mower. Look at the spindles on both brands, you will see a cast iron housing, tapered bearings that are greasable. You mentioned you might be prone to hit a tree ocasionally. The front caster wheel yoke is replacable on all Scags. They're not cheap, but you won't have to try to bend the frame back into shape.The Velocity decks have a beautiful cut and fan wet or really tall grass well. Exmarks are good machines also, so you really can't go wrong with either. If it was me, I'd go with Scag.

rwaters
01-23-2011, 06:40 PM
Yes they have a belt that can break but does your deck belts last 1500hrs? That is right my deck belts has lasted that long now. The idea of having fixed positions is less wear and in the tt's case it is less exposed to sticks than the long belts. I needed to replace it because a spindle went out and slashed the belt.
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Yes I have had deck belts last longer then that on units that were not Scag. it is luck and care as to when a deck belt breaks on any brand. As I said Scag units are not bad I personally am not a fan of the drive shaft and I bet if you look at the Scag units that do not have the drive shaft you will find a lot of them have belts lasting longer then 1500 hours. Deck belts break most of the time due to hitting something, getting a stick(or something else) caught in the belt or a pulley breaking/cutting it. I have worked on Scag, Exmark, John Deere, Cub Cadet, Toro, Great Dane, Bob-Cat, Bad Boy, Hustler, and Grasshopper I think they are all decent machines each has improvements that could be made but it is personal preference as to what is the best machine for the customer. As a dealer I picked what were my favorite machines as it is easier to sell what you like but I know I do not always have the best machine for the customer. If 1 company made the best mower out their for everyone you would only have 1 mower on the market as nobody would buy the others. If I could afford to have every mower on the market in my shop either my prices would be so high to cover my overhead or I would be a moron to have that much of my money tied up in a shop and would just quit working.

ALC-GregH
01-23-2011, 07:12 PM
I need to put my hip waders on, the BS in this thread is getting deep.

GTAlumnus
01-23-2011, 11:52 PM
I am not a commercial user however I can give an example. My Scag velocity deck was warped after a year of use and Scag replaced it with a new deck - no charge. After 400 hours I can't say how the warranty service is otherwise - have had no other problems. My only concern is how the deck got warped - I don't recall any collisions that would cause that.

It is a great machine (Wildcat 61" with 26HP Kaw water cooled). Does well in my pasture grass I usually don't cut til its a foot tall. Only thing I don't like is the liquid cooling - radiator gets clogged with debris sometimes and that is a royal pain having to stop and clean it out. Sure does run cool however and is a good thing down here in Texas.

Exmark probably cuts prettier if you mow every week and don't cut off much. I cut about 80% of the length off every time, and it chews it up and spits it out.

LawnCareNoobie
01-24-2011, 12:16 AM
I got the local dealer who sells both - ironically two doors down from the JD dealership! Honestly in 1997 I thought a guy was suppose to buy a JD! Now i know better after talking to alot of commercial guys - its funny you never see a commercial guy with a JD do you? - I am looking at 61" decks - not sure on exact models - but will have it narrowed down to exact models this week.

A lot of us commercial guys use John Deere Zero Turns. They are very good and have one of the best mowing decks(7 Iron) in the industry. There is a large landscape company in my area that uses JD zero turns and they are successful using them. If you ever heard of Wegmans (grocery store that is huge) they do all the mowing of these stores in my area and it looks great. JD is not as popular as other brands but it doesn't mean they aren't good machines. They don't offer as big of a lineup as other brands, like Kawasaki being the only gas engine brand, no liquid cooled gas options either. They aren't priced any higher(cheaper) than the top brands either, at least not in my area.

Many will disagree with each other on best mowers. Everyone is biased. Some people trash any mower out there that isn't the brand they run, even when they have absolutely no experience using that brand.

I've run many brands of zero turns out there, and honestly JD is my top choice. I own three JD commercial zero turns (700 series) and I love them. Notice that I am still using 700 series mowers.

I have experience on the 800 series as well but I don't care for them as much because of the parker pumps used in them. The pumps are more sensitive; it's more jerky and not as smooth as the Kanzaki pumps in the 700 series. This 800 series was not extremely successful when they first came out (mainly 810/820) as a result of these Parker pumps. There was an issue with the pumps using a lot of the engines power. Upgrades and adjustments have been made, and it does what you need it to do just fine. If I am correct, Exmark currently uses the same Parker pumps in their new units as the John Deere 800 series.So Exmark can thank JD for fixing any bugs and being the guinea pig for those. After all, JD was the first to use this Parker pump setup.

I don't have any experience yet on the 900 seires, but it houses different pumps in them, they went back to Tuff Torq/Kanzaki which is same brand as the 700 series. These mowers are supposed to be excellent on hilly areas as well.

I have a great JD dealer close by with a few stores branched out locally. Since my experience using JD commercial units has been fantastic and my dealer is helpful, I will be purchasing new 900 series units when the time comes.

Exmark is good as well. I have experience on both old and new units. Their new units are nice, and are very stable on hills. The ultra cut deck is another top deck in the industry, however it doesn't work as well as others in wet conditions.

I have used older Scags with the advantage deck so my experience with those wasn't as great. The Velocity is supposed to be another great deck in the industry though. Just like John Deere's 7 Iron Decks, it has a good disperse of clippings and minimal clumping in wet conditions. Just because I haven't used a Scag with that deck, doesn't give me reason to call it junk...

Both are proven machines. Look at the type of grass you have and the amount of rain you get. Scag has the best all around deck for any conditions (Velocity deck) between the two. Can't go wrong with either though, maybe it will come down to price for you.

MOHUSTLER
01-24-2011, 08:55 AM
Im going to jump in on the scag warranty claim that they dont stand behind thier stuff.

We are a dealer for 4 major brands. And scag is one of the top ones to deal with on the warranty issues. They are no questions asked and will replace it quickly to get it running again.

As far as quality scag over exmark all day long. I cant find one part on the Exmark that is heavier built then scag is. Not one!

And cut quality on exmark is good, But I thinks scag still has the edge over them. Wait till the grass is wet and put the scag next to an exmark. The scag will once again win the contest. They both cut good in dry conditions.


With all that said, try both of them and see which one fits your needs best.

delphied
01-24-2011, 02:08 PM
This post has turned into a whole bunch of BS. I have Exmark and love it. Scags are great too. You have chosen wisely grasshoppa. I say the Exmark stripes better and that the Skag is built like a Sherman tank. You cant go wrong with either.

ALC-GregH
01-24-2011, 07:49 PM
I think striping has more to do with deck setup then anything else, including what brand mower is doing the striping.

Thunderhead
01-29-2011, 02:39 AM
I am not a commercial lawn mowing guy -but you never know I could be - I have 5 acres in a class A floodway and the grass grows real quick and thick - our property can also be very bumpy - it is not a suburban yard at all. For 14 mowing seasons I had a John Deere GT 275 Garden Tractor with a 48" mulching deck. When we closed on the place in 1997 I was under alot of pressure and needed a mower fast so I went to the local JD dealership. Now I have time and I can buy what I want like a ZTR - an option I did not have in 1997. I should also point out that I love cutting the grass - to me its fun.

After some research I have narrowed it down to SCAG and EXMARK. I am going to buy a commercial unit just so I can have something rugged that will last me a long time - I have been know to bump into a tree or two when mowing. And I am also tired of large repair bills that I have gotten on the JD in the last three years. How in the world am I suppose to choose between SCAG or Exmark? I like them both and I am only allowed to buy one! And Advise?

Out of only those 2 choices, definately SCAG. But choose a good SCAG dealer.

freshcut419
01-29-2011, 11:11 PM
^anyone else have this problem with scag?

Yes I had a 52 inch scag . I will never buy one again.The frame cracked in several places and had trouble with warranty. I run Grasshoppers now.

knox gsl
01-29-2011, 11:40 PM
If I were in your position had to choose, and all I run in my business is Exmark, I would get a Bobcat, this is based on price and contingent on getting a good dealer for it. Yes Scag and Exmark are on top of the heap for quality and service but they also are up there for price. A 61" Procat is alot of mower, really more than you will need for cutting less that 10 acres a week. That being said I would also say look at the Pioneer series from Exmark also.

Thunderhead
01-30-2011, 03:18 AM
I have a similar situation as the original poster. I have my choices narrowed down to a Kubota ZD331 or a Scag TT 28Cat diesel and am having a difficult time making my decision. Leaning toward Scag right now, never considered Exmark.

Go with the SCAG.

petergrass
01-30-2011, 11:26 AM
Wow, I really learned alot. Thank you to everyone. I am going to spend an hour in the store actually working and looking at all the controls - acessing the filters etc and see which feels best in my hands and what seems easiest for me to work on etc. . Narrrowed down to Scag Tiger Cat 61" and Ex Mark Lazer Z advantage series 60".This has been educational Thanks to all.

scraper1
02-04-2011, 09:17 PM
Scag is better in my opinion. Used both. I have all scags. Not a big fan of the cub. Wildcat and Tigers are good. Comfort, ease of use, reliable, mows thick wet grass nicely. If you bag clippings often, walker mowers might be better. Though they are a little slow, they pick up everything.

dtc0207
02-04-2011, 09:23 PM
To me the biggest advantage is the maintenance of the Exmark you grease idler arm and front casters Once a year change oil check filters that it no greasing spindles or the other stuff plus if you get the next lazier they are giving you three Free transmission oil changes
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