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Shooter32
04-27-2011, 11:00 AM
Hello all i am new to your site and have a few questions . I have used the search option and all the info i am looking for is 3 to 4 years old and i am wanting updated info please . I am buying a new house with three acres to mow and looking at new mowers , i run a Grasshopper at my home in TN and i want something a little better . I am looking at the Scag with a 52" deck and 27hp Kohler .. Dixie Chopper 50" deck with the 27hp Genarac and the Exmark Lazer Z with the 52" deck and not sure about the powerplant .... I would like to know what will be my best option? I know these mowers may be a little overkill for 3 acres but i like good equipment that lasts for a long time and does a good fast job of my mowing chores ... :waving: as i said i have run a Grasshopper for 6 years and it has been a good unit i just dont feel it is as good of a mower as the three i am looking at , and it doesnt really have a real good power to deck ratio , not ditching them just think for the price there are better options .... Sorry for rambling on !!! :hammerhead:

mowerbrad
04-27-2011, 02:01 PM
You are looking at a few pretty good mowers. The main thing you need to take into consideration is what dealer is going to give you the best service and support. It really doesn't make sense to buy from a dealer who is 100 miles away, but also doesn't make sense to buy from a dealer 2 miles away who doesn't give you the time of day.

I would put the Scag and Exmark at the top of your list. I'm not a dixie chopper fan after having a very poor experience with a dixie dealer and a few performance issues (couldn't get it to work with a bagger well) with my dixie I had in '09.

Some people really like the kohler engines and others really like the Kawasaki engines, its pretty much the Chevy vs. Ford thing. Since you are looking at 52" decks, you will want at least 22hp. If you plan on doing hills, mowing thick/tall grass, bagging or mulching, you will want to get a little more HP. 25HP would be a good size to be able to do everything from regular mowing and just discharging the clippings to mowing heavy grass with a mulch kit.

Scag or Exmark would be my choices out of the three. Scag is probably built (structure wise) a little stronger, but the exmark and scag are pretty much equal.

Shooter32
04-27-2011, 02:22 PM
Thanks mowerbrad for your input .... I know what you are saying about having a good dealer and the Scag dealer from that area is the only one i have talked to so far and he really impressed me . I really like the Scag but have read diff coments about the Exmark being better and wanted to get diff views from guys that know the mowers first hand :clapping: The Dixie Chopper is real big in this area as we are close to where they are made and alot of guys from work talk highly of them , but i need more input before i jump on a bandwagon .

Shooter32
04-28-2011, 12:14 PM
I thought i would get more opinions by now ... Come on guys tell what you think is the best mower ..... :dancing:

clean_cut
04-28-2011, 01:12 PM
The best mower? That's like asking "which is better, Chevy, Toyota, or Ford"... you can't really answer it.

What I can tell you tough is, any of the big brands (scag, exmark, toro, ferris, etc.) will put out some good mowers. As brad said, look for a good dealer in your area. What's gonna happen if you have something break and have to drive 2 hours to get it fixed?

Also, I might look at which mower offers the features you want, do you want a suspension seat (various brands)? How about a deck that converts to mulching in a few seconds (john deere)? Do you want a mower with a really good deck (scag veloicy or john deere 7 iron)? Maybe you want a specific brand of engine, or maybe you just like a certain color...

What I'm trying to say is, all of the main brands a built pretty well, but some have features that may be more important to you than other features. Also, if you're really only cutting a few acres a week, I might look for a used mower on Craigslist, you could probably get a good deal if you search around. I hope I could help :)

By the way, I own two scags, a 52" walk behind with an advantage deck and a 48" tiger cub with a velocity deck. I like them both pretty well but I always wish they'd give a better cut in tall, thick grass, but then again, the velocity deck is one of the best out there....

I hope I could help :)

willowick
04-28-2011, 02:09 PM
Well, this site gave me lots of valuable info so I thought I'd give back a little and joined to give my $.02 for you.
I looked at Scag, Grasshopper, Kubota, Hustler, Dixie and Exmark.

My thoughts are that Scag and Hustler are built like brick S-houses. Kubota is, well a Kubota. They are impressive machines and my former workhorse is a Kubota diesel (for sale!). They are plug and play reliable. I don't think I could kill it without some serious abuse. Routine maintenance is all they ask for.

I'm not sure what I think of Grasshopper. They are nice, not sure how they'd be for me as I have lots of obstacles/tight spots on my farm. I really want to like them and think they are likely great machines.

My neighbor has a Dixie Chopper. I think they are like Harleys. If you like loud bling then they are great. I'm not sure they measure to some of the others though and are certainly top heavy. If you have side slopes, I'd steer away from them.

I ended up with an Exmark Lazer Z powered by a Kohler 27hp motor. The cut quality is out of control and it makes my lawn look manicured, not cut (does that make sense?) I can't tell you how impressed I am with this machine. I am amazed at the time it has shaved off my yard chores - I do in 1.5 hours what used to take 4+ hours on the G1800 and the results are orders of magnitude better.

I will say the G1800 is a garden tractor and a bit of a compromise as such, so it's probably not fair to compare it with a single purpose mowing machine.

Finally, now that I'm kinda tuned into this whole mowing machine thing, I will say I was very impressed with the job a Deere was doing at the VFW when I drove by in a downpour yesterday.

CustomCreations
04-28-2011, 03:03 PM
Shooter, I have an all Exmark setup. I usually run all my larger equipment 60" and up on my accounts. I also have a 52" I purchased as a backup with the 20 Kawasaki and it is an EXCELLENT mower and have no bogging issues at all. Things people need to keep in mind is the bigger the engine the more gas your putting into it. I have a property in Knoxville TN and it is all hills and never has a single issue mowing it with my 52" with the 20 Kawasaki.

Aaronnc
04-28-2011, 03:59 PM
I recommend.................................................

Exmark LZX27KC526

Scag STT52V-27CH

Kubota ZG227-54

John Deere 925A

Gravely Pro-Master 252M (#992212)

Hustler X-One 54"

Wright Mid-Mount Z 52"

Toro Z500 52"

Grasshopper 329B 52"

Dixie Chopper Classic 2750

BadBoy 5200 Lightning Z

Cub Cadet M54-KH

Bobcat Pro-Cat 942506G

Snapper Pro S150x

Ferris IS 2000Z 52"

Husqvarna PZ5426FX

Dixon DX254

Not to mention Yazoo/Kees, Simplicity, Ariens, HD Beast, Craftsman, etc.......

But the "best" is gonna come down to the dealer. A crappy dealer makes a great brand suck, and a great dealer makes a crappy brand much better.
Have a couple of cold ones and throw a dart at any of them up there. They're all overkill for your application. And if all you want to do is one up the guys down at the moose lodge, just get anything with a diesel. :cool2:

fier23
04-28-2011, 04:33 PM
I have a 60" Toro G3, Grasshopper 227/61, and a BadBoy Lightning Z 60" 32hp Vanguard. I have 4 acres with the same mindset as you. The faster the better. However out of the 3 the BadBoy is my favorite. Not the cheapest but my favorite. It will mow down a building and not bog.
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willowick
04-28-2011, 04:41 PM
I recommend.................................................

Exmark LZX27KC526

Scag STT52V-27CH

Kubota ZG227-54

John Deere 925A

Gravely Pro-Master 252M (#992212)

Hustler X-One 54"

Wright Mid-Mount Z 52"

Toro Z500 52"

Grasshopper 329B 52"

Dixie Chopper Classic 2750

BadBoy 5200 Lightning Z

Cub Cadet M54-KH

Bobcat Pro-Cat 942506G

Snapper Pro S150x

Ferris IS 2000Z 52"

Husqvarna PZ5426FX

Dixon DX254

Not to mention Yazoo/Kees, Simplicity, Ariens, HD Beast, Craftsman, etc.......

But the "best" is gonna come down to the dealer. A crappy dealer makes a great brand suck, and a great dealer makes a crappy brand much better.
Have a couple of cold ones and throw a dart at any of them up there. They're all overkill for your application. And if all you want to do is one up the guys down at the moose lodge, just get anything with a diesel. :cool2:

+1. My 4+ acreage doesn't stand up to any of those machines. My other neighbor has a Cub ztr and loves it. These companies really have this stuff down. The dealer is probably the big difference. The tech these days is truly amazing. The Exmark I got is honestly overkill.

If you're in NE IL, Wasco has a dealer I'd recommend.
Their floor is busy. Their repair shop....notsomuch.

Aaronnc
04-28-2011, 06:14 PM
+1. My 4+ acreage doesn't stand up to any of those machines. My other neighbor has a Cub ztr and loves it. These companies really have this stuff down. The dealer is probably the big difference. The tech these days is truly amazing. The Exmark I got is honestly overkill.

If you're in NE IL, Wasco has a dealer I'd recommend.
Their floor is busy. Their repair shop....notsomuch.

Yeah, I see alot of guys come on here asking for advice on mowers/trimmers etc... for their own residential homes, and mention $10k plus commercial machines thinking they're getting the best and quickest and it's gonna last 20 years, etc.... And if that's your thing, then more power to you. But to me, I look at it like buying a Peterbuilt to pull a 12ft. trailer. Just crazy. I have a neighbor who has 1.75 acres that is flat with 3 trees and mows every Sat, and I see him pull out a $9500 ZTR to do it, but yet comes over every 6 months like clockwork to borrow my chainsaw or hedge trimmer. I literally cringe at the thought of that much wasted money. He could have bought a excellent mower and saved $3500-4500 and bought every handheld under the sun. Nice guy though....... I guess whatever floats your boat.

Shooter32
04-28-2011, 06:50 PM
Thanks for all the info guys !!! :) Aaronnc ... I know buying a comm ZTR is overkill but i had a ZTR before without a full frame and cheaper pumps and drive motors , not to mention the worthless deck .. Oh yeah it mowed grass ok but it dollared me to death !!! When i got rid of it i bought the Grasshopper it has been a great mower it is just underpowered and the price they want for them is up with the rest of the big boys now so if im going to spend $7500 im going to get the best for my money .... :waving:


I have another question for you guys thou ... Went and talked to my Scag dealer and Exmark dealer today and both of them suggest going with the 60" deck as they are the same price as the 52" deck ... I have never owned a 60" and only used one a few times , and have never run a Sag or Exmark in a 60" so my main concern is will the 60" give the same quality cut as the 52" and how much harder are they to get in and around obstacles??? And thanks again for all the input .

Aaronnc
04-28-2011, 07:32 PM
Hey, no prob. man, sounds like you have a decent idea of what you want. From my limited knowledge, I've found that the 50ish decks cut better due to the higher tip speed and work better with a broader range of blades, whereas the 60ish decks mulch better due to the higher volume of the deck, but can be finicky with certain blades/grass types. (Hi-lift, Gator, micro-mulching, etc.....which can probably be more related to the deck itself than size. ) I've found that blade selection in regards to deck type and grass type is a black art at best. Being in Louisville, I'm assuming you have a Northern Grass, so high-lift blades would be a option, versus if you have southern grass then not so much. Personally, I've only run Exmarks and Bobcats and would put a Ultra-Cut/Triton deck up against anybody, but I know some guys on here that swear by their Velocity decks, and I've read nothing but great things about them. Tough decision. I would probably talk to my dealer and look at the local Tractor Traders publication, and see what most people run in my area, so that would give me a good idea on resale value so I wouldn't take a bath 5 years down the road if I decided to sell or trade in. If your anything like my area, then a 60" Scag/Exmark EFI would be the best investment.

Shooter32
04-28-2011, 08:58 PM
Thanks that is good info .... I have been looking around here and most of what i see is 8 out of 10 of the guys mowing around here run the Scag's ... I plan to demo both Scag and Exmark before i buy anything . And i think for the same price i will try the 60" decks , to see what happens . :)

ProStreetCamaro
04-28-2011, 09:15 PM
Of those 3 options if that exmark has the ultracut deck that is the one i would pick. One of the finest cutting decks any company has ever made. Dixie chopper should not even be an option so throw that one out. Scag is very high quality but leaving a carpet smooth finish cut is not a scags best quality.