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View Full Version : Demoed a Cheetah today.... My review....


THEGOLDPRO
08-27-2012, 06:53 PM
Soooooooooo i went ahead and demoed a cheetah today to see what all the hype was about, and also because i'm looking to buy another z-mower so i figured id give it a shot.....

Now before anyone says its not an honest review because im an Exmark guy blah blah blah, please shut your mouth's, Im not brand loyal by any means. I will buy whatever works the best for my needs no matter what brand it is.

Anyways here goes..... Took the mower to the horse farm we mow bi-weekly, grass was roughly 8 inches high give or take. The mower i demoed was the 61 inch with a 34hp i believe. Now, The mower really shined in the thick high grass and didn't bog one bit which impressed me. It was smooth while mowing, the suspension platform is a thing of beauty for sure. It felt amazing on the body with literally zero user fatigue.

Like i said i was real impressed with the mower on the first cut, it seemed to spread the grass out nice and didn't clump at all. Then came the nightmare lol, i had to mow the grass 5 times to make it look "Just ok". The mower did not fan the grass out like my Exmark usually does while double/triple cutting an over grown area. It just seemed to move the grass from one stripe to the next stripe ,never actually smoothing it out and making it disappear like the Exmark does.

As for finished cut quality it was just kind of so so, it didn't give the same type on smooth seemless stripe the Exmarks give. It left lines/blade marks down the middle of the stripe unlike the Exmarks which leave a nice smooth finish. It also did not stripe nearly half as good as the Exmark does.

So my over all review would be this..... Great feeling mower, amazing feeling hydros, great on hills, very stable, amazing feeling suspension platform, wayyyy too fast for any real world mowing, Endless power, Horrible cut quality, horrible discharge pattern, Horrible finished product compared to the Exmark.

So my over all conclusion.... Altho the Cheetah is roughly 2k cheaper then my Exmark was, I'm going to stick with Exmark based on the over all better cut quality.
http://i1123.photobucket.com/albums/l555/thegoldpro/cheetah.jpg

Ridin' Green
08-27-2012, 07:14 PM
Man, this oughta stir the stink.:laugh:

THEGOLDPRO
08-27-2012, 07:17 PM
Man, this oughta stir the stink.:laugh:

Hey man i'm just being honest lol.

Ridin' Green
08-27-2012, 07:19 PM
Hey man i'm just being honest lol.

I know, but you know how it is- you don't bad mouth a guys woman or his mowin' machine :nono::laugh:

T Scapes
08-27-2012, 07:41 PM
i think im the opposite of you i had a 2008 lazer and really didnt like it and just got a new tiger cat and love it i think my scag stripes better(neither mower had a striping kit) and i feel like the scag handles wet and high grass better. I havent had much problem with the clippings.

Blades Lawn Maintenance
08-27-2012, 09:07 PM
At least you can say you tried it. But hey You gave it a shot and you didn't like it.

TLS
08-27-2012, 09:12 PM
No
Posted via Mobile Device

THEGOLDPRO
08-27-2012, 09:13 PM
No
Posted via Mobile Device

Come again?

TLS
08-27-2012, 09:22 PM
Sorry, iPhone was acting up. Would only let me type a few letters. How I was even able to type a 2 character response is weird as well!


No open front, baffle-less deck is going to chop up long grass like an eXmark UC.

With that said, you would have choked your Lazer in that tall grass.
Posted via Mobile Device

TLS
08-27-2012, 09:23 PM
How was deck visibility over the gas tanks?
Posted via Mobile Device

THEGOLDPRO
08-27-2012, 10:04 PM
How was deck visibility over the gas tanks?
Posted via Mobile Device

Horrible to say the least.

THEGOLDPRO
08-27-2012, 10:05 PM
Sorry, iPhone was acting up. Would only let me type a few letters. How I was even able to type a 2 character response is weird as well!


No open front, baffle-less deck is going to chop up long grass like an eXmark UC.

With that said, you would have choked your Lazer in that tall grass.
Posted via Mobile Device

No! I mow this same property every 2 weeks, and its the same conditions every time i mow it, I NEVER have these problems while mowing with my Exmarks.

StanWilhite
08-27-2012, 10:14 PM
How was deck visibility over the gas tanks?
Posted via Mobile Device

I don't think the tanks will be that big of a deal. All you need is a big mirror on each side like the ones they use on the front of buses and tractor trailer trucks!
:laugh:

PPS.inc
08-27-2012, 10:22 PM
I've mowed with that machine and agree with everything you said. I have used exmark and they are great machines. Bob-cat is my perferred machine. Used Dixies for years and they are great machines. My dealer dropped them. If my cats go down, within 1 hr I am back to my routes with a loaner. The cut is great and will spread ANY amount of grass on a second cut . As will Exmark. I'd stick with your Exmarks. Not adding fuel to this soon to be fire... Be safe out there fellas. God is good.

exmarkman11
08-27-2012, 11:36 PM
Some people say you can see over tanks fine, others say its terrible. I guess it depends if your 5'5". Or 6'2"

PLS-Tx
08-28-2012, 02:08 AM
Im 5'11" and had no problems seeing.
Posted via Mobile Device

spgseth
08-28-2012, 06:19 AM
I have a new TT and I noticed when I first got in some tall grass that it doesn't spread the grass very far when cutting above 3.5 but does well at 3 and below. I think it may be becasue of the size of large discharge shoot. I cut the front of my yard on 3.5 mainly becasue its pure ST aug and it just vanishes and I cut the back at 2.5 or 3 because its a mix of st aug, bermuda, and bahai or what I like to call it kinagrass (the kind of grass that will grow any where) its lugs my ol mans JD diesel which is why I chose the TT, becasue of power. Another thing I noticed is the deck stays very clean no matter the conditions. I like all the common commercial machines and personally think it depends on the application for what you tend to use it that will make you satisified.

GMLC
08-28-2012, 07:39 AM
The velocity deck was designed to get the clippings out quick. In almost all conditions you will never have to double cut. In thick or wet grass it will not clump even in the rain. The cut quality is amazing 99% of the time. It is the most versitile deck in a veriety of conditions. BUT Goldpro is 100% correct, I have found when cutting grass in the 8 inch plus range the clippings just are not small enough and if you try to double cut them they just get blown a row or two over. Goldpro just happened to find the velocity's weakness. Just like when I demoed an exmark in wet conditions, I have yet to recover from the clumping and packed deck due to the deck making very small clippings and not getting them discharged fast enough. I have since been told to try an exmark again in dry conditions for a smooth cut.
Posted via Mobile Device

RSK Property Maintenance
08-28-2012, 07:39 AM
Horrible to say the least.

you must be shorter, i'm 6'2 and can see just fine, i get within 1" if not closer to whatever i'm cutting and i don't scrap the side of the deck on objects either, and i haven't taken any flowers out from getting too close, but i will agree the exmarks do have a nicer cut quality, and stripe i'm not sure what blade mark your referring too, but my cheetah leaves no blade mark in the center of the stripe. and i have demoed a 60" exmark before. not bad at all just not for me though.

TLS
08-28-2012, 08:03 AM
Some people say you can see over tanks fine, others say its terrible. I guess it depends if your 5'5". Or 6'2"

I'm 5'8" on a tall day!

Haven't demo'd one yet but sat on a few in showrooms (61"ers). It was the first thing I noticed.

Would also like to see SCAG add a reinforcing ring around at least the trim side. If not for strength, but for bottom skirt wear. Every older SCAG I see (including my own) has a worn out bottom trim skirt from concrete/pavement wear.

While I'm at it...how about some thicker caster forks SCAG?

caseysmowing
08-28-2012, 08:10 AM
The velocity deck was designed to get the clippings out quick. In almost all conditions you will never have to double cut. In thick or wet grass it will not clump even in the rain. The cut quality is amazing 99% of the time. It is the most versitile deck in a veriety of conditions. BUT Goldpro is 100% correct, I have found when cutting grass in the 8 inch plus range the clippings just are not small enough and if you try to double cut them they just get blown a row or two over. Goldpro just happened to find the velocity's weakness. Just like when I demoed an exmark in wet conditions, I have yet to recover from the clumping and packed deck due to the deck making very small clippings and not getting them discharged fast enough. I have since been told to try an exmark again in dry conditions for a smooth cut.
Posted via Mobile Device

I have a cheetah and I have to agree. I didn't buy the cheetah to have to double cut and when I have done it to see the difference there isn't much. I'm a part timer as of now and if can't mow when it is alittle wet or starts raining once I've started I would be in a world of hurt. My yards are no where near GP's and they might only be a hand full where I live. The cheetah leaves a very good first cut in any condition and thats what I'm looking for.

THEGOLDPRO
08-28-2012, 08:19 AM
All good points, This mower would be PERFECT for the guys who only cut once and leave, we however do not, we double cut everything and wont leave until it looks perfect.

Im 6'2 btw and still didn't like the way the tanks blocked the deck, Im not saying i coulden't see the deck, it just wasn't user friendly. Maybe im just used to my exmark where i see every inch of the deck.

TLS
08-28-2012, 08:34 AM
Gold,

In my years of mowing, I really didn't start double cutting until my SuperZ.

The following cut sufficient enough not to....

*1968 Cub Cadet 125 48"
*1985 JD 318 50"
198? SCAG Classic deck 48"
1993 JD F-935 60"
1996 SCAG 48" Ver 1.1 Classic deck
1997 DC Flatlander 60"
2001 LC Lazer 60"

*'s = Non commercial Garden Tractors that survived thousands of hours of commercial use.

Only time I'd double cut anything was if there was an abundance of clippings clumped up after first cut.

Once I got my 2006 ver 1.0 XR-7 60", I had to double cut to get a clean crisp cut. I could no longer mow at or above 3.5" either. Only time I don't double cut is on 3+ acre lawns and during drought conditions.

It's those drought conditions that I realize just how much time I waste double cutting!

If I can get a deck to cut pooltable smooth like my old DC or Lazer, I'd be happier and richer! I could care less how long the clippings are, as long as there is no grass left behind!

GMLC
08-28-2012, 08:39 AM
Goldpro, if you have time and get a chance try to demo a Gravely 460. What I found was the X-factor deck is a nice in between. It cuts almost as good as a velocity in wet conditions with no clumping and almost as good as an exmark in dry with small clippings and carpet like finish. Its worth a try and would be great to get your opinion.
Posted via Mobile Device

RSK Property Maintenance
08-28-2012, 08:42 AM
All good points, This mower would be PERFECT for the guys who only cut once and leave, we however do not, we double cut everything and wont leave until it looks perfect.

Im 6'2 btw and still didn't like the way the tanks blocked the deck, Im not saying i coulden't see the deck, it just wasn't user friendly. Maybe im just used to my exmark where i see every inch of the deck.

i see. i'm the same way, i go over a lawn two or three times if its necessary to make it look perfect. usually 2 cuts will make it look perfect, sometimes 1 cut is all thats required especially for Kentucky blue grass....

caseysmowing
08-28-2012, 09:05 AM
Far as the tanks blocking the deck. Wish they didn't but not that big of a deal I don't trim around stuff too much with the cheetah and if I do I can lean foward a little. I'm 5,7. Also I use G6 gators and it doesn't leave that big of clipping that GP mentioned.

GMLC
08-28-2012, 09:07 AM
No double cutting here. I feel my properties look great. Only decks I have used in 15 years that allow me to do this are the velocity and x-factor. I also had an exmark walkbehind in late 90's that cut great but cant remember what deck it had? Tri-vantage or something? Maybe.
Posted via Mobile Device

JCLawn and more
08-28-2012, 09:29 AM
I know, but you know how it is- you don't bad mouth a guys woman or his mowin' machine :nono::laugh:

Hey, I own a 6215 mowin' machine. Don't bring it into this.

mtmower
08-28-2012, 10:31 AM
Gold,

In my years of mowing, I really didn't start double cutting until my SuperZ.

The following cut sufficient enough not to....

*1968 Cub Cadet 125 48"
*1985 JD 318 50"
198? SCAG Classic deck 48"
1993 JD F-935 60"
1996 SCAG 48" Ver 1.1 Classic deck
1997 DC Flatlander 60"
2001 LC Lazer 60"

*'s = Non commercial Garden Tractors that survived thousands of hours of commercial use.

Only time I'd double cut anything was if there was an abundance of clippings clumped up after first cut.

Once I got my 2006 ver 1.0 XR-7 60", I had to double cut to get a clean crisp cut. I could no longer mow at or above 3.5" either. Only time I don't double cut is on 3+ acre lawns and during drought conditions.

It's those drought conditions that I realize just how much time I waste double cutting!

If I can get a deck to cut pooltable smooth like my old DC or Lazer, I'd be happier and richer! I could care less how long the clippings are, as long as there is no grass left behind!

TLS, this is the same thing I was thinking. Even my old standard SZ deck did better than my XR7. I think there are a lot of similarities from the Velocity and XR7 when it comes to high volume at higher speeds but not chopping up the clippings and making them disappear. My XR7 cuts clean with very little clumping ever but the carpet of clippings it leaves costs me time and money. I think my new X Factor deck probably runs closer to a Utracut with a better discharge. The Ultra may have a cleaner cut in certain grass types.

puppypaws
08-28-2012, 10:44 AM
Soooooooooo i went ahead and demoed a cheetah today to see what all the hype was about, and also because i'm looking to buy another z-mower so i figured id give it a shot.....

Now before anyone says its not an honest review because im an Exmark guy blah blah blah, please shut your mouth's, Im not brand loyal by any means. I will buy whatever works the best for my needs no matter what brand it is.

Anyways here goes..... Took the mower to the horse farm we mow bi-weekly, grass was roughly 8 inches high give or take. The mower i demoed was the 61 inch with a 34hp i believe. Now, The mower really shined in the thick high grass and didn't bog one bit which impressed me. It was smooth while mowing, the suspension platform is a thing of beauty for sure. It felt amazing on the body with literally zero user fatigue.

Like i said i was real impressed with the mower on the first cut, it seemed to spread the grass out nice and didn't clump at all. Then came the nightmare lol, i had to mow the grass 5 times to make it look "Just ok". The mower did not fan the grass out like my Exmark usually does while double/triple cutting an over grown area. It just seemed to move the grass from one stripe to the next stripe ,never actually smoothing it out and making it disappear like the Exmark does.

As for finished cut quality it was just kind of so so, it didn't give the same type on smooth seemless stripe the Exmarks give. It left lines/blade marks down the middle of the stripe unlike the Exmarks which leave a nice smooth finish. It also did not stripe nearly half as good as the Exmark does.

So my over all review would be this..... Great feeling mower, amazing feeling hydros, great on hills, very stable, amazing feeling suspension platform, wayyyy too fast for any real world mowing, Endless power, Horrible cut quality, horrible discharge pattern, Horrible finished product compared to the Exmark.

So my over all conclusion.... Altho the Cheetah is roughly 2k cheaper then my Exmark was, I'm going to stick with Exmark based on the over all better cut quality.
http://i1123.photobucket.com/albums/l555/thegoldpro/cheetah.jpg

What you have here is the reason people prefer certain decks in different parts of the country.

The Exmark Ultra Cut is designed for further processing of grass as it moves through the deck. The further processing allows grass clippings of a much smaller size to be discharged, which in return helps the clippings disappear by filtering into the standing grass. You will also find that because the Ultra Cut has stronger suction it will require more scraping to keep the underside clean where moisture is involved.

The Scag Velocity Plus deck is designed to handle large amounts of grass; but to process it in a faster manner, which in return causes the grass to be discharged in a larger size. The larger size clippings have a tendency to lay on top not filtering into the cut grass, as does the clippings of the Ultra Cut.

The advantage of the Ultra Cut is enabling the grass clippings to disappear more easily, which in return leaves a more manicured look.

The disadvantage of the Ultra Cut is more scraping to keep the deck functioning as designed.

The advantage of the Velocity Plus is its ability to cut grass and weeds of any size at a high rate of speed. The decks free-flow design allows it to handle moisture laden grass without requiring the under-deck cleaning needed by the Ultra Cut.

There is no deck that performs better than the Ultra Cut for a manicured look in plush grass, the same as, there is no better deck than the Velocity Plus for performing in all other conditions.

There is a place for both decks, and there are large numbers of both decks sold throughout the country proving this point.

THEGOLDPRO
08-28-2012, 02:05 PM
Sounds like we have a winner. Like i said, its a good mower and would be perfect for guys who mow fields/dont double cut, its a great mower just not for my application. I prefer the more manicured look of an exmark.


What you have here is the reason people prefer certain decks in different parts of the country.

The Exmark Ultra Cut is designed for further processing of grass as it moves through the deck. The further processing allows grass clippings of a much smaller size to be discharged, which in return helps the clippings disappear by filtering into the standing grass. You will also find that because the Ultra Cut has stronger suction it will require more scraping to keep the underside clean where moisture is involved.

The Scag Velocity Plus deck is designed to handle large amounts of grass; but to process it in a faster manner, which in return causes the grass to be discharged in a larger size. The larger size clippings have a tendency to lay on top not filtering into the cut grass, as does the clippings of the Ultra Cut.

The advantage of the Ultra Cut is enabling the grass clippings to disappear more easily, which in return leaves a more manicured look.

The disadvantage of the Ultra Cut is more scraping to keep the deck functioning as designed.

The advantage of the Velocity Plus is its ability to cut grass and weeds of any size at a high rate of speed. The decks free-flow design allows it to handle moisture laden grass without requiring the under-deck cleaning needed by the Ultra Cut.

There is no deck that performs better than the Ultra Cut for a manicured look in plush grass, the same as, there is no better deck than the Velocity Plus for performing in all other conditions.

There is a place for both decks, and there are large numbers of both decks sold throughout the country proving this point.

weeze
12-23-2012, 11:08 PM
get a scag or deere and use G6 blades and you get the best of both worlds lol.

weaver
12-24-2012, 12:09 AM
What you have here is the reason people prefer certain decks in different parts of the country.

The Exmark Ultra Cut is designed for further processing of grass as it moves through the deck. The further processing allows grass clippings of a much smaller size to be discharged, which in return helps the clippings disappear by filtering into the standing grass. You will also find that because the Ultra Cut has stronger suction it will require more scraping to keep the underside clean where moisture is involved.

The Scag Velocity Plus deck is designed to handle large amounts of grass; but to process it in a faster manner, which in return causes the grass to be discharged in a larger size. The larger size clippings have a tendency to lay on top not filtering into the cut grass, as does the clippings of the Ultra Cut.

The advantage of the Ultra Cut is enabling the grass clippings to disappear more easily, which in return leaves a more manicured look.

The disadvantage of the Ultra Cut is more scraping to keep the deck functioning as designed.

The advantage of the Velocity Plus is its ability to cut grass and weeds of any size at a high rate of speed. The decks free-flow design allows it to handle moisture laden grass without requiring the under-deck cleaning needed by the Ultra Cut.

There is no deck that performs better than the Ultra Cut for a manicured look in plush grass, the same as, there is no better deck than the Velocity Plus for performing in all other conditions.

There is a place for both decks, and there are large numbers of both decks sold throughout the country proving this point.

That's the best it has ever been explained in the difference between the two.
I had a guy argue with me not to long ago saying he would take his velocity any day vs my clumping Ex. His words.. Saying that i have to double cut everything. But like you said the velocity is designed to move the grass out quickly leaving large blades of grass on top of what has already been mowed. Dry or wet you still have to double cut with it as well if not you would be left with a bunch of dead clippings on top of the lawn..

GMLC
12-24-2012, 12:05 PM
The way scag designed the discharge opening on the velocity deck "fans" the clippings. This almost eliminates the need to double cut. Honestly I double cut maybe 3 times per season. I cut in all conditions including rain. Clumping with the velocity is a rarity, maybe once per season. You do give up some of the smooth carpet like cut in perfect conditions but its a trade off. The ultra cut will give you that pool table smooth cut but lacks the versatility in tough conditions. Here in NH we rarely have perfect conditions and double cutting means not moving on to the next job.

Now I have found the deck that is the best of both worlds. The Gravely X-Factor almost cuts as good as the velocity in tough conditions and almost as good as the ultra cut in perfect conditions. My customers have been extremely happy and I stay efficient!
Posted via Mobile Device

kawasaki guy
12-24-2012, 02:28 PM
Put a $500.00 SCAG striping kit on, an it will be just as nice as ExMark.

kawasaki guy
12-24-2012, 02:30 PM
Also, put on aftermarket blades too. I hear they would help.

GMLC
12-24-2012, 03:28 PM
Put a $500.00 SCAG striping kit on, an it will be just as nice as ExMark.

My $75 Gravely stripe kit lays some mean stripes. Check out my 2012 work thread.
Posted via Mobile Device

kawasaki guy
12-24-2012, 03:47 PM
Scag might maker cheaper stuff, but that is the one I know of