View Full Version : Compare these machines, JD 36" and Scag 36"

01-11-2004, 08:26 PM
I am in need of a Hydro 36" machine, actually a 40 or 42" deck would be ideal, but no one makes them.. I am looking at two well actually 3 machines.... the JD HD45, the Scag and the GD SS.. I think the SS is out due to issues I have read about on this site .. So between the JD and the Scag.................. Which one stripes better, clogs less , cuts better, etc.. IF JD had the 7 iron deck on a 36" er I would nt even be asking cause I'd have the JD...... But they dont... So what am I to do..... I have owned scag and JD and love both of them...... ughhh... Thanks

edward hedrick
01-11-2004, 10:23 PM
I think the JD has timed blades. This allows it to be the same length on both sides. I used a Lesco 36 it was longer on the left.

similiar to scag. I would take a close lool at both. Ed

Jim Feder
01-12-2004, 01:29 AM

01-12-2004, 04:23 AM
The Scag deck is fabricated with 7 guage steel and then they weld on 10 guage reinforcing plates on top between the spindles. The Scag mows beautifully and controls well - and is super reliable.

I don't know a thing about the Deere - good, bad, or indifferent. Hardly ever even see one around here, and don't know anyone that uses them so I can't comment on them.

There is one you didn't ask about that I think is terrific ! The Gravely 36 inch mows absolutly perfectly. If you get a chance to try one of their newer mowers - they are great !

01-12-2004, 09:07 AM
I have an HD45 and am quite pleased. The support of the JD dealer was the deciding factor for me.

First, I can't tell you much about the striping due to our cool season grasses.

As for clogging, due to the wet conditions here in the NW, that sometimes is an issue on thicker, heavily-fed yards. This is something I see with other LCO's using other brands so I know it's not brand specific. The blower if my friend.

Finally, I feel the cut quality is very good. I keep my blades sharp and use either gators or high lifts depending on conditions. I use the mulch insert during the summer otherwise bag or SD.

01-12-2004, 10:55 AM
Iíve used a John Deere 36Ē fixed deck belt drive- things I donít like:
The timed blades just not a good ideaÖ you probably canít get a belt for it anywhere but a JD dealer which can be bad if he is out of them, whereas other brands are pretty much interchangeable with V belts (can even get them at auto parts stores) and plus that the one Iíve used didnít cut too great because of the timed blades. It kind of streaked alittle bit somehow (the blades mightíve been worn down I donít know) it striped OK but the Scags do better. Also it seemed to discharge a lot of clippings for the short bit I was cutting off. It threw out more clippings than my eXmark on the same lawn at the same height (and eXmark is 50% wider cut, therefore more clippings being cut off). Also the controls I donít like, particularly the thumb latches (not a big deal if you get used to them) but the latches are backward of every other mower Iíve used and theyíre not ergonomic at all (if you use them youíll see what I mean). All of the parts virtually except the engine would have to be gotten at a JD dealer which youíre probably used to. These things maybe different on a newer hydro. This oneís a few years old and a belt drive (not old old but probably a late 90ís model) IMHO the only thing going for it is the fact that the left hand blade is closer to the drive wheels which makes it not scalp as easy (shorter wheelbase) and easier trimability. I just didnít like it much when I used it (Iíve tried other 36Ē belt drives too so I am comparing apples to apples).
The Scags rule the walk behind market here, I mean absolutely rule it, thereís 10 Scags to every one of any other brand here. Iíd really be looking at the Scag if I were you, but then again check out that deere since youíre already at that dealership all the time anyway, and the newer hydroís maybe better than what Iíve seen.

Also, Husqvarna makes a 42Ē hydro walk behind with a nice floating deck with deck adjustments just like a ZTR! You adjust it with a similar lever at the back by the controls! They also have loop steering which would be like your JD stand on controls. Itís a three blade deck design and their decks are somewhat similar to eXmark, Iíve used them and they cut and discharge much the same. Theyíre built as heavy as any out there from what I have seen. And Toro makes a 44Ē w/b but that is probably alittle too wide for you?

01-12-2004, 05:16 PM
Well fortuantly I'm NOT at the JD dealership all too often, except for maint parts like hydro filter, actually thats the only part other than belts, but dont have the hours for belts yet...

Husky 42" huh,, Have to check that out.. but the only Husky dealers around here that I know of is Home Depot or Lowes ? and they dont have the good stuff....

Toro 44" hummmm that might work ?? have to measure some gates, and these are walk behinds ???? I'll look them up...

Timed blades ??? So guess you can run doubles on it ?? I have a 36" scag belt that has been awsome, actucally my first machine, but want more productivity so want to go hydro and this will be replacing a 42" walker.... I'd be pretty happy with a 42" scag walk behind, but cant have it all I guess...
Thanks for the feedback guys...

01-12-2004, 05:17 PM
Oppps I meant CAN"T run doubles.....

01-12-2004, 06:45 PM
dont know about deere but scag gives me a excellent cut stripes excellent.....and it built like a tank very few problems

Rustic Goat
01-13-2004, 04:05 AM
My primary equipment supplier is a John Deere dealer that also carries the Scag line. Back when I first went in to research his mowers, he led me straight to the Scag's, didn't even mention JD's. At the time I was open to different types and styles of mowers, the only thing I told him up front was that I was looking for the most reliable and cost efficient mower I could get.

I understand JD has/is coming out with a new line/style of mower, have not had the pleasure of meeting one yet, understand it's suppose to be built to compete with other quality commercial mowers, so it might be worth looking in to.

01-13-2004, 04:51 PM
Scag owners.....any problems with comfort or controlability with the pistol grips?

01-13-2004, 06:59 PM
Youíre correct, Lowes or Home Depot wonít have the commercial machines (so no walk behind there). Yes Toro makes a 44Ē floating deck walk behind, belt drive or hydro drive, T-bar or pistol grip. Total width is approximately 44Ē with discharge chute up, as per the specifications list in my 2001 Toro booklet (donít look for this measurement to change from year to year). Yes the Deere 36Ē has timed blades and no I donít see how double blades could work well or at all. V belts allow for some slippage when the blades hit an obstruction such as a brick, large rock or something of that nature. Timed belts have cogs and will not slip- this isnít exactly a good thing. They probably have a V belt from engine to one pulley then a timed belt to the other pulley so in theory it should slip if they hit something, but if the blade that does not get power from the engine stalls then it might stretch or break the cog belt unless the V slips first, make any sense?
You probably could put double blades on the Deere 36Ē and just stagger them so they look like x+ but I would bet that would make them come too close to each other, possibly hitting each other and causing some damage. I wouldnít try it.

Did you know Walker now makes a walk behind tractor unit that hooks up to any of their decks? I think itís 15hp. Itís electric start, hydro drive with pistol grips and has a really cool feature itís electric hydro speed control, basically you push a button with your thumb to make it speed up and slow down instead of moving a lever. This way you can keep your hands on the controls and speed up/slow down even as you are in a turn. I tried it at the EXPO, itís really sweet!

Ryan Lightning
01-13-2004, 07:05 PM
Walker also makes a walkbehind that you could put there 42" deck on.

01-13-2004, 07:37 PM
Ryan- Really?! wow cool!

01-14-2004, 04:31 PM
I just got back from the expo in NY and looked at the Exmarks and spoke to a distributer for Wright.... The exmarks looked really sweet and that new grip control thingy was pretty comfortable....THe one i saw was a turf tracer 48" .. THe guy was trying to talk me into the Z with the 44" deck , but too big of a machine... with roll bar and all.. nice but not what i need.. BUT After speaking with the wright distributer I think I may just give Them another shot, since they offer a 42" deck on the stander ...... I'll see if I can get a demo and if they respond this time ??? We shall see..... BUt that type of machine would fit my bill perfectly and the rep said its list is $6K... not too bad, WB is still cheaper, but may be worth it.. We shall see..

01-14-2004, 04:46 PM
SCAPEASAURUSREX - Was that your article in this months Turf (talkin bout my gear)?

01-14-2004, 09:01 PM
LOL ,,,,,,GLS... What gave you that idea ???