View Full Version : Scag tri wheel

12-09-2004, 06:06 PM
Does anyone have an opinion on the scag tri wheel mower? I am on a low budget and have an oppurtunity to buy one for cheap. The guy says it runs good but I haven't seen it yet. Just wanted know if anybody knows how they perform.

12-09-2004, 06:13 PM
By tri-wheel I assume you mean the Cougar model? In previous threads most guys didn't seem to think that highly of it.

12-10-2004, 07:39 AM
I think he means the old HTSM model, or whatever it's called. The one with the tailwheel under the seat. Back in the late eighties, these were popular machines. Other manufacturers had the sam type models. Gravely changed their old Promaster to this type, Ransomes had one (very crude), Ferris came out with one (the early ones had a gear transmission - no hydro), Exmark had their Turf Tracer, and of course, there was Yazoo, who had it long before any of these mnufacturers did. I demoed the Scag way back in the late eighties, and while it was productive, it was very crude in the it's design and use. It had the old crank and cable to raise and lower the deck, for instance. I DID purchase the Gravely Promaster H300 in 1993, and still have that machine. The design of this type of mower certainly has it's applications, but it has it's limitations, too.

12-10-2004, 08:13 AM
I had 4 of them in total over the years (all from Ferris). First I had 2, 61" models and then traded them in for 2, 72" models. BTW, Ferris still makes the 61" types, but discontinued the 72's.

When I had them, I thought they were great. They were nice to have when mowing under trees and bushes. Only downfall I can remember to them was they took up a lot of room on the trailer (cause of their length) and if the rear tire under your seat hit a bump or hole, you felt the impact come up through the seat and right up through your back.

The yoke steering (like a airplane has) was kind of novel too.

Mark McC
12-10-2004, 09:42 AM
I look at that kind of mower from time to time and wonder what it does well. Rod, your comment about the footprint was always one thing I figured could be a headache. My guess is that on the small and medium-sized lawns I'm doing, this kind of mower would not be much help. That's why my next mower will be a 48/17 or something like that.

Still, on some jobs, that kind of machine might have its place.

12-10-2004, 09:45 AM
the size of the tri wheel is to big for a trailer,if you had a big wide open area then go for it.It is like rodfather has said about the no suspension seat that thing will kill you buy the mower and put a stand up sulky on it.

12-10-2004, 09:55 AM
Pic of an old Yazoo. These 2 were sold this year for $2000 and $2500. They are 1960's models if I remember correctly. Bought by someone to put back to work believe it or not.

A big cemetary here has 2 or 3 of the Scags they use to mow every week. Probably close to 150-200 acres. I see them cruising every week on them. They are not fast, but they are effective.

12-10-2004, 12:19 PM
One other thing that I remember about them is that they are very good at holding a slope...much better than ANY zero turn I have seen or used. You do have to watch making a sharp turn when the ground is wet and/or soft...that rear tire will slide and you can really tear up some turf. And like I said, their length limits the number of these babies that you are gonna fit on a trailer (not like 3 WB's or Z's) for sure.

12-10-2004, 12:48 PM
I've got one. It's a 2000 with a 22 hp Kohler and a 61" deck. Before I got it it used to take me around 4 hrs to do my lawn now it take just under an hour. It is pretty big and it gives a great cut, nice stripe too. One thing you need to look out for is making a turn by a tree. The first time I used it I almost whipped myself sideways into a tree. I can turn around at the end of a pass just like a z turn but I don't know if these are really classified a a zero turn.

Another plus with the deck out-front it has cut down on my trimming because you can put the deck under trees and in places you can't fit an under mount deck.

I am happy with it so far.

edward hedrick
12-10-2004, 09:05 PM
I have a 99 Scag, it has 1100 hrs. works well. Mine was

in Turf North April 03. It has a thicker seat, also took a leaf

out of seat suspension to soften ride. I put on an Enginaire

pre cleaner, a larger muffler, left baffle from Husq rider, and

a Scag turbo baffle. I like the winch, if you get stuck raise

the deck to change weight. I put a 52 wb in right front of trailer, back Scag on to nest w 52wb. plenty of room

on 6x12.Ed

12-10-2004, 10:38 PM
I cut my teeth on one of these back in the eighties. My personal opinion is that there are so many better mowers out there today that will better serve you. Here is my two cents....
1) there is almost no suspension built into these. I believe ALL of my back problems today can be traced back to the pounding I took while using one of these. I have suffered from chronic lower back pain since my mid twenties and will never be the same.
2) In todays time a customer expects their lawn to look like a professional stadium when you leave their property. I also found it difficult with this design to keep a accurate pattern because of the steering mechanism. One other complaint about the steering mechanism is that all your weight is above the tire used to steer the machine. If you are even average weight you will find it difficult to make quick accurate turns because your weight will cause the tire to bind on the turf.
3) I don't remember exactly what mechanical problems it had but it seemed to be in the shop a lot.

Just my two cents.... I would use the money to purchase something newer and more user friendly. I don't think I would even keep one as a back-up mower if it was given to me. OH BY THE WAY, thanks for the nightmares. I will probably have trouble sleeping tonight as my early years come rushing back to the front of my brain.

12-11-2004, 01:00 AM
I have a Scag 72" sthm. I mow steep slopes and it works wonders on them. I had a couple as a matter of fact & they hold up quite well. Dont knock them till you try em. I mean really try em

12-11-2004, 08:32 AM
I never liked the way mine striped because of the 3rd wheel.........