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Bad Boy ZT 50 vs. Scag Freedom Z 48

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pathfinder1810, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. pathfinder1810

    pathfinder1810 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Bad Boy ZT 50 vs. Scag Freedom Z 48

    Hash and REhash - Sorry but this is the last time, I promise, for me anyway!:hammerhead:


    OK, I'm still fretting over my final decision. I've demoed most everything out there in an "estate" sized/quality ZTR and am definitely going to buy one of these two mowers by this Friday. I had pretty much decided on the Scag FreedomZ with the 19 hp Kawasaki for many reasons: Kawasaki, LOW & very comfortable seat height & profile, simple and clean design, warranty, reputation, cut quality, nimble, sturdy and wellbuilt, KAWASAKI. Then I went and tested the Bad Boy ZT 50 and my goodness, what a beast! Beefy, a lot of mower for the value, super quality components EVERYWHERE, no corners cut, indestructible, electric deck lift (vs. foot activated via cable on Scag), Rolled edge riveted metal pulleys, larger front casters (13" vs. 11" on the Scag), Rear deck casters, steel spindles (vs. aluminum on the Scag)are a few of the outstanding criteria on the Bad Boy. Perhaps a little too tall seat height, especially compared to the ultra low Scag, and maybe too beefy and cumbersome for a one acre yard.Then I was torn between the 26hp Briggs Intek ELS and the 27 hp Kohler Courage and asked for advice on this site. Fans and naysayers equally on this subject. Now that I'm ready to lay down my hard earned money, I'd like to hear some final honest to goodness thoughts and comparisons between this particular Scag and Bad Boy. Preferably, from someone with actual experience with either or both - model specific. And if anyone happens to be a dealer or owner of both, that would give me some "real" experience and critical evaluation instead of just a biased opinion, well, it would help in my final decision. The Bad Boy ZT with the 26hp Briggs Intek ELS lists at $4495.00 and with the 27 hp Kohler Courage @ $4995.00 (all Bad Boy dealers have the exact same pricing kind of like Saturn car dealers). The Scag 48" FreedomZ, I have found @ $5299.00 and $5075.00 depending on which dealer I decide to go with. I would appreciate all helpful criticism; comparative, negative and positive and will use this in my final choice. Thank you.

  2. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,540

    If i had to choose one id say the scag but personally id go with Hustler or Toro but good luck which ever way you go.
  3. MeMowLawns

    MeMowLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 44

    I have the scag freedom 48 but with the Briggs motor.
    I've run over everything u can think of. Cut stuff that should have been
    bush hogged. Hit everything a person could hit in a yard
    and haven't had to replace a thing. I'm tough on equipment
    and this thing won't quit. It cuts all grass very well, is low and nimble, and
    extremely well put togather. I've only seen maybe 3 bad boys in my area
    and didn't look at them when shopping.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    MOHUSTLER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,376

    Im not sure why this is even a real question. Scag is light years above what BB is trying to do. Scag sets the bar that companies follow.

    MOHUSTLER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,376

    To get a little more info on the engines like you asked. I personaly like birggs over the Kohler Courage engine. At my shop they say they named it a Courage because you have to have a lot of courage to work on one. They are a NIGHTMARE to break into. Not saying you will ever have to break into your engine buy if you did have to the courage is not the engine you want to pay the labor bill for.

    Biggest thing to look at is scag is going to give you a 3 year warranty....whats BB going to give you. That says it all right there.
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,231

    Dealer support is something you can't put a price on for the most part. I would use that as a major deciding factor. Which one feels like they will take care of you after the sale? Do they have a preseason pick up service for annual service work? Parts inventory etc.

    For the engines I had a Kohler Courage engine and would never buy one again. The Briggs ELS should be fine (I think they had a poor air filter system on them though). The Kawi is by far the best out of the 3 engines listed and for the hydro system and deck size 19HP is plenty of power.

    Price shouldn't be a deciding factor as $575 (or 11%) difference isn't much as it is a longer term investment for you.
  7. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Posts: 2,869

    You should be happy with either one. Pick the one you like the most. Dealer support is a nice option to have, looks like you got it with both machines. So either ask for a demo and decide, or go with your gut after you weigh both sides. I would demo first, and buy the one that performs the best for me, not all the so called lawn experts on this site.
  8. zman2307

    zman2307 LawnSite Senior Member
    from OR
    Posts: 328

    Step up to the CZT with the 23hp Vanguard and the ZT3400 transaxles in the mid $5000s and you've got a better fit.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. pathfinder1810

    pathfinder1810 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Well, I finally did it. First off, I was looking for a ZTR aimed towards the homeowner with about an acre to mow, but was not even considering one of the cheaper, flimsy types with any type of stamped deck sold at one of the the "Big Box" or department stores. I've owned many mowers like that in the last 35 years, and even though they did serve a purpose, well, I was just ready to buy something that would last more than 4 or 5 years. At 54 years old, me and the missus also wanted a mower that would help us to get the job done faster and better. I also set a range of $5000.00 to $5500.00. After a year of surfing the internet on ZTRs, and two months of looking & testing most of the top recognized and preferred mowers, including Dixie Chopper, Kubota, John Deere, Hustler,Gravely, Exmark, Toro, Ariens, Scag and Bad Boy, and considering especially the reputation, proximity and my own take on the dealers, I had narrowed it down to the Scag FreedomZ and the Bad Boy ZT50. I liked many aspects of each of these and was torn up and very indecisive on making the choice. Actually, most of the dealers were very informative and cordial, which somewhat surprised me, as I figured they were much more used to Commercial guys coming in and knowing what they wanted and buying a much more expensive piece of machinery. Well, I was wrong about that, because they were for the most part friendly and not bothered by my many questions and comparisons. I visited each dealer at least twice and a few 3 to 4 times, and some of them were probably quite sure that I was some kind of a coconut! I'm not posting this to gloat or say anything bad about any of the mowers mentioned, as I'm sure there are lots of folks that like what they have and probably can point out many fine attributes of their "brand".
    After narrowing it down to these two, I then took the wife over to test drive each of these, and she was no help with the "deciding", but I could tell which dealer she liked best and the features that she talked about. Then, I asked each of the dealers if they would be willing to bring the mower or a demo of the same model to my place to test mow, and each agreed..
    Well, the Bad Boy dealer showed up that same day with a Model 2700 ZT 50 (27 hp Kohler)and we commenced to putting the first hour on that machine on my place. Powerful, extremely well built and sturdy (I farmed for 14 years & recognize & appreciate durability), great handling (even in the ditches with thick clover) and most importantly a great cut (my place looked like a golf course when we finished, even with the winter weeds and rye grass and clover). I'm certain that it will look even better once the herbicides take effect and the fertilizer and rising temps get the St. Augustine and Bermuda grasses growing.The Scag dealer called while we were mowing said that he would not be able to come until the next day, as some of his employees were on vacation during this Spring Break. I had already tested the Scag 3 times previously, but not side by side with the Bad Boy. However, another dealer that I had visited about 40 miles from my home actually sold both Scag and Bad Boy, and had told me straight up that the Bad Boy was way more machine for the money in my price bracket (FreedomZ), but he had nothing at all to say that was negative about Scag. After, testing the Bad Boy on my entire yard including the ditches, my sweet wife said "Buy it, this is the one I like!"
    So I did. :clapping:Heck there wasn't anything left for the Scag dealer to mow tomorrow anyway. I appreciate & thank all of you for your advice and input in all of my previous posts. This website is awesome and I will be sure to let y'all know how this Bad Boy is performing and will be straight forward and honest in my assessment - both positive and/or negative. And please, all the FreedomZ owners, don't take issue with my decision, as I am not saying that the Bad boy that I bought is better than yours. It's just the one that I (and my better half) chose to buy with our hard earned money.
    I'd also like to say that I personally called the home offices of both Scag and Bad Boy for further questions on their machines and was treated with respect at both. The Bad Boy reps that I spoke with were very enthusiastic, proud and knowledgeable about their products and wanted to ensure that all of my questions and concerns were answered and told me to please call back if I thought of anything else. Very impressive and something that more companies should be doing to get America back to some of the things that make it the greatest country in the world: Pride in Workmanship, Quality Products and Customer Satisfaction! :usflag:
    It's waaay too late and I've got to get up at 4;30 a.m. I'm gonna go out and stare at it one more time and then get some shuteye and SLEEP WELL.

  10. greenred

    greenred LawnSite Senior Member
    from IL
    Posts: 916

    I stopped and looked at a Bad Boy ZT today just out of curiosity. It was at a Tractor Supply Company. I was pretty impressed with it. Compared to any other Zero Turn I have seen sold out of a box store it blows the competition out of the water. It looked to be really well built with lots of detail work done with an eye to beef it up. The discharge chute on the deck was huge. It was a 60 inch deck and the discharge was at least as wide as my Scag Turf Tigers deck. I got to hand it to Bad Boy they seem to know how to produce a mower that appears very basic in design but with all the details covered. At least thats my first impression.

    Compared to its Scag equivalent I think its a tough call as to which is better choice. I think the difference in price is not that big. If it was me it would come down to demoing both, and evaluating how comfortable I was in the operators position and how well the deck performed in my grass. Then judging which dealer I felt most comfortable with.

    On a side note I dont know about the engine choices on the Bad Boy, but I would not hesitate to buy another mower with a 19 HP Kawi. Also after owning a Scag I would not hesitate to buy another one either.

    hehe you posted your choice while I was writing my post lol. Congrats man - post some pics of your new toy and keep us updated on how its doing.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010

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