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Exmark vs Scag vs Hustler???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by scottm1, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. scottm1

    scottm1 LawnSite Member
    from Mo
    Posts: 109

    I think I have narrowed down my choices between the Scag, Exmark, and the Hustler. All in the 25-27 hp range, 60-61 cut. The local dealer here sells all 3 brands under one roof. The salesman at the dealer says he likes the Hustler because of what he says Hustlers require less pressure on the controls. I like the the looks of the Scag as far as ruggedness. The Exmark is good looking too, bay a little more pricier than the Hustler. I know the general opinions on this website puts the Exmark and the Scag at the top, but does the Hustler rank up there too. I have never used a ZTR before, so I am not really sure what I am looking for in a ZTR.
  2. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 344

    you should really try to demo all 3. I know what I would buy but your in a different area with different experince level.

    All three are well built machines. All are of good quality and the dealer is the same in this case. The resale on the Scag and Exmark would probably be slightly higher simply based on brand awareness.

  3. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    I cant tell you about the hustlers but the scags will hold hills better than the Exmarks. I have used both of these and its Scag hands Down. You also can search the Triton Deck problems on here. As for the velocity deck on the Scag it is "simply the best " deck I have used. You will not go wrong with the Scag name period.:weightlifter:
  4. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    I've owned all three and live in the transition zone as you do. The Hustler and Exmark are the smoothest. I think the Scag is the best all around after you get used to the stiffer controls. Scag has the best all around deck and holds hills the best. The Hustler and Exmark seem more refined as far as handling goes.

    Best for Hills Scag.
    Best dry cut Exmark (ultracut)
    Best any weather cut Scag (including damp and or overgrown).
    Most torque Scag
    Toughest I think Scag even though some disagree.
    Best handling Exmark or Hustler.
    Best ride Hustler
    Best engine selection Scag
    You actually want to get the grass cut under any circumstances Scag.
    Best all around deck, Scag Velocity even though the ultracut will cut smoother in some circustances and nicer lawns.

    I wouldn't recommend Hustler in the transition zone because of the deck.
    Also not sure about the Triton deck by Exmark, does good in some areas but I prefer the ultracut deck.

    Like I said I've owned all three and used them on the same lots and I have no reason to be biased. All have their strong points.

    I used to make fun of Scag but after a few hrs of seat time and I'm a believer
  5. scottm1

    scottm1 LawnSite Member
    from Mo
    Posts: 109

    Thanks Tacoma...I could not have gotten a better reply to my questions. My gut feeling while looking at these mowers was exactly as you described, but of course I had no way to confirm my feelings. The Scag looks like a real brute, and of course I am sure that will spill over into stiffer controls. I liked the Scag also because the dealer offered me the liquid cooled mower for the air cooled mower price. The Hustler seemed to have a real nice smooth feel to the controls, but again that smoothness did not strike me as being really rugged either. The Scag I was looking at is a Wildcat, 26 hp KAwasaki, liquid cooled, 61" deck. Since you are so familiar with these mowers, what is the going price on these. I have not had the opportunity to shop different dealers for price comparison yet.

  6. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    I am much more familiar with the Turf Tiger pricing than the Wild Cat so I will have to let someone with more experience with that model comment.

    I paid about $8,000 for a 27 hp Hustler Super Z which was a great deal.
    I paid $8,400 for a 27 hp Exmark Lazer 05 that should have sold at 9G or above.
    I paid a little over $8,000 for a Scag Turf Tiger with a big block Briggs but it was a left over model (most sell for $10,300).

    Take your time, there are bargains out there and dealers wanting to move mowers after the drought (at least here in the South East). It will be Spring before you can do a good demo on some lush growth to see which one you like the best so times on your side. I wait around for good deals so my prices may not reflect what others pay.
  7. scottm1

    scottm1 LawnSite Member
    from Mo
    Posts: 109

    Thanks again Tacoma. Your responses have told me that not only are you knowledgeable and wise, but maybe most importantly.......Patient. Sounds like good advice to me!

  8. fergman

    fergman LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 286

    does it give as good or better cut in yards that have crabgrass and thin fescue?
  9. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Crabgrass was the toughest thing for my Hustler Super Z with the XR7 deck. It didn't matter what kind of kit I put on it it would just leave stringers and clog the deck up. I used the triangle fixes, lift kit, and combinations and never could get it to cut right.

    Both the Exmark with the Ultra Cut and the Scag with the Velocity deck have done much better. But that crabgrass is some tough stuff for any ZTR. The Exmark may cut it smoother but the Scag is less likely to have any build up under the deck in crabgrass. No clumping with the Velocity. I have two accounts that are covered up every fall but the owners don't want to fool with any crabgrass prevention so I guess I'm stuck cutting it. I guess they figure the ZTR's are doing well enough they don't need to concern themselves about it.
  10. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    I believe you need to demo in the Spring heavy growth period to really get a feel for how a deck will preform, at least in cool season grasses.

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