Scag Freedom, Bobcat Fastcat, or Badboy ZT?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by trentmh, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. trentmh

    trentmh LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I know this same exact question has been asked but I did not get what I was looking for from that thread. I'm a homeowner who typically likes to buy more outdoor power equipment than I actually need. In this scenario I'm talking about mowing 3/4 acre, slight slope, with a large amount of landscaping. I've narrowed my choices down to a Scag Freedom Z, Bobcat Fast 48", or a Badboy ZT 50". I've seen and sat on both the Scag and the Badboy and my observations was that the Badboy sat much higher, but it appeared to be of heavier construction. The Freedom sat really low which would make me think that the center of gravity was very low which would be a good thing. Also, the Freedom had front center scalp rollers where the ZT had scalp rollers all the way around.

    I've seen the Fastcat in person yet, but from what I've read and seen in pictures, it does not have any scalp rollers. I'm not sure how big of a deal this is or not, but I will be mowing through a drainage ditch that could cause some scalping issues.

    I have very reputable dealers for all three of these mowers within 20 miles of my home, but I've yet to get a definative answer from any of them on which was better even though both dealers carry at least 2 of the three I'm looking at.

    Here is my breakdown at the moment (I need you to fill in the blanks):

    Scag Freedom Z (Kawi 19)= $5300 OTD
    Pros: Scag name and dealer network, low seat height, fairly well built for a consumer grade mower, ROPS standard, great cut
    Cons: Not as many scalp rollers, aluminum spindles

    Bobcat Fastcat 48" (kawi 19) = $4800 OTD
    Pros: Reputable name, heard it is well built, read it offers a great cut, and offers a quick deck height lift
    Cons: No scalp rollers, rumored to not hold hills well at all.

    Badboy ZT 50" (Kohler 27) = $4800 OTD
    Pros: Seems to be built like a tank, scalp rollers on all corners
    Cons: Seat Height?, Kohler engine? Electric desk lift? (I like the KISS principle)

    What am I missing? They seem to be so close in specs and reputation that I'm finding it really hard to decide on which one. I think if the Bobcat had the scalp rollers that it would be my first choice. At this point I would think I'm leaning more towards Fastcat as my number 1 choice, followed by the ZT and then the Freedom. Can you help me make this decision easier?

    Thank You,
  2. retrodog

    retrodog LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,421

    My g-parents have the zt 50" and love it. They mow their church yard, deer lease, and their yard with it. We haven't had any issues out of the Kohler yet, but did have one or two with the Briggs engine they offered. You can also get the 23hp Vanguard which is an awesome engine, but you would pay closer to the Freedom price. You will kinda feel like Tim the Tool Man with all that power on the 50" The deck is 7 guage, the frame is 11 guage 2x2, the front castors are heavier, this thing leaves an awesome cut, and Bad Boy does some amazing things as a company to help customers out. I would recommend paying a little extra and getting the pup seat with the armrests put on it, it is much better than the ole' black standard seat.
  3. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 7,053

    My opinion will sound biased but, get the Scag. :D Honestly, I did use the Freedom Z for a week. It cut everything great. I almost bought it but Scag doesn't offer a power assist bagger kit for the Freedom Z, only the standard kit.
  4. trentmh

    trentmh LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    May I ask why you have formed this opinion? Was there something you didn't really like about the other two offerings or was the Scag Freedom Z just so superior in one or more ways?
  5. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Posts: 1,627

    The Scag has a low center of gravity and suspension foot platform. It comes standard with a decent seat and armrests. It's a really smooth machine.

    The Bad Boy sits up a couple inches higher and has the electric deck lift (never had to repair this actuator ever), full size 13x6.50x6 front caster tires with 1/2" thick caster forks, an easy access flip up floor pan, full rear engine protection, and the optional 23hp Vanguard with canister filtration. The best engine option available on any machine in this class IMO. Recommended options: flat free caster tires if you're mowing any kind of a rough area where there's a potential to puncture a tire, trailer hitch if you have a cart or anything to pull around your place, the Pup seat with armrests (or the full blown Michigan suspension seat!), the Mojack (unless you have a hoist at your place), and the basket is a nice addition as well. You know your needs though, but those are the options I move the most.

    My only dislike on the ZT is that it doesn't have steering dampeners, so it's not going to be a smooth as the Scag. You may like the feel though. :waving:
  6. trentmh

    trentmh LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I was told by two Badboy dealers that the only engine option now on the ZT was the Kohler. They did however say that they 'might' could get the BS engine but they were not very confident in this. They also mentioned that Badboy had a falling-out with BS for some reason.
  7. bigclawn

    bigclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 413

    lot of talk for 3/4 acre mow!!
  8. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Posts: 1,627

    The 26hp Briggs engine is still available as is the 23hp Vanguard. The 23hp Vanguard is not going away to my knowledge.
  9. trentmh

    trentmh LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    Yes, but someone else might have the same questions and need the same guidance. I research a toothbrush before I go to the store to buy it:)
  10. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Posts: 1,627

    There is nothing wrong with asking questions before buying. After all, that's one of the reasons for this forum. Don't mind Bigclawn- they're a resident troll anyhow. :waving:

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