scag vs bobcat my take

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by supercuts, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    my big gripe with these "vs" threads is most people never tell you if they have tried both machines and most seem to side with which ever brand they have in their signature. since we are finally mowing, now ive been able to compare.

    so, i recently bought a scag turf tiger and have had a bobcat predator pro. the scag is a 29hp kawi DFI liquid cooled and bobcat is a 33hp generac air cooled.

    both have plenty of power. the kawi is much louder. the cut is almost the same. the ride seems a bit smoother on the scag but close. the big differences to me: the weight and size. the scag feels more heavy. they both have 16cc hydro pumps and the bobcat seems to have much less stress. the scag has a huge tailswing compared to the bobcat. i used to fit a WB and 2 ztrs, all bobcats in my 18' enclosed trailer with a good 1-2' of room to spare. swapping one bobcat ztr for the turf tiger, there is about one inch left.

    ive heard many say the scag is the best build machine out there. it feels very well built but so does the bobcat. one thing i dont like about the scag is the weight. it feels very heavy and i was told by the dealer the front casters yokes bend if you hop too many curbs. i think its because the mower is so heavy. the bobcat doesnt have this problem.

    i thing that annoys me with the scag is foot pedal/latching the deck up as well as the height selection layout. the bobcat blows it away. i love having both the hand and foot pedal on the bobcat. also its difficult to reach some heights compared to the bobcat and difficult to see.

    the added length of the scag seems to also scalp easier since the wheels are further apart.

    all and all, they are both great machines. it really is preferences. i know i complained the scag and praised the bobcat, but they are close. but simply because i can have more room on the trailer with the bobcats as well as the lighter weight, and deck height adjustments, i prefer the bobcat. the only thing i liked more on the scag was it was a bit more smooth on rough ground.

    i want to point out that i have had little time on teh scag and have had bobcats for a long time. the differences i found have little to do with time on the machine though.

    food for thought if considering between them.
  2. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    wow, a couple hours after i post this and its alreaday a couple pages back
  3. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 950

    Thanks for the post, as it is always interesting to hear from someone who has used both machines at the same period of time on the same grass. You said that the cut was nearly the same; which one would you give the edge to? what are your mowing conditions; turfgrass, native grass and weeds...etc? Have you cut in enough different conditions to tell if the Scag is going to disperse the clippings better, without clumping or are your accounts maitained often enough so that is not an issue? How has the Generac engine held up for you and do you know what the avg. fuel useage is in gallons per hour? My mower has a 32 Generac on it and I avg about 1.5 -1.6 GPH with high lift blades and slightly more with the super high lift blades. Some of the properties that I cut are on a biweekly or 10 day cycle so the extra power of the Generac is better for me that the 29 Kaw DFI that I demo'ed (same mower just different engine). The Kawasaki couldn't handle the thick, tall grass like the Generac could. I was just wondering if you had put both mowers in tough enough conditions to tell if the Generac seemed more powerful to you on your mowers?
  4. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,445

    I agree on the trailer space with the Scag TT one reason of the many I did not go with Scag. The front caster arms on the TT are just way to long, and some will say only a Scag can hold hills thats just BS

    Also the Scag height adjustment/foot pedal is a cramped design for me, and It physically wore me out buy the end of the day adjusting heights on commercial accounts

    I went with the AOS diesel, and did not have to purchase a new trailer to add another ZTR

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  5. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Nice review.....
    I actually like the length of the Tiger because I have large sometime rough lots but it did scalp easier than the Exmark Lazer. It is a big heavy mower, I would call it industrial compared to most brands. But that isn't what everyone needs. The Lazer was more maneuverable and better in tight spaces. I guess it's the right tool for the right job. The Turf Tiger isn't the right tool for everyone. To be honest I hated Turf Tigers until I put about 50 hours on one and saw how many more things I could do with it. I always hated the dampers on the sticks but I guess I just adjusted and now I don't even think about it. But that's just my area. It is too large and heavy for some applications. So I understand you grievances and think your points are valid.
  6. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    i dont know if i could give an edge to one. i think the scag cut a hair better, if at all. the scag seemed to clump grass directly out the side where the bobcat seems to throw clumps out a few feet, so we'll call that one a draw. yesturday was our first full day of mowing (20 lawns) and we sampled from turf to native to lots of weeds.

    the 29hp DFI seemed a bit less powerful then the 33hp generac. i really love the 33hp. i just bought the scag used over the winter. i bought the bobcat new. both mowers were new 11/06 and both have 1000-1050hrs so they are nearly identical in that aspect. as far as fuel comsumption, my older bobcat has a 25hp kawi and the 33hp may use no more than a gal of fuel more over an 8hr period. but it really isnt that noticable.

    we're mowing 23 lawns today, alot of turf, ill post again tonight. ill be paying much more concern to the cut and clumping today. we are doing alot of 60K plus square foot large thick lawns today and it will be nice to see how they do.

    did i mention i got the scag off craigslist in january, 990hrs, 29hpkawi, collection system, $4000, it was $12,300 new, he gave me the reciepts. GOOOOOOOO CRAIGSLIST! just bought a 2000 20' 10K lb big tex trailer for my kubota, has the extended tongue, heavy duty tailgate, lift springs, and nice tonge tool box, $1200. its a $4500 trailer.
  7. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,444

    We ran Exmarks for years and then demo'd just about everything and by "demo" I mean cut grass with it, not run it around the dealer's lot and cut a bit... we used them for a day of routine cutting.

    We went with the Bobcats and now own 9 of them.

    The OP, pretty much nailed the reasons. Cut quality was a wash with all of them no matter what you were cutting. Cutting speed was a wash.

    The Bobcats, felt better, are lighter and in my opinion rode as well as anything else and they're shorter.

    And we got a better price on buying 3 at a time from them than we did anyone else.

    They've given us good service and all but three of them have well over 3,000 hours on them. All have Kawassaki engines.
  8. I just bought a new Predator Pro with the 33 Generac and it is definitely a cutting machine that leaves a very smooth finished cut but, mine is not striping very much at all.

    I had seen some pictures of other Bob-Cat's stripes that were made without a striping kit and they looked great so I'm a little let down on the striping of my new mower.

    I have already looked at the deck pitch or rather the blade pitch of mine and it's adjusted 1/8 " lower in the front so I don't know why mine doesn't leave as nice of a stripe as some other Bob-Cat's.

    Would a higher lift blade make a difference? I've got the OEM 112111-03 blades. I'm needing to buy a spare set of blades right now so if anyone has a blade recommendation I'd be glad to hear it. Thanks much.
  9. milo

    milo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    this is what i have been saying for years on here about scags and bobcats. 1 thing not pointed out is that the scag wildcat 61 inch 27hp is more like the bobcat not as heavy as turf tiger and smaller. i have ran or owned most all mowers made, and still the best overall would be hustler, very close behind scag, exmark, bobcat. next would be dixie chopper..
    though if i had to choose between, scag wildcat, scag turf tiger and bobcat predator. my order would be wildcat, bobcat, turf tiger.
  10. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    the only problem with the wildcat was it has smaller cc hydro pumps when i was looking, not sure if they still do, the bobcat is 16cc as are the turf tiger

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