60" John Deere Z-Trac 925M vs. Scag Tiger Cat vs. Toro Z-Master 3000/5000

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by QuickPuppy, Mar 15, 2014.


Which 60" ZTR?

  1. John Deere Z-Trac 920M

    16 vote(s)
  2. Scag Tiger Cat

    17 vote(s)
  3. Toro Z-Master 3000

    1 vote(s)
  4. Toro Z-Master 3000

    6 vote(s)
  1. QuickPuppy

    QuickPuppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Hello all,

    I am currently cutting 10+ acres yard with a tractor and pull behind finish mower. It takes a good 7+ hours to do and chokes the finish mower pretty easily.

    I'm finally going to join the ZTR world and have narrowed my choices down to 3 manufactures and 3 or 4 mowers. All are 60"-61", all will have the suspension seat option, all but one have the Kawasaki FX730V 23.5hp engine, all have some variation of a 7 gauge deck.

    The candidates are: John Deere Z-Trac Z925M, the Scag Tiger Cat, the Toro Z-Master 3000, and the Toro Z-Master 5000.

    Price wise they are all within a couple hundred dollars of each other. (Except for the Toro 5000 series that is $1200-1500 more.)

    I like all of the dealers so that doesn't figure into things.

    Here's the comparison:

    The Deere has a stamped 7 Iron Pro deck, integrated 13cc pump/motors, Aluminum spindle housings, 18000 blade tip speed, 24 X 12 12 tires, flat free 6.5" casters, heaviest machine at 1283lbs, 3 yr warranty.

    The Toro 3000 has a bull nose deck lip, integrated 12cc pump/motors (ZT3400), cast iron spindle housings, top speed is slower than the others by 1.5 mph but the blade speed is faster at 18500, 23 x 10.5 rear tires, pneumatic 6.5" casters, 5 yr warranty (lifetime on frame), for $500 more I can get the 25hp Kohler Command Pro EFI.

    The Scag has a tri-plate deck, separate pumps (ZT3100) and motors, tapered roller spindle and caster bearings, cast iron spindle housings, 24 X 12 12 tires, 6.5" pneumatic casters, 3yr warranty.

    Of course my favorite is the most expensive-- the Toro 5000. However I'm not sure it's worth the additional $1200-1500 over the others. It takes the Z-Master 3000 series and adds: a standard suspension seat, larger rear tires, flat free casters, larger "27hp" Kohler Command Pro engine, larger gas tank, shock valves to the pump, and is 1.5 mph faster.)

    1. How much difference do larger tires and casters make?
    2. How much difference does a 1.5 mph top speed make? (Other than getting to and from the grass, will I ever be able to cut even close to the top speed of these machines?)
    3. Any issues with stamped decks? On lesser gauge steel I would think so but the 7 Iron Pro 7ga plus a 1" reinforcement bar on the sides is really beefy looking.
    4. How much additional power and less fuel (realistically) will an EFI engine provide?
  2. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,160

    I have a jd 9 series and I cut at full speed all the time. It's super fast. With 10 acres I would do the toro 6000 not the 5000. The 5000 is slower than the Deere. The Deere is a really fast machine.
  3. QuickPuppy

    QuickPuppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I thought the Deere, Scag, and Toro 5000 all were 10MPH machines. The Toro 3000 is 8.5.
  4. QuickPuppy

    QuickPuppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    … and the 5000 series is already at the very top of my price range.
  5. QuickPuppy

    QuickPuppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Which model and deck size do you have?
  6. QuickPuppy

    QuickPuppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    Haven't figured out how to edit this post… The John Deere model is the 920M (23.5hp Kawasaki) not the 925M (Kohler EFI)
  7. ohmaffew

    ohmaffew LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 13

    Scag! My Tiger Cat will be delivered this week. 27hp Kohler 61" deck. I have close to the same amount as the OP has to cut.
  8. QuickPuppy

    QuickPuppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    For further clarification:

    I'm currently using a New Holland TC29 pulling a 6' finish mower. The yard ranges from areas around the house that are almost 100% St. Augustine grass, to mixed weeds and grasses (dollar weed, clover, etc.), to a pasture type area that is clover and I think Bahia. The bahia (thin and wispy looking) is what the current mower has the issues with. It doesn't look that thick but it sometimes bogs down even when creeping in 2nd or 1st gear. (About half walking speed.) We try to cut at least once a week during the growing season but at times it probably needs it twice a week.
  9. QuickPuppy

    QuickPuppy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    So why did you choose the Scag? If you don't mind me asking, how much did you get it for?
  10. Razorblades

    Razorblades LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    If it is Bahia it will have a Y shaped seed head on the end of the stem. It can be tough to cut clean in one pass when the stems get tough in the dryer, hotter parts of the summer.

    Do a Google or Lawnsite search to try to identify which grass it is that you're talking about. IMO, if the majority of your "toughest to cut grass" is Bahia then your mower should be the one that will cut that the best in one pass.

    Of the three mowers that you've listed, I would lean towards the Scag, IF that is indeed Bahia that you were talking about.

    I cut mostly Bahia covered yards/lawns, with also some Dallis grass areas and some Bermuda, Zoysia and St. Augustine areas, as well. All of the mowers that you've mentioned will do great on all but the Bahia, but they all will do an acceptable job on that, with the Scag doing the best of the 3 based on my experience with Scag Wildcat (61"Velocity +) deck and JD Z920A (I think) with the 54" 7 Iron Pro Deck.

    While I've heard/read a lot of complimentary remarks about the Toro Commercial Z's, they usually didn't mention cutting stemmy type grasses like Bahia with them either, so I can't say for sure that the Toro would not do as well as the other two on that stemmy grass that you mention.

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