Advice needed: Grasshopper 700 series vs. Scag Turftiger

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Gage7, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. Gage7

    Gage7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    I need advice what to get, a 700 series Grasshopper or a Scag.

    I am considering a 729T (29hp) with the a 3cyl Kubota Gas engine and a 52 inch deck (to start), or

    A Scag Wildcat/Turftiger 52" with either the 27hp Kohler on the Turftiger 52" or the Wildcat with the 26hp Kawasaki liquid cooled motor.

    I own a scag and a walker. I do 90% residential lawns, medium size and up to 1 acre. I dearly love the front mount cut of the walker. The durability and power of the small scag are something I've come to rely on.

    I had never heard of Grasshoppers until a friend of mine recently recommended them for the front mount deck and durability that he had personally seen them demonstrate.

    I've read here that people seem to love or hate Grasshoppers.

    They are all FREAKIN HEAVY. For example, A 727 series (Kohler 27hp) with a 52" deck and a mulch kit is 1,280 pounds. A 729T (Kubota 29hp gasoline) 52" is 1400 pounds.
    A Scag Turftiger 52" is 1250. A Wildcat is 1120.

    Scags are almost universally regarded as Tanks with an excellent cut.
    The Grasshopper is a front mount... using the same motor as Scag in some cases. I don't know anything about Kubotas.

    I love Scags.. but the thought of a large front mount deck makes me drool.

    I have demoed a 52 inch Wildcat, a 61 inch Turftiger... driven a 61 inch 727 Grasshopper briefly, and will demo a Grasshopper with a mulch kit in a couple of days.

    I'm looking for any advice or experience you may have to offer.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Well staying with a 52,the lc wildcat is unbeatable theirs nothing wrong with a turf tiger but the wildcat is a super mower,starts easy for us and runs day after day....
  3. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    Why a frontmount ? I have owned a couple of the 700 series GHoppers and they are very dependable mowers , but I would look into the midmounts over the frontmounts before making the decision just my 2 cents worth. They 700 GH's take up a ton of room on your trailer compared to a midmount. They are a pain in tight areas to turn around compared to a midmount. Gonna hit some trees hopefully no buildings turning around....something to consider. Demo a 227 GHopper or Scag , or Exmark and see the difference. I also didn't care for the skinny front tires when cutting short, they would fall into a rut and scalp on some lawns if I went down to 3". But whatever you like there are pluses and negatives to every machine, but at least you have it narrowed down to dependable machines which ever way you choose.
  4. Mike Blevins

    Mike Blevins LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,390

    Both Scag and Grasshopper are good mowers. I have a Grasshopper dealer a couple of blocks away. I have got to demo a couple of mid mounts around the dealers shop. I have owned a 52" 25 air cooled Wildcat and a 52" 23 liquid cooled kaw Turf Tiger. I now own a 61" 29 dfi Turf Tiger. I love my new Tiger but dearly miss my 52" Wildcat in some of my smaller properties. My Wildcat was very easy to manuever around any yard that I used it on. The Wildcat is a true commercial unit. It is built like a tank as are all Scags and with the 26 liquid cooled kaw will hang with anything out there. The 27 kohler 52" Tiger I would think would be a great mower also. It should have plenty of power. The velocity plus deck on Scags is also top notch. It moves crazy amount of grass and leaves an excelllent cut. I have the stripe bar on mine and it does an amazing job. I have had countless remarks on how my Tiger cuts this year. There are a few Grasshoppers around here and people seem to like them. If there wasn't any Scag dealers around I would definatley look at Grasshopper. But if there is a Scag around it the Scag hands down for me.
  5. Ford850

    Ford850 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    I demo'd both Scag and GH before purchasing a 722D. Both were great and cut high wet grass with no problems. Both have great discharge and leave a very nice cut. Both handled the hills well. The reasons I went with the front mount were due to my rolling, hilly, dip and ridge filled property. The Scag scalped several areas no matter how I mowed. The GH made a huge difference and scalped very little even with the 61" deck. I have since added the float bushings to the GH deck and the cut is fantastic. The front mount also lets me trim closer to beds and cut under and around shrubs and pines. The GH is quite a bit more comfortable for me too.
    But... the front mounts are more difficult to manuever in tight areas. You have to keep in mind the rear end is swinging out beyond your turns, but once you get the hang of it you don't have to think about it much. A single rear wheel helps this, but I like the comfort of the twin rear wheels better.
    Demo if you can.
  6. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I'd like to have a front mount GH. I have a Tiger Cub that works great though. Had I not bought the Scag, I would have bought a GH instead.
  7. Scagman61

    Scagman61 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 12

    go with the wildcat. i own a 26hp 52" liquid cooled and it is hands down the best mower i have. it can handle about any situation you get stuck with. the tip speed is good, they can handle a decent slope, and they just dont BREAK!!!!! Mine has over 500 hours on it and all i have done is service it and replaced one belt. dont know much about grasshoppers but i see alot of gh and woods front deck mowers at my dealers shop.... haha
  8. nuconz

    nuconz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Didn't see a response stating that you had bought a mower yet, so here's my $.02 - look at a Hustler Z with the Kawasaki 25/XR7 deck. This is a fine setup. Hustler has the best frame on the market.

    All the manufacturers use the same motors and many use the same hubs! What differs? This is where the demos come in to play.

    I can guarantee if you buy the GH or Hustler you won't be disappointed. Haven't used a Scag. But from my use of the GH and Hustler, you'll be amazed at how well the Hustlers handle. Cutting with them is a lot like a combination of running and dancing. GH is more like walking.
  9. Lehighlawnpros

    Lehighlawnpros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    We now have three Grasshopper outfronts;

    1. 721 with Kubota L/c gas--15 years old--way over 5,000 hours--doesn't look too good but still runs and mows great.

    2. 725 with Kubota L/c gas--10 years old--7,000 hours--
    runs and mows as good as new. Uses about 1 GPH.

    3. 722D with Kubota L/c Diesel--3 or 4 years old--
    1,000 hours--awesome machine and very fuel efficient at
    .6 GPH

    The "Powerfold" front deck makes blade changing/deck cleaning much easier.

    If you maintain your equipment well and plan to keep them a long time the Grasshopper/Kubota L/c engine combination is hard to beat.

    According to my calculations the Diesel would nearly pay for itself in fuel savings during its expected 10 year service life:

    Assuming 1080 hours per year,
    1080 hours x .6 gallon diesel per hour=
    648 gallons diesel per year x $4.80 Gal= $3110 per year

    1080 hours x 1 gallon gas per hour=
    1080 gallons gas per year x $4.10 Gal= $4428 per year

    Equals: $1318 per year in fuel savings
    x 10 year expected service life = $13,180 saved :)

    Also, this is in comparison to a mower that uses 1 GPH of gas, many other mowers use more than that so the savings could be even greater.

  10. Gage7

    Gage7 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Thank for all the great replies guys.

    Today I did demo a 727 Grasshopper with a 27hp Kohler motor, a 61" inch deck, frount mount, two wheel tail, with a mulch kit.

    The mulch kit did an excellent job. The cut was excellent. It was the most comfortable rider I have been on. It was fast and rarely hit any grass that phased the motor.

    I was impressed.

    61" is too wide for my general use. I definitly want a 52.

    However... I really like the Grasshopper after getting to actually use one for a day.

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