Bob-Cat FastCat mower field test?????

Discussion in ' Magazine e-Reports' started by turfmagazine, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. bkschmid

    bkschmid LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    This is my first post here, but since I just demo'd a Fastcat 42 this week, I thought someone might interested in my experience. I'll preface this by saying I went into this already thinking I was going to buy one, the demo was the last step in my decision, so I had nothing against the machine before I jumped in the seat.

    I have a BIG problem with this mower... The deck design in my opinion is not good, at least for what I want it to do. The blade on the left side is positioned forward to the front corner of the deck while the right side blade is positioned to the rear, closer to the rear right tire. To me, this is a backwards design if you want to mow close around poles, trees, etc. There is probably at least a 10"-12" deadspace between the left rear tire and the left side blade which makes it impossible to mow around a tree or post without leaving a 16-20" ring of uncut grass.

    The dealer had no idea what I was talking about until I asked him to go take it and go around a utility pole. He did, couldn't do it. It was the first time he actually was in the seat of this model, and he was surprised at the flaw. Said he was going to notify the owner of the dealership right away. I think it defeats it's own purpose. It's a ZT tractor yes, ZT mower, not in my opinion. I looked at a 36" too, and it doesn't look much different...
  2. Tim03

    Tim03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    Thanks for the info!
  3. barko4

    barko4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Ok, I have the Craftsman Professional ZTR aka Bobcat Fastcat RZ and have had it for two seasons now. I have about 100 hours on it and decided to put my two Lincolns here. It is a 42" cut, 22hp B&S ELS engine and I also purchased the mulch kit for it as well. I has been a disappointment to say the least. I have so many issues, I don't know where to start and am not sure if I can remember all of them. I'll start with the engine. It has good power, however it is hard to start sometimes and does not like to idle at the lowest setting. In cooler to cold weather forget it. It does not like the cold. The steering is jerky and far from smooth when trying to turn or maneuver around objects. It causes quite a bit of turf damage by scalping when I try to make turns even when I am creeping. It does poorly on any incline and "crabwalks" downhill when doing so and causes me to have to angle the front of the mower uphill (kind of like landing an airplane in a crosswind). The spring that keeps tension on the mower deck belt broke in the middle of cutting a customers 1/4 acre yard and I had to finish with my 21" mower. When I replaced the hydro pump fluid and changed out the filters it took forever to properly refill the reservoirs and bleed them out. It only has a one year commercial warranty. The mulch kit takes about an hour to install and vice versa back to side discharge. When cutting a yard I often have to go over much of what I cut a second time (I always have sharp blades on it) due to grass left standing even when creeping. The pluses are the engine has good power, it fits into most backyard gates and when it doesn't, that's what the walk-behind is for. The blades are easy to change out. Overall it is a disappointment and I can't see myself buying any Bobcat product ever again, including Sears Professional series equipment. Anyone interesed in buying a used Fastcat?

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