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Compare these machines, JD 36" and Scag 36"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SCAPEASAURUSREX, Jan 11, 2004.


    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    I am in need of a Hydro 36" machine, actually a 40 or 42" deck would be ideal, but no one makes them.. I am looking at two well actually 3 machines.... the JD HD45, the Scag and the GD SS.. I think the SS is out due to issues I have read about on this site .. So between the JD and the Scag.................. Which one stripes better, clogs less , cuts better, etc.. IF JD had the 7 iron deck on a 36" er I would nt even be asking cause I'd have the JD...... But they dont... So what am I to do..... I have owned scag and JD and love both of them...... ughhh... Thanks
  2. edward hedrick

    edward hedrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    I think the JD has timed blades. This allows it to be the same length on both sides. I used a Lesco 36 it was longer on the left.

    similiar to scag. I would take a close lool at both. Ed
  3. Jim Feder

    Jim Feder LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

  4. Sam-Ohio

    Sam-Ohio LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 304

    The Scag deck is fabricated with 7 guage steel and then they weld on 10 guage reinforcing plates on top between the spindles. The Scag mows beautifully and controls well - and is super reliable.

    I don't know a thing about the Deere - good, bad, or indifferent. Hardly ever even see one around here, and don't know anyone that uses them so I can't comment on them.

    There is one you didn't ask about that I think is terrific ! The Gravely 36 inch mows absolutly perfectly. If you get a chance to try one of their newer mowers - they are great !
  5. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    I have an HD45 and am quite pleased. The support of the JD dealer was the deciding factor for me.

    First, I can't tell you much about the striping due to our cool season grasses.

    As for clogging, due to the wet conditions here in the NW, that sometimes is an issue on thicker, heavily-fed yards. This is something I see with other LCO's using other brands so I know it's not brand specific. The blower if my friend.

    Finally, I feel the cut quality is very good. I keep my blades sharp and use either gators or high lifts depending on conditions. I use the mulch insert during the summer otherwise bag or SD.
  6. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    I’ve used a John Deere 36” fixed deck belt drive- things I don’t like:
    The timed blades just not a good idea… you probably can’t get a belt for it anywhere but a JD dealer which can be bad if he is out of them, whereas other brands are pretty much interchangeable with V belts (can even get them at auto parts stores) and plus that the one I’ve used didn’t cut too great because of the timed blades. It kind of streaked alittle bit somehow (the blades might’ve been worn down I don’t know) it striped OK but the Scags do better. Also it seemed to discharge a lot of clippings for the short bit I was cutting off. It threw out more clippings than my eXmark on the same lawn at the same height (and eXmark is 50% wider cut, therefore more clippings being cut off). Also the controls I don’t like, particularly the thumb latches (not a big deal if you get used to them) but the latches are backward of every other mower I’ve used and they’re not ergonomic at all (if you use them you’ll see what I mean). All of the parts virtually except the engine would have to be gotten at a JD dealer which you’re probably used to. These things maybe different on a newer hydro. This one’s a few years old and a belt drive (not old old but probably a late 90’s model) IMHO the only thing going for it is the fact that the left hand blade is closer to the drive wheels which makes it not scalp as easy (shorter wheelbase) and easier trimability. I just didn’t like it much when I used it (I’ve tried other 36” belt drives too so I am comparing apples to apples).
    The Scags rule the walk behind market here, I mean absolutely rule it, there’s 10 Scags to every one of any other brand here. I’d really be looking at the Scag if I were you, but then again check out that deere since you’re already at that dealership all the time anyway, and the newer hydro’s maybe better than what I’ve seen.

    Also, Husqvarna makes a 42” hydro walk behind with a nice floating deck with deck adjustments just like a ZTR! You adjust it with a similar lever at the back by the controls! They also have loop steering which would be like your JD stand on controls. It’s a three blade deck design and their decks are somewhat similar to eXmark, I’ve used them and they cut and discharge much the same. They’re built as heavy as any out there from what I have seen. And Toro makes a 44” w/b but that is probably alittle too wide for you?

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Well fortuantly I'm NOT at the JD dealership all too often, except for maint parts like hydro filter, actually thats the only part other than belts, but dont have the hours for belts yet...

    Husky 42" huh,, Have to check that out.. but the only Husky dealers around here that I know of is Home Depot or Lowes ? and they dont have the good stuff....

    Toro 44" hummmm that might work ?? have to measure some gates, and these are walk behinds ???? I'll look them up...

    Timed blades ??? So guess you can run doubles on it ?? I have a 36" scag belt that has been awsome, actucally my first machine, but want more productivity so want to go hydro and this will be replacing a 42" walker.... I'd be pretty happy with a 42" scag walk behind, but cant have it all I guess...
    Thanks for the feedback guys...

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Oppps I meant CAN"T run doubles.....
  9. dont know about deere but scag gives me a excellent cut stripes excellent.....and it built like a tank very few problems
  10. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    My primary equipment supplier is a John Deere dealer that also carries the Scag line. Back when I first went in to research his mowers, he led me straight to the Scag's, didn't even mention JD's. At the time I was open to different types and styles of mowers, the only thing I told him up front was that I was looking for the most reliable and cost efficient mower I could get.

    I understand JD has/is coming out with a new line/style of mower, have not had the pleasure of meeting one yet, understand it's suppose to be built to compete with other quality commercial mowers, so it might be worth looking in to.

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